Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

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internetpilot
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by internetpilot » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:32 am

I stopped using SanDisk micro SD cards a couple of years ago when SanDisk finally admitted that their micro SD cards had compatibility issues specifically with Samsung devices (which is what my entire family has for phones, tablets, and even one of my cameras). I also tried the one SanDisk card I had in my Swann actioncam and it seemed to work at first but later stopped recognizing the card. I'm an avid amateur photographer and I've always used SanDisk memory cards (still do use their full size SD cards), but I don't use their micro SD products anymore.

Since most of my electronics are Samsung, I switched to their brand of micro SD cards and haven't had a problem since. This includes all four of my action cams (Swann, SJ4000, SJ5000+, and the dashcam in my truck). Right now I'm using this card in my SJ5000+:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IVP ... ttom_links
It's not even the fastest card Samsung makes, but it does fine even with 1080p/60fps video of the SJ5000+.
-- Chris :thumbleft:
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Corsair86
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by Corsair86 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:55 pm

Got a Sandisk extreme and the Samsung you mentioned. Both work excellent, and I discovered the original problem may have been my computer. Both cards had same issue when I copied video to desktop and played from there. So I loaded them into windows live movie maker, saved the files as .WMV and they looked great!

Here's a few from Saturday morning to show quality of sound capture thru waterproof casing and the motion at higher speeds with bumps

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_GhRVJ ... e=youtu.be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBMrlD9 ... e=youtu.be


Thanks again!!!

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internetpilot
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by internetpilot » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:13 pm

Glad you figured it out. It's actually good to have extra memory cards, so.... Haha

The video on the 5000+ model is just superb. I'm very impressed with it. SJCAM could've charged a lot more than $169 msrp for it, but I (and my wallet) are glad they didn't. It will be interesting to see if they attempt to keep up with GoPro and put out a 2K or even 4K model.
-- Chris :thumbleft:
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by internetpilot » Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:58 pm

I haven't had time to do a comparison video on the SJ4000 vs SJ5000+, but I did take the SJ5000+ on a recent trip to Universal Studios and was specifically testing the still photo feature. It's very impressive and definitely a true 16mp rather than an upscaled 2mp image.

Here's an untouched (other than resized) photo of the Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Studios. Below it is a link to a fullsize version of the photo.
Image
Click [HERE] to see a full resolution version of this image. Note that it may open up in another window of your browser.

For the photography buffs, there is a little mottling going on when you pixel peep (zoom in a lot on the image), but it's still very impressive quality for a $170 camera, and I think that's basically par for what you can expect from such a relatively tiny sensor at 16mp resolution. Of course the image is very "fisheye" because of the extreme wideangle lens, and there's some very minor vignetting (darking in the corners).
-- Chris :thumbleft:
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Stitch
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by Stitch » Sat May 14, 2016 9:34 pm

I just purchased and received the SJ7000 knock off of the SJCAM for $44 with shipping on ebay. Completely impressed with the quality for the price. The wifi works great, the app functions perfect and allows you to adjust all of the settings from your phone instead of using the on board menu on the camera itself. Pretty sure I'll be purchasing more of these.

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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by SuaSponte » Sat May 14, 2016 10:14 pm

I use the GeekPro myself.

The biggest difference you will find with these knockoffs is the frame rate at which they shoot 4k/1080/720. GoPro shoots 4k at 30pfs while the knocks offs shoot at 10-15 fps. Go Pro 1080 is 60fps and knocks are usually 15-30. GoPro 720 can shoot as high as 120-240fps and knockoffs may be similar or around 60fps.

Another big difference is the night shot quality is nothing remotely close to the GoPro as the auto light balancing basically doesn't even exist on the knockoffs.

So as long as your shooting 720p in the daytime then buy a knockoff. But if you want superior high resolution 1080p or 4k then the GoPro is a must.
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by Stitch » Sat May 14, 2016 10:39 pm

How does your geekpro stand up against the gopro?

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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by internetpilot » Sun May 15, 2016 7:19 am

The SJCAM SJ5000+ shoots 1080p 60fps. And the SJ5000x shoots 4k 30fps. Apparently there is a SJ5000x Elite about to be released that can do 4k 60fps.

All of these are using the same brand of chipset (Ambarella) for video as GoPro. I specifically choose the SJ5000+ because it also uses a 16 megapixel Panasonic sensor for still shots so it's still pics are the real deal. The SJCAMs aren't the cheapest knockoffs, but they're still a fraction of the price of the genuine GoPros and the performance is pretty darn close when comparing the videos directly (search YouTube for numerous comparison review videos).

