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Covering the GoPro HERO and other small Point-Of-View video cameras.


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Old September 14th, 2014, 04:05 AM   #1
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DJ4000 or GoPro

Hi Guys

I have see quite a lot of footage with the "Made in China" DJ4000 Action Cam and to be honest it looks better than my Hero 2 and costs a quarter of the price!

Has anyone here used one .. I just need something to take on a snorkelling holiday this year and would rather spend $100 than $300 !!

Chris
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Old September 17th, 2014, 09:58 AM   #2
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Re: DJ4000 or GoPro

Chris, pick up a used Sony action cam from B&H for about $120-$150. Currently its my favorite of all my action cams. Picture isn't as good as a Hero3 but the form factor and usability makes up for it.

Used base model $115
Used Sony HDR-AS15 HD Action Camcorder with WiFi HDRAS15/B B&H
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Old September 17th, 2014, 02:43 PM   #3
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Re: DJ4000 or GoPro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
Chris, pick up a used Sony action cam from B&H for about $120-$150. Currently its my favorite of all my action cams. Picture isn't as good as a Hero3 but the form factor and usability makes up for it.

Used base model $115
Used Sony HDR-AS15 HD Action Camcorder with WiFi HDRAS15/B B&H
I am sorry, but I have to strongly disagree. I own the Sony AS15, and the video is horrible by any standard. I have shot some videos comparing its performance to the Panasonic A500. That camera is out of your price range (it is rated the best of the Action Cams; see another thread), but you can see the AS15 "quality" from these comparisons:



The first clip in each scene is the AS15.
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Old September 17th, 2014, 03:27 PM   #4
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Re: DJ4000 or GoPro

Well, as someone who went on a boys vacation with Dylan in January to Mexico I can tell you that we ended up with virtually no usable footage from the GoPros we took quadding and seadooing since they kept shutting down and stopped recording whereas the Sony action cam never fails when we throw it in the rally cars Dylan and I race. I prefer the image on the hero 3 but we have lost SO much footage with them I'll never buy one.
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Old September 17th, 2014, 09:20 PM   #5
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Re: DJ4000 or GoPro

Thanks for the comments Guys

A mate of mine has one of these SJ4000's and it's just a quarter of a GoPro price and he has had no issues whatsoever! For $100 including all the fittings it's pretty good value so it's worth a try.

My Hero 2 has frozen on me a few times ... I found firstly that if you don't actuate the top button correctly it simply freezes ...you need to give it a quick "blip" to get it running ..if you keep it pressed too long it simply freezes and the only cure is to rip out the battery! It won't even turn off. It's quite hard to get the "single button press" right too when the camera is on top of a lighting stand and also in a skeleton case!!

I have also had a few instances where it recorded the first MP4 file until it hit the 2GB limit, then created a new file as it should but then stopped recording!!

These 4000 cams also have a tiny LCD which won't be much good in daylight but will at least give some framing. Sadly unlike the Hero it only has one field of view (170 degrees) but it does have a digital zoom which admittedly with drop res but it does allow you to reduce the angle to the Hero's "medium" setting by zooming in to 1.4X

I have ordered one so I'll give it a workout!! We only take our well deserved break from wedding shoots in 2 months which is enough time to evaluate it

Chris
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Old September 18th, 2014, 09:33 AM   #6
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Re: DJ4000 or GoPro

Mark, clearly there will be a difference between a $100 1080 camera and $400 4k camera.

But remember there is a lot more to an action camera than image. Say, like Chris, you're on holiday on a 8 hour tour of some type, how good is your 4k footage after your single, fixed internal battery in the A500 dies and hour and a half in, then your camera is completely down until you leave it plugged in to charge.

With action cameras, getting the image is more important than the image. I won't even start on versatility of the form factor. The tethered style of the A500 has very limited uses (though what it is good for it excels at! I do love my A100 for a few niche things).

Chris, if you boost your budget to $150, you can pick up a used AS30 which is much better than the 15 in picture quality. Plus built in GPS is cool.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 12:27 PM   #7
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Re: DJ4000 or GoPro

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Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
Mark, We're talking $100 action cameras but clearly be should be buying an Epic. ;)

Remember there is a lot more to an action camera than image.
Form factor, functionality, batteries...
I'd up my suggestion to the AS30 used for $150 from b&h but Chris said $100. Chris if you can swing the extra $50 the quality goes way up.
You are correct there is more than picture quality that matters for camera choice, except for the viewer of the final video, who does not care about inputs.

