cameras
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Review

DBPOWER SJ4000 Action Cam in the test

by 27. October 2015
Described as DBPOWER SJ4000, the well-known Chinese producer "DBPOWER" markets an Action Cam that is little different from the popular SJCAM SJ4000 model. Whether this Sports Cam but also can keep up with the original, you will learn in this test.
Overview
Manufacturer/Model

DBPOWER

Product

DBPOWER SJ4000

Specifications

12 Megapixel
170 ┬░ wide angle
1.5 inch LCD

Video resolution:
1080p @ 30
720p @ @ 60 30

What's in the box

1x DBPOWER action camera
1x Waterproof Case
1x replacement back
1x bike mount
1x angle bracket
1 x helmet mount
3x straps
1x cleaning cloth
2x adhesive pads
1x micro USB cable
1x User's Guide
2x battery

Review of the DBPOWER SJ4000 Action Cam

First impression of the DBPOWER SJ4000

Already the box in which the DBPOWER SJ4000 was delivered differs a bit from that of a usual China action cam. Nevertheless, the same accessories were included in the delivery. A waterproof housing was also included. It is interesting, however, that DBPOWER has included this camera with 2 batteries.

In the manual the Action Cam is listed as SJ4000. Well-known manufacturer and actual producer of the SJ4000 is the Chinese manufacturer "SJCAM". Unfortunately, this camera is synonymous but often forged, which is why a fake externally hardly distinguishable from an original SJCAM. In terms of hardware, however, there are considerable differences. The "DBPOWER SJ4000" could simply be a rebranding. One would get an original SJCAM, which however carries the DBPOWER lettering. Especially older models of the SJCAM were delivered without branding.

The DBPOWER SJ4000 has a hardware 12 megapixel CMOS image sensor and a 170 ┬░ wide-angle lens installed. Which image processor or image sensor was used is unfortunately not apparent from the product description. Here one can assume, however, that at least the image processor a Novatek chipset is used. With a resolution of 1080p, the DBPOWER SJ4000 achieves standard 30 images-per-second. On 720p 30 and 60 are possible per second.

A microphone has of course also installed the camera, so that sound recordings are possible. Even with the connection options, this camera does not differ. Of course we would have a micro USB port, a micro HDMI port and a micro SD card slot. The battery of the SJ4000 has a capacity of 900mAh. Here you can also use the standard replacement batteries of the SJCAM. On the back there is an 1.5 inch LCD display.

commissioning

For commissioning you have to insert an SD card. However, this recognizes only SD card to 32GB. After switching on, every connoisseur should notice that the firmware used here differs from that of an original SJCAM. Already the DBPOWER start logo indicates a separate firmware. Not only the menu is different, also under the menu item "version" you can see a different firmware name.

The installed firmware is available for download on the DBPOWER website. Out of interest, I flashed the original SJCAM firmware on the DBPOWER SJ4000. The firmware was easily accepted by the camera, but then the menu did not work as it should. The confirmation or shutter button did not work anymore and the confirmation function was now on the side menu buttons. It can be guessed that at least a similar hardware has been installed.

The camera has several control buttons. The power button is located next to the lens. At the same time you switch with this button the recording mode or in the settings. LEDs on the housing indicate whether the camera is on and whether a recording is in progress. The user interface of the camera offers numerous setting options, which are clearly listed in the operating instructions. In addition to the resolution, for example, the image stabilization, the white balance or the ISO can be changed.

Picture and video quality

Compared with a SJCAM SJ4000, the video quality of the DBPOWER SJ4000 is almost the same. Only at the color temperature there were small differences. It is therefore quite possible that the same hardware was installed here and only the firmware of DBPOWER was adjusted. The picture quality is also good and can hardly be distinguished. If this Action Cam is a replica, it was very well implemented.

Test recording with the DBPOWER Action Cam

The sound quality is not worse with the SJ4000 from DBPOWER, but no better than the original. Especially through the waterproof housing, the sound recording but very quiet.

Final Words

rating
Positive

Good video and picture quality
Good scope of accessories with 2 batteries
Clear menu

Negative

Quiet sound recordings
Pressure point waterproof housing

First impression
8.0
-
application
8.0
-
Design
7.0
-
Display
7.5
-
User Interface
8.0
-
usability
8.0
-
video quality
8.0
-
picture quality
8.0
-
Microphone
6.5
-
Battery life
7.0
-
Summary

The DBPOWER SJ4000 can certainly compete with the original. The biggest difference between the two cameras is the firmware, which is just a design difference. In the video or image quality, there are only differences in the color temperature. I could not tell a difference in terms of sharpness or a possible image noise. Overall, the DBPOWER SJ4000 is a good action cam that comes very close to the original SJCAM

7.6
Our rating
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