SJCAM SJ7 Star Snap Verdict
One of a new generation of action cameras the SJCAM comes packed with the latest generation of processor and sensor instantly proving it’s pedigree. Metal body, robust design and large clear screen offer a great deal but it’s the image quality that really makes this camera and excellent choice.
For SJCAM SJ7 Star
- GoPro-matching resolution
- Incredible price
- Bright clear screen
Against SJCAM SJ7 Star
- Old style waterproof housing
- Camera gets hot
- Some of the included mounts are a little thin
SJCAM are one of the big action camera manufacturers with a huge selection of cameras. Above all it’s image quality that has really set them apart from other manufacturers.
SJCAM have consistently pushed the boundaries by balancing components and price. A few years ago I looked at the SJCAM SJ5000X, an excellent camera especially when it came to the quality of the footage.
However for a camera that blew most others out of the water when it camera to video, it has a few issues with usability and a tricky to clean case.
The SJCAM SJ7 is all new and I’ll admit that the spec’s of this small new camera are certainly exciting. The Ambarella processor coupled with the Sony sensor always prove a good mix so here packed inside a stunning metal outer it all looks to be coming together.
However the boost in built quality of the camera build is in slight contrast to the older styled waterproof housings.
The spec’s and build of this camera put it in direct firing line against the fantastic Yi 4K, GoPro Hero4 Black and Black Hawk 4K.
I’ve emitted the GoPro Hero5 Black and Garmin Virb Ultra 30 as I’m yet to see anything in that league of quality and use.
SJCAM SJ7 Star Specifications
- Sensor: Sony IMX117 16 MP
- Chipset: Ambarella A12S75
- Video resolutions: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
- Max Bitrate: 60Mbps
- Photo: 16MP
- Field of View: 166°
- Modes: Capture Mode, Self-Timer, Burst mode, Record, Video Lapse, Photo Lapse, FPV mode
- Features: WIFI, 2.0″LCD Touch Screen, Gyro Stabilisation
- Ports: Mini USB, Micro HDMI Out, MicroSD card slot
- Memory: MicroSD up to 128GB
- Battery life: 120mins
- Dimensions: 60×41×30mm / 2.3×1.6×1.1″
- Weight: 74g / 2.6oz
SJCAM SJ7 Star in the box
- SJCAM SJ7 Star
- Waterproof Housing
- Mounts: Quick Release Buckle, Handlebar Seat post mount, Curved adhesive mounts, Flat adhesive mounts, 3-Way Pivot Arm mount, Frame mount, Quick release clip for frame, Vertical Quick Release J-Hook buckle, Univeral 1/4″ Camera Tripod mount, Tripod Mount adapter
- Cleaning cloth
- MiniUSB-USB Cable
It’s very easy to get swayed by specifications, especially 4K resolutions. The SJCAM SJ7 Star certain peaks more than a touch of interest on this front with GoPro Hero5 Black matching native 4k at 30fps and 1080p at 120fps.
The camera has a native resolution of 12 million pixels.
An interesting highlight is the camera has a maximum recording bitrate of 60mbs, that’s extremely high for an action camera and should provide the ability to capture plenty of detail.
The 4K is full 4K and not interpolated like so many other action cameras. Resolutions are the big hit headline feature however there’s far more to an action camera than the size of the footage that it produces.
Before we leave resolutions and frame rate behind it’s worth mentioning that these are made possible by the Ambarella A12S75 processor. The A9 and A12 processors have really pushed image quality and the A12S is the processor we recently saw in the excellent THIEYE T5e.
This processor is matched with the Sony IMX117 Sensor this is the one commonly thought to be used by GoPro.
Having a great sensor and processor combo is only the beginning of the story and if you don’t match these with a great lens then any quality gains can be quickly lost.
The camera features a typical fish-eye perspective on the world with a 166º field of view. As ever the camera shoots stills as well as video at 16 million pixels and all footage and images can be viewed on the large 2” LCD touch screen.
WiFi is of course included and there is gyro stabilization built in.
Small in size big in features
Dimension wise it’s a close match to the GoPro Hero4 Black at 60×24.7c 41mm, so it will fit and work with many accessories such as the Feiyu G5 stabilizer and the camera itself weighs in at just 74g without the waterproof housing.
On the side is the mini USB port, HDMI out and MicroSD card slot, these are flush to the body with no protective covering without the housing.
The camera is powered by a 1050mAh battery which will provide between an hour and two hours of use dependent on the use.
As well as the usual video and photo modes there are also low light, slow motion, motion detection, white balance, Sharpness, Color and Loop recording amongst others.
The camera also arrives well stocked with a variety of accessories including a handle bar mount, sticky mounts and tripod adapter ensuring you can get started from the outset.
Theres also a cage and touch screen back for the housing which both proved useful during the test.