Campark ACT74 Review: Modest Budget Action Cam

The Campark Xtreme 1+ is an inexpensive basic action camera that offers decent performance, 4K recording ability and an assortment of included accessories.

Our Verdict

The Campark Xtreme 1+ is an inexpensive basic action camera that offers decent performance, 4K recording ability and an assortment of included accessories.

For

  • Inexpensive
  • 4K Resolution, 1080p/60 and slow-mo at 720p/120
  • Front-facing LED
  • 16M photos
  • Time-lapse function

Against

  • No image stabilization
  • Not waterproof without bulky housing
  • No touch screen
  • Wi-Fi app unusable

The $55 Campark Xtreme 1+ ACT47 is a low-priced GoPro-alternative action camera that can record 4K video and shoot time-lapse and burst photos. It also comes with a large assortment of handy accessories. But like others of its kind, this basic action camera suffers from underwhelming performance when recording video while on the move. But overall, footage shot during the day is good enough to make this a passable first action camera for kids.

Design

Similar to other off-the-shelf action cameras available on Amazon, the Xtreme 1+ is an inexpensive knockoff of older GoPro models. Compared with the budget Akaso EK7000 and Drograce WP350 cameras, the Campark Xtreme's buttons are in different locations: The power/menu button is on the front at the bottom right, while the other models have it on the front toward the top of the camera. Additionally, directly under the lens, there's a light sensor to help the camera get the best auto-exposure as well as an LED light that can be turned on in the menu for night shooting.

Other buttons include a shutter that starts and stops recording, takes photos and acts as the select button while in the settings menu. A mode button on the front lets you cycle through video, photo, burst and time-lapse modes as well as settings. Holding this button down for a second or two powers the camera on and off. On the right side are a pair of buttons that cycle through options in the settings and turn on the Wi-Fi. They also act as a digital zoom in the photo and video modes.

Colors are fairly accurate, though they certainly don't pop as much as a GoPro.

The left side has a micro USB and a mini HDMI port for charging/file transfer and video output, respectively, as well as a slot for a microSD card (not included).

The battery is accessible on the bottom using a fingernail to open the battery door. The entire door pops off rather than remaining attached.

Unlike the models from Akaso and Drograce, there is no wireless remote included. However, this camera (and others like it) comes with a huge number of accessories. These include a bike mount, miscellaneous helmet and tripod mounts, wire cables and Velcro strips to secure it to a snowboard, surfboard (or anything else) for added security. There are two cases: the standard fully enclosed underwater case — which also comes with a secondary door to allow more sound in — and a non-water-resistant frame that fully exposes the microphone. You have to use one of these cases if you want to attach the camera to any sort of mount.

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A second battery is also included. By comparison, the $80 Yi Lite comes with barely any accessories outside of a single battery and a micro USB charging cable.

Ease of Use

Like the Drograce WP350 and the Akaso EK7000, Campark's menu is arranged in a relatively intuitive fashion, though some of the items are not labeled as accurately as they could be. For example, instead of noting that the function is "off," on numerous occasions, it is labeled as "close." Instead of calling the function "self-timer," it is called "timed."

Both the shutter button and menu buttons were responsive. Once I got used to the menu structure, it wasn't difficult to change settings, though not as easy as the Yi Lite or GoPro Hero, which both have touch screens.

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Unfortunately, while the camera has built-in Wi-Fi that can be used with the Ez iCam app, I was unable to get it to work with my Pixel 2; this also happened with the Akaso and Drograce models. I did manage to connect to the camera and the app showed that my phone was connected, but I was never given an option to change settings or view what was on-screen or trigger a recording.

Video Quality

Although far in quality from the GoPro Hero or Yi Lite, footage captured with the Campark was on a par with the Akaso and the Drograce. Colors were fairly accurate, though they certainly didn't pop as much as on a camera with a better image processor and greater overall processing power.

Like other inexpensive action cameras, the Campark is highly subject to motion blur when moving. If you are using a stable platform (and, no, your arms are probably not that stable), you should be fine. However, when I attached the camera to my bike's handlebars using the included bike mount, the video became incredibly shaky whenever I hit a bump or was on unsmooth pavement, so much so that footage was almost unwatchable for long periods. Holding the camera in my hands had the same effect.

Since 4K is recorded at only 30 frames per second (fps), I would recommend sticking with the 1080p at 60fps for a little smoother video. The Campark offers a better frame rate than the Yi Lite, which records only in 4K/20fps.

Still, frame rates aren't everything. While the footage captured using the Campark was good, the Yi Lite's video was far superior. The YiCam also features Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), making bumpy footage a thing of the past.

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The Campark also adds a number of photo functions, which work quite well, including burst and time-lapse photos. I set up the camera to take a photo every second over the course of a few hours and quickly ran out of space on a 32GB micro-SD card.

Audio Quality

Unlike today's GoPro Hero and subsequent models (Hero 5, Hero 6) that are waterproof by design and no longer require a case housing, the Campark — which requires a case to protect it from water — suffers in audio quality with muffled vocals and external sounds.

I tested this camera with all three housings – the fully waterproof housing, the water-resistant housing with the slit in the back panel and the open-face frame housing. The frame housing offered the best pickup of vocals when talking into the camera; however, when moving, it also picks up the most wind noise. If there will be a minimal spray of water or rain, use the alternate backing with the slits cut in it.

Bottom Line

At $55, the Campark Xtreme 1+ is one of the lowest-priced action cameras we've tested. As the expression says, you get what you pay for, and in this case, it is a basic action camera with average-to-less-than- average performance. For a significantly better experience, check out the $80 Yi Lite. The video quality, color accuracy and touch-screen user experience were far superior to the Campark's, and the addition of Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) was a plus. However, you'll also have to spend an extra $40 for its waterproof housing. So long as you keep your expectations modest, the Campark should provide a fairly satisfying action camera.

Image Credit: Tom's Guide