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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)

@benbojangles The sony fdr-x1000v 4k action cam is scheduled for march 2015. Looks to have excellent stabilization and specialized stuff for drone shake.

February 11, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterbri

I have found a blog site that caters to pretty much all the SJCam firmware range;

http://blog.geekbuying.com/index.php/2015/01/08/new-firmware-update-for-sjcam-sj5000-plus-sj5000-sj4000-sj-series-cameras/

Maybe Techmoan could make this a sticky somewhere on his page (if not already)?

February 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMiklos Koncsek

b&h shipping with f/w 1.7

Why wouldn't you go directly to sj website for f/w? http://www.sjcam.com/en/

February 13, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterbri

How long can it record with firmware 1.7 at 1080p30?

February 13, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterrcboosted

Thanks for the review.
It appears SJCAM have bombed on this one. I was eagerly awaiting this camera to replace my sj4000. However at this price and with this many issues I will spend a little more and get a more finished camera from a name brand company. The short battery life is of particular concern.

February 13, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteraquacove

v1.7 1080p/30 with 5 minute clips - 01:22:35

February 14, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterbri

@bri thanks for that info.

@Techmoan If 1.7 can record 1:22:35 at 30fps, that's a crucial point that is missed in the review. The SJ4000 couldn't do 60 fps, so comparing sj5000's 60 fps recording time to sj4000's 30fps recording time is not fair. This is easily the case of, if you want to record at 60fps, expect less recording time. Otherwise, at 30fps, you have over 80min of recording time.

February 14, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterrcboosted

My SJ4000 was able to record 1:43 @ 1080p/30fps

Even 1:22 is a downgrade @ 1080/30fps

Compare battery life to the ones of GoPro I posted above, they are without battery pack, 1080p/60fps has around the same times as 1080p/30 on SJCAM 4000.

Battery is TERRIBLE, 40mins is UNACCEPTABLE. Don't make excuses for them.

I saw there is 1100mah battery, and seems it works, so it might get 1080/30 recording to SJ4000 levels and raise 1080/60 to slightly better results, but still it's terrible. Even for the price, half of the case in camera is empty and they save money on battery....

February 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSJ_what

Not too sure how so many people appear to be missing the two onscreen annotations on YouTube and the info in the YouTube description box and my comments under the video on YouTube and the the bold text below the video here......but please note:

************ BATTERY LIFE IS NOW 55mins (Using Firmware 1.7) ************

Now I'm not saying that's great.....but it's better than the 38 mins I got on firmware 1.4.

February 14, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I viewed your review with great interest; thank you for that.
I myself own a SJ5000 Plus (firmware 1.4) and am experiencing many troubles right from the start: lots of lock-ups on random moments, WIFI not working or absolutely not reliable and lots of recorded movies can not be read/viewed. If the camera locks up the only solution is to remove the battery, for it completely freezes.
Getting tired of all that, I tried to download fw version 1.7. But the only one I found on the internet was a indonesian version; first I do not speak their language so did 'nt understand the instructions and second after installing the firmware the amount of troubles and lock-ups only seemed greater.
So I had no other option then downgrading to version 1.4. This worked and the camera is operating as before; not better anyway.
At last I decided to wait for the official release of fw 1.7 by SJCAM, but their site (www.sjcam.com) seems to be completely deleted/hacked/vanished, for when I try to go there nothing happens at all.
Does anyone have suggestions for a reliable address to become reliable version of firmware 1.7?
I would be helped a lot if the problems could be solved; I'm planning a motorcycle-trip to Scotland in may this year and would be very pleased to be able bringing some nice pictures and movies back home.
Thanks a lot in advance - Haver

February 16, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHaver

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