SJCAM SJ8 Plus – Review

SJCAM SJ8 Plus was released alongside with SJ8 Pro and SJ8 Air. While SJ8 Pro is the new flagship camera, SJ8 Plus got some interesting features as well – and I think it outperforms SJ7 Star. One key feature is EIS (electronic image stabilization) which is available in 4K resolution. While this will be a deep insight into SJ8 Plus, you can find a detailed comparison of SJ8 Series cameras here.

 

Video Review of SJ8 Plus and comparison with SJ8 Pro & SJ8 Air

 

SJCAM SJ8 Plus Specs

SJCAM SJ8 Plus

SJCAM SJ8 Plus

Image Sensor:
SJCAM SJ8 Plus uses the 12 MP Sony IMX117 sensor also used in SJCAM SJ7 Star, Firefly 8S or GoPro Hero4. SJ8 Pro uses the superior IMX377 sensor.

Chipset:
SJCAM SJ8 Plus holds a Novatek 96683 processor that enables EIS in 4K resolution. That’s different compared to SJ7 Star which uses the Ambarella A12.

Frame Rates:

  • 4K Resolution – SJ8 Plus can shoot native 4K video with 30fps and EIS turned on. Along with SJ8 Pro the only SJCAMs that can do that.
  • 2.7K Resolution – is available up to 60fps, same as on SJ8 Pro.
  • HD 1080p – SJ8 Plus records do up to 120fps in 1080p, same as SJ8 Pro or YI 4K+. The only action cam I’m aware of that exceeds this setting is GoPro Hero 6 black which shoots 1080p up to 240fps.
  • HD 720p – While SJ7 Star can only do 200 fps in 720p, the new SJ8 Plus records 240fps – a multiple of 30fps.

Image Stabilization (EIS):
Same as SJ8 Pro, SJ8 Plus offers EIS in 4K resolution at a max. of 30fps and up to 60fps in 1080p. While SJ8 pro has a 6-axis gyro sensor, Sj8 Plus has a 3-axis sensor built in.

Recording Format:
In general the format is .mp4; SJ8 Pro and SJ8 Plus also offer the new codec: .h265!

Photo Resolution:
Native photo is linked to the effective pixel size of the sensor, therefor SJ8 Plus offer 12 MP sized photos. RAW option is available in .raw format.

Connectivity & Ports:
Same as all new SJ8 Series cameras, SJ8 Plus offer a USB-C port, compared to the mini USB port used in SJ7 Star & SJ6 Legend.
Be aware SJ8 Plus does no have external microphone settings in the menu, compared to SJ8 Pro.
All SJ8 Series cameras as well as SJ7 Star and SJ6 Legend offer wifi and bluetooth connection and can be remote controlled via phone or remote controller.
Also all of the mentioned cameras feature a microSD port for cards up to 128 GB storage. U3 speed cards are needed for 4K video recording.

Display:
The backside display is a 2,33″ touch screen. That’s even larger than  YI 4K+ (2,19″) and GoPro Hero6 (2″) and larger than the other SJCAM models SJ7 Star and SJ6 Legend, which also offered a 2″ touch display.
Additionally SJ8 Plus, same as SJ8 Pro, features a 0.96″ front display to check the settings.

Battery:
Another item all SJ8 series cameras have in common, a removable 1200 mAh battery. Battery capacity was increased compared to SJ7 Star (1000 mAh) but still be a bit lower compared to YI 4K+ (1400 mAh) and similar compared to GoPro Hero6 (1120 mAh).

SJCAM SJ8 Plus - Battery

SJCAM SJ8 Plus – Battery

Accessories:
All SJ8 series cameras will be available in 2 version: Small Box (only including camera, charging cable & manual) and Full Box including a full set of accessories known from the SJ7 or SJ6 Set, including: Waterproof Housing, Touchscreen backdoor, Quick Release Buckle, Handlebar Mount, Curved Adhesive Mount, Flat Adhesive Mount, 3M Adhesive Tape, Universal 1/4″ Camera Tripod Mount, Tripod Mount Adapter, GoPro Mount Adapters, Cleaning Cloth, USB-C cable and Manual. The full box is 20 USD extra.

