Are you looking for a cheap but good quality action camera? If yes, then you need to check this Akaso V50 Pro review!
Known for their technically superior models, fantastic performance and ease of use, GoPro action cameras have been the industry-leader for quite a while now.
If you are diving into the action camera market just now, chances are you have heard a lot about GoPro.
But the company’s products are quite expensive, and as an amateur, spending over $250 for a half-decent camera may seem absolutely unnecessary. And it is.
Akaso is one of those upcoming companies that are manufacturing dozens of GoPro clones, and flooding the market with relatively inexpensive alternatives.
Akaso has a very specific audience – they mostly target beginners and action camera enthusiasts.
Hence, their products are user-friendly and easy to operate, without any overtly fancy specifications.
While this strategy makes the products cheaper than others in the category, it also enjoys the advantage of catering to a much wider fan base, thus boosting sales and profits.
Action cameras are primarily meant for capturing images and videos on the go.
One of the most popular uses of action cameras is its ability to capture nice aerial footage while being attached to a drone.
Interestingly, if you own an Akaso action camera, you do not need to think beyond the company for purchasing a drone.
While Akaso drones like the A200 and A21 are not as widely used as the Holy Stone or the DJI, they do work just fine.
Last year saw Akaso releasing a handful of action cameras with native 4K recording – a feature that has since taken the action camera world by storm.
The V50 Pro is, arguably, the best among them. At a very competitive price on Amazon, it offers specs close to top end GoPro models.
But does it perform as well in real life as it looks on paper? Let us find out through my detailed review.
Let’s Jump to the Review!
Product: Akaso V50 Pro
My rating: 4.7/5
Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com
Just before I jump to the review, here are the Akaso V50 Pro specs:
Akaso V50 Pro Specs
|Specs||Akaso v50 Pro|
|Video resolution and frame rate||4K at 30fps, 2.7K at 30fps, 1080P at 60fps and 720P at 120fps|
|Photo resolution||20 Megapixels Panasonic 34112 sensor|
|Codecs||H.264 & H.265|
|ISO settings||Auto / 50 / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600|
|Long Exposure||1s, 2s, 5s, 8s, 30s, and 60s|
|Video time lapse||Yes|
|Photo time lapse||Yes|
|Video quality||More real colors|
|Micro SD card||64 GB|
|Loop recording||1 minute or 5 minutes|
|Delay timer||2 or 5 seconds|
|Waterproof||No, case needed|
Comparison with Akaso V50 Elite
Akaso V50 Pro and Elite were released in quick succession, and not surprisingly, both the cameras share mostly identical features.
However, the specifications are slightly better on paper for the Elite version, and thus, it costs $20 more.
Both cameras work with the same chipset and lens. The V50 Pro uses Panasonic 34112 sensor while the V50 Elite uses Sony IMX 078 sensor.
The V50 Pro maxes out at 4K at 30 fps while the Elite version offers 60 fps in the same resolution.
Again, the former supports SD cards up to 64 GB whereas the latter can support SD cards up to 128 GB.
The Pro model also does not have 8x zoom.
The only area where the V50 Pro does better than the V50 Elite is the battery life.
With an 1100 mAh battery, it offers nearly double battery life than the 1050 mAh piece in the V50 Elite.
But the fact that both cameras come with dual batteries along with the ability to record videos while charging nullify this issue.
In reality, the Akaso v50 Pro seems to offer more accurate colors than the Elite which renders a slight greenish tint to images and footage.
It does not harm the image quality significantly – and in fact, seems to improve it a bit – but if you are obsessed with capturing natural colors, V50 Pro is the way to go.
The video quality looks great in V50 Pro, but it suffers a bit in 1080p in V50 Elite.
Also, the internal mic in V50 Pro produces a better audio quality as compared to that produced by the V50 Elite mic.
Overall, despite priced lower, the Akaso V50 Pro does appear to be a better value for money than its Elite counterpart.
I did a more thorough comparison with the V50 Elite, check it here.
Akaso V50 Pro Design & Components
At first glance, the Akaso V50 Pro looks simple and sleek. It is a bit smaller than the Akaso V50 Elite but it is about the same size as recent GoPro models; so you do not have to worry about purchasing separate accessories for this action camera.
