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Xiaoyi Yi Action Camera with Wi-Fi, Green - International Version
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- The Xiaomi Yi Action Camera is Incredibly Light and Portable Weighing in at 2.64oz
- Records Video 1080p (60fps), 1080p (48fps), 1080p (30fps), 1080p (24fps), 960p (60fps), 960p (48fps), 720p (120fps), 720p (60fps), 720p (48fps), and 480p (240fps)
- Its built in WIFI allows you to Transfer your Photo and Video files to your Android Phone from a distance of up to 100m
- Its Four Operating Modes Include; Photo / Time-lapse photo / Timed photo / Timed Video, Making this Action Camera even more Fun and Versatile
- Its LED Battery Status Indicator Assures you Avoid the Devastating Disappointment of an Unexpected Drained Battery. Please refer the User Manual before use.
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The Xiaomi Yi action camera weighs just 2.64oz. Records Video 1080 (60fps), 1080p (48fps), 1080p (30fps), 1080p (24fps). 960P (60fps), 960P (48fps) 720P (120fps), 720P(60fps), 720P(48fps) and 480P (240fps). It records to a micro SD card (Sold Separately). It's built in WIFI can connect to your Android Phone from up to 100m away which will allow you to easily and conveniently transfer Photos and Videos to your Phone. Four operating modes include; Photo / Time-lapse photo / Timed photo / Timed Video. LED battery status indicator assures you avoid the disappointment of an unexpected drained battery.
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Records videos at up to 1080p 60fps and captures photos up to 16MP. There is an app that you can download to connect to the camera to change settings or remotely photograph/record. Some parts of the app are in Chinese and some are in English. It does not appear to be water-proof without a separate water-proof case. There doesn't seem to be a geo-tag feature. The unit weighs 68.8g with battery installed. I tried setting it on my car's dash without any mounts to try it out as dash cam, here are my samples: [Daytime: https://youtu.be/vMXNfz2p8Wk ][Nighttime: https://youtu.be/PaCtR-RmHnE ]
List of available video resolutions:
1920x1080 60P 16:9
1920x1080 30P 16:9
1920x1080 48P 16:9
1920x1080 24P 16:9
1920x960 60P 16:9
1920x960 48P 16:9
1920x720 60P 16:9
1920x720 48P 16:9
1920x720 120P 16:9
848x480 240P 16:9
List of available photo resolutions:
16M (4608x3456 4:3)
13M (4128x3096 4:3)
8M (3264x2448 4:3)
5M (2560x1920 4:3)
Default wide angle on landscape view at middle: 122°
Recified angle on landscape view at middle: 95°
- Dynamic range is amazingly good
- Very good in low light conditions, not much noise (aka not grainy)
- 1080p 60fp is super smooth
- Angle is very wide
- Has screw mount at bottom of unit
- Can use as dashcam, but manual on/off
- Easy to use
- Good price
- Takes about 10 seconds to boot up
- Takes 10-15 seconds to turn on wifi
- Smartphone will disconnect from other networks when connected to camera via wifi
- Downloading images/videos to smartphone over wifi isn't fast enough (800-1200 KB/S)
- Gets very hot when recording
- Manual is only in Chinese
- Still very hard to read license plates if using as dashcam
- Battery doesn't seem to last that long (advertised to be able to record for 85 minutes at 1080p 30fps)
- Indicator lights are impossible to see in daylight, so you might not know when you're recording.
I tried recording 1080p 60fps continuously today. It ran pretty hot and the battery life lasted 67 minutes. The camera automatically split the video into 9-12 minutes segments. In total, it saved 11.4GB. Later, I tried it at 1080p 30fps; the battery lasted 99 minutes, did not get hot, saved 8.8GB, and I found out that it splits the files to 1.85GB segments.
This camera is just great. I would like to give it 4.5 stars due to the quality of the microphone, but since I can't, I'll round up to 5. I've had this camera for a little more than a month now. To start, this camera is less than 1/2 the cost of the cheapest GoPro on the market right now, and it's less than 1/3 the cost of the GoPro with similar functions and capabilities. Now, granted, out of the box, it's close in quality to the GoPro, but no cigar. Unlocking this camera's full potential takes a little bit of work, but saving $225 is well worth the extra effort. To start, let's go over some pros and cons...
- The absolute cheapest worthwhile camera on the market.
- Easy to use.
- Firmware update was a breeze (just follow the directions listed on their website and you shouldn't have any problems).
- Weighs very little compared to similar sized cameras (this is a nice benefit when the camera is being suction cupped to a race car that pulls a lot of Gs in the corners).
- WiFi functionality works without a hitch using the latest firmware (so long as you don't have a radar sensor that runs on the same frequency hooked up to the alarm system in your car because you drive a convertible... long story).
