Elephone Explorer Pro

The Elephone Explorer Pro seems to be comparable to the SJ8000 and SJ5000X Elite, they all share the 12MP Sony IMX078 sensor. But the Elephone Explorer Pro is a little cheaper.

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

Here are the specs in detail:

Elephone Explorer Pro

Elephone Explorer Pro

 

MGCOOL Explorer Pro vs Explorer Elite vs Explorer

 

Elephone Explorer Pro 4K

Image Sensor:
The camera features a 12,4 MP Sony IMX078 sensor. Same sensor is used in the new SJ5000X EliteFirefly 6S and SJ8000.
Most shops state that the Sony IMX117 sensor is used (that is the same sensor used in the GoPro Hero 4), but this sensor would not work with the Novatek 96660 chip. Xiaomi YiGit2 and SJCAM M20 hold the 16 MP Sony IMX206 sensor.

The Sony IMX078 sensor used in this camera has a sensitivity of 1437 digits and could shoot 4k at 42fps. 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:
The camera holds a Novatek 96660 chip, same as the Git2, Firefly 6S, SJ5000x elite, SJ8000 and many other cameras.
Xiaomi Yi and GoPro use an Ambarella chipset.

Lens:
170 degree wide angle lens.

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. 20MP .jpg – seems that the photo is upscaled from the 12MP sensor

Display:
The Elephone Explorer Pro offers a 2″ live view display, similar to the one on SJ5000X elite and SJ8000.

Battery:
A 1050 mAh capacity battery is used – same size as SJCAM and EKEN H9 batteries.

Elephone Explorer Pro - 1050 mAh Battery

Elephone Explorer Pro – 1050 mAh Battery

 

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

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

Dimension & Weight:
59 x 41 x 29.8 mm; weight: 70g

Special Features:
Gyro image stabilization
Voice prompt

Accessories:
Similar to other cameras, the Elephone Explorer Pro comes with an accessory pack including: Waterproof cover, Adhesive Mounts, Bandages, Bicycle mount, Base Plate, Frame, Helmet Mount & Manual.

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

 

On the frontside there is the power and mode switch button. The camera powers on when long pressing the button und starts up in video mode. By short pressing this button you can switch to photo mode, playback and settings.

The buttons on the side of the camera are used to navigate through the settings. When pressing the upper button in video mode you can switch on wifi.

 

Settings

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.

 

4K Demo Video

Here’s a short demo shot in 4K with 24fps, without any editing in video & audio (saturation, contrast, etc)

 

Conclusion

As mentioned at the beginning, the camera seems familiar to the  SJ8000 and SJCAM SJ5000X Elite.
Will be interesting how the voice prompt will work and the app compared to the competitors.
If you want to compare with the competition, compare with the data of Xiaomi Yi, Firefly 6S and Git2.
Here’s my data comparison page.
As you can see on the photos I already got the camera, more info will follow soon!

 

Retailer / Price Comparison:

The camera was provided by Honorbuy for testing.

 

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