SJCAM

SJCAM introduced the SJ7 Star , which the YI 4K (relatively late) should be competing on. For a long time, however, the 4K Action Cam was not available at all and thus disappeared in the sinking. Now, in January 2018, we finally got a copy and I want to tell you in our test about how the camera beats. Features include a touchscreen , connectivity for an external microphone and the generation of proxy videos.

Specifications: SJCAM SJ7 Star

Video Resolution (NTSC) 3840 x 2160 (4K) @ 30 fps (SuperView @ 25 fps); 2880 x 2160 @ 30 fps; 2704 x 2028 @ 30 fps; 2704 x 1520 @ 30 fps (SuperView @ 30 fps); 2560×1440 @ 60, 30 fps ; 1920×1440 @ 60, 30 fps; 1920×1080 @ 120, 60, 30 fps (SuperView @ 60, 30 fps); 1280 x 960 @ 120, 60, 30 fps; 1280×720 @ 240, 120, 60, 30 fps (SuperView @ 120, 30 fps)
Photo resolution 4608 x 3456 (16 MP, interpolated); 4352 x 3264 (14 MP, interpolated); 4000 x 3000 (12 MP); 3840 x 2160 (8.3 MP); 2560 x 1920 (5 MP); 2048 x 1536 (3 MP)
chipset Ambarella A12S75
Image sensor / type / format Sony IMX117 (12 MP) ; CMOS; 1 / 2.3 “
acceptance angle 166 °
image stabilization digital (up to 1080p @ 60 fps)
video codec H.264 / MPEG-4
Data rate (max.) about 60 Mbps
display 2 “LCD (touch screen)
Microphone / Speaker mono; mono
Connection external microphone yes (mini USB)
connectivity 2.4 GHz WLAN; Mini USB; Micro HDMI
App available for Android 4.1 / iOS 8.0 or higher
Storage microSD / microSDHC / mircoSDXC (max 128 GB)
recommended speed class U3 or higher
Battery / Run Time 1000 mAh; 60 min. At 4K @ 30 fps
IP certification No
casing metal
Dimensions 58.11 x 40.95 x 20.82 mm (body only)
mass 78.9 g
delivery SJCAM SJ7 Star, 1000 mAh rechargeable battery, waterproof housing (up to 30 m), touch housing flap (waterproof up to 3 m), various mounts, silicone cap for camera lens, charging cable, microfibre cloth, multilingual operating instructions (including German), 2x SJCAM stickers
features adjustable FOV, proxy videos , RAW photos, wireless remote control,

Packaging & delivery

The SJ7 Star comes in the typical packaging for SJCAM. The white cardboard is stable and it gives a direct view of the camera.The package includes the camera, the 1000 mAh battery, a waterproof housing (up to 30 m), a touch housing flap (water resistant to 3 m), various mounts, a silicone cap for the camera lens, a charging cable, a microfibre cloth, a multilingual user manual (incl German) and two SJCAM stickers.

Design & Processing

With a touch screen (2 inch LCD)   As a rule, all superfluous buttons will fall away. On the front, however, remains a button for the settings, which would not have been necessary because you can also call the options by pressing the display. Directly above it are two status LEDs and the power button. Already unusually far right up then finds the camera lens place, which has a recording angle of 166 ° . On the left side there is the microSD slot (cards with a maximum of 128 GB) , a micro HDMI and a mini USB port. The latter led us to various “What the fuck?!” Reactions. My question was “In what century lives SJCAM actually?” At least Micro-USB should have been!

There are no ports on the right, but several tags; For example, a CE mark . On the top of the shutter button and the mono speakers (probably also the mono microphone) are installed. At the bottom is then still the battery compartment with cover (including hinge); a tripod thread is unfortunately out. For processing, it can be said that this has a very high-quality effect through the metal housing and our test drive with the WLtoys Vortex A959-A also shows that the waterproof case can handlea lot.

The app: SJCAM Zone

The app SJCAM Zone is available for Android 4.1 or iOS 8.0 or higher. The connection is established via the 2.4 GHz WLAN of the camera. Once connected to the camera gives access to the live image and various settings; also a gallery is implemented.What unfortunately (still) does not work are firmware updates via the app . The button is already installed, but a connection to the servers can not be established. In itself, the app is very clear and runs smoothly.

Photos, Videos & Features

On the hardware side, SJCAM relies on the Ambarella A12S75 chipset and the 1 / 2.3 inch CMOS image sensor Sony IMX117 (12 MP) ,   which allows recordings with up to 4K resolution at 30 frames per second . The digital image stabilization is unfortunately not usable at 4K, but still with 1080p at 60 fps.

The maximum data rate is around 60 Mbps . That’s a good value, but it can not compete with YI Technology’s flagship YI 4K + (140 Mbps). What I find very cool is that in addition to the normal recording proxy videos (768 x 432 pixels) can be recorded. This has the advantage that you can use the proxy files when editing a video and these can be replaced in retrospect by the 4K files. So if you have a not so powerful calculator, this feature is great! Other cameras have this feature, but then the files are often not stored as MPEG-4 and it needs on the shelf of a conversion to a usable format. So SJCAM has definitely come along here – strong!

In the following two videos you can make yourself a picture of the quality of the camera. The recordings look good in any case and the dynamic range is also quite ok. What is not so great is the microphone (and the speaker), so here it is advisable to use the option to connect an external microphone.

Who wants to take photos with his camera can do that with a native resolution of up to 4000 x 3000 pixels and even in RAW .In addition, the camera can also be operated with a remote control (WLAN off / on, photo / video recording, burst mode, camera off). This is the same remote control as used on the SJCAM M20 ; However, it is not included. To connect the remote to the camera, swipe down on the touchscreen and press the third icon. What I miss in features is a distortion correction, this was a quite new feature in the M20 at the time, why do not you give it up here?

Battery & running time

For the necessary juice provides the 1000 mAh battery that provides enough power for about 60 minutes at 4K and 30 fps.The charging times vary depending on how the battery is charged. The charging process can last up to 3 hours on a PC, but it usually takes just under 1 1/2 hours on a charger at the socket.

Conclusion

Overall, the SJCAM SJ7 Star is a very good camera. As so far almost all SJCAM models at the beginning, but they still carries a few teething problems around (missing distortion correction, no firmware updates via app, …).

In the past, however, much and relatively quickly has been improved here. This shows, for example, the SJCAM SJ5000X , which, despite the relatively high price, is still popular and many swear by it. With regard to the built-in hardware, there are definitely point deductions for the built-in mini-USB port; You can expect more here. Even a voice control would have been cool. Especially considering that some budget action cams already have this feature.

Overall, the camera convinces me in any case and I think that this is a good alternative to the YI 4K; However, they do not pay much attention in terms of price. Would you prefer the SJ7 Star to the YI 4K? Or should it rather be a slightly cheaper Xiaomi Mi Action Camera 4K ?

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