Akaso V50 Pro action camera hands-on: Perfect for above and underwater action

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  • Editors' rating
    8.4 Excellent

Pros

  • Wide range of mounts
  • Good image with mininal lensing

Cons

  • Difficult to extract from packaging
  • Fiddly to configure

The Akaso V50 Pro action camera promises a lot from its tiny form factor. 

Design and features

The camera itself is 2.4 x 0.9 x 1.6 inches and weighs 80g (2.82 ounces) with a battery inside. A good start for ultra-portability, in my book.

The 4K 60fps ultra HD camera gives 20MP images and has electronic image stabilization (EIS) that works well. It has a 2-inch touchscreen and an adjustable view angle lens that has four different settings up to super wide-angle. Lens distortion correction minimizes curved images, too.

The camera is mounted on the top of the box to make it visible through the acrylic case. It is mounted onto a top plate that is firmly glued to the box of accessories. A rubber keeper holds the camera firmly in place, which is easy to slide off – once I finally saw the keeper and extracted the camera. Fifteen minutes gone. 

It is waterproof and has a variety of mounts to hold it secure almost everywhere. 

However, It does have a problem: I had trouble getting it out of the box. 

Getting started

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The packaging was really secure. It took me over 10 minutes, armed with a knife, to get the camera out of its external display package. Taking off the tape joining the paper box to the acrylic display top was meaningless, as the card sleeve was firmly glued to the acrylic casing. I finally gave up and wrenched the bottom off the box to pull the inner sleeve off the outer case. The outer packaging now looks like its been savaged by the dog.

There is a large range of accessories with the V50. In the box. There is a wrist strap, a battery charger, a waterproof camera case, a remote control, a bicycle clip. A selection of 10 mounts for attaching to practically anything, five tethers (four tie wraps and one metal), two helmet mounts and sticky pads, a protective rear screen, cloth, USB cable, and three 1100mAh batteries.  

To use the camera, first charge the batteries in the USB charger, which takes almost two hours. Take the protective films off the front and rear of the camera, insert a battery, and close the case with the really stiff clip.

Download the iSmart Pro+ app from the app store, connect the camera to the phone over Wi-Fi, format the SD card, and place it into the camera. The app allows you to quickly upload your results to your social media feeds.

Using the camera

You need to purchase an SD card up to 64GB for this camera. The quick reference guide advises downloading the user-guide from the QR code in the leaflet.

The camera is fairly simple to use. I would recommend configuring all of the settings using the touchscreen before it goes into its case. It is challenging trying to navigate around the screen using the two buttons on the case.

Video clip length can be set to one, three, or five minutes, or you can continuously record. You can also configure time-lapses of up to one minute to create a time-lapse video of your journey.  

Image sizes are configurable up to 20MP, and you can capture up to 30 photos in eight seconds using the burst picture mode. A delay timer of up to 10 seconds lets you be included in the shot.

Other effects include the AE meter to determine exposure between spot metering and center modes. There are also filters you can apply to the image, and apply white balance for underwater shots.

I would have liked to take this diving to see how it shot video underwater. The camera is optimized for tropical and blue water between 10- and 80-feet deep.

A micro HDMI cable means that you can connect the output to a larger screen, or you can use the app on your smartphone to upload images to your social feeds.

A proportion of proceeds from the sales of this camera will go to the Leave No Trace global program to help protect wildlife -- a nice initiative for outdoor users to support. 

Final thoughts

I like this camera. It was a bit fiddly to configure, and the batteries take a long time to charge up fully, but image quality was good. This a set-it-and-forget-it camera will certainly suit most of your outdoor needs -- if you can ever get it out of its box!

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