Looking for an affordable 4k action camera? The Yi 4k may be just what you’re looking for. This camera is packed with features, and it’s one of the most affordable 4k cameras on the market. Read our Yi 4k action camera to find out more.
Table of Contents
Yi 4K Action Camera Review
- Detailed 4K video at 30fps, for 2 hours
- Smooth 1080p at 120fps
- Weighs just 94g
- GoPro has a larger touchscreen
- 155deg wide-angle lens
- No voice-activated controls, GPS, or voice activation
- It is easy to accidentally switch on or off.
- Raw format is not possible to shoot stills
- Image stabilization could be improved
- Additional housing is required to make it waterproof
What is the Yi 4K Action Camera?
GoPro is the leader in action cameras. GoPro’s cameras have become so popular that the name “GoPro” could be used as a generic term. There are many alternatives that can give GoPro’s Hero cameras serious competition.
Yi 4K is one such model. It is a close competitor to GoPro Hero4 Black on paper, but in some areas, it even surpasses it. With the GoPro Hero5 Black‘s launch, however, things have changed.
The Yi 4K is still a great buy, regardless of its price. The feature-packed camera is available for as low as PS250, with imports from the Far East even lower. You can get it for as low as PS200. This is a significant discount from GoPro.
Although it can’t steal GoPro’s crown for the best action camera, it is still worth considering if you are looking for an action cam that packs a lot of features for a small price.
- 4K video capture at 30fps
- Touchscreen 2.19 inches
- 12MP still images
The Yi 4K offers a great all-rounder with a touchscreen interface, one-button controls, WiFi Direct to connect to a Yi Action app, and many video resolution options up to 4K at 30fps (for 60 minutes continuously),
Fixed lenses offer a large field of view and an aperture speed of f/2.8. You can also record video via the app, cue up 4K slow-motion sequences and time-lapses, and loop-record for a specific time. Although there are many manual adjustment options, it is easier to just stick with the default settings.
The Yi 4K Action Camera, while it is focused on GoPro, is slightly older than the Hero5 Black. This effort is to match the specifications of the Hero4 Black. It may be a bit behind the times in some areas, but we are referring to features you might not want (voice control, step forward).
Depending on your preference, the YI 4K has many advantages over the GoPro Hero5: it has a wider touchscreen of 2.19 inches (that’s 330 pixels/inch), it weighs in at 95g, and is 22g lighter than the GoPro Hero5, its battery lasts longer, and it’s also cheaper.
Design & Accessory
- You have the choice of black, white, or rose gold colors
- Large battery
- It is not waterproof
The matchbox-sized Yi 4K Action Camera looks great in any of three colors: matte black, white, or rose gold. The camera is made of tough plastic. The lens is slightly protruding from the front of your camera on the right-hand side. The lid to access the battery compartment is located on the bottom. It houses a 1400mAh lithium-ion 4.4V power pack. This compares well with the 1220mAh in the GoPro Hero5.
It also has a microSD card slot. YI recommends a variety of U3-class microSD cards. However, Class 10 and U1 cards are equally effective in practice. A 64GB card will provide you with approximately 80 minutes of 4K recording.
Onscreen menus are easy to navigate, thanks to the extra space provided by the 2.19-inch display. It is also very sharp. It displays information about the camera’s shooting mode – video, photos, and an indicator of the resolution. There is also an icon to indicate the battery life. The button is located at the top of the device, between two microphones. It activates or deactivates recording and switches on the YI 4K Action Cam.
Accessory online seems to be easy. Protect your YI 4K by purchasing a bundle of leather cover, lens cap cover, and lens cap. The cost is $19.99/PS16.99. However, the lens cover is not necessary. The native casing is strong enough.
Semi-pro users may want to look at the YI Handheld Gimbal ($280/PS225), which offers a three-axis pan/tilt/roll through 320°. Pet owners might be interested in the YI Pet Mount, which costs US$33.99. (Ali Express shows a YI 4K attached to a cat.
Connectivity and Software
The micro-USB port is hidden behind a flap at the side that charges the battery. The Hero4 Black does not have the ability to output to a screen or connect to an external microphone. This is a major omission for anyone who wants better audio quality from their recordings. Storage is done using a microSD slot.
Dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth are supported for optional remote controls. The WiFi pairing of the Yi Action app and the camera was the best I have ever experienced with an action camera. The app and camera paired quickly and flawlessly, and I had no problems with transferring images or videos to my smartphone.
Although there are basic photo-editing and video editing capabilities, annoyingly, watermarks are added to the final result. The app also has a social media component that mimics Instagram. However, I didn’t feel the need to use it and instead chose to export to actual Instagram.
You can use the app to view live images. There is minimal delay between what you see and what’s being captured from the sensor. Remote settings can be changed via the app.
Early reviews suggested that there were some odd English or leftover Chinese features in the app. However, the version I tried seemed to have fixed these issues. The app is extremely user-friendly and proved to be one of the Yi 4K Action Cam’s most powerful features.
