Over the last few weeks, we have been publishing a number of different articles going over as many of the popular entry-level action camera on the market right now as possible. With the level of technology available on this cheap GoPro alternative keeps getting better and better while their price tag remains constantly low, we just keep seeing more and more people move over to a more budget-friendly action camera.
Many people who are action sports enthusiasts are starting to realize that the technology on the latest premium price point GoPro action cameras will be available for less than a quarter of the price in a year or two. Due to this, an increasing number of people are deciding to save their money and go with the more budget-friendly action cameras.
Although Akaso and their camera range were previously the undisputed kings of the cheap action camera price range, Apeman has come a long way over the last few years and is now beating Akaso at their own game. We are seeing more and more people reaching out about various Apeman action cameras with one being the Apeman a80. Due to this, we have decided to make the focus of today’s article our ultimate Apeman a80 review to help any of our readers who are considering purchasing this great little action camera.
Now, before we go any further into the article, we just want to point out that the Apeman Trawo is now available on the market and blows the a80 out the water when it comes to its performance. In addition to this, as the Apeman Trawo is only between $10 and $20 more than the Apeman a80 depending on the retailer, we would highly recommend that our readers go with the Trawo instead. If you would like to know more then a number of action sports enthusiasts have published their own reviews of the Trawo that you can read for some independent insight into how good this action camera really is for its price point.
That said though, we will still be going over our full Apeman a80 review as we know some of our readers may want to go with it due to it offering some solid image quality while being at the absolutely lowest price tag available on the market. By rights, the a80 has also managed to rightfully earn itself an excellent reputation amongst the community that is still growing today even though its successor is available.
Performance And Functionality
On the flip side of this though, the 4k video footage that the Apeman a80 is able to capture is digitally upscaled rather than native. This means that the actual video footage is captured at a lower resolution and then the camera puts the footage through a digital process to upgrade it to meet the requirements of 4k video footage. As you can probably guess, this can eat through your battery life very quickly while also potentially lead to some overheating issues over longer recording sessions.
This is why we would always recommend that our readers go with the Apeman Trawo over the a80 as it is one of the first sub-one hundred dollar action cameras on the market to have the technology to capture native 4k video footage right from the camera sensor. Not only does this help to capture better image quality but it also does not need the additional energy from the battery for the digital upscale meaning you get more battery life as well as less heat generated during use. The Apeman Trawo has another advantage in that it captures 4k at thirty frames per second too whereas the a80 is limited to twenty-four frames per second.
Now, if you are planning on capturing a large amount of 4k video footage with your Apeman a80 then we would highly recommend that you get a modern memory card with at least a 100MB/s transfer speed for optimal performance. Not only does this allow the camera to optimally save its 4k video date but it also reduces the generated heat and minimizes any potential overheating issues. The Apeman 80d is also upscaled to allow it to support micro SD cards of up to 128GB so you can save an absolute ton of content when recording.
As you would expect from any action camera released over the last few years, the Apeman a80 also supports a number of additional video formats. These include 2k at thirty frames per second, 1080p at sixty frames per second, 1080p at thirty frames per second, 720p at one hundred and twenty frames per second, and 720p at sixty frames per second. This allows you to switch up the resolution of the videos that you are recording with your a80 to meet your needs.
The 1080p resolution offers a nice balance between image quality and battery life while the 720p at one hundred and twenty frames per second is ideal for capturing any slow-motion action or b-roll with the camera. The other video formats will probably not be too useful for the majority of our readers but they are nice to have available if you are working in a niche that uses them.
As the clips in the vlog above focus on a number of situations, it does not specifically show off the build-in electronic image stabilization capabilities of the Apeman a80 very well. That said though, there are a few parts of the vlog where you can see the anti-shaking mode kick in to see how well the build-in gyroscope is able to stabilize the video footage.
That said though, if you are going to be using the camera in a number of bump situations with a whole bunch of vibrations then we would highly recommend that you look towards purchasing something like the Feiyutech G6. In our opinion, it is the best cheap action camera stabilizer on the market right now and came out on top of our article going over the various action camera gimbals on the market.
