Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by internetpilot » Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:27 pm

Here's a link on Amazon ($119):
http://www.amazon.com/Original-SJ4000-W ... j4000+wifi

And a pic of the new camera with SJCAM logo on it:
SJ4000Wifi.jpg
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by jman82 » Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:51 pm

I'm seriously thinking about getting this camera for my Birthday. The price point and the reviews really compell me to put it on my Wish List. Has anyone bought the Wifi version yet?
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by internetpilot » Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:53 pm

The guy in the review I posted has bought one ("TechMoan") -- he's pretty honest and candid in his reviews and buys all of the cameras he reviews so it's not like hes influenced with freebies. There doesn't seem to be any quality difference in the wifi vs non-wifi one, and I can recommend the non-wifi one for image quality without reservation.

I'm getting tempted to buy a second one, probably the WiFi version, and just use the first one as a dash cam in my car. I'm actually using it for a dash cam now, but when I go fishing I have to remove it, which isn't terribly difficult, but not exactly convenient either.
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by internetpilot » Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:45 pm

Just to add to the general confusion of the knockoffs of the GoPro knockoffs, SJCAM did just recently release a SJ5000 model -- both in a wifi and non-wifi version.

As with the latest SJ4000 and SJ4000 Wifi, the SJ5000 should prominently display the SJCAM logo or it's likely a fake.

Also, probably due to their popularity, SJCAM now has an official website (something they didn't have before), so you can check out all their legitimate GoPro knockoffs (and make sure you don't buy a knockoff of the knockoff...haha):

http://www.sjcam.com/3-cameras

I might actually go for a SJ5000 as a second camera -- they're boasting it now has a 14mp Panasonic sensor in it and has a 2" view screen.
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by internetpilot » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:07 pm

Raising this thread again due to new developments (and a purchase!):

SJCAM has released a new camera SJ series camera model in late December 2014 that's apparently the bees knees of action cameras (I've never understood what "bees knees" means, but I think it's supposed to be really good ;)).

It's called the SJ5000+ (note the "Plus"). It has Wifi, all the included accessories its predecessors (SJ4000 and SJ5000) came with, and most importantly (and what everyone's going crazy about) is that it has a true 16mp Panasonic MN34120PA sensor in it for true hi-res photos without any in-camera software upscaling, and it also uses an Ambarella A7 chip for video (like the GoPro Hero 3 series) so you get a true 1080p HD resolution at 60 fps (frames per second). Just like its predecessors, the SJ5000+ has a built-in LCD screen for easier framing of the video/photo, as well as instant review of both.

It really took the action cam market by storm, and they almost immediately sold out of all pre-orders on it (they weren't even shipping them yet) and couldn't even keep production up with demand. Even well after the Christmas season, they're still struggling to keep up with demand, and most of the usual sources for SJCAM products have the SJ5000+ listed as "sold out".

But I've been keeping a stubborn eye on its availability in the USA (eBay, Amazon, etc.) since it was first announced, and after rolling my eyes at several ridiculous eBay sellers listing it for $400+, I finally found an Amazon Prime listing for the MSRP of $169 and bought it. I'll have it on Friday and I'll mess around with it and post at least a mini review, most likely directly comparing it to my SJ4000.

Here's the Amazon link if anyone else is interested (as of posting this there are 13 left and only in black):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SF8 ... UTF8&psc=1
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by cobra52 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:45 pm

killer post interpilot. a couple of years back I tried the knock off to the Go Pro, and I purchased a Swan Digital sports camera, , not so much, and had horrible customer service, in fact, Swan had almost No customer service, just a young oriental guy in California telling me I'm screwed as my camera was 13 days beyond the 1 yr. Swan warranty, no exceptions. this new 5000 model camera might be my next attempt to have a good fishing camera onboard for some nice video, to prove the awesome trip and prize on board the yak. thanks for the excellent update. appreciate it

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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by fishstoner » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:31 am

