In the world of action cameras, GoPro have the market pretty much covered. Undoubtedly, they make good action cameras, spend huge sums on marketing campaigns and sponsorship, (which makes owning one an overwhelming aim for large swathes of the population), and offer a host of add-ons and accessories to further saturate the market. But, what if you don’t have over £300 available to splash out on the latest GoPro Hero 7 Black? What happens if your budget and/or usage simply can’t justify that sort of outlay? What then? Well, if you want a budget-busting action camera, capable of filming in 4K and HD, you need to check out the latest SJCAM 4K Carbon.
SJCAM are an ever-emerging brand in the action sports arena. Making everything from kids’ fun cameras and body cams to pro action cameras and stabilisers, their range is already pretty impressive. However, it’s the new Ion range of action cameras that have really caught my eye, and I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands one of the new SJCAM 4k Carbon cams from that range.
Out of the box the camera comes complete with a protective case, two mounts (one flat, one curved) for easily attaching the camera to helmets, paddleboards, kayaks and the like, a USB charging wire, a set of easy to follow instructions and a wipe clean cloth. What you’ll notice immediately is that the SJCAM 4k Carbon utilises the same screw fittings as a GoPro, so finding a wealth of accessories to help it float, fit to your handlebars or chest, or enable you to take that perfect action selfie; is never going to be a problem.
Something I’ve found previously with cameras marketed towards the lower end of the action cam price spectrum is, occasionally, their inability to cope with changing light conditions. As such, I thought a good test of the SJCAM 4k Carbon would be to take it along on one of our sunrise mountain adventures. That way, it would have to cope with a dark landscape and mountain silhouettes while also dealing with the sun as it begins to emit light over the horizon. I also thought it’d be a good test of both its immediate (apologies in advance for showing my very early morning face in this video) and long distance clarity and sharpness. Here are the results…
As you can see, for a camera that costs a mere £64.99 the results are pretty awesome, to say the least. As you’ll no doubt garner from the title of the SJCAM 4k Carbon, it’s capable of both HD (1080 at 60 or 30fps) and 4k (30fps) filming. It has a 2” display screen, which comes in handy for setting up certain shots, and is able to take photos at 16 megapixels.
The camera itself (without the case) weighs a feather-like 62 grams and easily qualifies as a ‘pack it and take it anywhere’ cam. Furthermore, with the protective case in place the camera can be thrown around like an action camera should be and also boasts a dive depth of 30m…pretty impressive, I’m sure you’ll agree! Yes, with the case in place, the buttons become a little more clunky to utilise but; seriously, for the money, this is a small price to pay for an otherwise great, budget-busting action cam.
As we edge ever closer to the festive period and people start to make their wish lists, I can’t see too many reasons why the SJCAM 4K Carbon won’t make a hell of a lot of people out there happy, both in terms of its action cam capabilities and by the fact it’ll leave you plenty in the pocket when compared to the competition to splurge on other outdoor adventure gear. Win Win!