Since GoPro released their first action cameras, many other brands have tried to take on this market and offer alternatives. One of them is called Aukey, and they designed the AC-LC2 to be a very affordable yet still capable action piece of equipment. It can shoot in 4K at 25 fps, can produce time-lapses, and even has a Wi-Fi connection. I’ve had one for a little while and wanted to share with you why having one in your bag might be fantastic, but also why it may probably not replace a higher-end action camera.
The overall look is notably similar to previous versions of a GoPro. The only significant difference is the lack of a screen on the front of the camera, next to the lens. When looking closely at the camera, I then started noticing a few details that I believe it wouldn’t be water resistant or shock resistant at all unless used in its waterproof case.
The micro SD card is accessible directly and not protected by a flap, while the battery is protected by a plastic cover that isn’t attached to the camera. Those two details were very deceiving to me. It’s easy to press on the side of the camera and press on the card at the same time, which would potentially ruin a shot if it happened while filming. Regarding the battery, if you put your camera in the bag without a case, in some cases, the flap will go away, and the battery fall.
Other than that, the camera is small, very portable, and looks great. It has a one micro USB 2.0 port to charge the batteries, and an HDOUT port as well. The interface is straightforward with no more than four buttons: on/off, OK, up, and down. A quick read of the user guide might be necessary to learn how to access all of the features, but overall, it’s not complicated to use.
The Aukey AC-LC2 features are like its design: straight to the point. It offers four different modes. The first one is video and can shoot in 4K @ 25 fps, 2.7K @ 30 fps, 1080p @ 60 fps, 1080p @ 30 fps, 720p @ 120 fps, and 720p @60 fps. When comparing it with the cheapest GoPro, the HERO Session, the specs are slightly better as it can shoot 4K and can do 120 fps in 720p. The second mode allows you to shoot pictures in a resolution up to 12 megapixels. The resolution can be adjusted to shoot 8MP, 5MP, and 4MP images as well. The third and fourth modes are made to capture pictures too, but one will take bursts, and the other either delay the capture or shoot time-lapses.
The settings of all these modes are elementary. You need to cycle through them to access the camera settings, and from there you’ll see all the options available. You’ll be able to adjust shutter speeds, ISO, or advanced settings. The Aukey AC-LC2 is, again, straight to the point. It’s possible to modify the video resolution, enable video looping, add a time stamp on your images by default, compensate the exposure, change the photo resolution, set the number of pictures taken in a burst, set the delay of capture in time-lapse mode, enable continuous time-lapse, and finally change the power frequency. The rest of the options are less critical regarding the image quality and what the camera is possible (language, date, format, etc.).
One option that is also available with the Aukey AC-LC2 is Wi-Fi. You can install a free app on your iOS or Android device and monitor your videos and pictures from there. It even allows you to control most of the settings more conveniently than with the camera menus.
Using It in the Real World
When I received the Aukey AC-LC2, I was very excited because it comes with tons of accessories, the specs are quite nice compared to the GoPro HERO Session. When using it to capture behind-the-scenes footage of my shoot, or create mini-vlogs for my social networks, it was fantastic, because it’s easy to use, doesn’t take much space, and it’s incredibly discreet.
However, when I started looking at the footage, I quickly realized it wasn’t producing the image quality I thought it would. In situations where I would need other cameras to be set at ISO 800 and above, the footage it created was very noisy. When there is a bit of sun, the flare is quite noticeable and the images and videos become unusable.
One other thing that I found myself lacking when compared to something like the recent GoPros is the choice between linear and wild field of view. I wanted to use the Aukey mostly to film behind the scenes videos of my photo shoots, but the lens is such a wide angle, even when shooting beauty close-ups it looks as if I were placed 10-15 feet from my model.
Obviously, it’s possible to correct the distortion and improve the shot. But then you better shoot in 4K and downsize to 1080p. So if you plan on buying the Aukey thinking it has better specs than the GoPro Session because it shoots 4K, unless you want to shoot in very wide angle mode all the time, it’s perhaps not the best decision. The reason that could make you buy the Aukey instead of a GoPro, Sony, or other higher-end cameras: the price.
The Aukey may not have the best image quality out there, it may not be the most robust camera, and it’s probably not the one with the most features available either. However, one thing for sure, if you use it to shoot risky sequences, you won’t mind if it breaks. It only costs $69.99! That’s about half the price of a GoPro HERO Session. So if the price is an indicator of quality, obviously it cannot rival. But if you need multiple cameras and are on a budget, this might be a good alternative as long as you shoot in a well-lit environment.
The AC-LC2 is indeed cheap, but it’s even less expensive when you take into account all the accessories that it comes with. Few cameras are delivered with two batteries, a remote control, a waterproof case with replacement parts, as well as a couple of mounts to film anything anywhere.
What I Liked
- Two batteries included and tons of accessories.
- Extremely affordable.
- iOS and Android app.
- Easy to use.
- Waterproof case.
What Could Be Improved
- Image quality. Too much contrast and sharpening, with no option to change it.
- Field of view choice.
- Robustness of the camera without the waterproof case.
- No image stabilization.
The Aukey AC-LC2 is a cheap and light action camera that's easy to use and comes with lots of accessories. I wish its image quality would be slightly better and that the camera settings would be more advanced, but for the price, it's hard to complain. You could buy two of these instead of a GoPro HERO Session. But the question you should ask yourself before getting one would probably be if you put more focus on image quality and features rather than on the number of cameras and how much they cost if you need to replace one. For a limited time until 12/17/2017 Aukey is offering a discount on the product if you use promo code AUSALE17.