Elephone just came up with a new camera: the Elephone Explorer Elite 4K. Let’s take a closer look what’s different to the Pro version. You can find a detailed review of the Elephone Explorer Pro on my blog.

MGCOOL is Elephone’s newly-established sub-brand covering intelligent wearables & mobile electronics. From now on Elephone Explorer Elite cameras will be branded MGCOOL Explorer Elite. Additionally their announced a new native 4K Explorer 2 camera.

 

Elephone Explorer Elite

Elephone Explorer Elite

 

MGCOOL Explorer Pro 4K vs Elite 4K vs 4K

 

Elephone Explorer Elite

Image Sensor:
Same as the Pro version, the Elite also features the 12,4 MP Sony IMX078 sensor. Same sensor is used in the SJ5000X EliteFirefly 6S and SJ8000.

The Sony IMX078 sensor used in this camera has a sensitivity of 1437 digits. This sensor is also used in the Pentax Q camera. Even tough it could shoot 4K with 42fps the Novatek 96660 chip is not capable of that.

Chipset:
Elephone Explorer Elite also holds a Novatek 96660 chip, same as the Pro Version and other popular cameras like GitUp Git2, Firefly 6S, SJ5000x elite, SJ8000 and many more. YI Action Cameras and GoPro use an Ambarella chipset.

Lens:
170 degree wide angle lens is built in; the FOV (field of view) can limited electronically to 140°, 110° and 70°.

Video Resolution:

  • 4K – max. 24fps
  • 2K – max. 30fps
  • 1080p – max. 60fps
  • 720p – max. 120fps

(4K resolution is interpolated like on the SJ5000X elite, SJ8000, EKEN H9, Firefly 6S and Git2)

Recording Format:
The videos are recorded in .mp4 files, .h264 codec.

Photo Resolution & Format:
max. 12 MP .jpg – that’s max. sensor size.

Display:
Elephone Explorer Elite offers a 2″ live view display, similar to its predecessor.

Battery:
A 1050 mAh capacity battery is used – Currently I’m not sure if it is the same size as the Pro Version. These batteries are the same type as SJCAM batteries (also used in Git2)

Storage:
microSD card, up to 64GB supported, class 10 recommended

Connectivity & Ports:
The camera offers wifi for remote via App (Explorer App for iOS and Android available),
a miniUSB port for charging or TV Output,
and a microHDMI port for HD video output.

Dimension & Weight:
59 x 41 x 29.8 mm; weight: 70g – Same dimensions and weight as the pro version.

Elephone Explorer Elite - Slow Photography

Elephone Explorer Elite – Slow Photography

 

Special Features:

Up to know you might ask yourself what’s different – So do I. Maybe the special features reveal some news:

Elephone Explorer Elite comes with gyro image stabilization, same as the pro version, maybe a bit better adjusted. New on the list is an Aerial real-time detection. Sorry, but I don’t have a clue what this could be.
Some other features seem to be interesting: Underwater Mode Fill-in Light. Light effect will improv by 15 to 30 percent, which should enable you to take better pictures underwater. Special Slow Photograph Function, which seems to be a feature for long exposure photography during night time.
So I guess the main improvements were done with the cameras settings.

Accessories:
Similar to other cameras, the Elephone Explorer Elite comes with a huge accessory pack including: Waterproof cover, Adhesive Mounts, Bandages, Bicycle mount, Base Plate, Frame, Helmet Mount & Manual. Here’s a photo of the Explorer Pro content:

Elephone Explorer Pro - Accessories

Elephone Explorer Pro – Accessories

Retailer / Price Comparison:

 

Body, Buttons & Ports

Elephone Explorer Pro - front- and backside

Elephone Explorer Pro – front- and backside

Elephone Explorer Elite - left & right side

Elephone Explorer Elite – left & right side

 

 

The location of the buttons and ports seems to be pretty similar to the Explorer Pro: on the right side microUSB, microHDMI & microSD card slot. On the left side up & down buttons to control the menu. While the sides look similar the front was changed, the button looks different, nice it is on the same spot.

Settings

These are the settings for the Explorer PRO !!! I’ll update the info as soon as I get more info on the Elephone Explorer Elite:

If you get to the camera’s settings, you’ll find 10 pages of settings:

Elephone Explorer Pro - Settings

Elephone Explorer Pro – Settings 1-5

 

Resolution
The following resolution settings are available with given frame rates:

  • 4K – 24 fps
  • 1080p – 60 & 30 fps
  • 720p – 120, 60 & 30 fps
  • VGA – 240 fps

Loop-record
You can select off, 3, 5, & 10 minutes. Respective clips will be recorded and once the microSD card is full the earliest recordings will be overwritten. This mode is suggested when using the Elephone Explorer Pro as dash cam.

