GoBro – Checking out the SJ4000 Wi-Fi sports cam
By: Vineet Sharma
Before I write further, I know what you are thinking about this camera. Yes, it looks just like a GoPro. Can’t deny that. I was bit confused before getting this camera because it claims to be as good as its competitor and in half the price. Actually more than half to be precise. Let’s take a look what does this camera offers and how it performs.
As mentioned earlier that it resembles to the popular GoPro Hero 3 which costs around INR 30,000 in the Indian market. The SJ 4000 wifi offers 170° HD wide angle lens with 4X zoom. The still image resolutions comes with various options: 12MP (4000 X3000) which is the default resolution, 10MP (3648 X 2736), 8MP (3264 X2448), 6MP (2816 X 2112), 3MP (2048 X 1536), 2MP (1920 X 1080), VGA (640 X 480). We advise you to set the camera image settings to 6MP or below. Higher resolutions are very bad and are good for nothing.
The video resolution is not that bad though. The SJ 4000 (wi-fi) comes with 1920 X 1080 @ 30fps, 1280 X 720 @ 60fps, 848 X 480 @ 60fps and 640 X 480 @ 60fps. Honestly, when it says it shoots at 60fps, its not true. If you are shooting a video at 1280 X 720 it will shoot at 30fps only. It just shows each frame twice. Therefore we advise you to use on with 1920 X 1080 to avoid any glitch in the video.
The design is pretty similar rectangle shaped and we are not a big fan of this style. The case lock quality is fine, however after using in mud/dirt environment the lock seemed to not function properly. A minor cleaning should solve the issue… hopefully. The casing has 4 buttons in total, and they are not as smooth as the GoPro. You have to struggle a bit on many occasions. However the button of the main camera works without any issues. I just don’t like the placing of the Wi-Fi button. I hate it when the camera wifi is switched on accidently which also causes the battery to drain faster. There is also a micro USB slot and micro HDMI slot along with the micro SD card slot with the inbuilt mic. The inbuilt speaker is located on the right side. The LED location is on the top side but we wish it was on the front panel.
The inbuilt 1.5” LCD screen is a pretty useful thing on this camera. It allows you to actually see and shoot instead of playing guess game. Definitely useful when you want to take still photos.
The battery provided with this camera is definitely not the best. The manufacturer claims the battery life for 70 min @ 1080P. It’s not true though. The stock 900mAh 3.7 volts Lithium-ion battery life is very poor and it will work max 50 min. The charge time is 2 hours. You might wanna get some spare batteries for this cam. Luckily the spare batteries are not too expensive and can be sourced for INR 450 to 500. The strange part is, once you re-insert the battery, the camera switches-on on its own and starts recording. It does the same even when you plug in the charger. It can be bit irritating sometimes.
Now coming to the impressive part. When you open the box, apart from the camera, you will find loads of accessories. Waterproof door casin, USB charger, 3M adhesive tapes, zip ties, Velcro straps, helmet mount, handlebar mount, dashboard mount, tripod mount, clip mount.. you name it. The plastic quality of these mounts is alright and all the provided accessories are compatible with GoPro cameras too. The only issue with the mounts is that they are too shiny and the screw is unable to lock the camera firmly. Rubbing the joints with a sand paper can solve the problem.
A manual is also included in the box which is of no use as it only informs you about the buttons and nothing else. You have to figure out everything on your own, but it’s not complicated at all. Don’t trust the provided charger either. I prefer using my regular android phone charger and it works fine.
When it comes to video recording the SJ 4000 Wi-Fi is an average performer. The video quality is not shaky and the clarity is fine depending on the light conditions.
Check out the video sample recorded with this camera.
The still photo quality is very poor and will disappoint you.
Apart from acting like an action cam, the SJ 4000 Wi-fi can also work as your home security camera or even a computer camera as it also comes with motion detection feature which is self-explanatory. This is where the Wi-fi function comes handy. (you have to install ISPO cam or similar app to use the wi-fi function from your phone). You will definitely notice the lag on your phone screen if using in wifi mode. But this application crashes a lot and has to be restarted. It can also be used a dashboard cam for your car. You can also plugin the camera with your TV USB port and check out the videos directly.
So is it for you?
If you want to shoot some serious POV video edits then you might wanna look other options in the market like the “Original” GoPro, Sony Action Cam, or Contour. But if you want to save lots of money and still want a POV camera that does the job for your personal use, then you can consider the SJ 4000 Wifi / or without wifi camera as you also get all the accessories and average video quality with almost similar specs of competitive POV action cameras in just INR 6000 (less than $100). As mentioned earlier that you may have to invest in spare batteries but it will still costs less than any other action camera in the market.
Now the funny part. SJ4000 and the SJ4000 Wifi resembles the famous GoPro. The trusted brand which makes the almost duplicate and slightly better copy of GoPro is SJCAM, however many other companies in China have been making the same model with slightly different firmware. The one we tested in not SJCAM and we are still in process to find out the actual manufacturer. BTW, its also available in many color options like white, gold, yellow, black and even pink!
Its definitely not the best POV camera but if you are getting 170° HD wide angle lens, HD video, and all the accessories which cost thousands of rupees. Then the SJ 4000 is not a bad deal at all in just INR6000. End of the day it will get the job done (if you ignore the poor still photo quality and get used to minor glitches) and you will get that moment captured which means you can spend the remaining hard earned money on some other bike parts. But if you want some high quality POV videos, then you can consider other “Original” brands which unfortunately are sold at expensive price in the Indian market. You can get better deals if you order online form US or The UK.