I found those also and my wife was nice enought to get me one for Christmas, showed up about 2 weeks late. Looks good on paper but I had several issues out of the box. I did all the firmware upgrades and everything they wanted me to. I think I was having wifi interference and the wifi dropped a lot. Plus I had freezing issues. It had red lines that went through the video when recording started. I will say that the wifi controls via phone are lacking Nd tyre is a big communications issue with the company... Very broken English. Sent it back and bought a HERO4 silver and love it.. No problems at all and the app on the phone is fantastic with lots of controls. I just hope I get my money back after sending the SJ5000+ back to China.
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by internetpilot » Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:57 am

cobra52 wrote:killer post interpilot. a couple of years back I tried the knock off to the Go Pro, and I purchased a Swan Digital sports camera, , not so much, and had horrible customer service...
I bought one of the Swann cameras, too, when they were on Woot (Amazon's closeout outlet). Although I haven't regretted that purchase quite as much as you (mine is still working fine), there's really no comparison between the Swann feature set and the SJCAM's feature set. But in their defense, Swann's action cam was one of the very first legitimate GoPro alternatives, and captures really good HD video. My problems with it were purely feature (or lack thereof) annoyance. It wouldn't retain its settings (like the shutter timer) after turning it off/on, and you couldn't have the LCD screen on it with the waterproof housing, so there was no way to turn on the shutter timer (or any other) setting again, so you'd end up with a pic of you pointing the remote at the camera. It was also difficult to use as a CPR tournament camera, because again you couldn't have the LCD screen on it when in the waterproof housing so you really had no way of knowing if captured a good photo or not. The remote also wouldn't bring the camera out of sleep mode, so you still had to reach for the camera to turn it on and then you could use the remote, which kinda defeats most of the purpose of a remote.

Again, it was a great first effort as a GoPro alternative, but just not quite there. The SJCAM line from the 4000 model on up is far closer to a legit GoPro alternative with very few compromises for most folks and for me, personally, virtually no compromises unless you count not having to open the wallet up wider to pay 4x the price for a GoPro.
fishstoner wrote:I found those also and my wife was nice enought to get me one for Christmas, showed up about 2 weeks late. Looks good on paper but I had several issues out of the box.
Are you sure it was a SJCAM SJ5000/SJ5000+? Because there's been a Amkov "SJ5000" camera out since August that a lot of people thought was the upgrade to the SJ4000 when it's not the same manufacturer. The Amkov SJ5000 looks more like a GoPro, with a little LCD status screen on the front and no LCD viewing screen on the back. It's what caused SJCAM to really start marketing their namebrand of SJCAM (including repackaging/relabeling their older models). It wouldn't terribly surprise me if you encountered those problems with an SJCAM SJ4000 or even a "non-plus" SJCAM SJ5000 with a Novatek sensor/processor, but I would be very surprised if it was the SJ5000+ with the Panasonic/Ambarella A7 sensor and processor combo, because that's some legitimate namebrand components that are in $500+ cameras put out by namebrands like Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, etc. I mean, SJCAM could still screw those nice components up with their manufacturing or especially their firmware, but they'd have to be really stupid.

Your phone app problems don't surprise me at all. Even legit namebrands like Eye-Fi (who puts out Wifi SD card for any camera), and legit camera manufacturers like Canon, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, even GoPro, all have significant problems with their respective phone apps due to the wide variance of phone hardware. Almost all of them work great with an iPhone (because there's no variance in the hardware), but the Android apps are almost always a very mixed success rate because there is such a wide assortment of Android phones. This is especially true in China, where they're not just considering Motorola, Samsung, and HTC -- we haven't even heard of their best selling namebrands because they don't make it to the USA market. So the SJCAM wifi app probably works great on their Chinese Android phones....haha. I'm a career network engineer and wifi is a industry pain-in-the-@$$. I have really high end networking hardware (Cisco -- it's basically runs the entire internet) in my house, and for the longest time my older kids' iPhones and iPads wouldn't even connect to it at all.

