In this article, I would like to walk you through the setups of this camera, show you its features and tests its performance. There are not many serious reviews of this particular model online, so I decided to create one and present you my experience of using it.
Update : There is a coupon which you can use to save few buck when buying AMK5000S on GearBest. Coupon code amk5000s use it now.
At first glance, AMK 5000S does not look different than any other action camera produced in China this year. However, there are some features that make it stand out from the crowd.
AMK 5000S is more advanced successor of AMK5000. The difference between the 5000S and 5000 version is that newer, S version offers 20 megapixels images and supports TV out mode, which is essential for people involved in areal photography with their RC quad-copters.
Everything else, including the design are the same. In my opinion Amkov AMK5000S brings improvement made in firmware, not the hardware, but its still better than its predecessor.
Unlike few other action cam brands from China, it is very hard to find something out about Amkov. At the moment of writing this review they do not have an official website, but I was informed they are working on one. Amkov as a brand is quite new to the market.
AMK5000s is manufacturers latest product. Camera comes in three different colors and offers full HD video recording and apparently 20 mega pixels photographs.
I got mine from GearBest which sells them for 73.99$.
Amkov AMK5000S Specifications
In the table bellow you will see a complete specs with a list of features both hardware and software that the camera has.
- 20MP CMOS F2.8 170° wide angle
- Chipset : Sunplus 6630
- Size : 5.9 x 4.1 x 2.3 cm / 2.32 x 1.61 x 0.90 inches
- Weight : 72 grams (approximate)
- 4 Operating modes
- Memory : Micro SD up to 64GB
- Video Recording
- 1080P x 30 fps (1920 x 1080)
- 720Px30,60fps (1280 x 720)
- Video Format: MP4
- Video System: PAL, NTSC
- Image Resolutions : 20M(5152*3864), 14M (4608×3072), 20M (5152 x 3864), 18M (4896 x 3672)
- Image Format : JPEG
- Battery : 1150mAh rechargable lithium
- Charging : USB via PC or AV with adapter
- Self Timer: 2/10s
- Time Lapse
- Video Output: HDMI
- Video Format: MOV
- Digital Zoom : 4x
- Language: German, Japanese, Italian, French, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, English
- Audio System: Built-in microphone/speaker (AAC)
What‘s inside the box?
The first thing I did not like about AMK5000S was immediately visible on the packing. Nowhere on the box will you see the name of the camera or a brand.
The only title on the box says : “SPORTSCAM – Excellent mate for your phone and tablet”.
What on earth does that mean? Mate? I want to know who produced the camera, not a slogan that an 8-year old could come up with!
Reasons for this may be different, I suspect that there are multiple action camera factories and brands that use these sort of boxes produced by third-party company which designs them. For many customers inability to see and identity the manufacturer of the camera causes weird feelings inside a stomach.
Box itself is pretty similar to the one that SJ4000 camera has. Even the camera that you see peeking through the plastic boxed windows does not have any mark at the front except modest 1080p sign and a WiFi icon.
Only when you open the box and turn the camera to its back, will you be able to see tiny logo AMKOV 5000 at the battery back door. Either Amkov does not like branding their products, which makes no sense or someone else is producing cameras for them and they simply add a back cover. These are just my guesses, it does not have to be like that, as I have zero proof for this.
In my opinion, if you made a camera that you are proud of, why hide your company name on the back? Display it. If you are not proudly displaying your brand, does that mean you do not want people to know you made it?
Like lots of other action cameras from China, this one also comes with a huge amount of accessories. Here is a list of everything you get :
- 1x camera
- 1x battery
- 1x manual
- 1x waterproof case
- 1x spare back door for waterproof case (this one is not waterproof, it enables you to have much better sound while camera is inside the case)
- 1x wrist band
- 1x USB cable
- 3x screws
- 1x base mount
- 2x switch supports
- 2 x buckle wire (ribbon)
- 2x adhesive 3M helmet mount base (flat and curved)
- 1x base mount curved
The camera looks identical to a GoPro Hero 3. It has 0.65inch screen on the front and a power button in the left corner. LED lights on front are tinier than the ones that Hero 3 has. Obviously the idea behind the design was to make camera identical to a GoPro.
I personally do not like when manufacturers do this. I prefer innovative designs that will distinguish camera and not make it identical to big-brand ones. On the other hand I understand the decision, because their customers expect action cameras to look like big brand one, so that they can brag that they have a 100$ GoPro 🙂
Lets now leave all the GoPro rant on the side, this is not a place to talk about their cameras. With that in mind, design of the camera is attractive. Camera is made out of plastic materials where as the top,side and bottom are rubberized. Rubber prevents scratching, which is pretty useful.
