Campark 4K Action Camera ACT74 Review
For those on a limited budget, the Campark ACT74 4K Action Camera is a super-solid action camera. If you’re seeking to record your daily commute, weekend hikes, mountain biking, or just about anything else, this is a great choice.
- Price: £50.18
- Editor’s Note: This was on sale when we published the article. Its original price on the listing below was £69.69.
- Brand: Campark
- Pros: Affordable, 4K resolution, 1080p/60FPS or 720p/120 FPS, timelapse function, front-facing LED
- Cons: No touchscreen, no waterproofing without additional housing, Wi-Fi app, no image stabilisation
- Listing: Ebay Link
If you’re in the market for an affordable camera that can take decent video with solid framerates and display it all in sexy 4k, the Campark 4k Action Camera (ACT74) is a great choice. While it certainly has its downsides, for the price Campark is asking, it’s truly a steal. Let’s get right into it, shall we?
Product Testing & Comparison
Our reviewer used a specific set of guidelines to send this camera through the wringer. If you’re curious about the quality of the camera in action, we’ve got several photos (which we’ll point out) down below. Now – what did we use to score this particular camera?
- Ease of Use
- Size & ease of use
- Basic Function
- Dimensions and memory
- Resolution and FPS
- Special Features
- Attachments & App
- Waterproof casing
Campark 4K Action Camera Review
Let’s work our way through the review together. We’re going to detail exactly how we tested each part, and just for you, our reviewer took some pictures. Let’s get going.
Campark 4K Action Camera: Ease of Use
Let’s start with the simple (yet highly important) bits – how easy this thing is to use. This is super important, especially for an action camera. After all, the whole point of an action camera is that it can capture whatever it is that you’re doing, and do so easily. That means we want this to be compact, easy to use, and have a decent battery lifespan.
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Size & Ease of Use
First things first – how big is this particular bad boy? We’ll talk a bit more about this in the dimensions section if you need specific numbers, but let’s talk experience. This camera is surprisingly small for the features it boasts. While (again, we’ll get into this later) it’s not the most incredible resolution, it functions quite well for something so perfectly pocket-sized.
And if you’re a woman that’s thinking, “But womens’ pockets are always tiny!” I’ve got some good news for you – our reviewer tested it in her smallest jacket pockets. So you don’t need to worry about a man telling you, “Yeah it fits in my pocket,” all while forgoing the fact that his pockets are, for all intents and purposes, larger than the inside of the TARDIS.
As for ease of use, this camera is super simple to use – the push of one to two buttons has it up and running in seconds. While taking video, you won’t be able to do some of the more complex features that brands like GoPro boast for handless operation, but it’s super simple to get set up and going.
Executive Summary: This camera is easy to use, small enough to be easily portable, and requires essentially no learning curve to get figured out. This makes it a great beginner action camera.
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Okay, so we know about the size and basics on how to use the thing – how does the Campark 4K Action Camera perform in terms of battery?
Our reviewer began by testing out the camera’s battery to see how long it would last. When left recording video at 1080p and 60 FPS, our reviewer found that the battery died just short of two hours (10 minutes). The lifespan of the battery improved slightly when used to take photos, but the whole draw of this thing is video. That means that on average, you’ll get 110 (give or take 5) minutes of battery life while recording at max settings.
The battery is removable and features a small indicator to show that it’s charging. From completely dead to fully charged, our reviewer found that the battery took roughly 1 hour to charge (actually, 55 minutes). This is an entirely reasonable time for a full charge that’ll last you two hours.
However, our reviewer does recommend that you purchase a battery pack or backup if you plan to use the Campark 4K Action Camera for a day trip, as it will need regular recharging due to its relatively limited battery life.
Executive Summary: The Campark 4K Action Camera has a middle of the road battery life. Lasting just below two hours, it takes just below one hour to charge from dead to fully charged. If you plan on a small outing, it’ll last – but if you’re planning a day trip, bring backup batteries and/or a power bank.
Campark 4K Action Camera: Basic Function
Now we’re onto the technical stuff. How big and heavy is the camera? And perhaps more importantly, what does its resolution and recording FPS look like? These are vital to understanding, especially considering this is designed to be used while recording cool, potentially once-in-a-lifetime moments.
Dimensions & Memory
This camera is surprisingly small. Its rectangular shape makes it simple to fit into most small handbags or pockets, which is a definite bonus. Here are the actual technical dimensions:
- Camera Dimensions: 2.5 x 2 inches
- Screen Dimensions: 2 x 1.5 inches
Our reviewer noted that despite its small size, it’s very easy to view photos and videos on the built-in LED screen.
As for memory, this camera makes use of a standard micro SD slot. It doesn’t come with a micro SD, though, so you’ll need to have your own. You can use between a small 32 Gb and a 2 Tb SD card.
Executive Summary: The Campark 4K Action Camera is small, compact, and easy to use. Its size doesn’t impact your ability to view images on the built-in screen. You’ll need to buy your own micro SD card to have internal memory on this, as it doesn’t come with memory. Our reviewer recommends investing in a high capacity (1+ Tb) SD card to ensure you have ample space, especially if recording in 4K.
