Edit: review update #3.
Well colour me impressed! To be honest I held out little expectation that Apeman Customer Support would come through with a solution, however I am happy to say that I was wrong! Last week they emailed me through a firmware update that rectified the problem mentioned below.
So even though the camera had a problem, the fact that customer support responded immediately, accepted the issue with no fuss, remained engaged and kept me updated directly, and finally fixed the problem, easily makes this a 5 star company to deal with. Dealing with the lesser known name brands you kind of expect little to no after sale service, but that was certainly NOT the case here with Apeman.
Now, as for the technical side:
For anyone suffering a similar issue (mentioned in my earlier update below) and has a camera with firmware v18.104.22.168-A please contact Apeman Customer Support and they will send you through v22.214.171.124-A. This update fixes the problem.
To install it:
1. Download the firmware package on your computer.
2. Format your SD card on your computer;
3. Copy the firmware onto the SD card (I removed the firmware file from the .rar container it came in and put the raw update file in the root of the SD).
4. Make sure you have a well charged battery in the camera.
5. Insert the card into the camera;
6. Press the ON button on the camera... Now This is the tricky bit. Nothing will happen. No matter how many times you press the button the screen will stay blank and you will start panicking that you've killed your camera. Just wait. And then wait some more. Put the camera down and step away. It is updating silently in the background. Mine took about 3-5 mins before it eventually leapt back to life of its own accord. You are waiting for the APEMAN logo to eventually appear. Check the firmware and hopefully you will see v126.96.36.199-A.
I hope this all helps. I would happily recommend Apeman for their reasonably cheap, good quality cameras and their excellent customer support. I am now toying with the idea of getting their A100 Trawo.
Edit: review update #2.
I have been in contact with Apeman customer support about the below mentioned issue. As always they are polite and responsive which is commendable.
The issue: When you use any kind of digital zoom (digital zoom effectively just crops the image from the image sensor) the image jumps erratically around what would be the unzoomed (uncropped) image rather then staying centred on the zoomed portion of the image. The video is completely unusable like this. [please see attached video].
Customer support have assured me their R&D are working on a firmware update for the issue. As we all know getting firmware updates for devices such as this can be somewhat iffy.
We shall wait and see and I will update my review accordingly.
Edit: review update #1
Unfortunately I have noted an issue with this camera.
[Please see attached video]
With the gyroscope ON (Electronic image stabilisation) if you then zoom the camera in at all the picture appears to gimbal lock, or snap quickly from one side of what would be the unzoomed image to the other erratically whenever you move the camera. Quite simply the camera is unusable with EIS ON and zoomed in. It appears to be a software issue. I had not been using the camera zoomed with EIS on... but now that I am noting this issue every time.
I apologise for not picking up on this issue earlier.
I shall be contacting Apeman support to report this problem and will report back here if I get a response.
This is my review for the Apeman A80 Action Cam - 2018 model (This year/model has the orange mode button on the front).
This is a superb little camera for the price. It is worthwhile noting that the image quality is not GoPro quality, but to be fair, you are paying nowhere near GoPro prices so it is unfair to try and hold it to that standard. At this price point the image quality is more than reasonable.
To give an example of the image quality I have attached to this review a quick 30sec video I took of us Hot Air Ballooning with friends. The camera was mounted using only the accessories included in the kit. It is shot in 1080p30 (FHD), Timelpase (the entire 1.5hr flight is compressed into 5 mins) and the footage, apart from the addition of a couple of titles and a soundtrack, has not been edited or enhanced in post production. (Hopefully uploading to Amazon hasn't reduced the image quality too much and it still relatively accurately reflects the output from the camera. Unfortunately I have no idea - or control over - what kind of resolution and bitrate Amazon encode their video reviews at.)
Now on to the details:
My camera arrived promptly and with a good selection of accessories inside of a handy little carry case. It is a very well presented little kit. Note: the kit comes with 2 batteries but does not include an external charger. You can pick one up here on Amazon with a couple of more spare batteries for about $15USD.
Resolutions supported: 4K/24p, 2K/30p, 1080/60p, 1080/30p, 720/120p, 720/60p, 720/30p, 850x480/30p(WideVGA), 480/240p, 480/30p, 240/30p.
I have attached photos of the settings screen showing the various resolutions. Note: this camera not REAL 4K, rather the image is upscaled/interpolated to 4K. If you want a real 4K camera you will need to go a tier up and pay >$100USD as of September 2018. I have compared the video quality of this Apeman A80 against the Apeman Trawo (I believe it also called A100) which is a Apeman's next tier up camera. I found the A80 to have comparable detail to the Trawo, however the Trawo did give a warmer image with slightly more saturation. On the Trawo, whites & greens (leaves and grass) were slightly brighter and with a hint more yellow than the A80 which to me was slightly more visually appealing but this really comes down to personal preference. The A80 gave cooler whites with a hint more blue in them. I also found the Trawo to have a slightly better graduation and detail in contrast. In the end I went for the A80 despite having a slight preference for the Trawo's image.
The camera itself encodes in mp4 format using h264 compression meaning it is compatible with most computers, players and video editing software. The sound is AAC and the microphone quality is acceptable.
The specs state that SD cards up to 64GB can be used, however I have had success in formatting and recording to a 128GB SD card which gives me close to 13hrs at 1080/60p. Your mileage in this area may vary.
INSERT SD CARD msg: if you format your SD card on Windows 10 using Windows standard format tool you will note that you are only given the option to format in exFAT or NTFS, neither of which are suitable for this camera. This camera requires the card to be formatted in the older FAT32 format. Whilst it is possible to format to FAT32 in Windows using either the Command Line interface (format command), or a variety of downloadable free tools (FAT32FORMAT has a graphical interface), it is easier just to format the card in the camera. When you insert the card and turn on the camera it will come up with the message INSERT SD CARD and appear frozen. From here continue to press the Mode (orange) button until you cycle through to the settings, then scroll up or down until you find the FORMAT menu item, at which point you can format the card.
Overall, this is a great little camera for the price. The image quality is crisp and clear and the build quality is on par with other cameras in this price range. If you want GoPro quality, unfortunately you are going to have to pay something more like GoPro prices. I would happily recommend this camera to a family member or friend. I hope you found my review helpful. Cheers.
P.s. This is not a fake review. I have paid full price for my camera.
- Product Dimensions:: 6 x 4 x 2.5 cm ; 77.1 g
- Shipping Weight: 662 g
- Batteries 2 Lithium ion
- ASIN: B07BF76DSX
- Date first available at Amazon.sg: 1 December 2019
- Customer reviews: