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Review

SJCAM SJ7 Star Review - Action Cam with native 4K!

by 6. April 2018

The SJCAM SJ7 Star is the top 2017 released top model of the Chinese Action Cam manufacturer "SJCAM". Equipped with up-to-date hardware and numerous functions, SJCAM tries to shake up the competition. If that succeeds, more about this in this review.

overview
Manufacturer/Model

SJCAM

Product

SJCAM SJ7 Star

Specifications

Hardware
Image processor: Ambarella A12LS75
Image sensor: Sony IMX117
* Wide angle: 166 °
* Aperture: F2.5

Display: 2.0 inch LCD
* 320x240
* touch screen

Connections: Mini-USB, Micro HDMI
SD card: SDHC / SDXC up to 128 GB
Battery: 1000mAh

video Resolution
3840x2160 @ 30p @ 25p - 16: 9 / SuperView
2880x2160@30p - 4:3
2704x2028@30p - 4:3
2704x1520 @ 30p - 16: 9 / SuperView
2560x1440@60p@30p - 16:9
1920x1080 @ 120p @ 100p @ 60p @ 30p - 16: 9 / SuperView
1280x960@120p@60p@30p
1280x720@240p@200p@120p@60p@30p -16:9 / SuperView

resolution
16M (4608x3456 - 4: 3)
14M (4254x3264 - 4: 3)
12M (4000x3000 - 4: 3)
8.3M (3840x2160 - 16: 9)
5M (2560x1920 - 4: 3)
3M (2048x1536 - 4: 3)

Other
* WiFi and App
*Time lapse
* Self-timer
* Loop Recording
* App-Control
* Motion Detection
*ICE CREAM
*PIP

Scope of delivery

1x SJCAM SJ7 Star
12x mounts
2x adhesive pads
1x housing
1x housing cover
1x lens cover
1x battery
1x charging cable
1x cleaning cloth
1x user manual

Foreword: SJCAM SJ7 Star - "Reach for the Stars"

Especially when it comes to cheap action cams from China, belongs "SJCAM" probably the most famous manufacturers. The company gained notoriety mainly through the Box office hit "SJCAM SJ4000", an action cam as Origin of the GoPro clones applies and has even been copied many times. With the appearance of the subsequent models of the SJ5000 and SJ M series, it was quiet around the manufacturer. The hype surrounding the good and cheap SJCAM Action Cams faded due to the ever-growing and changing market. With the SJCAM SJ7 Star The manufacturer now ventures again a look forward and tries to keep up with the competition by a feature-rich hardware equipment.

First impression of the SJCAM SJ7 Star

Scope of delivery and accessories

The Scope of delivery to the SJCAM SJ7 Star falls lush. The Action Cam comes complete with a waterproof case, lots of mounts and adhesive pads, a cleaning cloth, a lens cover, a mini-B USB cable, an additional waterproof case cover, a battery and a user guide.

Very interesting is the additional housing cover, which can alternatively be attached to the waterproof housing. This cover is with a resistive surface equipped, so that the Action Cam can also be inserted in the housing, operated via the touchscreen. The fact that the manufacturer attaches only a single battery is the norm today, but it's a pity. Batteries of the older models are no longer compatible due to size changes.

SJCAM SJ7 Star Scope of delivery

As another and separately available accessories there are special for the SJCAM SJ7 Star Lens filter on Lavalier microphone, a wristwatch-like Remote Control as well as a transport Case, All accessories can be obtained from the manufacturer's official shop.

Design and workmanship

The design and build quality of the SJ7 Star are right. The 60 x 41 x 24.7 mm large action cam consists of a matte black plastic front, which houses the lens, the power button, another setting button and two intermediate status LEDs.

SJCAM Action Cam front view

The frame of the 74g heavy action cam is brushed instead aluminium, which gives the action cam a very high quality look. The top of the rack is the shutter button. The connection options are all housed on one of the housing sides. These amount to one Mini-B USB socket, One Micro HDMI socket and one Micro-SD memory card slot, To criticize here is that all socket are exposed and protected by no cover or rubber caps. It is also questionable why SJCAM opted for the no longer up-to-date Mini-B USB port. This would have been a USB-C, but at least micro-USB connector much more appropriate.

SJCAM Action Cam connections

The battery compartment is located on the underside of the housing as expected and is opened via a folding mechanism. One way to connect a tripod directly to the camera, there is no lack of tripod thread. Last but not least, the SJ7 Star has an 2 inch LCD touch screen on the back. To the left of the display are two more status LEDs.

SJCAM action cam bottom

Display and touch screen

An Action Cam without a display is hardly conceivable today. An action cam without a touchscreen as well. According to the market, the SJCAM SJ7 Star is back with a 2 inch large LCD touch display fitted. The Display resolution is 320 240 x pixels, which corresponds to a point density of 200 PPI.

The display convinces in the first place by a very high high display brightness, which makes it easy to read even in strong light. Due to the high display brightness, however, the contrast is rather modest. The color rendering looks very pale. Could persuade the Touchscreen, All wiping and touch gestures are recognized without any problems. If you want to use the touch screen through the waterproof housing, as already mentioned, an additional housing cover with resistive surface is included. In addition, the Action Cam can be operated without problems despite the waterproof housing. Extensive operation purely via the physical operating buttons is also possible as an alternative.

Hardware

The hardware of the SJ7 Star amounts to one Ambarella A12S75 image processor and one 12 megapixel Sony IMX117 image sensor, An identical hardware combination of image processor and image sensor is also in the ThiEYE T5e and the Hawkeye Firefly 8S to find. The Sony IMX 117 image sensor came already in the GoPro HERO 4 Black for use. Furthermore, the Action Cam offers WiFi module, whereby a remote control via app or remote is possible.

Commissioning and user interface

According to SJCAM, the Action Cam can be guaranteed with everyone 32GB Micro-SDHC memory card be used. Micro-SDXC memory cards Memory sizes of 64GB and 128GB are also supported, but compatibility issues may vary depending on the type and manufacturer. The one used by us in the test Samsung EVO Plus Micro SDXC with a memory size of 64GB was easily detected. For high-resolution 4K video recordings, a memory card with UHS-3 interface is recommended.

The commissioning is no different from other action cams. Insert memory card and battery, switch on SJ7 Star and start filming. The user interface is available in several languages ​​including German.

Firmware updates can be downloaded directly from the manufacturer's website. An automatic update function via the SJCAM app does not exist. The following steps are to be considered when importing an update:

  1. Format memory card in file system FAT32.
  2. Copy firmware in .BIN format to the root directory.
  3. Insert a memory card into the Action Cam.
  4. Check if the Action Cam battery is charged / connected to the power source.
  5. Insert memory card and turn Action Cam on.
  6. The installation starts automatically! Alternatively: Touch the firmware version in Settings and confirm the update.
  7. Run update.
  8. Update status recognizable by LEDs.
  9. Remove and format the memory card.
  10. Use Action Cam as usual.

The User Interface is clearly structured. After switching on you are on the start screen. This provides information about the recording mode, the recording resolution, the WiFi, the battery, the date and time as well as the remaining recording time both at the top and at the bottom. A swipe from top to bottom opens a quick selection. This can be used to switch to the photo and video gallery, you can connect the SJCAM remote and turn the WiFi on or off. A swipe from bottom to top opens the selection of the individual recording modes. Between the video and photo mode can switch by a swipe to the side. The speed of the menu is acceptable, but not to one YI 4K + or GoPro Hero 5.

