Akaso Brave 7 LE Review • 4K Action camera on a budget
The Akaso Brave 7 LE is a new low-cost dual display action camera that records 4K video and captures 20MP photos. For such an affordable price, this is a great entry point into the world of action cameras. In the segment of inexpensive models, it can be called the best, considering the image quality and ease of use.
Akaso is positioning the Brave 7 LE as a vlogger camera. This can explain the presence of two screens in front and back. For the first time, Akaso offers IPX7 water resistance. With image stabilization and 4K resolution, the Brave 7 could well be the best budget action camera. In our Akaso Brave 7 LE review, we’ll go over what to expect from the camera in terms of specs, features and quality.
Akaso Brave 7 LE: Design
Akaso Brave 7 LE action camera comes in a beautifully packaged box made of quality materials. The first impression is good, especially considering the low price of the camera. When you open the box, you will probably be surprised how much useful stuff is inside for this money. Firstly, the camera itself is waterproof.
Secondly, two batteries and a charger with two compartments, as well as many mounts and accessories. There are Velcro mounts and even a handlebar mount. Includes a wrist-mounted remote control and metal cables for attaching the camera to vehicles.
The Brave 7 LE camera itself looks good, which belies its budget origins. In terms of size, it is slightly smaller than the Hero8 if not placed inside a waterproof case. The outer glass of the lens seems to be replaceable, but hardly with your own hands. There is a large 2-inch touchscreen on the back and a GoPro Hero9 style selfie screen on the front . A useful addition.
The body of the Brave 7 LE camcorder is IPX7 waterproof. In practice, this means that it can withstand immersion to a depth of 1 m for up to 30 minutes. Should be suitable for some water sports. It’s still better to use an external plastic waterproof case. I would like all action cameras to get rid of the need for such a case.
The bottom panel of the Brave 7 action camera has a standard base for a tripod screw. Not everyone might like it. The fact is that action cameras are primarily designed for active sports. There is a very good reason why there is a GoPro mount and there are no tripod screw mounts. And this is because there is no standardization of screw depth.
Ultimately, you need either an adjustable collar on the mounting base to align the camera, or the ability to rotate on the mount itself. Under extreme loads, the standard screw base is not reliable. Plus, buying a GoPro adapter is a snap if you really need one.
The Brave 7 LE is a budget camera, so it lacks the fancy modes found in more expensive alternatives. The camera is designed for users on a budget who want to easily shoot and edit without being confused by the many settings and adjustments.
The highest resolution the camera is capable of is 4K UHD @ 30fps. Although it can do 2.7K at 60fps and 1080p at up to 120fps. In the latter modes, stabilization is not available. The recording quality can be set to high, medium or low. These settings can be changed from the main menu.
There is electronic stabilization, although it is cut off a bit. It is also possible to turn on distortion correction to get rid of the fisheye effect. But here you have to sacrifice stabilization. There are video-based slow motion and fast motion modes. Photos are limited to 20MP in JPG format, not RAW.
The touch screen is very responsive. It sometimes seems to be more responsive than Hero8. It is bright, easily distinguishable in the sun. The display is very easy to read and clearly shows the current settings and modes. While holding down the mode button, you switch from the rear to the front screen. Akaso’s camera startup time is very fast – about 3 seconds from the moment you press the power button.
The front screen of the Akaso Brave 7 is square and the camera does not perform any aspect correction. But the camera settings are also displayed here, so you don’t have to guess or risk forgetting which mode is on. The camera can be controlled from Akaso’s own mobile app. The camera connects to it quickly and easily.
Using the camera
Apart from adjusting the compression, there is little you can do to adjust the image on the Brave 7 LE. The camera records data with H.264 codec, which will simplify the work of ordinary users. Although, even with high quality, recording is limited to a bitrate of 50 Mbps. For the H.264 codec in 4K, this is quite small, although it saves space on the card.
We did not notice any glitches or overheating of the camera. In fact, one of the nicest features of the camera is its battery life. We are used to action cameras that only run for about an hour before running out of battery with a huge amount of processing and great possibilities. The Brave 7 LE can last almost two hours in recording mode.
In good light, Brave 7 gives a clear picture. It suffers a little from excessive edge enhancement, and there is no way to reduce it. The aforementioned bitrate limitation results in noticeable artifacts in complex details such as trees or moving objects. The H.265 codec would solve this problem in many ways.
However, the colors seem to be pretty good. While the image looks too contrasty and too warm in terms of color temperature. But for the user the camera is targeting, these things are likely to remain subtle.
Electronic stabilization for a budget system is not bad. It’s not quite as good as Hypersmooth 3.0 or Insta360 FlowState, but it’s cost effective for the price. The only drawback is that the image is cropped quite strongly. Therefore, it is better not to enable it for POV style shots. The Brave 7 isn’t quite as wide-angle as its more expensive competitor, even when the GoPro is set up as standard.
Sound is another area where you can see the difference. The Brave 7 LE has a wind filter. But even when taking a selfie, the sound is distant and rather metallic. For most people filming their sports activities, this may not be a problem. But it’s worth remembering that sound is on the list of important things to consider.
At the top of the Akaso Brave are the mode and power buttons. There is a plastic door on the left side that covers the two ports. The micro USB port is used for charging, and the micro HDMI port can be used to connect the camera to other external devices. On the underside of the camera there is another plastic cover that covers the battery, as well as a memory card slot.
When buying a camera, it is important to remember that this is a budget model. In good light, it gives a good image with the problems mentioned above. File sizes are more convenient for ordinary users, which will be a beneficial argument for many.
The camera offers good photo opportunities. The fact that the camera comes with two batteries and all mounts and accessories means the Brave 7 LE is an excellent value for money. Best-in-class battery capacity is the icing on the cake. For budget users, the Brave 7 LE may be the only action camera they will ever need. Unless image quality is a priority.