Akaso’s V50 Pro Special Edition action camera is a wallet-friendly little action shooter that punches well above its weight class. If you’ve been searching for a decent-quality 4K cam you can use underwater, but you don’t want to spend GoPro money for it, keep reading.
The V50 Pro takes aim at the GoPro Hero 7 Black, but costs half as much. The Special Edition brings 4K video at 60 frames per second and more batteries and accessories to the table. And it’s worth mentioning that a portion of every sale benefits The Center For Outdoor Ethics’ “Leave No Trace” campaign.
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- Video Format: MOV (H.264/AVC), MOV (H.265/HVEC)
- Photo Resolution / Image Format: 20M JPEG
- Dimensions: 60.2*41*31.5mm
- Storage: MicroSD (up to 64GB)
- Display: 2” LCD
- Operation: Wrist-strap RF remote control, App via WiFI
- Battery: 3 X 1100mAh
- Audio: internal microphone, external microphone support
- Mode features: Burst Photo/ Time Lapse Photo/ Time Lapse Video/ Slow Motion Movie/ Fast Motion Movie
I tested the V50 Pro SE in the Pacific Ocean to see how it dealt with waves and splashing in both video and photo modes. Akaso says that with the included case it’s waterproof for up to 39.6 meters (130 feet) which makes it useful for surfing, snorkeling, and some relatively shallow diving.
I had almost no complaints with the images or videos I captured. There were some definite oohs and aahs as I watched perfectly clear videos of ocean waves lashing out at and curling around the camera. And it handled still photos in total sunlight with aplomb.
The six-gyroscope image stabilization worked as well as any other similarly-priced camera I’ve used. I remained impressed throughout my testing with its ability to maintain focus and stability while being buffeted by water. I did not, however, test the V50 Pro’s chops with anything extreme like mountain biking or skydiving.
When I say I had almost no complaints, I did find it took a lot of trial-and-error to figure out whether the camera would focus on foreground, middle, or background subjects. It tended to lean towards the background in every mode I tried it in, but power-users will probably have better luck than I did.
In the looks department there’s nothing to write home about, but there’s also nothing objectionable. I dig its diminutive factor and the two-inch touchscreen is bright and responsive.
Another place the V50 let me down was in documentation. It’s packaged attractively in a stacked plastic display case that’s filled to the brim with accessories, but there’s not much in the way of instructions. I’m sure experienced action-cam operators can eyeball a glut of gear, but it took me a few minutes to figure out what was what.
It comes with standard fair in the form of tethers and straps, a helmet mount, the obligatory waterproof case, and a nifty wrist-strap remote control that eases one of the camera‘s other pain points: switching between shooting photo and video. Using the buttons on the camera itself you have to push one button to switch modes and another to start shooting in the new mode. This can get a bit confusing when you’re trying to capture a fleeting moment. Using the remote you can switch by pushing the relevant shutter button – it may be a subtle difference, but it’s a welcome one.
I didn’t spend much time with the camera‘s app – my phones aren’t waterproof – but I did put it through the paces just to make sure it wasn’t a problem. I couldn’t find anything not to like and the social media sharing options functioned as expected. If you like to share videos and images directly from your shooting apps it should suit your purposes.
I’m not a professional photographer by any means, but I consider myself an enthusiast. For the cost – just $154.99 on Amazon – the V50 SE has more value to me than anything GoPro sells. Don’t get me wrong, the V50 isn’t better overall. If the price difference is meaningless to you, get the GoPro: it remains unrivaled. You’ll get more robust live-streaming options, better image stabilization, and a camera that’s waterproof without a case.
But on sheer value prospect, you have to ask if you’re a professional user that simply can’t afford a slightly less-premium experience, or if the next best thing is good enough. The V50 Pro SE probably makes more sense for most people. You can also track down an older GoPro if the name brand is that important, but you’ll be running up against older specs and features.
I recommend the Akaso V50 Pro Special Edition to anyone just getting into 4K action cameras or looking to upgrade to something newer. It’s a steal at $154.99, you can pick yours up here. Otherwise, if you’re willing to come out of pocket a lot more, you can pick up a GoPro Hero 7 Black here.
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Published August 13, 2019 — 20:57 UTC