Review: Akaso Brave 8 action camera
Base jumping off the couch for the clicks.
As an extreme sports guy, I like to film my adventures so that others may live vicariously through my death-defying stunts. Whether it’s base jumping or off-road cycling, I’m always filming.
Which is what I’d say if the most extreme sport I did wasn’t middle-aged skateboarding. Regardless, the Akaso Brave 8 action camera is up to the task. Even if the task is lame AF.
The Akaso Brave 8 provides owners with a 4K 60 FPS action camera that serves double duty as a 48MP camera. On top of that, users can record 8K time-lapses and 16x slo-mo videos.
With that out of the way, let’s dive into the review to see where the Akaso excels and if it falls short anywhere.
Video quality with the Akaso Brave 8
When looking for an adventure camera, you just want something that works. You want something that takes an awesome video while strapped to your head.
As mentioned, the Asako Brave 8 offers 4K video at 60fps. That’s a standard, current spec that one would expect from this type of camera. Still image quality is 48MP. You won’t use this to take still pictures, though.
What you’ll use this camera for is crazy stuff. You’ll strap it to your outdoor cat. Perhaps you’ll take it kayaking. It’s not a drone, but you could attach it to one.
How about strapping to the front of your skateboard? This is not the camera you take to your kid’s recital. That’s what the iPad is for. Because everything is horrible.
While I mostly tested the camera under abjectly mundane conditions, a few features were absolutely engaging to use.
If you’ve ever shot an action video, you know where I’m going. Super 16x slo-mo and stunning 8K time-lapse. There’s nothing better than a sick stunt in slow motion or a time-lapse video of a thunderstorm rolling over mountains.
Naturally, in my life, this translated to a six-year-old waving his arms like crazy in slow motion and some lazy clouds over suburbia. It’s still neat to rewatch, if not a bit mundane.
AI detects faces and optimizes the exposure for portrait mode
The Brave 8 has a built-in AI that recognizes human faces. No information about these faces is stored.
This just means that it can tell a human face from, say, the grill of a Chrysler 300. This helps in portrait recording, as it adjusts the exposure automatically.
The digital lenses offer wide, super wide, and narrow angles in addition to portrait perspective. This helps you tighten up on the action or focus on the whole picture.
Is the Brave 8 durable?
If you’re about to hit that Black Diamond trail, you’ll want a camera that holds up. The Brave 8 is constructed to stay functional and compete as long as you are.
It’s waterproof up to 33ft without the case and nearly 200 with the case. So get right in that shark’s face, you daredevil you.
By itself, this camera isn’t necessarily rugged, but it is durable. The lenses are always exposed, but they are compact and can take some whacks.
The 9-layer array of glass lenses captures all the little pieces of gravel spitting up while not shattering. This is a camera made to take a beating.
The best part of the physical nature of the Brave 8 is the advanced image stabilization. Think of every trail video you’ve watched and how bumpy it is.
Most modern adventure cameras have some sort of stabilization feature on them, users just forget to turn it on. Turn it on and give the viewers a smoother ride.
With the case, I found that the camera feels sturdy in my hands and doesn’t add too much weight to your bike helmet. You feel it, know it’s there, but you get used to it quickly.
There is also one-click shooting, so you don’t have to fumble around with buttons. While you do have to scroll on the touch screen to activate features, this can be done with the voice control or remote.
There are also voice commands, which come in extremely handy while you are on the move.
The 1550mAh battery allows for about 90 minutes of recording at 4K. The Brave 8 also comes with two batteries, which is nice.
Charged up, that’s like three hours of recording time. That’s a lot of downhill trail riding. Or, in my case, a lot of walking slowly through the neighborhood on trash day while looking for cool stuff by the curb.
It also comes with a bevy of attachment accessories. From straps to mounts and 3M stickers, you can slap the Brave 8 on just about anything. The dual-screen for instant selfie view can help line up the shot.
The rear main screen is a touchscreen as well. If you aren’t into touching buttons, the Brave 8 can be activated by voice commands. If you do like touching buttons, there is also a remote.
Overall, this is a competent, strong little camera that does the job. You might not have heard of Akaso, but so what?
Do you want to capture that snowboard run without breaking the bank in absolute 4K and quality sound? Then this is the camera you’re looking for.
Akaso Brave 8 alternatives
The only real difference between this camera and the latest from GoPro is the lack of livestreaming.
There are a select few who livestream their adventures. Most videos are highly edited, so this shouldn’t be a huge detractor.
The Akaso Brave 8 retails for $279.99 via the Akaso store or Amazon. Compare this to the GoPro 10, which retails for $389. Both offer 4K videos at 60fps and waterproof features.
There’s also the DJI Action 2 Power, which retails at $345, but that doesn’t even include the protective case or improved battery module.
Should you buy the Akaso Brave 8 action camera?
The point here is the same as with a lot of technology: the main difference is marketing. The specs and form factor are similar enough to justify price shopping.
Plus, wouldn’t you rather lose a less expensive camera in the Futaleufú River rapids? I know I would.
The Brave 8 is a great action camera that’s packed with all the features you need, whether you are hitting the trails or just walking around your neighborhood.
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