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Thread: SJ4000 WiFi Action Camera Review (and Discount)

  1. #1
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    Default SJ4000 WiFi Action Camera Review (and Discount)

    A few weeks ago the folks at http://www.gearbest.com/ contacted me to see if I would review a few products. Once it was made clear I was free to give an honest review I agreed. Also as a bonus they agreed to a discount for SotP members for a period after the review was posted.

    The first thing I have been sent for review is the SJ4000 Wifi Action Cam, see here http://www.gearbest.com/action-cameras/pp_77096.html These clearly started as a GoPro copy, however, they have developed a strong following and have begun to develop in their own right. So much so that you now get clones of the SJ4000. The SJ does have some features the GoPro does not, like Motion Detection and they had a screen before the GoPro, also they come with way more accessories. However I am getting ahead of myself.

    I was going to use the camera for a few weeks before posting the review but as the clock is ticking on the discount I am doing the review fairly quickly and will come back with more details as I test the camera more.

    First off you can see the specs from the link above so I won't repeat them all here. A couple of things worth clarifying. It will record in full 1080 HD at 30 frames a second. The 60 frames a second at 720 is a waste of time as it just copies each of the frames to double up from 30 to 60, so stick with the 30 fps setting.

    Also this is only a 3 megapixel sensor so ignore all the photo resolutions above this. They are just interpolated up and wasting memory space and processing power. This lower resolution sensor may actually help with low light recording and picture taking as each photosite will be larger than a higher resolution sensor of the same dimensions.

    So what do you get. This is how it arrives.





    And this is what is inside.



    There are various mounts and brackets for fitting the camera to pretty much anything. There are also different cases for the camera for allowing better sound recording or the one that makes it fully waterproof. I have built up a similar set of OEM mountings for my GoPro and probably spent about a third of the price of this camera in doing so.

    It is also worth mentioning these mountings are almost all compatible with the GoPro. I say almost all as while the SJ4000 will fit in all GoPro and aftermarket mountings the GoPro original buckles will not fit in the two baseplates supplied with this camera. Not an issue unless you are going to mix and match this camera with a GoPro.

    Lets take a closer look at the camera. First in the waterproof housing.







    And out of the housing.





    Before you start using the camera you need to add a Micro SD card and charge up the battery. While the camera is charging you can use the camera and look at the settings. This brings me to the first topic I want to cover.

    Ease of Use

    Bare in mind through all of this the only previous experience I have of Action Cameras is using a GoPro Hero 4 Silver which costs 5 times the SJ4000 WiFi. This is worth remembering when I say the ease of using the SJ4000 menu for settings etc is way better than the GoPro. My GoPro does have a touch screen that makes things easier but using the physical buttons is a pain in the bum. The SJ4000 is logically set out and easy to navigate by comparison.

    My only slight complaint is that so far I have not found where to change the default setting that the camera turns on with. It defaults to video but perversely I prefer photo to be the default. It does remember all the settings you have for resolution etc but if you are taking pictures and power it off. It will be in video mode when you turn it on. It is easy to switch onto photo mode but you do need to remember to do so.

    Wifi / App

    I have only tested this with the Iphone IOS app but understand the Android app to be similar in form and function. Again from a connection point of view I found this more reliable and quicker to connect than the GoPro. The lag on the feed from the camera seems less too. That said there have been a couple of times when it has frozen for a few seconds before picking the feed up again. You can change settings on the camera and start, stop recording, picture taking all from within the app. You can also transfer pictures and video straight to your phone from the app. Handy for some quick editing or posting to your favourite canoe forum

    There is a non WiFi version of the SJ4000 which is functionally identical to this model except there is no WifI and so no connection to the phone apps.

    Quality

    Well the quality of the build of the camera is not quite up to the standard of the GoPro but the example I have is perfectly functional and not badly made. The quality of the cases and accessories is all good with everything looking as if it will take plenty of abuse. I certainly have no concerns about the waterproofness of the case.

    Photo quality? At this point it looks good to me. It is 3 megapixel which sounds bad these days but is really good enough for any normal sized printing and allows loads of scope for cropping for online use.

    Here is the first photo I took just in the kitchen. This, as with all the pictures, is full frame but resized and compressed by Photobucket.



    And another example in my office this morning



    And from lunchtime when I nicked out to Glasgow Green to sit in the sun and have a coffee, as well as to play with the camera.



    Video quality seems good. You do not get the high frame rates available with the GoPro but for normal use this is not an issue for me. As soon as the battery was charged I took some very random footage in the garden and loaded it up last night. Again YouTube will have compressed this. It looked clean and bright on my monitor. As I use the camera more I will revisit this. Anyway the test footage.