The outer body is made of rubberized plastic that renders it a premium look and does well to prevent scratches and abrasions.
This holds a lot of importance, since action cameras are extremely prone to rough usage, and consequently, scratches.
The front of the camera flaunts the lens along with the brand name on the lower left.
At the top, there are two buttons – the Power button marked with a red circle, and the Shutter button marked with a blue circle.
The speakers are located on the right side. The battery goes at the bottom compartment that has a rubberized cover to keep away water.
Lens, Chipset and Image Sensor
The Akaso V50 Pro chipset is a Novatek NT96680 which supports 4K and H.265 video encoding.
The image sensor is an Omnivision CMOS with a size 1/2.8 inches.
The lens is a 170-degree super wide with f/2.8 aperture. The Field of View or angle can be modified in the settings to 140, 110 or 70 degrees.
There is one microphones located at the top along with the Wi-Fi LED indicator.
Using the waterproof housing on the camera will result in a muffled audio recording, due to the seals of this housing.
An external microphone can be ordered separately for the Akaso V50 Pro in case you need to upgrade your audio quality.
Ports and Slots
On the left, there are ports for mini USB, HDMI out and a slot for the SD card. The Akaso V50 Pro can support an extended memory of up to 64 GB.
Granted that most of its competitors in the market offer 128-256 GB of memory at this price point, in reality, 64 GB is still enough to stop you from running out of space for your files.
At the back, the camera has a 2 inch IPS touchscreen. The viewing angles are great with this one, and the screen is bright enough to save you any trouble while shooting outside in daylight.
The touch-based interface is intuitive and responsive, and works surprisingly well for an action camera.
It also provides you the choice of remote control. The wearable remote is included in the box and works well up to a small distance.
Setting up the remote control is quick and easy, it uses bluetooth to connect to the camera.
Once you pair it, it will be much easier to control your camera from a distance without using your hands.
The remote control can only be used to take photos and shoot videos. Changing settings should be done from the camera directly.
It also worth noting that the remote is not water-proof and only splash-proof.
Akaso V50 Pro Video
Akaso brought 4K resolution in the V50 Pro, but limited the frame rate to 30 fps.
To put that into perspective, the V50 Elite boasts of a highest limit of 60 fps in 4K and costs just $20 more.
But is it actually worth the extra bucks? I don’t think so.
Firstly, the electronic image stabilization does not work with 60 fps in 4K in the V50 Elite, so you will have to record in 30 fps if you do not have a gimbal at your dispense.
Secondly, as a regular action camera user, chances are you will be recording most of your videos in 1080p.
This is a popular resolution among action camera enthusiasts because it radically decreases the file size of videos without having a significantly poorer quality than 4K.
Apart from native 4K, the V50 Pro can also record in 2.7K, 1080p and 720p.
Here are the resolutions in pixels:
- 4K: 3840 x 2160 pixels
- 2.7K: 2704 x 1520 pixels
- 1080p: 1920 x 1080 pixels
- 720p: 1280 x 720 pixels
All the above resolutions have an aspect ratio of 16:9 (wide screen).
FPS (frames per second) is the number of frames captured in a one second of video.
The available frame rates on the Akaso V50 Pro are: 120fps, 60fps and 30fps. 120fps is available with 720p resolution, 60fps with 1080p, 30 fps with 2.7K and 4K.
The high frame rate like 120 fps is useful when shooting slow motion videos. With 120 fps, you can slow the videos down 4 times during post-production.
One thing to note here is the image stabilization that is not available when the frame rate is set to 120 fps.
Since the Akaso V50 Pro can shoot real native 4K, the video quality in most of the video resolutions looks good during daytime shoots. They are however average during night or low-light scenes.
Here’s a 4K video shot during daytime on a motorcycle riding a rough road with stabilization off, then stabilization on and finally stabilization on with super wide angle.
Here’s another 4K video shot at night with image stabilization. You can see that the image is noisy and not that good:
Electronic Image Stabilization
This camera supports image stabilization (EIS) for all resolutions except 720p due to the high frame rate (120 fps).
So you won’t have to worry about getting a gimbal when shooting in 4K, 2.7K and 1080p.
