Sunco S064 : Action on a Budget

 

s¢+s¦é-1

On first glance, the Sunco S064 looks promising. Conchita Fernandes puts it to the test to find out if its stands a chance, if pitted against its contenders.

When you think about action cameras, no company rings a bell as loud as the GoPro. They have set the standards so high that it has become an uphill task for camera brands to match its finesse. But, since its high-end version retails as much as an entry-level DSLR, it opens up opportunities for companies like Sunco to offer users the latest technology at an affordable price, which in this case was just Rs. 5990.

Features
On paper, the Sunco S064 sounds impressive. The camera features a 16MP camera with a 170° wide angle lens, which gives an angle of view equivalent to about 16mm, but is not as wide as the GoPro. You can set it on a Timed (3 sec-20 sec) mode, the Auto mode—where you can shoot continuous images at every 3/10/15/20/30 sec intervals, and the DramaShot mode, which shoots a burst of pictures at 3fps, 5fps and 10fps. It allows 4k video recording at 30fps too, along with a Time Lapse, Loop Recording and Slow Motion video recording features. The WiFi connectivity, which can be accessed by downloading the XDV app on your smartphone, allows for real time viewing and shooting of photos and videos, via the app’s interface.The camera comes in a weathersealed case, which can be submerged at up to 30m underwater. At first, the case seemed quite sturdy. But after repeated usage, the screw in the plastic clasp on top of the casing became lose. The buttons on the casing were not effective as well, as the spring mechanism would often be jammed. Therefore, for the most part, I ended up using the camera without the casing, except for when it rained. The device also comes with a bunch of mounts that can be fixed on to helmets or clipped on to other objects. In my case, I mounted the camera on a helmet and set off on a bike. The adhesive on the mount was extremely sturdy, except for the part where after its removal, it left a sticky residue on the surface. It would have also been nice if the adhesive strips were curved, to make for better application on rounded surfaces.

Handling
The Sunco S064 features a textured exterior and a 2-inch LCD panel on the back, which wasn’t the best on bright sunny days. There are three other buttons on the camera body, two on the right side and one on top, to help you navigate through the different modes and menu settings. Here too, the buttons were flimsy, especially the top one designed to release the camera’s shutter. There were times when I had to repeatedly press it, which most often led to missing the moment. In addition to this, the camera takes quite a bit of time to start, approximately 7–8 sec (I timed it), which is not very ideal when you want to shoot something immediately.

Performance
The image quality is acceptable in good lighting, that is, until you zoom into the details. At 100 per cent, you will notice heavy noise reduction, to an extent where the details appear visibly murky. In low light, the photographs came out quite blurry, unless the subject was absolutely still. Aside from this, the battery life of the camera was average. I would lose one bar of battery after shooting intermittently for an hour, while video battery would get over much faster, much like the GoPro.

I shot this photograph on the Auto mode at a 3 sec interval. There were times when it would shoot only after 6sec intervals, which was puzzling and irritating.

I shot this photograph on the Auto mode at a 3 sec interval. There were times when it would shoot only after 6sec intervals, which was puzzling and irritating.

Conclusion
Despite its shortcomings, the Sunco S064 offers quite a bit at the price point it’s available for… 4k video recording, control over exposure compensation and White Balance, a bunch of accessories, and WiFi connectivity. It would have been an added bonus, had the image quality been good without the extreme noise reduction, which I suppose is too much to expect for in its price range. But even Rs. 5995 doesn’t excuse the quality of the casing and the camera buttons. Pressing the shutter button successfully is one of the most basic requirements of a camera, which no user should struggle with. Also, considering that it’s an action camera, I want to be assured that the casing will not fall apart after using it only a handful of times.

FINAL RATINGS
Features
4K video at 30fps,720p slow motion video, Time lapse, 16MP stills
25/30
Performance
Average image quality, poor in low light
23/30
Build Quality
Flimsy camera exterior and casing, waterproof to up to 30m
14/20
Ergonomics
Compact and lightweight
13/15
Warranty & Support
One year warranty, wide service network  
3/5
MRP Rs 5990
OVERALL 78%
VALUE FOR MONEY 3/5
Who should buy it? Adventurists looking to buy their first action camera, without burning a hole in their pocket.
Why? The camera comes bundled with accessories, and also offers different video recording modes like 4k, Time Lapse and Slow Motion.
Tags: Review, Conchita Fernandes, compact camera, weathersealed, action camera, Technology, September 2016, sunco s064