Recently I was approached by one of the GearBest employees who wanted me to do a review of SOOCOO S60 action camera. So, in this article I will do my best to present to you all the features, test the preference and show you pros and cons of this camera. Finally I will summarize my experience while using it for over a month.
S60 is a WiFi action camera made by Chinese company SooCoo. It can record videos in full HD 1080p 30 fps and take photos at 8 megapixels. Additionally it comes with lots of useful gears and features that make it a bit more then an average under 100$ camera.
Note : you can pick one for around 90$ including free shipping on GearBest use coupon code GBS60 to get discount (exclusive to our readers).
This is an update to my review of this camera, originally published on 9th May 2015. Firstly, I would like to tell you that my SooCoo S60 burned out, completely. All of its electronics died. Camera seams to overheat when used for longer period of time, especially when its charging while recording.
I tried emailing customer support of SooCoo, but never received a reply about why my camera does not work anymore. This show their lack of respect towards customers. A brand that leaves customers without a support, cant be considered serious, nor could their products.
Additionally, ever since the review is published, few people left a comment confirming their camera died after being used underwater. This is not a single case, few people here and on few other forums reported this.
So, I would feel very bad if I left this review untouched from 9th of May. That is why I decided to update it.With all those troubles, I would recommend you to get another camera. A waterproof camera is not waterproof unless you feel safe using it. And with SooCoo S60, you just do not feel that safe.
Please note that all points in the review are still absolutely valid. This was just an update.
The quickest way to introduce you with this camera, is to show its specs. Do not worry if you do not understand all of them. I will clarify the most important ones a bit later in a this article. But for now, here is a specs overview for SooCoo S60.
- Lens : CMOS 10 MP F/2.0(f=3.15 mm) 170° wide angle
- Image Sensor: Aptina 0330
- Chipset : Novatek 96655
- Size : (L x W x H): 6.7 x 7 x 4.5 cm / 2.6 x 2.7 x 1.7 inches
- Weight : cca 94 grams (with battery)
- Memory : Micro SD up to 32 GB
- Image Resolution : 2M (1920 x 1080), 12M (4032 x 3024), 10M (3648 x 2736)
- Video Recording
- 1080P x 30 FPS (1920 x 1080)
- 720P 60 fps (1280 x 720)
- WVGA 848X480 x 60 FPS
- VGA 640X480 120FPS
- Video Format: MOV
- Image Format : JPEG
- Web Camera
- Audio System: Built-in microphone/speacker (AAC)
- Signal to noise ratio 92dBA
- Battery Capacity : 1050mAh re-chargeable lithium battery
- Charging : AC adapter, USB charge by PC
- Image Format : JPEG
- Exposure Compensation: -0.7, +2, -5/3, 2/3, -0.3, -4/3, +4/3, 0, -2/3, +5/3, +0.3, -1.3, +1.3, -2, +0.7, -1, +1.7, -1.7, +1
Design and packing
First thing that I noticed about the camera is that it does not tend to have too much resemblance with other action cams. Unique design and shape is something that you have to respect. While most others try to copy GoPro, these guys tend to be different.
SooCoo is serious about packing as well. Camera comes in sturdy cardboard box. But that’s not all. Camera and all the accessories are then packed in the firm, protective bag. All the parts are wrapped up in the zip-lock bags.
What’s in the box?
SooCoo s60 comes with lots of stuff inside. Here is what you get inside the retail box :
- 1x camera
- 1x remote control watch/bracelet
- 1x protective/storage bag
- 1x bike mount
- 1x base mount
- 2x 3m adhesive tape
- 1x wrist bandage
- 1x buckle
- 1x USB charger with adapter
- 1x USB cable
- 1x 1050mah Lithium battery
- 1x user manual
- 1x screw
One thing that blew my away right away is that unlike all Chinese action cameras, SooCoo S60 comes with a gear that you actually need and can use. It comes with just about everything an average person needs. Many other manufacturers will include far more accessories that are totally unnecessary.
Remote control bracelet
RC bracket, or watch as manufacturer calls it (it does not show time, duh!) allows you to control your action camera remotely. You can not do any complex operations with the remote-control bracelet, but its not like you would want to change resolutions while you are riding a motorbike or diving.
With it, you can start/stop recording videos or take photos and switch between photo and video mode.
One thing I liked about the SooCoo S60 RC bracelet is that it is water-proof. I asked manufacturer and they confirmed that RC watch is waterproof for up to 60m, just like camera is. Good think is that this watch does not use WiFi, which means your battery will last much longer.