The EIS performs well to remove camera shakes, but if you are picky about this feature, you may consider using a dedicated gimbal for the same.
The camera also supports both H.264 and H.265 codecs used for video encoding.
The H.265 codec is recent technology that is more efficient than H.264 at compressing videos while retaining quality and it results in consuming much lesser storage space than the older H.264 version.
This implies you can store more files in your micro SD card using the H.265 codec without worrying about losing video quality.
Charging while Recording
Just like the V50 Elite, the Akaso V50 Pro comes with the ability to keep recording even while charging.
This is a great feature to have if you love to capture time lapse videos.
You can simply use your power bank to charge your phone when the battery gets low without worrying about pausing the video.
Akaso V50 Pro Photo
The Omnivision image sensor on the Akaso V50 Pro can take photos with a resolution of up to 20 megapixels.
But also in 16, 14, 10, 8, 5 and 2 megapixels.
The 20 MP image sensor maintains accurate colors and captures crisp details, but the recordings in low light conditions tell a different story.
This is, however, expected for a budget camera. If you are looking to shoot mostly at night, this is not the camera to buy.
But if you like to take daytime stills, the V50 Pro is worth your consideration. That said, for an action camera, the photos look too good.
Here are some photos taken during the day and night.
The Akaso V50 Pro can take photo bursts up to 30 photos in 8 seconds.
You can enable this feature with the following settings: 3 shots in 1 second, 7 in 2 seconds, 15 in 4 seconds and 30 in 8 seconds.
Photo burst is great for shooting fast-movement activities.
Another common feature is the delay timer for photos. You can snap photos of yourself with friends by settings a delay timer.
On the Akaso V50 Pro, you can choose a delay of either 2 seconds or 10 seconds.
Long exposure also known as shutter speed and is used to capture stationary objects in a photo while blurring the moving elements.
On the Akaso V50 Pro, you can set the long exposure timer to 1, 2, 5, 8, 30 or 60 seconds.
Akaso V50 Pro Time Lapse
The Akaso V50 Pro can shoot both time lapse video and time lapse photo.
Time Lapse Video
Time lapse video capture a series of frames at a set time interval and compile them in a single video without any sound. It is useful for shooting movements in clouds, sun and stars.
On the Akaso V50 Pro, you will see two options Time Lapse Interval and Time Lapse Duration.
First, you need to set the interval to any of these options: 1, 3, 5, 10, 30 or 60 seconds.
Once you set the interval, you can now set the duration of that time lapse, you have the following options: unlimited, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 or 60 minutes.
Time Lapse Photo
Unlike time lapse video, time lapse photo is when the camera captures till photos at a set interval time and saves all these photos on the micro SD card.
The advantage of a time lapse photo over video is the ability to go through each photo and delete the ones you don’t like.
Same as in the time lapse video, you need to set the interval first then the duration of the time lapse photo.
Interval can be set to: 3, 5, 10, 30 or 60 seconds.
Duration can be set to: unlimited, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 or 60 minutes.
Both time lapse options work very well on the Akaso V50 Pro. You might want to look at playing with exposure and ISO settings when shooting time lapses in low-light conditions.
Akaso V50 Pro Audio Quality
The sound quality is where Akaso hits the bull’s eye with this device. Unlike the other cameras from the company, the V50 Pro does a fantastic job with the microphones.
Of course, it is not meant for recording live concerts and operas, but it performs pretty well outside in traffic and in presence of a lot of background noise.
Plus, the ability to add an external microphone provides a more added value to people who want an enhanced audio quality.
Video File Length: Also called as loop recording. It allows you to overwrite old video files with new ones once the memory card is full. It can be set to unlimited, 1 minutes or 5 minutes.
Fast Motion Movie: used to create a fast motion video. It is shot at a slow speed then played at normal speed. It can be set to: off, 2x, 4x, 6x, 10x, 15x.
Wind Noise Reduction: useful option for audio recording. It reduces noise when in windy situations.
Scene Mode: this auto sets colors and other settings to match the scene you’re shooting in. You can choose between: manual, water, riding, diving, night.
Date Stamp: you can add or remove the date/time stamp to the videos and photos.
