Categories Cameras, Unboxing

MGCool Explorer 3 [REVIEW] – 4K action camera with touch screen for less than 100$

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MGCool Explorer 3 [REVIEW] – 4K action camera with touch screen for less than 100$

This is MGCool’s first true 4k action camera! And the second action-cam based on iCatch v50 cpu that we are having a look at on

Unboxing and accessories

The box is rather discreet. If we didn’t know inside there’s camera, we would have thought it is a smartphone. The smaller dimensions mean less accessories, and less accessories make me think there might be other corners cut and it may not be a blockbuster. But wait – true 4K with EIS/Gyro and touch screen for less than 100$? That makes us eager to find out more about it.
The first thing we obviously disliked was how tight the waterproof housing is stuck at the plastic. Spending half of a minute to take it out can really make you nervous. But it seems to be by design, with the idea of keeping it firm inside the box.
Accessories are not too many. A few screws, a few mounts, a rather useless frame and as you see – the camera comes inside a waterproof case. Looking into the two buttons on top – the camera has a different to the traditional navigation setup.


Features and options

Taking it out of the case reveals a beautifully designed body with soft dark-grey color and black plastic covering. The surface is not slippery and the grip should be good even for sweaty hands. There is the standard a ¼ compatible tripod mount, a speaker, a mini USB and mini-HDMI output and the microSD card slot.
The heart of this well-designed body is the iCatch v50, equipped with Panasonic 34112 sensor and 7-glass Sharp lens. There’s 170-degree ultra-wide view which gets reduced if image stabilization is on.
Although the USB port is “mini” – which allows companies to be creative and add support for various extras like pulse control, external microphones and so on, the port on this camera seems to not be utilized for anything but charging and connecting to PC.

Battery is Li-Ion, has 1100mah capacity. The manufacturer predicts around an hour of recording in 4K and slightly longer in full HD. Wifi connection promises up to 15 meters of operation and we will explore this statement in the forthcoming deep dive review.


Navigation and menus

Operationwise the Explorer 3 has some excellent ideas, some of which are terribly implemented. If you see the arrows – each one of them has a purpose.

Video Settings:
Video Resolution: 4K/30fps, 1080p/30fps, 720p/120fps
Codec: H264,Hh265
Image stabilization: On/Off
Video file length: Unlimited, 1 Min, 5 Min, 10 Min, 30 Min
Time Lapse Interval (not available with stabilization ON)
Time Lapse Duration (not available with stabilization ON)
Slow Motion Movie (not available with stabilization ON)
Fast Motion Movie
Wind Noise Reduction
Scene Mode
Time Stamp

Photo Settings:
Resolution: 14MP (4320:3240), 10MP (4320:2430), 8MP (3840:2160), 5MP (2592:1944), 2MP (1920:1080)
Time Lapse Interval
Time Lapse Duration
Scene Mode
Picture Quality

White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Shade
EV: -2.0, -1.0, +0.0, +1.0, +2.0
ISO: Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600

Control: Microphone Volume, SpeakerVolume, Display Brightness
Sounds: Shutter, Bootup, Beep
Power Frequency: 50Hz, 60 Hz
Date and Time
Screen Saver
Auto Power Off
Quick Record
Reset Wifi Setting
Language: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese
Format Card
System: BSP-07.00.07, BaseFW: 28950, Host: 15752, E3: VER:0.0.2

You may easily switch between shooting modes and replay the footage captured. Various settings are available. Unfortunately resolutions are limited to 4K, full HD at 60fps and 720p at 120fps. This leaves you with rather poor-quality slow motion and almost no choice of shooting preference.
Among its few flaws, the Explorer 3 is a good performer, at least in terms of picture quality. Colors are overall accurate, white balance is good and there is a good level of details on objects. And the image stabilization does its job quite well.
Make sure to follow our video presentation of this camera. As usual, second deep dive review is on the way, but we will publish it as soon as we feel confident we’ve covered everything important you may need to know.

Useful links ◕‿◕ :

✔ MGCool Explorer 3 (SALE!)
✔ More cameras


6:22 pm

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