SJCAM is a well-known brand for its action cameras, but the truth is that it has also created another type of cameras: the panoramic ones. Today we will analyze the SJCAM SJ360+, the second panoramic camera of the brand that costs little more than 100€ in different online shops. It is a camera with quite modest performance, but for many it will be more than enough, especially during the days of today, where the options of 360 cameras are quite limited and in some cases somewhat expensive.
One of the things I like most about the SJCAM SJ360+ is its design. I wouldn’t call it innovative, but functional. At the top of both sides we have two 180-degree lenses, and at the sides two grilles that seem to incorporate two microphones. This way we can hold the camera with one hand, without fear of covering up the sound.
If you don’t want to be holding the camera in one hand, you can always incorporate it into a Gimbal, Drone or even the mini tripod that comes inside the box. All you need is to make it compatible with the threaded hole at the bottom of the camera.
On the front we have a black and white screen that shows you the most basic information, such as the recording resolution, if you have Wi-Fi activated, the microSD storage, the battery and the time of recording or photos taken and the chosen resolution. Ideally, you should use the Wi-Fi connection with your mobile phone and change all the settings from there, but if you don’t have your mobile phone with you, you can also change it easily by navigating with the power button and the circle in front of you.
Although we would all like the screen to be touch and color, because it is so small, it would be useless, just to confirm the recording. In addition, by doing this the battery life would be shorter and its price would increase.
Now speaking of your specifications, we have a compact camera that has two OV4689 sensors that together record at 1920 x 960 at 30fps; and if you want to take a picture, its maximum resolution will be 5 MP. It also comes with a 1,700 mAh battery that will last about 100/130 minutes of use, but no more than that. And if you’re wondering about its internal storage, you should purchase and incorporate a microSD card up to 64GB.
As you can see from the clips in 360 the camera has some problems. The first is the low resolution of the video, which does not allow you to capture all the details of landscapes, for example. The second is the low dynamic range that does not allow you to capture details in shadows or areas of high brightness.
The third problem relates to the intermediate point where the image of both lenses is touched. If you look closely at the videos, in that space where the two images come together you can see imperfections in the image. This is most noticeable if we are close to the sides of the camera.
It’s not an action camera, but it’s panoramic.
As you may have guessed, it’s not an action chamber, nor does it want to be. Its recording does not reach 60fps, has no optical stabilizer, no waterproofing and no underwater or fall protection casing. Then what’s the point? That’s what I’ve been trying to figure out during the review, once it’s the first time I’ve tried a 360 camera. The first thing you can do with it is to record meetings easily – you just put the camera on the table and that’s it.
Another possibility of use is to record panoramic views in high places and with good view. In this case you should pay attention to the used support and the wind, as it is so light, it can fall easily if it does not have a good support.
Is the SJCAM SJ360+ worth buying?
One thing to keep in mind: the SJCAM SJ360+ is not an action camera. It is a camera designed to be able to record in 360 of a static form and in atmospheres with good luminosity. You can use it to record business or family meetings, spaces you want to show in 360 – such as an apartment you want to sell – or views that tap the full potential of a panoramic camera.
But it’s not perfect, and it seems to us that SJCAM could improve it in some ways, for example by creating more compatible accessories and a protective casing; increasing the recording resolution and translating your apps into more languages like Spanish and making them more intuitive, especially desktop.