APEMAN Trawo 4K Action Camera Is an Amazing Value, but with Compromises

Though most individuals nowadays have greater than appropriate cameras with them at all times inside their smartphones, there are nonetheless occasions whenever you want one thing small and rugged to capture these action-packed moments.

The APEMAN Trawo 4K Action Camera (A100) matches that invoice whereas additionally providing what appears to be among the best values in the tech gadget area given every thing you get for the worth but be prepared to make compromises.

The APEMAN Trawo 4K Action Camera goes by the mannequin identify A100 on the company’s web site and in accordance with that they contemplate it of their skilled line as opposed to different fashions which are extra shopper grade. That is the successor the A80 which my colleague Dan Cohen reviewed before.  The primary declare to fame is the upgraded 4K sensor, digital picture stabilization, higher battery life and WiFi control by way of an software on cellular shops. The key specs are outlined under by APEMAN:

Video Decision[email protected]; [email protected];
[email protected]/60fps; [email protected]/60fps
[email protected]/120fpsPicture Decision20M; 16M; 12M; 10M; 8M; 5M;’’ IPS DisplayLens170° Extensive-angle Lens (Adjustable)Video Format/Compression FormatMP4/H.264Picture FormatJPGWi-Fi ConnectionAndroid/IOS SupportedSD CardClass 10 Micro SD Card up to 128G (not included)PortMicro USBCharging TimeAbout 3 hoursRecording Time120 minutes (1080P)/60 minutes (4K)BatteryRechargeable 1350mAh Li-ion BatteryEnergy Input5V/1AWaterproof Case Depth Score40M/131.2ftCamera Measurement and WeightLength, Width, Peak: 61*30*45mm
Weight: 76g (with battery)

On paper, these are all very respectable specs that put it in the same class as many motion cameras but at a significantly lower cost level.

What’s in the Box

I have to admit I’m guilty of the logic that if one thing doesn’t value a lot of money, I don’t anticipate it to return with many things or features because of that worth. I know more established motion cameras that value a number of hundred dollars come with little or no within the field so the worth you pay is just the start of your journey and you’ll find yourself spending more to actually make use of it. Given the low worth point of the A100 I used to be expecting principally the digital camera, a battery and perhaps a water-proof case since they promote that as a key function. Boy, was I blown away with the whole lot that got here with the digital camera.

GearDiary APEMAN Trawo 4K Action Camera Is an Amazing Value, but with Compromises

To start with, the box itself is moderately small so it really is jam-packed with all these things. The digital camera ships within the water-proof housing which is sweet for up to 130ft and features a separate detachable back that has cut-outs for higher audio when not using underwater. It also comes with 2 x 1350mah batteries so you’ll be able to charge both and have one ready to swap out as needed. Have in mind, the only approach out of the field to cost these batteries is inside the digital camera although. Then comes simply infinite mounts and equipment which ought to have one thing for principally every widespread state of affairs you possibly can consider. While I’m not going to go through every one, there are some key ones value mentioning. There’s a motorcycle mount, which I used as a part of the assessment, along with a swivel mount, helmet mounts,  bag clip mount, adhesive mounts with additional adhesives and even a nice tender microfiber material to wash the only rear-mounted IPS display.

Consumer Interface and Features

The batteries didn’t have any juice in them so I plugged the digital camera in with a battery inside and it began charging. Once I got here again a while later I used to be capable of energy up the digital camera and begin testing what it could actually do. While there’s some documentation that comes in the box but it’s not likely that nice and not the simplest to comply with. Nevertheless, APEMAN has embraced the internet they usually even have pretty good movies obtainable on YouTube (linked from their Help website) that show the right way to use the digital camera. Moderately than recreate something, I’ve embedded the official video under to offer a sense of the consumer interface and options.

My initial reaction to the consumer interface was instantly a moment of realization that that is the place you’re going to see reason for a lower cost. As they all the time say, or I wish to say no less than, making good hardware is one thing but making good software is an entire totally different problem. The A100 is a perfect instance of that.

The digital camera has one display on the back that is respectable but not spectacular and it isn’t a touch display. There isn’t a display by any means on the entrance of the digital camera next to the lens as other rivals have. The only factor is a skinny pink line that signifies if you find yourself recording (by flashing purple) but is admittedly arduous to see in lots of situations, especially vibrant mild. There are two buttons on the highest, one for power that also doubles as a multi-function button as well as a shutter button that additionally doubles as an OK button when navigating menus. The two buttons on the suitable aspect are additionally used in the menus to navigate up or down but additionally they perform a perform relying on the context when in a capturing mode. For instance, urgent the up arrow will toggle WiFi – one thing that may be unimaginable to know with out rigorously studying the guide or watching a video.

That’s the primary drawback I’ve with the consumer interface, it’s just not intuitive at all. Pressing the multi-function button to modify between video, digital camera, gallery, and settings seems to make sense but in follow, this can be very irritating to make use of regularly. Since there’s one button that cycles in a single path for those who’re in video and also you need to go to settings it’s a must to hit the button many occasions and good luck in the event you miss the settings display, you’ll be spending lots of time urgent that button. Even navigating the setting display is a little bit of a chore and sadly when you may assume that you simply’ll be spending solely a bit of time within the settings, that’s not true. Need to use the time lapse function? Head over to settings. Need to toggle burst mode? Head over to settings.

Lastly, while not a huge deal, I still haven’t found out any solution to delete photographs or movies on the system from the consumer interface. You are able to do it by inserting the microSD card into a computer or utilizing the WiFi app, but on the system itself, there doesn’t look like any method to do it. The only attainable difficulty I see with this is if your microSD card will get full or you are a management freak and don’t have your smartphone or PC useful to care for this.

