SJCAM SJ8 action cams are about to be released and it’s definitely a big news to everyone that’s following action cameras as SJCAM was one of the few alongside GoPro who kickstarted the action camera industry, with its first action cam, SJCAM SJ4000, which could only shoot in 1080p 30fps but despite that, everybody was still amazed by a tiny device could film with such clarity.
Fast forward a few years and now we have many different action cameras, with some costing less than $100 but still being able to film true 4K resolution (though it lacks in other aspects).
Anyways, back to the new SJ8 series.
There are 3 different action cams, each with a different price point and audience in mind.
1. SJ8 Air
The SJ8 Air is the cheapest of these 3 and would cost about $89 (camera only) and $109 (full set).
It uses a 14MP MN34112PA image sensor similar to the SJ6 Legend and although this is able to shoot in a higher resolution than its big brothers, the SJ8 plus and Pro, the image sensor doesn’t allow for 4K shooting.
The SJ8 air also has roughly the same specs as SJ6 Legend, with approximately similar image sensor similar & specs so I’m thinking the SJ8 air will replace the SJ6 Legend.
Another action cam that is very similar in specs and price is the Yi Lite. Here’s a quick comparison I made.
|Features||SJ8 Air||Yi Lite|
|Video Resolution||1080p/1296p - 30fps|| 4K - 20fps
|Display||2.33” IPS Touchscreen||2.0” LCD Touchscreen|
|Battery life||130mins (LCD Off Wifi Off)||130mins (LCD On WiFi On)|
|Price||$89 (Camera Only Set)||$99 (Camera Only Set)|
After looking at this quick comparison, I felt that the Yi lite offers more value for money despite costing $10 more as it has EIS, has slightly higher video res and battery life.
2. SJ8 Plus
The SJ8 plus, in my opinion, can be seen as an upgrade to SJCAM’s flagship action cam, SJ7 Star, as the specs and pricing are pretty similar.
Similar to YI 4K, the SJ8 plus is able to shoot 4K at 30fps. But unlike the Yi 4K, the SJ8 Plus has stabilization at 4K, meaning that even if you shoot in 4K, you can still expect very clear and smooth video footage.
Moreover, SJ8 Plus also has a front screen, which shows quick information like shooting mode, storage and amount of battery left.
|Features||SJ8 Plus||Yi 4K|
|Video Resolution|| 4K 30fps
| 4K 30/25 fps
2.7K 60/50/30/25 fps
|Stabilization||3 Axis EIS (Up to 4K)||6 Axis EIS (Up to 2.7K)|
|Display||2.33” IPS Touchscreen + 0.96” OLED Front Screen||2.19” LCD Touchscreen|
|Video Format||H264, H265||H264|
|Battery life||100 mins (LCD Off Wifi Off)||110 mins (LCD Off Wifi Off)|
|Price||$179 (Camera Only Set)||$169 (Camera Only Set)|
From the specs, we can see that even though the Yi 4K costs a tad bit more, the SJ8 Plus still surpasses the Yi 4K in many aspects.
However, this in no way means that the SJ8 plus is better than the Yi 4K as we’ll still have to consider the features, such as live streaming, GPS & voice control. (SJCAM has yet to release much info about SJ8)
3. SJ8 Pro
SJCAM has never released any action cam with specs close to the SJ8 Pro as this is the first time they are planning to contend with other top flagship action cameras, such as the GoPro Hero 6 Black, Yi 4K+ and many others.
To show you how close the SJ8 Pro fare against other top action cams, take a look at this quick comparison.
|Features||SJ8 Pro||Yi 4K+||GoPro Hero 6 Black|
|Video Resolution|| 4K - 60, 50, 30, 25 fps
1440p - 60, 50, 30, 25f ps
| 4K - 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24 fps
2.7K - 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24 fps
| 4K - 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps
2.7K - 120, 100, 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps
|Waterproof Index||30M With A Waterproof Housing||40M With A Waterproof Housing||10M Without Waterproof, 60M With A Waterproof|
|Display||2.33” IPS Touchscreen + 0.96” OLED Front Screen||2.19” LCD Touchscreen||2” LCD Touchscreen|
|Video Format||H264, H265||H264||H264, H265|
|Battery life||90 mins||88 mins||70 mins|
|Price||$269 (Camera Only Set)||$300 (Camera Only Set)||$399 (Camera Only Set)|
As you can see, as least in terms of specs, the SJ8 Pro despite being cheaper than its competitors, is still able to film 4K at 60fps, take 12MP photos and is generally pretty much on par with them.
