While I was having awesome time recording with my SJ4000, like any other early adopter, I was happy to hear that SJCAM launched new camera called M10. It took me two months to test out this camera. Footage has been recorded in different sunlight, weather conditions and locations. That is why I feel this review is an ultimate test of SJCAM M10.
M10 is an multipurpose action cam that can be used underwater with waterproof housing. It can also be used as a web cam and daschcam (car camera). It supports multiple languages and firmwares are upgraded regularly. One thing that makes SJCAM different then the big brand ones, besides price and action pack gadgets is LCD screen, which I really love. It makes things so much easier. Best thing of all, it is very affordable and records really great videos and a bit less great photographs.
To begin with, like its predecessor SJ4000, the M10 comes in different two different models.
However, besides the built in WiFi difference, manufacturer decided to offer two types of gear sets Lite and Deluxe.
Basic / Lite
Bare-bone basic version includes :
- 1x camera
- 1x cradle
- 1x USB cable charger
- 1x manual
Since I already had SJ4000, I bought the basic one without WiFi. I thought that bunch of gadgets that I got with 4000, will be more then enough for M10. And it really was like that. Nearly all the gadgets are the same, except for the water-resistant case. If you have a SJ4000 and want to upgrade to M10 you definitely should go with basic version.
On the other hand if SJCAM M10 is your first action camera, and you do not posses any extra mounts, clips, stands, my strong recommendation is to go with deluxe model.
- x1 camera
- x1 waterproof case
- x1 bicycle stand
- 2x base mounts
- 1x clip
- 1x fixed base
- 3x switch supports mounts
- 1x adapter
- 22x helmet base bandage
- 1x USB cable
- 2x 3M adhesive tape
- 1x manual
- 1x wiper (cleaning cloth)
SJCAM M10 Specs
In the table bellow you can see specification of the m10 cam. You can also check its specs comparison to the SJ4000 and see if there is any difference between the two.
- Starts at 79$
- 12 Mega Pixels CMOS Sensor
- Color :Black/White/Silver/Yellow/Blue/Pink/Gold
- Wireless WiFi
- Screen : 1.5" LCD Screen
- Image resolution -12 mp, 4000 x 3000 -8 mp, 3264 x 2448 -5 mp, 2560 x 1920 -3 mp, 2048 x 1536 -2 Megapixel, 1920 x 1080 (recommended) -1.2 Megapixel, 1280 x 720
- Video Resolution -HD 1920 x 1080p / 30 fps HD 1280 x 720p / 60 fps (records each frame twice, so its not real 60 fps!) -848 x 480p / 60 fps 640 x 480 / 60 fps
- H.264 Compression format
- 4X (Digital Zoom)
- LENS 170° Wide Angle Lens f= 2.99mm F= 2.8
- Supports up to 32 GB Micro SD. Minimum Class 6 Micro SD is recommended.
- English/French/Spanish/German/Chinese Simplified/Chinese Traditional/Russian/Japanese/Korean language supported
- Connectors :USB 2.0; HDMI
- Battery Detachable, 900mAh
- Camera Dimensions : 48.1x43.3x43.4 mm
- Weight :44g (without battery) 64 g (with battery)
- WiFi version has built in WiFi
Camera has quite big resemblance to a Polaroid Cube. Even though camera name is SJCAM M10 Cube, the shape is not exactly the cube. Camera size is 48.1×43.3×48.1 mm. It is available in seven different colors. One of the biggest improvements compared to the previous versions, is easier navigation and improved user interface. To many people, including myself camera design and shape seams really appealing.
There are few things you can do with this camera besides recording movies and taking images. Its multipurpose enables you to use it as a dashcamera (in your car), PC Camera (for recording video calls for instance) and even home surveillance cam. Since all the features are the same as SJ4000, for further explanation on these options, read this article. Even though its a diifferent model, all options are absolutely the same.
When used with water-resistant plastic housing, M10 cube is waterproof for up to 30 meters under water. Only the deluxe version comes with case, but if you have basic one, you can also buy housing separately. As said many times, camera itself without additional hosing is not splash proof, so make sure to avoid water-contact, even the rain, unless its in protective case.
The SJCAM M10 Mini Cube allows you to record HD videos in different modes and resolutions. To begin with, it supports these resolutions :
- 1080p x 30 fps (1920*1080) Full HD
- 720p x 60 fps (1280*720) HD (be aware – not true fps, just double frame)
- 720p x 30 fps (1280*720) HD
- WVGA 848*480
- VGA 640*480
Besides different resolution, it offers different shooting modes such as Single Shot or Self-timer (5s / 10s / 20s / Continuous Shooting).
For its price this lightweight action cam makes great videos in full HD. Camera uses 170° wide-angle 6 layers glass lens. It also has 4x digital zoom. Video output format is MOV, while the compression format is H.264.
The video review bellow includes in depth test of the camera. However since YouTube reduces the video quality, download these sample clips I took, to really see how the video preforms in different weather conditions and environment. (Please do not use sample clips for your own videos.)
