Review Xiaomi Yi Action Camera

Discussion in 'Gadgets and Consumer Electronics' started by JD666, Jan 24, 2016.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    The first Yi action camera that I ordered, turned out to be a dud. I had to ship it back (at my expense) to the drop shipper, for repair (yes, not replacement).

    Playing it safer (and waiting for the camera to be shipped back to me), I ordered a second one locally. Though it was slightly on the higher side (82$ vs 76$), the safeguard was that I could send it back for a replacement in a much shorter time.

    Thankfully, the camera turned out just fine. It was running an older firmware, which gave me trouble when selecting video mode. Once the firmware was updated, it ran just fine.

    First up, photos -


    Left to Right - Camera - Waterproof casing (Xiaomi) - Time lapse timer - Lens cover.


    Compact, sleek, clear lines. I like.


    At 72 gms it is super light as well.


    Standard tripod mounting at the bottom along with an indicator port and the microphone slots.

    The indicator port is a neat touch, present on the back and the bottom of the device. What this does is channel the red light (when recording). So irrespective of which side of the camera is visible to you, you would know whether it is recording or not.


    The Wi-Fi button. The indicator above blinks blue when paring, and is a steady blue when paired.

    Range is good, I tested to about 30 feet easily, could've gone further. You can also program the Wi-Fi (thru the mobile app) to switch on automatically when the camera is switched on.


    The top houses another mic and the shutter/capture button. What this does is does the default action it has been programmed to do on power up. So you can power up on video mode, time lapse mode, burst, image, etc. When you click this, it was record as per the setting applied to the camera.

    The indicator next to it will blink red when recording (video).


    The left side of the camera is bare, no buttons or indicators here.


    The back of the camera has the battery slot and the Micro-SD, HDMI out and Micro USB ports.


    The battery cover has a locking mechanism. Durable and quality stuff. The flap that covers the MicroSD-HDMI-Micro USB ports is a slightly dicey affair. It is held in place by dummy ports on the underside that plug into the HDMI and USB ports. What I do recommend is putting a piece of paper tape or regular tape over it, so that even if you have to open it to access the card or ports, it remains in place, hanging on to the tape.


    Also in the packaging there is a 6-7 inch micro USB to USB cable for charging and media transfer. There is a 1010 mAH (3.7V) battery and a user guide which is in Mandarin.


    Some online listings list a 960 mAH battery as the Xiaomi original, while others list the 1010 mAH. In my opinion, extra mAH cannot be bad now, can they.


    The battery has an interesting plastic flap, that makes removal real easy. It is also quite a snug fit, so that there are no vibrations or jerks due to the battery moving around in the compartment.


    The lens kit is a must, since the lens of the Yi Camera has no protection of any sort. So the moment it gets scratched, your image quality will start suffering. This helps prevent that during transportation and storage.



    The water proof kit is another must have if you are the water sport enthusiast type. And I'll say this now. Get the genuine Xiaomi underwater kit only!

    I ordered a "King Ma" Brand underwater kit, which was marginally cheaper than the original kit (22$ vs 26$). But the quality was telling. The lens was glazed over, so my video was immediately affected and not clear at all. The waterproof buttons were not of good quality and pressing them to activate the buttons on the camera were a pain.

    Made me appreciate the original kit more than I should have.


    The kit comes with just 3 parts, mounting bracket, lock screw and the casing.


    It is made of good quality clear plastic, that I'm sure can handle quite a bit of knocking around.


    The top has a subtle "Yi - See Different" printed on the lock clasp.


    The buttons and seals are quality stuff. This should handle at least 15-20ft. Not recommended for deep diving.


    With the camera installed, things do get a bit bulky, but still remain comfortable.


    Moving on, this was the time-lapse capture mount.


    What this comprises of, are two cylinders connected via a timer spring. You rotate the cylinders to the desired duration/angle. The 60 in the image above refers to 60 minutes or 360 degrees of recording.


    Similarly you have 30-45 and 15 minutes as well.

    You install the bottom part on your tripod here -


    And the top part to your camera -


    Then you simply rotate the two cylinders or the camera to the desired duration of capture.

    It goes thru 6 degrees of rotation every minute, so you have a 90degree sweep in 15 minutes, 180 in 30 and a full 360 in 60 minutes.

    Interesting device. I hope Stuge finds some use for it. This can take any camera upto 1.5 kg weight.

    More on the Yi Camera with image samples and videos.

    I had some issues with noise, had to do a few mods to fix that. More on that later.
    Stuge likes this.

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