I’ve had several brands and styles of action cameras over the past few years, so it was time to see what the small inexpensive action camera products were like now. I’m pretty impressed.
The Campark brand has several models of action cameras on the market. I chose the one labeled as the ACT 74 model. It has a slightly different set of video resolution choices than other models in this series. I wanted a camera that would do some slow motion videos and this model had a 720 resolution with 120 frames per second. 720 is still HD and 120 frames per second allows for significant slowdown when played.
What this action camera comes with
First, the camera came in a nylon soft side foam padded case that’s about 6 ½ by 8 ½ inches wide and long and about 2 ½ deep. Besides the camera there is a nice set of accessories including the waterproof housing, attachment bases, a J hook, rotator connectors, a bike mount and a mounting tray with a ¼ by 20 mounting screw and a snap on hat or belt clip mount. It also comes with a USB cable and a couple of batteries.
All in all, it’s a nice set of accessories.
The action camera itself is within a millimeter or so of a Go Pro Hero 4’s dimensions. You make your camera settings choices from five menus presented on the rear two inch LCD screen. You’ve got choices for your video mode, your camera mode General settings and what I call housekeeping settings. These choices are selected using the mode/power button to move between modes and up and down selection buttons to highlight the desired option. The option is selected using the OK/shutter button on top of the camera.
A couple of items to note are the white balance choices and the exposure control choices in the general settings menu. These are both important settings to help you manage color and brightness. The other is that the camera’s time is forgotten when the battery is removed. You’ll need to reset the time if you’re changing batteries or your file’s label will be messed up.
One of the video settings I’ve used and enjoy is the time lapse feature. You set the interval and the camera take pictures which produce a nice time lapse view of any task, project or sunset you’d like to record. Obviously, this is a shot where you’ll need a tripod of some sort.
Another neat feature is the onboard WiFi and downloadable smartphone app. With the WiFi on, you can connect to your smartphone and use the app to make menu selections, choose video or camera modes and trigger the shutter to start and stop recording or to snap stills. The app also allows you to more easily frame the shot as the action camera will transmit the lens’ image to the phone. WiFi connecting can be intermittent so don’t be surprised if you have to try more than once. Also don’t forget you can use your smartphone’s WiFi controls to connect if the in app connect dialog doesn’t cooperate.
You can also download the videos and stills to your phone for easy sharing on social media.
Video and Photos
This action camera has several choices when it comes to video and photo resolution. All choices are made in the various settings menus. The video settings include choices for both 4K and 2K at 30 fps and 1080p at both 30 and 60 fps. Higher frame rates give you some slow motion options when editing. As with most cameras claiming 4K resolution in this price range, I found the video to be a bit choppy. The 108p choice produced excellent image quality – again, for the price range. Photo resolution, too is selectable. It offers 2, 5, 8, 12 and 16 megapixel options. The photos are clear but as with any wide angle lens, there is some fisheye effect.
Notice the fisheye effect along the outside edges.
I’ve been pretty pleased with the video captured by this little action camera. I used it on a tripod to shoot a sunset in the time lapse mode that turned out pretty nice. I used it with a powered gimbal to get some steady shots where I fly my RC airplanes and I’ve also had it in the pool where the underwater shots proved pretty cool.
Considering I spent less than $70 dollars for this little action camera, I’m quite pleased.
Link to Amazon.com
Here my expanded YouTube video review.