This is a head-to-head with two great action cams from 2018. They’re both great values but with the video side by side it can help you decide which one will work best for you! Either way you are going to get an excellent camera – just that one will be better for some people based on how they use it. Planning to film in 1080p only? Save some money with the Firefly 8SE. 4K? SJ8 all the way.
The SJCam SJ8 Pro is SJCam’s top end action cam with a feature set to match. With 4K at 60 FPS and stabilised real 4K at 30 FPS, on paper this camera has a lot going for it. Can it live up to the hype? Well…
The SJCam SJ8 Plus is a great camera, except in one major circumstance: filming in 4K 30FPS with stabilisation turned can cause some stuttering. It may be our copy of the camera, however this issue makes the cam difficult to recommend when there’s several other cameras in the same price bracket that can film real 4K without issues. Step up to the SJCam SJ8 Pro for only a few dollars more.
The Eken Alfawise V50 pro is surprisingly not based on the iCatch V50 processor – instead it is based on an Ambarella A12. At the current price of review ($65 USD) the performance is acceptable however there are several tradeoffs, including a lack of image stabilization. If you can afford the extra, I would highly recommend purchasing the Firefly 8SE or the ThiEYE T5 Edge instead.
The Firefly 8SE is a real 4K action camera from Firefly based on a Sony 12MP sensor. It is largely similar to last years Firefly 8S, but includes a few minor updates such as a touch screen and better audio. These improvements make it easy to recommend this camera over others at the same price point. It also includes a mic in the box, as an added bonus.
Spoilers: I really wanted to love the T5 Edge because the video looks very good, but it was just too often that I couldn’t use the audio from it. So that means the 8S is still my go-to every day camera.
This is an unboxing and initial review of the MGCool Explorer 3. It’s a nice looking camera and that’s what originally drew my attention. I’m a bit disappointed that this cam is missing the 2K resolution that the T5 Edge has, because otherwise I like the way it looks a lot and the menus are easy to navigate. The 2K res and the 4K res on the T5 Edge have the same bitrate which means less compression artifacting on the lower res. I don’t expect this cam will be updated though. MGCool has not had a good history of updating their cameras. Nonetheless it’s definitely worth a consideration and this is likely MGCool’s best camera to date, but if the Edge is cheaper check that out instead.
The Feiyutech WG-2 is one of the more inexpensive wearable gimbals and features a water resistant construction. Its stabilization quality may not be as high as more expensive devices but it does a good job when paired with cameras that have their own built in stabilization (such as the Hero 6 or the Firefly 8S). I recommend comparing sample videos from this camera with its competitor, the Zhiyun Rider M, which is a little bit more expensive but from the samples I have seen it tends to have better overall quality when it comes to micro-stuttering.
The Thieye T5 Edge and the T5e are significantly different cameras. My goal with this video is to help you decide which would work best for you.
Let’s start with the unboxing. It’s been a while since I unboxed the T5E but I remember it coming with two batteries and less accessories whereas the Edge comes with a few more clips but only one battery.
The ThiEYE T5 Edge is very slightly better than the V50 in almost every way (lens, stabilization, user interface), but it’s not enough to justify the 30% higher price on Amazon. The V50 has a more rounded accessory package too. If you can get a deal from an overseas seller the Edge is a marginally better cam, otherwise stick with whatever is cheaper on Amazon.