Kogan’s Full HD Action Camera isn’t quite as good as the bigger brand alternatives, but it’s still good value for money.
Kogan Full HD Action Camera: On the plus side
Kogan’s value proposition for its own-branded gear has never really altered. Take an existing product — I’ve seen everything from televisions to vacuum cleaners — and provide a cheaper alternative. Why should action cameras — those tiny little robust numbers beloved by the action sports community — be any different?
The naked Kogan Full HD Action Camera certainly doesn’t look complicated, and in truth, it isn’t. Large friendly buttons at the top control still or video shooting, while other menu functions allow you to switch shooting quality, flip the screen and activate other features such as motion sensing. You could conceivably use the Kogan Full HD Action Camera as a security camera, although it is a little bit obvious and a little bit easy to disable if spotted.
Kogan sells the Kogan Full HD Action Camera in two variants; the Silver Edition scores you just the camera and waterproof case, while the Black Edition comes with extra mounting accessories, including a a bike mount and a helmet mount. The price difference between the two is pretty negligible, and it’s unlikely that many third party accessories would fit the Kogan Full HD Action Camera, so it would be wise to opt for the Black model. Naturally, Kogan does sell accessories, all curiously for the same exact price point.
The one thing you don’t get on board the camera is any storage to speak of. The Kogan Full HD Action Camera uses microSD cards slotted into the side of the camera. Once you’ve given it some memory, you can get shooting. It has a 12 megapixel sensor and can shoot stills up to full resolution and video at 30fps in 1080p and 30 or 60fps in 720P.
You use an action camera for one reason, and that’s to shoot action scenes. For this, the Kogan Full HD Action Camera is surprisingly robust. It won’t do the full fancy set of features that you’d see on the latest GoPro or Contour models — so no super-slick 120fps or 4K features to be found — but the quality of what it offers is arguably a bit better than its price point might suggest.
Kogan Full HD Action Camera: On the minus side
Not everything is perfect and wonderful, however — or in other words, you can’t get something for nothing. The supplied accessories all work around a single locking mechanism built into the waterproof case, and that’s because the Kogan Full HD Action Camera doesn’t come with a standard tripod screw at all. It’s a curious omission that ties you into using the supplied accessories, and they’re a bit on the cheap side.
As an example, the supplied dash mount has a very large suction cup on it, but this is less than optimal on the curved section of many windscreens. It’s adjustable, but the adjustment arm is stiff and it will take a little work to get a really suitable angle sorted out.
The microSD card slot is likewise a little rough and ready; adequate for the task at hand but with a rather weak eject mechanism. The waterproof case works, but the buttons sometimes take a couple of heavy taps to register. It’s the price you pay for not paying a particularly high price.
Kogan Full HD Action Camera: Pricing
The pricing, as with so many of Kogan’s products, is where the value lies. The base Silver Edition model (which still appears to actually be black) sells for $119, while the Black model is $139. That’s quite a bit cheaper than even the entry level of competitor name brand action cameras.
Kogan Full HD Action Camera: Fat Duck verdict
I often wonder how much of a heavy workout most action cameras actually get. If you’re a keen extreme sportsperson, for example, I suspect the Kogan Full HD Action Camera’s shortcomings would make it a less appealing option than one of the big names in this field — but how big a market is that?
If you’re just keen on an action camera for very intermittent bits of biking, ski-ing, parachute jumping, 4 wheeling or whatever, it’s a fine option. It won’t do everything that the full-fat cameras will do, but for the asking price, it’s excellent value.