REVIEW: Akaso Brave 8 Action Camera
When most of us hear the term “action cam,” we inevitably think about GoPro. The company singlehandedly created the action camera market and continues to dominate it today, both in sales and technology. But, a number of smaller camera makers have entered the space over the years, usually competing on price while lagging behind on features and image quality. One of those companies is Akaso, which along with producing action cams, also manufactures outdoor products such as paddleboards, bike helmets, and coolers.
Recently, Akaso released its latest camera in the form of the Brave 8, an updated model with specs designed to take on GoPro. The unit can shoot 4K video at 60 fps, is waterproof, has a touchscreen, hands-free voice controls, and a slew of other features. How does it stack up against the market leader? As it turns out, very well—especially when you factor in the price.
Features (5) ★★★★★
When it comes to the features that most people need and want from an action cam, the Brave 8 is a great option. Not only does it shoot 4k/60 video, but it can also capture 8k timelapse and x16 slow-mo clips. It also takes 48MP still photos, has built-in image stabilization, and is waterproof down to 10 meters (33 feet) without needing an additional case. It also has an onboard AI-controlled system for metering light on a subject’s face, and the aforementioned hands-free voice controls make controlling the camera remotely very easy. Those specs don’t line up with the latest GoPro Hero camera—which can shoot 4K at 120 fps—but they will serve everyone except the most demanding professional photographers/videographers very well.
In addition to the Brave 8’s built-in functionality, the camera comes with several handy accessories right in the box. Those accessories include various mounts, a case, and a remote control for those who don’t want to talk to their camera. The fact that those items are included at no additional cost adds nicely to this camera’s value and feature set. Add in the ability to connect via a smartphone app for iOS and Android, and the Akaso ecosystem feels very well fleshed out.
Image Quality (4) ★★★★
The Brave 8 captures high-quality video and terrific photos. Its 4K clips are smooth, clear, and reproduce realistic colors, which isn’t always the case with lower-priced action cams. A big reason for the solid performance is the addition of onboard video stabilization, which helps reduce jostling and shakiness, creating a better-looking image as a result. The GoPro once again edges out Akaso’s camera in this category. Still, the Brave 8 holds its own to the point that the captured footage will put off only professional-grade video producers. The camera could perform better in low-light conditions, but that is often the case for most cams with relatively small lenses and sensors.
Durability (4) ★★★★★
One of the biggest concerns with any action cam is how well it will hold up when used in the field. The Brave 8 performs very well in this category, offering a durable and rugged shell that can take a lot of punishment. The camera’s two screens—one on the front and one on the back—can get scratched, but that doesn’t interfere with either display’s functionality. In hand, the GoPro Hero feels a little more rugged and substantial—for lack of a better word—but the Brave 8 is likely to survive just about anything short of taking a hammer to it.
Overall (5) ★★★★★
If you’re in the market for an action cam but don’t want to pay GoPro’s higher price, the Akaso Brave 8 is a worthy alternative. We’d go so far as to say that it is the best alternative for anyone who isn’t a professional user. The camera represents substantial savings over the Hero while packing in many features that will make amateur and “prosumer” videographers very happy. While GoPro may still be “best in class,” its lead in terms of quality and technology isn’t as wide as it has been in years past. Get the Brave 8, save some money, and still capture all of the video footage you could ask for.
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