This review here is meant to give you an insight in the upgrade to the SJCAM’s SJ360 which has already been reviewed by us; I’m talking about the Sj360+. The main difference from its little sister SJ360 and this model is that it has grown up. This is a REAL 360° camera because it has 2 lenses; one in front, and the other on the back. Together these create a full view all around.
As with many other 360° cameras, its “pro” side lies a particular “stick” shape which improves the ergonomics, making it easy to hold in your hands, but the “con” is that SJ360 is not quite a real action camera, but rather simply a camera to use in certain situations.
Let’s take a deeper look at what the SJCAM has released this time!
Table below shows the technical specs for the SJ360+ model.
- Image sensor
- Size (L x W x H)
- Max image resolution
- Video resolutions
- Video compression format
- Image format
- Remote controller
- Video Stabilization
- External Mic
- SJCAM SJ360+
- Sjcam A7s
- Weight: 87 grams (with battery)
11.00 x 4.00 x 2.80 cm
4.33 x 1.57 x 1.1 inches
- 0.96 inch (640 x 480px)
- 12 Mega Pixels (4000 x 3000) (effective)
1920x960 - 30fps
1472x736 - 30fps
960x480 - 30fps
- up to 128GB
- Li-ion rechargeable Battery 1700mAh
- USB, HDMI
This camera comes with very few accessories. In its box we won’t find any waterproof case, nor any particular mount because, as I said before, it’s not exactly an action cam we are used to reviewing on this site.
So we will find only the strictly necessary:
- 1 x SJ360+
- 1 x Manual
- 1x Manual for the software
- 1 x Mini Tripod
- 1 x Cloth Bag
- 1 x Hand Strap
- 1 x USB Data / Charging Cable
- 1 x Lens Cleaning Cloth
This is also one of those refreshing cases where a tripod is right in there with the camera – very useful to shoot perfectly stable videos or photos. It is well built, and it seems really strong. Another good feature is the cloth carrying bag. It is a must, as it enables you to carry the camera without ruining the lenses.
Design and Build Quality
This camera is not made for using on a bike, neither on a boat nor underwater! One just runs it like any other normal camera: in your hands. In fact, the shape suggests the one-handed use. The anti-slip textured plastic makes it easier and safer to grip.
The cam features a clean, simple stick with two buttons, two lenses and one little screen.
One button is located in the middle of the camera, naturally accessible with your thumb. Its function is just “Select” and “Start” recording, or “Shoot” a photo.
The other button is located on the left side of the camera. Its functions are to “Power On / Off”, and to navigate various Menus and Settings. Both buttons are backlighted – and it is a beautiful, and very useful thing!
The tiny screen is well made as it is very bright and perfectly visible in every situation.
The only thing I find quizzical is the place chosen for the SD card:
I can’t quite grasp why they had to put the SD card behind the battery! To access the card you are forced to dismantle half of the camera and it’s just… hm. Technology reasons? Hardly believable. One thing speaks for this though: when you are removing the SD card, the camera is sure to be Off…
The Menu on this camera is very simple. It hasn’t an awful lot of choices, and everything is clear.
The Menu begins, as always, with the fast modes:
- Video mode
- Photo mode
- Wifi – On/Off
The Settings section is composed of:
- Language – English/Chinese/Japanese/French/Spanish/Italian/Portuguese/German/Polski/
- Video Resolution – 1920×960 / 1472×736 / 960×480
- Loop Recording – Off / 1min / 3min / 5min
- Record Audio – On / Off
- Photo Resolution – 5M / 3M
- Key Tone – On / Off
- Auto Sleep – Off / 1min / 3min / 5min
- Reset Camera – Yes / No
- Version – v0.6
See? There is not much to explain, this camera has just a few settings, nothing peculiar about it!
First I want to say that this camera has good colors and works really good in different lighting conditions. It can manage everything greatly, though the quality of the video is not exactly fantastic. As I’ve said in other reviews, 1080p is not enough resolution to reach good quality.
I also have to say that there is a lot of difference between the videos just out of the SJCAM program and the videos uploaded on Youtube, because this one uses very strong compression… and a lot of compression ditches a lot of data.
In these videos I used the tripod as a handy grip extension, so to hold the camera better.
Here is my classic driving video:
This camera works great in the night because it can capture all the light around to make the scene perfectly visible
In general this camera records pretty good quality video – but higher resolution would have been welcome.
The quality of the photos is a little bit better than the video, but only because another compression process is used for the photos, so there is a smaller loss of data. Personally I think that 360° photos are among the most interesting and immersive things these days, because with just one click you can show and share the ENTIRE view all around you without cuts or narrow panoramas!
The quality of the audio is good. Not super sensitive, but it allows you to hear everything. No problems!
This is the first time I find a dedicated software for a 360° camera. Fortunately, SJCAM thought it could be useful to use software to edit this kind of videos. However, it’s nothing new as I have already used it before. For it is exactly the same software I recommended to you when I reviewed the Andoer A360l. They just re-branded it.
But then… why not, if it works?
Basically the program allows you to perform some straight editing, like cutting the clips and choosing the quality. If you want to do anything more complex, you want to first render your recording with this program and after that, you can import the results into any program you prefer (I usually use After Effects). The final step is to inject the metadata with this last program.
WiFi and App
As already known, SJCAM can develop a good App with a good WiFi quality. Both are perfectly stable and immediately ready for use. This App is very intuitive, and the camera responds great – within 10 meters.
I’ve had a beautiful day’s walk in the city of Bologna. When I came home, I had in mind to share my 360° photos taken with the Sj360+. I turned on the WiFi and transferred some photos to my phone. And then I found that, once uploaded, the images were not really 360°! So I tried the same thing via PC but again – nothing. The results were something like this:
Two image circles next to each other. I don’t need to point out how I was quite frustrated and worried. After several minutes of discouragement I found the button “Share” into the app and… it worked!
This is the fastest way to share real 360° photos with your socials!
These are the results of my battery tests:
- 1920×960 – 154 minutes (7,8 Gb)
- 1472×736 – 147 minutes (6,7Gb)
- 960×480 – 180 minutes (6,7Gb)
- Recharging time – about 3 and a half hours
This camera has so much battery life! I can’t hide it: sometimes I plain forget the camera is still recording…
This camera is perfect if you want to experiment with the 360° technology. It is easy to use, and you can have good results with a minimum of effort. It is well built, and it arrives with just a few, but proper accessories.
The only flaw with these kind of cameras is their relatively low resolution but you can’t really ask for more, considering the price.
- Battery life
- Good and strong Build quality
- High quality accessories
- Good software development
- Good audio quality
- Low resolution
- Unusual SDcard access