SJCAM are synonymous with low-cost action camera, and have been supplying thrill seekers with budget options of the Go Pro for years now. The M10+ is is a new design for the company, so how well does it work in the wilds?
I use action cameras on a farily frequent basis. I usually take a camera with me while mountain biking, and this weekend while at the famous La Fenassosa bike park in Alicante Spain, I was highly to have the new SJCAM M10+ with me.
SJCAM M10+ Review – Design
While we are more accustom to seeing action cameras that take on the form of a the GoPro, the SJCAM M10+ action camera has cube design to it, but retains all the usual hardware we have come to expect from SJCAM.
In photos you might think the SJCAM M10+ is a clone of the newer GoPro Session, I did too, but in your hands the SJCAM has a lot of differences.
For starters the SJCAM M10+ has a built in display on the rear of the camera, and the shape is less of a cube with the overall height being slightly more than the depth and width.
Another difference is the fact that the SJCAM M10+ still requires the use of a water/dustproof case to keep it safe from the elements. So although the M10+ has a design that appears more compact in images, there isn’t all that much difference between it and a standard SJCAM.
Our test sample came with a silver front, but there are other colours on offer including yellow, blue, black, white and red.
The rest of the body is black with a power button, LED notification light and record button on the top. On the left we have a USB plug for transferring files and charging, micro SD slot and a HDMI out of connecting the camera directly to your TV.
The right side of the device has three more buttons. The central button is for turning the WIFI on or off, while the other two buttons are for navigating through the onscreen menu.
Speaking of the screen it s a 1.5-inch LTPS panel, that is fine for setting up the alignment of the camera, and going through the menus, but its much more convenient to use a connected smartphone phone (or tablet) and the SJCAM application. That said the app does need a refresh as it looks a little homemade.
SJCAM M10+ vs SJ4000+ comparison photos
SJCAM M10+ Review – Hardware
If you read my review of the SJCAM SJ4000+ then the hardware of the M10+ will come as no surprise. The M10+ uses a 12 mega-pixel CMOS sensor for capturing still photos or video. Video can be recorded at up to 2K @ 30FPS, but for action video I found the camera to be better when set at 1920 x 1080 @ 60fps. If you are limited in memory or just need basic quality video you can reduce resolution down to 720 but at a higher 120fps.
As you would expect still photos are 12 mega-pixel but you have the option to set the camera at either 10, 8 , 5 or 3 mega-pixels.
The sensor shoots video through a 170 degree lens which is wide enough to get most of the action in shot, and the action is saved on SD cards of up to 32GB.
Battery life is always important on an electronic device, but more so on an action camera. The last thing you want to happen is the camera to run out of juice while in the middle of a killer trail. For my first run I kept the SJCAM M10+ running for an entire 1 hour bike ride, and at the end of it there were still 2 battery bars left.
Normally you would turn the camera on and off for when you know something cool it going to happen. That’s how I ran the camera this weekend at the bike park and the M10+ lasted the whole day.
Once again the SJCAM M10+ has a hardware image stabilizer which does a surprisingly good job of keeping the video smooth and prevents that terrible ‘wave’ motion that can sometimes occur when the going gets rough.
SJCAM M10+ Review – Accessories
SJCAM really does give you a ton of great hardware in a low-cost action camera, but the packaging also contains a shed load of accessories.
Include in the box is the waterproof protective case, a mount for attaching to your handle bars, mounts with 3M sticky patches for attaching to your helmet, various extensions. Plenty to get you going and ensure you have a camera mounted to you anywhere you go.
SJCAM M10+ Review – Sample Video
Below are two videos I recorded with the SJCAM M10+ at La Fenassosa bike park this past weekend. The trails are a mix of super smooth flowing berms and jumps, rocks and some nice drops.
SJCAM M10+ Review – Gallery
SJCAM M10+ Review – Conclusion
As you can see from the video sample above (make sure you have YouTube set at 1080 @60fps) the quality of the video that the SJCAM M10+ is really remarkable. Not only this but I feel the buttons on the M10+ are a little more accurate than those of the SJ4000 meaning that with a press I can be sure the camera is recording without having to physically check the screen.
Although the M10+ is only slight smaller than the SJ4000, I do feel a little more comfortable with the new design. I also prefer the more positive button action and I am really impressed once again by the quality of the video this action camera is capable of.
Interestingly at the bike park this weekend there were very few GoPro users there. Despite riding bikes of 4000 Euros plus, many riders were happy to rock a SJCAM or two (I even saw a few people using Xiao Yi cameras too).
Another great action camera option from SJCAM, ensure that if you do plan to buy an M10+ or any other SJCAM that you buy a genuine one. The SJCAM M10+ is another amazing action camera bargain with pricing at only $139 from the official SJcamHD.com website.