Within the underwater case the camera is 30m waterproof, when using the touch screen door it’s 3m.

SJCAM SJ8 Pro - Included Accessories

SJCAM SJ8 Pro – Included Accessories (Full Box)

 

Comparison

Here you can find a combined list of Specs in comparison to other SJCAM cameras:

SJ8 ProSJ8 PlusSJ7 StarSJ8 AirSJ6 Legend
SJCAM-SJ8-Pro-symbolSJCAM-SJ8-Plus-symbolsj7-star-symbolSJCAM-SJ8-Air-symbolSJCAM SJ6 Legend
12 MP Sony
IMX377 sensor
12 MP Sony
IMX117 sensor
12 MP Sony
IMX117 sensor
14 MP Panasonic MN34112PA sensor16 MP Panasonic
MN34120PA sensor
Ambarella H22 ProcessorNovatek 96683 ProcessorAmbarella A12 ProcessorNovatek 96658 ProcessorNovatek 96660 Processor
Body: PlasticBody: PlasticBody: MetalBody: PlasticBody: Plastic
Lens: 170° FOV
Aperture: f/2.8
Lens: 170° FOV
Aperture: f/2.8
Lens: 166°
Aperture: f/2.8
Lens: 160° FOV
Aperture: f/2.6
Lens: 166° FOV
Aperture: f/2.8
native 4K
max. 60fps
native 4K
max. 30fps
native 4K
max. 30fps
no 4Kinterpolated 4K
max. 24fps
2.7K
max. 60 fps
2.7K
max. 60 fps
2.7K
max. 60 fps
2K (1728x1296)
max. 30 fps
2.5K
max. 30 fps
1080p
max. 120fps
1080p
max. 120fps
1080p
max. 120fps
1080p
max. 30fps
1080p
max. 60fps
720p
240fps
720p
240fps
720p
200fps
720p
30fps
720p
max. 120fps
Bitrate: 65 Mbps (4K30)Bitrate: 33 Mbps (4K30)Bitrate: 12 Mbps (1296p)
Image Stabilization: yes
up to 4K 30fps
Image Stabilization: yes
up to 4K 30fps
Image Stabilization: yes
up to 1080p 60fps
Image Stabilization: noImage Stabilization: yes
up to 1080p 60fps
6-axis gyro sensor3-axis gyro sensor3-axis gyro sensor-3-axis gyro sensor
Digital Video ZoomDigital Video Zoom-Digital Video Zoom-
Format: .mp4 /
.h264 & .h265
Format: .mp4 /
.h264 & .h265
Format: .mp4 /
.h264
Format: .mp4 /
.h264
Format: .mp4 / .mov
.h264
12 MP native Photo Resolution12 MP native Photo Resolution12 MP native Photo Resolution14 MP native Photo Resolution16 MP native Photo Resolution
RAW photoRAW photoRAW photono RAW photoRAW photo
2,33″ Touchdisplay2,33″ Touchdisplay2″ Touchdisplay2,33″ Touchdisplay2″ Touchdisplay
0,96" Frontdisplay0,96" Frontdisplay--1" Frontdisplay
Battery: 1200 mAhBattery: 1200 mAhBattery: 1050 mAhBattery: 1200 mAhBattery: 1050 mAh
wifi: yeswifi: yeswifi: yeswifi: yeswifi: yes
Bluetooth: yesBluetooth: yesBluetooth: yesBluetooth: yesBluetooth: yes
Remote Control:
yes
Remote Control:
yes
Remote Control:
yes
Remote Control:
yes
Remote Control:
yes
microSD:
up to 128 GB
microSD:
up to 128 GB
microSD:
up to 128 GB
microSD:
up to 128 GB
microSD:
up to 128 GB
USB-CUSB-Cmini USBUSB-Cmini USB
external microphone:
yes
external microphone:
yes
external microphone:
yes
external microphone:
yes
external microphone:
yes
Case & Mounts included
(Full Box Set)
Case & Mounts included
(Full Box Set)
Case & Mounts includedCase & Mounts included
(Full Box Set)
Case & Mounts included
Retailer/Price:
(small box)
Retailer/Price:
(small box)
Retailer/Price:Retailer/Price:
(small box)
Retailer/Price:
SJCAM:
269.00 USD
SJCAM:
179.00 USD
SJCAM:
199.00 USD
SJCAM:
99.00 USD
SJCAM:
159.00 USD
Banggood:
188.99 USD
Coupon Code: 369eae
Banggood:
157.99 USD
Coupon Code: b71c67
Banggood:
135.99 USD
Banggood:
87.99 USD
Coupon Code: b71c67
Banggood:
116.99 USD
Gearbest:
215.99 USD
Coupon Code: SJ8Series1
Gearbest:
155.99 USD
Coupon Code: SJ8Series3
Gearbest:
159.99 USD
Gearbest:
79.99 USD
Coupon Code: SJ8Series5
Gearbest:
106.99 USD
Aliexpress:
269.00 USD
Aliexpress:
179.00 USD
Aliexpress:
199.00 USD
Aliexpress:
99.00 USD
Aliexpress:
159.00 USD
ReviewReviewReviewReviewReview

