Friday, July 24, 2020

The action cam you always wanted, at a price you can afford – Akaso Brave 7 LE

 Don’t be misled by the initials — Akaso Brave 7 LE. The LE doesn’t mean it has “Limited” features or functions. Just the opposite, I’m guessing it stands for “Loaded with Extras”. At half the price of a GoPro, you’ll get twice the use from the new Akaso Brave 7 LE action camera. This compact gem is a pleasure to use, tiny enough to take anywhere, and the results are sure to please.

Dual Screens for Stills and Video

The camera is easy to operate – there are only three buttons which do much of the work. On top are a mode button (stills vs video) and the shutter button. On the side is the power button.

Not only does the Brave 7 LE come with a decent sized LCD screen on the rear, it also has a “selfie” screen on the front, next to the lens.  The rear screen is a touch screen and can be used to set various functions, set degrees of digital zoom, and review your shots.

The camera is IPX7 water-resistant to protect against rain and snow. With the protective case, you can go down underwater 131 feet. You can see I used it here to protect against stones or debris as I drove around with it clamped to my car’s driver’s door.

(The PanaVise suction cup and double knuckle mount is not part of the package, but I highly recommend it for outside shots while driving – (check out the video) – but always use a lanyard – just in case it should come loose.)

Choice of still shooting modes

In still mode, you can shoot stills in a variety of megapixel sizes: 2MP, 5MP. 8MP. 10MP, 14 MP, 16MP or 20MP. For each, you can select Low, Medium or High quality. 

ISO ranges can be set to Auto or manually selected between 100 and 1600. EV settings range can be changed: -2, -1, 0, +1, or +2. Metering is either center-weighed or multi-metered.

Shoot standard still, bursts (3, 7, 15, or 30 shots), timelapse (every 3, 5, 10, 30 or 60 seconds) for durations of 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 60 minutes or unlimited).  Using the self-timer, you can select delays of 2, 5 or 10 seconds. Using the long exposure mode, you can select durations of 1, 2, 5, 8, 30, or 60 seconds.

When you are done shooting, review your shoot on the screen on the back of the camera.  After you’ve selected your best, set the camera to WiFi mode and it will create a WiFi hotspot that your phone or tablet can connect to and transmit your photos.

Here’s a bonus for everyone that uses Adobe Lightroom to catalog and edit their photos. When shooting in the extra wide mode, which I leave it in most of the time, there will be a certain amount of fisheye-type distortion. I discovered that the Lens Correction profile for a Parrot wide angle drone camera, with a setting of 74 for distortion, works great to straighten out your parallel lines.

Choice of video shooting modes

While shooting video, you have your choice of a plethora of resolutions as well:  4K 30fps, 2.7K 60 fps, 2.7K 30 fps, 1080P 120fps, 1080P60fps, 1080P 30fps, 720P 240fps, 720P 120fps, or 720P 60fps.

EIS 2.0 uses a six-axis gimbal like stabilization that really smoothes your video.  Check the video here of the camera mounted outside the car going over rough pavement.

Other Video options

Other options include Wind Noise Reduction, Auto Low Light, EV adjustment, metering and date stamp.

Loop recording can be set for 1 minute, 3 minutes or 5 minutes

Time Lapse mode is similar to the still Time Lapse mode but creates a video file instead of a pile of JPGs.

SlowMotion creates a video file approximately twice the actual length. Conversely, Fast Motion Movie plays back 2x, 4x, 6x, 10x, or 15x faster.

Image stabilization can be turned on in all but the 120 or 240fps modes.

You’ll need to supply your own Micro SD, SDHC or SDXC card.  It works with up to 64GB cards with a  Class 10 or UHS-1 rating.

Special Settings

Angle of view can be set to Super Wide, Wide, Medium or Narrow.

Diving mode allows for lack of red light underwater in tropical and blue water.  IT can be optimized for use between 10 and 80 feet.

Color effects can be set to Normal, B&W, Natural, Negative, Warm or Brightness Contrast.

Upside down mode flips the image when the camera needs to mounted to the ceiling.

White balance can be set to Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten, or Fluourescent.


On the side of the camera, a sliding door gives access to both the HDMI out and the micro USB charging port.

On the bottom of the camera, the larger sliding door reveals the MicroSD card slot and space for the battery.

There’s also a 1/4×20 threaded hole here so you can directly attach the camera to a tripod or selfie stick without the need for the big protective case. I love that.

There’s an app for that

Yep, there’s an app as well (Android or iOS0 that allows you to view and download your photos or video. You can also remotely release the shutter for taking both video and photos.

Also, all the settings which can be made from the LCD rear screen of the camera, can also be set from the mobile app, which in many cases can be quicker and more efficient.

Accessories galore

It comes with a ton of accessories for mounting it just about anywhere. Handle bar mounts, helmet mounts and tripod mounts are just a few of the ones I’ve used so far. Another cool accessory is the remote in the form of a watch band that you wear. It works best when used less than 10 feet away, but is great for selfie sticks.

The camera also comes with two batteries and a charger that charges both simultaneously via USB.

Currently the Akaso Brave 7 LE is selling for just $142.99 on Amazon with free Prime shipping. If you’re budget conscious and looking for features, I don’t know what else I’d recommend but this complete package. Just add an SD card and you’re ready for what ever life sends your way.

Biography for Doug Bardwell - Blogger - Writer - Photographer

Disclosure: Akaso provided us with this Brave 7 LE so we could create this review. Opinions expressed however, are always our own.

Originally published on 7/23/20

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