Video Vednesday: A shakedown of the SJ5000X Elite

By | August 11, 2016

If a psychiatrist ever got his hands on me, I’m certain he’ll find a personality orgy in there.

I’m someone while I write, and someone entirely different when I speak. I have known that a while, but watching myself speak made things crystal clear.

A few weeks ago, the folks at SJCAM India sent me a brand spanking new SJ5000X Elite for testing and review. As shocked as I was at that development, I’ve been playing around extensively with the camera to truly understand what it can do and how well it can do it.

I made a timelapse with it, which I personally was rather proud of. I’ve been attempting to make similar videos for years now, but just that thought of rummaging through thousands of photographs made my head spin. In this SJCAM, all you have to do is set it up, push a button, push it again when you are done, and out pours a video. Makes life much more fun for lazy fucks like me.

This time, the plan was to test the Gyro stabilization feature of the SJ5000X Elite, which is a pretty unique and nifty thing to have in your action camera. As an unfortunate side-effect of this test, you’ll also get to see and hear me talking, which, although massively seductive and boner inducing, will certainly give you an idea of how well the camera copes up with audio.

Below is the video, and after that is my analysis of the footage, things that I couldn’t speak on camera.

Everything is shot at 2K, 30fps.

I have a few observations about the stabilization and audio in this video.

Gyro stabilization works, but not when the going gets too rough

The difference between Gyro On and Gyro Off footage is much clearer when the camera is mounted on my helmet, than when it’s mounted on the bike’s tail. The reason for that should be rather obvious.

Your body absorbs some of the vibrations, and the head naturally wants to stay still to help the eyes work out what the hell is happening. This means that there’s less for the Gyro to do when the camera is mounted on the helmet, or basically any place where the vibrations are under control.

On the bike’s tail, it’s far more shaky. In some ways, it’s kinda good that the camera doesn’t try to overcompensate, there’s a limit to the amount of stabilization that it will do. This means that you don’t start looking at the edges of the footage, as happens sometimes with Youtube stabilization when things get too shaky. Better do little than too much.

You might also have noticed that the Gyro footage is zoomed in, this is basically how the technique works. It uses the extra footage around the zoomed in section as buffer, and moves about to compensate for the jerks. In real life, it kinda feels like the sensor is floating around in water, but it’s all digital. You can read a bit more about it here. If you really need that wide angle feel in your video, keep the Gyro off.

In the video above, the Gyro is OFF at all times except when there’s a Gyro ON sign in the right top corner.

Audio quality is impressive

Every reviewer of the SJCAM’s range of cameras was severely pissed about the audio quality. Part of the reason for this frustration could be the lack of a 3.5mm audio jack, and the other could be the terrible firmware that the older generations had. In the camera that I used, audio was brilliant.

Inside the camera you have the option of choosing the audio volume. I’d kept it at 10 since I was scared of it being too shitty, thanks to the aforementioned pissed reviewers. While editing the footage in Adobe Premiere Pro, I had to reduce the sound by -5dB, it was simply too loud, my sexy voice heard at such high levels will immediately cause jizz splatters all over the planet. The camera comes at an audio setting of 8 by default, and I think that’s the best place to keep it.

There’s no audio for when I’m on the bike, because the camera was inside the waterproof housing, and nothing much comes inside that. I’ll put the camera in the open housing some other time and give you an idea of what you can hear, but I don’t think it’ll be anything too impressive, mainly because of the wind noise and the tiny slits in the back door through which the sound will need to reach you.

And yes, if you got too distracted by my shiny blue goggles, remember that I wear RGP contact lenses, and I can’t survive without keeping my eyes covered. Also, no mortal can look into my eyes and not instantly turn gay.

You’re welcome.

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  • Prince Sirohi

    when i read “gyro stabilization”…. i was like whaaaaaat?.
    OK so its just their way of naming it in a fancy way, just digital image stabilization.
    Actual Gyro Stabilization is used in Drone Mounted cameras, and things like that.

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Marketing 🙂