The SJCam SJ6 Legend is one of the newest cameras released by SJCam. It is the first SJCam with a 2-inch touch screen – a novelty which few manufacturers began to implement in their sports cameras. The camera also has its own external microphone sold separately. The camera uses a Novatek 96660 chipset and for the second time for SJCam a Panasonic sensor (MN34120PA, 16MP). Some of you might remember that Panasonic sensor was used in SJ5000+ as well.
The SJ6 slogan says:
“The legend begins today with unrivaled features & performance ”
Well SJCam, let’s see your new product.
- Image sensor
- Size (L x W x H)
- Max image resolution
- Video resolutions
- Video compression format
- Image format
- Car camera
- Remote controller
- Video Stabilization
- External Mic
- SJCAM SJ6 Legend
- Novatek 96660
- Panasonic MN34120PA 16Mp
- Weight: 83 grams (with battery)
5.90 x 4.10 x 2.11 cm
2.32 x 1.61 x 0.83 inches
- 2" LCD Touch screen
- 16 megapixels (4608*3456)
4K @ 24fps (2880*2160) interpolated
2K @ 30fps (2560 x 1440)
1080 FHD 1920*1080 @ 60fps
1080 FHD 1920*1080 @ 30fps
1080 FHD Super 1920*1080 @ 30fps
1080 FHD 4:3 1920*1080 @ 30fps
- up to 128GB
- USB, HDMI
As usual, SJCam fills the box with a lot of accessories. Like many other SJCam products, here we find:
- Waterproof case
- Plastic frame
- Rotating curved mount
- Rotating flat mount
- 1x curved mount
- 1x flat mount
- 1x handlebar mount
- 3x screw mount
- 1x wire
- 2x stickers
As always SJCam makes good quality accessories. I never say anything bad about them but this time I have to mention the length of the USB cable. It’s more or less 25cm long and it doesn’t let you properly charge the camera or charge while recording. Personally I use the camera on my car and with this cable I can’t charge it while driving. It could make it difficult to connect with your PC too because the camera is forced to stay literally hanging between the USB port and the floor.
Design and build quality
The design of the SJ6 Legend is just awesome, probably one of the best cameras I’ve ever had. It’s beautiful to the eyes and lovely to the touch. The camera body is completely rubberized to improve grip. On the front we find the lens next to the front screen and the three front LED’s. The feeling of the buttons is perfect, with a good “click” followed by a “beep” sound. With the waterproof case the feeling remains extremely good. This is my first touch screen camera and to be honest I didn’t expected such a high quality screen. I was expecting something inaccurate, with no quality and hard to use. Guess what I found?
I found a phone screen. I’m not kidding, this screen is just like your phone screen: reactive, sharp, fast, beautiful to see and perfectly bright. It was an unexpected surprise to me and probably for all the other skeptical people like me. It also works perfectly at low temperatures. I tried it at -2C° without problems. Also with the waterproof case there are no problems with touch precision.
Furthermore I want to congratulate SJCam for adding lots of lights everywhere. The SJ6 Legend’s LED’s are visible from every angle. They also added a little but very useful thing, the integrated screw mount on the bottom of the camera body, in Yi, YI 4K and Sony FDR-X1000V style. This mount allows you to mount a camera onto a tripod or anything with 1/4″ screw.
What can I say, the body of the SJ6 Legend is good looking and has good quality.
Buttons, lights and ports
- 1. Shutter button
- 2. LED
- 3. Power button/ Switch mode button
- 4. LED
- 5. Multiple function LED’s (Power on/WiFi/recording)
- 6. Lens
- 7. Menu button
- 8. Front screen
- 9. Mic
- 10. HDMI port
- 11. SDcard slot
- 12. USB port
- 13. Recording LED
- 14. Charge LED
- 15. Back Touch Screen
Let me say a couple of words about the USB port on the SJ6 Legend. It’s not the usual micro USB like nearly all other cameras but rather it’s a mini type B USB. You can find it on some of your hard disk drives but it’s very unusual use it on action cameras. Even so, the SJ6 isn’t the only one that has this USB type. Gitup Git 1, Git 2 and the Dazzne P3 also use it. Probably the choice is made in order to use the same port for the external microphone and the charger. It’s also much stronger than the “classic connector” called Micro-B but it remains quite annoying because you must use a different cable.
