ActionPro X7 Review (2013)

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After we received the ActionPro X7 back at our HQ and tested it for over 3 months, we got to a simple conclusion: GoPro’s heydays are numbered. OK, maybe not in terms of the mass market, because ActionPro lacks the advertising budgets of its rival and that’s an important setback, but for the dedicated few that look for the best possible deal, X7 may prove to be the one.

Its size is similar to GoPro’s one and so is the general appearance, while its casing that features a square lens shield makes setting apart the X7 from the GoPro almost impossible if you’re not an avid  connoisseur. However, what’s different compared to the GoPro is the bigger number of buttons present, a fact that can be regarded either as a good one (easier to set the camera) or a bad one (the camera becomes more crowded). Inserted in the cam’s body we find the LCD 5 cm (about 2”) display and also the Wi-Fi which can connect to a smartphone app and turn the mobile device into a remote control for the camera. In X7’s package two cases are also included, a full one, with protection for the LCD display, and a cut-away one, with the cut occuring around the screen. Please don’t ask us what purpose it serves because we weren’t able to figure this out. But the good news is you can submerge to a depth of 60 metres with the full casing.

Without going too much into technical details, we’ll stick to mentioning that it records at 1080p, a more-than-enough-for-mortals resolution, at the highest resolution it can shoot at 25, 30, 50 or 60 frames/second, while the WVGA mode enables reaching even 240 frames/second. The Exmor sensor comes from Sony and the lens is comprised out of 8 aspherical elements which not only capture very nice images in daylight, but decent ones in lowlight conditions, such as after sunset.

When passing from shadow to light or the other way around, recording quality doesn’t suffer too much, as you can see in the video below. On the other hand, this feat must be accomplished by any action cam that aims to be considered worthy of bikers’ attention, especially if we’re talking about mountain bikers. And, if the X7 bests the GoPro from this point of view, ActionPro’s prodigy also scores in terms of colours, even more clearly, we dare say. We invited a number of people to follow some footage captured with the X7 and they all agreed that sharpness and colours are at the level they’re supposed to be, without over- or underdoing this task.

But in terms of still photos, the X7 proves to be lacking, even at 12MP of resolution. The GoPro cameras do a much better job, yet we don’t consider that still photography represents the purpose of these devices, since even the photos are, basicly, 1-frame video recordings.

Unboxing the X7, you’ll find the helmet and surfboard adhesive mounts, some doulbe-sided adhesive straps, a tripod mount and other small screws and accessories that we never really got to use. This camera can be recharged via USB and can also be connected to a TV set, in order to watch the footage at a bigger scale.

Also, it’s fitted with a lot of LED lights that indicate whether it’s on or off, while the battery can be removed and replaced in case the power level plans to spoil your plans. We didn’t record actual autonomy, but for a one day ride, it’s more than enough since it didn’t even reach the red area.

As a conclusion, the X7 has a roughly 100 euros lower price than the GoPro, allows battery replacement and offers a more lively and sharp image. On the other hand, if we were to comparte it to GoPro, the latter also includes a remote control, more pedigree, 3 different still photo resolutions and a greater video resolution, of 1.440p. Another valuable option of the GoPro is the Upside Down mode that allows you to record from virtually any position, a choice that X7 didn’t receive. However, the X7 does better in terms of White Balance and you don’t get too many burned photos. Therefore, the two cameras have balanced specifications, the final decision belonging solely to you, according to your needs.

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