31 August 2015

Product Review: SJ7000/DV603D Action Camera

Action Camera Review

I don't usually do camera reviews because I favor the lower end action cameras that aren't user friendly.  As long as it can take jello free video onboard my bike and look decent on YouTube, I like it.  If it costs less than $75, I love it!
A little history.
All of my videos have been taken with a variety of budget (read clone) cameras.  My first foray into video was with the MD80 clone that I got for under $20.  At the time, 720p was the standard and this little cam took video comparable to the giant of the industry.  I had hell mounting it but I really liked the cameras.  In fact, I think I ended up with 4 or 5 of them for less than what was on the market at the time.

As much as I liked the cameras, I knew they were not for the massess who just want to point and shoot.  All 808 based cameras take a little
work before you can get to even point and shoot and were nothing I would recommend to anyone without that caveat.  With the release of the 1080p cameras, the manufacturers understood their market more and made attempts to make the cameras more user friendly.

About a year ago, another company introduced into this convoluted market a real action camera that caught my attention.  As with the original 808/md80, as soon as they experienced a little success competitors cloned their clone and sold it as if it was the clone.  Bargain consumers that didn't know to read specs very carefully ended up with cameras that looked like the clone but did not perform like the clone.

Since I was happy with my Innovv C1, I only watched but did not buy choosing instead to make my Innovv more user friendly (see any of my camera mounts posts).
 But a couple of months ago I noticed a camera advertising to be an upgrade of the clone.  None of the ads said it was made by the clone company which began putting a logo on the front of their cameras to distinguish them from the “fakes”.

Since I'm a veteran clone camera consumer, I studied the specs and last month when my Innovv got stuck in a tree on my quad, I threw caution to the wind and bought the damned thing from aliexpress seller pumateng.  I was fairly sure it wasn't made by the clone people but it specs were nearly identical.  Would I be disappointed?

Clearly if you are reading this post, you know that I'm not.  I wouldn't even be putting this on my blog if I were.  Did you know about the other camera failures?  No.  You likely don't know the name of the sucesses either because like I said before they're not user friendly.  (808 #26 and the Innovv C1 are the cameras I've been using for the past two years or so.)

The SJ7000/DV603D Action Camera.
From DV603D aka sj7000

My new action camera arrived last week after a surprisingly short shipping time from China.  Between placing the order and the camera showing up on my doorstep, I scoured the internet for any firmware upgrades or things I should have found before I made the purchase.  All the youtube videos looked promising.
Model FK-DV603D
Image Sensor 12Mega Pixels CMOS-Sensor
Colour 7 colors: Black/White/Silver/Yellow/Blue/Pink/Gold
LCD 1.5" LCD panel
Image resolution 12 Mega Pixels (4032*3024)/10 Mega Pixels(3648*2736)
8 Mega Pixels (3264*2448)/5 Mega Pixels(2592*1944)
3 MP(2048*1536)/ 2MHD(1920*1080)/ VGA(640*480)/ 1.3M(1280*960)
Video resolution 1920*1080 30fps / 1280*720 60fps /848*480 60fps / 640*480 60fps
Video Compression Format H.264
Default resolution Video:1080P / Picture:4032*3024
Image/Video file format Video format:MOV / Image format:JPG
Zoom x4 digital zoom
Lens 170° HD wide-angle fish-eye lens, nondeformable
Memory Slot for Micro SD card up to 32 GB
OSD language English/French/German/Spanish/Italian/Portuguese/SimpliedChinese/Japanese/ Traditional Chinese/ Russian/Korean/Polish/Swedish
Connections USB 2.0 , HDMI
Battery life 70 minutes(1080P)
Battery Battery Detachable 900mAh
Dimensions 29.8x59.2x41 mm
Weight 44g(without batteries),58g with batteries
Accessories waterproof case, waterproof case bracket, waterproof case clip,bike bracket
multifunction clip, camera clip, helmet seat, bandages
cleaning cloth, power adapter, 3M stickers, USB cable,bracket adapter,manual etc.
Applications Extreme Sports, Outdoor Sport Activities,Bicycle,Car DVR, Diving,Home security etc

The camera is in a gopro style form factor and records 30fps @ 1080p with a built in 1.5” LCD screen, ir remote, and wifi.  It also records in 1280 x 720p @ 30 fps and claims 60 fps 720p.  I say claim because in all the cameras with similar specs 60fps is actually duplicated frames.  I'll update after I actually try it myself.

What you need to know is who makes it:  hdking.  The manufacturer's website is hdking8.com and is the best source to find out where to buy.  As of this post, no firmware upgrade is listed on the website.  On to the camera; for simplicity I'll be typing 7k.

What's in the box?
From DV603D aka sj7000

A lot of stuff!  For your $60 or so you'll get an HD video camera in a waterproof case, an assload of accessories, and the bonus of a manual in understandable english, not chingrish.

How do you use it?

