GoPro has been a dominating force when it comes to action cameras, but can this 4K action camera from Yi Technology be the perfect and more affordable alternative?
The Yi 4K action camera offers most of the same features found on the likes of Sony and GoPro action camera but costs less to buy in comparison.
When it comes to the available accessories, though, it lacks in this area. To get started with things like underwater and extreme filming, you will have to get a number accessories to get started. That aside, however, video and picture quality is great and battery life is not far behind in performance either.
Yi 4K Action Camera Design – Clean design with a built-in display
In many ways, the Yi Action Camera is very similar to the Hero 4 and it’s so close in size, you can even use the majority of the accessories available for the Hero 4 with the Yi.
Without its housing, there’s a tripod mount on the bottom so if you’re not cut out for underwater filming, you’re technically good to go straight out of the box.
The screen on the back is very responsive and very clear for viewing its menu as well as looking at what you’re filming. You can also pair it up with the free app available for viewing what you’re filming. This comes in very handy when all you have is one button on the Yi Cam for powering it on/off and starting/stopping the record action.
After using the Yi 4K Action Cam for weeks, you start to feel like you have the Black edition Go Pro Hero 4 in your hand with a screen on it, the only difference is the slightly larger 2.19 inches screen, a higher 330 PPI count, and a bigger battery that will give you extra recording time.
Design-wise, though, Yi has nailed it and went with what current GoPro users would be familiar with. It’s easy to use and you can easily migrate over. One note, though, is that the microSD card area can be tricky getting your card in and out of.
What is it like using the Yi 4K Action Camera?
When it comes to its performance, there’s not much to complain about. You can capture up to 4K at 30fps and 720p at 240fps for slow motion videos, and just like the Hero 4, you can also take 12 MP stills. File transfer is very quick, thanks to its 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios.
I didn’t have a GoPro to compare it with for video quality, but I spent some time watching a lot of clips on YouTube with no colour grading or modifications to see how it is in both low light and normal conditions.
They were very on par with each other; audio quality is good and the only taking from its quality is that I wouldn’t recommend using the electronic stabiliser feature as it doesn’t quite work well like what you see on the Google Pixel XL for example, but better than not having it at all like the Hero 4.
Yi doesn’t give you the option to adjust its 150-degree FOV (Field of View), so you have less to play with there, and you also have less amount of modes available in comparison to the GoPro or Sony’s FDR X3000.
So who is it for and is it worth considering?
All the negatives aside and the overwhelming Hero 4comparisons, the Yi 4K Action Camera is definitely worth the money and makes a great alternative to what’s out there today that costs more. I can’t help but worry that it’s not aimed at the action type, but more of the enthusiasts who might use it every now and then.