In common with all SJCam menus the SJ6 Legend’s is easy to use and very intuitive, in particular on this model because it’s possible to drag the menu up and down like a smartphone menu using the touch screen. The interface is almost the same as the Yi 2 4K. Check it out if you want to compare them for yourself!
The menu is divided in two macro sections. The first is the “fast” – quick acess section where you have instant access to all modes of the camera. This consists of:
- Video – Record a video
- Video Lapse – Shoot a photo every second and automatically create a 30fps video
- Slow Rec – Makes a slow motion video automatically
- Still – Shoot a photo
- Photo lapse – Shoot a photo every 3s/5s/10s/20s
- Burst mode – Shoot 3 photos in a row
- Video + Photo – Record a video and every 5s/10/30s/60s also shoot a photo
- Car mode – Start recording when the camera sees the movement
- Underwater – Slight change of colors
The second section has all the options for every mode plus general settings.
Here are all the settings available for every mode:
- Audio – Enables or disables the camera audio (On/Off)
- Bitrate – Changes the Bitrate (High/Medium/Low)
- Burst Mode – Changes the number of the photos in the burst (3/5/10)
- Color – Changes the color of the image (Normal/B&W/Retro/Warm/Cool)
- Delay Capture – Changes the time between the click and the photo (Off/3s/5s/10s)
- Distortion Correction – Adjusts the distortion of the edges of the screen (On/Off)
- Double File – Creates the same file twice, one original and one with a lower resolution (On/Off)
- EV – Changes the light exposuse (From -2 to +2)
- Exposure time – Changes the amount of time the camera captures light (Auto/ 1/30s /1s/2s/5s/10s/30s/60s)
- FOV – Field of View (Wide/Middle/Narrow)
- Gyro Sensor – Gyroscopic stabilization (On/Off)
- Image Size – Size of the photos (16M/14M/12M/10M/8M/5M/3M/2MHD/1.3M/VGA)
- Loop Recording – Auto-cutting video setting (Off/3min/5min/10min)
- Photo Lapse time – The time between two or more photos (3s/5s/10s/20s)
- Power on Record – Automatically start recording when the camera is connected to the power (On/Off)
- Quality – Quality of the image (Fine/Normal/Economy)
- Resolution – Video resolution (4K 24fps/2K 30fps/1080P 60/30fps / 720P120/60/30fps /VGA 240fps)
- Sharpness – The clarity of detail in the image (Strong/Normal/Soft)
- Slow Motion – Creates an automatic slow motion (-2X/-4X-8X)
- Time Stamp – Shows the time on the video (On/Off)
- Video File Format – Changes the format of the video (MP4/MOV)
- Video Lapse – The time between the photos that will create a video in time lapse (1s/2s/5s/10s/30s/60s)
- Volume – The sensibility of the microphone (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10)
- WDR – A sort of color correction (On/Off)
- White Balance – Changes the white balance (Auto/Daylight/Cloudy/Tungsten/Fluorescent)
- Language – Changes the language of the camera (Czech/Danish/English/French/German/Hungarian/Italian/Japanese/Korean/Polski/Portuguese/Russian/ Simplified Chinese/Slovak/Spanish/Traditional Chinese)
- Date/Time – For setting the date and time of the camera
- Format – Formats the memory card
- FPV – First Person View. It works with the HDMI and Wifi (On/Off)
- TV Mode – NTSC/PAL
- Power on Record – Automatically start recording when the camera is turned on (On/Off)
- Auto Power Off – A power saving feature that turns off the camera after a period of time (Off/3min/5min/10min)
- Keypad Tone – Enable or disable the “beep” sound of the buttons (On/Off)
- Screensaver – Automatically turns off the rear screen (Off/30s/1min/3min/5min)
- Frequency – (50Hz/60Hz)
- Rotate – Rotates video 180° (On/Off)
- Logo Watermark – Adds the logo on images (On/Off)
- Power on Mode – Allows you to choose the first mode to appear when you turn on the camera
- Default Setting – Change all the settings back to the factory settings
- Version – The firmware version
SJCam has exaggerated again with the settings just as I noticed when I reviewed their M20 model. Some of them, such as sharpness, bitrate and quality, are simply useless because they don’t change anything on the images.
