SJCAM is a company that is most known for making budget friendly action cameras. And the most impressive part is that they keep improving. It seems as though they release a new better action camera every month while keeping the same price! This time SJCAM has come out with the SJ6 Legend. SJCAM SJ6 Legend is a 4K action camera that should offer a cheaper alternative for GoPro Hero5 Black. I’m definitely going to compare those two as well soon. But for now, let’s take a look at how good the SJ6 Legend actually is.
- Dimensions: 59×41×29mm / 2.3×1.6×1.1″
- Weight: 83g / 2.9oz
- Sensor: Panasonic MN34120PA
- Chipset: Novatek 96660
- Field of View: 166°
- Video resolutions: 4K 24fps; 2K 30fps; 1080p 60/50/30/25fps; 720p 120/60/30fps; 420p 240fps
- Bitrate: 60Mbps
- Photo: 16MP
- Modes: Single Shot, Burst, Time-Lapse, Video+Photo, Car Mode, Underwater
- Features: WiFi, 2″ LCD touchscreen, Digital Image Stabilization, External Microphone
- Ports: MiniUSB, MicroHDMI, MicroSD card slot
- Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 128GB
- Battery life: 70 minutes of 4K at 24fps, 65 minutes of 1080p at 60fps
In The Box
- SJCAM SJ6 Legend
- Waterproof Housing up to 30m / 98ft
- Quick Release Buckle, Vertical Quick Release J-Hook buckle
- Handlebar Seat post mount
- Curved & Flat adhesive mounts
- 3-Way Pivot Arm mount
- Univeral 1/4″ Camera Tripod mount, Tripod Mount adapter
- Cleaning cloth
- MiniUSB-USB Cable
The SJCAM SJ6 Legend comes in a nice large box. It’s placed inside the waterproof housing so it’s pretty impossible for the camera to get damaged during shipping. A pretty nice solution. The design of the SJ6 Legend is basically the same as 99% other action cameras. It has the rectangular design that most accessories support. It has a dimension of 59×41×29mm / 2.3×1.6×1.1″ and weighs 83g / 2.9oz with the battery. So a pretty light action camera. Definitely a plus for people into aerial photography or even FPV racing.
The front of the SJCAM SJ6 Legend has the lens, some LED lights and a LCD screen. The front LCD screen displays video modes, recording time and battery. It’s actually surprisingly large and detailed. I really like it. The back of the action camera has a very nice 2″ LCD touchscreen, just like the one on GoPro Hero5 Black. You can use the touchscreen to change settings and view past footage. Because it’s touchscreen, it makes your life so much easier as you don’t have to use buttons to navigate through a small menu. I also want to add that it’s super responsive, like it’s one of the best screens I have used.
Top of the SJ6 Legend has the shutter/record button for either recording videos or taking photos. Left side has the power on and menu button. The menu button is used to access the menu settings on the touchscreen. Right side has the MiniUSB, MicroHDMI and MicroSD ports, also including the built in mic. And finally the bottom, which holds a compartment for the battery and a threaded hole for tripods. There are also plenty of LED lights on all sides which indicate different modes etc. Overall speaking it’s a very nice design. One of the best looking action cameras I have reviewed.
The build quality is also really nice. The entire body of the SJCAM SJ6 Legend has been made out of a rubberized material. It improves greatly improves grip. Even the few buttons are spot on. They feel strong and when you push it, they make that nice “click” sound as well. So they definitely aren’t weak or wobbly.
SJCAM has always been spot on when it comes to accessories. SJ6 Legend is no different. You get a nice range of different mounts and adapters with the package. Including an interesting waterproof case. The waterproof case has a removable back and it comes with a touchscreen friendly back. It’s basically made out of this flexible material that you can add to your waterproof case. So you can use the touchscreen even when it’s inside the housing. I haven’t seen this on any other action camera. Another great feature is the tripod thread which lets you use accessories made by other companies as well.
Also the SJCAM and GoPro quick clips aren’t the same. They look pretty similar but the SJCAM one is much more thinner. So if you are planning to use GoPro or SJCAM mounts, then make sure you have the correct quick clip attached. I also like that they have included a bracket. You can use the bracket and the screw mount to attach the camera anywhere you want without having to use the waterproof case. I personally used that in my car with the adhesive mount.
The best part about the SJCAM brand is that they also have other accessories as well other than the ones you get with the camera.
Bluetooth remote – It’s a simple remote control that can be worn around your wrist. It has all the necessary buttons to operate the camera from a distance. You can even turn it on and off with the remote. It’s a really good device if you are on the move and can’t use your phone.
External microphone – Having the ability to use an external microphone is a huge plus for the camera. There’s plenty of musicians who are looking for action camera to record their music for youtube. You can strap them onto a guitar for example and make a pretty cool video. The SJCAM external microphone has a MiniUSB cable that’s connected straight to the camera. The cable also has a nylon cover which I find really nice. There is also a clip and the last part of microphone is flexible as well. You can bend it any way you require. Overall the external microphone noticeably improves the audio quality.
