GoPro Alternatives / SJCAM On-Going Review

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by TWO2SEVEN, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. TWO2SEVEN macrumors 68040

    TWO2SEVEN

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    #1
    I have been wanting a GoPro to play around with. However, I don't really want to spend several hundred dollars on one. I have seen quite a few on Amazon for $75 and under. Does anyone have any experience with these?

    Thanks!
     
  2. von franklin macrumors regular

    von franklin

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    #2
    The knock offs will be crap. I had one just play with it and it broke with in the first month.
     
  3. TWO2SEVEN thread starter macrumors 68040

    TWO2SEVEN

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    #3
    I should have added to the first post that I don't expect the knock offs to be the same quality as the GoPro. I am really looking to see if I will use it before putting a bunch of money in to it. :)
     
  4. nburwell macrumors 68040

    nburwell

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    #4
    I have seen these knock offs on Amazon as well. Quite frankly, they don't interest me really. Alternatively, you could rent a GoPro from a place like lensrentals.com to try out for a weekend. More of like a try before you buy. Especially if you're hesitant like I am to drop $200+ on a GoPro.
     
  5. Attonine, Jan 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016

    Attonine macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Well, the so called "knock-off's" especially the SJCAM branded ones, are supposed to be pretty good. Well, good enough to make a pretty large dent in GoPro's share price anyway. Dependant upon exactly what your usage will be, you'll probably be fine with a SJCAM.


    Here's a quote from an online comparison review (note: the comparison here is specifically the GoPro Hero - the budget version, vs the SJCAM 4000 - so the closest price equivalence). If you want to spend a lot more, then clearly the GoPro Hero 4 is the king.


    "The SJCAM SJ 4000, in respect to the GoPro Hero, is a far superior camera at a price far below the cost of the GoPro Hero. For around $70 you can get full HD 1080p videos, 12 mega pixel still photos, a 170 degree lens, a built in 1.5 inch LCD screen to playback your videos, several mounts, and many other features not included in in the $120.00 Go Pro Hero. In terms of quality the SJCAM SJ 4000 is comparable to GoPros last camera series the GoPro Hero 3 and GoPro Hero 3 silver. Considering the SJCAM SJ 4000 is one fourth the cost of the GoPro Hero 3, it’s safe to say when it comes to value the SJCAM SJ 4000 is your best bet."
     
  6. pmxperience macrumors regular

    pmxperience

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    #6
    What do you guys think about the Xiomi Yi in that $75-$80 price range?
     
  7. TWO2SEVEN thread starter macrumors 68040

    TWO2SEVEN

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    #7
    Ended up ordering the SJ4000 and a Micro SD card on Amazon for under $90. Should be here by next Thursday :)
     
  8. von franklin macrumors regular

    von franklin

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    #8
    Think you will be disappointed. the quality will show.
     
  9. jerwin, Jan 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016

    jerwin macrumors 65816

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    #9
    I suspect that many people who buy Go Pro clones aren't abusing them as harshly as GoPro intends.Freed of that constraint, it should be fairly easy for the manufacturer to put in better optics, and sensors for a lower price.
     
  10. TWO2SEVEN thread starter macrumors 68040

    TWO2SEVEN

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    #10
    I should have mentioned that I am not really looking for the highest possible image quality. Looking for something to take out and have fun with when we go to the ranch. :)

    I have been wanting a GoPro for a long time. However, I have tendency to buy cool stuff and then never really use it. This is a low cost way to see if I will get some use out of it. If I do, I may upgrade in the future.
     
  11. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    #11
    Another way to go is not a "knock off," but a competitor. I got a very nice Ricoh for under $100; I think it's been discontinued (or maybe just ignored). GoPro's competitors have struggled a bit, and sometimes they have cameras that had maybe even better optics, but just lacked a feature like higher framerates or whatnot. Outfits like Sony, Contour, Garmin, etc. Amazon's full of 'em.

    And now that 360 degree is the Thing, maybe more discounts, since GoPro hasn't caught up lately.

    Just make sure it outputs something you can edit easily on a Mac.
     