Buttons and ports
At first glance it seams that camera has too many functions and buttons. But most of these are necessary and enable you quick access to camera functions. Bellow is an illustration which shows all the buttons and ports that Amkov AMKA5000S has.
- Shutter Button – Take photos or start/stop recording a video
- WiFi – Enable/Disable WiFi
- Power/Mode Button – Turn camera on/off by holding this button. Switch between photo, video and different resolutions by quickly pressing it.
- LCD Display – Shows mode, amount of photos you can take or length of videos you can record based on your memory card. Right corner shows if memory card is inserted, left bottom corner shows battery status.
- Operation indicator (will be orange if camera is turned on)
- Charging indicator
- LED light (flash green when camera is recording)
- USB port (used for charging via PC or transferring files to your PC)
- Micro SD Slot (this is where you put a MicroSD memory card which is necessary in order to take photos and videos)
- HDMI – you can use this port to preview photos and videos directly on your tv via mini HDMI cable.
- Back door lock. – Pull it gently to open the back door. This is where the battery is located
Lens and sensor
Camera has 170 degrees, f/2.8 lens and Sunplus 6330M sensor chipset. For detailed overview of the sensor, please check photography part of this review.
Unlike many other action cameras I tested, AMK5000S has a different position of the screen. Instead of being at the back, which is where most of action cameras have it, it has a small colorless screen at front.
The main purpose of the screen is to enable switching through different modes and resolutions quicker.
Having this sort of LCD is handy, but I must say I do not like the way it works. Many times I was annoyed with having to click mode button few times just to switch resolution. Additionally since all the switching is controlled via one button, if you want to switch from photo to video, you need to click 5-6 times. The main problem is not clicking.
The main problem is that changing resolution is too easy. I was frustrated when I realized that 70% of videos I recorded on my hiking trip, hoping to have nice footage to present to you, were in very poor 720p! I was furious, and I still am. But I learned my lesson. Before recording with this camera, I always make sure the res is set to 1080p x 30fps. It would be much better if resolution changes were moved to app, because lets be honest, nobody will use inferior resolutions that often.
Besides switching resolutions and seeing battery life, screen is pretty much useless. You of course, can not preview photos/videos you have taken, you can not take a look at it while recording. Nothing.
I must say that Xiaomi had much better solution with their YI camera. For battery they have an LCD screen, and for modes switching they implemented a top led that blinks.
So my final judgement. If the camera has to have an LCD, than it should have many functions and make user slick user experience. Amkov is somewhere in between, it has a screen, but there is not much you can do with it. So it has a screen, but it does not have it, if you know what I mean.
- Photo/Video Icon – This shows the mode in which you are currently. You can switch modes by pressing mode (power on/off button) shortly. You can also change resolutions by pressing mode button.
- The countdown shows the remaining hours/minutes that camera can record with the SD card you are using. If you are in photo mode, it will show the approximate number of images you can take until your memory gets full. Pretty handy feature.
- The tiny icon in the left of the screen illustrates an SD card. If you see it, that means that the camera read the MicroSD card. Not the most necessary feature in my opinion.
- Battery icon shows how much battery you have left.
Recording video is most important aspect of a video camera. Bellow you can take a look at a my full video review and see how camera preforms. Since YouTube always compresses videos, please download raw samples to see how videos look.
Camera can take videos in 30 frames per second in full HD and HD resolutions.
- FHD 1080p 30 fps
- HD 720p 30 fps
- HD 720p 60 fps
In bellow video you can see not only image samples, but also an entire overview of this camera, if you prefer watching video to reading, you can find all info in this review of mine.
Like nearly any other action camera these days, AKM5000s allows you to take photographs. According to the official specification, camera can create images in following resolutions :
- 20M (5152 x 3864)
- 18M (4896 x 3672)
- 14M (4288 x 3216)
- 12M (4000 x 3000)
- 10M (3648 x 2736)
- 8M (3264 x 2448)
- 5M (2592 x 1944)
- 3M (2048 x 1536)
- 2M (1920 x 1080)
- VGA (640 x 480)
Even though most of the people would believe the specs, experience thought me to be very careful, especially with action cameras. Most of manufacturers interpolate resolution. Simply, this makes your photo appear as it was 5152*3864 taken with 20 megapixels. However once you closely examine, or simply zoom in the image, you will see that image will get blurry even if you zoom it to 150%.
