The action camera market has rapidly changed recently. Whilst Go Pro is under pressure on the innovation side, competitors are actively competing with similar products that are fast meeting the same quality. The SJ4000 action camera is one of these cameras that is worth a review.
What's in the box?
The packaging is simple and visual. It is easy to open and is a box full of little surprises! The SJ camera has not skimped on the accessories provided as part of the price. These include 3M self - adhesive fasteners. Both an open housing as well as waterproof housing. You also get a handlebar fastener and attachment and 45 ° connectors. For connectivity, you get a USB cable and it is charged via an AC power adapter. Not to forget is the cleaning cloth! Basically, you've already saved a stack of cash on the accessories alone. Add a perch and suction cup and you're ready for any kind of wacky fixation!
Getting Started with the Sj4000 camera
As with all waterproof action cameras, you need to take it out of the housing. A simple press on the black clip at the top and everything unlocks. The brackets are of quality and inspire confidence that they will last. Next, you need to put the battery in and put the camera on to charge.
A full charge doesn't take long at all, which you will be able to see the charging progress LED on the camera.
You will need a micro SD card and we recommend a good quality card. For example, the Sandisk 8GB Class10 is an excellent choice for the SJ4000. On an 8GB card, you will be able to record 60min of video in 1080p.
For security, formatting is done using the SJ4000 with the opportunity to navigate menus via the touch screen.
The LCD screen
The menus and settings of the SJ4000 are very intuitive. The LCD touch screen responds well even with big fingers and the logic menus seem even more intuitive than GoPro. Even if the screen is low definition, it will allow you to frame your shots even in full sun. Playback of recorded videos provides a double check that you have captured the desired footage.
All the classic shooting modes are available: video, photo and time-lapse but you also have a rather unusual mode that allows using the SJ4000 as a dashcam.
The Dashcam mode gives you the facility to film continuously. This is particularly useful in the car as the footage is with date and time stamped directly on the video. Still little used in Europe, this model is very popular in Russia and China to serve as video evidence in the case of an accident. In this mode, the camera can be connected to a cigarette lighter and will start at the same time as the car and will film continuously. If the capacity of the card reaches saturation, the recording loops starting with the oldest footage saved on the camera.
Video Quality of the SJ4000 action camera
Well, let's be clear it's really good! For an entry level action camera, you will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the videos in 1080p. In full sun the colours are bright and well contrasted. The dynamic range is quite true and the movements are fluid. Not to forget the sharpness which is particularly impressive. So whether you are at the beach during the Summer or enjoying the piste in the Winter the SJ4000 it is an excellent camera in this price range.
In low light and/or indoors it is less competent. The small sensor starts to generate a lot of noise and the colours tend to leave red tones. It will nevertheless be possible to adjust this via post-production editing software.
Changes in brightness (interior/exterior, forest, in a tunnel, etc) are rather well managed. The camera reacts quickly and re-adjusts the exposure fairly quickly.
Slow-motion mode at 60 frames per second requires moving to the 720p resolution and this is an see a difference with a Go Pro. The images are much less fluid and difficult to exploit when the background is not uniform enough. This is not one of the camera's best modes.
Alternatively, you can use the SJCAM as a camera. With it being waterproof and the option to activate via WiFi, the possibilities are endless with what you can capture as a photo.
On the other hand, the quality of the photos is average unless taken in highlight situations where you will see a better result. The 170 ° lens makes the widescreen very clear which is unusual for action cameras. With a maximum resolution of 4032 × 3024, you can easily print or share your photos on the net.
The sound quality is acceptable. It's pretty basic so don't expect high quality. There is an improvement if the SJ4000 is removed from the casing.
The SJ4000 is available in 2 versions: with or without Wifi. With the equipped model, the camera can be controlled via the SJ CAM Zone app. A simple press on the side of the box and the screen shows you the name of the network and the password. The connection is simple and works well for up to a distance of about 25 meters.
All sorts of functions are available via the app; Switching modes, changing settings, and downloading images and videos to your smartphone.
From form to function, the SJ4000 action camera clearly claims to be a GoPro Hero.
At an extremely affordable price level, it offers a very good video image quality and will capture your exploits perfectly. It is totally recommended for everyday use whether it is traditional or more action focussed.
However, if you require more advanced use such as slow motion, production or good sound recording you are advised to spend a bit more and go with a superior action camera. Something like the GoPro Session may be a better choice.
The value for money of this SJ4000 is very good so considering the price you will certainly be impressed when capturing your footage. The dash cam function, in particular, is a top function. Also, the SJ4000 has had good results strapped to a drone check out it cheerson cx 10