I never had an action camera with this sort of gear, but I must admit I found it not only nicely looking, but also quite handy. One thing I would recommend is if you are allergic to any sort of rubber, you might want to change the rubber band that bracelet has and use something a bit more comfortable and breathable.
In my experience rubber band was a bit uncomfortable and your wrist will sweat a lot. If you plan to use it for a extensive period of time continuously you might get a rash, because rubber wont allow your skin around the wrist to breathe enough. Okay, I am aware its a bit awkward I am telling you all this, but its good to know ,right?
All in all, no matter how you call it, bracelet or watch, its very useful gadget especially when you are on the move. I hope other brands will consider this sort of gear instead pushing WiFi apps.
How to connect SooCoo S60 camera and RC watch?
- Turn on your camera.
- Press menu button twice to enter the system settings.
- Use left and right navigational buttons and find remote match option.
- You will see “Waiting Remote Match” on the screen
- Press both buttons on your remote control watch.
- When camera and RC watch are connected, you will see “Remote match OK” on your screen.
My only remark about the RC watch is that I would like if it was slightly faster to pair it with a camera.
Waterproof up to 60m
What makes it stands out of the crowd is the ability to be waterproof without any additional housing or case. Whole camera is waterproof for up to 60m according to the manufacturer. So far, all the cameras that I have were waterproof up to 40m or less. However, since I am not a diver, I was unable to test its underwater performance, but you can take a look at few videos on YouTube.
Since I am sure many of you will ask : Yes, it really is waterproof by itself and does not require any additional case. It is basically a camera inside a factory sealed waterproof case.
Even though this sounds fantastic, there is a disadvantage while recording, like with most of the cases. Camera will tend to smudge videos sometimes, especially when you are recording fixed object while moving around it.
I am fully aware that huge portion of waterproof cases smudges videos, because of the plastic they are made of, but since this camera can not be pulled out of its case, I hope this is something they will improve in future releases as it is quite annoying.
Buttons and ports
Simplicity is not something that this camera has. Although most of the functions work out of the box, I feel that camera has too many button commands. Its not a huge disadvantage, but just personal preference.
On the other hand having many buttons, means you can access many features quickly. Bellow is an overview of all SooCoo S60 buttons.
- Power Button – Turns camera on or off. When turning on it requires to be held for 5-6 seconds. Only then your camera will turn on. This prevents accidental turning on. This button can be also used to delete files once you are in playback (photo/video preview mode)
- Record Button – Depending on mode you are using (photo or video) this shutter button is used to take photos or record or stop a video.
- LED lights – Lights will be turned on, off or flash when you press LED Light button (#5)
- Mode Button – Switch between photo, video and preview mode.
- Lights ON/OFF
- Navigation arrows (used for navigating through the menu settings). These keys can also be used to zoom in or out (4x digital zoom). If you are in preview mode, by pressing these arrows you can increase or decrease the volume level.
- Settings – immediate access to the settings
- OK Button
On the side, camera has nice two ports that are hidden behind the cover :
- USB port (used for charging your camera and transferring files to your PC)
- HDMI (you can use this one to preview images or videos onto your TV)
Both of these ports are sealed with a cover, that you need to unscrew with a nickel to open it. This way ports are protected from the water. You always should be careful when unscrewing this cover. Because of the plastic material camera is made of, you can easily scratch it. Use only a nickel. One more thing to be careful about – if you are going underwater, make sure that the cover is firmly closed. Otherwise water can enter into your ports.
UPDATE 6/14/2015 – If you want to have better sound quality on your SooCoo S60, you can remove the side cover which covers USB and HDMI ports. Sound improves drastically. However if you plan to use camera underwater, make sure this cover is sealed, do not leave it open. Huge thanks to Manuel for this trick.
While SooCoo S60 outranks huge portiion of low budget action cameras when it comes to accessories and usability, video recording is not as good as I expected. Do not get me wrong, camera can record full HD videos that are quite sharp.
Even when recording close up and distant objects, camera preforms quite well in terms of sharpness.
Video color on the other hand is quite cold and does not look as natural as it should, especially if you using Auto White Balance option.
You can of course have influence on video warmness by switching through different white balance. It will take a while until you figure out which option works best for your environment and weather condition. But I will talk about white balance a bit later in this article.
In my experience, the best possible results came when I used cloudy or fluorescent white balance. But, lets talk about it a bit later in this review.