And you forgot to mention lcd screen. To frame the Sony Action Cam you need an lcd accessory, which may double the price. The DJ4000 has an lcd, and I cannot imagine the video quality would be worse than the AS15.

I have also seen no evidence that the AS30 has any better picture than the AS15 (and I have looked). The AS100 is better, but inferior by a lot to the GoPros (and, of course, the Panasonic A500). I like the Sony form-factor and other things, which is why I looked into the successors to the horrible AS15, but ultimately the picture quality of all the Sony Action Cams was a big turn-off.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 07:29 PM   #8
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Re: DJ4000 or GoPro

Thanks Guys

Yep the primary mission with most action cams is getting the image and a 4K camera that dies after 90 minutes is something you don't want. So far the 4000 footage I have seen (even zoomed a bit to reduce the super wide angle) looks pretty darn good to me and is on a par with my GoPro but is only 1/4 of the price and you get 2 battery packs too. I sold my LCD back from my GoPro as they are not exactly the best to preview footage but any cam with even a tiny LCD is useful to roughly frame a shot and maybe to confirm that you did get the shot, but that's about all. I use my GoPro as a safety camera at weddings and yes, it's a pain having to wire it up to an external monitor just to frame the shot or have to put on the wiFi back and then use my smart phone to frame the pic.

Should have the el-cheapo next week sometime so I'll post back comments

Chris
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Old September 19th, 2014, 01:26 PM   #9
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Re: DJ4000 or GoPro

I downloaded some *original* clips from the SJ4000, from here:

https://mega.co.nz/#F!U8hHyCKK!quAy6pOjiopykp0t2wPqGA

Here is what I discovered:

1. All the daylight scenes are blue-tinted. You can clearly see sharpening artifacts, very heavy. But otherwise not terrible.

2. The audio is mono, phone quality - 32Khz, 512 kbps PCM (uncompressed, low bandwidth).

3. The bitrate for 108030p is 15 Mbps (low).

4. The frame rate is a nonstandard 30.0000fps, not NTSC.

What I learned from other sites:

There is no real 60p, either at 1080 or 720.

Here are two frame grabs from the original clips:

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/a...psbdf73d32.jpg

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/a...psec8d8740.jpg
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Old September 19th, 2014, 04:08 PM   #10
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Re: DJ4000 or GoPro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rosenzweig View Post
You are correct there is more than picture quality that matters for camera choice, except for the viewer of the final video, who does not care about inputs.
True, but also the end viewer doesn't care about image quality either, only content.

Quote:
And you forgot to mention lcd screen. To frame the Sony Action Cam you need an lcd accessory, which may double the price. The DJ4000 has an lcd, and I cannot imagine the video quality would be worse than the AS15.

I have also seen no evidence that the AS30 has any better picture than the AS15 (and I have looked). The AS100 is better, but inferior by a lot to the GoPros (and, of course, the Panasonic A500). I like the Sony form-factor and other things, which is why I looked into the successors to the horrible AS15, but ultimately the picture quality of all the Sony Action Cams was a big turn-off.

First off Mark... I'm still secretly jealous you have an A500 and I don't. :)

But for general info for others reading this thread:

-The Sony wifi and app actually work quite well for framing, at least for a locked off shot. Better than the goPro and Panny ones (which is the most annoying)

-One of the coolest (though bulky and could be better thought out) features of the Sony is the LCD dock, which turns the whole thing into a palmcorder style device. It's the best "selfie" screen option out there. Though at $100 it greatly increases the buy in. Still, I think it's worth it, esp compared to the GoPro screen. The A500 does have a screen built in, (wish my A100 did) but again, 4x the price.

-My AS30 looked better to me than the AS15, but again, may be subjective. It is much more feature packed though with 120fps being a ton of fun for family/vacation stuff. Easy to implement in camera as well. And the GPS is great for logging travel.

