Apeman, a very popular brand especially among Amazon buyers, launched an Indiegogo campaign for their latest action camera: Apeman TRAWO. I already received a copy to test it and I’m very curious about this camera, especially its lens. Whereas most action cameras use a f/2.8 aperture lens (including GoPro Hero6, YI 4K+,…), only a few offer a slightly lower f-number (f/2.5 – SJCAM SJ7 Star, Thieye T5). A lower f-number denotes a greater aperture opening which allows more light to reach the image sensor. Therefore the camera enhances depth of field and performs better in low light situations. Dashboard cameras often use f/2.0 lenses. Now Apeman TRAWO offers f/1.8 and I haven’t seen such a low f-number in an action cam before, that’s why I wanted to test it:

I’m currently doing a Giveaway where you can WIN an Apeman TRAWO – more info in the video:

 

Apeman TRAWO – Video Review

 

Apeman TRAWO Specs

Let’s start of with the other specs first, demo photos and videos can be found at the bottom of this article.

Image Sensor
Apeman TRAWO holds a 16 MP Panasonic MA34120 sensor, the same sensor is also used in SJCAM SJ6 legend.

Chipset
Hisilicon Hi3559 processor is used, the same brand is also used in YI Lite Action Camera, but an inferior model. Many new action cameras will feature this chipset that seems to be very powerful.

Lens
As already mentioned in the intro, Apeman TRAWO offers a f/1.8 aperture lens with 7 layers of glass, UV protection film and an IR filter.

Resolutions & Frame Rates

  • 4K – 3840 x 2160 – max. 30fps
  • 2.7K – 2704 x 1520 – max. 30fps
  • 1440p – 1920 x 1440 – max. 60fps
  • 1080p – 1920 x 1080 – max. 60fps
  • 720p – 1260 x 720 – max. 120fps

Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS)
Stabilisation is offered in all available resolutions, including 4k!

Recording Format
Many action cameras switched to Hisilicon chipset as it allows .h265 recording. Apeman TRAWO basically could do it but in favour of compatibility with players .h264 is currently set. You can get firmware for .h265 codec from Apeman.

Photo Resolution
Native photo is linked to the effective pixel size of the sensor, therefor Apeman TRAWO offers 16 MP sized photos, very good value. RAW photos are not supported.

Connectivity & Ports:
Apeman TRAWO offer a micro USB port, there the use of an external microphone is not possible. Apeman confirmed that AV out will be available. Furthermore the camera offers micro HDMI for digital video output.
TRAWO offers wifi to connect with a smartphone to remote control the camera or download photos and videos to your phone. Therefore you need YUTUPRO app, which is available for iOS and Android.

Display
On the backside you’ll find a 2″ live view display, but it is not a touch screen. Based on the included underwater case it seems the camera was designed for in case use, where most touchscreen action cameras struggle with menu navigation as buttons are missing. TRAWO is equipped with two buttons on the side for menu navigation and the case design works very well.

Apeman TRAWO - inside underwater case

Apeman TRAWO – inside underwater case

 

Battery
Apeman TRAWO offers a 1350 mAh battery that should last for a general runtime of 90 min. Continuous 4K recording for about 50 min.

Apeman TRAWO - 1350 mAh Battery

Apeman TRAWO – 1350 mAh Battery

 

Accessories
The camera comes with a great set of accessories including: 30m underwater case, vented back door, quick mount, adhesive mount (flat & curved), 360° rotatable clip mount, handle bar mount, tripod mounts, straps, adapters, cleaning cloth and micro USB cable.

Apeman TRAWO included accessories

Apeman TRAWO included accessories

 

Body, Buttons and Ports

Apeman TRAWO - Front- & Backside

Apeman TRAWO – Front- & Backside

On the top of the camera there are two buttons: Power / Mode-switch button as well as the shutter button, which also acts as select button in the camera’s menu. Next to the shutter button there is a LED indicating recording, which is also visible from the front.

On one side you’ll find up and down button to navigate the menu. The “up” button also switches on / off wifi when in a camera menu. You can remote control the cam with an iOS or Android apps that connects via wifi.

On the other side, there’s a door which covers microUSB and micro HDMI port as well as the micro SD card slot. Be aware that microUSB doesn’t support audio input so you can’t use an external microphone via this port.

 

Functions & Settings

When powering up the camera it will start in video mode. A small icon on the top left side of the screen will show you the current mode you are in. By short-pressing the power button you can cycle through the modes of the camera: video mode – photo mode – photo/video library and settings. To enter the settings you need to press the shutter button which will also act as select button. You can navigate the menu by pressing the up and down buttons on the side of the camera. To exit the settings, press the power/mode button which will get you back to the video mode.