Honestly, I'll probably try the wifi when I first get the camera, and then I will likely never use it again. I just don't see a purpose for it for me. That's the reason why I bought an action camera -- because I don't want to have my phone so exposed to the elements or potential loss when fishing. So my phone is going to stay it's waterproof pouch in my drybox. And that's actually one of the benefits of the SJ cameras with all of them having a built-in LCD screen. It negates a lot of the reason behind having a wifi connection to your phone. You can see what you're recording right on the camera's LCD. That's been a huge negative with GoPro because the LCD was an expensive add-on to an already pricey camera system. GoPro finally included a built-in LCD with the Hero 4 Silver (@ $400), but now that's going cause issues with backward compatibility with accessories like extended battery backpacks, waterproof housings, float doors, etc.

Anywho...sorry whatever you got didn't work out for you! I'm hoping I have a better experience. I'd really like to use the SJ5000+ as my main camera pointed at me for video and photo selfies, and then use my SJ4000 on a pole behind me or maybe on a head/chest harness allowing me to record both views while fishing. It would also be nice to put the cameras on two of my family members when on vacation instead of just one. I have a pretty active family, and sharing one action cam just isn't always working out. ;)
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by fishstoner » Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:29 pm

I believe the concept of the SJ 5000 is good and it has a lot of potential for the price. I found that several companies were having issues with them after they had shipped. All information as you stated his true in general about the product. Overall I was disappointedand felt it was not working up to its expectations. As far as the confirmation that it was an official SCAM sj5000+,it was and it was purchased from geekbuying. One of the first distributors to have the product. There were several distributors that stop taking orders for the product because they found it to have too many bugs. I hopethat you have a more pleasurable experience. I sent mine back, But if they repair it, or deny my return and send it back to me I'll be happy to give you the opportunity to buy it from me.
As far as the goPro hero4 silver that I bought to replace the SJ5000+, it has worked flawlessly for me since I have had it on the boat, on the lake, at the river, at the fire station. The wireless has been working extremely well unlike the SJ 5000+. Now you also mentioned something about the Touch screen on the back of the SJ 5000. You won't be able to use that when it's in its case and you're on your kayak unless you want to take it out in the water environment. (I would much rather use my iPhone in a waterproof case then take my camera out of its protective case) I don't recall mine coming with a back that was waterproof and you were still able to use the touchscreen. The goPro on the other hand hero4silver has the touch screen built-in and records at 2.7 K. It does come with a waterproof back that you can use your touchscreen. You just can't go more than about 8 feet underwater. It's not a dive back. That's why I like all the features of the wireless connection and the go Pro, It allows you to completely change your settings quickly from video to photo, to time lapse to multishot, changing resolutions on the fly. Don't give me wrong the SCAM camera will probably be really good for the value at some point once they get all the bugs worked out. I'm just trying to communicate issues that I had from the first production
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by internetpilot » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:31 pm

fishstoner wrote:Now you also mentioned something about the Touch screen on the back of the SJ 5000. You won't be able to use that when it's in its case and you're on your kayak unless you want to take it out in the water environment. (I would much rather use my iPhone in a waterproof case then take my camera out of its protective case) I don't recall mine coming with a back that was waterproof and you were still able to use the touchscreen.
I hope you didn't send the SJ5000+ back because the touchscreen wasn't working, because it doesn't have a touchscreen LCD! Access to all the menus and features are through the buttons, which are all accessible even with the waterproof casing on.

I've just personally never really understood the idea (and risk) of pulling out my $400 smartphone while out on the water to use as a remote control for a $500 camera, especially when wifi is such a notorious battery drain to both the phone and camera. I'd rather just reach for the camera and press buttons to change settings while viewing the menus on the built-in screen which saves on battery life, has less risk to my phone, and is a fraction of the price.

