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SJCAM SJ20: Dual Lens Action Camera Review

The SJCAM SJ20 Dual Lens Action Camera offers two cameras for both day and night use. While it’s budget-friendly and packed with features, it falls short. Its build quality doesn’t match top competitors, and video quality disappoints in all lighting conditions. Overall, it’s back to square one.

ProsCons
Cost-effective complete kitThe video quality isn’t great
Internal and external batteriesLimited exposure control
Day and night camerasAverage build quality

The SJCAM SJ20 Dual Lens Action Camera boasts a unique feature

Two lenses for day and night shooting. This innovation challenges its competitors. On the SJCAM website, comparisons with the GoPro Hero 12 suggest superior night vision capabilities. But are these claims substantiated?

SJCAM SJ20 SPECIFICATION
SensorN/A
FOV154 degrees
Max photo resolution5888 x 3312
VideoUp to 4K 30fps (16:9)
Stabilization6-axis gyroscope
Front screen1.3-inch
Rear screen2.29-inch
BatteryBuilt-in 800mAh / External 1050mAh

The SJ20 offers standard shooting modes, with some extras. It captures video up to 4K at 30fps and stills at 20MP, impressive for its category. However, compared to higher-end models, it lacks versatility in video capture options.

Budget-conscious, the SJ20 resembles the Insta360 One R. It features two cameras with individual sensors, unlike the interchangeable lens module of the One R. The SJ20 utilizes both internal and external batteries, with a convenient 1.3-inch front screen complementing the rear touchscreen.

SJCAM SJ20: Release and Price

The SJCAM SJ20 debuted in November 2023 and hit the market in January 2024. It offers two kit options: Standard and Pro. The Standard kit, priced at $229, includes the SJ20, 1050mAh external battery, dive housing, various attachments, and frames. The Pro Kit, priced at $249, adds a 5650mAh battery grip for extended shooting times.

Despite claims of multiple currency options, purchases are only available in US dollars. At £180 / AU$350 for the Standard Kit and £200 / AU$380 for the Pro Kit, the pricing is competitive, appealing to a broader audience.

Kit OptionsAccessories IncludedRelease Date
StandardDive housing, attachments, framesJanuary 2024
ProDive housing, attachments, frames, 5650mAh battery gripJanuary 2024

SJCAM SJ20 Design

The SJCAM SJ20, reminiscent of the Insta360 One R series, features a front screen for selfies and a rear touchscreen for settings. It has a simplistic design with only two buttons on top.

The camera houses a speaker and a door panel covering the microSD card slot and USB-C charging port. However, accessing these requires removing and reattaching the external battery, which could have been better streamlined.

Equipped with an 800mAh internal battery and a clip-on 1050mAh external battery, the SJ20 offers reasonable battery life but falls short of the suggested three-hour mark for 4K video capture. The kit includes two frame configurations for water resistance up to 5m and a dive housing extending it to 40m.

While build quality is average and lacks the premium feel of Insta360 cameras, this is expected given the SJ20’s lower price point. Insta360, DJI, and GoPro dominate the premium action camera market.

SJCAM SJ20: Dual Lens Action Camera Review

SJCAM SJ20: Features And Performance

The SJ20 offers various shooting modes and 6-axis gyroscope stabilization for smooth video capture.

FeaturesPerformance
Multiple shooting modesSmooth video capture with stabilization
6-axis gyroscope stabilizationEasy to use interface
Livestream and webcam modesControl via SJCAM Zone app

The user interface employs on-screen buttons rather than edge swipes, which may feel slightly dated but doesn’t hinder usability.

The 2.29-inch rear touchscreen provides clear navigation, while the 1.3-inch front screen is ideal for self-capture.

While the camera boasts numerous shooting modes, the app’s connection via QR code scanning failed during testing.

The 6-axis gyroscope stabilization works well for minor movements but struggles with larger ones, resulting in a noticeable shake.

Footage taken while running or walking may exhibit shake, especially noticeable in night capture mode.

The default timestamp feature, adding time and date to photos, can be intrusive and should be switchable.

SJCAM SJ20: Image And Video Quality

Video quality is mediocre, while photos offer better image quality.

AspectQuality
VideoMediocre
PhotosBetter image quality, 20MP resolution
Manual controlLimited options, automatic settings

Manual controls like White Balance, ISO, and EV are available, but no control over the shutter speed.

Manual control in video capture ensures consistency and allows personalized exposure settings. Lack of it limits control over motion blur.

Photos, captured in JPEG format at 20MP, exhibit noise reduction at higher ISO settings.

The night camera performs better in low light but produces less natural colors and chromatic aberration.

Should I Buy The Sjcam Sj20?

Buy it if

Reasons
Unique action camera
Easy auto shooting
Budget-friendly option

The SJ20 offers a distinct dual-camera setup and is beginner-friendly with its simple shooting modes.

Don’t buy it if

Reasons
Higher budget
Superior image quality needed
Manual camera control essential

For better quality and control, consider higher-end models from GoPro, DJI, or Insta360.

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