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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 

ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119
Yi

Yi Ultra 2.7K
   
    MINI CAMERAS
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
    HELMET CAMERA
Sena Prism Tube

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 'Sinclair' Spectrum Analyser | Main | Classic Retro Hi-Fi Turntable: Sansui XR-Q7 »
Sunday
Nov162014

GoPro Hero Budget Camera vs the SJ4000 (Review)

It's clear that over the last couple of years budget action cameras have been drinking GoPro’s milkshake.

Professional TV production companies are using the high end GoPro models more than ever, but it's at the low end with people like myself who are often opting to choose the cheaper, almost disposable alternatives. The kind of person who plans to go snorkelling on holiday, thinks it would be a fun idea to capture the experience on video but doesn't fancy shelling out hundreds for a camera they might only use once or twice.

Even some people who already have a GoPro are getting the SJ4000 as a second camera to use in places where they wouldn't want to risk their more expensive model. In this context a camera like the SJ4000 With its sharp 1080p video, built-in LCD screen, waterproof case and box full of accessories is a very tempting alternative.  

So after seeing their potential customers go elsewhere, GoPro have launched their own budget camera to compete .

In this review we'll find out exactly what you get for your money and whether this stripped down GoPro is worth the price premium over the SJ4000. I'll run a few head to head video quality tests and list what features each device has in its favour. Ultimately though its down to you to choose the camera that you prefer. I'll present the evidence but you have to make the decisions.

 

DOWNLOADABLE CLIPS
You can download sample GoPro Hero clips from here.  Do not stream these as this downgrades the quality - you need to download the clips and then play them back from your computer to see their true original quality. 
 
There are links below if you want to buy the GoPro Hero on Amazon.
 

   

 

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Reader Comments (44)

What time lapse assembling software did you use?

November 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSam

Hi Mat,

Nice to compare two cameras in the same footage, helping to make a direct comparision, is always good. . In all honesty though, I'm not a fan of either camera, but still loved your review.

Daz

November 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

HERO disassmbly

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtO0LCT0xSo

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMAtt

HERO disassmbly

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtO0LCT0xSo

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMAtt

And the "Budget mfrs" are also moving up. SJCAM say they should have their SJCAM SJ5000 Plus Ambarella A7LS75 1080P 60FPS Sport Action Camera on 18th Nov. More Expensive obviously but....... I find the FOV of 170º too wide.

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Sam, it's called Time Lapse Assembler it's a Mac program.

November 17, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I watched this review last night in our bedroom on the 42" tv. My wife walked in, looked at the tv, and shook her head.

She just can't appreciate good reviews on "man toys."

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Will you be doing a review on the sj5000+?
I plan on waiting for that one to decide which one to get.

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGerald

Hello I just purchased the sj4000 about 3 weeks ago and I absolutely love it!!!!! I have seen on sjcams.com they have released the new j5000 + it looks great. It is 1080 60 fps 14 MP 720 120fps and I think all of your fans would love a review on it as well. Thank you here is the link to the camera I am talking about. http://www.sjcam.com/home/29-sjcam-sj5000-plus-ambarella-a7ls75-1080p-60fps-sport-action-camera.html

November 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCAMMY G.

Excellent, practical review as usual. Thanks for all the time and energy you put into your reviews.

I was wondering which model Manfrotto monopod you were using (seen in video outside your conservatory) and what you thought of it. I haven't been able to find a review from you of it but would appreciate knowing more. Like action cams, monopods also have some Chinese copies available at comparatively budget prices. On example of this is the Manfrotto 561BHDV-1 monopod and the 'Chinese copy' - Jie Yang JY0506.

Love to hear your views!

Andy

November 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndySnapper

I can't recall the model number but there are things I like about it and things I don't like. I use it at home only and it's handy when doing tall shots without getting the legs of a traditional tripod in the way. It has small legs which let it stand on its own....but it wobbles noticeably and I've gone back to using a traditional tripod where possible because of this.

November 18, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Excellent review. I was going to get an SJ4000 now I'm not sure...

My main concern about the SJ4000 seems to the the tendency to under expose compared to the GoPro Hero. Does adjusting the exposure/aperture compensation settings on the SJ4000 make much difference?

Also I have read that the SJ4000 takes a 64GB micro card and another source saying it takes a max 32GB micro card, do you know what is the maximum size micro card?

Many thanks from a fellow Mancunian!

Keep up the superb reviews!

November 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMick

Hi Techmoan,

Thanks for your great review and the comparison of both Gopro and Sj4000.

I have one question. In my memory the dark area (indoor) of SJ4000 was much better than you showed in this comparison. Am I missing something??

Obviously SJ4000 has extremely sharpening in its camera software and showed Artifact in the movie. In this way this Budget Gopro is winning SJ4000 thumb down.

I in fact would like to have a 4K SJCam in the future.

