Week 27, 2015: SJCAM 5000 vs. SJCAM 4000, Siva Cycle Atom


Sound Advice

By Don Lindich

Week 27, 2015

Q. I saved your November 2014 article about the SJCAM SJ5000 action camera and decided to check it out. I read reviews that said there are some software bugs. Can you provide any input? I would love to get one!

-Gene Hauf, Deephaven, MN

A. The camera I reviewed and recommended was the SJCAM SJ4000, not the SJ5000. I have not tested the SJ5000, but it does not appear to be much different from the SJ4000, which is one of my favorite budget products of all time and a perfect way to get your feel wet with an action camera.

The SJCAM SJ4000 is a small action camera that has a built-in LCD screen and looks like a clone of a GoPro Hero camera. The mounting system is the same (though the housings are different) so you can use GoPro mounts with it. It includes many mounts and a waterproof housing and sells for $79 or less.

The SJCAM SJ4000 produces absolutely beautiful 1080p video footage, far in excess of what you would expect for the price and fully competitive with anything on the market. The downside is the maximum frame rate is 30 frames per second. Higher frame rates make smoother motion and provide better slow motion capabilities, but at the end of the day, the SJCAM SJ4000’s footage looks amazing and that is good enough for me and my $79.

The SJCAM SJ4000 has been so successful that it has spawned cheap imitations also being sold as the “SJ4000” on eBay and Amazon.com. Make sure you get a genuine SJCAM SJ4000. If you want to buy this product I recommend bhphotovideo.com to ensure you get the real thing

Charging for cyclists: I have had a lot of reader questions as well as PR inquiries about charging products recently. There will be more charging products highlighted in upcoming columns, starting today with a cool device for those who love bicycles and cycling.

Anyone who drives a car has access to charging power through either the traditional power socket or a USB port, which most new cars have these days. But what about those who embrace a greener, more active lifestyle and use a bicycle to commute, tour or get around in general? You can charge several power banks and keep them with you, but that is not an ideal solution, especially for extended rides and bicycling tours.

The Siva Cycle Atom offers a solution. The weatherproof Atom attaches to your bicycle and converts your momentum into charging energy, which can be used to charge your devices via a USB connection or a removable battery pack (included.) It can also be used to charge lights and other on-cycle devices. After hearing about the Siva Cycle Atom from a reader who is also a cycling enthusiast I decided to check it out. I’ve read reviews in the media as well as from their customers, and they are very favorable. Using it to power the phone while using the phone’s GPS function seems to be a popular application.

The Siva Atom lists for $129 and you can get 10% off and free shipping using the code TAKE10 at www.sivacycle.com. It is also available at amazon.com.