GoPro owns the action cam market, but its cameras are expensive—if you want 4K you’ll need to spend $400 on the Hero5 Black. There are plenty of lesser-known brands out there, offering cameras with similar functionality, but without as much polish, for less. Sjcam SJ6 Legend ($159) delivers the best balance of video quality, features, and price.
The SJ6 Legend looks like almost every other action camera on the market. It’s tiny, measuring just 1.6 by 2.3 by 1.1 inches (HWD) and weighs 2.9 ounces. Its body is plastic, and not waterproof on its own, but a protective case rated to about 100 feet (30 meters) is included.
There’s a standard tripod mount on the bottom, a rarity for action cams. It adds some versatility in mounting, as you can use it with existing photographic equipment with ease. The waterproof case has a standard GoPro mount, for even more options.
The camera only has three control buttons. The top has a big Record button that’s easy to press. On the right side you get two smaller buttons—the top is power and the bottom takes you to the main menu. In our tests, the battery netted 75 minutes of 4K recording.
Video Quality and Features
The SJ6 records video at up to 4K quality with a 25Mbps bit rate and 24fps frame rate. That’s great for a cinematic look, but if you want to shoot at the more sports-friendly 60fps in 4K, you’ll need to spend more on the YI 4K+, which features a similar form factor and touch interface, but sells for around $340.
Despite not having the highest bit rate around, 4K video from the SJ6 is quite strong. Details are crisp and colors are accurate. I recorded a few different scenes using the camera for our sample clip. The first is a handheld walking shot with digital stabilization turned off. You can see that the video is shaky. For a second walking test I enabled the digital stabilization system—it is available when shooting at 4K. There are some added artifacts, but the jitters are gone. You still get the bobbing from side to side that’s typical of handheld footage, but you’d see that effect with a Steadicam or gimbal as well.
The Sjcam SJ6 Legend is a solid action camera. It delivers stabilized 4K video in a small, affordable package, and it’s quite easy to access all of its features thanks to a touch-screen interface. Add a standard tripod mount, a front information LCD, a waterproof case, and plenty of included mounting accessories, and you have an excellent value for $160. You sacrifice some polish and video quality compared with pricier models like the GoPro Hero5 Black and YI 4K+, but the SJ6 Legend is a top-notch option for budget shoppers. If you’re looking for an even less expensive option, the Aukey AC-LC2 and Wimius L1 are both solid choices under $100.
Article reference from pcmag