If you're looking for a good FHD camera to capture your rides then the Kitvision Escape 4KW is one. It's a good all-rounder with a sharp 1080p picture and a decent battery life. The 4K/2K options don't really add much to the deal, and the WiFi is okay but hampered a bit by the Kitvision app, which isn't that great. Overall it's decent: if you mostly want to capture sharp FHD footage in a range of conditions it works well for that.
Anyone familiar with looking at action cams will be right at home with the 4KW. It's a pretty standard design: landscape box with a lens in the front and an LCD display on the back, with some buttons and some ports to finish things off. It takes a standard Micro SD card and you can drag files off via the USB port, or play video from the HDMI port.
The box includes a bunch of useful stuff: there's a waterproof case that's good to 30m, flat and curved surface mounts with sticky pads, a standard tripod thread adaptor, a handlebar mount and some straps for attaching to anything that isn't covered by the other bits. The Kitvision uses the same mount standard as GoPro and pretty much everyone else, so mounts should be interchangeable. The only thing you need to get going is an SD card, as that's not included.
Kitvision claims that the 1050mAh battery is good for up to 90 minutes of recording time. I didn't get that much out of the 4KW; the most I managed was about an hour. That's not bad considering the capacity of the battery and the fact that the camera is running an LCD screen too, and on longer rides or weekend excursions it was easy and quick to charge the camera up from an external battery.
The LCD makes framing stuff nice and simple; it turns off after a time when you're recording to extend the battery life, which is a good idea so long as you remember that the camera is recording. When the camera is recording but has shut down the screen it takes one press of the record button to wake it up, and another to stop recording.
The picture from the 170-degree wide angle lens is good. You can select a narrower view, but that's just using a crop of the sensor so it's best to record wide angle and crop in if you need to. I spent most of my time with the camera recording in 1080/60fps, as that was the most versatile setting. The 4K and 2K resolutions are upscaled, so you're not getting any more information from the sensor, and they're a lower frame rate so you can't slow the footage down. If you really want native 4K footage then this isn't the camera for you, and if you want to put footage from this camera into a 4K edit then you're better off upscaling in Premiere or whatever you use to put your vids together.
The picture from the camera is good. Here's a video I shot exclusively on the 4KW, hand held and using a selfie stick:
The 4KW is best in bright sunlight, but then most action cameras are. The early morning and evening footage is obviously less sharp, especially when riding, but it's still pretty good, and the lens has a good depth of focus. The lens is good enough to cope with shooting directly into the sun (though it's not quite as good as the GoPro Session we also use a lot in the office) and when in the waterproof case you still get a sharp image, although you don't get any usable sound. That's par for the course, though.
The sound on the camera is okay when you're not moving or anywhere windy; once there's air moving over the microphone you tend to get a lot of noise. That's really no different to most other action cams I've tried.
Still photography from the Kitvision is okay, and there's a range of burst mode, self timer and time lapse options available. The 4KW doesn't have a separate stills shutter button, so you need to select still photography from the menu system and you can't take stills while you're recording video, so it's not quite as versatile as some other cameras when it comes to getting both stills and action. Set up to capture stills, however, it works fine.
The 4KW has WiFi capability and will sync to your smartphone using Kitvision's eZ iCam app. You can use your phone as a remote viewer to set up a shot of yourself zooming past on your bike, or capture photos remotely using your phone as a trigger. The app also gives you access to the files on the device so you can play them, or delete them to free up space. You can download them to your phone too.
Of all the parts of the Kitvision system, the app is probably the most underwhelming. The app feels clunky and the WiFi connection between the app and the camera (I was using a Sony Xperia Z5 compact) is finnicky to set up and easy to lose, with the remote view options having quite a lot of lag. The app was usable, but it's not on a par with GoPro's app, and that's not even really that good. I used the features of the app to convince myself that you could, but I didn't really touch it much after that. If WiFi is top of your list of demands for your action camera, this isn't top of the pile.
Overall the Kitvision 4KW is decent, and the 1080 footage from the camera is good. The bits of functionality that make up the name – 4K resolution, and W for WiFi – are really the bits that I ended up not using, although the WiFi could be made more useful with a better app.
Good quality action camera that gives good full HD footage, though WiFi and 4K feel like add-ons
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Kitvision Escape 4KW
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Kitvision has this info on its website:
4K UHD VIDEO
Enjoy high detail with 4K video recording and a super smooth playback with a 1080p 60 frames per second mode. The Escape 4KW Action Camera can also take 12 megapixel photos in a variety of modes including a fantastic time lapse mode.
With built-in W-Fi, you can wirelessly control, view and share your photos and videos with your smartphone and tablets without needing to plug your action camera in to a computer.
The Escape 4KW has a high resolution 2 inch LCD display showing you exactly what you are about to capture, and allows you to look back at your images and videos.
MOUNTS AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
All the Escape cameras come with a range of accessories as standard, allowing you to be ready for anything , including a 30 M waterproof case, bicycle mount, helmet mount, and adhesive mounts.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Kitvision lists these specifications:
Upscaled 4K Video recording @ 25fps / Upscaled 2.7K @ 15fps
1080P Video recording @ 60fps / 1080P @ 30fps
12MP Photo Mode / Timed / Burst / Time Lapse
Built in Wi-Fi (*App required for remote view/control)
Built-in 2in LCD display
170o Ultra wide angle lens
30 m waterproof case
Micro SD / micro SDHC (class 10) between 16 – 32 GB recommended (not included)
High-capacity 1050mAh rechargeable battery: Around 90 minutes recording
Built-in high quality microphone
Image 180o turnover recording
Weight: 61 g
Kitvision Escape 4KW Action Camera
Camera accessories: 30 m waterproof case, 2 x 3M adhesive pads, 2 x mount clips, 90 degree adaptor, bicycle mount, helmet straps
Micro USB cable for battery charging and file transfer
Camera good, app less so.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Pretty well, good picture and mounting options. App not great.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Easy to use, decent battery life.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your score
It's a good camera, overall. The 4K is upscaled and at 25fps isn't as useful as the 60fps 1080 footage, but the full HD picture is good and the camera is easy enough to use. The app isn't that special though.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.