There’s a lot of portable on-the-go video cameras out there; they have tons of features like 1080p resolution, wireless connectivity and image altering choices. But one thing that often happens to the proud owner is that they find that they don’t have an easy way for using the camera, because the needed accessories for placing it where wanted aren’t available or cost extra. That’s not the case with the SJCAM SJ5000X 4K Sport Action Camera Elite Edition, because it gives you everything needed to take advantage of its wide range of features.
To begin, the small form-factor allows for accessories to be included inside the box so they’re immediately presented when opened. There are base mounts and brackets (bicycle, helmet) and adapters so as to use in a variety of situations. And while the camera itself possesses some rudimentary waterproofing (i.e., if it starts sprinkling or the hand is sweating you don’t have to run screaming for cover), the best results come from a case that both protects the camera as well as allowing for the continuation of use. So the included waterproofing case does just that wth an IP68 rating that will handle being submerged up to 30 meters (obviously using it underwater being on purpose).
But regardless of how the camera is placed, if it doesn’t have the ability to capture a wide view then it can’t be called “sport” because as is obvious, this means fast action that moves around the field of vision quickly. To handle that, the xxx employs a 12 Sony megapixel CMOS sensor integrated with a high-end chipset. But what really knocks it out of the ballpark (as it were) is the 170 degree angle of the lens. Short of a fisheye, which would denigrate the image, this enables that wide field of view required without any significant distortion at the edges being evident. The lens’ quality extends to color fidelity which bodes well for color reproduction in both still and moving images (i.e., photos and video).
As to the camera’s effectiveness in use, there’s no complaints. Starting with the controls, they’re well positioned and easily identified and used, with a wide range of video/photo customization of operation (multiple shooting, changing exposure rates, altering white balance depending on the scene, etc.) — a 2” LCD display providing a concrete view of what is being seen as regards image capturing. For shooting still photos, the quality is going to be high and the mild weight of the form factor allows for an easy carrying and usability. As to the video itself, there’s the choice between 2K (i.e. 1080p HD @ varying frame rates and which provides the best looking video) and a 4K mode (at a single frame rate of 24fps whose use must be carefully attenuated so as to provide for the attractive results the higher resolution offers) and storage via high-speed memory cards for an easy “use, remove, pop in another” functionality. Video formats are the standards, being MP4 or .MOV. All this is battery-driven, with nominal use time of about 2 hours before a full recharge is needed (those who do a lot of “action” shooting know to have a spare, charged battery on hand).
Additions of note include there being audio capture, a useful motion detection (for hands off activation, something an “action” camera should have) as well as a gyro stabilization system — this alone should be a necessity since hand-holding small cameras can introduce more camera “shake” than one can imagine. There’s also WiFi capabilities for remote control using iOS/Android. Those wanting to transfer/view on computers or a HDTV can employ the USB 2.0 or HDMI outputs.
The SJCAM SJ5000X 4K Sport Action Camera Elite Edition provides a choice of colors (although black will be more unobtrusive if that is your goal than red or white or blue or silver or golden or yellow) and retails for $117.99 — which is a very positive price.