I appreciate when a manufacturer tells the truth about their product on the product packing. SJCAM wrote that the 4K is interpolated and that’s great! For everyone who doesn’t know, interpolation is the action of literally inventing pixels to reach a higher resolution. However, in doing so there is a big quality loss. If you want go deeper you can find the reasons here but the SJ6 Legend can’t achieve true 4K resolution.
However, the 4K resolution isn’t the only problem because SJCam claimed “120fps” and “240fps” on 720p and VGA resolutions respectively but it’s not true. Luckily this time all the resolutions and frame rates are good except for these two. The first is actually 60fps with doubled frames. The second is 80fps with tripled frames! I’ve never seen something like that before.
Please remember that this camera uses a Panasonic sensor so it’s normal to find quite high quality videos: great colors, very good images and quite good sharpness. But if you use the SJ6 Legend without good lighting, it could be a problem.
Usually an action camera is made to record videos in extreme situations – on a bike, during a run, on the snow, under water. They’re made to capture incredible shots where and when other cameras simply can’t, but with this camera it can be frustrating because with some particular motions scenes are not as detailed as expected. On the other hand it can sometimes be very satisfying.
I found another strange problem. Sometimes, in a totally random situation, the camera makes a completely violet frame, just one. It’s most frequent in dark conditions. There was a similar problem with the Sjcam M10+. Probably it’s a firmware problem but they didn’t fix it with the latest version.
Here’s an example. You can see it at 8 seconds and again in slow motion at 16 seconds:
And this is a frame capture:
The camera makes good videos in daylight but during the night things change. Strangely it can capture light very well even from dim sources but it doesn’t capture the details. During the night it seems constantly blurred. It also halves the frame rate when there is insufficient light. This is common for action cameras but it could be frustrating to set the camera at 60fps and have it record at 30fps just because the camera wants to.
Update : The violet frame rate issue has been fixed in one of the firmware upgrades.
I noticed another strange effect when the camera is facing into the sun. It creates a “glass effect” to compensate for the huge amount of light. This is how it looks in bright light just before the sun hits the lens directly:
And this is how it looks with the sun shining directly on the lens.
In this situation other cameras have different methods to avoid this effect such as decreasing the exposure. In this case I’m not sure if it’s a firmware problem or a hardware problem caused by the lens.
Apart from these problems there is a new feature I’ve never seen in any other Chinese action camera. I’m talking about the 1080p Super. What is it? It’s a copy of the “Super wide angle” by GoPro, and personally I like it! It’s an extension of the higher and lower edges at the expense of distortion. The difference is clear:
It’s very noticeable with slow shootings but in action it doesn’t seems that bad because the angle is taller so the viewing is better
This is an action camera and usually they’re not made for or used to shoot photos, but if it can take good photos then there’s nothing wrong with that! But don’t worry, with the SJ6 Legend there’s no risk of taking good photos because the quality is very poor. The resolution is high, the sensor is good (Panasonic) and the colors are very beautiful but the details are lost.
At night it’s worse:
Once at home I noticed the sky in the photo was much brighter than the actual sky. It was sunset and it wasn’t this bright. In fact cars already had their headlights turned on. The speed of the photo was 1/16s – not fast but not so slow as to be a “long exposure” photo.
