Every time I go out for long-distance riding, I take photos and record videos, draining the phone battery so fast that it goes off in no time.
However, fascinated by the beautiful scenery, exciting things, and unforgettable moments, I can’t help but snap them.
On second thought, after reading comments online, GoPro HERO5 Black attracted me.
But, wait, can I afford it? I gave in because of my financial condition. Finally, after weighing the pros and cons, I chose SJCAM SJ6.
Why did I choose SJCAM SJ6 instead of GoPro? My intention is simple:
2. Image stabilization
3. With a long-lasting or removable battery
4. Affordable price (It matters!)
After taking into account all these four aspects above, I set aside the idea of buying GoPro HERO5 Black.
The reality was relentless, so I had no choice but SJCAM SJ6. Although the SJ6 isn’t waterproof, by using a waterproof case, it can be.
Since I am poor, I didn’t focus on the picture quality when I read reviews about action cameras. (The price might have blinded me.)
However, someone asks, “why not buy a used GoPro HERO3 or HERO4 together with a stabilizer?” After all, at least I could get a GoPro. But here came the question: was the stabilizer a giveaway? I would be happy if I could get an action camera with decent image stabilization. As for the stabilizer, no way, because I was poor.
A box that had been empty
Side view of the accessories
How to download App
SJ6 and waterproof case
The front of the camera is a 2.0-inch LCD touchscreen with a camera/video start button and an indicator light on the top; and an on/off button and a setup button on the side.
At the back of the machine are the camera, the indicator light, and a display less than 1 inch. However, in general, when riding, I will not turn on the screen to save power.
On the other side are speakers, a microphone, a Micro HDMI port, and a USB port (Mini USB). Of course, there is also a TF card slot, here, to record 4K video smoothly and not fall behind in recording in the future, I chose a UHS-3 level (over 30MB write speed) TF card.
The bottom contains battery compartment cover and 1/4 inch thread hole for a tripod
The standard battery capacity is 1000mAh
After booting, the maximum memory recording time (in video mode) visible above while the formatted 64G memory card can store videos up to 7 hours long when recording at 2K 30FPS. The anti-vibration mode is turned on, as shown at the upper right corner.
The display on the backside can only show simple parameters, such as time, recording status, battery level, etc. Under normal circumstances, I will choose to turn off this display to save power.
The camera has nine modes to choose from. Generally, I keep the video mode on during cycling. When it is recording videos, short press the on/off button I can take photos. Having toggled with it, I found that the underwater mode excels in color reproduction. However, it is a pity that one can only record video when the underwater mode is turned on.
Underwater video mode
You can see that the yellow desk in the video mode is whitened; even my iPhone7 automatically makes what is on SJ6 look overexposed, while the underwater recording mode restores the colors of the yellow desk. However, the actual effect appears more satisfactory than it looks here.
As for camera settings, you have several options: (the options are too many to be shown here)
Video options: resolution (from 4K 24FPS to VGA 240FPS), loop recording (time settings), viewing angle (narrow, medium, wide), low illumination mode, WDR, gyro image stabilization, recording, volume adjustment, date stamp, video file format, bitrate, double file recording, sharpness, white balance, color, exposure compensation, metering, fisheye correction.
Photo options include photo size (from 16M 4608*3456 to VGA 640*480), exposure time, time-lapse photo, image quality, sharpness, white balance, color, ISO, exposure compensation, metering, RAW, gyro image stabilization, angle of view, WDR, fisheye correction, date stamp.
System settings include language settings, date/time, format, FPV, TV system, fast recording, quick shot, small screen on, auto shutdown, button sound, light settings, screen saver, light source frequency, rotation, watermark, WiFi, default mode, version.
Since I have neither remote control nor drone (because I am poor), I am unable to show you how they can work with the camera. It is easy to use the lock screen function, which helps to prevent accidental touch during recording and underwater usage.
I used SJCAM SJ6 to record videos, when I was cycling, walking behind the subject, striding, climbing up/down the stairs to test the image stabilization performance. Since Gearbest does not support video uploads, for now, I can only add them in the article later on.
From my own experience, during cycling, standing still and walking on the road, the camera performed well and presented stable images. However, when I was climbing the steep stairs, my hand shook too much, so the images were a bit shaky due to the limited image stabilization.
Because of my poverty, I am unable to compare different action cameras side by side. For an amateur photographer like me, GoPro is out of reach, whereas, SJCAM SJ6 is worth buying and satisfying.
I think highly of the image stabilization. The performance is not perfect but acceptable. The video resolution is decent, great to serve as a record. Other functions work well, including the WiFi hotspot. As for the App settings, they are incomplete, to be optimized.
I will go cycling in a few days.
What about GoPro? I will probably get one if I have enough money.
Finally, we’ve come to an end. I hope that you enjoyed my review.