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Lifewire / Scott Gercken
Sharp photo and video
Easy to use in action settings
Wi-Fi control through the mobile app
Questions about long-term durability
Hot USB ports after prolonged use
Clear photo and video in all circumstances. The AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K Action Camera amazed us with quality photos and video in every sports test we conducted, easily justifying its budget price
The AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K Action Camera promises to deliver a stripped down version of the most expensive action cameras without sacrificing quality video and photos. At less than half the price of the budget GoPro, could it compete with the big name brand? We ran the EK7000 Pro through the paces to find out.
The AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K Action Camera looks just like you’d expect an action camera to look. It’s very small, 2.25” wide, 1.5” tall, and 1” deep. About a quarter of the front face is the lens, punctuated with a red circle around its edge. The front is split in two sections, matte black plastic under the lens and lined black plastic by the power/mode button. The sides are a black, textured plastic. There is an up button and a down button on the right side. On the left, a micro USB port, mini-HDMI port, and micro-SD slot. The 2” touch screen takes up almost all of the back. The Li-Ion battery goes in the slot on the bottom. An issue surfaced after protracted use where the micro-USB got really hot, not enough to burn but enough to be uncomfortable.
The camera is, of course, just half of what you need to take great action photos and videos. The AKASO EK7000 Pro comes with a bunch of mounts, straps, and ties so you can attach it to various items. The two most important are the plain camera mount and the waterproof case. The waterproof camera case is made out of clear plastic with a black clasp on the top with silver buttons that push down on the actual camera’s buttons. The door on the back closes with the clasp and has a white rubbery seal to make the case waterproof. The black camera mount is a rectangle just larger than the actual camera itself. The camera clips into the frame, and the frame has a tripod post on top and underneath which can connect with various mounts and clips.
After just a few days use, one of the clip’s prongs snapped off while we were moving it into position, not a great sign for long-term durability.
It also comes with a simple remote control, about a square inch, with just two buttons—a red photo button and a grey video button. It also has a loop through which you can slide a strap to fix the remote to something. The plastic clips are a little rigid for a sports camera. After just a few days use, one of the clip’s prongs snapped off while we were moving it into position, not a great sign for long-term durability. The AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K Action Camera comes with a one-year, limited warranty, but that information wasn’t included in the box, and we had to email customer service to get it.
The initial setup process is very simple. After a fairly standard start-up sequence (language, date, time zone, etc.) and inserting the micro SD card, we were ready to take photos and record video.
The attachments, however, are a different story. We initially dumped out all the accessories to see if we could figure it out on our own. The EK7000 Pro came with a quick-start guide, but it didn’t have any advice for different configurations for different situations. Even the full manual didn’t have complete instructions. It only gave examples of two mounting scenarios, one for a bike helmet and one on the handlebars.
We tested a few different ways to mount the camera with varying levels of success. First, we tried to mount the camera to the handlebars of a road bike. The camera comes with a mount that is designed to do just that, but it wasn’t large enough for any of the bikes we tried. It simply wouldn’t attach the way the manual suggested it should. None of the rest of the accessories would work to securely fasten the camera to the handlebars.
We then tried the helmet mount suggested in the manual. That involved a mount clip, a plastic plate, and a velcro strap. Contrary to our experience with the handlebar mount, it all came together quickly and the mount felt secure. The plastic plate comes with an adhesive bottom but we didn’t need to use it for the camera to feel secure, even while riding down busy, bumpy streets.
The plain camera case can also mount a large clip, so you can attach it to your clothes. We popped it on the front of a hydration backpack and took it for a run, an eight-mile hill workout. Even during that high-intensity run the camera remained secure the entire time. We also figured out how to strap the remote to ourselves using both the velcro strap and a cam strap. It made the remote easy to use when on the go, especially on a bike when you don’t have a free hand. That said, it would have been nice to get a selfie stick or tripod with the kit.
The AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K Action Camera takes photos with resolutions from 4 to 16 MP. It has a few photo modes: auto, burst mode, continuous lapse, and time lapse. Every photo we took was gorgeous no matter the light or how we mounted the camera. During our hill workout the camera shook so violently that video was useless, but we used the remote to take regular shots and burst mode shots. When we looked through the photos afterwards we couldn’t find the photos where the camera was violently shaking. It had to be at least a little blurry, right? Nope. Every shot, even with a wildly shaking camera, was crystal clear, the kind of clarity you could never get from a similarly priced point-and-shoot camera.
Every shot, even with a wildly shaking camera, was crystal clear, the kind of clarity you could never get from a similarly priced point-and-shoot camera.
We also tried the camera in bright light, low light, as well as moving from low light to bright light and the reverse. The photos came out perfect every single time. We even took a landscape photo at sunset, and it was perfect, too. We were thoroughly impressed. The camera also has four angle modes: super wide, wide, medium, and narrow. We worried that we wouldn’t be able to aim the camera well enough to take the photos we wanted while on the run, but the angle of the camera is much wider than you’d expect and easily captured everything we wanted.