Wait, I am getting a bit too technical. Simply, sensor determines what will is the true resolution. If your camera has a 3 megapixels sensor, that means it can not produce 20 mp photos, only 3 mp ones.
Many other cameras on the market, including SJCAM products use this very same method. In my opinion this is quite deceptive, even though most of the users will not notice that the resolution has been tweaked out in software.
Camera uses Sunplus 6330M chipset. I tried to find out more about this chip set and what is the actual maximum resolution it produced, but I was unsuccessful. Since Amkov does not have a website yet, I tried contacting the Sunplus, but at the moment of publishing this review, I still do not have a reply of an actual specification for this chipset.
However, even without that I can assume that the real resolution is somewhere between 2-5 megapixels. If you are reading this, and have some info on camera real maximum res capabilities or the Sunplus 6330M, please let me know.
One really strange thing I noticed while testing this camera is that larger resolutions reduce the field of view.
Take a look at the image bellow.
Obviously the angle is much wider on 2M 1920 x 1080 compared to 20M (5152 x 3864). After making series of photographs, I came to a conclusion that the wide angle on images can be achieved only in 2mp 1920×1080 resolution. This leads me to a logical assumption that the true resolution of these images is 2 megapixels, 1920 x 1080.
Even with all these shady things such as hiding sensor, advertising unrealistic capabilities, Amkov 5000s produces decent photos for its price. Check few of the images I created during my hiking trip few weeks ago.
Photos are taken in different environment and weather conditions.
Do not forget, this images on the site are compressed, which means their quality will not be the same when you download them from this site. That is why I uploaded some sample photos, and you can download them here. The white balance setup used here is mostly auto.
Camera obviously handles well the blue and green color on a sunny day. I really can not complain much.
For the price, images are pretty sharp, in both close up and long distance.
One thing I noticed is that occasionally cam struggles to get proper exposure, or the image brightness. It is pretty bad when there is too many light. Take a look at the sky in the final sample image.
AMK i-Cam WiFi App
Like any other action camera that supports WiFi, AMK5000S has its own app which lets you to control camera remotely within the WiFi reach. Within the app, besides taking photos and videos, you can also chose from different settings which you can only adjust inside the app, not on the camera. So the app gives you some extra capabilities.
User experience and navigation is not complicated at all, though the design of the app could have been perhaps a bit more intuitive. There are many buttons on the screen, and its looks slightly cluttered. On the other hand, its easy to get used to it.
In the right corner of the app you will see the remaining battery icon and white balance setup. On the left hand side, we have 3 icons. Those 3 icons will change their functions depending on the mode you are in – video or photo.
First one allows you to change video resolution. Second one is movie clip time or duration.Final one, is a setup tool icon, where all the remaining settings are set up. One thing that annoyed me is that in video mode, there are not many settings to change.
Speaking of modes, photo/video switch can be done by clicking on photo or video icon in the right corner of the app. Above it there are two digital zoom arrows which allow you to zoom video or photo. Central button is shutter button which triggers and stops recording or takes photos.
Video Mode options
Bellow are the functions that you can change while you are in video mode.
White balance setup
By changing a white balance, you switch the warmth and the coolness of the video. There are 5 WB options to chose from :
While most people use auto mode by default, in my tests the most natural footage came out when I used daylight or cloudy. It depends on weather conditions. Sometimes auto balance will give the best result, sometimes its best to change to daylight or cloudy. Remaining two setup, fluorescent and incandescent look dreadful. Bellow is just an illustration on how video quality changes, just by changing a simple settings – white balance (WB).
By leaving date stamp on, your videos or photos will have a date in the corner. I always try keep this off. Date stamping is available in both video and photo setup.
By formatting the camera, you will actually format the memory card. Usually this option is called format memory card. This option will erase all data from your memory card.
Reset setup option will revert all settings to factory default. It will not delete photos or videos on your memory card.
Movie Clip Time
Within this option you can chose the duration of your clip. If you chose 1 min for instance, your camera will start a recording new video after 1 minute.
- 1 min
- 5 min
- 10 min
Unless you absolutely want to have many tiny clips on your memory card, keep this option off.
Photo Mode options
In both modes, many options are similar. Bellow are the ones that do not apply for video mode. As I said, photo mode has wider choice when it comes to setup tweaks.
