Best Budget Bargain Action Camera: ELE Explorer Action Camera



Interested in a dirt-cheap action camera with usable 2.7k video footage? And even better 1080p footage? Stick with me for this latest review on a brand-new action camera, the ELE Explorer. I am a sucker for the latest action cameras, as I love to catch neat footage from fishing and hiking trips here in Southern California. The fantastic year-round weather (despite the current El Nino) offers excellent recreational opportunities and capturing this on a waterproof action camera to watch and share with others is a blast. Thus, when I was offered the chance to review a new camera, the ELE, I jumped at it! Recently, there has been a trend of cheaper and cheaper action cameras offering up to 4K video resolution (see my review of the nice EKEN H9 camera here), and the ELE is no exception. Let's take a look at it!


More after the jump

Features
I could bore you with a litany of the various features and minute specifications, but let me focus on the key ones: films at 4K (15fps, not really useful), 2.7k (30 fps, very useful and looks great), 1080p (60fps, great!), and 720p (up to 120fps, perfect for slo-mo shots). Angle of view is a slick 170 degrees, and image sensor reportedly takes up to 16mp photos (not sure if accurate). There is Burst and Time Lapse photo modes, and adjustable white balance, exposure, and more. The splash loading screen features a surfer, "Dare to Be"-somewhat silly but it looks much more appealing than some of the other generic splash screens. 

More specs from ELE:

  • Chipset Name: Aliwinner Technology V3
  • language:English, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Korean,Russian, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese
  • WIFI:Support
  • Support micro SD card (T-Flash) 64G
  • Display
  • 2" 240*320pixels PPI=200
  • Camera
  • Video Resolution
  • 4K(3840*2160)15fps, 2.7K(2688*1520)30fps, 1080P(1920 x 1080)60fps/30fps,720P(1280*720) 120fps/60fps/30fps
  • Image Resolution:
  • 16M/14M/12M/10M/8M/5M
  • Image Sensor:
  • OV CMOS
  • Battery
  • Standard battery content:1050mAh
  • Battery type: Li-ion battery
  • Charging time : about 2hours
  • Working time:1080P/About 2hours
  • USB
  • Micro USB



Performance
I tested ELE Explorer Action Camera on a variety of recent trips in the SoCal region, with both hiking and fishing. It performed admirably in all conditions, from filming in the cold, snowy slopes of Mt. Baldy (didn't notice any decrease in the battery even in the cold environment) to the urban jungle of city park pond fishing for stocker rainbow trout. Battery life was excellent, better than my Eken H9 or my Blackvue Sport. The only cons I noticed was some difficulty adjusting to sudden changes in dark/light skies (not unusual for action cameras). The WiFi app worked great on Android and allowed me to remotely control the camera with ease. 


The waterproof case is similar to the SJ4000 models, in fact the they are both compatible with each other. Default battery in the ELE is better than the SJ4000, but again they are cross-compatible. The plethora of accessories included in the smartly-packed box include all the usual mounts, all GoPro compatible, and a helpful manual. 


Sample Photos and Video
Photos are not edited








Video Review (Skip to 8:00 for sample footage)

Sharp, clear, crisp footage from what I can tell. Just don't get too close to the subject, or the limited focal length will lose some detail, as noted in the flower photo. There has been some discussion on various forums regarding if the 4K is "true" or just interpolated images. I'm not sure on this, but I can tell the 2.7K is very usable and looks great on screen. 


Summary
I have tried out many different action cameras, and the ELE Explorer is one of the most impressive sub-$100 models I have seen. The video quality is excellent, the photo quality good, menu functions easy to access, WiFi app a breeze to navigate, and overall experience extremely impressive.
There is some debate over the actual price of this action camera, currently GearBest has it for $64, although it's not clear if the waterproof case is included. If it does include the waterproof case at $64, it is simply the best quality action camera under $70 that I am aware of. Without the waterproof case, then the Xiaomi Yi must also be considered (roughly $85 with a waterproof case). Regardless, the ELE has taken the place for me as the best budget action camera I have reviewed in the last year. Check it out the full range of information on it at the ELE website, and check out GearBest (http://tinyurl.com/elecamera) as well. Keep in mind, when ordering from overseas, shipping can take quite some time. Tight lines, keep fishing, stay active and get outside! 



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10 comments

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January 11, 2016 at 8:55 PM delete

Great Review Man! I recently got and SJ4000 but this camera seems way nicer. I am gonna have to pick one up. I think I spoke with you when you where filming and you asked me when the lake had been stocked last? Thanks for sharing.

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January 13, 2016 at 9:56 AM delete

Hey Dan! That was you, with at Tri-City? I think they stocked it this week. Hope you catch a bunch!
The SJ4000 is a fine, all-around good camera. It's a little older now and there are many other models out but plenty of my videos are taken with the SJ4000.

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January 19, 2016 at 1:40 AM delete

Thank you for sharing this review of the amazing product. It is really very amazing and a very great product to carry on hunting. Thank you again for this post. Hunting in South Africa

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February 12, 2016 at 7:31 AM delete

Does this camera allow you to hook in an external microphone?

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February 12, 2016 at 7:32 AM delete

Does this camera allow you to hook in an external microphone?

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February 12, 2016 at 8:45 PM delete

Hi Craig,
It only has a HDMI output, MicroSD slot, and USB slot, nothing else. So probably not

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March 20, 2016 at 3:19 AM delete

I THINK you can plug a mic in the USB port, but then you can´t use the waterproof case, though...

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April 10, 2016 at 7:39 PM delete

Incredibly enough there are apps which can be quite helpful to the enthusiastic hunter. After all in todays tech world, you can do almost anything you can think of today using your mobile device. And if you can use the benefits of that, why not? One may wonder what makes an app one of the best possible, among the hundreds and thousands of such hunting apps. See more http://survival-mastery.com/skills/scouting/best-hunting-apps.html

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May 7, 2016 at 5:44 AM delete

Really i appreciate the effort you made to share the knowledge.The topic here i found was really effective to the topic which i was researching for a long time action video camera reviews

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October 2, 2016 at 5:39 AM delete

Best camera brand
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Be nice.