A well-made camera with a number of interesting functions, stabilization and a 4K support. If it wasn’t for the sound issues (now solved) and a bad case, the ratings could have been 0.5 point higher.
The newest toy in our office is the SJCAM SJ5000X which was provided to us by the Gearbest.com company. The camera is well-known for its 4K (3840 x 2160) support and is also equipped with optical stabilization. Considering the specs, it should be the best one that SJCAM has ever made. Let’s see if that’s true.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
Before we open the package with plenty of accessories, we’ll see what we can figure out of the cardboard box. Red/white/black is SJCAM’s classic color combination but it seems much more decent than in the case of SJCAM SJ4000 Wi-Fi. The window on the front side provides a look at the camera in the case and we can even learn about some of the basic parameters. The rest of the parameters can be found on the opposite side of the box. There are also QR codes printed out which lead to an app download for smart devices. The last important aspect is the label, also with a QR code to check whether the camera is genuine or not.
We’ve checked the package so now it’s time to find out what SJCAM has prepared for us. I’m getting through a pile of accessories trying to identify them but there’s still something missing. Once again I’m checking the inside of the empty box and finding out that SJCAM SJ5000X AC adapter is missing. Not a problem for me, but somebody might find this frustrating. USB cable is present as well as the waterproof case, lens cap, vent doors, handlebar holder, holder for the camera itself with a clip as well, tripod mount reduction, quick release plate, adhesive helmet mount, 3-way pivot holder, spare 3M adhesive tapes, a set of two straps, cleaning cloth, English manual and stickers with the SJCAM logo. Ehhh, I hope I haven’t forgotten anything. I’m enclosing some photos of the accessories, just for sure.
DESIGN AND BUILD QUALITY
Same old same old. Next time, I’m probably going to prepare a template and just copy it from this article, because there’s no many differences among single cameras. In terms of design, SJCAM SJ5000X is the same as SJ5000+.
With the exception of screen and lens, the camera is made of soft plastic which is a little bit more rough on its sides for a firmer grip. The dimensions of this piece are 61 x 42 25 mm and it weighs 74 grams including the battery (58 grams without a battery). Can’t complain on the build quality of the camera. Everything snaps together as it should, the buttons have a firm feeling to them when pressed (even in the case) and I didn’t notice any unpleasant sounds like squeaking while using. Although I have to criticize one thing and that’s the waterproof case which was blocking the lens’ angle of view and unfortunately, there’s some vignetting present in the corners of the recorded video. That can unfortunately happen, sometimes. I was assured that I just had bad luck for a wrong piece.
The front side is a place for lens, control button, name of the camera and two elongated LEDs.
On the back side there are two LEDs as well, right next to the 2 inch display.
The record and OK button are located on the top side of the camera along with another LED.
The threesome of buttons for scrolling through menus and Wi-FI settings are on the right side as well as the speaker holes.
The mic, miniHDMI and microUSB ports as well as microSD card slot can be found on the left side. The camera is compatible with all microSD cards up to 32GB and in some cases even up to 128GB. The connection part is not protected in any way, which is the same issue as with the cheaper SJ4000 Wi-Fi.
The next thing I was not very keen on was the battery slot cover. I’d appreciate some way to attach it to the camera so it can’t get lost.
CAMERA CONTROL AND FUNCTIONS
The operation of the camera is the same as with other SJCAM models, so there’s not much to write about. The camera is operated using 5 buttons and it’s pretty much self-explanatory. Let’s focus more on the functions.
Video and stills recording is a matter of course which is pretty much all this camera can do. But on top of that it offers a few recording modes and options.
If we took a look on the inside of the camera we’d find a Sony IMX078 12MPx CMOS sensor with a 1,55um pixel size. It’s capable of video recording up to 4K (UHD) at 24fps (interpolated) Other options are 2K (QHD) at 30 fps or fullHD at 60 fps. The camera is of course, as many of its competitors capable of wide angle recording. There are 170°, 140°, 110° and 70° field of view options. The image processing is taken care of by the Novatek 96660 chipset.
Videos are saved in MP4 and stills in JPG. The sound recording is mono but I can’t judge its quality because the first batch of the cameras had some sound issues. It’s uncertain whether it was a HW or SW problem. The one that was reviewed by me started recording sound after upgrading the firmware to the 1.1S version but even then the sound quality was poor. In my opinion it was a SW problem, at least in my case. The mic issue was solved with the new batch of cameras.
CONNECTIVITY AND APPLICATIONS
Wireless connection via Wi-Fi is a necessity in every camera so it can be found here as well. It allows files to be transferred wirelessly or set the camera up remotely. Video preview or remote recording trigger is a matter of course. However, an iOS or Android app is necessary.
The app doesn’t crash and provides what one would expect from it. However, transferring files using USB is much faster.
PHOTO & VIDEO
One image is worth more than a thousand of words so watch the videos with no hesitation. I decided to record some test video in the maximum resolution possible – 4K at 24 fps. I also tried recording in fullHD at 60 fps with and without stabilization. The difference is noticeable and we can expect that the next update will even improve the stabilization.
The weather was not ideal during testing the camera so I couldn’t see how SJCAM SJ5000X performs in better light conditions.
Stills are a piece of cake for the SJ5000X. The natural color rendition surprised me. However, that was not the only interesting thing I ran into while browsing the photos. I noticed some black marks in the corners and at first I thought it were my fingers blocking the lens. After further examination I figured out it wasn’t my fault. The problem is probably the protective case’s design flaw. However, this issue should be fixed by now.
SJCAM decided to use the same 900 mAh battery as with their other models and the battery life corresponds to this. The operation time is approximately 70 minutes at FullHD/60fps mode with Wi-Fi turned off. It lasted for a similar time period when recording in 4K as well which was quite a surprise. Anyway, I recommend buying a spare battery or at least a power bank which can not only help charge the camera but is capable of recharging a phone as well.
Despite the mic problem, SJCAM SJ5000X has every ambition to become the best SJCAM camera and I really believe that it will They’ve released the third update this month which brings some bug fixes and improvements so it’s obvious that the developers are really trying hard to put things in order.
Action cameras are very universal devices and are not only useful for sportsmen. They’re good for anybody who likes going to nature, driving a car, motorbike, bicycle, roller-skates, etc. You don’t have to be afraid of water or any harsher treatment. But why would you want to buy the SJ5000X? These are the main reasons for me: natural color rendition, optical image stabilizer, ultra-high definition, great customer support and lots of accessories in the box.
You can purchase it on Gearbest.com, thank you guys for lending it to us.