Video is where the EK7000 Pro shines most of all. It takes very high quality video at several resolutions and framerates. The 30 FPS modes are 2.7K and 1080P with 4K at 25 FPS. Slow motion modes are available at 1080P/60 FPS and 720P at both 60 FPS and 120 FPS. We did three different video tests. The first was video strapped to the aforementioned hydration pack on a run. The video was awful, but not because of the camera. It just shook back and forth so much that the effect was nauseating, but when we paused the video on our Mac, the paused image was sharp as a photo. The only time the video had any motion blur was when we ran under a bridge and the camera was focused on bright light on the opposite side.
In our second test, we strapped the EK7000 Pro to the top of a bike helmet and took it for a ride. The video came out pretty clear, and the head mount provided enough stability to make the footage usable. Loop mode records video in loops of 1 min, 3 min, and 5 min. When the memory card is full, it writes the next loop over the last one, but you can mark one loop to save by using the shutter button on the remote. Many people use action cameras like this one as security video in case of bike or car accidents. This feature means you can select a loop in which you recorded an incident while letting the camera continue on loop mode.
The wide angle lens made it easy to track swimmers underwater, even with the camera on the end of a selfie stick below the tester’s feet.
Our third test was underwater video. For this one, we went with some triathlon friends down to the local YMCA pool to shoot their workouts. We grabbed an old selfie stick and stuck the waterproof case on the end, then dunked it underwater to record their swimming form. We had to place the camera upside down on the selfie stick, but the upside down mode automatically reoriented the video. The wide angle lens made it easy to track the swimmers, even with the camera on the end of a selfie stick below the tester’s feet. The camera has a diving mode which adjusts the color so it looks good underwater but even without it enabled the shots looked great. We mostly recorded in slow motion, so the athletes could analyse their swimming form afterwards, and found the quality of the slow-motion video made it easy for our subjects to analyze every aspect of their form.
The EK7000 Pro’s battery life is an issue, though. The manufacturer says that it has 90 minutes, but it lasted a little longer than that in our tests. Still, just under two hours of video is not a lot when you’re looking to get cool action shots, though AKASO does include a second battery you can swap in if the primary one is depleted. That short charge is disappointing, but not surprising. Battery life is a pretty common issue amongst action cameras in this range—the GoPro Hero7 has a similar battery life.
The AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K Action Camera has a mobile app, called iSmart DV, that pairs with the camera through Wi-Fi. The app lets you see through the camera lens from your phone, so if you’re wearing the camera, you can see what you’re shooting on the phone. You can also start and stop the video, switch modes, and transfer files from the camera to your mobile device. Unfortunately, because Wi-Fi can’t penetrate water the signal cuts out as soon as you submerge the EK7000 Pro, so it was useless for underwater images or video.
When we tried to download the photos and videos by connecting the AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K Action Camera to a computer, it didn’t connect like a normal camera. Unlike most digital cameras, the EK7000 Pro doesn’t open our photos app and import images. Instead, it shows up like a storage device, like an SD card or flash drive. While it was unusual, it was convenient being able to drag images to whatever folder we wanted without having to use the photo app as an intermediary.
Then we started to rearrange and rename files and folders on the card. The EK7000 Pro didn’t register any files that didn’t use the internal naming scheme, and it didn’t work at all when we placed our own folders inside the camera’s default “photo” or “video” folders. The touch screen LCD is also a little tricky. It tends to read your finger press higher than it actually is, so we had to intentionally touch the screen lower than the menu option we wanted. It took some time to acclimate, but eventually it became natural.
The AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K Action Camera’s MSRP is $75, which is about the normal price for an entry-level action camera, but the extra expense is completely justified. It might not pack all the bells and whistles of premium action cameras, but it’s well featured for a model at this price and delivers amazing image quality.
GoPro Hero7 White: The GoPro Hero7 White is GoPro’s least expensive camera offering, though with a list price of $200 it’s still more than double the cost of the AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K Action Camera. It’s durable and waterproof without the waterproof case, and has bluetooth in addition to Wi-Fi. However, it doesn’t have a removable battery, so there’s no way to keep shooting on a long day without plugging the camera into a charger, which really hamstrings it considering its marginal battery life. With a slighter feature set and a price tag $100 higher, the Hero7 doesn’t stack up favorably against the EK7000 Pro.
Yi Action Camera: The Yi Action Camera is priced about the same—the camera and accessory kit go for about $70, but that doesn’t include a waterproof case (one is available as a separate purchase). It doesn’t do 4K or 2.7K video, but it does have a really cool 848 x 480 240fps to slow down really fast action. The Yi Action Camera seems largely equivalent to the EK7000 Pro, but the key differences might be revealed in an in-depth test.
Amazing action camera for an amazing price.
The AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K Action Camera is an excellent camera that delivers crystal clear photos and video in every scenario we tested making it more than worth the price. We loved the varying options and settings to get the right shots in every situation.
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