When it comes to affordable electronics, CDR King has become the go-to for most budget-minded Pinoys. The unassuming electronics store sells everything from blank CDs and mice all the way up to electric scooters, or Eco-Bikes as they like to call them. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that CDR King has decided to jump into the Action Camera trend, offering a couple of models of their own.
I was fortunate enough to have been given a review unit that I can play with. The CAM-RE006-SL is smaller than the SJ400 knock-off that CDR King also sells and even one-ups it by offering capacitive menu controls. On paper, the CAM-RE006-SL should offer comparable performance, delivering Full HD video captured by a wide angle lens that allows more of the scene into any shot. But how does it really fare? Find out in my full review of the CDR King Action Camera.
Build Quality and Design
Physically, the CAM-RE006-SL differs from CDR King’s other Action Camera offering, the CAM-RE005-M in that it’s slightly smaller and features a textured plastic surface. On the front, you’ll find that the lens, CD-R King branding and an indicator light.
On one side of the camera, you’ll find the micro USB port, mini HDMI port, and micro SD slot.
The other side features a microphone pinhole and a screw that keeps the front shell screwed onto the back.
At the back of the camera is where you’ll find the small LCD display, as well as the capacitive navigation controls. Unfortunately, the back is very scratch-prone, which is ironic considering it’s a surface meant for touch controls.
On top is where you’ll find the power button and the larger shutter/record button.
At the bottom, you’ll find a threaded hole that allows the camera to be attached to a tripod and other mount accessories.
Of course, being an action camera, you’re supposed to at least be able to use it in the water. As such, it comes with a waterproof case that still allows you access to the power and shutter/record buttons.
However, touch controls are a no-go. That means, you’ll have to take it out of the case every time you want to fiddle with the settings before going back into the water.
The CD-R King Action Camera has 3 basic modes: image capture, video recording, and car mode. Image capture and video recording are pretty self explanatory. Car mode still records video, but it’s optimized for use as a dashboard camera for your car. Rather than shoot continuous video though, it will save everything into approximately 3 minute clips for easy management in case you want to go back and review a clip. It starts shooting video as soon as it’s powered on, which is pretty convenient. The action camera is capable of shooting anywhere from VGA (640 x 480) to 12mp resolution images. However, the sensor itself is only capable of Full HD resolution (2mp), so anything more than that is really just interpolated. Video capture is limited to 720p (30/60fps) and 1080p (30fps) recording.
The CAM-RE006-SL comes with a waterproof casing and 3 different mounts: suction mount, handlebar mount, and a flat adhesive mount. The one you’re most likely to use is the waterproof casing as it gives your camera a nice layer of protection against bumps, scratches, and being dunked in the occasional pool.
It still gives you access to basic controls, namely the shutter and power buttons.
However, once you close that quick release clasp, playing around with the settings is a no-no.
The suction mount is best for temporary yet sturdy attachment to smooth surfaces, like your car’s windshield if you plan to use the CD-King Action Camera as a dash-cam.
For a semi-permanent mounting solution, there’s the adhesive/helmet mount which you can attach to a flat surface via the included dual-sided mounting tape. You can also strap it down instead.
Finally, there’s the handlebar mount for those who want to use the action camera with their bikes and such.
While you get all of the basics when it comes to mounts, there is limited interchangeability between the accessories and you don’t get any extra pivoting arm accessories that let you play around with your mounting options. Also, the screws on the handlebar and adhesive mounts that lock the camera into place are pretty stubby. This makes it a little challenging to use them with the waterproof casing, although certainly not impossible. Still, I like that the waterproof casing is indeed waterproof. Heck, it even floats!
Image and Video Quality
While the CD-R King Action Camera’s appeal is in its low price tag, you’re getting what you pay for in terms of image and video quality. Here’s a 12mp sample down-sized to a web-friendly 620 x 465. CD-R King was actually kind enough to include a selfie stick with the review unit. However, as you can see, I didn’t actually need it as the wide angle lens would still be able to capture the entire barkada even without it.
I can’t say I like the quality though. This shot was taken mid-afternoon. The sun wasn’t overly bright and it felt like the perfect kind of lighting where almost any camera would be able to produce optimal images. However, still images from the CD-R King Action Camera are a bit on the dark side.
Now, I’m not exactly the most athletic person, nor do I like any extreme sports. So basically, I ended up using this action camera as a dashboard camera. Here’s a daytime sample in the middle of the afternoon.
It still seems a bit dark, and license plates are virtually unreadable, even when they were right in front of the camera. That’s sort of a big deal if you’re going to use this thing in the car. Let’s see if it did any better at night.
Surprisingly, there doesn’t seem to be that much of a drop-off in terms of quality at night. License plates are still unreadable though.
So Should You Buy the CD-R King Action Camera (CAM-RE006-SL)?
Although it lacks any extra pivoting arms to let you play around with your mounting options, it’s a nice touch that the CD-R King CAM-RE006-SL Action Camera already comes with all the basic mounts. Just install them where needed and simply transfer the camera between them. Image and video quality could have been better though, but certainly not a deal-breaker at the low, low price of just Php3,380. Add a Bluetooth selfie stick and you’ll be capturing some impressive wide angle shots your smartphone camera won’t be capable of.