Amazon Review by Deejay Scharton
267 people found the following review helpful
Almost as good as a hero 4 Black at a better price!
I just received the Yi 4k action cam from my pre-order a few months ago. There was no tracking or now shipping information; it simply showed up. The camera feels well made and the battery is noticeably larger than my hero 4 black edition. The touch screen is very easy to use and very responsive and controls, in general, are easier to use than a hero 4.
Build quality is in the same category as the hero 4 so if you plan on taking it into extreme weather or water, you’ll need a case. I’m still on the fence about image quality.
My first impressions are:
The field of view isn’t as wide as my hero 4 back
Size is almost Identical
Screen on the back of the Yi is beautiful
Audio is good, but the USB audio option on the hero is better
Video quality is similar though Hero 4 has more contrast
I’ll post more as I get a chance to test these two cameras out. The Hero 4 is getting a run for the money with the Yi 4k action camera, but there are a few trade-offs’.
Update 7/13/16: I had a chance to download and setup the Yi action camera app on my Samsung S7. Setup and linking my phone with the camera takes 1/4 of the time it takes on my hero 4 black edition. Once linked, the video playback is clear with very low latency, compared to my hero 4, I would say almost real time (maybe 20-30ms delay) and the controls are very easy to use. Video playback via phone is also very snappy.
The boot time on the Yi 4k action cam is less than 2 seconds which is also much much faster than the Hero 4 black edition. I’ve also tested out the image stabilization at 1080p, and it is very impressive. Handling shake almost completely disappears.
On the downside, there is no HDMI output so if you are looking for that option, you are out of luck. Also, while the price is $249, if you want a case $12, External charger and batteries $18, none cellphone remote $20, you should really consider this a $300 action camera if you want any of the extras that come with many of the gopro lineup.
Update 7/14/16: Updated Firmware to version 1.0.9 from the Yi website. Found an AV out via usb feature added under the advanced tab in video mode. Tested the Yi action camera out with a 128GB memory card and with 4k video recording on I now have the ability to record 4 hours 32 min on a 128GB card. Also here’s the list of possible options for photograph/video recording:
Time lapse Video mode
Slow motion mode
Time Lapse Photo mode
Update 7/17/16: A number of people have asked about grayed out features and file splitting so I thought I’d add this to the review. Basically some extra features like Image Stabilization, auto low light, and adjust lens distortion are only available in certain settings and modes. If you are shooting “4k ultra” all three of those features will be grayed out. Switch over to 1080p and you’ll have all three of them available. This is because the camera is using the extra pixels on the sensor to stabilize, add light, and correct distortion. As for file splitting. Mine splits files at the 4GB mark which is a limit of the file system used on the card (FAT32), this gives you about 7 to 8 min worth of video in each clip at the cameras data rate. If you would like to correct that problem, format your memory cards in the camera and your cards will be formatted to exFAT. Also, note that when the camera creates a file it also creates a smaller version of the file with the label “_thm” that version of the file is used for cell phone wifi viewing and is basically a low-resolution copy of the actual recording. Hope the helps!
7/18/16 Firmware version 1.0.12 out, fixes some memory card issues and adds housing mode that allows camera modes to be changed with a long press.
7/28/16 Firmware Version 1.0.13 is out. Yi has added “Yi color” and “flat” color modes. Very similar to Protune mode on my hero 4 black edition.
8/5/16 Firmware Version 1.1.0 is out. The start-up screen has been updated with a list of recommended MicroSD cards and a sharpness setting has been added.
9/19/16 Firmware version 1.2.3 is out. They’ve added 24fps in 4k and in other modes. Yi color and flat picture style has changed a small amount and 24fps in 4k now has the label “ultra”. “In house mode” has been updated for single button use and image stabilization now works in 2.7k mode. Low light was also added to the menu.