Jun 11 2015

Review: SOOCOO S60 Action Camera

SOOCOO S60 Action Camera

GoPro cameras are the epitome of action cameras but they are still too expensive for many amateurs. Chinese companies soon realized that there was a huge demand for similar cameras that offer decent quality at a much lower price. One of these companies is SOOCOO and in this review I will test their action camera S60.

What is SOOCOO?

SOOCOO logo
The company behind SOOCOO brand is Shenzhen Anytek Information Technology Ltd. Anytek began researching audio and video processing technology and producing home security products but what they made name themselves for was the black box for cars. In 2009 Anytek’s mother company Hong Kong Wonderful Industrial Development Ltd decided to set up a new factory to research and produce car black boxes, making it the first Chinese car black box manufacturer. In four years the Anytek black box became the market leader. After dominating the domestic market, they expanded to sell their products to Russia, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Poland and Ukraine. In 2010 Anytek cooperated with Shanghai Transportation Bureau and ePICC to become the vendor of Shanghai Taxi operation management products. In 2011 Anytek started to sell in Walmart, Sam’s Club Stores and METRO in the USA while making their presence felt in online market places Amazon, Sunning, 360buy and T-mall. Currently they sell their products under different brands: Anytek car black boxes, SOOCOO action cameras, SAFEFIRST home security systems and FIRSTSONIC digital fashion products.1

Specs

SOOCOO S60 action camera

Priced at around $100/100 € (summer 2015):

  • Water and dust proof by design (without any case)
  • Water resistant to 60 meters
  • Built-in WiFi
  • HDMI out
  • Micro-SD card slot
  • 1920×1080 @ 30 fps, 1280×720 @ 60 fps, 640×480 @ 120 fps
  • Digital image stabilization
  • Remote controller
  • 1.5″ color display
  • 1050 mAh battery
  • Dimensions: 64 x 47 x 32 (43 measured from the protruded camera) mm
  • Weight: 115 g (with battery)

Unboxing

SOOCOO S60

SOOCOO S60 comes in a very sturdy carton box that reminds me of recycled material. Inside the carton box is a nice semi-hard case made of cloth and with exquisite finish. Inside the case you will find the parts organized nicely and the main parts sitting in cut foam. A perfect first impression.

SOOCOO S60

These accessories are included:

  • a charger with a detachable micro-USB cable
  • a “watch” remote controller
  • a standard 1/4 inch camera mount
  • a strap mount (to be attached e.g. into a helmet)
  • a clincher mount (to be attached e.g. into a bike tube)
  • an angle extender
  • two 3M two-sided tapes

Chassis

The back of the camera (the orange part of it) is made of soft rubber while the rest of it is hard plastic. The back also has several control buttons: mode (video, still, play), settings, OK (select), LED lights toggle, arrows (up/down) as well as the 1.5″ color display. The left side of it is clean, the right side has a water-proof screw cap that conceals micro-USB and micro-HDMI connectors. The bottom has a latch-type of a foot, identical to GoPro Hero cameras. The top has two buttons: power and shoot plus fastener for the back part which may be opened.

The battery SLB-10A is more commonly used with Samsung cameras but it serves here as the action camera power source. Small in size and weight but still packs in more than 1,000 mAh.

Please note that there is no micro-SD card in the box so remember to buy one. I have used SanDisk Ultra micro-SD HC 32 GB Class 10 in my recording tests.

WiFi Connectivity

SOOCOO S60 WiFi

WiFi operation is done with a third-party app Youmera. It is available at least for Android and iOS (summer 2015). Youmera supports a variety of features, such as Wide Dynamic Range (WDR), but I only used it to see the view from a bigger screen plus press record and stop.

SOOCOO S60 WiFi

Based on my tests the WiFi connects from up to 4 m (13 feet) but it is reliable from less than 180 cm (6 ft).

Remote Controller

The watch type remote controller strap is made of nice and rather soft rubber. The controller features two buttons: status and record. Additionally it has a bi-color status LED that tells the operator about the camera status (standby, recording).

SOOCOO S60 Remote Controller
I found the remote controller confusing to use. First of all the user manual has no photos so it is difficult to know which button is “record” and which one “status”. After trial and error I found that the top button (▪) is “record”. Tap it once and it will take a photo (even if you are recording a video; the photo will be a screenshot in that case), long-press it (more than 3 seconds) and it will start recording a video. The bottom button is the status button. But in real life use I found that I could not trust the status LED feedback but I much rather check the status from the rear display or via phone display.

SOOCOO S60 Remote Control

What I did like about the remote was the very nice rubber strap, the fact that it needs no activation whatsoever from the camera side, so it is instantly usable and the very impressive range! I walked ca 50 m/55 yards away from the camera and I could still operate the camera with the remote.

