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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
DR02 D - Best Budget Dual Cam
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%! 

 
« K1S - The first Front & Rear Hidden 1080p Dash Camera | Main | JBL Pulse - The Bluetooth Speaker Party in a can »
Saturday
Feb072015

The Big SJ5000+ Action Camera Review

Twenty-odd years ago I worked in HMV. I remember being amazed when people came in the shop asking whether the latest cinema release was also available to buy on video. Fast forward a couple of decades and within a few hours of the  SJCAM SJ5000+ being announced as a preorder, scores of people emailed me to inform me that the camera was out now, asking me when my review would be ready. It seems like some things haven't changed much.

I don't know why people thought that I wouldn’t have heard about the SJ5000+. My previous SJCAM reviews have amassed a couple of million views, so it's a company that I naturally keep a close eye on. I bought their SJ5000+ as soon as it went on sale and I've been testing it for the last few weeks.
 

The reason I mentioned the fevered anticipation for the SJ5000+ above, is because I wonder if the pressure on SJCAM to deliver a follow up to their big hit, the SJ4000, may have resulted in this camera being rushed out before it was ready. It's definitely in need of a few firmware tweaks to get rid of bugs and the battery management could have done with optimising before the camera went on sale. 

I'll have to consider this to be a review of an unfinished product.  I intend to revisit this camera if improvements are made to the way it performs and perhaps then I'll also get the chance to take it out on the motorbike on a sunny day.
 
Watch the video below to find out all about the SJ5000 Plus. Both the good.... and the not-so-good.
 
 
  
If you want a 1080p60 SJCAM now, there are some affiliated buying links below:
The ebay links are here: (click your country) UK  US  AU  DE  NL  FR
   

As always, download these files to your machine before viewing them - streaming will make them look worse than youtube.
Other cameras I've recently reviewed in the SJCAM range (all capable of 1080p30).
 
Also note that at the time of posting - Amazon UK have a great offer on the Sony AS30 at £130. This camera may not have a live video screen, but it does record 1080p60 video and has excellent quality video stabilsation, stereo sound, WiFi and GPS logging.
IMPORTANT UPDATE - the Battery life is now approx 55 Mins (Using firmware 1.7) 
See video below for more info.

 

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Reader Comments (94)

Thanks for the review. I read enough comments about the 5000+ that I opted for the new 5000 wifi instead. I've head none of the firmware-related issues that the + seems to have. If there's a mic volume setting on the 5000 wifi, though, I've yet to discover it.

February 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLM

LM, could you tell us something about your experience with the SJ5000. For example, how's the battery life and image quality on your model.

Thanks!

And Techmoan, great review again! I love what you are doing.

February 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJordy

Good review our tech guru!

A fair review that shows that you doesnt change your belives whatever you show us!

thanks+

btw i bought a sjcam sj4000 wifi but the wifi button broke

February 8, 2015 | Unregistered Commentergeorge

Fair comment on the camera as you received it. Mine has firmware version 1.7 and has been more stable than you report apart from sharing the dreadful wifi, possibly even worse than yours. Definitely a work in progress. This is my first action cam and as a professional photographer I had modest expectations of image quality. I will be carrying out some experiments into getting the best possible still and video images, documented at :

http://sjcamsj5000plus.blogspot.com/

I bought the camera in the hope of having something I could take decent stills on in adverse conditions which were up to being used for publication and the main disappointment is the lack of control over sharpening. Out of camera jpegs have pronounced sharpening haloes and noise is enhanced by the indiscriminate sharpening carried out in camera. I would much prefer to have a zero sharpening option and carry this out myself in post processing. I hope that SJCAM persevere as I think there is a useful little camera in there trying to get out. I have given the manufacturer some feedback and hope other unsatisfied users do the same. As well as the sharpening issue top of my wish list is a 1sec option for Auto Shooting as I want to be able to produce 4k time lapse from full res 16 MP images.

February 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony

Anthony I'm guessing that this is your website - if so I'd recommend people also have a look at your comments about this camera and perhaps provide feedback or suggestions too.

February 9, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

That is disappointing.

I sold my SJ4000 so that I could buy SJ5000 Plus (for 60fps recording) for next cycling season, however with such terrible battery life (I need at least 90 minutes of recording) and series of issues, and still no stabilization it seems like it's a no go.

What should I buy in same price range? Is SJ5000 (non plus) worthy upgrade from SJ4000 (i don't need wifi)? Battery life, video quality?

February 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSJ_what

I just checked GoPro 4 silver values, and it provides 1080p60 for 100 minute recording and also has mountable battery pack which SJ doesn't... how bad the battery is for it to provide only 38 minutes of recording...

Hero 3 Plus 135min of 1080p60. Crazy.

What they were thinking?

February 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSJ_what

Thanks for the review.

My next inclination is to look around and see what's available (I blog about drone DIY). My thoughts at the moment are looking at the Sony AZ1, I think it's the more new version of the Sony AS30?? The only thing holding me back on the Sony is I have no idea if it has usb video-out functionality like the Mobius/808 #16 has (I need this so I can output to a transmitter for flying)

I'd love to know anyone who has an AS30 or better yet an AZ1 and could answer the video-out question. All-in-all I'm just not really that comfortable strapping a £300 gopro for my flights, and besides, i'd sooner spend that amount of money on a new CSC body to upgrade from my Sony C3.

Hey Techmoan, you're welcome to head over to the Pendle area with your vast abundance of actioncams and perhaps make a mega-test-video for drone flying, demoing vibration tests, and what not.

February 9, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterbenbojangles

Yes Matt, I'm interested in hearing experiences from other buyers. Very frustrating as it has produced some very tolerable video for me, though this isn't necessarily visible in the Youtube samples. Nice to see familiar bits of Manchester in your tests. I'm coming up from Sunny Devon in April to cat sit for my son and explore Manchester and the Peaks for my "real" photography. :-)


http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/search/2/image?family=creative,editorial&artists=Anthony%20Collins&excludenudity=false

February 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony

Was the "39 minutes" 1 clip? Or several on/offs?

The Panasonic HX-A500 4k camera - There are significant penalties for on/off usage. It's all mentioned in the Panasonic user manual.

February 11, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterbri

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