SJCAM M20: Reviews, video and photo samples, discussion

pcexpertblog

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Hello guys, I want to share with you my personal review of the SJCAM M20. I bought it on GearBest.

We can keep this thread updated with a link to all international reviews.



Night video test
Photo test


PRO
  • price
  • form factor
  • cpu and image sensor Sony IMX206 (more oriented to photos)
  • The bluetooth remote controller works really well
  • The quality of the integrated screen is good.
CONS
  • The closure of the waterproof case is not very solid
  • A back cover with side opened is not included in the accessories.
  • A back cover with opened sides is not included in the accessories.
  • The quality of the audio recorded with the cam is not very good and it is also very low (like in the SJCAM SJ5000x Elite)
  • The battery are different from other SJCAM models.
 

BMbler

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whilst thankful for your efforts and discounting video degradation on You-tube, Night video is terrible, even with music track :D
Half decet dash cams perform (subject to conversion, etc), but way, way better.
My $0.02ct
 

susobarral

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fov different according to the video resolution , the fov to 4k is lower than for 2k and same settings (wide).

is this so?

thanks
 

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OldMan01

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@susobarral:
I recorded videos and pictures on a tripod and printed them out and measured them. The 16MB still picture printed out on 8.5" x 11" paper was about 271mm wide x 202.6mm high. Then I found and measured the borders of a frame captured from the "4K" video inside the image from a 16MB still and measured them as 213.5mm wide and 125mm high.

The initial calculation turns out that the width of the 4K video's field of view is about 80% of the width of the 16MB still, and the height of the 4K video is about 62% of the height of the 16MB still.

[17:45]
At first this looks odd, but when you consider that the file is intended to be viewed in 16:9, then the image is stretched again. The result is that the field of view of the M20's version of 4K should be about 60% of the height of "Full 4K" and about 60% of the width of "Full 4K". Anyone feel like doing the rest of the calculation? My head hurts too much . . . .
- If you read the above before, then forget it -- it is wrong. My fault.

The important thing is that the horizontal field of view is about 80% of the width of the 16MB still image, and also the same percentage of the width of the "2K" video field of view.

I measured a frame from a "4K" video of the same scene as the 16MB still and the "2K" video, and found that the "4K" vertical angle of view measured about 83% of the "2K" angle of view. So overall the "4K" field of view is about 80% of the "2K" field of view in both directions. So the diagonal is probably also about 80%. 80% of 166 degrees is about 133 degrees. This is not really accurate, but it is close.
:)
 
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TechTronic9000

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M20 video from the Maries Lake from Thassos, Greece. Over and underwater fish feeding frenzy !

 

Nigel

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The initial calculation turns out that the width of the 4K video's field of view is about 80% of the width of the 16MB still, and the height of the 4K video is about 62% of the height of the 16MB still.
It should be 83% of the width for the 4K video to be at native sensor resolution and thus best quality. Assuming that the gyro is turned off, with the gyro on it would want to use the full sensor width for the gyro and use a moving 83% area for the recorded video.
 

OldMan01

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Looking at my above data the "4K" image was bounded at about 213.5mm within the 271mm width print from the 16MB still image worked out at about 79%, but judging the boundaries of the "4K" frame inside the 16MB print was just "eyeball approximation" so it could well be 83%. My margin of error would cover that much in the images I used.

As for what happens when you turn "Gyro ON" during "4K", I have not set up a test for that yet.

I should add that the calculations I am making say more about "Sensor use" than the actual angle of view. Since this is a fish-eye lens, it would have to be re-scaled through a log. But what I have seen in the "4K" does look sort of in between 120 degrees and 140 degrees images I have seen before, so it would not surprise me if it turns out to be around 130 degrees.
 

Bartosz

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Hi Everyone,

SJcam M20 is my first camera and i'd like to ask you to share what you're are the best video settings.
I'm going on vacation so underwater movies and sunny places.

What settings should be implemented on order to gain best quality video at 1080p 60fps?
 

OldMan01

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Since no one has answered this yet, I will try:

If you are underwater, then try the underwater setting. Otherwise, leave it all "Auto" and see how it looks in the viewfinder. It is up to you to try out the settings and see what you like. If you find people have faces too dark, then use the EV +1 or +2 to lighten them. I have not found anything unusual in the exposure settings for the M20. The only issue is sound recording. If you are using the underwater case, then you can leave it at 7 or higher and you probably will not record much sound anyway. Outside the case, 7 is the recommended general setting, but the rest is just guesswork. If you are in a noisy area, then turn it down. The "best quality" for 1080p 60fps is the "Highest bitrate". The M20 is focused very close. Things that are far away tend to be "soft" (out of focus). This is most noticeable in the higher resolutions (16MB and 12MB still pictures and "2K" and "4K" video).
 

OldMan01

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Since I have mentioned "depth of field" and "refocusing" and how they relate to higher resolutions, I would suggest reading the following GooglePlus posts:

"SJCAM M20 Notes 2016-06-23"
[First Notes based on stock M20.]

"Garmin Virb v. SJCAM M20 -- High Contrast"
[This includes the only released images made after the 1st refocus. Unfortunately, they are not very useful for sharpness evaluation because the high contrast shadows disguise the resulting depth of field but they do show the difference between the camcorders in the same high contrast lighting.]

After the 2nd Refocus:

"20160701 Canada Day Part 2 Ashbridges Bay Toronto Fireworks"
[Including settings used for the recording.]

"SJCAM M20 "4K" Sensor Usage and Field of View"
[This set of images was intended to compare the resulting field of view for "2K" and "4K" video recordings with 15MB still pictures. The M20 is set on a tripod at a fixed location, so the images are directly comparable. However, they also show the resulting depth of field and sharpness after the 2nd refocus in a more normal application.]

"SJCAM M20 Re-Focused"
[This includes the last released images after the 2nd re-focus.]
 
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aleczanussi

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Hi!

I would like to buy a SJCAM that I would mostly use for when I go snorkeling (so taking pictures and some short video).
Between the sj5000x elite and the M20, which one is better? Or which one would you suggest me to buy and why?

Thank you
Best
Alec
 

TonyCams

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Hi!

I would like to buy a SJCAM that I would mostly use for when I go snorkeling (so taking pictures and some short video).
Between the sj5000x elite and the M20, which one is better? Or which one would you suggest me to buy and why?

Thank you
Best
Alec
Check out the SJCAM SJ6 Legend or the SJ7 Star. Both of these are still pre-order though so if you are looking for better still images maybe go with the M20. If you want better video I think the SJ5000x may do better in more ambient environments.

Hope this helps!
 
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pcexpertblog

pcexpertblog

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Check out the SJCAM SJ6 Legend or the SJ7 Star. Both of these are still pre-order though so if you are looking for better still images maybe go with the M20. If you want better video I think the SJ5000x may do better in more ambient environments.

Hope this helps!
Can I make a review?
 

TonyCams

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hahaha yeah! I was waiting for new SJCAM products. The last one that I reviewed was the SJ5000x Elite.



I sent an email to Tony some minutes ago. Keep me in touch ;)
Best Regards
Paolo
Looking great. We will include you when we prepare SJ6 samples.

Thanks for your continued support!

SJO
 
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