 

Retailer / Price Comparison

SJ8 Series Pro

SJ8 Series Plus

SJ8 Series Air

Older SJCAM Models:

As comparison, here are the prices for the older, still available, SJCAM models:

 

Body, Buttons & Ports

SJCAM SJ8 Plus - Body, Buttons & PortsSJCAM SJ8 Plus - Body, Buttons & Ports

SJCAM SJ8 Plus – Body, Buttons & Ports

On the front you can find a 0,96″ OLED display that shows the current settings of the camera and indicates recording as well as the time. Compared to YI 4K, SJ8 Plus offers two buttons: Shutter button on the top and a power button on the side, that also works as mode switch button where you can conveniently switch between photo and video mode. This is especially necessary when the cam is inside the underwater case. On the other side you find a door that covers the USB-C port. On the bottom there’s a battery door which also holds the micro SD card slot.

 

Features & Settings

I want to give an overview of the new home screen, available camera modes and settings. Be aware that they are different for all SJ8 series cameras! For a comparison take a look at my SJ8 series comparison article.

Homescreen

SJCAM SJ8 Plus - Homescreen

SJCAM SJ8 Plus – Homescreen

The home screen, the one you see when turning on the camera, shows the following settings (from top left – clockwise): Current Mode (video in the image above) the available recording time on your SD card. On the top right the battery status. When you press the rotary icon you can access the settings: camera & device settings. When pressing the current resolution & frame rate, you get to the mode selection menu and the play button indicates photo library.
SJ8 Pro has a few more icons on the screen which allows you to enter specific menu items. I think that’s a bit more convenient, take a look in my SJ8 Pro review!

 

Modes

SJCAM SJ8 Plus - available Modes

SJCAM SJ8 Plus – available Modes

When you press the settings in the bottom, middle of the screen you access the modes menu with the following 9 options (one more than SJ8 Pro):

  • Video – for video recording.
  • VideoLaspe – to create a time-lapse with a video file as result.
  • SlowRec – for slow motion recording. The camera is recording a higher frame rate and the info already stored within the file to play it at a lower frame rate.
  • Still – for single photos.
  • PhotoLapse – to create a time-lapse with several individual photos as result.
  • Photo Burst – for fast consecutive photos.
  • Video / Photo – to take photos within an interval while a video is recording.
  • Car Mode – the camera powers on automatically and loop recording is enabled (when used as dash camera).
  • Underwater Mode – which corrects colours when diving (this mode is missing on SJ8 Pro, but there is an underwater WB setting).