Here is an overview of all shooting and a settings.

shooting

Overall, the SJCAM SJ7 Star 6 recording modes, Here is an overview:

  • Photo mode
  • Photo Timer (Delayed Recording)
  • Burst mode (multiple recording)
  • video mode
  • Time-Lapse Video (Time Lapse Recording)
  • Time-lapse photo (time-lapse shot with photos)

Settings

The settings menu is divided into two categories. There is a sub-item for each "Shooting Mode" and "General Settings". Here is an overview of the settings options:

video mode

  • Resolution - 4K @ 30 / 25 | 2160p @ 30 | 2.7K @ 30 | 2.5K @ 60 / 30 | 1440p @ 60 / 30 | 1080 @ 120 / 60 / 30 | 960p @ 120 / 60 / 30 | 720 @ 240 / 120 / 60 / 30
  • Video quality - Normal / Fine / Super Fine
  • FOV - Near / Middle / Far
  • Slow Motion
  • Auto Low Light - On / Off
  • Gyro Sensor - On / Off
  • Detection - Off / Low / Medium / High
  • Duplicate File - On / Off
  • Video Timestamp - Date / Time / Date and Time
  • Timelapse Video - 1 / 2 / 5 / 10 / 30 / 60 seconds
  • Loop recording - Off / 1 / 2 / 3 / 5 minutes
  • Car DV - On / Off
  • Microphone Volume - Off / 50% / 60% / 70% / 80% / 90% / 100%
  • Sharpness - Gentle / Normal / Strong
  • Auto White Balance - Auto / Glowing / D4000 / D5000 / Daylight / Cloudy / D9000 / D10000 / Flash / Fluorescent / Water / Outdoor
  • Exposure - + 2 to -2 in 0.3 steps
  • ISO - Automatic | 100 | 200 | 400 | 800 | 1600
  • Metering Mode (Measurement for Exposure) - Multi | Center | commercial

Photo mode

  • Resolution - 16MP | 14MP | 12MP | 8.3MP | 5MP | 3MP
  • Photo quality - Normal / Fine / Super Fine
  • Shutter speed - Off | 1 / 30 | 1 | 2 | 5 | 10 | 30 | 60 seconds
  • Photo Timestamp - Date / Time / Date and Time
  • Self-timer - 2 / 3 / 5 / 10 / 30 / 60 seconds
  • Burst - 3P / 5P / 10P second
  • Timelapse Photo - 3 / 5 / 10 / 30 / 60 seconds
  • Sharpness - Gentle / Normal / Strong
  • Auto White Balance - Auto / Glowing / D4000 / D5000 / Daylight / Cloudy / D9000 / D10000 / Flash / Fluorescent / Water / Outdoor
  • Exposure - + 2 to -2 in 0.3 steps
  • ISO - Automatic | 100 | 200 | 400 | 800 | 1600
  • Metering Mode (Measurement for Exposure) - Multi | Center | commercial

General Settings

  • Quick Capture - On / Off
  • Delay Off
  • FPV - On / Off
  • TV mode - NTSC / PAL
  • Refresh Rate - Auto / 50 / 60 Hz
  • Image Rotation - On / Off
  • Watermark - On / Off
  • Auto Shutdown - Off / 3 / 5 / 10 minutes
  • Display Off - Off / 30S / 1 / 3 / 5 minutes
  • Status LED - Off / 1 / 2 / 3
  • WiFI LED - On / Off
  • Sound - On / Off
  • Date
  • Time of day
  • Date format - Y / M / D | D / M / Y | M / D / Y
  • Language
  • WiFi - On / Off | SSID | password
  • format
  • default settings
  • firmware

"SJCAM Zone" App

The Remote control of the SJ7 Star can either over the wristwatch-like remote control or about the "SJCAM Zone" App respectively. The app is free and can be over the Google PlayStore or Apple AppStore for each mobile device. The connection between Action Cam and mobile device is via WiFi, The SJ7 Star builds its own 2.4 GHz WLAN for this purpose.

The app offers the same options that can be made directly from the camera. In addition to one Live picture outputit is also possible over one Gallery to access the inserted memory card and transfer recordings, but also to share directly in social media. In addition, the app offers its own Video and photo editor, All Shooting and Camera Settings can also be remotely controlled via the SJCAM Zone App.

