Even though Campark is a Chinese brand, they offer some good quality budget action cameras in their lineup. Their ACT74A is a classic budget action camera, which got a bit outdated by 2021. Recently it got an upgrade, which brought some amazing features like remote control and EIS to the overall package.
Does 4K video recording at $50 sound too good to be true? Find out in our honest Campark ACT74 action camera review!
Campark ACT74 Action Camera Review – Features
Check out the main features of the Campark ACT74A in the section below:
- Dimensions of 58 x 40 x 29 mm
- Weighs 0,2 lbs (91 grams)
- Supports select video resolutions: 4K at 30fps, 2,7K at 30fps, 1080p at 60/30fps, 720p at 90/60/30fps
- 20MP sensor
- Regular, Underwater, Slow Motion, and Time-Lapse recording modes
- Time-Lapse and Regular photo modes
- Advanced Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS)
- 2-inch HD screen
- Two 1050 mAh Li-On batteries with 90 minutes of shooting time
- Comes with a bike mount, helmet mounts, tripod mounts, wire cables, and Velcro straps
- Packaging includes two cases: a waterproof case (40-metre/131 feet submersion range) and a non-water-resistant frame
- External microphone
- Wireless 2.4G remote
Without further ado, let’s dive into our Campark ACT74 action camera review!
Design & Build Quality
The ACT74 action camera is made of tough and sturdy plastic, which is impressive, considering such a low price tag. Like most other action cameras in the budget range, its design is inspired by older GoPro models.
On the back of the action camera is the 2-inch LCD screen, which sadly isn’t touch screen. Switch to the front, and you will find the lens and the LED flash underneath it. It’s certainly a nice addition for night photography.
The Power/Menu button is located on the front at the bottom right. This button enables us to cycle through different shooting and recording modes, which we will mention later on.
Of course, there is the shutter button that is used to start the recording or shoot stills. The right side of the action camera has navigation buttons (also used for digital zoom) and a WiFi toggle.
All in all, the design of the Campark ACT74 is nothing special but gets the job done.
The 2021 update to the ACT74 has finally brought the advanced electronic image stabilization (EIS), which provides a smooth and steady image quality fit for motovlogging. With the inclusion of EIS, this action camera is better at capturing fast-moving subjects than ever before.
Video Quality & Performance
As expected for such a compactly-priced action camera, the ACT74 has acceptable video quality. The colors are a bit muted and not very vibrant. Still, nothing that you cannot fix in post-processing if you have the time for that.
Even though this action camera can record at 4K and 2,7K at 30fps, these aren’t native resolutions. There is digital upscaling at play, which has a few downsides. It will eat up more battery life and will increase the chances of overheating. My unit felt like a hot toaster when filming in 4K for 20 minutes.
The Campark ACT74 shines when recording in 1080P. This recording resolution offers a nice balance of image quality and performance, and it is significantly better than 4K and 2,7K.
The lens is adjustable, from 170°, 140°, 110°, and 70° (from ultra-wide to narrow angles).
With an included waterproof case that can take you 40 meters deep (131 feet), you can record some nice underwater videos. Now that we have mentioned one recording mode, you can also record slow-motion and time-lapse videos.
We don’t have much to say about photo quality that we haven’t already said in the section above. The 20MP sensor takes images of acceptable quality, there is no HDR, and you will definitely need to post-process pictures if you want them to look better than acceptable. There is an ability to take time-lapse, which is not laggy.
Like most other entry-level action cameras, the sound quality of the Campark ACT74 is quite poor, even when out of the non-water-resistant case. The sound is pretty shallow and picks up wind noise with ease.
Thankfully, Campark was aware of that and added an external microphone in the packaging that fixes many audio issues. Kudos to Campark for adding this bonus!
Note: this action camera will record sound both with external and internal microphone. To remedy that, put the camera in the waterproof case, which will mute out the internal microphone sound.
User Interface & Control
For a non-touchscreen action camera, the Campark ACT74 has a quite intuitive menu structure. Sadly, it is a victim of some shoddy labeling. For example, the self-timer function is labeled “Timed”, which can confuse some users.
Even though there is no touch screen control, the buttons are tactile enough to make going through menus a breeze. Also, when it rains, you won’t have to worry about an unresponsive touch screen. The menus are designed to be easy to learn as well as simple to navigate with buttons.
Some of the options you can access in this action camera are:
- Video Resolution
- Sound Settings
- Photo Settings
- White Balance
- Light Source Frequency
- Volume Settings
As with other budget action cameras, you can control the ACT74 with remote control. You can either use a mobile app (get it for Android or iOS) or use an included wireless 2.4G wrist remote. By connecting the remote to the ACT74 action camera, you can record videos and take photos.
Campark didn’t disappoint with a generous amount of accessories in the initial packaging. There is a bike mount, helmet mounts, tripod mounts, wire cables, and Velcro straps – basically everything you will need for motovlogging and more!
Along with the mounts, there are two cases:
- A fully enclosed underwater case that doesn’t record sound (submersion up to 40 meters/131 feet)
- Non-water-resistant frame that exposes the microphone
Also, Campark has included an external microphone to boost the shoddy audio of the original ACT74 action camera. This external microphone captures sound from all directions, which is a nice boost.
To add the icing at the top, there is a wireless 2.4G remote resembling a wristband that you can use to control the main functions of the ACT74 remotely.
The Campark ACT74 action camera comes with two 1050 mAh Li-On batteries along with the USB charging cable. Sadly, there is no charging dock in the package.
The battery life is average and offers 90 minutes of recording time (at 1080p maximum). When recording at 4K, expect half of that battery life. It will take 2-3 hours to charge the battery fully.
This is probably the best aspect of this action camera, as it costs only $45,99/€37,63/£33,91. It is an incredibly affordable action camera, packed with useful accessories and average features. Very surprising that it is priced that low.
Now that we are at the end of our Campark ACT74 action camera review, what is our final verdict?
First of all, the 2021 upgrade is a full-blown one that addresses some of the original variant’s main issues. The EIS is better than having nothing, and the included external microphone will fix the terrible stock audio, making this action camera fit for motovlogging.
The battery life is mediocre, and the 4K and 2,7K recording modes are basically useless as they will overheat the camera itself. On the other hand, the 1080p mode is quite smooth and provides the best recording experience.
Also, there is no touch screen, which is kind of a bummer for 2021. Still, Campark more than compensates with an intuitive, optimized menu experience.
Would we recommend this action camera for fellow motovloggers? If you are on a steep budget, certainly. On the contrary, there are quite a few action cameras in a similar price range that provide better performance for a slightly higher price.
In the end, 4K video recording at $50 does sound too good to be true, at least for now.
Interested in more action camera reviews? Then feel free to head to our action camera review section!