It really was an impulse purchase. The W8 Action Camera was selling for about $40 on Amazon, and I just got it because it was cheap, and also, I wanted to pack a camera in my backpack that would come with me everywhere.
The train of thought was this:
The action camera is smaller and lighter than a regular point and shoot camera, so it’s perfect for tossing in the backpack and taking everywhere. This one’s cheap, so my wife won’t complain. I really like the idea of using the Wi-Fi to connect the camera to my mobile phone… Good for placing the camera a few feet from me and taking selfies, right? LOL
W8 Action Camera Review
I’ve had the camera for six weeks now. Admittedly, I haven’t used it that much. I tried it out when I first purchased it, but it’s been in the bag ever since. Last week, I pulled it out with the intent of taking footage for doing this review. We were vacationing up in northern Michigan, around the Traverse City area (Frankfort to be exact). I took the action camera out almost every day and was taking both photos and video footage with it, and overall, it’s a great little $40 camera!
Obviously it can’t compare to a $300 GoPro hero 4, but if your budget doesn’t allow for such an expensive purchase (mine doesn’t, that’s for sure), then this W8 Action Camera will get the job done at a fraction of the price.
W8 Action Camera Tour
The W8 offers both 1080P and 720P video recording as well as 12MP still photo snaps. The lens is a fixed 170° wide angle lens that’s actually a bit too wide for my tastes, but it sure gets just about everything in the shot! The camera records video in .MOV format, requiring no conversions for Windows, Mac or Linux.
Unlike the GoPro, the W8 offers no software correction for the lens, so you can’t record a standard width video, or even one at 120° wide angle. This hasn’t been a show stopper, but while on vacation, there were some shots that I would have loved to have gotten with the W8 but in a standard width rather than fisheye.
The W8 uses the SJCam 3.7v, 900mAh battery that provides a realistic continuous runtime of about 45 minutes. I purchased extra batteries and charger kit so that I could just pop another battery in and keep recording. You can also use a portable battery pack to keep the W8 action camera running if you need to get really long recordings. Keep in mind that the W8 can’t take more than a 32GB microSD card so you can only get about 1 hour in 1080P or 2.5 hours in 720P.
The microphone is internal, and there’s no jack for an external mic. Not a big issue because mine picked up audio fairly well. Also, the W8 has an internal speaker, but it’s useless because you can’t turn up the volume enough to actually hear the audio.
My Demo Footage from the W8 Action Cam – Make sure to watch in 1080P!
The footage was taken around 8pm during sunset to demo the camera’s ability during light and dusk settings. I left the video unstabilized to demonstrate the amount of jitter you get while walking with the camera. The sunset taken at 1:45 was taken by the camera on a tripod.
The camera has six modes:
- Video Recording – 1080p or 720p
- Looping Video – records video until card is full, then overwrites oldest video – great for dashcam use.
- Single Still Photo – 12MP, 8MP, 5MP, 2MP,
- Burst – 3 shots at a time
- Time Lapse takes a photo every 2,3,5,10,20, 30, 60 seconds
- Continuous lapse – keeps recording shots and over writing the oldest when the card is full
In addition, there is a setting to invert the video recording, so if you have to record upside down, it still comes out correctly when you view it on your computer.
Other features include:
- 50hz or 60hz operation
- Adjustable +/- 2.0 exposure
- Timestamp on the video on/off selector
In all, it’s a great camera for everyday carry where you don’t need to pull it out all the time. I have used it for time lapse when I setup or tear down something and want to document the process. It’s also come out when I was riding shotgun at a local Jeep event, and has been strapped to a quadcopter to record flight video. Frankly, I use my Android’s camera a lot more, but this one is there when I need it too.
$28-40 via Amazon – Check Current Price