The SJCAM C300 is everything you could want in an action camera. It’s compact, easy to use, has plenty of accessories and most importantly, it produces some quality footage.
And just because it's an action cam, don’t think it automatically belongs in the kit bag of an adrenaline junkie. Vloggers and social media creators will really enjoy the versatility of this camera, which enjoys multiple shooting modes, 6-axis gyroscope stabilisation and a 1.33” double touchscreen, it’s certainly a contender for our guide on best cameras for YouTube or best TikTok cameras 2023.
But I think the main pull of this camera is that it’s budget-friendly. Priced at $159/£128, this camera is aimed at those who need a reliable, entry-level camera. But it’s also cheap enough to be a backup or a toy for the casual user.
SJCAM C300 review: Key Specs
|Display size:||1.3 inch|
|Video recording:||4K @ 30 fps, 2K @ 30/60 fps, 1080p @ 120/30/60 fps, 720p @ 120/30/60 fps|
|Image stabilising:||Six-axis gyro image stabilisation|
|Storage:||Micro SD card, max support 128GB|
|Waterproof:||30 meters with case|
|Size:||68.0 x 32.0 x 21.7 mm|
SJCAM C300 review: Design and Build
The first thing you'll notice with the SJCAM C300 is its size. At just 68.65×32×25.50mm and weighing 55 grams to say it’s small is an understatement.
But the design of this camera is unique. When you first open the box you may be fooled into thinking that there are two cameras, but it’s actually just the camera’s modular design.
It has dual battery packs, so you can choose to use this camera with the removable battery or use the battery pack, which then not only gives you access to the second screen but also acts as a handy grip.
For it’s price and size, this camera feels solid and robust. It comes in a choice of two colours, matte black and white, although, have to say, matte black is my preference, especially if you’re taking it out and about on adventures.
It has two 1.33" touch screens offering an impressive range of shooting positions and allowing you to frame your shots perfectly. The first screen is just underneath the lens, so ideal if you’re doing a piece to the camera and want to make sure you’re in the shot. The second screen is on the battery module and shows what you’re shooting in front of you and is also ideal for reviewing captured content. The battery module has a really good grip, it’s nice to hold, especially if you’re filming while walking. You can also attach a tripod or selfie stick to the bottom of the battery module.
There are two buttons to switch the SJCAM C300 on and to start the recording process, and they are situated at the front of the camera and on the battery module. The rest of the settings and menus can be accessed via the touchscreen. The touchscreens are responsive but not too sensitive that you’ll find yourself
The batteries are charged via a USB-C port, which is situated on the side of the camera. I’ve only used this camera for a couple of weeks, but I’m a little concerned there is no cover on the USB-C port, so there’s nothing to stop it from taking in dust or dirt.
The SJCAM C300 doesn’t have any internal storage, it uses a MicroSD card which can be inserted at the back of the camera under the battery. It’s a bit fiddly to get the card in as it’s a snap-down holder. Thankfully, you can get your footage via Wi-Fi or the USB-C cable meaning you won’t have to mess around removing and re-inserting the card all that often.
The microphone can be found on the back of the camera. It’s not the best placement, especially not if you’re vlogging, as it struggles to pick up the sound, something to definitely think about if you do a lot of pieces to the camera and don’t want to dub over later on.
SJCAM C300 review: Accessories
One of the most impressive things about this camera is the huge range of accessories that it comes with. Included with the camera is a back clip, base mount, flat bottom bracket, helmet base, screw, waterproof case and a magnetic lanyard.
Let’s start with the waterproof case, this works up to 30m and is also drop-proof, dust-proof, and shock-proof, so whatever activity you get up to, your camera will be protected. Just be careful with the case when storing it as it is plastic so easy to scratch.
The magnetic lanyard is also an amazing inclusion. If you want to use your camera as a bodycam, just pop it in the holder, place the magnetic lanyard around your neck and attach the camera. The magnet is really strong, it won’t just fall off no matter how hard you’re moving.
The review pack I was sent also included a few optional accessories, including a wireless remote control, selfie stick, 64GB SJCam microSD card and standard ¼” swivel mount.
SJCAM C300 review: Performance
The SJCAM C300 offers multiple shooting options, including video, stills, time-lapse, live broadcast and car mode.
It’s built around a 12 MP Sony sensor, and it is capable of shooting 4K footage but you can also shoot in 2K, 1080P and 720p with a maximum frame rate of 120fps. The reason this camera is so good at action shots is because it has the capability of shooting 4K at 30fps. It will also take 20MP still images.
The camera has a wide-angle lens which covers 154°. The 6-axis gyroscope stabilisation performed well and resulted in smooth footage even when capturing fast-paced action.
Overall, I found the output really impressive and think that this is the perfect example of how cheap doesn’t equate to poor quality. The footage I captured was sharp, detailed and colours vivid. I do think that the built-in noise reduction technology really did its job well to help improve the quality of the images.
I wasn't that impressed by its low-light performance. Despite having built-in night vision, if it wasn't bright then the images did look a bit grainy. It also struggled a little with white balance.
The camera is connected to an app, which can be used to control the camera and its settings remotely and even handle online streaming. I found the app basic but easy to use, and it managed to communicate smoothly and quickly with the camera.
The battery is also another plus point, of course, it’s small and has a small screen, which uses less power but overall, the battery life was exceptional lasting around five hours in total.
SJCAM C300 review: Price
As I mentioned so many times during this review, this is a budget camera. For a camera with the accessories, it’s priced at $159/£128. There are a couple more additions you may want to buy to make the experience even neater, the SJCAM Action Camera Selfie Stick with Remote, which extends to 91cm and is waterproof to 3 metres, will set you back $19.99/£16.12 and it's a must-have as it gives you much more control over the camera.
Should I buy the SJCAM C300?
If you’re looking for an action cam that isn’t going to break the bank, then you should absolutely consider buying the SJCAM C300. This compact, easy-to-use camera is ideal whether you’re a beginner or a pro just looking for an extra camera to throw in your kit. It’s waterproof and durable, so will withstand even the most extreme situations, and that includes kids and pets, by the way.
Plus, for the money, you really can’t fault the high-quality image and resolution that this camera produces. Of course, if you have a little more money to spend, then it is worth looking at the GoPro Hero10 Black and checking out our guide to the best cheap GoPro deals for filmmakers and creatives before hitting that buy button.