Even though camera works out of the box when you hit record, there are some additional settings which will enable you to be creative and improve your video. White balance will calibrate your video and show slightly different colors (warm, cold, fluorescent) depending on the option. Here are the options available :
- Auto (default) – By choosing this, you leave it up to your camera to chose what is the best light settings
- Daylight – Obviously the best option to chose on a very bright and strong sun.
- Cloudy – When its rainy or glum. Adds more warmth then daylight
- Tungsten – Good when shooting indoors under a tungsten (incandescent) lighting, for instance light bulb.
- Fluorescent – This is the option that I used the least.
Without any doubt, I found these options extremely useful. Unlike most other camera settings, I really found them handy. It takes a while for you to figure out which works best, but with the LCD that camera has, it is much quicker to learn and setup when you are shooting live.
SJCAM M10 has AR0330 image sensor and supports these resolutions :
- 12mp (4032 x 3024)
- 10mp (3648 x 2736)
- 8mp (3264 x 2448)
- 5mp (2592 x 1944)
- 3mp (2048 x 1536)
- 2MHD (1920 x 1080)
- VGA (640 x 480)
- 1.3mp (1280 x 960)
Bellow you can see few more sample images taken in auto white balance mode and 12 megapixels. Please note that photos have been resized and compressed so that they can load fast on this site. Therefore, I recommend you to download sample photos in original size.
I really enjoyed testing this camera on my holiday in Italy. Bellow picture shows lake Garda (yes its really a lake, though it looks like a sea) showing the Alps in the distance. As you can see blue color of the sky is really good looking. In the reality the sky was no this fluorescent. However I really like that kind of bluish effect that this cam gives. Photo taken in auto mode and with 12 mp.
Though manufacturer advertises that photos are 12MP that is not the true. Be aware of that. With this type of sensor your images might have the size of 12MP, but as you will see in the sample photos, they are closer to 8 mega pixels, or even 5mp. They do not look bad, but they are not perfect. So if you plan to take this camera solely for the purpose of taking photos and not video, you might reconsider your decision and go with another model. But for the combination of video making and taking photos from a hobbyist perspective, it will do more then a decent job.
On the next photo depicting Cathedral Duomo in Milano (Italy) you can see how great the wide angle is. I managed to capture two streets and get the amazing wide field of view. It was extremely cloudy that day, and that can be a reason why objects in the distance are not that well visible.
One thing I forgot to mention when talking about video features is option which both video and photographs have. Camera allows you to chose from three types of colors :
- Black and White
Once you have chosen a color option, you can take stills or video that will look like the photos bellow. Color options is used for all the photo samples above. As you can see it gives really good vintage effect. Probably not the best option when taking nature shoots, but I just wanted to illustrate it for you.
Battery life of M10 Cube cam is around 100 minutes according to my own experience. On the official site, it says its around 90minutes of recording in 1080m. It uses rechargeable 900mAh Li-ion battery. Charging time via usb on PC is around 3 hours, where as on AV to usb converter its around hour and a half.
In case you want to record longer then that, you should get a replaceable battery. I always have at least one extra, as I do not want to miss out any good opportunity for making a great video. You can get one on eBay which include wall charger (and shipping is almost always free). Amazon also sells similar packs that come with charger.
Though AV to USB charger enables you to charge faster, it is always safer to use PC to USB if you have the time of course. On the other hand, I never faced any troubles when using AV. When you buy a bare-bone version, you will get only USB cable.
Camera supports microSD and microSDHC memory cards up to 32 GB. Recommendation from manufacturer is to use reliable, big brand micro SD cards for best performance. I recommend MicroSDHC cards class 10.
Where to buy?
Okay you want the good news first? If you did a research you probably know that there is another camera by the SJCAM called SJ4000. If you dig a bit deeper in your research you probably read that there are so many fakes about this camera that sometimes it is not possible to know which one is real and which one is not?
Oh yes, the good news. So far there are not problems with fake SJCAM M10. Manufacturer has branded their product and the risk is not much, much lower then before. So here are some great places to buy this camera.
There are also some great deals which include free shipping on Amazon.com for the Deluxe version.
Though not much improvement then the previous version, SJCAM M10 is beautify designed and light weight. In my humble opinion, camera is better looking then the SJ4000. In addition to the design, I really liked the M menu button on the side which makes navigation so much easier then before. There are not much fakes (if there are its easy to spot them, much easier then before) on the market which is (trust me) a big relief.
Should you buy it? If you already have some of the previous versions such as 4000, I would not recommend you buying it, since the only difference is esthetics. However if you do not have any SJCAM cameras, so far this is my number one choice because of fantastic price, water-resistance, decent image quality, bunch of equipment and easy use and navigation.
If you have this camera or consider buying one, feel free to let me know in the comments bellow. I would really like to hear from you and answer any questions or concerns that you might have.
Okay, that’s it. I am going out to take some nice shoots with my yellowish cube!