 

Video Settings

SJCAM SJ8 Plus - Video Settings

SJCAM SJ8 Plus – Video Settings

Video Resolution & Frame Rates

  • 4K – 30fps
  • 2.7K – (4:3) – 30fps
  • 2.7K – 60fps
  • 2K – 60fps
  • 1080p – 120 / 60 / 30 fps
  • 720p – 240 fps
  • 720p – 120 fps

There is no option to select PAL (25 fps or a multiple of that). There is a TV Mode selection for PAL in the device settings, but it doesn’t effect frame rates. 24fps is also not available.

Video Codec
You can choose between h264 or h265 encoding.

Loop Recording
When loop recording is switched on the oldest files are overwritten once the SD card is full.

FOV
You can narrow the FOV (field of view), even in 4K resolution: Wide / Middle / Narrow.

WDR (wide dynamic range)
You can switch on wide dynamic range to enhance video.

Gyro Sensor
EIS (electronic image stabilization) is active when you switch on gyro sensor. EIS is available up to 4K with 30fps or 1080p with 60fps.

Audio
You can switch on/off audio recording from the integrated microphone.

Time Stamp
You can turn on/off the time/date being displayed in your video recordings.

Bitrate
can be set to High (33 Mbps) / Medium (26 Mbps) / Low (20Mbps). The higher the bit rate, the bigger the video files, but the better the quality. Tested in 4K resolution with 30fps .h265 codec)

Sharpness
You can set sharpness to strong / normal / soft. For grading I recommend normal or soft.

White Balance
You can select predefined settings for color correction based on the given light situation: Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Tungsten / Fluorescent.

Color
You can choose several color options – basically filters: Normal / Black & White / Retro / Warm / Cool. There is no “Flat” option compared to SJ8 Pro.

EV (Exposure Value)
is the exposure compensation. You can adjust exposure by setting up / down EV in these steps: +- 1/3, +- 2/3, +- 1.0, +- 4/3, +- 5/3, +-2.0.

Metering Mode
To define the area where the camera is measuring exposure: Center, Spot or Average.

Distortion Correction
You can switch on distortion correction if you don’t like the fisheye effect of the wide angle lens. This selection is not available in combination with FOV selection.

There are several items missing compared to SJ8 Pro, the most needed would be an ISO setting.

 

Photo Settings

SJCAM SJ8 Plus - Photo Settings

SJCAM SJ8 Plus – Photo Settings

Resolution

  • 12 MP – 4032 x 3024 – 4:3 (native sensor resolution)
  • 10 MP – 3648 x 2736 – 4:3
  • 8 MP – 3264 x 2448 – 4:3
  • 5 MP – 2592 x 1944 – 4:3
  • 3 MP – 2048 x 1536 – 4:3
  • VGA – 640 x 480 – 16:9

Compared to SJ8 Pro there are no 16:9 options.

Exposure Time
This option is especially needed for long exposure photos. The available options are: 1/30s, 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, 20s, 30s. More options compared to SJ8 Pro!

Self Timer
You can select 3s / 5s / 10s as self timer.

Quality
You can select Fine / Normal / Economy. Depending on your selection the quality of the picture (not resolution) will differ, also resulting in different file sizes.

Sharpness
You can set sharpness to strong / normal / soft. For standard photos I recommend “normal”.

White Balance
You can select predefined settings for color correction based on the given light situation: Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Tungsten / Fluorescent.

Color
You can choose several color options: Normal / Black & White / Retro / Warm / Cool. There is no Flat option compared to SJ8 Pro.

ISO
Compared to video mode, in photo mode you have ISO options on SJ8 Plus: 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200.

EV (Exposure Value)
is the exposure compensation. You can adjust exposure by setting up / down EV in these steps: +- 1/3, +- 2/3, +- 1.0, +- 4/3, +- 5/3, +-2.0.

