Donations

You can help fund Techmoan with a donation

Click to visit Patreon.com/Techmoan  

SEARCH BOX: Searches this website

*SHOPPING LINKS ARE AFFILIATED*

For more info on this - click on "About' at the top of the page. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE for COMPANIES

Techmoan never approaches a company asking for review samples.

 


    

Articles by Category

 


Techmoan Merchandise at TeeSpring

Merch


Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 

ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

 

 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119
DR02 D - Best Budget Dual Cam
Yi

Yi Ultra 2.7K
   
    MINI CAMERAS
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
    HELMET CAMERA
Drift Ghost X

My favourite USB battery power Pack

This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

2 x 2.1amp outputs. 8400mAh capacity.

Two digit Led display shows battery level

 

What SD CARD should I buy?

If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)

 

U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)

 

 

SPECIAL DASHCAM CARDS

The SD card in a dashcam is re-written over, more frequently than in other types of cameras. Some manufacturers void their guarantee if an SD card was used in a dashcam. So, no surprise, there are special High Endurance SD cards made just for dashcams...here's some.

 

VERY IMPORTANT. These links take you to the product, however Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market Place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the price of a real item against the price of a fake.

To give you an idea of the extent of the fake goods problem. In a 2016 survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold through Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

 
« The Rollie Eggmaster Vertical Grill | Main | The Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker »
Sunday
Jun092013

SJ1000 - At last...a good cheap action camera 

After years of fruitless searching and a not inconsiderable amount of money spent, I've finally found a good, cheap, 1080p waterproof action camera.

I get a lot of emails from people asking what action camera I would recommend for occasional use for paint-balling, mountain biking, etc - that costs around £50. Prior to today, my response has been that the cheapest camera I could really recommend was the Liquid Image Ego, but it costs£100.

If your budget doesn't stretch to £100 then there are very few action cameras to choose from. Perhaps the best camera from a very short shortlist is the the RD32II, but it suffers from a substandard mounting system and a non-standard video format. 

The SJ1000 changes everything. For about £60 you can buy a camera that is capable (under the right conditions) of producing video that rivals cameras costing over four times as much. I'm not suggesting that people throw away their GoPro HDHero 3 Black Edition cameras and get this instead...but if you are on a limited budget or don't see the point in spending £200+ on something you only plan on using a couple of times a year then this might well be the camera for you.

You'll have to do a bit of experimenting to get the mounting options to fit your requirements, but it's definitely worth the trouble when you see the video quality that you can get from this small camera. 

 

WANT TO BUY ONE?

Click on your Country of Choice ... US UK AUS DE NL

 

Here is a folder of downloadable sample clips

I should mention that I haven't shot many 720p60 clips...and you'll only find 1080p on the bike.

The only thing I think that I forgot to say in the video was that when using it as a car DVR there is no gap between clips (as you expect nowadays)...in fact each clip repeats the last second of the previous one just to be sure.

UPDATE - 10 June 2013 - Answering a few questions.

First some bad news - The 720p60 mode turns out to actually be 720p30 (every frame is shown twice). I should have spotted this earlier, but I had only been testing the 1080p30 mode as that's the one I use. iMovie always converts 720p60 to 720p30 so that's why I didn't notice it before...apologies for that. Here is a link to a fast moving 720p clip I shot today.

Motion Detection mode - When this is on, the camera records 10 seconds of video and then stops until it sees another movement. If a movement occurs during the 10 seconds when it's recording then the timer is reset and it records for another 10 seconds. This way if the movement doesn't stop then the camera doesn't either....hope that makes sense.

The camera should be able to be mounted the right way up in a car if the correct mounts are combined....this is demonstrated in some of the ebay auction photos. 

File Sizes: 10 Minutes of video takes up 1.2GB in 1080p or 1.07GB in 720p modes.

The case floats in water and on it's own weighs 66.7g.

The camera itself is 7cm tall, 4.5cm wide, 3 cm thick at the bottom and 3.5cm thick at the top where the lens makes it deeper.

The timestamp can be switched off. I turned it off for the Night Time Driving clips and show this option on-screen 19:57 into the video.

I think the manufacturer may be a company with the snappy name of Shenzhen Hongfeng Century Technology Co. Ltd.

BATTERY LIFE is 2hrs 15mins (Could be 2hr 30 mins or more with the screen off)

UPDATE 29 August 2013 'NEW' FIRMWARE!

I know a few people have been waiting for this - so finally here is the updated firmware that fixes the screensaver bug. If the fact that the screen didn't automatically blank out wasn't an issue to you, I'd suggest skipping this update. If you want to update the firmware, you can download the file from the Files & Drivers Page. Updating it is very easy, but just in case you are unsure...here's a quick video. Beware, if you somehow kill it, you are on your own.

Update 27 Sept 2013

Here's a link to another review of the camera by Tom Hardwick (he likes it).

Update 28/12/13.

