Monday, 20 October 2014 23:37

Let’s just accept the fact that we all know what it looks like and that it is not. If you still want to pretend you’re Tony Hawk on YouTube without burning a hole in your wallet, check out this SJ4000 ($120) review to see why this baby is the best deal.

Action clips are all the rage now. Cause you know, Instagram’s video is making toilet selfies too mainstream. You have to show the world that you’re hip and sporty, recording yourself jumping off a yacht or waving hi to Nemo. But if you try that with your DSLR or phone, you’ll end up with more than an iBend.

That’s how action cameras came into the market. The ‘tough camera’ category has been on the rise for a few years, giving the capability to take underwater selfies so that you can ‘check in’ at the pool. It lasts a few drops but you’ll still think twice before bringing it skydiving. Action cameras are the cockroaches of cameras - built to survive just about anything.

Why this particular camera?


1) Inside the box


When you unbox the small package, you’ll be overwhelmed with what you’ll find (much like your Asian boyfriend). It includes every attachment you can think of, so much till I don’t even know what to call them. And since it has the same dimensions as its more famous twin, their mounts are cross compatible, allowing greater possibilities.


2) Features

It’s very much like a point and shoot camera - switch it on and toggle through video, camera, playback and settings mode with all the basic features. With just four buttons, operation is as idiot-proof as it gets (though idiots always prove me otherwise). Most importantly, there’s a LCD screen to QC your selfies! For the more savvy, here’s a roundup:

• Field of view: 170 degree wide-angle fisheye
• Display: 1.5” LCD
• Storage: Up to 64GB micro SD, no built-in memory
• Frame rate: 1080p at 60fps
• Image sensor: 12 megapixel CMOS
• Waterproof: Up to 30m (with waterproof casing)


3) Design

Unlike the ‘pro’ counterpart, you can match this with your outfit as it comes in an assortment of colours. It is small enough for single right hand operation, as most guys would be adept at. Keep in mind that it's the waterproof housing that gives it its durability, so always use protection before you play.


Performance and Test Run: Off-Road

You have to play real life Tetris to fit the right attachments together for your intended use. There’s helmet mounts, clip-on mounts, and handlebar mounts, depending on your sport du jour. Some of them require you to mount it without its protective cover, and we all know what playing without protection leads to.


Performance and Test Run: Off-Road: Underwater


There’s no configuration needed when using it in different terrain - just switch it on and shoot. Other than for the important task of taking underwater selfies, this ability is highly useful for water sportsmen to take never-seen-before footages of them in action for review.

Being tougher than the average tough cam, this baby goes 30m deep, so yes you can take that selfie with Nemo. Audio is still surprisingly good underwater; if for some reason you decide to scream in your diving mask. Just like your equipment, remember to take off protection and clean it before repeated use.

From the footages and snapshots, the camera is indeed HD quality. Sometimes you do get some blurriness, but that’s more due to dirt/condensation on the lens instead of the inferior image processor. Audio is impressive, even in its casing, so you can hear all those testosterone grunts in all its full stereo glory.



By the time you read this, the camera will be available for less than SGD150, making it a steal compared to any branded action camera. The cross-compatible accessories allow flexibility for whatever crazy stunts you can imagine. Maybe you might want to wait for the upcoming built-in Wi-Fi model, though even at this configuration, you’d be hard pressed not to skip a night of clubbing for that awesome shot.

You can get your hands on the SJ4000 (S$120) or its latest model, the SJ4000 WiFi (S$140) at JMB Synergiz





Writer: M. Farhan Rais (@iisgHAN)

Farhan believes that if your boyfriend doesn't do sports, then you have a girlfriend. When not kindling his affairs with the gym and his mountain bike, he can be found wearing little at the pool, beach or Singapore's scenic fake water bodies. A tech geek at heart, he is easily tamed by offerings of hipster gourmet coffee.