Wednesday, December 24, 2014

SJ4000 (Not a GoPro) Underwater Action Camera Review jointly reviewed together with Sofia's Just Saying

I panic bought an underwater camera the day before we left for Bicol because we were planning to swim with the whalesharks in Donsol, and I wanted to have photos to document the experience. I was doing a bit of research and I found out that GoPro recently came out with a basic starter model (meaning cheaper) so I was trying to see where I could buy it quickly in Manila without getting stuck in too much traffic, but what I found online was a similar camera called SJ4000 selling for much cheaper! I researched it online and I found a few good reviews, it sells in the US for around $100. Since we weren't really particular and only needed it for the whalesharks, I was pretty much willing to take a risk on it since it was half the price of the starter GoPro and I found an online seller who was really easy to deal with and I just had to send my driver with the money to pick it up.

I bought the SJ4000 from Ken's Gadgets for Php3,999. You can visit his online store here. In the research I did online, they warn buyers that there are fakes of the SJ4000 in the market and I wouldn't really know how to tell but ours seems legit enough. I found an online seller advertising the same camera for Php3,500 but she didn't have any stock on hand, and at that price, it might just be too good to be true. There's also a company producing an SJ5000 in the hopes that shoppers think it's the next generation SJ4000 but it's another form of a fake and they are not affiliated at all, so just the thought that there are fakes of this in the market makes it a more legit brand to me and I'm pretty sure that this and GoPro both come from factories in China... with the marketing guys in one company just getting paid more.

Photo Credit: Ken's Gadgets
I opted to buy the non-Wifi model since it was just
for use with the whalesharks. They only had stock in blue.
You can use it for Home Burlgar.
And make sure this product do not fall or crash.
It came with a ton of stuff and a pretty useless manual.
Techie Nosebleed! I had to figure out how to work it through user tutorials
Finally figured out how to switch it on. The buttons are hard to press through
the underwater case.
Then I finally figured how to get the underwater case open, which was
a bit of a challenge to do with newly painted nails.
The SJ4000 is only this small.
This was my first test shot, Sofia was quite irritated at me for interrupting
her nap. Again, I was challenged to figure out how to set the date and time
and remove it from the photos. 
After more surfing online, I figured out how to do it. Success!!!
Sofia is still irritated.
I figured out eventually that it's much easier to tinker with the camera without the underwater case, but I was challenging myself to play with it inside the case because it was already the practice for next day's whaleshark adventure. Unfortunately, the weather did not permit us to push through the next day, so we had more time to play with the camera I eventually gave Sofia so here's what she has to say about it.

Sofia's Just Saying... with pictures all taken from the SJ4000
On our way to the airplane at 5am!
My mom and my mom's best friend, Ninang Jem
Our first day in Misibis Bay was raining, so we stayed indoors.
But I really wanted to swim, so we swam at night when the rain stopped.
The next day, when I woke up, I went to the beach.
I don't like it when there's sand on my feet.
So I try to take it out.
The Mayon Volcano is at the back, (according to Fi so verification is required).
Nest stop, was a quick swim with Ninang Jem before the others left for the City Tour.
Selfie with the camera underwater
Ninang Jem took selfies underwater.
We brought the kickboard squirter that Ninang Vice gave me.
Ninang Jem taught me how to turn while using the kickboard at the lagoon
pool behind our villa.
Mom and I moved to the other pool.
This is the infinity pool with the beach at the back.
This is me using my kickboard in the infinity pool.
Resting at the kids pool when I got tired.
Mommy's Selfie
After swimming we had lunch beside the pool, then we played foosball and did coloring, then we napped then we went back to the lagoon pool again.
We had to take pictures under the bridge where there was light,
because the camera has no flash.
Sofia and Mommy selfie. The end. 
The previous part was narrated by Sofia and typed by me. Now, back to me.
The SJ4000 also does videos, here's one of the our shorter test shots.

We were finally able to go to Donsol on our last day just before we flew back home.
The weather was nice enough (at first) the tour operator very organized,
and we had our own Butanding (Whaleshark) Interaction Officer.
More on that on a separate post.
SJ4000 selfie
However, since our time on the water was only 2 hours because we had
to catch our flight home, we didn't get to see any whalesharks,
so Sofia just picnicked in the sea.

It's a good thing that we enjoyed playing with the SJ4000 while we were in Misibis Bay (more on our stay there in another post) so it wasn't totally a wasted purchase. Can't wait for our next water adventure, or Sofia can just develop her photography skills by playing with her new camera. just saying.

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