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Trevor Tan
Digital Life, The Straits Times
Friday, May 23, 2014

News, Reviews, Science And Tech

Review: SJ-4000 Action Camera

Digital Life, The Straits Times | Trevor Tan | Friday, May 23, 2014

SJ-4000 Action Camera

Almost everyone who sees this action camera mistakes it for the world-famous GoPro Hero3+.

It is not a surprise as this gadget does not have a proper brand name, being known only by its model number, SJ-4000.

And it really looks like the GoPro Hero3+, from the silver panel on its front to the rubberised top, bottom and sides.

Like the GoPro Hero3+, it also has a front Power/Mode button with a single OK button on top.

The micro-HDMI, micro-USB port and microSD slots are sited on the left, but they are not covered and the device lacks built-in Wi-Fi.

Unlike the illustrious GoPro, the lookalike has a built-in LCD screen at the back.

On the right side of the camera are Up/Down buttons that take you through the menu.

Despite being priced at only $150, the SJ-4000 comes with as many accessories as you can desire. They include a waterproof casing, bicycle mount stand, two base plates, a tripod-mount clip, fixed base, three attachment arms, two helmet adhesive mounts, Velcro tighteners and even a wire rope.

On the downside, the attachment arms moved freely no matter how much I tightened the screws. Thankfully, the waterproof casing proved its worth. It is well designed and you can work all the buttons with the camera fully encased.

Even the operation and handling feels like a GoPro Hero3+. Because of that, the lookalike is quite simple to use. To switch it on, hold down the Power/Mode button for 3sec to 5sec. Press the Power/Mode button to cycle through video, photo, playback and setting modes.

When in video mode, press the top OK button to start video recording. Press it again to stop.

Because it is so inexpensive, it would be unrealistic to expect top-notch video quality. The videos were decent though not as sharp as the rest of the action cameras here. Pixelation was visible even in good light and really abundant in night-time videos.

Auto exposure was not fast enough to keep track with the ever-changing lighting conditions of the luge track. Many of the videos also tended to have a bluish tint in bright sunlight and were too orange under artificial lighting.

Surprisingly, the audio quality was better than that of some action cameras in this round-up. It did not record too much ambient or wind audio.

The SJ-4000 Action Camera does not have the best video quality. But, for its price and the impressive number of accessories, it is the best value-for-money action camera.

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