Metering Mode
To define the area where the camera is measuring exposure: Center, Spot or Average.

RAW
When you switch on RAW the camera will take a RAW photo AND a jpg photo.

WDR
Also for photos you got a WDR (wide dynamic range) option.

Distortion Correction
You can switch on distortion correction if you don’t like the fisheye effect of the wide angle lens.

Time Stamp
You can turn on/off the time/date being displayed in your video recordings.

 

Device Settings

In the device settings you can format the SD card, set date & time, change power off options,… Click below to see the full list of options:

SJCAM SJ8 Plus - Device Settings

SJCAM SJ8 Plus – Device Settings

all device settings

Language
You can switch menu between English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese Russian, Czech, Slovakian, Hungarian, Suomi, Danish, Dutch,

Date/Time
be sure to enter the correct Date & Time when using the Timestamp option!

Format
to format your microSD card.

Selftimer Bar Control
an option to display self timer.

FPV
to enable video output.

TV Mode
as mentioned you can switch between PAL and NTSC, but the frame rate is not changing.

Fast Record
when enabled you can turn on the camera and it starts recording immediately.

Front Display
You can turn on/off the front display.

Auto Power off
You can set a time to power down the camera when in standby (to save battery).

Keypad Tone
You can switch on/off sound when pressing the buttons.

Screensavers
You can select a time when the screen goes black, also useful to save battery life.

Frequency
You can choose between 50Hz and 60Hz, depending on the frequency the power lines are using in your country. Choosing the wrong frequency artificial light can be flickering in your video.

Rotate
To rotate the camera image in case you mount the camera upside down.

LOGO Watermark
to display a watermark in your recordings.

WiFi Spectrum
You can switch between 2.4 & 5.0 G wifi.

WiFi
You can switch on / off wifi. Standard Wifi Password is: 12345678 but you can change it here.

Power On Mode
You can choose in which mode the camera should power on.

Default setting
which restores factory settings.

Version
which displays the current version of the Firmware.

 

App – SJCAM Zone

You can connect SJ8 Plus with your smartphone using wifi, either 2.4GHz or 5Ghz. The app for iOS and Android is called SJCAM Zone.

How to connect to your Smartphone
Turn on the camera’s wifi, you can use the quick menu when swiping down on the screen. Look for the camera’s wifi on your phone which is displayed as “SJ8PLUS” followed by numbers. The standard password is 12345678. Open up the app and connect both devices.

SJCAM Zone
The App is pretty straight forward with all the settings you can select on your camera as well. SJCAM recently introduced a social media platform where you can post your photos, but it has some flaws as I was able to post my photos, but can’t see them any further.

Also the app looks a bit different on every SJ8 series camera. When opening up the app you see a live preview image of the camera. It is also possible to turn the smartphone into landscape mode for a larger image. The available modes are displayed in a line above the shutter button. The icon on the bottom left opens the resolution (and frame rate) menu. By pressing the rotary icon on the top right, you access the camera settings.

SJCAM Zone App - SJ8 Plus

SJCAM Zone App – SJ8 Plus

 

Demo Photos

The following demo photos are taken as .jpg photo with distortion correction turned on. Other settings were auto (Timestamp unfortunately turned on). The photos are unedited, taken straight from the camera. You can click on them to view full resolution:

SJCAM SJ8 Plus - Demo Photo

SJCAM SJ8 Plus – Demo Photo

SJCAM SJ8 Plus - Demo Photo

SJCAM SJ8 Plus – Demo Photo

SJCAM SJ8 Plus - Demo Photo

SJCAM SJ8 Plus – Demo Photo

SJCAM SJ8 Plus - Demo Photo

SJCAM SJ8 Plus – Demo Photo

 

 

Retailer / Price Comparison

SJ8 Series Pro

SJ8 Series Plus

SJ8 Series Air

Older SJCAM Models:

As comparison, here are the prices for the older, still available, SJCAM models:

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