There is budget software for 4K Sport Camera video in the market. Magix Fast cut for about $50-. It is including Stabilizer and Lens correction. I have not try it yet, but it certainly sound interesting.

Thanks

Pat

November 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPat

Great review again techmoan!

Apparently an SJ5000 will be released this month - do you have any info on it?

November 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVeasey

Hey there, great review, again!

Just wanted to put more pressure on the SJ5000+ objective. Just in case, it was not enough yet.... ;-)

Greetings from germany,
Udo

November 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterUdo

Looks like the new SJCAM M10 could be real competition for GoPro?

PLEASE, PLEASE do a review.

http://www.sjcam.com/home/28-sjcam-m10-cube-mini-full-hd-action-sport-camera.html

November 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoger Allison-Jones

Same as sj4000, only different enclosure.
Review done 😇😎

November 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterUdo

SJ4000 auto WB is bad which means colors are way to blue. For better comparisation you should have changed WB to the best manual setting. My personal favorite is "cloudy" (most of the times). Next adjustment I always use is exposure +1.

BTW I hope you'll review the SJ5000 also!

December 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristiaan

For the past month or so, I've really enjoyed watching virtually all of your reviews. I've been interested lately in "upgrading" the camera for my Phantom FC40 Drone. It takes surprisingly great videos considering the compact size and the specs. All that you hear about is the Gopro line of cameras in the news media but I've read your reviews of other small video camera's and especially found your reviews of the SJ4000 interesting in comparison to the more expensive Gopro. What caught my attention was the review of yours that I found on Foxoffer.com.........comparing it along side the Gopro 3+Silver. It was obvious that the Gopro was a bit better but for the price difference, I decided on the purchase of the SJcam 4000 Wifi and still waiting for it's arrival.
Your most recent review comparing the SJ400) to the new low priced basic Gopro........I don't feel as strongly towards the SJ4000. The basic Gopro can be had for about the same price as the SJ4000 wifi and although the SJ4000 comes standard with more attachments and the fact that the waterproof case can be removed unlike the new Gopro, it's also obvious that the Gopro is an overall better camera for about the same price. I'm sure that I'll enjoy my new SJ400 when it arrives but think I jumped the gun on the purchase after watching your most recent review.
Regards, Tom Mills

December 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThomas Mills

For the past month or so, I've really enjoyed watching virtually all of your reviews. I've been interested lately in "upgrading" the camera for my Phantom FC40 Drone. It takes surprisingly great videos considering the compact size and the specs. All that you hear about is the Gopro line of cameras in the news media but I've read your reviews of other small video camera's and especially found your reviews of the SJ4000 interesting in comparison to the more expensive Gopro. What caught my attention was the review of yours that I found on Foxoffer.com.........comparing it along side the Gopro 3+Silver. It was obvious that the Gopro was a bit better but for the price difference, I decided on the purchase of the SJcam 4000 Wifi and still waiting for it's arrival.
Your most recent review comparing the SJ400) to the new low priced basic Gopro........I don't feel as strongly towards the SJ4000. The basic Gopro can be had for about the same price as the SJ4000 wifi and although the SJ4000 comes standard with more attachments and the fact that the waterproof case can be removed unlike the new Gopro, it's also obvious that the Gopro is an overall better camera for about the same price. I'm sure that I'll enjoy my new SJ400 when it arrives but think I jumped the gun on the purchase after watching your most recent review.
Regards, Tom Mills

December 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThomas Mills

Hi just seen on sjcam website that the sj5000 has been released. I have also seen your post about fakes. Surely on the sjcam website this is not fake? Any info would be appreciated!

December 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAbi

Ever heard of this company?

https://www.chinavasion.com/

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterR. Reed

Australia Christmas day 30degree c, played with my new 0801 mini and set it up. put it in the car and the heat fried it within 10 minutes. not much I can do but if you could get the word out would be great. the warning was not on your video when I was shopping.

December 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Who's the producer or the company making the SJ4000? All I can find is from China, not sure if it's legit.

January 3, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGay Aida Dumaguing

Shenzhen Hongfeng Century Technology Company Limited.

January 4, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Techmoan... really great to see your reviews!
I'm struggling to get footage on my macbook pro ... nothing comes up when I attach the SJ4000 cam...
What do you suggest please...

January 19, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterstevie

I always put the MicroSD card into a full size SD card adaptor and put that into the card reader on my Mac. I've never attached the SJ4000 via a cable.

January 19, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Mat,
Just seen your review on the sj4000. I use a mac os x and edit on final cut express, from my DSR 570. Want to include some pov shots. So will the software work with the SJ4000

January 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDaveC

Hi Mat,
Just seen your review on the sj4000. I use a mac os x and edit on final cut express, from my DSR 570. Want to include some pov shots. So will the software work with the SJ4000

January 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDaveC

There's no Software as such. Just insert the SD card into your Mac and import the video files. That's how I make all my videos, which are edited in iMovie.

January 30, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

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