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action camera Akaso Brave 7 LE Cube+ GoPro Hero 4 Sliver Polaroid

Action Camera Saga

I recently posted about my ailing Polaroid Cube+ and stated that I’m trying to find a replacement.

Well, I bought the Akaso Brave 7 LE. While Akaso offers the Brave 8, I wanted to use Amazon to purchase it (in case the camera was crap) – they don’t offer the Brave 8 on Amazon.

The pros:

  • The camera costs $118 USD.
  • The camera comes with many different mounts using the same form factor as GoPro (so you can mix/match parts with your GoPro mounts).
  • The camera is wifi-capable.
  • The Brave 7 LE has a front and rear screen
  • The camera is capable of 4K resolution.
  • It is water resistant – no waterproof case is needed for quick splashes.

The cons:

  • Audio quality is bad, even outside of it’s waterproof case. It only has one mic, which is probably why audio quality is so bad.
  • Bad quality as far as low lighting is concerned, granted, action cameras in general don’t do so well in low light environments.
  • When using the smartphone app to connect to the camera, it is required that you disable you phone’s mobile data service.
  • Firmware support is weird. There’s nowhere you can download firmware (for updates) on their webpage.

The camera has a ton of capabilities and those configuration options can be changed quickly from the phone app or from the camera itself.

The camera display’s UI is quick and simple.

Initially, I had issues with image quality when using it as a range camera, but found that I should use higher FPS settings (I was recording at 1080P). I almost returned the camera when I compared footage with my GoPro Hero 4, which was outperforming the Akaso. I found that the Hero 4 was set to capture at 1080P/60FPS and that I was recording on the Akaso at 1080P/30FPS. When testing the Akaso at 1080P/60FPS, the video footage was much more clearer than before.

The only thing I truly do not like about this camera is it’s crappy audio, but since this is a range camera, I don’t need superb audio…the footage I’ll be collecting will consist mostly of very loud gunshots.

As soon as I’ve 1080P/60FPS footage, I’ll post it up. It should be close to equal what the Hero 4 generates (we’ll see).

UPDATE (11/12/2023):

In my user experience, this camera does NOT record good footage in low light conditions. I can somewhat mitigate this by manipulating the camera’s EV settings. The settings can be adjusted between -2.0 to 0 to 2.0. I’ve found that in low level contitions, I’ve to be below 0, otherwise the footage is quite grainy.

I’ve older range footage that this camera recorded, but I can’t remember the exact EV settings that was used in that footage. Keep in mind that the light conditions at that range (Elite Shooting Sports) wasn’t dark or lacking. The footage appears to be quite yellow and a tad bit grainy, even with good lighting.

I’ll take the Akaso Brave to the range with me when I next visit the range (possibly tomorrow evening). I’ll try both -2.0 and 0 EV setting values (and verbally state, on camera, which values I’ll be using).

Here’s the older footage I have:

UPDATE 2 (11/12/2023):

Well, the battery compartment latch broke completely off tonight. While the battery will not faill completely out of the camera, the battery will not stay stationary within the compartment. The camera has never been dropped, so this isn’t an issue of accidental damage.

This SUCKS! I’ve accessories that can only be used with this particular camera!

Luckily, I bought an extended warranty on the camera. While it didn’t cost all that much, I was approved for a full refund.

I don’t really want a refund but this problem isn’t going to fix itself, and the manufacturer’s warranty has expired.

I guess I need another camera, sooner than later. I’m still using the Hero 4 as my primary camera, but since that camera is so old, the Brave 7 LE was the standby camera.

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action camera Cube+ Polaroid

The Polaroid Cube+ Action Camera – Update and Final Review

I posted about action cameras awhile back, as I think they make viable training aids – you can record yourself while you train and then watch your footage at a later time to critique yourself.

During the month of February 2019, I bought a Polaroid Cube+ action camera as a replacement for my Mobuis action camera that died.

The Cube+ died today. I hadn’t been using it all that much the past year, because I hated that when I used it with it’s associated phone app, it would never show what the camera was seeing when I was recording. This is key, since I need to be able to see that I’m properly framing the object I’m recording. I thought that I’d get more than 3 years of use from it.

Well, the camera didn’t die but it may as well have died. The internal battery died. The battery isn’t made to be readily replaceable. Also, as I conducted research, I found that several folks experienced the same issue with new cameras, out of the box, and when they requested replacements, the replacements had the same issue. At least with the Mobius, you could swap out a dead battery for a new one, but with the Cube+, the battery connections are soldered into place. I’m all about saving a few bucks but not when it comes to such a cheap product. The Cube+ is also end of life.

It’s a pity, as this camera wasn’t all that bad. It was small enough to throw into a range bag, small enough to forget that it was attached to your head, and simple to operate. Cons are, again, the integrated nature of the battery, as well as spotty support and questionably useful phone app.

This is the second time I’ve lost a camera because it’s battery was non-removable.

