Who needs a HERO? This comes as the tagline for the opening introduction video which I saw few months ago of the SJCAM action camera. The Go Pro was beyond my reach and this one looked a feasible option for me. Dug up some reviews and opinions about its image quality and finally took the leap and got it. After using it for more than 6 months, here is my take and full review of the SJCAM 4000 wifi edition.
Right out of the box, it came with a good number of accessories which were pretty handy. The number of mounts that it came with were much more than I had expected. As a dear friend of mine had pointed out, the number of mounts available in the SJ4000 were more than what comes out of the box in a Go Pro. So this does increase the brownie points in favour of the SJ4000
This is not a typical review but more of a user review. Tell me if you like this kind of reviews, then I would continue doing these kind of reviews.
First up let’s look at the video features which was the primary purpose of me buying the SJ4000 wifi. When we power up the SJCAM by default it opens up the video mode. It can record at 60fps when shooting at 720P and when shooting at 1080P it can only go up to 30fps.
One thing worth noticing is that when shooting video it is best to make the sharpness of the clip at the minimum and the contrast should also be normal instead of default high contrast. These settings can easily be accessed by pressing the power button key twice.
A small clip which I had made entirely with the SJCAM is given below.
As it is clearly visible, under low light conditions there is some good amount of noise that creeps in, and which is a little difficult to remove.
Note :- I am not a video editor, and just for the sake of this review I made up this small clip.
A very neat feature which I like about this camera which is a must include in this review is videolapse. Instead of shooting 100s of photographs for the time lapse and then processing them to create a timelapse, this feature automates this process. This comes in really handy when you just want to make a quick little timelapse and would don’t want to go through all the hassle of taking all the images, putting all of them in a video editor to make the timelapse. Here is a short clip that I created just with videolapses. With each passing day I am becoming fond of this videolapse feature even if I lose on some of the flexibility which a traditional timelapse offers. There are different pre-set modes at which we can shoot the videolapse.
Depending on how fast the subject is moving this interval has to be chosen. This clip was taken with an interval of 3 minutes because in that interval the movement of the clouds would be nicely observed.
Here is one such videolapse footage.
1. Using this videolapse feature and while recording normal video I have noticed some moiré being generated (especially near the very high contrast regions). If with the help of any firmware update this can be fixed, it would be really nice.
2. One particular feature which I think that could have been added is a single light on the front of the camera to indicate that it is recording something. (This is one feature which I love in the Go Pro Hero). While the camera is mounted on a helmet, there is no way of knowing if the recording is being done. Addition of a front light would help us know for sure if recording has started.
When it comes down to photography this small little action camera packs quite a punch. If used to its advantage, the camera can be used to get some nice photographs. The only thing that always has to be kept in mind is the wide angle view and the distortion it brings with it. Though the wide angle distortion can easily be fixed in Photoshop with a few small clicks.
With a LCD at the back of the camera, taking photographs is made very easy. You do not have to fish in the dark as you are clearly able to see what is in front of the camera and frame the shot.. Being a small camera has its advantages, it’s very discrete and places where taking out a big fat DSLR might have raised some eyebrows, the SJCAM can be taken out and the shot be taken.
The image quality is not bad and can work well for the web. I have not yet printed any photographs taken by the SJ4000 action camera, but I guess it will be nice for small size prints.
ROI – Return on Investment
Considering from the price to performance ratio this small action camera is a really good buy. With its host of features and only a price of Rs. 10,500 it is definitely worth a try. Click on the link below to buy urself the awesome SJ4000 wifi action camera
Here is how Samrat and Prateek feel about their respective SJCAM’s (both are wonderful photographer’s and have been using the SJ4000 for more than a year)
Samrat’s take :-
Okay. Now to say about the SJ4000 in a word, well its the Common Man’s Go Pro. I mean at price range of 8-9k (depending upon non wifi / wifi version) its simply amazing. I use in total 3 Action Cameras. The SJCAM SJ4000, a Go Pro Hero & an ISAW Extreme A3. Its quite an irony the SJ4000 & the Go Pro are at par,even though the Go Pro has the edge of producing better color rendition. The SJ Battery life is very good (I use a non wifi version). Its durable as well,as it withstood a fall from my bike,on the road, while doing the Narkanda Trip. Its got almost all the features that you find in a Go Pro,including the same 170 degree ultra wide angle lens. The only mod done on my SJ is the addition of an external MONO microphone. I am yet to test it myself, however my friend Prateek has already done the same mod on his SJ & the results are satisfactory. Well that’s all so far.
Here is Prateek’s version on using his SJ camera
SJ4000 : A camera that does all the work of a high end sports camera in almost half the rate.
Full HD at 1080p at 30fps is more than enough to record all the activities in crisp view.
Its 170degree wide angle view makes sure that it covers almost everything that a normal eye can see.
When I bought it, I had apprehensions about the quality, but now after almost a year of use, I can very well say that its a total value for money.
If someone is on budget and cant afford a bigger branded camera, do have a look at Sj4000 and wifi version of the same. You wont be disappointed.
If you want to see more videos from both Prateek and Samrat do check out their youtube channel. They are doing some wonderful vlogging stuff. I just love them. Do subscribe if you like their work.
Here are the links to some of their videos
Have you used the SJ4000 or any other action camera? Would love to hear about your views on them. Give us a thumbs up if you like this review. Share and subscribe to stay updated to all the content which is coming up. Have a happy weekend people :)