Though I believed colors would be the only problem with SooCoo S60, once I tested how it preforms when facing direct sunlight, I knew what is its biggest issue was. When camera is exposed to strong, direct sunlight, it will darken the video from time to time. In my opinion this is an issue with exposure.
Take a look at my full video review of this action camera that includes a lot of samples.
Download sample videos and photographs
If you want to download some sample photos and videos that I took, please check this link on DropBox and watch them on your PC to fully see how raw videos and photos look.
Bellow are sample images, taken by myself on few of my hiking trips. Please note that images have been compressed in order to load faster on the web page. However, I have uploaded original, uncompressed photos to DropBox, and you can download them here freely.
Similar to SJCAM SJ4000 and M10 cameras SooCoo advertises that camera can take photos in 10 megapixels. This is a false claim. Even though inside the settings you can set up 12mp your image quality will not increase. The only thing that will increase is the size file.
When you zoom in the image, it is obvious that SooCoo S60 takes photos in 3.5MP (according to the image sensor specification). Like with video, depending on the weather, some of your photos might look bleached out, or colorless. For better color quality, you will need to set proper white balance inside the settings.
Keep reading and I will let you know how.
I highly recommend you to download original size photos to your PC and take a look at how images look.
If you noticed last two images look far more natural when it comes to color. That is because for those shoots, I switched white balance option from auto to cloudy. Results are much, much better.
4x digital zoom
SooCoo S60 has 4x digital zoom. You can zoom in or out by holding navigation arrows (up zoom in, down zoom out). Here is a sample image of zoomed tree. This is what you can expect from digital zoom. In case you do not know, there is huge difference between optical and digital zoom.
Digital zoom only crops photo, reducing its quality. The same effect you get when you crop image in Photoshop or any other photo editing software.
Capture mode is an option which allows you to set up camera to take single photos once you press the shutter button or work like timer (delay taking photo for certain interval, great for group photos)
- 3s timer
- 10s timer
- 30s timer
Here are the resolutions of images that you can select inside the settings. Once again, please note that these resolutions are inaccurate. No matter which res you choose, images will look the same, but only increase in size.
- 12M 4032 x 3024
- 8N 3264 x 2448
- 5M 2592 x 1944
Sequence is quite confusing name for what this option does. Basically when sequence is turned on, and you are in the image mode, the camera will take 3 images instead of a single one. This is very nice feature for sports photography and fast moving objects. However I would really like to see more options, like 5 or 7 photos per second.
This mode is quite similar to Xiaomi Yi Burst mode, but has only one interval to chose from.
One of the useless features that manufacturers love to include is quality of video or audio. By choosing fine, your video quality is the best. Why would anyone want poorer quality of photos or videos?
Inside sharpness option you can chose from 3 different setups :
I have been keeping my to normal, the default option.
Changing white balance can have a significant boost to your video. SooCoo S60 has 6 types of white balance options :
As you can see in the photo above, different settings give different color balance in your pictures or video making them look cooler or warmer. Even though auto mode seams like a reasonable option for people who are just starting out, in my experience auto WB is pretty poor.
You will get most natural looking colors when you chose cloudy, tungsten or fluorescent. To learn more about white balance in general, check this article.
Unlike white balance which changes warmth or coolness of your images or video, color option will entirely change how your videos and photos look. There are 3 choices to chose from :
- Black and White
When you adjust ISO setting, you’re changing your camera’s sensitivity to light. ISO settings that SooCoo S60 offers are :
Lower number like 100 makes camera less sensitive to light, where as high number like 400 make it more sensitive. I have not been paying much attention to ISO. I always live it on the Auto, since it works pretty well for what I am using my cam. To learn more about ISO , this is good video.
There are different exposure values you can set inside the settings. I keep my camera at a default +0.0, but you can experiment and determine what works best for you. More on exposure here.
- + -1/2
- + -1/0
- + -3/2
- + -2.0
When turned on, image rotation will flip your video or photo upside down. This is useful setting if you want to mount your camera upside down, because the video output will look like it has been recorded normally.
Even though S60 is not a dash camera, this option can come handy if you wish to set it inside your car, mounted on suction cap mount.
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Even though anti-shaking sounds like a useful option, its not. There are two most common questions when it comes to this :
- Does this mean my video has stabilization? – No.
- Does this mean my images will have stabilization – Yes.
- 30 seconds
- 1 minute
- 5 minutes
When cyclic record is on, S60 will record a video file under specified interval (2, 5, 10 minutes) and save it to your SD card. When memory gets full, it will start overwriting new files over your existing ones/ The oldest video gets overwritten first. I recommend you have this option off, unless you want to use SooCoo S60 as a car camera.