Photos have another annoying problem. Sometimes if you try to shoot a 16MP photo the camera freezes and shows this message:
Sorry for the photo but it happens randomly, this time when I was in my car.
Whenever the error occurs the camera creates this file on the SDcard:
The SJ6 Legend records good quality sound with a beautiful mix of high and low frequencies without distortion. One minor criticism might be that the volume is a little bit low but nothing serious.
If you want download some original videos and photos, you can download them with this link. No registration is needed.
Here are the battery test results:
- 4K 24fps – 70min 11.3Gb
- 2K 30fps – 72min 15.3Gb
- 1080p 60fps – 65min 13.6Gb
- 1080p 30fps – 113min 17.6Gb
- 1080p 30fps 4:3 – 113min 17.6Gb
- 1080p 30fps Super -113min 17.6Gb
- 720p 120fps – 105min 22.2Gb
- 720p 60fps – 76 min 10.6Gb
- 720p 30fps – 125 min 8.7Gb
- VGA 240fps – 108 min 14.9Gb
- Recharging Time – 120 minutes
The tests were made with the screen and WiFi off. With the WiFi on the times could decrease by half.
07/04/2017 NOTE – After 7 month of daily use, the camera had a significant reduction of its battery life. Today it is exactly the 25% lower than when I first tested it. Wow the camera in 1080p 60fps can reach max 45 minutes of recording. Even though slight reductions in battery life are possible, especially with every day usage, the reduction of 25% seems like quite a lot.
WiFi and App
The WiFi and app are absolutely perfect. It’s the same app as every other SJCam camera and the WiFi with the SJ6 Legend it works. By “works” I mean it does its job without problems and it’s fast (it can reach 2MB download). SJCam probably has one of the best pairings of WiFi and app you can find among Chinese action cameras.
I had the opportunity to use SJCam support and to my surprise it’s just how support should be. They answered my questions within 24 hours and they’re very friendly and professional. I exchanged a few e-mails and they replied to me EVERY TIME. They also made few helpful suggestions. This is what I want from company: Help the customers and do so with a professional attitude. In particular I want to thank Miguel for his incredible patience with me!
The SJCam has a great advertising campaign so it must be a great camera, right? I was expecting something on the level of a GoPro or YI 4K but it instead it was just another camera with some good features but without the incredible part. It has too many little issues like the violet frame, the freezing photos and quite bad performance in dark conditions and together they makes a big problem. I hazard to say that her little sister, the M20, is on the same level. Surely we’ll see a comparison between them on Pevly!
- Beautiful touch screen
- User-friendly navigation
- Great design and LED positioning
- WiFi and app are impeccable
- Low amount of details in the dark conditions
- Various video issues
- Frame rate issues
Firmware Upgrade V1.4.3
The entire review was based on the first firmware, version V1.0, because the camera was just released. This month SJCam released a huge firmware upgrade on this the SJ6 Legend. They released version V1.4.3. You can see all the fixes on the following link.
In my opinion the biggest fixes are:
- Added new frame rates, 1080p 50fps and 1080p 25fps (they are real).
- Fixed the crash problem with photos. It wasn’t actually a crash but a hot pixel fix, a sort of mini tune-up for the camera. It used to start after holding down the shutter button for 2 seconds. Now the time has been increased the from 2 to 10 seconds so it‘s harder to accidentally start the hot pixel fix.
- Fixed the Violet flash during the video recording.
- Improved the light in night mode and in general with low light conditions. Now the images are brighter
After these numerous changes, contrary to what they say about the image quality optimizations, I didn’t find any improvement comparing old and new photos. Rather they decreased the video quality! Here you can find an example between two frames of the same subject with the different firmware versions:
It’s clear that is was sharper originally. Obviously I made this comparison with the same options.
We’ll see if there will be further improvements in future!