The H8R action camera stands out amongst so many other budget offerings. It might be cheap but its specifications out strip models that are twice the price. Here’s a quick look at what’s good and bad about the H8R action camera:
Good points about the H8R Action Camera
The design is similar to the GoPro range of cameras, and this means that it is fully compatible with almost all GoPro mounts and accessories.
The simple three button operation means that navigating settings and using the camera in the field is quick and easy. The waterproof housing features decent sized buttons that connect perfectly with the buttons of the camera.
As housings go the round lens design helps to avoid any signs of vignetting in the footage, and the flat design also meant that when the lens got dirty it was easy to quickly wipe clean.
Sealing the case uses the single lever design and again this design makes it quick and easy to pop the camera out to change cards and the battery if needed.
The LCD screen is clear and bright and enables the easy navigation of screens and settings. If you connect to the app which is quick and straight forward to use you have access to the camera settings, although these are limited. You can also download and review footage.
Video quality at the two major settings 4K at 30fps and 1080p at 30fps is good and the footage is smooth when played back even at 4K. The image is bright and there’s a good level of contrast. Distortion is of cause pronounced inline with the style of these cameras.
The waterproof housing does the job but you do need to be careful when closing, especially if you’re going to be entering the water. It’s all too easy for the lever lock to not sit perfectly into the case.
As apps go the amount of settings adjustments are a little limited and there’s no way to stream footage directly from the camera to a mobile device. Instead all footage must be downloaded and then reviewed and edited.
In low light conditions you can really start to see the quality of the footage suffer and shadow detail is quickly lost completely. Although the exposure does update as you move from light to shade it is noticeably slower than some other cameras.
H8R action camera overall verdict
The H8R is a great action camera, it’s easy to use, doesn’t have overly complex button layouts and menu systems. The rear LCD is a good asset especially for those just getting into action cameras. At this price point the waterproof housing is of a good design with the single action lever lock, flat lens and large precise buttons. The only failing is you do need to be careful when closing the lock to make sure that is is properly locked and not slightly askew.
Video quality is really in the mid range when compared with the GoPro Hero 4 Black, showing in bright conditions it captures plenty of vibrant colour and a good amount detail, although the contrast is always high giving the footage a punchy pleasing look. Motion at all frame rates looks good and smooth. As the light dips the image suffers from a lack of detail and contrast increases dramatically.
The H8R is a good choice with plenty of options if you’re just getting started, the huge amount of accessories that comes with the camera is a definite benefit, as you can get started with only the addition of a MicroSD card . After a while the video quality might start to bug you, but if you only have the H8R to compare then you probably won’t notice as that quality is sufficiently good and you will be perfectly happy with your purchase.
Colour is bright and vibrant in sunny conditions. This static shot shows the usual action camera distortion.
The H8R performs well underwater, you just need to make sure that the lever lock is correctly closed.
In low light conditions the H8R shows it’s limitations with shadow detail being lost.