    Uses and Value for Money


    I've combined these two as it is the range of uses that makes this such good value for money. Without discount this is currently £65.60 including postage from http://www.gearbest.com/ although you may have VAT on this when it comes into the country. It is worth mentioning this to Gearbest when ordering

    For this investment you get a capable waterproof video and stills camera. Using the motion detection setting you can rig it as a trail cam for day and twilight use. The same function can be used as a security function. You can take time lapse photos.

    The possibilities are near endless. Before I got my GoPro I was not sure about action cameras and if they were worth having. Since getting it I am quite the convert and at this price it is not a huge investment to see if it works for you too.

    There is a tendency to keep going for the really high resolution, fast paced cameras but ironically as the resolution of photos has increased the required resolution for use has dropped. In my case 99.9% of my pictures are for online use probably no more than 800 pixels wide (compared to the 2048 pixels wide this camera is taking). Yes you can crop more with more pixels but you could just get closer too and with this wide angle lens you need to be close anyway. With video 100% of my use is YouTube or FaceBook and once they have finished compressing the film I'm not going to be able to tell if this was footage from the SJ4000 or the GoPro unless i it slowed down footage that I shot at a high frame rate. I knew this when I bought my GoPro but I was splashing out for the seamless way it deals with doing time lapse movies but have since found that it is easier to just film and then speed up the film.

    Discount.

    So in return for doing the review I received a discount code to be used for members if they want to buy one of these cameras. The discount code is SJ4000 and should bring the price down by about 15% ish. It seems to vary a little with the exchange rate. The discount code is valid till the 10th June 2015 so a little under 2 months from now.

    As mentioned I will be testing the camera further and will report back with any further thoughts. In the meantime I'd be interested to hear how others have got on with these cameras and any tips they can give.

    EDIT

    See post 11 below for details of the discount on the higher spec SJ5000 Plus
    Last edited by MagiKelly; 22nd-January-2018 at 07:21 PM.

  2. #2
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    Looks like a good bit of kit for the price!
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

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    i'm not really into video but for the price even i would consider it if it is and stays waterproof. i do like the motion detection feature.
    it is so true what you say about resolution not being the most important thing.

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    This price is just amazing.... The quality of the image goes back a bit to my old GoPro Hero 2 (when there were no blacks & whites & silvers...), specially on video with bright/dark areas together, but the adittion of many extras like wifi and a screen (you can see waht you´re filming, right?? Or just through the app??) is great. The motion detection is just fantastic, specially in a remote trip where having wild visitors around is a real possibility. I missed that option many times, so I´m buying one just because of it....

    I wonder about what you said on the 30p X 60p.... 60p is not just copying the previous frame...It´s supposed to be an extra frame, what is extremely useful when slowmotion is necessary. In true, the only reason I see to buy a GoPro is the fullHD (1080) at 60P, but that is available only on the higher end model (Black) that is VERY expensive!!! If editing to a slowmo is not important to you, stick with 30p indeed....

    So, comparing a silver GP with this SJ4000, the SJ4000 would be my choice for sure.... almost same specs by less than 1/3 money!!!


    I also saw a few other reviews and one thing got my attention: the audio on the SJ4000 is really bad..... even out of the waterproofing case... GoPro got hard reviews on the audio quality on previous versions, but it is really good now on the 4 version.... They invested a lot of money to fix this part, so SJ4000 will probably go the same way once they grab a slice of the market with this good&cheap option.


    Great review....except for this guy you keep showing all the time!!! You need new talents John!! Hire from this place next time, please!! http://www.fordmodels.com.br/site/Ga...odel?dep=women
    Tony BR
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  5. #5
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    A tempting price
    Cheers
    Tim


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    I've just found out there is a new model the SJCAM SJ5000 plus which has a 16 megapixel sensor and the higher frame rates 60fps at 1080 and 120fps at 720. You need to watch out for non SJCAM versions of the SJ5000 as there are lots of manufacturers using this name. This would be a real direct competitor to the GoPro.
    Last edited by MagiKelly; 22nd-April-2015 at 05:52 PM.

  7. #7
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    This is the higher spec version, http://www.gearbest.com/action-cameras/pp_148259.html I've emailed my contact to ask for a discount code on this if possible.

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    That´s the ONE!!! 1960x1080 at 60p is a great feature for a sports cam...
    Tony BR
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    I've had a wifi sj4000 for a couple of months now and am very happy with it. I've not tried a Go Pro, but dug through as many online reviews and comparisons as I could find before splashing out (£61.59!!!) and for the price it really is a no brainer. The main thing to watch is that you get a genuine one as there are numerous "looky likeys" with different names and lesser specs, but also some outright fakes that are sold as the real thing- but aren't. Only been used on the water once so far with the kids holding it (so footage is a bit random) if I can figure it out I'll link a clip.

  10. #10

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    I bought one of these last year and used it every other day for a fortnight on the front of my kayak paddling on Scottish lochs and playing games with scouts. The video footage was great even through the waterproof case (except when the lens was splashed but you can halt blame the camera for that). No water got through though. Nice bit of kit... recommended.