Note: There is a 1 frame overlap between videos. The last frame of the file saved becomes the first frame of the video.
- 2, 5, 10 minutes
Camera supports TV OUT via HDMI, so you can preview your videos and photos directly onto your TV.
If you want to use this type of camera for home survailnace (which I do not recommend) you can turn on motion detection and camera will start recording video once it detects a motion. I will not go deep into this feature, as it is the same as the one in SJ4000. So if you want to read more on motion detection, please check this link and find motion detection paragraph.
SooCoo S60 can serve you as a perfect web camera. I have been using it when calling someone on Skype, and large amount of my friends noticed that my video looks great.
To use it as an action camera, plug it into your PC. You will see two options on your screen :
- PC Camera
- Mass storage
Chose PC camera and click okay. Your PC should automatically add drivers and recognize it.
Mass storage is used for transferring files to your PC. If you want to export files from your camera, plug the camera via the USB into your PC. This time chose mass storage. Your PC should open a folder after few seconds where your files are located. Copy them onto a folder on your PC.
One of the most interesting features of the SooCoo S60 are the two LED lights that can be turned on. While they are not huge boost to recording in low light, they do improve the low light close up objects.
The reason camera has SOS feature (lights will flash once you turn them on) is for diving purposes as far as I was able to understand.
Camera can be charged via USB cable when plugged into your PC USB port or via the AC charger in the wall. Great thing is that you get the AC adapter. Depending on where you purchase your camera, make sure to tell seller where you live so that they can send you a proper adapter.
During charging, camera LED light will be red. Once charging is complete, red button will turn off. To improve charging efficiency, you can turn off the camera while charging. Important thing to note, is that camera can record while being charged.
Approximate 1050mah lithium battery life is around 2 hours of continuous shooting in 1080p 30 fps mode.
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SooCoo S60 is one of those cameras that do not get as much attention as they should. What I really love about this camera is accessories. I think that camera offers nearly everything an average action cam user needs. I wish they somehow included a head or chest mount, but I am more than happy with everything that came inside the box. Camera has an LCD screen which makes things much easier when recording.
Call it RC watch or bracelet, but this is one of the most amazing pieces of gear I have ever used. It makes recording in extreme situations easier. When I am hiking, I put his fella on my wrist, camera onto a head or chest mount, and focus on hiking instead of the camera.
The biggest advantage of SooCoo S60 is that it is waterproof and does not require any additional case for that. Huge bonus is that camera can be used as a web camera, which for me was quite handy, as I use Skype often.
No matter how awesome the camera looks, I must admit I do not like plastic material it is made of. The only reason for this is that it easily gets scratched, so you must be very careful with it. Funny thing is that its an action camera and they should have predicted people will not pay much attention when using it.
Additionally I am not a huge fan of video quality, especially if you do not set up white balance correctly. Even though video is very sharp, colors are not as good as for instance Xiaomi YI. Because of the waterproof case, video will something smudge. When faced to direct sunlight, camera will sometimes darken a video.
While its not a perfect action camera, SooCoo S60 has lots of features to offer for a very cheap price. I am looking forward to SooCoo ‘s new products. With few tweaks and better lens and sensor, they can become quite serious competition to cameras in 400$ range.
Who should buy it
In my opinion, this is good camera for people who do not want to invest action camera gear, since it comes with nearly everything you’ll need. Because of its waterproofs body, divers will be happy with having camera that does not need an additional case.
SooCoo S60 is great camera if you are just starting out, or if you want to give this to someone as a present. It is great present to younger users, as it not only looks like a 500$ camera, but it will do the job for most of the youngsters.
Unlike some others action cameras I used, SoooCoo S60 can be used in extreme situation.
Where to buy it?
There are several online stores which sell SooCoo S60 for a decent price. Guys over at GearBest provided me with this coupon that you can use to get discount if you are buying from their store which includes free worldwide shipping.
- COUPON >>> Special OFFER at GearBest >>> use coupon code GBS60 to get discount.
Your questions are always welcome
I truly hope that you found this article helpful. I did my best to present this camera objectively. If you already own a SooCoo S60, it would be great if you can tell us about your experience on using it.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a comment bellow. I am always more than happy to help you guys out.
Finally I would like to thank GearBest for sponsoring this product review. I appreciate their help. Special thanks to Sunny.
After this camera, SooCoo also released new model called C10, you can check its full review here.