The Sjcam – Redefining Heavy Duty Action Cameras
If you’re the type of person who likes to bring a camera along as you go rock climbing, skiing or surfing, then you need an action camera, which is a camera that’s well, built for action.
There are a lot of products labeled as such, but for something reliable and affordable, you can’t go wrong with the Sjcam. It’s not the most stylish camera true, but you do get a lot of bang for the buck.
Design and Features
You can tell that this is one of the best action camera by the design: compact and rectangular, and it’s got an FOV of 170 degrees and is capable of recording up to 1920 x 1080p with other resolutions and fps settings to choose from.
Considering the fact that some of the more expensive cameras have a maximum limit of 720, being able to shoot up to 1080 is a real bonus.
In terms of picture quality and output, the camera is as good as they come. You can snap photos in JPG from 3MP to 12MP, with both videos and photos saved in a microSD card.
The camera is compatible with SD cards with capacities up to 32 GB so there’s plenty of space for those rock climbing photos or surf videos.
The Motion Detection feature can be turned on so the camera records anything that moves in front of it, and this is a very nice feature that could capture something significant while you’re busy with something else.
While it doesn’t have a timelapse feature, you can configure Photo Mode so it takes shots every 5, 10 or 20 seconds from the time you hit the Record button. To stop this function, just press the Record button again.
The camera works fine out of the box so you can just strap it on and go. But if you want to tinker with the settings, you can do so. While the camera automates a lot of tasks, you can manually adjust some of the settings, very handy if you’re particular about the video or photo output.
The camera has a well-designed waterproof case so you can shoot videos and photos underwater. The waterproof protection is good for up 60 feet / 30 m, not bad at all. In addition, there are several settings you can adjust such as anti-shaking, face detection, color, sharpness, resolution, HDR, etc. Again, there’s no need to adjust these settings if you don’t want to, but it’s possible. Another notable feature of the camera is automatically rotating the viewer so the image is uniform, meaning the camera is always up on the right side.
How is the Battery Life?
The camera runs on a li-ion rechargeable battery 900mAH, and since it’s removable you can put in recharged batteries if necessary. Charging time takes around three 3 hours and the recording time is approximately 70 minutes, which is very good, but make sure that your extra batteries are already charged.
With support for up to 32GB, you need not worry about running of space anytime soon, but if you do, the camera will discard the oldest file and keep recording. If you want to save on space you can turn the audio off, because there will be times when it won’t be necessary (like when you’re shooting underwater for instance).
This manufacturer has always been known for its accessories, and this headcam is no exception. The bundled items will vary slightly depending on the variant, but if you opt for the original model, you’ll get the following:
- 3M Adhesive
- Data Wire
- Helmet Base Bandage
- Tripod Adapter
- Switch Support
- Fixed Base
- Bicycle Stand
- Waterproof Case
- Mini Wrench
As you can see there are a lot of accessories that allow you to set up the camera the way you want it. Each of these accessories has a specific purpose, but the clip is especially useful as you can use it to keep your camera on your shirt or belt.
If you’re going on a hike or taking a walk, the last thing you need is a heavy utility just to keep the camera in place, so the simple clip is a convenient feature. Once you’ve got the camera set, the wide FOV assures no part of the action will be missed.
One of the cooler features on the camera is the car adaptor or Car Mode. Essentially this allows you to plug the USB cable in your car so the moment you start the car, the camera starts to record. Best of all, since the USB cable is plugged in your car’s power outlet, the battery isn’t used up.
Here’s an In-Depth Video About SJCams
As far as cam sports this one is pretty good:
- Can record even when USB is plugged
- Motion detection is superb
- Auto screen rotation works very well
- Can double up as a webcam
- Several colors available
- Several mounts included
As a 1080p 60fps camera this is one of the best, but it isn’t perfect and there are a couple of things you need to be aware of.
- The battery door is a bit awkward to open
- There’s no cover for the SD, HDMI, and Micro USB ports.
- Lens: 170°A+ HD wide-angle lens, 6G lens
- Video resolution: QVGA (640*480) 60FPS, VGA ( 848*480) 60FPS, 720P (1280*720) 60FPS, 1080P (1920*1080 ) 30FPS
- Video format: MOV
- Resolution of Photos: 12M / 8M / 5M
- Dimensions: 30 x 59 x 41 mm / 1 x 2 x 1.6 in
- Charging Time: 3.5 hrs.
- Recording Time: 1080P/ approx. 70 minutes
- Battery Capacity: 900MAH
- USB: USB 2.0
- Shooting Mode: Single Shot / Self-timer (2s / 5s / 10s / Continuous Shooting
The Sjcam is a solid camera and does exactly what it’s supposed to do. It doesn’t come with any frills and compared with other cameras, is a bit on the plain side.
But don’t let its appearance bother you, because it’s built for heavy duty use. If you’re serious about a dependable action camera, you’ll want to bring this along.