It’s Easy To Use
The YI 4K Action Camera looks neat and small enough to comfortably fit in your palm. The lens is slightly protruding from the front, so it may not fit into a tight trouser pocket. However, looser pockets such as jacket pockets should work just fine.
It has a simple rectangular design, and there is only one button on the YI 4K. This button is located on the top of the camera and can be used to turn on the camera as well as to record video or take photos.
The YI 4K Action Camera has a 2.19-inch screen. It is made of toughened Gorilla Glass and is resistant to scratches. It has a retina display and can be viewed from 160 degrees. You can also touch the screen to make any adjustments to settings.
Hold down the power button for a few seconds to turn on the YI 4K. The rear screen should then come alive. The display is clean and clear, with a lot of information. It is possible to see how many photos or videos are stored on your memory card and how many you have left. The status of your battery and WiFi connection can be viewed.
You’ll find the items that you can touch at the bottom of your screen. You can view all images and videos that you have already recorded by clicking the playback icon. You can also find a settings icon, which looks like a cog and allows you to modify the settings for the mode you are currently in. The photo mode is located in the middle of this bottom. You can tap this button to switch between the various options.
You’ll find Photo and Timer for stills photography, as well as Video, Time Lapse Video, and Slow Motion for slow motion, loop, and photo modes for video recording. You can switch between different photo modes by swiping right or left from your main screen. While this is very useful, it can be quite easy to forget and switch between different photo modes while holding the camera. Before you shoot a photo or video, it’s worth checking that you are in the right mode.
A few options will be available by swiping down from the top of the main screen. You can toggle WiFi on or off, search for a Bluetooth remote control, lock the camera, and turn it off.
You have many options in the Photo mode. This is an action camera. Clicking the cog icon will allow you to change the resolution (maximum 12MP), shutter speed (from auto to lengths of 2 seconds to 30 seconds), metering, white balance, ISO (Auto 100-800 is available), exposure compensation, and add a timestamp.
You can also switch on or off lens distortion, adjust WiFi settings, format the memory card, determine whether the camera will return to the same shooting mode after powering it up, brightness, volume, and other options, such as setting the date and/or time. It’s an easy menu to learn and is very straightforward. It’s also responsive to tapping the screen, making it easy to adjust any setting that you require.
You have similar options when you are in Video mode. You can adjust the resolution, frame rate, metering mode, and white balance. However, it is not possible to adjust the lens distortion when shooting video.
The YI 4K Action Camera has a door at the base that you must slide open to access the battery and memory card slot. MicroSD cards can be used with the camera. It is easy to open the battery door, which can make it a little fragile.
The battery and the memory card are well held together, so you don’t have to worry about anything falling out. However, it is still annoying. The YI is not waterproof right out of the box. If you wish to use it underwater, you will need to attach a waterproof case.
The waterproof casing is available from YI, or third-party cases can be purchased if you prefer. You will need to remove the camera from the casing whenever you wish to change a setting. This can be a problem if the camera is already submerged when you need to change the setting. You can switch between video and photo mode by using the shutter release button.
Mounts to use the YI 4K Action Camera without a helmet or handlebars are not included in the box. This camera isn’t a great value, but you won’t get any accessories. You can use compatible mounts with the standard tripod thread found at the bottom of your camera.
A small LED light is located on the front of the YI 4K. It is connected to another part of the shutter key. These lights glow in different colors depending upon what the camera is doing.
It is easy, quick, and reliable to connect the YI 4K Action Camera with WiFi. You can download a free app that allows you to control your camera remotely or transfer images and videos to your phone for sharing on social media. This simple app is easy to use and can be very helpful if you need it to take photos from far away or from an awkward angle.
The YI 4K Action Camera’s operating speed is very fast. It is easy to switch between different modes and scroll through images in playback. The battery life is impressive at 2 hours of recording and 8 hours standby. This should provide enough time to capture several short clips per day.
The image quality of the YI 4K Action Camera is excellent, considering that it’s cheaper than the Go Pro. Smooth and fluid 4K video can be captured at 30fps. You can shoot at 1080p at 120fps if you are prepared. If you are willing to shoot at 720p at 240fps, you can also have slow motion at 240fps.
Although it isn’t quite as good as the GoPro Hero4, the difference in results is barely noticeable when you compare videos side-by-side. In isolation, it’s unlikely that you would be able to tell much. The action camera is a great choice for holiday photographers who love the idea of it.
It can take stills, even though it isn’t advertised as such. The quality of the images is excellent. Although you may not use it as your main camera in bright light, you can still get beautiful shots that show good depth of color and are well-exposed. For landscape shots, you might want to make use of the wide angle. The camera does not perform well in low light. However, it isn’t terrible, so you could still take it out for this purpose if you wanted.
The Yi 4K is one of the best quality video cameras on the market. It records in 4K resolution, and the image quality is excellent. The camera is also very small and easy to use, making it perfect for taking on trips or recording action sports.
The Yi 4K Action Camera is a great choice for anyone looking for an affordable and high-quality camera. This camera is perfect for capturing action shots and can easily be attached to helmets or other gear. The Yi 4K has many great features, including a 4K resolution, a touchscreen display, and a built-in WiFi connection.
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