Lens filters – There’s only so much a camera and it’s software can do when it comes to recording outdoors. Sometimes the sun is just too much and for that SJCAM has also got filters for the lens. The UV filter for example helps reduce the blue color from daylight and fades the sun light more evenly. It also protects your camera lens and doesn’t let the dust gather on it. So you can really always use it when you don’t have the camera in a waterproof case.
Settings & Menu
It’s pretty easy to use the camera. Just hold down the power button on the side of the camera until the LED lights turn red and the touchscreen turns on.
This is the basic view from the touchscreen that provides all the information you need. Such as the battery life, minutes left to record on your SD card, video mode and of course settings. If you want to for example switch from video to photos, then you have to tap the “Video” part with the arrow and you’ll get this:
These are the basic modes than can be used. There are 3 more modes that you can’t see on the screenshot. You can access them by just scrolling down. Those include Video+Photo, Car and Underwater. All of these modes also have separate settings that can all be changed. For that you’ll need to tap the settings logo at the bottom left of the first image.
The camera also comes with WiFi so you can also change all the settings from your phone. The SJCAM ZONE app is available for both iOS and Android devices. You can use it to change settings, view live footage and start recording. SJCAM has also got a separate remote control available that can also be bought from their online store. In order to turn on WiFi, you first need to go back onto the first screen. From there, you need to slide a finger down across the screen and you’ll get a whole new menu:
From here you can do 4 things: WiFi, Pair with remote control, FPV(Drone) mode and Lock. By tapping onto the WiFi logo, you turn it on and the camera can be found on your iOS and Android devices. Make sure you have the SJCAM app downloaded before doing that. What I really like about the SJCAM WiFi is that the action camera also displays the password needed to access the camera.
After that all you need to do is tap connect camera in the SJCAM app and that’s it. The FPV drone mode can be used to enable the TV out feature on the camera. Which means that it transfers the view to an external device. You can also use the SJ6 Legend as an external camera when connected to a laptop or PC via USB. For example you can use it on Skype etc. A pretty nice feature for those who don’t have a webcam for example.
And I want to add again how nice the touchscreen is. There is no lag at all while moving through the settings. Also sliding down is super responsive and I have never managed to accidentally get into a sub-menu while sliding down. Which is quite impressive as I have used screens before that are the most annoying to use. Especially when you want to scroll down and the second you try to slide down the screen some menu will react to the touch and activate. But that is definitely not the case on the SJ6 Legend and it literally does everything you want.
Video & Photo
Since 4K videos are becoming more and more popular, SJCAM has too decided to jump on board. The SJ6 Legend has the MN34120PA sensor by Panasonic and the Novatek 96660 chipset. It is also capable of recording 4K* videos at up to 24fps. I want to add that the 4K videos aren’t actually captured in 4K if that makes sense. The action camera basically takes the 2K resolution as the base and invents additional pixels to create the 4K resolution. Doing so, it will never be as good as you’ll see on more expensive action cameras.
I’m really glad that they have admitted to doing it. So all the other resolutions are legit. If you are looking for higher frames per second, then you can also use the Full HD 1080p which can be used with up to 60fps. For the 720p at 120fps for slow motion. Pretty decent specs overall for a $149 action camera.
In day light, the SJCAM SJ6 Legend is actually really good. While trees and grass are blurry, rest of the footage is actually pretty sharp. Even the colors are pretty good. Really nice for $149.
The real problems start to show when you don’t have a good light. Don’t even bother shooting videos at night. Everything goes super blurry and the camera tends to cut frames in half if you are shooting in 60fps. It’s pretty standard for cheaper action cameras in lower light but still pretty annoying. If I wanted to record at 30fps I would had picked that. So the video quality is kind of a hit and miss. As long as you have good lightning, the videos look spot on. But if the light should turn bad while riding a bike or diving, the videos will turn bad as well.
The action camera has also got a new shooting mode called the Car Mode. It turns the action camera into a dashboard cam by enabling movement detection.
I’m also quite impressed by the quality of photos that it can capture. There’s plenty of detail and everything is sharp. Below are some examples that I captured with it. The photo quality does also depend quite a bit on the environment. If there’s plenty of light then the colors, sharpness, the whole picture looks pretty nice. But if it’s dark, there will be lots of blur and noise. So always make sure that there’s plenty of light around when taking photos with the SJ6 Legend.
I personally quite like the SJ6 Legend action camera. It does have a sort of a long learning curve though I feel. Don’t get me wrong it’s super easy to use, but in order to get the best video quality possible you still need to know what you are doing. Especially playing with the settings to suit the environment. But that’s the case with all cameras. Once you get it right, the videos actually have a very nice quality.
In my opinion, the SJCAM SJ6 Legend is the perfect action camera for drones and low budget. The video quality you get for $149 is not bad at all. Not to mention the extra features that are actually really nice. I could definitely see this used in a band to record practicing and such. I’m sure there are people searching for action cameras with an external microphone feature.