In our Akaso EK7000 Pro review, we’re going to be looking at a camera from one of the most well-known names in budget action cameras. Akaso has carved out something of a reputation for decent GoPro-style shooters at prices that are far, far below that of a new, top-of-the-line GoPro Hero camera.
And we really do mean it – the Akaso EK7000 Pro can currently be picked up for $70-80. In comparison, a GoPro Hero 10 Black is currently going to set you back almost $500 if you buy one new from a reputable seller. That is quite a difference, to say the least. So we have to temper our expectations going in – the Akaso EK7000 Pro is not going to offer anywhere near the same quality as a high-end action camera. It’s going after a different market.
The question is – does it do enough? After all, even a cheap camera has to be good enough to justify its price, however low that may be. Is the Akaso EK7000 Pro one of the best budget action cameras you can buy, or has it cut too many corners for its own good? Let’s take a closer look in our Akaso EK7000 Pro review.
Akaso EK7000 Pro review: Specifications
- 4K video at 30p; 2.7K video at 30p; Full HD video at up to 60p; HD video at up to 120p
- 20MP max photo resolution
- Electronic Image Stabilisation
- Waterproof to 40m with housing
- 2-inch touchscreen
Akaso EK7000 Pro review: Key features
Even though it’s a budget action camera, the Akaso EK7000 Pro finds a lot of features to boast about on the box. In terms of stills, you’ve got 20MP of resolution to play with, and can use the burst mode which manages about 3fps. Video-wise, resolution tops out at 4K 30 fps, and other resolution options include 2.7K at 30fps, Full HD at up to 60fps, and HD 720p at up to 120fps.
Other shooting modes include time lapse and “loop recording” – this mode will continually record clips of 1 minute, 3 minutes or 5 minutes. If the card fills up, it simply starts overwriting old ones and keeps right on going. The Akaso EK7000 also offers electronic image stabilisation for video – however, as we'll see, this does come with a pretty substantial drawback.
Akaso EK7000 Pro review: Build and handling
When I opened up the Akaso EK7000, a spectator on the reviewing process described it as “cute”. And you know what? They were right.
It’s a cute little camera, with a pleasing red-and-black trim that recalls the Insta360 One R Twin Edition. Size-wise, it’s small and light enough to slip into a pocket or wear mounted to a helmet without issue – which is exactly what you want from an action camera.
You can navigate the menus using either the touchscreen or the four on-body buttons. The touchscreen is quite fiddly to use – if you want to change your video settings, say, you’ll want to touch the bottom of the screen to bring up the menu. About fifty per cent of the time you try, you’ll manage it – the other fifty per cent, you’ll just get rid of the screen furniture.
The buttons are generally more comfortable, but also can be somewhat oblique (no one’s exactly going to intuit that you turn on Wi-Fi by holding the down-arrow button). You can theoretically control the camera via Wi-Fi using a smartphone, but I tried it on multiple Android phones and never got it to work.
A better control solution than either is the handy remote that comes with the camera. It’s a simple little device, powered by CR2 batteries, with just two buttons – one for taking a photo, one for starting and stopping video. It’s not waterproof, so you have to be a little more careful, but for off-camera triggering it’s a lot quicker and less stressful than trying to get the app working.
As well as the remote, the Akaso EK7000 Pro comes with a suite of accessories and mounts. While they’re wrapped in an absolutely nightmarish tangle of single-use plastic (please try and recycle it responsibly if you can), once you get it all out, there’s quite a bit there. You’ve got the waterproof housing and multiple mounts – including a handlebar mount and a helmet mount – as well as some ties and tethers, a battery charger with two batteries, a lens cloth and more.
Akaso EK7000 Pro review: Performance
Stills on the Akaso EK7000 max out at 20MP, and the quality is, I would say, just about acceptable for Instagram or some other social use where no one’s going to be looking too closely. No one is going to be blown away by the sharpness, to say the least, but the colours are punchy enough, and that unmistakable action-camera fishbowl look is present and correct.
You have three options in terms of perspective – super-wide, wide and medium. However, this isn’t a multi-lens situation – they appear to just be digital crops, as you can tell by the fact that the watermark timestamp gets larger in each one.
You also get exposure compensation modes, though you have to quite dramatically alter the exposure before you’ll really register a difference. Also, free tip: images tend to look a lot more blown out on the 2-inch LCD than they are in reality, so don’t sweat it too much.
The EK7000 is on the whole better for video. Quality is fairly decent – though resolutions go up to 4K, you’re probably better off sticking at Full HD for the smoother 60p frame rate. I wouldn’t go below that – the 720p looks pretty ropey. Electronic Image Stabilisation is touted as a key feature; however I ran into a pretty debilitating issue with my version, as the EIS caused a loud buzzing noise in video playback! This happened at multiple resolutions, and only happened when the EIS was turned on, so it seems safe to say that the EIS was the problem.
The EIS did seem to help a little with my Full HD 60p footage, which was a little less juddery when walking around compare to the unstabilised version. However, I can't emphasise enough that the buzzing sound was debilitating to the audio quality, so it would only be useful for videos where you don't need any sound at all (i.e. you're planning on laying over your own music).
Akaso EK7000 Pro video sample - 4k at 30fps without EIS
Akaso EK7000 Pro video sample - 4k at 30fps with EIS
Akaso EK7000 Pro review: Verdict
Let’s be clear – for the price, the Akaso EK7000 is a fine action camera. It may seem like we’ve been quite negative on it in this review, but for a street price of around $70, it does everything it needs to. In the box you’ve got all the parts you need to mount it in whatever configuration you like, and it’s easy enough for anyone to set up and use. You’re not going to get faultless 4K footage from it, but anyone who thinks they’re getting faultless 4K footage for $70 is simply dreaming.
Not everyone has GoPro money. Not everyone has the capacity to save up GoPro money. If you need an action camera that works decently enough for a two-figure price tag, the Akaso EK7000 Pro will do the job.