Apeman TRAWO Action Cam Review

Apeman TRAWO review

The Apeman TRAWO is a new action camera that’s one of many alternatives to the market leader GoPro. At just £119/$119 for the camera, two batteries and a number of accessories, can the amazing price point and and the package as a whole provide a realistic alternative to the many action cameras that are now available?

Apeman TRAWO features

The Apeman TRAWO on paper is an impressive camera offering up to 4K video, 20MP stills, image stabilisation, WiFi, waterproof to 40m and incorporating a Sony image sensor. Put that next to the great price and what you get is an extremely enticing offering from Apeman. The three main shooting modes are video, time-lapse and stills – exactly what you’d expect from this type of camera.

When you open the packaging of the The Apeman TRAWO you quickly find that the package belies the low overall cost of the camera. The packaging alone is more in-line with what you’d expect from a premium product. Plus you get a range of attachments included which means you can begin shooting in a variety of situations straight out of the box (see the bottom of the page for a full accessory list).

TRAWO image stabilisation example

In the video above the image stabilisation was tested by running on a beach with and without the stabilsation turned on to show a direct comparison.The movement produced while running was extreme, so you’ll see rolling shutter in both the unstabilised and stabilised footage. This has nothing to do with the camera itself and is a phenomenon that would occur in this situation using any camera with an electronic shutter. The result of the image stabilisation is impressive, but when using this feature the image appears to be less wide than without.

TRAWO Time-lapse example (Auto ISO)

The Apeman TRAWO features a 4K time-lapse mode that allows you to effortlessly capture time-lapse video with control over the frequency of shots. The time-lapse is output as a video so no additional software or processing is required to enjoy the results. The examples in the video above were all shot with ISO set to Auto to see how the camera performed in a range of conditions. In most situations, however, ISO 100 would be the best setting to use when the camera is mounted on a tripod.

Apeman TRAWO handling

The great thing about the Apeman TRAWO is that it’s incredibly easy to use and the colour LCD screen on the back makes viewing images and settings a breeze. While its not touchscreen, buttons on the side of the camera allow you to scroll through the menu.

In terms of the menu, all settings are grouped together which means finding some of the commonly used camera settings such as ISO, shooting mode, white balance, exposure compensation and scene mode are mixed up with less frequently accessed settings.

Splitting the menu into two parts; one for camera settings and one for shooting settings would make navigation quicker and easier, although the way it’s laid out certainly isn’t the end of the world.

Build quality is good for the price and the camera resemebles a GoPro Hero 4 with its waterproof case. With the case on, the camera sound recording when shooting video is completely pointless as with any action camera of this design. For improved sound you have  to shoot with the camera out of the case.

Another problem with the case is when shooting stills, not video, is that there’s a small amount of vignetting in the top lefthand corner of the frame. Shooting with the camera out of the case removes this problem, but may not be something you’d want to do every time you take a shot.

Camera used out of case for stills

Apeman TRAWO waterproof case vignetting

Camera used in case for stills

Apeman TRAWO case vignette

Apeman TRAWO image quality

Apeman TRAWO image quality

Image quality is actually pretty good in the video and time-lapse modes, and while not quite up to the standard of GoPro, it’s not too far off and would be more than sufficient for most users. Where the Apeman TRAWO falls down, however, is with stills. Even when shooting at the lowest ISO setting of 100, images are ‘waxy’ or ‘painterly’ looking with fine details diminished by the in-camera processing of the JPEGS.

At the edges of the frame chromatic aberration becomes noticeable, which is typical of many ultra wide-angle action cameras but is certainly more noticable than with more expensive cameras.

Verdict

The Apeman TRAWO comes in at a fantastically competitive price and offers the features and functionality you’d expect from this type of camera. In terms of image quality the TRAWO is best when it comes to video and time-lapse, although with stills even shooting at ISO 100 produces ‘waxy’ looking  results. If you’re looking for an action camera that will be primarily used for video then the Apeman TRAWO is a great low budget option, but if shooting stills is important to you, you may be better off with a different camera. Overall, the TRAWO is highly attractive thanks to features, functionality, design and of course cost, but is unfortunately let down by its JPEG quality.

To find out more and to purchase the Apeman TRAWO follow the link below:

 

Specifications:

  • Liquid Crystal Display (LCD): 2.0LTPS
  • Lens: adjustable HD wide-angle
  • Language: English/German/French/Spanish/Italian/Portuguese/Traditional Chinese/Simplified Chinese/ Japanese/Russian
  • Video Resolution: 4K 30fps; 2k 30fps; 1080P 60fps; 720P 120fps;
  • Compress Format: H.264
  • Image Resolution: 20MP; 16MP; 12MP; 10MP; 8MP; 5MP; 3MP;VGA
  • Storage: micro SD up to 128GB
  • Shooting Mode: Single Shot / Self-timer (2S / 5s / 10s / Double)
  • Loop recording: Support
  • Time-lapse Record: 1s / 2s / 5s / 10s / 30s/60s
  • Frequency: 50Hz/60Hz
  • Interface: micro USB 2.0, micro HDMI
  • Battery Capacity: 3.7V Li-ion Battery 1350 mAh (Two Batteries Included )
  • Recording Time: 1080P/ About 180 minutes 4K/ About 60 minutes
  • Charging Time: About 3 hours

What’s in the box:

  • 1x APEMAN TRAWO Sport Action Camera
  • 2x Batteries (1350mAh)
  • 1x Waterproof Case
  • 1x Non Waterproof Case Cover
  • 1x Bicycle Stand
  • 3x Switch Supports
  • 1x Clip
  • 2x Bases
  • 1x Connector
  • 2x 3M Adhesive Tapes
  • 4x Bandages
  • 1x USB cable
  • 1x String
  • 1x User Manual

For more information visit the Apeman website http://www.apemans.com/html/z2.html

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