I love to film my airsoft games. Video allows me to analyze my mistakes, watch my victories, and share them with you. The difficult part of filming airsoft is that the environment is not exactly suitable for a standard point-and-shoot camera. I went on the hunt for a camera that was rugged enough to withstand my airsofting and would have the ability to film high quality footage for my readers. After looking around and getting suggestions from my fellow airsofter, the Chief, I decided on the SJ4000 action camera. After a half-year of use, I am sharing my thoughts on the SJ4000 so you can decide if it’s a good option for you.
The SJ4000 action camera has many features that make it suitable for hard core airsoft filming but still accessible to the weekend airsofter on a tight budget. I’ll start with the stats on it and what comes in the box.
-Image Sensor: 12 MP (Mega Pixel) CMOS-Sensor
-Colors: 7 different options (I chose black for tactical reasons)
-Image Resolution (pictures): 12, 10, 8, 5, and 3 MP/ 2 MHD (1920*1080)/ VGA (640*480)/ 1.3 MP (1280*960)
-Video Resolution: 1920*1080 30fps (Frames Per Second)/ 1280*720 60fps (also has 30fps option)/ 848*480 60fps/640*480 60fps
– Video Compression Format: H.264
-Format: Video-MOV / Images- JPG
-Zoom: Up to 4X
-Lens: 170 degree HD wide angle
-Memory: Will accept up to a 32 GB micro SD card (I use a SanDisk 32GB micro SD card and can film a full night of CQB airsofting [1-1.5 hours] with no problem)
-Connections: Mini USB 2.0 and mini HDMI
-Battery Life: 70 minutes of filming in 1080P (battery life may last longer in lower resolutions)
-Battery Type: Proprietary 900mAH battery (removable) – You can buy more HERE
-Dimensions: 29.8 X 59.2 X 41mm
-Weight: 58 grams (2.05 ounces) with the battery installed
Accessories in the package:
I recommend watching THIS video for info on the mounts and accessories in the package. I found it very helpful when I was researching the SJ4000. (Note: Extra cases can be a bit difficult to find. HERE is a link to some on Amazon.com). It will also accept many of the standard mounting accessories available on the market.
A good thing to note is that the camera comes with the proper power adapter for your region. I also recommend buying the SJ4000 desktop charger so you can charge the camera’s batteries without having the camera stuck to the wall.
How I Use It
I set mine up on my Lancer Tactical FAST Helmet so I can film footage that would be as close to my Point Of View (POV) as possible while still being stable. I used an NVG mount (not included) to fit into the mount on the front of my helmet and used a “J” or Hook mount (included) and a small, straight mount (included) to get the camera to the angle I wanted. I used sandpaper to rough up the joints on the mounts so they would hold better and keep the camera in position during a game. See images 1 and 2 to view the parts used and how to assemble them. Image 3 shows the camera mounted to my helmet.
You will note that I mounted the camera upside down to get it even closer to my POV and to avoid the “giant” effect that can occur if you mount the camera higher then your actual height. I turned on the “Rotate” feature in the camera’s settings to make all my videos upright without editing. You could also buy a head strap if you don’t have a helmet. Just be sure that you get the camera angled right and keep it stabilized.
The SJ4000 is an amazing camera for the price. It has all the features you need to film awesome footage of your airsoft battles. It even has many of the features of more expensive action cameras. I’ve dropped the case and gotten shot in the face and helmet and it has held up fine. The included mounts are almost worth the price of the whole package, and they get you up and running right off the bat. I love the fact that if it does break, it is cheap and easy to replace.
To check out some of the footage I’ve filmed with it, check out the Airsoft Warrior YouTube Channel.
As to be expected, the low price also comes at a cost of quality. The SJ4000 can’t film in the extreme frame rates of higher quality cameras (therefore, it may have some blur when you’re moving fast). It doesn’t have a touch screen or a fancy name either.
The only thing I’ve had malfunction in the 6 months I’ve been using it is the down button for selecting options in the menu has partially stopped working (it’s spring has gone out so you have to open the case and remove the camera to depress the button far enough to activate it. So, technically, it still “works”.). This seems to be a design flaw.
All in all, the SJ4000 is an excellent camera for an airsofter who doesn’t want to break the bank, but still requires high quality footage. I highly recommend it. Let me know what your favorite budget action camera is, as well as filming suggestions in the comments!