Auto Low Light: it adjusts lighting to get the best shot in low-light. Can be set to off or on.
AE Meter: this is a setting that determines exposure based on the metering mode you select which of course depends on the light condition you have. Can be set to: center, average or spot.
Filter: color filter can be applied to your shots. Can be set to: off, black & white, sepia, vivid, natural, negative, warm, cool, red, green, blue.
White Balance: this settings let you adjust the color temperature of your videos and photos. You can see the effect directly on your touchscreen. Can be set to: auto, daylight, shade, tungsten light, white fluorescent.
EV: Exposure Value. This settings can let you select an area on you screen that you camera can prioritize in order to determine the exposure. Can be set to: -2.0, -1.0, 0, +1.0, +2.0.
ISO: ISO is the measurement of the camera’s sensitivity to light. Can be set to: auto, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600.
Control: used to adjust the microphone, speaker and brightness settings on the camera.
Sounds: used to turn on and off sounds like shutter, beeps. bot-up.
Distortion Calibration: this setting corrects image distortion, can be set to on or off.
Diving Mode: this settings is used when shooting underwater while diving. It basically compensates for the lack of red color underwater. Can be set to on or off.
Akaso V50 Pro Wi-Fi and App
The V50 Pro supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. You can control your camera from your smartphone by downloading the iSmart Pro+ app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, and pairing up your phone with your camera.
Once you have done that, you will be able to see everything that your camera sees directly on your smartphone or tablet screen.
While the connection stays reliable up to a distance of 10 meters, going beyond that may result in disconnection.
If you have plans of using the camera from far away, you may have to look at other options.
The app interface is not complicated at all, and you will find it very easy to get accustomed to the controls.
The app displays all the information you see on your camera display and makes it easy for you to perform the basic functions hands-free.
Akaso V50 Pro Accessories
One of the best things about Akaso is the large number of accessories it packs along with the main action camera.
The V50 Pro comes with a Bluetooth remote control, a waterproof case, a bicycle stand, seven mounts, a clip, a helmet mount, a bandage, five tethers, a protective backdoor, a USB cable, a lens cloth, and of course, a user manual.
It must be remembered that although the tiny V50 Pro is slightly smaller than the V50 Elite, all the accessories are interchangeable, and you won’t have to worry about buying separate mounts ever.
Also, Akaso packs in as many as two 1100 mAh rechargeable batteries inside the box.
They offer almost double battery life than the 1050 mAh batteries used in the V50 Elite.
The charger is included in the package, and you can always plug in your charger without worrying about stopping your recording as the camera charges.
How good is the Akaso V50 Pro Firmware
When I got my camera, I noticed that the H.265 codec was not working even though the camera’s hardware supports it.
I had to look for a firmware update to fix the issue with the codec. But be careful, you can’t just install any firmware and expect it to fix your issues.
Some firmware updates can break your camera without repair. For this reason, I put together a guide on how to update the firmware of your Akaso V50 Pro.
If you are a beginner diving into the world of action cameras, the Akaso V50 Pro is, hands down, the best option for you currently.
Not only does it offer you great performance at $120, but also gives a stiff challenge to cameras worth much more.
It would be foolhardy to expect premium functions from an entry-level camera as this, but the V50 Pro is as close as it gets.
It does not have a reasonable disadvantage at present, and was touted as the best low-range action camera to buy in 2018 by several pundits.
On the other hand, native 4K recording at 30 fps with built-in image stabilization and LDC image correction sets the bar high up.
It also comes with ultra wide-angle lens that lets you capture a wider picture. The large number of customizable options, responsive touchscreen display, wireless remote controller and default filters make up the rest of the pros.
Also, the double batteries provided and the option of continuing recording while charging may be enough to seal the deal for you.
Overall, the camera is handy, provides the best quality videos, images, and sounds that you can hope for at this price range, and comes with all the basic accessories you need.
Considering the pros and cons, the former clearly outweighs the latter, and there is no reason why you should not buy the V50 Pro right now.
I would also advise you to take a loot at the V50X which is the newest addition from Akaso
I hope you liked my Akaso V50 Pro review! Please let me know what you think of this action camera by leaving a comment in the section below 🙂