Hi today we are review a camera that has great value at the price it is offering, the Elephone Explorer Pro.
Content of Review
- Camera Specs
- What it comes with
- Unique Features
- Photo Mode
- Video Mode
- Remote Control
- Smartphone App
- Best Buy
For this brand, Mgcool, you may not be able to find this camera because this camera was made from a brand originally named as Elephone at that time. This is the elephone’s version of the explorer pro.
NEW MGCOOL Explorer Pro 4K
** Update 12/5/17: There is a new version of MGCOOL explorer pro. It is available for preorder here for $40 (Banggood & GearBest) and it has several new features, like shark lens but for half the price! ($40)
To check out my review of the new MGCOOL Explorer Pro 4K, click here!
Let’s start the review with the specifications.
Sony IMX117, which is the same as the ThiEYE T5 and SJCAM SJ7Star.
You can learn more about image sensors here.
Novatek 96660, which is used by FireFly 6S, Explorer 1S, F68, SJ6 Legend, SJ5000X and many other ones.
It does not support true 4K, read more about it here.
4K(3840*2160) – 24fps (not true 4K, it is interpolated horizontally from 2880*2160. )
2K (2560 x 1440) – 30 fps (highest native/true resolution)
1080p(1920*1080) – 60fps
720P(1280*720) – 60fps
30m (pretty standard for action cameras)
2″ TFT LCD
1hr 15 mins filming 1080p – 60fps
Battery can be interchanged with SJCAM SJ4000.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
What It Comes With
|1 X Waterproof Cover||1 X 3M Adhesive Tapes||1 X Cleaning Cloth|
|1 X Bandages||1 X Bicycle Stand||1 X Accesoory Seat (1)|
|1 X Acessory Seat (2)||1 X Steel Rope||1 X Ribbon|
|1 X Fixing Base||1 X USB Data Cable||1 X Helmet Seats|
|1 X Adaptor||1 X Adaptor Stand(1)||1 X Adaptor (2)|
|1 X Adaptor Stand (3)||1 X User Manual|
It comes with many accessories, which is the basic set in my accessories post, and it is definitely enough to mount on where you need it to.
Able To Change Field Of View (170˚, 120,˚ 90˚)
This is a feature quite rarely seen nowadays as most cameras only offer one FOV option.
You might be thinking, isn’t the largest one the best because it can capture the most? Well, not really. Sometimes people just want to capture an object and not the surrounding.
You must know that regardless of FOV, the total number of pixels will still remain the same for all the photos, hence, when used with the narrow FOV, the object will look bigger and clearer, as compared to a wider FOV where the surrounding is included.
Therefore, the ability to change FOV might be useful for some.
How this works is that the camera will talk to you when it starts or stops a recording, when the camera’s battery is going to die and the SD card storage is running low.
I felt these feature is useful because most of the time in other cameras, there is not any solid indication of these things and for the SJCAM SJ4000, the only time it warns you of the battery running low is when it dies, which is quite useless in my opinion. Hence, I found this voice broadcast feature to be quite useful and cool.
Elephone claims this diving mode to be useful when it gets too dim underwater and automatically increases the exposure to allow you to take better and brighter pictures underwater. Although I haven’t try it yet, I feel it’s a feature good for beginners because if they are going underwater or dim places, they would not have to change the settings manually.
For the night mode, although I haven’t tried it, I have seen other footages of users posting it and after seeing a few, I realised that it didn’t affect the footage much. Below is a comparison done by Pevly contributors.
This is quite useful if you want to take pictures in dark places. I think it is the same as the night scene, increasing the exposure duration meaning that more light will enter the lens creating a brighter and clearer image in the dark.
The image stabilization on the Explorer Pro works quite well though it only works in photo mode. This anti-shake stabilization is useful for me as I usually go around taking photos by hand and whenever I press the button, there will definitely be a shake, but the camera corrects them, leading to a clear shot.
Hence, if you usually take photos by hand, not tripods or standing sticks, etc, this will be a useful feature to have.
2.4 GHz Remote Control
The remote control I used worked pretty well and worked about 95% of the times I pressed. However, if you are using your phone, your phone I felt worked better as it is more reliable and you can see the live footage as well. I will tell u more in the bottom when I talk about the app.
As for the video stabilization, it uses electronic image stabilization (EIS) and after seeing a couple of raw videos comparing when EIS was turned on and off, I realised that it is much better stabilizing large motions rather than small motions (hand shaking, etc).
The camera can handle pretty well when the lighting was changed from dim to bright vice versa. Here is an example clip of the change.
Overall Video Quality
When fumbling with the resolutions and comparing thereafter, I realised that the best resolutions which had the clearest and smoothest videos was at 2K at 30fps, regardless of whether it was used during the night, hence I would conclude this is a 2K and not a 4K camera.
Overall, I felt that the camera was aesthetically pleasing and stylish and the buttons were easy to reach to and press. The sides of the camera felt very firm when holding and it felt it could take a considerable amount of force.
I realised that the battery cover on the camera is the same as the SJCAM SJ4000, which I had to pull a trigger to unlock though I prefer one which had spring to push out the cover.
For the display of the camera, I felt that even in bright settings, I was able to see it quite clearly and the details were sharp. The control and settings on the camera were easy to read because the words were quite big and the colours on the screen were generally quite vibrant too.
The app, called Explorer Pro (Android and IOS), which connects via Wi-Fi to your smartphone allows quite a lot of things to be done. You can switch on the Wi-Fi by simply pressing the up button on the camera.
Like other similar apps in the market, it shows you the live footage of your camera and gives u the ability to start and stop recording, change some settings like the resolutions, the exposure, format, etc.
I did not have much time to interact with the app but for me, it worked fine and connected seamlessly. However, I have read a forum about people facing problems connecting to the camera, etc and thus those kinds of things do happen.
Another thing that disappointed me was that it was not able to support anything above 2K and the highest it could do is 1080P at 60fps, FHD. Nonetheless, it is still quite good for a camera ofthis price point.
Below are the links where you can get the cheapest from each site.
**Prices may differ because there may be sales, etc, hence please check using this link before buying. **
First and foremost, I’d like to say that this is not a 4K camera and you should not buy it if you are looking for one with 4K resolution because the 4K is horizontally interpolated. If you are looking for one with 4K, I’d recommend the ThiEYE T5, which has a slightly higher price point and I have a written a review about it here.
For the audio quality, the speaker on the camera is good enough to hear what the video is roughly about. Hence if you want to hear it clearly, play it on an external TV or computer.
As for the user control, I felt that it is quite good because you can customise a lot such as the video exposure, color, white balance, gyroscope, image stabilization, etc.
The screen is also very user-friendly, bright and words with big font, which helps especially beginners.
It also comes with many accessories, not mentioning a remote and if in the future you plan to change cameras or you already have an existing camera like an SJCAM or GoPro, you can interchangeably use the accessories however you like.
I also tried contacting the customer service in English (although I know Mandarin) and I was quite amazed because they replied after a few hours I asked, and it is, in my opinion, one of the china company in terms of customer service response.
Last thing, the reason why I did not use my own photos and videos is because I do not own it but I have I reviewed it from my friend who owns a camera shop and I am telling you because I want to be truthful to you readers.
Oh and lastly, if you have any questions or comments that you wish to discuss, PLEASE feel free to drop a comment down below. I’ll really appreciate it. Thanks!