SJCAM M20 vs GoPro Hero 4 vs SJ4000 Comparison

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In this article we’ll be comparing 3 action cameras in action … it’s the battle of the action cameras . The SJCAM M20 vs GoPro Hero 4 vs SJ4000 Comparison.

All three action cameras did pretty well in our field tests. The video quality of the footage at 1080p on all three action cams was good, but there was significant differences between each. We setup each camera with same or as-close-as equivalent settings to allow us to make a fair comparison.

 

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GoPro had the flattest color out of all. It recorded 10GB for the 30 minute test this gave us more data to adjust the colour in post. Although we did not make any colour adjustments for the final video. Stabilization stood out on the GoPro over the SJCAM SJ4000 and SJCAM M20. SJCAM SJ4000 was disappointing with it’s imagine and colour resulting in obvious over saturation at points. The SJCAM M20 fair a lot better vs the GoPro but at times the contrast was a bit dark. And with a total files size of only 4.5GB when trying to adjust the colouring in post you instantly noticed the difference

GoPro again came in top for sound. The SJCAM SJ4000 levels in post were equal to that of the GoPro but the quality when compared with the GoPro lacked some depth. The SJCAM M20 fair the worst in this test. The sound itself was very usable but came in a whole 15db’s lower than the other two cameras. Causing a lot of adjustments in post. That being said there are not many cameras – if any – out there that you would use the native in-built sound for any semi/pro projects

Battery wise, the equal winners were the SJCAM M20 and the GoPro. After 30 minutes of recording we had plenty of juice remaining for more recording. I estimate each had another 30 minutes of battery life. The SJCAM SJ4000 however only lasted the length of our test. Running completely dry right around the 35 minute mark.

 

So how did these cameras compare?

I would say GoPro reigns top. The GoPro stands out for the share number of configurations options. It shoots true 4k (well as true as an action cam of this size can). It has many many more options when it comes to fps of different resolutions and shoot situations.

 

Where does that leave the SJCAM SJ4000 & M20?

First I will exclude the SJ4000 from the overall results. It was a first generation camera from SJCAM and the price point put this camera in a different category. So now we’re left with the SJCAM M20. As you can see from my comments the M20 has many faults when compared to the GoPro. The amount of data it records vs the GoPro is less leaving you to either work a lot hard in post or just accept the lower quality footage. That being said, the M20’s price comes in at only $130 that’s almost 3 times cheaper than the GoPro.

 

 

Verdict

If your looking for a high quality C maybe B-roll camera go for the GoPro. For everyone who is on a budget and wants a camera to throw in their bag and shoot cool action videos at a low and affordable price the SJCAM M20 is the action camera for you. You could even buy 2 M20’s for multiple angles and still be under the GoPro pricing.

 

Winston’s thoughts

All three action cameras did pretty well in our field tests. The video quality of the footage at 1080p/FHD on all three action cams was very good, and there was hardly any difference between them. However, while editing the footage, we’ve noticed both SJCAMs did drop some frames. 30 minutes of filming on the SJCAMs produced 4.5Gb of footage vs 10Gb on the GoPro Hero4.

The sound recording was surprisingly loud and clear both the older SJ4000 and GoPro Hero4, but the volume on the newer SJCAM M20 was a little low.

Colours and exposure was good on the SJCAM M20, while the GoPro and the older SJ4000 was more reserved.

The built-in anti-shake gyro feature on the SJCAM M20 compares very well to the GoPro Hero4. No complaints here, especially when the latter costs almost 3 times more. No gyro feature on the older SJ4000.

All in all, in terms of price, performance and features, I think the SJCAM M20 gets our recommendations. It’s definitely the best bang for your buck!

 

Wing’s thoughts

Unless you’re looking for the absolute best in quality in video, quality that you’ll only notice if you edit a lot of video footage, I really don’t see why people will pay for a premium for a GoPro action camera anymore. At just a fraction of a price of a GoPro you get 80-90% of the quality from an SJCAM.

The SJ4000 which I was using is several years old now, and its starting to show its age with the lack of up to date functions, but having said that, the SJ4000 still performs really well.

But overall, I was impressed with the SJCAM M20 the most, the colors were more vibrant, and the built-in gyro takes that little edge of the bumps. That would be my current action camera of choice. Buy now at Amazon – http://amzn.to/2ujRBh6

 

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About Loy Lee 29 Articles
Loy loves the outdoor and anything that’s tech. He has over 10 years experience in web development and has utilized new web technologies to his advantage. Loy is responsible for our podcasts and general direction of the website and media content.