Just FYI, SJCAM doesn't make a SJ7000. So that's actually a knockoff of a knockoff. It can be really difficult to find a genuine SJCAM source these days.
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by SuaSponte » Sun May 15, 2016 7:39 am

Stitch wrote:How does your geekpro stand up against the gopro?
As long as its daytime shooting its perfectly fine. Just don't plan on anything at night to be worth a crap. After reading the reviews of the SJ Im willing to check that one out for a little extra cost. The GeekPro might just end up becoming my permanent dash cam in the CRV.
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by internetpilot » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:52 am

It's been a while since I updated this thread. I'm still happily using my SJCAM SJ5000+ camera for both fishing and sometimes family happy snaps when I don't feel like toting around my big camera. The other day I noticed the clasp on the included waterproof casing is getting a little difficult to open and close, so I figured I'd get a replacement casing before it completely breaks (probably the morning of a fishing a trip with my luck). So, in searching for said waterproof casing, I came across a great find -- it's the SJCAM *powered* waterproof casing for motorcycles. This case serves as a normal, standalone waterproof casing for using the camera submerged/underwater, but when you're using it for something that just requires water resistance (up to the point of submersion), you can unscrew an access port that allows you to plug in a USB/12v power supply to the camera and then seal it back up relatively well to something that's just shy of being completely waterproof. If it would do well on a motorcycle in the rain (as it's designed to do), then I'm sure it would be fine fishing (unless you turtle your kayak or otherwise drop it in the drink).

Basically, this means no more battery worries, which is awesome. As most of you who use any actioncam (even genuine GoPros) know, one of the biggest caveats is the battery life (or lack thereof) on these cameras. At the most you're going to get maybe 1.5 hours out of a regular battery. For someone who just occasionally videos short parts of his fishing trips, that usually works out fine for me. But if you want to have it recording all the time you're fishing, that's usually when you quickly discover that actioncam batteries...well...suck.

They also make a version for the SJ4000 (the SJ5000 has more buttons on it so it requires a different case design).
SJ5000 Moto 1.jpg
Without the power cord attached.
SJ5000 Moto 1.jpg (27.74 KiB) Viewed 4811 times
SJ5000 Moto 2.jpg
With the 12v/USB power cord attached.
SJ5000 Moto 2.jpg (39.31 KiB) Viewed 4811 times
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by internetpilot » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:23 pm

More great news about the the SJCAM SJ5000 series and newer models -- the latest firmware update allows them to now support 64GB microSD cards. They used to be limited to 32GB, and with these newer models supporting 1080p/60fps and even 2K and 4K resolutions, 32GB can fill up pretty quickly.

In addition to flashing the latest firmware, you also have to reformat the 64GB microSD card using FAT32 instead of exFAT (the default format that it's in out of the package).

Now with more/longer battery life (see my previous post), as well as more storage, I can finally record hours and hours of me catching nothing at the local lakes up here in Fairfax! :D
-- Chris :thumbleft:
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by internetpilot » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:50 am

Just updating this thread with the latest -- I've semi-retired the SJCAM SJ5000+ camera after buying a genuine GoPro Hero 5 Black. When the GoPro Hero 6 came out, the Hero 5 prices dropped by almost $150 from the original MSRP of $400. Now that the Hero 7 was just released, the Hero 5 is commonly found around the $200 mark. Meanwhile similarly featured SJCAM models are pretty close the $200 mark themselves. What's nice about the GoPro Hero 5 is the battery life is much better, it can accept really high capacity storage cards (like 128gb), the image/video quality is superb, and the most obvious difference is that it doesn't require a waterproof casing because it's water resistant to 33' without a casing. Not having to use an underwater casing also allows for much better audio.

Back when I was paid $170 for my SJCAM SJ5000+, GoPros were like $500-600. Now that you can get a genuine GoPro for ~$200, it just doesn't pay to get one of the knock-offs. You can now buy some of the cheap knock-off actions cams for <$50, but they're really not very good and the image/video quality is pretty bad on them. Any of the knock-offs that offer decent quality and features are usually close to $200.

It really just depends on what you're looking for in an action camera. For casual fishing you can definitely get by with one of the cheap knock-offs, but if you need more quality and features be careful when continuing to consider the knock-offs, because the price rises quickly to within reach of the current price of the genuine GoPro Hero 5.
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DougyMillCove
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by DougyMillCove » Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:19 am

Hey Chris,
This update is much appreciated! I'm in the market for a digital camera.
PM sent!
DMC

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