  12. TWO2SEVEN thread starter macrumors 68040

    TWO2SEVEN

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    #13
    Just got the camera. I only used it for a few minutes so far, I will play around with it more after I put my son to bed.

    So far, the build and accessory quality is better than I thought it would be. The image quality is about what I expected. It is likely not 1080p but it will do. This camera is to see if I will even use something like this without investing in a GoPro. If I do use it a lot I will upgrade. :)
     
  13. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020

    richwoodrocket

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    #14
    I never getting considered a GoPro clone. I have a GoPro hero 3 white. I've contacted support a few times, and they've been super helpful. Support with a knock off would probably be nonexistent.
    I contacted GoPro because my housing snapped. They sent me a new one for free and I had it within a week.
     
  14. TWO2SEVEN thread starter macrumors 68040

    TWO2SEVEN

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    #15
    If I were to get the GoPro I would want the top of the line, that is a bit out of my budget for right now. This one will do. :)
     
  15. mtbdudex macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    #16
    I'm watching this thread, post your results every 1-2 weeks.
    I'd like one for snow skiing, MTB riding, and go karts with my 2 boys.
    Capture action/etc
    [​IMG] . [​IMG]
     
  16. TWO2SEVEN, Jan 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016

    TWO2SEVEN thread starter macrumors 68040

    TWO2SEVEN

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    #17
    I got the camera last night so my only time to play with it up until now has been in my apartment. The lighting in there is so poor even my nicer cameras have a hard time making things look good. I just went outside at my office and played with the camera. Overall, I am impressed with it (for the cost). I know it is not GoPro quality, but it will do for my uses for now. It does distort still photos due to the fisheye lens, but I really didn't but it for stills. I uploaded a few sample videos to YouTube, I will post them below as well.

    These were post from my iPhone via the SJCAM and YouTube apps. Not sure how that affects the upload quality. They do look slightly better on my phone. I should also note that these were all taken with the camera inside the waterproof housing (which covers the lens).

    1. Low (horrible) light at home.


    2. Indoor light inside my office. (This one was filmed using the remote SJCAM app, a nice added feature)


    3. Outdoor sunlight (the best quality in my opinion)


    Again, these all look much better on my phone. This weekend I am going to try to pull them off of the camera via USB and upload them from my MacBook and see if that has any affect on the YouTube quality.
     
  17. TWO2SEVEN thread starter macrumors 68040

    TWO2SEVEN

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    #18
    I used iMovie to make a video out of several clips. These were filmed with the camera in the waterproof housing with and adhesive mount on my windshield. I think a better mount would help with the movement of the camera. I am looking in to a suction cup mount with a larger base.

     
  18. TWO2SEVEN thread starter macrumors 68040

    TWO2SEVEN

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    #19
    A few things I thought it would be important to mention:

    1. I have never personally used a GoPro branded camera. This thread is not meant to knock GoPro or state that the SJ4000 is better (or worse, or the same as a GoPro). In fact, if money was no object I would have the top of the line GoPro and every accessory possible. :)

    2. The point of this thread is to simply share my experience with the SJ4000. I am not a professional photographer, videographer, or editor. I am just a guy who likes cool toys, but has a wife, two dogs, and as of April two kids (so I am on a budget). :)
    --- Post Merged, Jan 24, 2016 ---
    I figured I would go over the SJCAM app for those who are interested.

    The app is a great feature for this camera. The app does act as a viewfinder for the camera. That being said there is a slight (1-2 second) delay between the camera and the app. This isn't a huge issue because the camera has a built in display on the back.

    The app also works as a remote for the camera. You are able to switch between still and video, start and stop recordings, and set the timer on the camera.

    My favorite feature of the app is that it allows you to review the footage that has been filmed and copy it to your phone.

    The app connects to your phone via the camera's wifi output. This can be a little clunky (have to go in to the Settings on your phone and connect to the wifi network, then open the app) but it is what it is. The app is not a necessity when using the camera, so it does not hinder the user experience in my opinion.
     
  19. mtbdudex macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    #20
    Same here, budget rules apply to me. Appreciate the updates.
     

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