This is a six month old review and a lot has happened since. You'll find the cases are improved, possibly the mounts too..and you now have the ability to turn the camera on when it's inside the case due to a different button arrangement. The current crop seem to have a 90º lens rather than the 140º on my camera. That means no fish-eye - but less FOV. I'm not doing any more videos about camera this but.....PLEASE READ THE COMMENTS...before posting a question that's been asked countless times before, it's the least you could do for all the kind people who have given up their time to elaborate on the features of this camera and posted their findings in the comments.  I'll give you a starter...NO IT DOESN'T DO TIMELAPSE...The way you can tell this is because there is no option for this on the screen when I go through all the menus in the camera...and it's the kind of thing I would have mentioned. I tend not to mention the things a camera doesn't do because we would be here all day....you can't clip your toenails with this camera, it can't be used as a flotation device, it won't take x-rays etc..... 

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (1215)

Hi guys!
I've finally got the camera as well!!! My first feeling is Very Positive!!! the model I bought differs a bit with the one reviewed by Techmoan. I got it from foxoffer for 87$ (not the cheapest but it was one of the few offering express shipping to Europe for 19$) so I received it in 2days! Awesome!
I bought it mainly to take videos and pics underwater during holidays because it was definite cheaper than a 300$ gopro!
Mine came with firmware update as stated on the website so its version Y130615.
With my great surprise also the case is different from the one in the review. I was worried about the ON/OFF missing button on the waterproof case, however the one I got has only 3 button corresponding to the ON/OFF one, M one and OK one, which make more sense to me rather than the configuration showed by techmoan.
What case have u got guys?

In the next days I'll do some swimming pool test to verify the case and maybe in the weekend take it to the seaside.

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternando

@Ian from California
Thanks for sharing this issue. I have the same situation here. It took holly 3 weeks to get my order delivered to my address in Melbourne from the cheapest retailer on AliExpress. To my disappointment the camera can't be turned on unless its connected to the usb cable. I believe the battery is fully charged as I feel by my tongue. I bit the malfunction is in the camera chip. Unfortunately the only thing I can do is to return it back. I have ordered another one just now thanks to your recommendation Tuko. It cost me about $30 more, but at least it is gonna arrive within 5 days and most importantly have power button on the waterproof case. Hope it will proves good for my kitesurfing sport.

Keep on the good work guys. Thanks to our great guide and mentor, TechnoMan :)

July 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHattem

Excellent reviews, your experience and insights make them more worthwhile than pretty much any others I've found. Thanks for your investment of thought, time, and probably not insignificant money!

July 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@Hattem

Hi Hattem

I brought my for kitesurfing in melb as well....st kilda/altona/rosebud but it a bit cold right now...lol.

got it from buy_ee http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/121123002853 took 3 day delivery.... but lack on/off on the waterproof case... where do i get the only the waterproof case????????

Problem: STUCK on welcome screen...need to leave battery out overnite to reset..abit of a problem....happen often...any solution?

July 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermelbourne

Using a mobile phone usb battery pack for extra power and when sdcard is full its cycle/re-read space...so don't need to format/empty sdcard

July 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermelbourne

@Melbourne
Mine actually doesn't turn on at all when unplugged, so I have opened a dispute on AliExpress. If yours get stuck quite often why didn't you return it back before putting it in use?!

Anyway, this seems to happen even in fancy cameras. I have seen heaps of similar complaints for GoPro Hero3 besides complaints of its short battery life (less than 90 minutes). I suggest you try it with higher quality SDHC cards, Class 10 and see if the problem disappears. Btw, How long can yours record for when fully charged?

The lack of power button on the waterproof is a killer for your as a kitesurfer. I ordered in the last minute yesterday from FoxOffer shop. They were really responsive to confirm that the waterproof case in their store has 3 buttons, one for power function. They were also helpful to post it express in the last hour of the last business day of the week!

Anyway, where do you get it mounted? It seems easy to mount on the kite strut but impossible to mount on lines.
I never felt cold with my 5/4/3 wetsuit, boots and gloves. Next week looks promising in Rosebud & I plan to camp over there. Hope to catch up with you later.

July 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHattem

@hattem


Thanks will give a new sdcard try.

-> How long can yours record for when fully charged?

Not tried.. using battery pack for cycling...not sure. Mounted on handlebar.

-> where do you get it mounted?
lol... tooo cold... thinking bike helmet cam on kitesurfing? lol..look noobie
POST up your kitesurf vids on Seabreeze... like to see how well the cam handles kitesurfing.
http://www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Kitesurfing/

July 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermelbourne

@Tom - the window on my UWH was *definitely* glass. It was pretty thin glass (about 1mm), but glass all the same. It broke into several large pieces and lots of smaller shards, with sharp edges, an although I didn't perform any refractive tests on it, I am utterly convinced that it was glass. The same stuff is in the replacement UWH I've received. Which is the standard "no access to power button" one.

July 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRichard D

Thanks for the confirmation Richard. My assumption that my UWH has a plastic lens window comes about because if I look at the light reflecting off it I can see that it's definitely not flat and had been distorted by the fixing screws. I would have expected even thin glass to shatter if subjected to the fixing pressures that cause the ripples in its surface flatness.

July 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertom hardwick

got mine today and it will only power on when connected to power, is this an option I am missing?
Its like its stuck in car dvr mode, thanks for any help

July 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdvdmike

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>