Truly using the digital camera for its imagined to do is extremely straightforward. There’s a large shutter button on prime and that’s all it’s essential to begin and stop. Thankfully should you plan on just utilizing it without messing with settings or the gallery, it’s perfectly usable and simple.

Utilizing It to Shoot Video

For my preliminary 4K video shoot, I made a decision to benefit from the included bike mount combined with a swivel mount. For whatever cause, the bike mount they embrace, if used with out an further swivel mount, would make the digital camera face sideways on the handlebars and I’ve no clue why anyone would need to do this so that you’re pressured in a approach to make use of a swivel mount, which is ok.

GearDiary APEMAN Trawo 4K Action Camera Is an Amazing Value, but with Compromises

I made the error of leaving the digital camera within the waterproof case with the waterproof cowl on the back so the audio was very muted. As mentioned, they do embrace a separate back that clips onto the same case but has cutouts so the microphone can decide up audio higher. That one is on me. My daughter then determined to journey her bike round our neighborhood and relished the thought of having a digital camera strapped to her bike. I might truthfully contemplate this a torture check for any sort of video stabilization because of not simply the vertical shake but the horizontal shake that it has to deal with as nicely. I had the video stabilization turned on, and while I feel it did one thing, it wasn’t actually that impressive and understandably since different motion cameras embrace optical image stabilization (OIS) which truly has tiny springs that stabilize the lens whereas this digital camera requires on software-based stabilization. The image quality itself was fairly spectacular and the element is nice whereas audio couldn’t be judged due to what I mentioned about not utilizing the back with holes.

I also tried out the digital camera’s time-lapse function at 1-second intervals. This time the topic is me helplessly making an attempt to do a straight arm plank for two minutes. Spoiler alert: I made it, but my type leaves so much to be desired at this level

I took some video of a tiny caterpillar with the digital camera out of its case, and this highlighted one of many different issues which is the shortage of excellent auto-focus. Positive I’ll have been too near the item, but there’s no touch display or touch-to-focus that we all take without any consideration on our phones and costlier action cameras which may have helped. So even if this wasn’t the most effective instance, the very fact stays there’s no option to set a focus, and you’re utterly reliant on the digital camera making the fitting selection on what to give attention to and when.

Getting the Media off the Camera

I figured that now I had the movies I needed, the simplest thing can be to get them off the digital camera but here again, is the place I really feel you’re giving up one thing because of the worth point. The obvious factor for me was to plug-in the digital camera to my 1-year-old Home windows 10 PC operating all the newest updates and that has never had an situation with some other system before. Sadly, no matter what I attempted I couldn’t get anything to switch from the digital camera to the PC and I ultimately gave up. Luckily my PC has an SD card slot and I’ve a microSD to SD card adapter so that allowed me to get to the content but remember that many laptops and even PCs might not have that as an choice. Another trace that this may be a standard concern is their very own educational video exhibits them using the USB switch with a Windows 7 machine which is an end-of-support working system that most individuals today won’t have.

GearDiary APEMAN Trawo 4K Action Camera Is an Amazing Value, but with Compromises

The other choice you must access the digital camera for both controlling it remotely and getting content material off is a cellular app out there in both the Apple and Android shops. Here again, you’re struck by the fact that it isn’t a primary celebration app but a generic WiFi digital camera app that may work with the A100 assuming you don’t run into issues. For reference, the Android one has a score of 2.5 stars and the Apple model has 1 star (though solely 2 critiques). I loaded the app on my Android gadget and was in a position to hook up with the digital camera fantastic – it uses the same process as many of these whereby you flip off cellular knowledge and turn on WiFi on the digital camera. You then hook up with the digital camera’s WiFi with your smartphone and use the app to regulate or download content material. One constructive is the transfer of videos from the digital camera to my telephone over this native WiFi was a lot quicker than I had expected so that was one nice surprise. All-in-all the entire experience is likely one of the weakest factors of the A100 and may make you assume for a second about spending extra money for a extra polished consumer expertise.

You Get What You Pay For

Given the worth of the A100, it’s exhausting to be very crucial of its shortcomings as a result of it prices a whole lot of dollars lower than the more established rivals out there. So the query of whether or not you should purchase it’s an extremely tough proposition. When you have never had an action digital camera earlier than and don’t need to spend some huge cash, then the APEMAN Trawo 4K Action Camera (A100) is probably the starter action digital camera you need in your life. You will have to study to stay around the many software quirks and shortcomings but for those who can look previous that, you still get a reasonably straightforward to make use of, function packed motion digital camera that outputs 4k/30fps video to seize your action-packed life for posterity.

Nevertheless, if it can save you up the additional cash, I might advocate buying a more established brand that has issues like a front-facing status display, contact interface, auto-focus control, first-party cellular apps, and a greater consumer interface/experience to keep away from the frustration that comes with using the A100 regularly.

The APEMAN Trawo 4k Action Camera (A100) is on the market at Amazon for $89.99 [affiliate link].

Source: Manufacturer provided evaluate sample

What I Like: Wonderful value; Comes with additional battery and lots of mounting accessories; The video high quality is nice; may be operated completely inside the waterproof case; Wi-Fi transfer velocity is surprisingly fast; Battery life is sweet; Time-lapse function works without a huge loss in quality; good quality sensor; YouTube videos by company are helpful

What Needs Improvement: USB transfer didn’t work; The cellular app is generic Chinese app with low scores; The consumer interface is severely missing and might be irritating; No OIS and EIS isn’t that great; Lack of touch-to-focus or any approach to change focus; No capacity to delete footage or videos on the system