Buying gadget gifts and tech toys that kids will love is tough. With countless models released on a weekly basis. it can be hard to keep up with the changing specs and functionality, never mind what kids consider to be cool. But one gift pick that is cool, is the action camera. But should you go GoPro or AKASO?
Once a niche area for outdoor thrill seekers with deep pockets, these action cameras have now gone full-blown mainstream. You can thank the popularity of social media and vlogging for that. All the cool kids want to capture the moment when they swam with a dolphin, or flew down a zipwire, and share those memories with their friends. An action camera makes it super easy to do.
GoPro is the current market leader, but there are less expensive options that are fit for the job. Let's take a look at two entry-level models, the GoPro HERO+ and the AKASO EK7000 and see which the best is for adventurous kids.
Which is Best: GoPro vs AKASO?
In terms of looks, the EK7000 is fairly basic and no thrills with a simple design and 2" LCD screen. It weights just 74g and although it is a little lightweight, it doesn't feel like it will break the second you are out and about.
The HERO+ on the other hand is much bulkier and has a permanent waterproof casing that bumps the weight up to 127g. It does mean that it will always be protected against any knocks or when it inevitably gets dropped, and feels much more robust. The EK7000 has a protective case too but it's removable, so there is a chance of dropping it when it's not safely boxed in. If you're planning on taking either gadgets on an aquatic adventure, now that the HERO+ is waterproof to up to 40m, whereas the EK7000 can only go to 30m. That said, both would be perfect for swimmers or surfers.
Kids will be right at home with HERO's 2” touch screen LCD (everything is touch screen nowadays, isn't it), which makes it more intuitive and user friendly as its easier to adjust settings and trim videos on the go. The EK7000’s LCD doesn’t have the luxury of touch screen but it makes up for it with a remote control wrist band for snapping those action shots.
But how does image quality compare? That's the whole point of having an action cam, right? It's no good if the images are blurry or grainy and a crucial moment is missed. Well, with GoPro you would expect high quality and their HERO+ camera is capable of 1080p video and 8MP photos. That's pretty much the same as most phones and tablets but still good for entry-level cams.
The AKASO EK7000 boasts 4K Ultra HD and 12 mega-pixel photos, so straightaway the specs are higher. However, in reality the camera films at 2.7K and fills in the gaps to boost it up to a 4K resolution. It does mean the images can get a bit grainy in low light but it is still good for the price.
Both cameras have time-lapse and image-burst modes - the EK7000 can rattle off 30 frames per second, compared to the HERO’s 5 per second, and in time lapse mode they can both take a snap at intervals every 0.5s to up to 60s. A nice handy feature for the HERO+ is its ‘QuikCapture’ function, which captures video or images straightaway by just pressing the shutter button when the camera is off.
Another crucial factor when choosing a camera is battery life. There's nothing worse than running out of power at the crucial moment. Thankfully, both cameras are well equipped. The EK7000 comes with two interchangeable batteries that last 1.5 hours each and the HERO's battery isn't removable but lasts for a fantastic 2.5 hours.
Both cameras also come with built in WIFI too, so they can connect to other devices and you can view the videos there as well. This makes sharing to the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter very easy, so kids will be able to show off their adventures with friends with little hassle.
So, two pretty solid entry-level cams so far, but what else comes in the box? A big plus for the EK7000 is that it comes with a ton of accessories and extras on top. Various mounts, tethers, clips and stands are included which can be used to attach the camera to nearly anything – helmets, stakeboards as well as backpacks and harnesses. Kids will be able to capture their adventures at any angle. There are even some tripod mounts too (handy for timelapse).
In comparison many of the HERO+ accessories need to be bought separately. It comes with various back doors and some mounts to suit what it’s being used for, but to really get the most out of it in the same way as the AKASO EK7000, extra accessories will be needed. Not the end of the world, but this will obviously add to the already expensive cost.