So, I’m in the market for a new camera. Yes, I’m still primarily using my GoPro Hero 4 Silver as a range camera, but I want a second camera as backup. I will no longer purchase cameras with non-removable batteries.

I also still have my Astak CM-7500 action camera, but batteries are becoming difficult to find for that camera and it’s features aren’t as good as my Hero 4’s features. The batteries I have are struggling to hold a decent charge and one is starting to swell. I ordered two new ones but really had to hunt for them, as many places no longer stock them.

I do not want to purchase a new GoPro, as they’re too expensive for what I need. Not that I didn’t consider it, but after researching, even a no-longer-supported refurbished GoPro Hero 7 on Amazon.com is well over $200. I also noticed that they’ve stopped making their Cube-like camera, probably due to batteries not being able to be replaced by the owner.

My next camera will be a cheap but good Chinese brand. I’m not afraid of buying foreign products, as they all have their place…the more, the better, as that’s what drives competition.

I’m currently looking at the SJCam SJ8K, as it has many similar features to the GoPro cameras, and I’m not looking to spend over $150.

I’ll post when I’ve decided and received the action camera, whatever brand it may be.

Categories
AK-P Cube+ fail Polaroid PSA

First Range Visit With The AK-P

First things first, the AK-P is NOT a good firearm for indoor shooting.  It was seriously loud.

My range notes are below:

  • First time shooting a pistol in 7.62×39.
  • Oh man.  The bang is LOUD and BRIGHT (my range is an indoor range).
  • I shot 3 different types of mags (two metal imports and one 10-round Magpul).  There were no issues.
  • The gun got hot but was still manageable.  I shot all the rounds standing up, but I did change my grip from handguard to mag (mag grip was better).
  • I recorded but the footage was corrupt when I got home and checked it.  🙁  WTF Polaroid…this isn’t the first time this has happened.  All the more reason to visit the range again soon.
  • I should think about shooting this outside.  It is super loud (I’m not exaggerating).  I’ve no doubt it was pissing off the guys next to me.
  • I was mainly hitting upper left (I usually hit low left), but was hitting bulls-eye at the beginning…I think I got fatigued toward the end of the 1-hour session.
  • All ammo was RSA FMJBT 7.62×39.
  • Also, note that I didn’t zero the firearm, but it shot well enough (I hit the bulls-eye several times when firing the first mag).

What ticked me off was the camera not working.  That’s inexcusable, IMO.  It recorded but the footage corrupted.  I may need to get something that’s more dependable.

I plan to go again tomorrow in an attempt to capture footage again.

Categories
AK-47 AMD-63 canted front sight Croatia Cube+ magazines Polaroid

Range Visit on 2/19 – took the AMD-63 again

Range Notes:

Shot 52 rounds (1 hour session).  40 of these were PPU ammo from the last range visit.  The last 12 were the new RAS 7.62×39 ammo I recently bought.

There were no malfunctions.

I tried to use the Croatian mags again, thinking that they may work if they had less ammo, so I put in 5 rounds.  It would not strip ammo from the mag with this rifle.  These mags will be for the SAM7 only, I guess.  A pity…they look nice and have are BHO.

I spent the whole hour range session chasing the bullseye.  I found that if I put the target out further (40 yards for me, since I can’t see the target beyond that), I had a better aim.  At 25 yards, the bullets drop, even if my POA is at the bullseye.  At 40, it raises near BE level.  Now, I’ve to ensure my trigger squeeze is consistent, because I think I either flinch a lot or I’m jerking the trigger, as I had a lot of flyers to the lower left.

I also think my front sight is canted to the left.  I saw footage from the new camera.  I saw the spine of the rifle and the front sight looked off.  I’ll ask questions  on the forums and maybe see about finding a gunsmith that can straighten it.

I’ll take the SAM7 out next just to see if I can hit the BE easier than the AMD-63 (note that some Arsenals DO have canted sights).

The new camera works GREAT!  I just need a bigger micro SD card, as I ran out of card space at the range today!

Oh, and the bolt carrier tail is pretty mangled.  I may have to take a file to the ragged edges.  It hasn’t hung on the rear trunion…yet.

Range footage is here:

Categories
action camera Cube+ Juision Polaroid

I’m into Action Cameras For Use At The Range

I bought a Polaroid Cube+ to use as a range camera.  I’ll be mounting it on the bill of my range hats.  Here’s how the Cube+ looks, specifically it’s housing mounted on the hat, and the Cube+ and housing mounted on the hat.

What I was using prior to the Cube was this.  It’s a Juision “spy” camera that attaches to one of the arms of your shades/spectacles (it is a Chinese camera):

Some video footage of the Juision:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/fZB1PEHASKgzwQeGA

Shooting video footage that the Juision captured:

The Juision started malfunctioning, which is a pity because it is pretty much perfect.  It’s small, light, and has a very good position to film.

The Cube+ takes better footage but is quite a bit bulkier.

I have not tried the Cube+ at the range yet.  I will try tomorrow and post the footage.

UPDATE (2/19/2019):

I took the Cube+ to the range today.  Footage is below.