As capable as action cameras have gotten recently, they’ve almost all got an achilles heel; a single, fixed aperture lens that might capture epic scenes during the day, but can struggle once the sun sets. Lesser known brand SJCAM is aiming to change that with the SJCAM SJ20, a dual lens cam that can cope with night shoots just as well as daylight ones.
It’s the first action camera I’ve seen with dual lenses (at least one not designed for 360-degree capture, such as the Insta360 X3), with 4K recording capability (limited to 30fps) and 20MP still shooting. The night-optimised lens has an f/1.3 aperture that’s simply massive, letting in a huge amount of light; the daylight lens’ f/2.0 aperture isn’t to be sniffed at, either. Both have a wide 135-degree field of view, and integrated 6-axis gimbal stabilisation should mean footage looks suitably smooth, too.
That said, sensor size is a mystery right now, so it’s not immediately clear how the SJ20 stacks up to action cam heavyweights such as the GoPro Hero12 Black and DJI Osmo Action 4.
Continuing the “two is better than one” theme, the SJ20 also has twin LCD touchscreens. A 2.29in display at the rear handles menus and settings, while the 1.3in screen up front is primarily for framing your shots. The rest of the camera body is pretty minimal, with just a couple of buttons up top for recording and opening the menus.
The modular mounting bracket should play nicely with most generic action camera accessories, and most people won’t need to invest in a waterproof case for swimming shoots; the camera is resistant down to 16ft on its lonesome. The bundled battery is reportedly good for seven hours of recording time, depending on settings.
The SJCAM SJ20 will be available to order shortly $229 / £179, directly from the SJCAM website.