Moving on to the photographic capabilities of the Apeman a80 and it is another area where it performs well but is outperformed by its similar price point successor, the Apeman Trawo. Equipped with a 20MP Sony camera sensor, the a80 is able to provide you with some excellent image quality when it comes to capturing photographs of your adventures. Apeman has also included a fully adjustable lens on the camera to allow you to tweak its performance as required with ease.
The camera is able to capture photographs in 20MP, 16MP, 12MP. 10MP. 8MP, 5MP, and 3MP resolution but in all honesty, if you have a decent memory card for capturing 4k video footage then you should be able to leave the a80 set to 20MP photographs without running into any issues. The adjustable lens can be used at 170°, 140°, 110°, and 70° angles allowing you to focus in on a specific subject or to capture ultra-wide-angle photographs. This allows you to capture all of the epic landscapes that you be see while you are out doing your action sport of choice in all their glory without issue with the camera’s field of view.
The Apeman a80 also offers a four times digital zoom that performs surprisingly well for the cameras price tag and the fact that it is a few years old now. When zoomed in there is some slight color aberration with slight distortion but considering how cheap the action camera actually is, it performs very well.
Moving onto the maximum battery life of the a80 and this is probably the only real weak ara of the camera but like we said earlier in the article, this is to be expected, especially when capturing 4k video due to the camera having to waste power to digitally upscale the footage. You can expect around two hours of battery at 1080p and around an hour when recording 4k footage. If you want more battery life per charge for your action camera then the Apeman Trawo it the obvious option or you can look to adding a decent USB power bank to your collection too.
Apeman has also added a number of popular camera modes to the a80 as standard too. These include loop recording, car mode, diving mode, timer delay, and timelapse. The timelapse mode can be set to intervals of 100ms, 200ms, 500ms, 1Sec, 5 Sec while the time delay for selfies can be set to two seconds, five seconds, and ten seconds. Although motion detection is also officially supported, it is a little buggy but we doubt that many people will be using the motion detection mode on the camera anyway.
Although the Apeman a80 is starting to show its age and that the Apeman Trawo blows it out the water considering the price difference between the two cameras, it is easy to see how the a80 has managed to earn so many excellent independent reviews over the years since its release. It offers some solid performance for a very low price tag in a price range where many of the compeating action cameras are sub-par to say the very least.
User Interface And Control System
That said though, sensitivity can definatley drop off if your hands are cold or wet but this is a common issue amongst action cameras released back when the Apeman a80 was released. Thankfully though, Apeman has corrected this issue with the Apeman Trawo and its touchscreen technology works well even if you are involved in a water or winter-based action sport.
The navigation menu on the a80 is very easy to use allowing you to quickly and easily fly through the settings to tweak them as required to optimize the camera for the best possible video footage for your situation. That said though, Apeman has done a solid job of building the default config that the camera comes shipped with and it should be able to meet the needs of a large number of our readers without issue.
Build Quality And Design
In our opinion, this is a solid achievement for Apeman as most of the compeating action cameras worth their salt released back when the a80 was were either flimsy or just as tough while being much heavier. We tried to find some information on what Apeman have actually used for the construction of the a80 but could not find anything confirming how it is so small and light yet so tough at the same time.
As we touched on earlier, the Apeman a80 comes with a great little waterproof case that allows you to use the camera down to a depth of around one hundred meters too. On top of this, a number of third-party brands have released a number of waterproof cases for action cameras that can support cameras like the a80 down to much deeper depths if needed.
The mounting units that come with the a80 when purchased also have a solid build quality too allowing you to quickly and easily mount the camera to a large number of things. This includes a helmet, handlebars, chest straps, and pretty much anything else that you can dream up. This ensures that no matter what action sport of choice is, you can always mount your camera to capture your adventures.
That brings our ultimate Apeman a80 review to an end and just like we mentioned at the start of the article, we would highly recommend that you go with the Apeman Trawo over the Apeman a80 any day. The Trawo is almost the same price as the a80 and outperforms is in every way while also having earned a ton of excellent reviews from the community. We also have our own dedicated review of the Trawo online too as well as our ultimate guide going over what we feel are the best action cameras under $100.