Resolution & FPS
Now we’re into the really important stuff. We’ve got a few photos up above that were taken with the Campark 4K Action Camera so you can judge their quality yourself. The Campark ACT74 can record in:
- 1080p resolution at 60 FPS
- 720p resolution at 120 FPS
- 4K resolution at 30 FPS (max)
- 2.7K resolution at 30 FPS (minimum)
Our reviewer tested each resolution setting and found a few things. First, it seems to function best at 1080p/720p between 60-120 FPS. While it’s capable of recording at higher resolutions with a lower FPS, she noted that while the manufacturer claims it can record in 4k and 2.7K in the same (30) FPS, that’s not quite true.
When recording in 4k, it doesn’t record naturally at 30 FPS, rather, that’s its max FPS, whereas when recording in 2.7K, it naturally records at 30 FPS as a minimum.
As this is an action camera, it’s centred on recording video, rather than photos. This means that the photos aren’t the best quality (when compared to our reviewer’s Samsung Galaxy 9), though they’re still serviceable. Its primary downside is that colours seem to fade when photographed (though it’s not black and white, they’re a bit washed out).
Though there is some bad news here – this camera doesn’t really have image stabilisation, rendering it difficult to record when in motion. Our reviewer ran, walked, and jogged, and got blurry, nearly unidentifiable video until she put it in slow motion. You also can’t hear the sound that’s recorded until you upload the video to a computer.
Executive Summary: This camera shines when using 1080p/720p, but struggles in 4K. It also lacks image stabilisation, meaning consistent movement renders your videos quite blurry. Colours also fade in comparison to other (more expensive) modern cameras – even on your smartphone.
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If you’re curious what the video captured on the Campark 4K Action Camera looks like at 1080p, 60 FPS, the below video is a demonstration that our reviewer took. As you can tell, the lack of image stabilisation makes any actual, well, action a bit harder to capture.
We can show pictures all day, but I figured this would be a bit of a clearer example. Take a look!
Campark 4K Action Camera: Special Features
And now comes the fun bits – what does the camera come with, and how does each extra feature hold up? Let’s dive right in.
Attachments & App
First things first – the Campark 4K Action Camera allegedly comes with a Wi-Fi-enabled app. However, it’s so rubbish that our reviewer couldn’t even get it connected to the camera, let alone use it for the boasted features. We looked through multiple other reviews of this camera, and haven’t found a single person who’s gotten it working.
While it doesn’t come with a touchscreen, it’s got very basic controls. This means that touchscreen or not, it’s quite simple to use once you get the hang of it – though there is a learning curve.
Beyond that, it does come with a rather wide range of attachments (pictured above). Among the things you can look forward to are:
- Bicycle handlebar/helmet mount
- Wrist strap
- Our reviwer noted that this came loose often. She eventually found the ideal position to keep it stationary, but it took a few trial-and-error sessions.
- Waterproof casing (we’ll get to that below)
- Cleaning gear (for lense)
- Numerous mounting attachments
None of the attachments broke or didn’t work for us, though some took a bit of trial and error to get properly set up. The instructions present in the package make the use of the accessories rather easy once you get going.
It boasts a zoom of up to x4.0. This mimics a change from a 35 mm lens to a 140 mm lens. While the zoom can cause some issues with blurriness and image stability, it’s a quite functional zoom.
Executive Summary: Our reviewer found that the app (XDV) was pretty much nonfunctional and recommended that you don’t even bother with trying to use it. Instead, use the micro SD and HDMI ports to get your videos where you want. Each of the attachments worked quite well once set up.
Finally, we have the waterproof casing. We left this in its own section as there’s quite a bit to talk about for this single attachment.
If you’re looking for a truly waterproof camera, you’ll be disappointed to hear that the Campark 4K Action Camera is not waterproof or water-resistant. Rather, its casing is waterproof up to a depth of 30 metres. While the casing works quite well, our reviewer noted that it does add quite a bit of bulk to the overall package, making it a bit harder to both mount and store properly.
Our reviewer submerged the camera (in the case) roughly 2cm below water and left it for ten minutes (pictured above). When removed, there was zero moisture present beneath the camera. However, we were unable to test it in deep water, as there isn’t anything close to 30 metres deep near our reviewer. At the very least, we can confirm that the case will keep your camera dry in rain or snow – though we can’t talk about its ability to dive.
Executive Summary: Our reviewer tested this submerged in water, though she couldn’t dive with it. She confirmed that it kept the camera dry when fully submerged in water.
The Campark 4K Action Camera is a great choice for those that are on a budget or just testing the waters of action camera use. If, however, you’re a veteran that wants stream or YouTube ready, high-quality video of various action sequences, there are better options for slightly higher price points.
While it boasts a 4K resolution for recording in 30 FPS, it struggles to remain at 30 FPS, and has somewhat faded colours when taking photos. Its attachments and casing are fantastic at what they do – with one exception. The app is terrible – so bad, in fact, that we will happily recommend that you don’t even bother downloading it. Seriously, it’s so bad that it’s not worth the negligible memory it’ll take up on your phone for 30 minutes until it’s uninstalled in a bout of anger.