Hi today we are review a camera that has great value at the price it is offering, the Elephone Explorer Pro.

explorer pro review

Content of Review

  • Intro
  • Camera Specs
  • What it comes with
  • Unique Features
  • Photo Mode
  • Video Mode
  • Remote Control
  • Smartphone App
  • Best Buy
  • Summary

Intro

For this brand, Mgcool, you may not be able to find this camera because this camera was made from a brand originally named as Elephone at that time. This is the elephone’s version of the explorer pro.

NEW MGCOOL Explorer Pro 4K

** Update 12/5/17: There is a new version of MGCOOL explorer pro. It is available for preorder here for $40 (Banggood & GearBest) and it has several new features, like shark lens but for half the price! ($40)

To check out my review of the new MGCOOL Explorer Pro 4K, click here!

Camera Specs

Let’s start the review with the specifications.

Image Sensor:

Sony IMX117, which is the same as the ThiEYE T5 and SJCAM SJ7Star.

You can learn more about image sensors here.

Chipset:

Novatek 96660, which is used by FireFly 6S, Explorer 1S, F68, SJ6 Legend, SJ5000X  and many other ones.

It does not support true 4K, read more about it here.

Video Res:

4K(3840*2160) – 24fps (not true 4K, it is interpolated horizontally from 2880*2160. )

2K (2560 x 1440) – 30 fps (highest native/true resolution)

1080p(1920*1080) – 60fps

720P(1280*720) – 60fps

Photo Resolution:

12MP Native/True Resolution

Waterproof:

30m (pretty standard for action cameras)

Screen Size:

2″ TFT LCD

Battery Life:

1hr 15 mins filming 1080p – 60fps

Battery can be interchanged with SJCAM SJ4000.

Connectivity:

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

What It Comes With

explorer pro accessories

1 X Waterproof Cover 1 X 3M Adhesive Tapes 1 X Cleaning Cloth
1 X Bandages 1 X Bicycle Stand 1 X Accesoory Seat (1)
1 X Acessory Seat (2) 1 X Steel Rope 1 X Ribbon
1 X Fixing Base 1 X USB Data Cable 1 X Helmet Seats
1 X Adaptor 1 X Adaptor Stand(1) 1 X Adaptor (2)
1 X Adaptor Stand (3) 1 X User Manual

It comes with many accessories, which is the basic set in my accessories post, and it is definitely enough to mount on where you need it to.

Unique Features

Able To Change Field Of View (170˚, 120,˚ 90˚)

This is a feature quite rarely seen nowadays as most cameras only offer one FOV option.

You might be thinking, isn’t the largest one the best because it can capture the most? Well, not really. Sometimes people just want to capture an object and not the surrounding.

You must know that regardless of FOV, the total number of pixels will still remain the same for all the photos, hence, when used with the narrow FOV, the object will look bigger and clearer, as compared to a wider FOV where the surrounding is included.

Therefore, the ability to change FOV might be useful for some.

Voice Broadcast

Elephone-EleCam-Explorer-Pro-4K-1080P-Full-HD-Action-Camera-2-0-12MP-Voice-Broadcasting-MiniNext up, we have something Elephone calls, voice broadcast. This is actually the first camera that I have seen with this feature and hence when I first used it or heard it, I was quite amazed.

How this works is that the camera will talk to you when it starts or stops a recording, when the camera’s battery is going to die and the SD card storage is running low.

I felt these feature is useful because most of the time in other cameras, there is not any solid indication of these things and for the SJCAM SJ4000, the only time it warns you of the battery running low is when it dies, which is quite useless in my opinion. Hence, I found this voice broadcast feature to be quite useful and cool.

Diving Mode

ele-explorer-pro-4k-action-camera-voice-broadcast-wi-fi-170-degree-wide-angle-lens-12mp-sony-sensor-5x-zoom-black-oye-teamElephone claims this diving mode to be useful when it gets too dim underwater and automatically increases the exposure to allow you to take better and brighter pictures underwater. Although I haven’t try it yet, I feel it’s a feature good for beginners because if they are going underwater or dim places, they would not have to change the settings manually.

Night Scene

For the night mode, although I haven’t tried it, I have seen other footages of users posting it and after seeing a few, I realised that it didn’t affect the footage much. Below is a comparison done by Pevly contributors.

Slow Photography

explorer pro review slow photography featureThis is quite useful if you want to take pictures in dark places. I think it is the same as the night scene, increasing the exposure duration meaning that more light will enter the lens creating a brighter and clearer image in the dark.

Photo Mode

Image Stabilization

The image stabilization on the Explorer Pro works quite well though it only works in photo mode. This anti-shake stabilization is useful for me as I usually go around taking photos by hand and whenever I press the button, there will definitely be a shake, but the camera corrects them, leading to a clear shot.

Hence, if you usually take photos by hand, not tripods or standing sticks, etc, this will be a useful feature to have.

2.4 GHz Remote Control

explorer pro bluetooth remote controlThe remote control I used worked pretty well and worked about 95% of the times I pressed. However, if you are using your phone, your phone I felt worked better as it is more reliable and you can see the live footage as well. I will tell u more in the bottom when I talk about the app.

Video Mode

Gyroscopic Stabilization

explorer-pro-gyro-stabilizationAs for the video stabilization, it uses electronic image stabilization (EIS) and after seeing a couple of raw videos comparing when EIS was turned on and off, I realised that it is much better stabilizing large motions rather than small motions (hand shaking, etc).

Lighting

The camera can handle pretty well when the lighting was changed from dim to bright vice versa. Here is an example clip of the change.

