Action cam is a term that has permeated the fabric of today’s youth. With the popularity of GoPro cameras, the market has been flooded with a whole slew of new offerings to knock the leader of its perch. The Soocoo S60 is a new contender and they have asked us at The Gadgeteer to review it.
Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.
Before this review offering I had never heard of Soocoo, a Chinese company with many offerings in that country including other action/sport cameras, but not a whole lot of name recognition here in the US.
The S 60 comes with the following:
- Camera *1
- Watch *1
- Bike bracket*1
- Adaptor bracket*1
- 3M Tape*2
- (Bandage+connecting buckle))*1
- American standard power supply*1
- micro USB*1;1050mah Lithium battery*1
- English version user manual *1
- Waterproof cloth bag*1
The package includes almost anything you would need to start using it right away. The one item that was not included was a Micro SD card needed to use the camera.
Before I list the cameras specifications and features I should note that the information I am using was gathered from An Amazon.com page that was sent to me from the group that provided the camera for review so I cannot say the stats are 100% accurate but they appear to be. The specifications and features are as follows:
- Brand Name and Brand Type: SOOCOO
- Image Resolution: ( 4032 x 3024 )Pixel( 12MP),( 3648 x 2736 )Pixel( 10MP),( 1920 x 1080 )Pixel( 2MP) and so on
- Video Resolution: ( 1920 x 1080 )Pixel(30fps),( 1280 x 720 )Pixel(60 fps), (848) x (480)Pixel(60fps),(640) x (480) Pixel(120fps)
- Max. Resolution: 12 MP
Lens: F/2.0(f=3.15 mm)
- LCD Display: 1.5 ” LCD
Battery Type: Li-ion
- White Balance: Auto/Daylight/Cloudy/Tungsten /Fluorescent/Undersea
- Extended Memory: MAX to 32G
- Image File Format: JPEG
- Video File Format: MOV
- Exposure: -2—+2
- Self-time Delay: 3 Seconds Timer/ 10 Seconds Timer/ 30 Seconds Timer
- Flash: Supported
- ISO: Auto
- Interface Type: Micro USB
- Television Output Standard: NTSC/PAL
- Supported Languages: German/Italian/Simplified Chinese/Traditional Chinese/Russian/Japanese/Korean/Polish/English/French/Spanish/Portuguese
- Operate System: Android version 4.3 and above; IOS version 6.0 and above
- Anti-Shake: Yes
- Face Detection: NO
- The maximum capacity for storage card is 32G
- Various video recording format: 1080(30fps)/720P(60fps)/720P(30fps)H.264
- Exclusive 2.4G wireless diving remote controller
- Ultra-high capacity removable 1050mha battery
- 1.5 Inch HD color
- Exclusive one-click SOS bright LED Distress signal lamp
- Product color: Orange + Black
- Camera Size: 65 x 55 x 45mm
- Watch Size: 53 x 37mm, the total length is 250mm with watch band included.
The front of the camera has the lens and two LED lights, one above the lens on the right side and one on the let of the lens.
The back of the camera has the LCD screen, the mode button, the menu botton the “ok” button on the left of the screen and the light button and the scroll up and down buttons on the right side of the LCD screen.
The top of the camera has the power button, the start/stop/ shutter button and the latch for the water proof door.
The bottom of the camera has the attachment lugs for the various accessories such as the tripod and suction mounts. The bottom also has the hinge for the waterproof cover.
The right side has the water proof plug that covers the video output and the Micro USB receiver for charging and downloading the videos and movies.
The left side has no distinguishable features.
Now that we have the preliminaries out of the way it was time to charge the S60. Charging the camera is accomplished by removing the water tight screw down cap and plugging in the included USB to Micro USB cable to the charging port. I will make two observations here. First the included wall plug for the USB to Micro USB cable is not designed for American outlets. You can get around this by using a converter or simply using a USB outlet on your computer or generic plug. The second issue I encountered was the fact that I could not get the camera to charge with any other USB to Micro USB other than the one that was included with the camera. Workarounds resolved for all issues charging is straight forward, after the cable is plugged a red light on the front of the camera will light up and stay lit until the charging is complete.
After charging, my next task was to install a micro SD card into the S60. To do this you open the battery compartment, remove the battery, slide the micro SD slot cover to the right, lift the cover up, place the micro SD card in the slot and then close the cover sliding it back to the left. After replacing the battery and closing the back cover you are ready to start shooting video.
A nice included feature with this camera are the LCD lights located on each side of the lens. The lights have three modes, high, low and emergency flasher. The emergency flash could be especially helpful in diving or snorkeling situations. I could see the flash feature also being helpful in a hiking situation for signaling if you get lost.
Now that everything is charged up and ready to go it is time to start using the camera, this is where I had some issues. I have stated before that even though I am not a big instructions person, one of my pet peeves is poor instructions and unfortunately this camera’s instructions are pretty poor. I understand that this product is made in China but for a product of this type that has some advanced features the instructions need to be more in depth and have better translations. This is especially apparent when you use the included wrist remote.
Before I did any recording or snapping of pictures with the camera I set the time and date for it. This is one of the places the LCD screen really comes in handy. The screen bright enough to to see in most lighting conditions, but I will warn you in bright sunlight it is a challenge. The LCD screen is used for all the setting up you will need to do and also viewing videos and pictures that you have taken. The LCD screen gives the users several options to view what you have recorded unlike some of its major competitions that require a mobile device or computer to view the images or videos.
The camera comes with a nice wrist remote that you can use to take single pictures and well as start and stop your video recording. One odd thing I did notice bout using the wrist remote was that even though the wrist remote indicates that you are recording, the cameras LCD screen does not show the flashing red dot that appears when you start recording from the cameras record button. I do question weather or not the wrist remote is waterproof or not since I could not find that information during my research.
One main selling feature of this camera is the fact that it is designed to be used in or under the water right out of the box. On most similar cameras of this type you will need a waterproof housing to use it in the water bringing the cost up even more. While the cam works well under water, in the bright light while snorkeling it was difficult to see the LCD screen and thus to tell if I was actually recording. I placed the S60 next to my IronX action cam so show the size comparison with the IronX in its waterproof case.
Above you will see some videos I shot using the Soocoo S60 and below some camera stills. As you can tell the camera does a decent job under the water and above. I recorded using 1080p at 30fps and am very happy with the results. One of the nice features of this camera is the zoom feature that can be used while the camera is recording or for pictures. On the picture side the camera also did a decent job of taking photos, it will not replace a good pocket camera or even decent smart phones but I think they are good for quick shots.
I can really appreciate the accessories that have been included with this camera. I mostly used the suction and tripod mounts during the review. The accessory package includes almost anything you could need to start shooting action packed videos and photos. Although I could not confirm this, the accessories look like the would be compatible with a GoPro so you could shop around to get the best deals on other accessories.
So what’s my bottom line here? I like it, or did up until the point the camera stopped working. I used this camera for a 49 day trip around South America, I took it to the beach on one day and got some good underwater footage. A week later I took the camera with me on a bus tour and took some good pictures and video footage. When I attempted to download the images or even recharge the battery the camera would not charge or start up to allow me to remove or transfer the videos and images to my computer for editing. I ended up pulling the micro SD card and downloading the data directly from it to my computer. I was really ready to give the Soocoo S60 camera a good rating but with the current issue I am having I cannot. Although the camera comes with a good accessory package, has a great price and is waterproof, if I cannot get it to work it is no good to me. I really hope the folks at Soocoo can get this issue resolved because I think this could be a great entry level action camera/video recorder.