It is 2017 and there are dozens of action cameras on the market. There is the big dog in this category, GoPro, and then there are all the other action cameras. However, one camera is rising from the crowd to challenge GoPro- the Yi 4k. There are actually 3 Yi action cameras available (Yi 4k+, Yi 4k, and the Yi Action Camera), but this review focuses on the merits of the middle model, and why this is the one for you!
The Yi 4k shoots video in… you guessed it, 4k. It shoots in 4k at 30fps. Do you need 4k? Yes. You want the option to shoot your video in 4k because 4k is awesome!
If you are shooting video for YouTube, 4k really helps the quality of your content.
Everything is 4k, so going 4k now, will save you from having to trade in your camera later.
There is a rear lcd. If you have been shooting your adventures before the GoPro Hero 4, like me, you know the pain of not knowing if you are framing your shot properly, fiddling with your GoPro app to see realtime what your action camera is seeing, or messing with the very basic menu with only 2 buttons (3 if you count the wifi button).
Having a rear lcd built in (vice having to by a $90 lcd BacPac for the GoPro) will save you money, give you a longer battery life, and provide a seemless monitor to frame your shot.
Shoot longer than before on a single charge. Yi promises two hours on a single charge with their high capacity 1400mAh battery. Its direct competitor, the GoPro Hero, will only get 1.5 hours at best, and if you use an lcd BacPac, you will be lucky to get one hour.
Upgraded technology. When compared to the GoPro Hero4, the processor, sensor, wi-fi module, microphone, battery, and cooling system are all upgrades. All these upgrades give you more battery life, a faster startup, and a more stable video recording capabilities…
Plus it has extra things the GoPro Hero4 Black doesn’t have, like a gyroscope/accelerometer and a low power bluetooth remote (versus the GoPro wifi remote).
One of the most important things about a vlogging camera is the image stabilization. The Yi 4k’s image stabilization outperforms that of its competitors!
The Yi 4k costs less than $200. Sure, the non-4k GoPro Session is priced below the Yi 4k, you won’t get the same video quality or functionality (the Session requires the phone app to adjust settings) as the Yi 4k.
It is half the price of a Hero5 and two-thirds of the price of a Hero4. You definitely get more bang for your buck with the Yi 4k. With the money you will save, you can get two and have multiple angles simultaneously for your motovlogs.
Color options. Three colors to choose from. Way cool to have color options.
YI 4K Action Camera vs. GoPro HERO4 Black
YI 4K Action Camera
GoPro HERO4 Black
|Processor||Ambarella A9SE (Latest Processor)||Ambarella A9 (Old Processor)|
|Sensor||Sony IMX377 12MP 1/2.3″ (Latest Sensor)||Sony IMX117 12MP 1/2.3″ (Old Sensor)|
|Display||Built-in 2.19-inch retina widescreen with touch. 640-by-360 pixels at 330 ppi||None|
|Battery Life||120 minutes 4K/30 video recording *||65 minutes 4K/30 video recording|
|Wi-Fi module||Broadcom BCM43340 dual-band, 802.11a/b/g/n, 2.4GHz/5GHz, above 3MB/s download speed * (High Speed)||Atheros QCA6134X，single-band 802.11b/g/n, 2.4GHz only, around 1.5MB/s download speed * (Low Speed)|
|Battery||3.85V 1400mAh 5.39Wh||3.8V 1160mAh 4.4Wh|
|Gyroscope/Accelerometer||Embedded low power high resolution 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope||None|
|Microphone||Dual microphone||Single microphone|
|Remote Control||Low power Bluetooth remote control||Wi-Fi remote control|
|Power consumption and heat management||State-of-the-art low power 28nm A9SE chip . High performing cooling system enables stable video recording||Old A9 chip with high power consumption. Overheating may cause device to stop recording|
|Power on Speed||3 seconds||5 seconds|
|Timer Mode||Countdown timer 3, 5, 10, and 15s before shooting||None|
|Slow Motion Mode||Supports 1/8, 1/4 and 1/2 speed slow motion directly. No need to edit later||None|
|Lens Distortion Correction (LDC)||Built-in support||None|
|Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS)||Supported||None|
|Lens||7 glass, 155 degree wide-angle||7 glass, 155 degree wide-angle|
|Video Mode||Up to 4K 30fps and 720p 240fps||Up to 4K 30fps and 720p 240fps|
|Photo Mode||Up to 12-megapixel photo||Up to 12-megapixel photo|
|Burst Mode||30 photos per second||30 photos per second|
|Time Lapse Video Mode||Built-in support for 0.5/1/2/5/10/30/60s intervals||Built-in support for 0.5/1/2/5/10/30/60s intervals|
|Loop Recording||Continuous recording||Continuous recording|
|Auto Low Light||Automatic low light detection and frame rate adjustment to ensure good exposure||Automatic low light detection and frame rate adjustment to ensure good exposure|
|Manual Mode||Supports manual setting for shutter/ISO/EV/WB||Supports manual setting for shutter/ISO/EV/WB|