Apeman Trawo Menu Settings

Apeman Trawo Menu Settings

 

Video Resolution:
You’ve got the following options:

  • 4k – 3840 x 2160 – 30fps
  • 2,7K – 2704 x 1520 – 30fps
  • 1440p – 1920 x 1440 – 60fps
  • 1440p – 1920 x 1440 – 30fps
  • 1080p – 1920 x 1080 – 60fps
  • 1080p – 1920 x 1080 – 30fps
  • 720p – 1280 x 720 – 120fps
  • 720p – 1280 x 720 – 60fps

There is no option to select PAL mode which will give you 25fps (and a multiple of that) and also no option for 24fps.

Image Size (Photo Resolution):
The options are:

  • 20 MP (5120 x 3840)
  • 16 MP (4608 x 3456) = native resolution
  • 12 MP (4000 x 3000)
  • 5 MP (2560 x 1920)
  • 3 MP (2048 x 1536)

Time Lapse:
You can set an interval for the camera to take time lapse video:
1s/2s/5s/10s/30s/60s
This is a video time-lapse mode, so a video of your time-lapse is automatically created. There is no mode to individual photos.

Looping Recording:
The camera will record clips based on the time setting and will overwrite the earliest clip once the microSD card is full. This mode is beneficial when using TRAWO as dash camera. The available clip times are: 3 min / 5 min / 10 min / 15min

Anti-Shake:
You can switch on / off electronic image stabilization (EIS) for all resolutions and frame rates.

Lens Angle:
You can choose wide / medium / narrow field of view. Also this option is available in all resolutions, but I’m not sure if it is a zoom in or native crop.

Shooting Timer:
is basically self timer. Convenient for doing selfies without setting up the remote. The available countdown settings are: 1s / 3s / 5s / 10s.

Burst Photo:
in Burst Mode Apeman will shoot a sequence of photos. You only got the number of photos shown in the menu but without indication of the time within burst is shot. The max. setting fo 15 photos takes about 4-5 seconds.

Mic:
You can turn on/off audio recording.

Exposure Compensation:
You can select: +-2.0/+-1.5/+-1.0/+-1.0/+-0.5/0 to correct the exposure of your camera manually.

ISO:
Great that you have the option to manually control ISO with Apeman TRAWO, some action cams don’t offer this feature. Your available settings are: Auto / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600.

AWB (White Balance):
You also got the option to select pre-defined white balance settings: Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Tungsten Lamp and Fluorescent Light.

Scene:
There are some pre-defined settings available: Auto / Person / Scenery / Underwater / Defogging but I’m still not sure what this settings effect.

Rotate:
You can flip the image and menu in case you mount your camera upside down.

Light Frequency:
You can select 50Hz or 60Hz. I guess it controls the shutter to avoid flickering as the frequency in lighting is different in several countries.

Language:
There’s a huge variety of languages you can set your menu to:
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Korean & Russian.

Date & Time:
Make sure to enter the right info when using the time stamp option.

Data Stamp:
When switched on, date & time are displayed in your videos and photos.

Wi-Fi SSID
You can select wifi name and password. Standard password is 12345678.

Screen Saver:
A nice option which shuts off the display to save battery:
off, 1 min, 3 min or 5 min.

Auto Shut Off:
Another power saving option for the camera itself. You can select the time and the cam will turn off automatically when in standby:
off, 1 min, 3 min or 5 min.

Delete:
You can delete the current file (last file recorded) or all files.

Format:
To format your micro SD card.

Default Settings:
To get your camera back to factory settings.

Version:
Where your camera’s firmware version is displayed. My cam got delivered with Version V2.1.0.1-A

 

App

The app that works with Apeman TRAWO is called YUTUPro and is available for iOS and Android.

How to connect?

Turn on the camera’s wifi (up button on the side) and look for the wifi named apeman. The standard password is 12345678, but you can change those infos on the camera’s menu.

Features & Settings

With the app you can remote control the camera and change the settings. On the home screen there is a live preview of your image. On top you can see the currently selected settings. By pressing the rotary icon you can get to the settings menu.
Below the live preview there’s an icon to access the library, the shutter / recording button and an icon on the left to select the camera mode.

Apeman TRAWO - YUTUPro App

Apeman TRAWO – YUTUPro App

 

Demo

The following photo is unedited, straight out of the camera. You can click them to watch full resolution:

Apeman TRAWO Demo Photo

Apeman TRAWO Demo Photo

 

Here’s a frame grab taken from a video:

Apeman Trawo - 4K frame grab from video

Apeman Trawo – 4K frame grab from video

 

Price

You can pre-order Apeman TRAWO via their Indiegogo Campaign:

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