Time will tell if my SJ5000+ is any good -- I should receive it in today's mail. Thankfully, I bought it through Amazon, so if it doesn't work out for any reason, I can just send it back to them rather than China.
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by fishstoner » Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:45 pm

Hey know what you're right sorry for the confusion, I miss spoke about the touchscreen and everything else about the camera, good luck with your camera.
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by internetpilot » Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:52 pm

Well, I did receive the SJCAM SJ5000+ today and WOW...I'm very impressed! Definitely a full notch above the SJ4000 series, which is an excellent GoPro alternative itself. I can definitely see why most people review the SJ4000 series as equivilent to the GoPro Hero 2, whereas the SJ5000+ is definitely right up there with the GoPro Hero 3. The 1080p/60fps video is amazing and even the true 16mp still photos look great.

@Fishstoner: Not sure which wifi app you used, but I found two apps by SJCAM when I searched the Google Play store (I have an Android phone) -- both of them failed miserably. My phone would connect to the camera, but the app wouldn't. So I started suspecting that those two apps were for the SJ4000 WiFi and the SJ5000 WiFi, but not for the SJ5000+. Sure enough, when I scanned the QR code link on the box to go to the app, it took me to a completely different third app called LinkinEyes. It has no apparent association for SJCAM, but is instead specifically tailored to the Ambarella A7 chipset that's in the SJ5000+. LinkinEyes works flawlessly! It stayed connected, it worked through two walls, I had full access to every setting and function. Looking back in your posts, I see you have an iPhone, whereas I use an Android phone, so that could easily explain the different experiences, even if we were both using the same LinkinEyes app. For once I'm actually lucky, because LinkinEyes specifically stated in the app description that it was tested on my phone (Samsung Galaxy Note 2).

I'll do some more testing over the weekend and post a video or two, probably directly comparing the the two cameras (SJ4000 and SJ5000+) side by side. The link I posted above on Amazon is no longer Amazon Prime, but they do still offer it at the same price with free shipping. The problem is that I'm not entirely sure where it's being shipped from anymore -- it might now be shipped from China rather than an Amazon distribution center in the US, so be mindful of that and verify the shipping origination if you buy one using that link.
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by fishstoner » Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:53 pm

Here are some of the captures I took from the video. Look for the red lines.. I tried with and without all the different apps. Started doing it every time I recorded..
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by internetpilot » Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:06 am

fishstoner wrote:Here are some of the captures I took from the video. Look for the red lines.. I tried with and without all the different apps. Started doing it every time I recorded..
Wow, that's pretty bad. I'm not encountering that at all, but your post did make me shoot test video with the wifi off and on and then verify on my desktop PC that my SJ5000+ wasn't doing that!

In my further testing, I did have some quirkiness happen with the wifi and the LinkinEyes app. I ended up having to reboot the camera, reconnect my phone to the camera, and restart the app. But in their defense, that's something I've had to do with my EyeFi card in my camera, as well as my Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 when trying to use their respective phone app. Again, though, I don't know if I'll ever truly test the wifi app to the fullest because even though this LinkinEyes one seems pretty darn slick, I don't think I'll probably ever use it in the real world.
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Re: Nice GoPro Alternative (Inexpensive)

Post by Corsair86 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:17 am

Fishstoner and InternetPilot,

i just got the SJ5000+ and tested it out using a SanDisk Ultra UHI-I/Class 10 Micro SDHC Memory Card, 32GB, model number SDSDQUAN-032G-G4A. The pictures were great, but the video seemed choppy. The go pro site recommends these cards for their hero 4:
•SanDisk Extreme 32GB microSDHC (SDSDQXL-032G)
•SanDisk Extreme 64GB microSDXC (SDSDQXL-064G)
•Lexar 32GB SDHC 633x (LSDMI32GBBNL633R)
•Lexar 64GB SDXC 633x (LSDMI64GBBNL633R)

what make/model of microSD card are you using?

thanks!

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