SJCam have been on the budget action camera scene for quite some time, but their previous products have been lackluster to say the least. The SJCam M20, on the other hand, seems slightly different. It has WiFi capability, which is nice for previewing and framing up shots. The app does the job, but does not feel polished and was a pain to initially set up. The settings menu is thorough, from different modes, changing the FOV (Field of View) and turning on the camera’s stabilization, with some of these settings even changeable through the app.
In terms of what comes in the box, ‘A LOT‘, pretty much sums it up. From helmet mounts, to handlebar mounts and Velcro straps to cable ties. There’s also a load of angle and height adjustment add ins, which you put between the camera and the mount to position the camera in the desired location. To many, the mounts are the major selling points – the official GoPro mounts are well built, efficient, durable and polished – but ridiculously expensive. The mounts included with the M20 aren’t as good as their GoPro counterparts, but costs small fractions of the price – and they come included in the box.
Now let’s talk about 4K – or the ‘lack of it’. Now you’re confused right? This camera markets itself as capable of 4K, and technically it will output files with a 3840 x 2160 resolution, but it’s closer to me taking a 1080p/1440p video into a 4K timeline in an editing program such as Premiere Pro and exporting to 4K than true 4K that comes out of something like a GoPro. It’s called ‘interlaced‘ 4K. At 1080p, however, it is actually decent (see the video samples in the video portion of the review above).
To summarise, as a cheap 1080p action camera it’s great – upto 60FPS at FHD for slow motion and waterproof with the included housing. It isn’t GoPro territory just yet, especially with the release of the new, frankly epic Hero 5 , but it does the job for those on a budget. One thing is clear though, budget action cameras are getting better and better by the second – and that can only be great for the consumer.