- Built in tripod mount screw hole.
- Excellent sensor and aperture for the price.
- Still picture and time-lapse capabilities.
- UHS Class 3 Micro SD speed capability.
- USB 2.0 and Micro HDMI 2.0 ports for charging, file transfer, and video output.
- Video/photo quality out of the box leaves you a bit wanting.
- Out of the box low light capabilities are pretty horrible.
- Out of the box sound quality is so-so.
- Battery life at 1080p60 or above is absolutely horrendous. I'm talking maybe an hour of usable battery time at 1080p60 and maybe 40 - 45 minutes at 2Kp30 (I VERY highly recommend getting a couple of extra batteries and an external charger; I purchased the Newmowa 1200mAh Rechargeable Battery (2-Pack) and Dual USB Charger for Xiaomi Yi Action Camera（Only Compatible with International Edition）and am very happy with it).
- Does not come with case or mounts (I purchased the Xiaomi Yi Action Camera Accessories Kit: Kupton Xiaoyi Waterproof Housing Case + Head Strap Mount + Chest Harness + Car Suction Cup+ Bike Handlebar Mount + Floating Hand Grip Sport Camera Starter Kit and it works great; it's also a whole heck of a lot cheaper than a comparable GoPro case/mount kit).
Now, with all that being said, there are ways to eliminate all the cons with exception to the battery life (if anything, the suggestions I'm about to make will only cause the battery to drain even faster) and partially the low light video quality (it just seems like, now matter what I try, I can't get the low light recording up to GoPro standards; I just don't think the sensor can fully deal with not having a lot of light).
The first thing you're going to want to do once you get this camera is update the firmware. The latest firmware now supports 2K recording at 30 fps. It also improves some issues with the WiFi connectivity when using the latest Android software (Marshmallow). Now, let's get on with making this camera the best action camera you can buy.
First and foremost, custom scripts. This capability alone makes this camera stupidly, awesomely, amazing. By using custom scripts we can change the ISO, shutter speed, noise reduction, sharpening, frame rate, bit rate, etc. For example, by fixing the ISO at around 100, either greatly reducing, or completely turning off, noise reduction, increasing bit rate, and a few other more technical details I'm less familiar with, we can profoundly improve still image and video quality. Probably the most popular and best balanced scripts for quality without sacrificing performance can be found here:
I am running the YIMAX-Movie for 1.2.13 Firmware 1080p60 @ 35 Mbps script. I have slightly modified it to run 50 Mbps at the moment, but will most likely be turning it down to 40 - 45 Mbps to reduce heat output, or I may just resort to sticking the camera in a lunch box full of ice between recordings (I'll put this warning here, since it pertains mostly to the heat build up; custom scripts are designed to push the camera beyond its normal capabilities, much like overclocking a processor in a computer; therefore, there is a chance that running an extreme script can push the camera too far and either cause it to brick or physically fail altogether; in this case, the standard warranty will not cover this failure!!! Also, the higher the bit rate, the greater the drain on the battery!!!).
Now, let's move on to the final three things you can do to bring the camera fully up to GoPro levels (with exception to low light situations).
- Remove the felt tape covering the microphone. Why they placed the tape over the microphone, I don't know, but it badly muffles all sounds the camera picks up. Removing the tape eliminates the muffling and allows much more sound to be picked up. I will say though, that even with the tape removed, the sound quality is still pretty bad. The microphone was definitely not a priority in this camera, but it works well enough to hear conversations, the lyrics of music, and the exhaust note of a car. With the tape, I'd give the mic 1 out of 5 stars. Without the tape, I'd say it's a 3 - 3.5 out of 5.
- Place tape over the WiFi antenna contact extension in the front cover. I'll let the video I post bellow explain this one. Basically, it seems like they put a metal plate in the front cover to help boost WiFi range. The draw back is that the antenna contact with this plate causes a strange ticking noise in videos.
- Fix the focus of the lens. Again, I'll let the video link below explain how to do this. You need to do this to correctly focus the lens on far objects if you will be using the camera to record anything that is greater than three feet away from you. My assumption is that Xiaomi focused this camera at the factory with selfie sticks in mind.
Here is the link to the video demonstrating how to perform these fixes: https://youtu.be/fL5ogP8qdTc
Once all this is done, I have no doubt you will be extremely happy with your purchase. I know I was impressed with the camera out of the box simply because the camera is so cheap, comparatively. After looking around on forums for a little while, I found that the camera can be greatly improved with about 30 minutes worth of work. Now, I'm giddy with how good the camera is (yes, giddy).
As of the writing of this review, I have not finished uploading a video example with all of these fixes done, but as soon as the upload is finished, I will link it. The video is an in-car footage test (basically, this video is dash cam footage), as I will be using this camera primarily to record autocross runs.