After months of research of what action cam I will get and the best price available from local and international suppliers, I finally got a package with the ff:
- SJCAM SJ4000 with WiFi in blue
- 32GB Micro SD card class 10 (max. capacity that SJ4000 can accommodate)
- Extra battery (no brand)
- Battery charger (dock)
- twist and lock stick
- carrying case/pouch
So what have I exactly put my SJ4000 through? We've taken it along to 3 beach trips -- one road trip to Laiya, a company outing and a Boracay trip with a bunch of friends -- and a business trip to Japan. That's not counting the numerous get-togethers and family events in between. During our Boracay vacation, I even took it with me when I jumped off a cliff (We went cliff diving at Magic Island). I have yet to take it along a trail biking trip because I have haven't been on my mountain bike all summer (LOL!).
A friend also took her GoPro Hero 4 Silver (the one with the touchscreen LCD) to Boracay and it was good to be able to compare the two (I'm not delusional. I know my SJCAM is not on the same level as a Hero 4!) in actual to find out what I could be missing. Except for the slightly better features and menu, the picture quality was not that far. The Hero 4 Silver's images appeared washed out but brighter (less dark and less 'shadowy') which is why I actually prefer the more saturated and sharpened images of my SJ4000 (note that I only set image size at 5MP & not the full 12MP size that it can deliver). It could be just be an issue with her GoPro's settings and it's nothing that any image editing app can't fix.
The video quality is better with the GoPro (as expected). My SJ4000's vids seem 'choppy' at the 720p & 30fps I prefer to set it at (if that explains it & I didnt want to deal with the larger file size). The Hero 4 Silver's was smooth and brighter, as well. I loved the touchscreen but then you can't really use it with the waterproof case (well, duh). One thing I wish the SJ4000 had are preset for 3-second timed shots -- which the GoPro has -- and because I use that feature a lot.
Both had WiFi and can connect to and be controlled by our phones. GoPro app seemed easier to use, as well. Another thing that GoPro is better at displaying: timed shots are shown as an album so the file list looks less cluttered -- not individual shots like in SJCAM.
I suppose some people will nitpick on the issues that SJCAM has and some will get a GoPro because it looks cooler (yep, I still use that word haha! and I would totally get one to look cooler if shoes became a lower priority than gadgets) to have one rather than a "copy" from China,
but if you're someone who's not sure if the action cam is for you, the SJ4000 will provide as close an experience to the GoPro, IMO. Then you can decide easier in investing on a GoPro (be it the base model, HERO, or the highest rated one).
For me, it's reassuring to know that I don't have to commit yet because I have a cheaper alternative that I can experiment with first!
Tho I am now thinking of upgrading to the latest SJCAM model -- the SJ5000+ :-)