Black Friday, Christmas and Boxing Day are just around the corner and it’s time for another yearly round-up of the best action cameras of 2019. Cameras on this roundup start at $26 so check it out now!
The SJ8 Pro is a premium level action camera from Chinese maker SJCam. Featuring 4K at 60FPS and stabilized 4K30, this camera has all the features a budget pro level camera should offer. The Akaso V50x is from a brand that primarily trades on Amazon and is some of the more popular budget action cams. Offering stabilized 4K30, this camera has decent video quality for the price. So is it worth spending twice as much on the SJ8 Pro?
SJCam makes several excellent cameras, and the SJ8 Pro and SJ8 Plus are no exception. But I only think you should buy one of them, and completely skip the other. Straight to the point, the Pro is the camera to get. Skip the Plus. Let’s talk about why.
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 SJCam SJ360+ has a decent design with a form factor that doesn’t require a mobile phone – but that’s about all it has going for it. Unfortunately SJCam chose internal hardware that is only capable of low quality 360 videos, and the result is an output that looks similar to a early 2000s cellphone. In anything but the best light, aggressive noise reduction kicks in and removes any detail. Still photos suffer similarly.
The SJ7 Star comes with a whole host of accessories, all of decent quality. Accessories between action cams are fairly standard so we’re going to fast forward through this section: note that the important basics are included, sticky mounts, handlebar mounts, and right-angle adapters.
With a good build quality and great gyro, once the bugs are worked out this will probably be one of the better cameras available. Many Chinese companies release their products in a “beta” state and iron out issues as users bring them up… The SJ6 Air reminds me of the Mijia camera, where it feels like it has not yet reached its full potential.
All of these cameras are so close and the differences in how they process video are so minimal, that what you should look for while watching is which camera processes exposure more appealingly to you, which camera has the most appealing audio to you and which cameras user interface will work best for you. No matter which you buy you’ll end up with a camera that has decent video quality.