AMKOV AMK7000S Action Camera Review

Jul 29, 2016

The Amköv AMK7000S is a 4K capable Action Camera with Wi-Fi connectivity adopting the GoPro Hero 4 form factor with a front LCD and back color screen.






The AMK7000S is built on the Sunplus 6350M /OV4689 pair. While there's a nice 4K stamp on the box, this is really a 1080P camera, I'll come back to this shortly.

Its dimensions (59x41x21mm) are slightly different from a GoPro Hero (60x42x30mm), so it's only once inside its waterproof Tupperware box that it becomes fully compatible with the Go Pro accessories.



There's a dozen of accessories provided, including a convenient remote.



The wristband remote control comes handy when the camera is mounted on hard to reach location as long as the remote is in front of it: the optic signal must reach the sensor located on the front side, just behind the letter A of the Amköv logo.
The first press selects the mode, the second press takes the snapshot or starts filming.





The Li-iOn 1150mAh battery allows up to 2.5h of general use, and about 1.5h of recording. It takes about 3h to fully recharge.

Firmware: 
My unit came with the firmware ver. 9.12 dated from May 11 2016, so I didn't try to apply the update from Amkov web site which is v1.04 from January 2016 and has a notice: "Please do not update with this firmware if your present firmware version is not V1.XX"

The version 9.12 tends to crash easily when using the Wi-Fi connectivity. More rarely (twice in a week), it crashed also in standalone use with the green LED on the side blinking and the interface frozen. At least that was never while recording, just while fiddling with the settings. Recovery requires removing the battery.


The option menu (long press on the Wifi button to bring them on screen) offers the usual resolution selection and time lapse options. The seamless option would create separate files during recording after 1, 3 or 5 minutes (be aware that some resolutions are unavailable with that setting). There is no car DVR mode, no big deal, although its video quality would compare with some of the best dash cams.



Companion app and connectivity: 
The Wi-Fi function is activated by pressing the small button on the right side of the camera (the same button that also brings the settings menu by a long press).
It seems that a way to reduce the crashes Wi-Fi is used is to avoid mixing the use of rtsp, ftp and mobile app during a single session.

AMK-icam is the official app. It gave mixed results depending the Android version but in any case it is slow to react.  The good news is that the camera works with other apps, like ISmart DV which worked fine.

RTSP streaming is possible using the classic Sunplus url syntax. This line in VLC gives good results:
rtsp://192.168.1.1/MJPG?W=720&H=400&Q=50&BR=5000000/track1


Files can be accessed via anonymous connection on the FTP port, but not of great interest with large video files.

The micro-USB can be used for recharging, transfer files to a computer, or connect as a webcam.
The micro-HDMI allows the playback on TV. Controls are limited to Play/Pause and Stop.

Image quality: nice videos, ugly photos

The video quality is convincing in any resolution, even the 4K @ 10fps resolution could produce some nice landscape views. However any frame rate below 30 is not suitable for an action camera.
Even a faster 4K would not be practical for me anyway: the video playback can be challenging on low end computers and slow internet connections. It will also fill a 64GB card in 20 minutes (and that's in 10fps)!

My prefered resolution with this camera is 1080p@60fps, which offers a good quality/storage balance. The video below, taken on a grey Irish day does not do justice to camera as it should but it compares in quality to the best Ambarella dash cams under the same conditions.


The still camera mode is disappointing and the 20mp mode is just an extreme interpolation of the native OV4689's 4 megapixels resolution. However, even in 4mp, the pictures are not as good as they could be. The example below compare the Amkov at full resolution with a 2 mp smartphone camera shot. They are cropped as I took them from far enough to account for the lack of auto-focus in the AMK7000S. The SJ6000 did far better.




Conclusion: 
The only reason the AMK7000S is 4K capable is to justify the stamp on the box. The 10fps frame rate is too low except, maybe to record a sunset on the beach.

It remains nevertheless a real FHD 1080P action cam (as engraved on the side of the camera itself) which rocks at 1080p @ 60fps, so for the price, it's not bad at all.



The firmware v.9.12 needs polishing to unleash the real potential of this camera.

As long as you buy it for what it is -a good 1080P action cam- the AMK7000S sold by Gearbest from 56.56€/63.99$ (coupon "AMK7000S") is a good deal.

Strong points:
● Good video quality at 1080P/60fps and good audio, 
● Works as a PC webcam.
● Wristband remote
● Replaceable Li-iOn 1150mAh battery

Weak points:
● Crashes sometimes, in particular in WiFi mode.
● Mediocre still picture quality
● Low light mode unconvincing





Special thanks to David @ GearBest for providing this sample.

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