One option that I love seeing in an action camera is continuous shooting. When enabled this option will allow your AMK5000S to take 3 or 5 photographs once you press the shutter button. This is fantastic feature if you want to capture fast moving object. Weather if its your friend who is snowboarding or your kid playing soccer. I prefer 5 photos of course, and I wish they added additional 7 or 8 photos option.
- 3 photos
- 5 photos
Exposure will determine how dark or light your footage is. You can leave it to default 0. All of my videos and images are on default exposure. You can however manually set up adequate number by choosing any of these :
When you want to take a selfie or capture a family or a group image, self timer is great option. Once you press shutter button on top of the camera Amkov AMK5000s will delay taking an image for 2 or 10 seconds. 2 seconds should be enough for a quick selfie on a monopod and 10 seconds for the group photos when your camera is on a tripod for instance. My opinion is that manufacturer should have added few more options, such as 30 sec or 5 seconds.
- 2 seconds
- 10 seconds
There are 3 metering modes. To learn more about metering, check this great article on Wiki.
ISO value determines how sensitive your camera is to light. The lower the light, the higher the ISO value should be. Higher ISO values might grain your images in some cases. Unlike many other cameras I reviewed, Amkov A5000 certainly has the widest range of ISO values to chose from. You can use auto ISO for start, but also experiment with other values once you learn how to use other, more important options.
Bellow is just an illustration of various ISO, starting with lowest 100 to 1600.
Even though I expected color effect to be interesting setup it really does not do anything useful, at least for me. Perhaps, these settings that change color of your images are just not something that suits me, but I believe they should have done far better job if they wanted to enable users to be creative while taking photos. The only two effects I would even consider would be monochrome, which in essence is black and white photo, and sepia, which gives a vintage touch to your images.
There are 7 options to chose from. My recommendation is to keep color effect to normal, but as always you can play around, perhaps you have more imagination than I do.
I have not found any practical use when changing scenes. What this does is it adjusts sharpness and adds a bit of dark or light tone.
- Indoor scenery
- Night scenery
What makes Amkov AMK5000s different then other cameras?
One of the biggest questions I had is : Why should anyone chose this camera instead of tons of others that are available in the same price range? So here are some features that Amkov camera has over few others.
- ISO 100-1600 (most others have 100-400 ISO range)
- Smaller size
- Color effect
- Scene selection
- Bridge between LCD cameras which eats up the battery and one without LCD which are hard to navigate
- Looks like a GoPro? (I do not like this, but some people do)
As you can see, there are not many differences.
In my opinion Amkov has to step up as a brand, establish a website and customer support before everything else. They can not hide behind retailers. It looks shady, even though it might not be. Additionally they need to stop copying GoPro. People appreciate brands that innovate, brands that reduce prices and offer different solutions. Since this is their second camera, I truly hope they will learn from their mistakes.
Where to buy it? Deals, discounts and coupons
BEST DEAL>>>I got my camera from GearBest. They reduced the price at the moment. The price is around 74$.
Use coupon code AMK5000S. Get one on this link and get a discount.
Price includes free worldwide shipping, which makes it the best deal I found online.
Camera is also available on other websites such as eBay or Amazon, but the price on GearBest is the cheapest one. Also I noticed that on Amazon and eBay they sell older models, so I strongly recommend GB as a purchasing source. It might take a while longer to arrive though.
I was really excited when I first ordered this camera. Deep down inside, I was hoping it has a true 20 mega pixels photography, even though my mind told me that is not possible for the price. Besides plenty of accessories, small size, slightly longer battery life and pretty decent app there are not many things that make this camera stand out from the action camera crowd.
Good thing is that software is pretty stable, camera boots up fast, takes photos quickly and is easy to navigate. Videos are decent and images are quite sharp for a low price-tag. I have not encountered any bugs while testing it out. Manual is above the average for Chinese action camera.
Even though there are variety of options and settings to play with, not all of them are useful.
Market is harsh, market is a battle. Amkov has a mountain to climb in order to establish themselves as a brand. They are on a good way, but there are many things they can do better. They need to be Amkov and not a Cheap Go Pro look-alike. Its not how you build your business and brand.
Your questions and comments
I really hope I managed to present this camera to you and help you decide weather or not to get it. I did my best, but there is a possibility I made some mistakes. If you spot a mistake, please let me know and I will update this post as soon as I can. If you feel that I should have focused on particular feature more, let me know, and I will try to add more info.
Your questions are always welcome. Feel free to ask me anything about this camera, I would like to help you out. If you own this camera, please share your experience in the comments, it is always good to review a product from different angles.