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    I've heard back from my contact and we have a discount code for the SJ5000 Plus (http://www.gearbest.com/action-cameras/pp_148259.html). This has a 16 megapixel sensor and the fast frame rate options. Their current price is £114.55 including postage and with the discount code it is £97.60 so about 15% again.

    The discount code is SJ5000 and is valid till the 23rd July 2015

  12. #12
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    Just a word of caution from buying stuff from gearbest! Their delivery and customer support isn't the best coming out from China and Hong Kong! Two companies I will recommend is Fasttech and Banggood, especially Fasttech! I have and will continue to avoid Gearbest!

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    If people do have problems with GearBest I'd be interested in hearing about it. If there are a lot of problems then I will not be recommending them. I've looked at online reviews and generally they are good but with some negative but no more than I would expect from the volume of sales.

    One thing I would recommend is making the payment through PayPal or a Credit Card so you can fall back on their protection if you have any issues.

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    At a quick glance, it comes in Black, Silver or Yellow ... the latter might make it easier to find if mislaid.
    DCUK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potty Paddler View Post
    At a quick glance, it comes in Black, Silver or Yellow ... the latter might make it easier to find if mislaid.
    YEah, but you'll only have one if its available in Pink, I assume?



    Quite tempted, but will stick with photos for now, life's too short for me to lose more hours in front of a screen trying to edit videos on a steam-powered laptop...

  16. #16
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    It's also quite common knowledge that a lot of their 'positive' reviews are fabricated! Most of the folks on the flashlight/torch forums avoid them generally! If you want fast and reliable service use fasttech for this sort of stuff! I cannot recommend them highly enough!

    http://www.danviews.com/gearbest-com...-gadget-store/
    Last edited by dirtydog; 23rd-April-2015 at 09:46 AM.

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    Great little review John but I am confused.

    You say the sensor is 3MP and this is what it says in the link however on the box in your photo it says 12MP sensor. I'm guessing this is a mistake on the box?

    Looking at the two links for the SJ4000 and SJ5000 there is also no mention of the Time Lapse, Timer or Burst mode on the SJ4000 but there is on the SJ5000. Is this something you've looked at yet so can confirm it is there?

    There is no mention of the motion detection on the SJ5000 either so is it worth checking that it is included for that model?

    Very tempted by this with the discount.
    Bootstrap
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    Unless I am looking at the wrong bit the box talks about 12MP "resolution". They are using a 3MP sensor and interpolating the image up to a 12MP resolution. With the newer SJ5000 Plus they talk about the 16 MP "Sensor". It took me quite a bit of digging about to find the sensor specification. There is a lot of confusion about this. It is certainly a bit of dodgy advertising, a bit like "digital" zoom functions.

    From this page http://www.sjcam.com/home/27-sjcam-s...sport-dvr.html you can see the sensor is Aptina0330, and the spec for that sensor is here https://www.aptina.com/products/image_sensors/ar0330/ You can't say I don't do my research

    There is a time lapse option on the SJ4000. I am not sure what you mean by time. Do you mean setting it to record at a set time or to record for a set time when you press record? Burst mode is listed in the link above but I need to confirm this on the camera when I get home.

    Motion Detection I can't be sure of on the SJ5000 Plus. I am basing my assumption that it has it on a comment an owner made on BCUK. Will need to check some online reviews.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    YEah, but you'll only have one if its available in Pink, I assume? ...
    Not an available option, not really a colour coordinated match to my canoes ... ... gutted. Nearest match would be silver ... to the kitchen worktop grey of the Minuet. ... I hate being a slave to fashion
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly View Post
    There is a time lapse option on the SJ4000. I am not sure what you mean by time. Do you mean setting it to record at a set time or to record for a set time when you press record? Burst mode is listed in the link above but I need to confirm this on the camera when I get home.
    The link to the SJCAM website answers the question:
    Self Timer OFF / 3 Seconds / 5 Seconds / 10 Seconds / 30 Seconds / 60 Seconds
    Continuous Shooting(Burst Rate)
    OFF / 3 P/s / 5 P/s / 10 P/s / 10P/2s
    Auto Shooting
    OFF / 3 Seconds / 5 Seconds / 10 Seconds / 30 Seconds / 60 Seconds
    Definitely some dodgy advertising going on with the sensor.
    Bootstrap
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    YEah, but you'll only have one if its available in Pink, I assume?
    Quote Originally Posted by Potty Paddler View Post
    Not an available option, not really a colour coordinated match to my canoes ... ... gutted. Nearest match would be silver ... to the kitchen worktop grey of the Minuet. ... I hate being a slave to fashion
    But yellow would match your PFD.
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    Colour options? At that cost?
    Sorted.


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