One thing concerns me though is that what happens when the battery runs out? Does it have a regular watch battery inside?

Audio

I had read about poor audio reception with action cameras that are water-proof so I wanted to test it with this camera. I recorded two audio clips from the same distance with Sanyo Xacti VPC-SH1 camcorder, Xiaomi Mi2 smartphone and SOOCOO S60 action camera. All clips are recorded/played with the same volume and from the same tripod. All cameras have different optics and different viewing angle and therefor the Jabra Solemate speaker on my table looks to be at a different distance when it is not.

It is obvious that the video camera produces the loudest and clearest sound as its sole purpose is recording video and audio and it does not have to worry about water-proof or dust-proof design. SOOCOO S60 does produce surprisingly loud sound but it is “muffled” or “dampened” and it could be because there must be some kind of protective film covering the microphone. The smartphone produces the most quiet audio of the three.

Battery Life

I left the camera on a tripod, fully charged, to record dawns and sunsets. I let it record as long as the battery lasted. I know that this way the battery lasts longer than in real use (switching it on/off frequently) but it gives an estimate anyway.

Both dawn and dusk lasted ca. 2 hours and 15 minutes. That is way longer than I expected. I thought it would run max. an hour on battery.

Photography

SOOCOO S60

Photo resolution is 4032 x 3024 yielding 12.2 million pixels which is the size of the sensor. That is 4:3 “full frame” aspect ratio meaning that the image will be cut from the middle when recording video.

The photos are pretty good when there is enough light in my opinion, but during dark winter days there simply is not enough light. In the photo where I am sitting with my friends in a restaurant, I have used the camera’s built-in LED lights to give more light but it is obvious that the LEDs are not sufficient.

Video

OK, this is what most of you are interested in so here is my comprehensive tests during winter and summer time:

I really love the video quality of the camera. I have only two complaints: the quality could be better in low-light environments (indoors/winter/cloudy days) and the software image stabilization could work horizontally as well. The image stabilization works quite well vertically already. Small size, different mounts and water-proof by design makes the camera really a joy to use!

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Water-proof and dust-proof by design (no need for case)
  • Small & light-weight
  • Good battery life
  • Great accessories included (different mounts + remote controller)
  • Built-in WiFi
  • 1.5″ color display
  • Vertical (software) image stabilization
  • Remote controller with an impressive range (at least 50 m/55 yards)

Cons:

  • Poor user manual (photos would help greatly)
  • Could be better in low-light environments (winter/cloudy weather)
  • Audio is dampened (some frequencies are cut due to water-proof microphone)
  • No horizontal image stabilization

Where to Buy?

SOOCOO S60 can be bought from various online resellers, including GearBest, AliExpress sellers and Amazon.

GearBest gave me a special promo code “GBS60” so that my readers can get it at a discount price of $92.99!

Summary

SOOCOO S60 action camera is a great alternative to the more expensive GoPro camera lineup and it is water-proof and dust-proof by design and thus does not require an additional case. Different mounts and a watch remote controller are included in the box. Small size and weight, long battery life plus a built-in WiFi make it a perfect choice for an amateur cinematographer.

6 Responses to “Review: SOOCOO S60 Action Camera”

  • hdcvi cameras Says:

    Great review! I liked your nice points for soocoo S60 action camera. Your way of explaining is great, as well easy for readers to understand. Keep up your good work! You can find some more useful information about security camera on http://amcrest.com/hdcvi-security-camera-systems.html

  • Lakis Says:

    hi i bought 6pcs of soocoo s60 and the 3 of this has problem water damage at 5-10meters. DONT USE IT UNDERWATER. i send an email 2 times to soocoo to help me for this problem and nobody answer me

  • seif marghany Says:

    I bought one and at 12 meter floded and all buttons didnt work , all people used this came in diving say the same , dont buy for divingits scam, and company didnt reply

  • Robert Says:

    Great review, but you not test underwatter. I test to 40m underwatter. Under 12m diving all soft button was pressed, you can only record movie or only foto, can not changege. Here is my firs movie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jn7GB3OvL5U

  • arinium Says:

    Thanks guys for the comments. As you can see in my video, I only tested the camera ca. 20 cm (8″) underwater. Many have commented that the camera cannot take the water pressure when submerged more than 5 m (16′) so please consider this if you plan to use it in serious diving.

  • Archi Says:

    Impressive characteristics! I didn’t think that China can produce so intetersting gadget!But, tell me where can i get it? I looked, i guess, everywhere! This link hardware.nu was my last hope! But unfortunatly – nothing! I will be very thankful if you share it with me!

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