Overall Video Quality

When fumbling with the resolutions and comparing thereafter, I realised that the best resolutions which had the clearest and smoothest videos was at 2K at 30fps, regardless of whether it was used during the night, hence I would conclude this is a 2K and not a 4K camera.

Build Quality

explorer pro black mgcoolOverall, I felt that the camera was aesthetically pleasing and stylish and the buttons were easy to reach to and press. The sides of the camera felt very firm when holding and it felt it could take a considerable amount of force.

explorer-pro-battery-cover-and-battery
I realised that the battery cover on the camera is the same as the  SJCAM SJ4000, which I had to pull a trigger to unlock though I prefer one which had spring to push out the cover.

For the display of the camera, I felt that even in bright settings, I was able to see it quite clearly and the details were sharp. The control and settings on the camera were easy to read because the words were quite big and the colours on the screen were generally quite vibrant too.

Smartphone app

Explorer Pro Smartphone app

The app, called Explorer Pro (Android and IOS), which connects via Wi-Fi to your smartphone allows quite a lot of things to be done. You can switch on the Wi-Fi by simply pressing the up button on the camera.

Like other similar apps in the market, it shows you the live footage of your camera and gives u the ability to start and stop recording, change some settings like the resolutions, the exposure, format, etc.

I did not have much time to interact with the app but for me, it worked fine and connected seamlessly. However, I have read a forum about people facing problems connecting to the camera, etc and thus those kinds of things do happen.

Another thing that disappointed me was that it was not able to support anything above 2K and the highest it could do is 1080P at 60fps, FHD. Nonetheless, it is still quite good for a camera ofthis price point.

Best Buy

Below are the links where you can get the cheapest from each site.

Banggood – 89 USD

Gearbest – 95 USD

Amazon – 139 USD

**Prices may differ because there may be sales, etc, hence please check using this link before buying. **

Summary

First and foremost, I’d like to say that this is not a 4K camera and you should not buy it if you are looking for one with 4K resolution because the 4K is horizontally interpolated.  If you are looking for one with 4K, I’d recommend the ThiEYE T5, which has a slightly higher price point and I have a written a review about it here.

For the audio quality, the speaker on the camera is good enough to hear what the video is roughly about. Hence if you want to hear it clearly, play it on an external TV or computer.

As for the user control, I felt that it is quite good because you can customise a lot such as the video exposure, color, white balance, gyroscope, image stabilization, etc.

The screen is also very user-friendly, bright and words with big font, which helps especially beginners.

It also comes with many accessories, not mentioning a remote and if in the future you plan to change cameras or you already have an existing camera like an SJCAM or GoPro, you can interchangeably use the accessories however you like.

I also tried contacting the customer service in English (although I know Mandarin) and I was quite amazed because they replied after a few hours I asked, and it is, in my opinion, one of the china company in terms of customer service response.

Last thing, the reason why I did not use my own photos and videos is because I do not own it but I have I reviewed it from my friend who owns a camera shop and I am telling you because I want to be truthful to you readers.


–> To check out my other camera reviews, click here!<–

->Click here to read my guides, which has everything you need to get the most out of your camera!<-

Oh and lastly, if you have any questions or comments that you wish to discuss, PLEASE feel free to drop a comment down below. I’ll really appreciate it. Thanks!

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8 Comments

  1. This is such an awesome camera for such low price.
    Thanks for this review, it is really helping me to choose one for myself.

    I like your website, you have chosen a nice niche, your website is nicely optimized and it’s damn fast!

    Keep up the good work! 🙂

  2. Wow that tunnel video with the lighting change was super helpful. I also really appreciate the dash cam side by sides comparison. I’m a pretty novice photographer, would this be an okay camera choice for someone who just knows the basics?

    I can’t believe the quality and that it comes with all those accessories for that price! Great find!

    1. Yup this camera would definitely be good for someone who is a beginner at this. Anyways, thanks for reading and have nice day!

  3. Hello there,
    I’ve been searching for an action camera myself for my sports like kayaking or skiing. I was looking at the GoPro camera but it came off very expensive. Although, I give a lot on quality so I am wondering how does this camera compare with the GoPro? If the quality of the build and actual video is alright I would be very interested in getting this camera for myself. Looking forward to your answer.

    1. There is actually a newer version of this camera preordering at half of the retail price of the older version (this), you may want to check it out here. I will write a review on it soon once I get my hands on it.

      For now, the elecam explorer pro, build is really great is my opinion, it is almost as good (maybe 85%) comparable to the GoPro as far as reliability and sturdiness goes, only the battery cover felt a little cheap, but again very worth for its price.

      Also, the actual video quality is fantastic at switching between bright and dim settings, but I feel it is still inferior to the GoPro but the colours were on par. Honestly, you can’t really compare something 5 times more expensive because that’s how things roll.

      However, as you wanted to use for kayaking or skiing, I think this will be your best choice because if you were to lose a GoPro, man that will hurt, 😛 but if you were to lose this, it would not hurt that much.

      Hope this helps and if you have any more questions, please feel free to clarify with me.

  4. I really enjoyed your review of the Elecam Explorer Pro. The review is comprehensive and thorough, you certainly didn’t leave anything out.

    I really liked that you included pictures along with the list of the items that came with the camera. You definitely have a eye for detail.

    The fact that you broke down the unique features separately and included a descriptive paragraph about each, shows your commitment to providing quality reviews.

    It was an added bonus that you included 3 options to purchase, which I found unique. You usually only get one option with a review.

    Great post thanks for sharing.

    Jada

    1. Thanks for the comment and really appreciate your encouragement!

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