This summer I bought my son a remote controlled car. Soon, I thought “what if I could attach a camera to it?” I already had GoPro cameras, but I wasn’t sure mounting them to a zippy kid’s toy that’s prone to crashing. Fortunately, I had the chance to review the Campark Sports Camera, which boasts 4K video recording.
If it looks vaguely familiar, you’re right. There are quite a few GoPro-ish action cameras out there. Note the packaging simply says “ACTION CAMERA”. No mention of the name Campark anywhere. I suspect the packaging is deliberate for OEM customization. Just a hunch.
Here are the basic specs, from the Amazon page. I’ve left it verbatim:
LCD:2 inch LTPS LCD
Lens: 170°HD wide-angle
Video Compression Format:H.264
Photo mode: Single Shot/Continuous Shooting/Self-timer(5s/10s/30s/60s)
WiFi OS: Android and iOS
HDMI output: Support
Memory: Micro SDHC Class 10 16～32 GB(NOT including)
Connections: USB2.0 & Mini HDMI (Type D)
Battery working time: Max 50 minutes @ 4K/1080P 60fps,Max 90 minutes @ 1080P 30fps
Battery Capacity: Built-in 1050mAh lithium battery
Weight: 64g(with battery)
Waterproof Level: With waterproof case, 30 meters underwater
The kit comes with a waterproof case. Note the snap-release “foot” of the base. It is very similar to the GoPro system, but the foot won’t slip into GoPro bases. The 2-3 finger “hinge” is compatible, however.
Unlike your typical GoPro. the Campark camera comes with a wide assortment of mounting adapters for nearly every situation.
Here’s the camera, front and back, out of the waterproof case. On the back is an LCD screen. It is not touch-sensitive. Navigating involves a ballet between the power/mode button up front and the top-mounted record button (red circle) to select.Top, bottom, left and right views of the camera. If you’re familiar with the GoPro family, there are no surprises here. Now here’s an accessory I haven’t seen before: It’s a two-part clip that snaps on the back. The clip part snaps on the back, obscuring the LCD display. Pretty clever. Naturally, this isn’t a waterproof setup.
The Campark camera came with two batteries, which was somewhat of a pleasant surprise. Note the battery door completely detaches. If you’re not careful, you’ll lose it.
Here I’ve placed the Campark (left) alongside the GoPro Hero 4 Silver (right). You can see the similarities- the physical dimensions are nearly identical. The GoPro includes an LCD for status on the front, and a touchscreen color LCD on the back. The Campark also lacks the multi-pin connector the GoPro has on the rear (left of LCD).
Some more views of the two cameras. Note the Campark accepts a microUSB connector, and the GoPro uses the larger miniUSB. Both take microSD cards. Also, the GoPro’s battery door is hinged (can’t lose it).
Since the Campark was physically the same size, I found out it fits in the basic snap-in GoPro Hero 4 “frame” style holder. This would come in handy later during testing.
There is an app (iOS shown) that once again, has no mention of “Campark” anywhere.
I downloaded it and tried it out. It does exactly what you’d think: You connect to the camera via WiFi first, then launch the app. Handy if you need to remotely position the view and begin recording.
For testing, I mounted the GoPro “frame” holder atop the RC car and let my son do the driving.
First, the Campark running 1080 at 60fps. Note: For some reason, the YouTube uploads don’t look quite as good as the original, but you get the general idea.
For comparison, here’s the GoPro Hero 4 Silver, also recording at 1080 @ 60fps.
The Campark does a fair job, but when I watch the original files, the GoPro seems sharper.
Next: 4K. Now, at this price point, I had fairly low expectations for the Campark, but it is listed at 25fps while the GoPro Hero 4 Silver does a seemingly poky 15fps. Let’s take a look at the Campark at 4K:
Next, the GoPro at 4k (but 15fps):
Once again, the GoPro’s visuals are cleaner-looking. Yet, how does the Campark manage a faster framerate?
The answer is probably in the compression. Here are two crops of the same patch of sky:
The first image was from the Campark. You can see the “banding” of blue sky. The GoPro isn’t perfect, but at least the compression is less dramatic.
Why in the world then would anyone NOT choose the GoPro, then? The Hero 4 Silver has better-looking video, a touchscreen, and that name recognition. However, at $399.99 MSRP, the GoPro Hero 4 Silver may not be the kind of camera you’d want to possibly get banged up or even lose.
The Campark is 20 grams lighter and manages to have a color LCD on the back. It comes with more mounting accessories than I’ve ever seen included with an action camera, and a second battery is included. As of this writing, the Campark Sports Cam is listed for $69 at Amazon, which is a good value- especially if your RC car driver is just out of the 4th grade.
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Campark. Please visit the Amazon listing for more info.