The manual isn't in a lot of detail but a lot isn't needed to use the camera.  It's really simple.  The power button is on front and doubles to change modes.  The shutter button is on top and doubles to activate the wifi.  Up/down buttons on the right side (lcd facing you) to activate and toggle through the menus.

From DV603D aka sj7000
From DV603D aka sj7000
One of my cams did not have the sliding lock.
The first thing I did with mine was put it on the bike using the super clamp and friction arm I always use and the included tripod adapter.  Here's a 10 min clip from that first test.

It was mounted on the engine guard which uses the engine bolt as a mount point.  I didn't set the time or change any of the settings.  Later, I realized one of the accessories is a different back for the waterproof case that has slots in the back rendering it not waterproof so I need to do another onboard bike test.

The second thing I did was strap it to my quadcopter.  I'll do a seperate post on the quad and it's attributes.

Yes, the damned thing got stuck in a tree while I was trying to see the other quad I have stuck in a tree.  For the record, Smitty told me not to do it.  I will not be flying back there on purpose again.

The LCD screen alone proved to be worth the price of admission because I was able to frame the view so that the legs of the quad didn't get too much in the shot and I could see I was getting the view I wanted.

I've been impressed with the video quality.  My laptop struggles to process it so I guess a new laptop is in my future.  My Nextbook Ares tablet from walmart does better with playing and minor edits like trimming the video so I guess I'll be learning to use that app instead of my preferred openshot.

The best part of the 7k is how user friendly it is compared to other cameras I've used in that price range with comparable if not slightly better video quality.  At first I wasn't too sure if I'd like that 170 degree lens but I'm loving it more and more.  I'm not sure about the sound quality yet.  My other cameras got too much air noise in the video.  I've seen enough video from more expensive cameras to know they suffer the same problem onboard motorcycles.  Thats why people put that awful music with hardly no motorcycle sound in their videos.

It's a $60 camera that you won't feel too bad about cracking the case and adding a mic jack to improve sound.  Even though it has microusb and micro hdmi ports, neither can be used to connect an external mic.   Search on YouTube for a video that shows how to add a mono mic jack.

So far, the only drawback seems to be the ir remote and the case.  That is only the lens part that distorts the edges of the video and there's a fix for that.

The camera can take a lick and keep on ticking inside the case and a little outside it too.  The ir remote only works from directly in front of the camera where the sensor is rendering it pretty useless.  When I order my next one, I'll get it without the remote.

What about the wifi?
From DV603D aka sj7000

The app is pretty simple.  It gives you the function of remotely activating the camera, framing shots, deleting and moving files to your tablet or phone.  It has average wifi network range.

It's a better remote than the included ir remote.

Other uses.

Dashcam.  When you connect power, the 7k comes on in car mode and starts recording 2 minute video until you press the shutter but or it loses power.

Security Cam.  Using the wifi app, the preview mode makes it just like a security camera.  The camera also has motion detect capabilities so you can save card space and battery.

Pictures.  The specs say up to 12 mega pixels.  I'm not sure about that but the pictures look pretty good.  I can see not taking another camera along just for stills.  It has 3 photo modes: self-timer, continuous, and single shot.
Taken in 5mp mode
Overall impressions.
The video quality is very good.  I don't zoom in on things so at the pixel level, it might be lacking but I'll never know.  The value the 7k offers is off the charts fantastic.  I think the included mounts alone if purchased seperately would cost more than the camera with the accessories did.  If they are not enough, all the gopro/sjcam mounts work with this one so there are hundreds if not thousands of mounting configurations.

I'm looking forward to bring back the high mount with this camera.  The md80 camera was not the right one for that mount but I think this one will work even better.

Stay tuned for more videos, including on dawg footage (just because I can) and the return of the high mount!

Buy it if you're looking for an action camera.  Heck, buy more than one so you can add multiple perspectives to your onboard videos.

Thanks for reading!
patrice, theWolfTamer

My two cameras


  1. Good write up. Glad you like the camera. Still can't find the little quad in the tree? that stinks.

    1. Leaves start falling soon. I'm just glad it's not two quads in a tree. I got lucky there.

  2. Great presentation. I have the same camera and I bought it as sj4000RT. Do you know if there is any firmware update? I have the 1.00 firmware.

    1. was wondering the same I own 2 7k and was interested in firmare updates

  3. is there any way you can connect an external mic . i want to start motorcycle vlogging so i need to connect external mic like a lavalier

    1. Iirc, there's a mic mod for sj4000 on YouTube. It's a similar camera so it should work. I plan to do something similar for mine.

  4. My video:

  5. how to update firmware sj7000? please help

    1. http://www.dbpower.co.uk/downloads/

      ex5000 firmware for sj7000

    2. http://www.dbpower.co.uk/downloads/

      ex5000 firmware for sj7000

  6. i want problem with mi sj7000 its seems like dead after a wrong update firmware. how can i update the firmware.pls help me to...

    1. http://www.dbpower.co.uk/downloads/

      baixar ex5000

  7. your blog is more usefull ans easly use...

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