Eken H9 – a good cheap action camera

We all love action cameras – they allow us to show our friends our epic line (or epic beater) on the river. However, gopro’s etc are very expensive. If you lose or damage one on the river, it really hurts. In my opinion, they are worth it for how good their image quality is, but there are times when you just don’t want to risk it.

These days, there are a lot of cheap alternatives out there. However, a lot of them promise the world but deliver nothing. They use methods to advertise they can do things like record in 4k that destroy the quality of your recordings. Most cheap action cameras are garbage. We’ve had a good sift through the garbage though, and think we’ve found a hidden gem: the Eken H9.

It doesn’t promise the world, but what it does do it does well considering its crazy cheap price. The only big issue is that it cannot really do 4k, but very few people need that capability. Read on for a full review, or you can pick up a camera for $60 from our store. Buying it through us allows us to run more awesome things like the recent video competition, and helps with the upkeep of the site and for purchasing merch for you guys like stickers etc.

So why is the Eken H9 is an interesting camera?

Is it because it shoots videos in full HD at 30 or 60 fps? Is it because it comes action-packed with accessories,has a built in WiFi and a neat 2 inch LCD screen? Or is it maybe due to the fact that it can shoot 4K videos in useless 10 fps?

Eken H9 technical specification

Chipset : Sunplus 6630
Image Sensor: OV4689 CMOS
Lens : Wide Angle: 170 degree
Focus Range: 12cm~infinite
Video Stabilization
Weight : 65g (with battery)
Size : (L*W*H) 59.3*24.6*41.1(mm)
Screen Size: 2 inch, LCD (320 x 240 pixels)
Colors available : 8
Image resolutions : 4 megapixels
Video Resolutions : 4K (4096 x 2160 @ 10FPS), 2.7K (3264 x 2448 @15 FPS), 1080P (1920 x 1080 @30,60 FPS ) , 720P (1280 x 720 @60,120FPS)
Video compression format : H.264
Video format : MP4
Image format : JPEG
Memory : External MicroSD/MicroSDHC/MICROSDXC up to 64 GB (class 6-10 recommended)
Battery : 3.7V 1050mAh li-ion rechargeable battery
Power Supply: DC 4.2V 450mA
Charge Way : USB charge by PC
Video Output: HDMI
Built-in microphone/speaker (AAC)
WiFi
Android App WiFi
iOS App WiFi
Connection : USB 2.0
Timer: 2s, 3s, 5s, 10s, 20s, 30s, 60s
Burst shooting: 3 photos in 1.5 seconds
Time Lapse 2/3/5/10/20/30/60s

The camera uses the same OV4689 image sensor as three times more expensive SJ4000+ and M10+ cameras, but has a different, unknown Sunplus 6630 processing chip.

Image quality

H9 can shoot videos in these resolutions, fps and bit rates.

  • 4K (3840 x 2160) – 10 fps (bit rate 49445kbps)
  • 2.7 K (2701 x 1524) – 15 fps (bit rate 49401 kbps)
  • 1080p (1920 x 1080) – 60 fps (bit rate 23914 kbps)
  • 1080p (1920 x 1080) -30 fps (bit rate 12756kbps)
  • 720p (1280 x 720) – 120 fps (bit rate 27521 kbps)
  • 720p (1280 x 720) – 60 fps (bit rate 15562 kbps)

The 4k/2.7k options on this camera are effectively useless – 10fps and 15fps video cannot be used for anything useful.

Resolutions you will probably use the are 1920 x 1080 (FULL HD) at 60 or 30 fps. If you intend to use slow motion in your video, shoot at 60 fps, as more frame rates give impression of more realistic and faster movement. 60 frames per second can be slowed down in post production and still look smooth, so if you know how to use video editing software, 60 FPS is a way to go.

For some every day recording, use 30 FPS, as it consumes less memory and battery.

Colors that the image sensor produces are okay for the price, but in some cases it appeared to me that that images looked over-saturated over-sharpened. Colors depend a lot on the light condition and position of the camera. Still, images are decently sharp for 4 megapixels senor and camera focus seems to be set up quite well, so even in distance objects are visible.

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