The SPCA 6350 / OV4689 Processor and sensor combo does a decent job faking 4K. Some Youtubers even claim (incorrectly) that it’s better than GoPro 4K! You might not be able to tell the difference on a smaller screen… But it is only 1/2 the resolution of real 4K, and since it uses MJPG instead of H.264 for 4K mode, there is a lot of compression artifacts. It is also only 25FPS instead of 30, making it jittery at times. Some shots even got corrupted. This was filmed with an H9R clone (same cam as Akaso EK7000, but unbranded). It is also found in Eken H9 and a bunch of other cams around $50 – 60 on Amazon/Gearbest/AliExpress/etc.
Unboxing and First Look
Initial impressions of this camera are very positive, and this camera is fast becoming one of my favorite real 4K cameras I’ve tested to date. The reason I prefer it over competitors such as the SJ7 Star or the ThiEYE T5e, is because it loudly beeps when buttons are pressed, compared to the other cameras, which only have soft beeping that is difficult to hear in the waterproof case. I often use these cameras on my helmet and having a clear audible confirmation that the camera is recording is a huge plus. The video quality is similar to the other cams. The user interface is highly customized and simplified and the stabilization is slightly better than similarly priced competitors. More information about this camera will be released soon with the full review.
Video Samples and Comparisons
So many cams are based on the NT96660 processor, which results in fake 4K. The results are often less than stellar. The camera I used is the MGCool Explorer 1S (because it has pretty sharp video for Novatek). This is versus the ThiEYE T5e (real 4K). In order to get real 4K you need at least 8MP sensor, and many of these cams are advertised as 12, 14 or 16 but really have more like 4MP. This comparison shows a cam with a real 12 MP sensor. I’ll do another Novatek one with a 4MP cam later.
I’m trying a different approach to doing video audio, and it is working alright so far.
At that price you can get one with a better clip if you look around.
I got the H8 Pro but if you’re interested in this lineup of cameras I would probably recommend the H8 Plus for most users because I highly value stabilization and it has the better sensor. I have not tested that camera yet though.
Note: In the video I accidentally said that the IMX117 is higher resolution. This is not correct. I meant to say that it is a higher performance sensor.
What is the white van scam? Well, people in the back of a van drive up and say “we have a high quality product that we have got to get rid of. The list price is $$$$$! You can have it for only $$!” People get tricked into buying cheap no name products that (usually) work but don’t work all that well. Usually for the price you paid you can get a better quality product at a retail store.
This kind of projector is pretty garbage. I found it amusing how the deeper we got into the box, the lower the resolution the projector advertised. Some of the features were surprising though. It has Android built in with 1GB of storage, 386MB of Ram and an 854×480 resolution. The brightness is advertised as 7200 lumens but I believe it is closer to 1,000.
Want a projector? I use an Epson HC2040, but they have a decent cheap 720p one that I have seen for as low as $299 on sale (refurb):
I’m sure I called it the S7 several times in this video by accident. This cam looks very promising – I’m very fond of the user interface tweaks they’ve made. We’ll see how video quality holds up after more extensive testing. I only got to run it quick once last night before it was too dark out. Full review to come soon!
Pairing the controller is simple. Make sure the altitude adjustment is at its lowest point, turn on the drone then turn on the controller. The controller and the quadcopter stay paired after the initial power cycle so there’s no need to reset or reconnect. One of the first things I noticed when I turned on this quadcopter was that it is pretty quiet. There’s a little whine to the engines and the hiss of air but the brushless motors seem to have less engine noise.
As I mentioned earlier this drone is significantly easier to handle compared to my first one, but I’m somewhat glad I learned how to fly on the other one because this one is a lot faster. The handling is tight and turns are sharp. Flying this thing was the first time I actually felt fully in control of what the quadcopter was doing. I had the confidence to take it out in some fairly heavy wind to get a beautiful stormy sunset, and to take it out over water without worrying it was going to fall out of the sky. When it gets near the edge of its range the controller starts to beep. I never flew it out of range or shut off the controller mid flight as I didn’t want to crash it but I suspect that if it disconnects it might fall out of the sky. Hopefully in a controlled way…
Speaking of falling out of the sky, on the previous quadcopter when the battery was low it would just kind of lose altitude and in some cases it would come in pretty hard. If you watched that review you might remember I mentioned that I had no idea how to land the thing. Well, guess what- the instruction manual on the Bugs actually told me how to do it properly! And you know what the best part is? The Bugs also actually tells me when the battery is dying with a loud beep, which gives me a good minute to land it!
This thing can do flips and rolls and they look super cool because of how big it is. It looks almost rediculous, like it’s going to fall out of the sky, but then it manages to right itself somehow. It can even do it with the GoPro on it.
So there are a few small nitpicky points I noticed while flying: for example, the GoPro mount is fairly solid but there is some side-to-side rocking. The cameras stabilization mostly corrects it but if you look closely you’ll see a little bit of shaking. Also, life pro tip: don’t use your action cam Wi-Fi while using the quadcopter as they can interfere and that can cause crashes.
Look I’m not an expert in quadcopter reviewing like I consider myself for cameras, but I know when I’m having fun and this seems like an overall decent choice if you’re looking for a cheaper quadcopter to carry a camera. It’s got brushless motors which last longer than the other type, the build seems to be reasonable and the handling is pretty good.
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Summary: Despite a few little issues with the stabilization and a slight size difference with other action cams, the T5e is an excellent value, from a pure image quality perspective.
This is yet another fake 4K camera based on the Novatek NT96660 processor and a Sony sensor. It does 1440p @ 30 FPS or a weird almost unusable 2880×2160 @ 24 FPS. Despite my critical comments in the video this cam does have some good things about it: I noted that this camera has a wider dynamic range than a few other Sony/NT96660 cams I’ve tested before meaning that bright and dark areas retain details better instead of getting too dark or too bright, but in many cases the video is almost hazy/greyish and colourless especially in direct light. Also the gyro and 60fps modes don’t exactly work. I’m going to play around with some firmware and see if I can find something better and/or hack together something workable then get back to you with a full review.
But is it worth $30? Yes, because at this price it is practically disposable. It’s remarkable that this hardware can be priced so low from a domestic seller. But at its regular price of $50, my advice is to spend a little bit more on something better such as the SooCoo C30.