Now, the most important thing is... picking the right camera for the job. IMHO the Sony is the best travel fun family camera, the A500 is the best on person POV action camera. The GoPro... well... a good blend of the two, but probably the best for multipurpose mounting options. Again, right camera for the right job on the day.
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Old September 20th, 2014, 03:22 AM   #11
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Re: DJ4000 or GoPro

I have a case with 4 of the Chinese ones and 1 real go pro. Through choice, I like the Chinese ones! The weird 30fps seems to be fine in the edit, I don't use the other settings. Sound is ok, and as the sound these small cameras collect is always compromised by the case, it isn't that different from the go pro. One button press to turn it on, one to start recording. Monitor is adequate. I've had two ruined by being run over, and it's not a worry. The go pro has more gizmos and adjustments. I use them mainly on stage for live music, and they perform rather well. Cut in with other footage from normal hd cameras, all I really notice is the barrel distortion of verticals, I don't see a quality change. Colours do seem to record slightly differently, and sometimes I may reduce the saturation just a bit for a better match on sky or trees, but on stage with coloured lighting, there's no need, because white is fine.
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Old September 20th, 2014, 08:20 PM   #12
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Re: DJ4000 or GoPro

Thanks Paul

I obviously still have my GoPro too that I use quite a lot at weddings but nice to know that the 4000 works OK ... initially the one I'm getting is for some underwater work in December in the Cocos Islands and my main reason in looking for a replacement was also my old Hero still has a fuzzy image underwater (which the Hero 3 fixed) but I never modded my Hero 2 so figured (hopefully) that the SJ4000 produces a decent image underwater. However if it works for weddings too I'll use it!!!

Chris
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Old September 26th, 2014, 03:06 AM   #13
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Re: DJ4000 or GoPro

Just got my first SJ4000 and I must say the image quality is pretty good! It's hard to believe that a $113 kit can produce this sort of image ... certainly a lot better than my Hero 2!! One drawback is that it only has a wide setting but has digital zoom so you can change the FOV just by zooming about 1.3X to take away the curvature of the super wide angle. At 1.3X zoom the image quality is also very good and it's impossible to tell the difference on a 24" monitor and full screen video ... you might lose a bit at full zoom but nothing that will make it unusable. Sheesh I paid $400 for my Hero 2 a few years ago here and had to buy the LCD back as well and spare batteries so a camera with 2 spare batteries and built-in LCD for a quarter of the price was attractive!!

Chris
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Old September 27th, 2014, 05:50 PM   #14
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Re: DJ4000 or GoPro

Maybe hang out for the new low cost (about $100) basic GoPro see to be released very soon.



GoPro will be unveiling a cheaper, entry-level action camera simply called the HERO and priced about $100

While the GoPro HERO4 Black and Silver editions feature 4K/30 video and a touch display, respectively, the HERO will be a low-end camera that doesn’t offer either of those features (nor will it have wireless connectivity through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth).

Instead, it offers high-quality 1080p30 and 720p60 video capture with some of the other new HERO4 sprinkled in (video will be limited to those two resolutions and frame rates).

The QuikCapture feature allows you to power on the camera and begin recording with a single press of a button, allowing you to react to situations and capture them without having to fumble around with your camera.

A Burst Photo feature snaps 5 megapixel still frames at a rate of 5 shots per second. There’s also a 0.5 second Time Lapse feature.

The rugged housing that comes with the camera allows it to be waterproof down to 131 feet (40m). This housing is integrated with the camera and cannot be removed, meaning the camera isn’t compatible with certain accessories (e.g. The Frame and the LCD Touch BacPac).

There’s an Auto Low Light mode that automatically adjusts the camera’s frame rates when you’re in low-light situations in order to optimize performance.

Other features include a built-in microphone, microSD card support of up to 32GB, a 2.5-hour battery, and a 3.9oz body.

So the new lineup will look like this .....
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Old January 16th, 2015, 06:35 PM   #15
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Re: DJ4000 or GoPro

A friend just bought the SJ4000 and I did a quick low light comparison with my GoPro. I've had some issues with the low light performance of the GoPro, so what I do is assign an ISO limit of 400 to keep the graininess down. My friend wasn't sure of his setting on the SJ4000 but it appears to have been on auto. Nevertheless, I was sold on the $90 camera and ordered it. I'll do a more controlled test when my camera arrives, but for now here are the results I got:

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