RSC
Roll Stability Control for image stabilization. There is a second option Anti-Shake but I still have to conduct some test to find out the best settings for which situation.

WDR
Wide Dynamic Range

Time-lapse Record
You can select off, 100ms, 200ms, 500ms, 1sec or 5sec. A lot of short timed intervals, would be great to have some more options on the upper end of the selection.

Motion Detection
The camera will start recording once it detects motion within the frame. To stop recording you have to press the shutter button and do it manually. You can choose this option while using the camera as dash cam, so it starts recording when you start driving.

Audio Record
You can turn on and off audio recording. Default selection is on.

Date Stamp
You can turn on and off date stamp.

FOV
4 different Field of View angles can be set: 170°, 140°, 110° and 90°.

Diving Mode
Diving mode will give you a better color setting when filming under water.

Night Scene
In low light the camera provides better results, I think because of longer shutter in photo mode, not sure about video mode.

Capture Mode
Single / 2s timer / 5s timer / 10s timer – which is time-lapse in photo mode

Image Size
The cameras sensor is 12MP, that’s the max native resolution. For any selection above the photo will be upscaled, my setting therefor is 12MP, but higher ones are available:

  • 20MP – 5120 x 3840
  • 16MP – 4608 x 3456
  • 12MP – 4032 x 3024
  • 10MP – 3628 x 2736
  • 8MP – 3264 x 2488
  • 5MP – 2592 x 1944
  • 3MP – 2048 x 1536
  • VGA – 640 x 480

Burst
You’ve only got the option on/off.

Quality
Fine / Normal / Economy. I usually select normal as fine increases sharpness and contrast.

Sharpness
Strong / Normal / Soft. I usually choose normal for sharpness.

White Balance
You’ve got the options Auto as well as the presetting: Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten & Fluorescent. Auto works pretty I never changed it manually.

Color
Standard setting is color but you can also set it to Black & White or Sepia. If I want to have these looks I usually do it in post production which gives me more options afterwards.

ISO
is the sensitivity of the sensor, you can choose auto, 100, 200 & 400.

Exposure
you have the option to fine-tune exposure from -2 to +2.

Elephone Explorer Pro - Settings

Elephone Explorer Pro – Settings 6-10

 

Anti Shake
You can select on / off to and the software will stabilize your recordings, therefore the FOV will be a little smaller.

Delete
to delete the current selection or all.

Protect
You can lock / unlock the current selection or all recordings on your card.

Wifi
Here you can with your wifi an and off. You can also do so by pressing the wifi / up button on the side of the camera.

Wifi SSID
If you want to change the wifi name of your camera you can do so here.

Wifi PWD
Standard password of the Elephone Explorer Pro is 12345678 – you can change here if you want.

Date/Time
Here you can set date and time of the camera. Remember to check here before switching on date stamp!

Auto Power Off
You can select off, 3, 5, 10 or 1 min. when your camera should power off when not in use.

Beep Sound
Volume for the beeping sounds and also voice prompt.

Car Acc
If you switch on this option, the camera will start recording when connected to a power source. This option is useful when the Elephone Explorer Pro is used as dashboard camera.

TV Mode
You can select NTSC or PAL, but unfortunately frame rate does not change from 30fps to 25 fps!

Language
You have several language selections: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Japanese and Polish.

TV Output
You can switch on and off.

Screen Saver
The options are off, 30 sec, 1 min and 3 min after which time the screen will power off. I recommend to set it to 30s to save battery. (Unless you want to check framing permanently).

Frequency
You can select 50Hz or 60Hz. That’s important to avoid flickering as the frequency of light is different (North America is 60 Hz, Europe 50 Hz e.g.).

Format
to format your microSD card.

Default Settings
Here you can restore your Elephone Explorer Pro to factory settings

Version
where your current Firmware version is displayed.

 

Conclusion

The Elephone Explorer Elite version seems pretty much the same as the Pro version. What’s most noticeable is the price, as the Elite is a little cheaper. Based on the specs it is comparable with the SJCAM SJ5000X Elite (maybe that’s a hint where the name is coming from) or SJ 8000.
Some of the new features seem promising (improvement of underwater image quality or long time exposure settings), but I would need to do some test before making up an opinion on that.

I hope I’ll get some more info soon and will update this article, maybe there is one feature which clearly shows a difference. I’m actually more excited about another new Elephone camera, the ELEcam 360, a 360° video camera with two lenses!

 

Retailer / Price Comparison:

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