The connection setup was no problem in the test. The stability of the compound is not objectionable. However, some image artifacts may occur. The delay of the signal transmission is about 2 seconds, depending on the stability of the connection. The data transfer speed when accessing the SD memory card is average.

recording quality

Video quality of the SJCAM SJ7 Star

On the hardware side, the SJCAM SJ7 Star is well positioned, even if it can not keep up with the current market leaders of Sony, GoPro or YI Technology. The combination of Ambarella A12S75 image processor and a Sony IMX117 image sensor allows the action cam videos natively in 4K at 30 pictures-per-second take. The recording format is MP4, encoded in H.264.

SJCAM SJ7 Star Review / Test | 4K @ 30 Sample Footage

The video quality is hardly different from the one tested only a few months ago ThiEYE T5e, Video recordings convince by a pleasant sharpness, one high level of detail and natural color reproduction, Not convincing, however, the recording quality, It is recorded in Mono with a 128 kbit / s bitrate and a Sample rate of 48 kHz, Even without a waterproof case, the sound picked up by the action cam microphone is hard to use. The sound is clearly captured too quietly and is hardly understandable by the strong noise. Take the sound over that again SJCAM lavalier microphone On, you get one of the best sound recording qualities an Action Cam has to offer.

An additional feature of the SJ7 Star is the electronic image stabilization (EIS), However, this is only up to a resolution of 1080p 60 images per second to choose from. The image stabilization provides acceptable results.

Sound recording without waterproof housing

Sound recording with waterproof housing

Sound recording with SJCAM lavalier microphone

Photo quality of the SJCAM SJ7 Star

The maximum resolution for photos is included interpolated 16 megapixels, Natively, the maximum resolution of the image sensor is 12 Megapixel. The photo quality, like the video quality, convinces with a high level of detail and good color rendering. Despite the many setting options for exposure, the white balance or the ISO, the photo mode lacks the ability to digitally correct the lens curvature.

Accumulator

The Capacity of the battery is 1000 mAh, The measured in the test Battery life, with a resolution of 4K, 60 was minutes. If you also activate WiFi, the runtime will be reduced to about 45 minutes. The recording time at 1080p is about 75 minutes. The charging time depends heavily on the charger. Charging the battery directly via the Action Cam, the charging time is just under 3 hours. With the help of a special battery charger, the charging time can be reduced to about 1 ½ hours.

SJCAM SJ7 Star with battery

Price Comparison

Price comparison - buy offer at GearBest
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106,38€
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Shipping Shipping from Europe
173,96€
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Shipping Shipping from China
175,09€
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177,41€
Price Comparison - Buy Banggood
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222,99€
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222,99€
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Prices last updated on: 7. October 2019 11: 02

Final Words

Positive

►High quality design
►Very good workmanship
►High display brightness
►Precise touch screen
►Native 4K recording option
►Good video and photo quality
►JPG + RAW
►Full setting options
►Good app
►External microphone

Negative

►No terminal cover
►No tripod thread
►Mini-B USB port
►No 5 GHz WiFi
►Image stabilization only up to 1080p
►Weak microphone with noise
►Akkulaufzeit

rating
Our rating
user Rating
Rate Here
First impression
8.0
8.6
application
9.0
8.4
Design
9.0
8.8
Display
8.5
9.0
User Interface
8.0
9.0
Features
8.0
8.2
usability
8.5
8.2
video quality
8.5
9.0
picture quality
8.0
9.0
Microphone
3.0
5.5
App
8.0
8.3
Battery life
5.0
6.3
Summary

Although the SJCAM SJ7 Star can not compete with the current market leaders, it offers a good overall package in the 150 € price range. In terms of recording quality, the Action Cam impresses with particularly sharp, detailed and color-true video and photo recordings. There are deviations in the sound quality, which is very much affected by noise without external microphone.

Thanks to the touch screen, the SJ7 Star offers a comfortable operating option. At the same time, the display provides an outstanding display brightness, which makes it very easy to read even in bright sunshine. To criticize are in turn the abandonment of a tripod thread, the outdated Mini-B connection and the relatively low battery capacity.

7.6
Our rating
8.2
user Rating
1 rating
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