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Kogan Action Camera 3+ Black Edition review: GoPro wannabe is value for money, but you get what you pay for

The Good The Kogan Action Cam comes with lots of accessories provided in the box, and the screw mounting system is compatible with some GoPro accessories.

The Bad You can't turn the camera on or off when in the waterproof casing, and you get what you pay for in terms of video quality.

The Bottom Line This action camera is a cheap and cheerful alternative to the more expensive GoPro models, ideal for those who want an all-in-one package with a glut of mounting options.

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7.0 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 7
  • Image quality 6

Review Sections

Kogan is back for round two in the action camera wars, attempting to tackle GoPro on both price and features.

The original model , released in 2013, was a cheap and cheerful affair no bigger than a matchbox. It certainly had its issues -- such as a fiddly battery and decidedly average still image quality -- but it scratched the itch for many buyers who just wanted an inexpensive alternative to the GoPro and Sony action cameras of this world.

This time around, Kogan is more aggressively comparing itself to the GoPro with the Action Cam 3+ Black Edition (AU$159), especially as it borrows the same naming convention as the market giant. Does this new model have what it takes to compete, especially considering the entry level GoPro Hero (AU$169) is at a very similar price point?

The 1.5-inch colour screen at the back lets you view and review the action as it happens. Lexy Savvides/CNET

Design and features

Boxy, boxy, boxy. That's the first thing you'll notice about the Kogan Action Cam when taking it out of its packaging.

Certainly, the Action Cam is not as streamlined as the GoPro alternative, even if the weight difference is minimal. The Action cam tips the scales at 88g without a case, while the "equivalent" GoPro Hero 3+ Silver is 74g without housing.

These are the accessories provided in the box. Lexy Savvides/CNET

Want accessories? The Kogan has an absolute glut of mounting options provided in the box. There's the waterproof housing, a helmet strap, handlebar mount, suction cup mount, car charger, wrist straps and a spare back plate for the waterproof housing.

The mounting system is incredibly similar to the GoPro, with a screw-based arrangement on the waterproof housing. This means it's compatible with some GoPro accessories.

Like many other action cameras, the Kogan version is not natively waterproof. Instead, the included housing can withstand depths of up to 100 metres.

Other features come thick and fast, with a built-in motion sensor on the camera that starts and stops recording automatically, a laser pointer to work out the direction the camera is pointing, and a 1.5-inch colour screen at the back of the unit. The screen detaches from the camera body if you need to access the battery.

Even though there are plenty of buttons to play with, operation is fairly simple. At the top of the camera the three buttons take care of the most important options: record, stop and still photo taking.

Buttons galore! Lexy Savvides/CNET

Connectivity is provided via mini USB and HDMI, with scope for attaching an external microphone. The Action Cam records to microSD cards and can snap 8-megapixel still images.

The biggest design fault is the positioning of the power switch, which is on the top of the camera. Once the camera is inside the housing, there's no way to turn the camera on and off without taking the whole thing out and flicking the switch. Remember to turn the power on before mounting it in the case.

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