However, since the features and actual sample footage of the SJ8 haven’t been fully released yet, I can’t really say now that the SJ8 Pro is a bargain. (will update this once i get any info)
SJ8 Air Vs SJ8 Plus Vs SJ8 Pro
|Features||SJ8 Air||SJ8 Plus||SJ8 Pro|
|Image Sensor||14MP MN34112NA (Not capable of 4K)||12MP Sony IMX117||12MP Sony IMX377 (Similar To Yi 4K+)|
|Chipset (Processor)||Novatek NT96658 - Similar to SJ6 Legend||Novatek NT96683||Ambarella H22 S85|
|Video Resolution||1296p / 1080p 30fps||4K 30fps||4K 60fps|
|Field of View||160˚||170˚||170˚|
|Display||2.33” IPS touchscreen||2.33” IPS touchscreen + 0.96” OLED||2.33” IPS touchscreen + 0.96” OLED|
|Video Format||H264||H264, H265||H264, H265|
|Image Stabilization||3 Axis EIS Up To 4K 30fps||6 Axis EIS Up To 4K 30fps|
|Battery life||130 mins at 1080p||100 mins at 4K 30fps||90 mins at 4K 60fps|
|Price||$89 (Camera Only Set) OR $109 (Full Set)||$179 (Camera Only Set) OR $199 (Full Set)||$269 (Camera Only Set) OR $289 (Full Set)|
Anyhow, all SJ8 action cams utilise an IPS touchscreen, which is clearer and sensitive than normal LCD screens seen in other action cams.
Moreover, for the SJ8 Plus and Pro, there’s a front screen that displays useful information like shooting mode, storage and amount of battery left.
SJCAM claimed that the SJ8 plus has a 3 axis gyroscopic stabilization as opposed to the SJ8 Pro, which has 6 axis.
I’m not sure if the difference would be noticeable between these 2 and how well it would fare against other action cams as there aren’t any sample footage released by them, but I have high hopes for them.
The SJ8 series comes in 2 different sets, the camera only set & full set, similar to Gitup action cams.
If you’re thinking about getting the camera set, it’s fine too as all SJ8 action cams have a tripod thread so mounting onto selfie sticks, tripods, gimbals will be fine, if that’s what you’re mainly using it for.
On the other hand, for $20 more, you can get yourself the full set. If you’re planning on mounting on your helmet, bike, etc, you should consider getting the full set since the accessories by SJCAM is very good in quality.
Note: Another thing to note is that although most of the mounts used are GoPro ones, hence universal, the waterproof housing is not compatible with previous SJCAM cams, such as SJ7 star and so forth, meaning if you’re thinking of getting it, you need to get a specific waterproof housing that specifically states that it works with the SJ8 action cams.
Touchscreen Waterproof Case
Similar to the SJ7 star, I really like how the touchscreen capability still works with the waterproof case on which is very useful to have as you can both protect and still fully operate your action cam at once.
The SJ8 series uses a USB Type C port for data transfer and charging, and when comparing to a traditional micro-USB, the plus is that it is reversible hence can be plugged in anyway.
As for data transfer speed, it’s not the type of port (Type-C, micro-USB, etc) that matters but the version of USB (3.1, 3.0, 2.0, etc). Thus, it’s actually quite misleading for SJCAM to label type-c to have faster transfer data as it has nothing to do with the type of port used.
This series really reminds me of the Yi action cam series because there are also 3 in the series and SJ8 Air corresponds to Yi Lite, SJ8 Plus to Yi 4K and SJ8 Pro to Yi 4K+.
For now, only the specs are released, and from this alone, it looks pretty promising and does seem to have pretty nice value for money.
That’s all I have, for now, full reviews and testing are coming soon so stay tuned by opting into the list!
Till next time, thanks for reading and have a great one!