THE SJ10X is a popular Chinese action camera SJCAM. The gadget is not available in many national retailers, but can be found at famous importers for around R$ 800. The camera can produce 4K movies at 24 fps, produces photos of up to 16 megapixel resolution and has water resistance up to 10 meters deep.
The company sends some accessories in the box to make the game more interesting and offers an application to control the equipment by smartphone. Is it worth importing a SJCAM SJ10X? That’s what we’ll discover in this review.
Review of SJCAM SJ10X on video
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The SJ10X Action Camera was provided by SJCAM as a donation and will not be returned to the company. For more information, visit tecnoblog.net/etica.
The SJ10X is an “economical” version of the SJ10 Pro, but in looks they are both identical. The similarity with the GoPro is also something that does not go unnoticed: the position of the lens, the physical button and the small rear screen refer to the main competitor. Compared to Hero 7 Black, you can feel how the SJ10X has a simpler finish. This is even in relation to Hero 2018, which was my first GoPro (basic model) and has a nicer rubberized material.
Over here, we have a plastic body with a 2.33-inch color screen. It is touch sensitive and, with excellent enjoyment, I could easily monitor the scenes and navigate the device settings without any problems. At the top is the on/off button; on the right side a cap protects the USB-C connection and the microSD card reader; at the bottom are the battery compartment and a hole that makes it possible to place the camera on a tripod, for example.
The covers that protect the entrances are very hard. This is normal, even on the GoPro, as they cannot let water come into contact with the internal components. It also reminds me that the device is water resistant up to 10 meters deep. Along with other accessories, SJCAM sends a rubber cap to protect the lens that is fixed — I really liked that care.
Videos, Photos and Battery
In acting, the SJCAM SJ10X can produce movies in up to 4K at 24 frames per second. Below that, it is possible to create in 2K at 30 frames per second, Full HD at 60 frames per second, among other resolutions. Time-lapse and slow motion modes are also supported. As for video quality, the SJ10X lags a bit behind when compared to other cameras. She struggles to control exposure, shadows get too dark, and in some situations you’ll notice chromatic aberrations.
In vlog mode, stabilization is good and, even climbing stairs, I managed to get an ok result with this model. On a bumpy road, with dirt and stones in the way, I put the SJ10X on the bike rack and there was no way out: the tremors took over the scene, which shows that the stabilization offered has its limitations. Evening performance, by the same token, has its restrictions: sharpness is totally compromised and grain pervades the entire film.
In photography, it allows recordings of up to 16 megapixels and the lens aperture favors the capture of more information, but none of this helps if the quality is impaired. Although the environment is with adequate lighting and well controlled, the camera suffers to take the photos. There is no definition, the dynamic range is not good and the dark spots remain strong. In a low-light environment, the performance is the same as in the video, that is, bad.
Other problems also spoil the user experience. Even with a larger screen, the impression is that SJCAM did not know how to improve the software for better navigation. In addition to the poorly produced icons and screens, at times the camera wanted to test my patience. Several times, some crashes forced me to remove the battery. In others, she was slow to respond to my touches on the screen.
Also, the application is poorly optimized and makes usability confusing. I also experienced some crashes when setting up and switching between photo and video modes. At least the storage works and I can quickly download the logs to my cell phone.
In autonomy, the SJ10X is shipped with a 1,300 mAh cell, a capacity that other famous cameras also offer. In basic use, with short videos and some photographic records, the battery should last a whole day, but in hard mode, it should last a few hours. Without Wi-Fi enabled, I used the gadget in the park to shoot 4K videos of max 5 minutes and took some pictures halfway through. During this period, I turned the camera on and off several times and stopped to watch the recordings made. At the end of the day, I had another day’s load. If you intend to make heavy use, you will need an extra battery.
SJCAM SJ10X: is it worth it?
As I see it, the SJCAM SJ10X doesn’t make sense to many people. Image quality, usability issues and poorly optimized application prevent me from nominating this camera. As it is a basic model, especially for those on a tight budget, I was expecting a lower image quality compared to competitors, but the situation becomes even more critical when we realize a basic and old GoPro, like the Hero 2018, which cost R$900, manages to deliver better records.
If you are looking to have fun and register some moments for social networks, the SJCAM SJ10X may even make sense, but only for a good price. For the more adventurous audience that seeks to produce quality images, this model should be avoided in importers and a GoPro Hero 7 Black, Hero 8, Hero 9 or even a DJI Osmo Action end up being the best options on the market.
I don’t usually list used products in my reviews, but again the SJ10X makes me break some “traditions”. If you’re on your toes, retail prices haven’t helped, so I’d keep an eye out for promotions or, for some people, it might be worth digging up used models that still offer good records and decent usability.