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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 

ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119 (My recommendation)
Yi Dashcam (also in black)
   
    MINI CAMERAS
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
    HELMET CAMERA
Sena Prism Tube

My favourite USB battery power Pack

This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

2 x 2.1amp outputs. 8400mAh capacity.

Two digit Led display shows battery level

 

What SD CARD should I buy?

If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)

 

U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)

 

 

SPECIAL DASHCAM CARDS

The SD card in a dashcam is re-written over, more frequently than in other types of cameras. Some manufacturers void their guarantee if an SD card was used in a dashcam. So, no surprise, there are special High Endurance SD cards made just for dashcams...here's some.

 

 

VERY IMPORTANT. These links take you to the product, however Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market Place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the price of a real item against the price of a fake.

To give you an idea of the extent of the fake goods problem. In a 2016 survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold through Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

            

 
« Just a quick comment about comments | Main | MINIDISC »
Saturday
Jul232016

Yi 4K - The best action camera ever?

In July 2015 I bought the Sony 4K action camera, immediately took it on holiday and shot some footage with the intention of using this in a review. When I returned I decided that I couldn't assemble a proper review as I neither had a 4K TV or a way to edit my 4K footage.

A few months later iMovie was updated to include 4K editing abilities and a couple of months later I bought a 4K TV. So now with all these pieces in place I could finally make that review, the only problem was that I felt that technology had already moved on. Whilst the Sony could record in 4K, everything else about the camera seemed old, compared to even the cheapest budget action HD cameras that I'd reviewed since. It was sluggish to operate, had an old over-complicated operating system, ran hot and would eat through a battery in under an hour. I had plenty of other fun things to look at instead, so again it went back on the shelf.

Fast-forward to a couple of months ago when Yi offer to send me a pre-production version of their new 4K action camera. I was a little reluctant to try a 4K action cam review again, but since I was already shooting most of my video reviews in 4K and I'd had a good experience with the original Yi camera, I decided it was time to give it a go, and I'm very glad I did. The Yi 4K action camera shows how quickly technology can advance in a year. Xiaoyi claim the Yi 4K is the 'Best Action Camera Ever' - and I can't disagree. Whilst there may be a contender out there somewhere, I know that I haven't used a more capable action camera. 

In the video below you'll see a demonstration of many of the features of the Yi 4K, presented in 4K, I hope you enjoy it. 

If you want to download sample clips - Click Here (please don't try to stream the clips - these have to be downloaded to be viewed in 4K)

If you want to buy the Yi 4K Action Camera please bear in mind that this is a fully tricked out 4K camera - not a budget model and the prices reflect that. Also it's still early days so there aren't many suppliers, your best bet if you aren't in the UK or US is probably to get one from AliExpress - The affliliated links are below.

Purchasing

You can buy this camera at one of the following links:
  
WORLDWIDE ORDERS:  Aliexpress 
  
The Official Yi Stores on Amazon also stock accessories:
USA http://amzn.to/2aFpwV5
United Kingdom: http://amzn.to/2aYGr7v
Germany: www.amazon.de/gp/shops/A2JAUC835NRI9P
France: www.amazon.fr/gp/shops/A2JAUC835NRI9P
Spain: www.amazon.es/gp/shops/A2JAUC835NRI9P
Italy: www.amazon.it/gp/shops/A2JAUC835NRI9P

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Reader Comments (35)

It does look like a great camera, and the addition of bt microphones makes it more interesting. Hopefully you will be able to use more than one bt mic at the same time.

July 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTobbe

Hi
Does this new Yi have the same focusing problem as the old one, with infinity not quite in focus?
One of my older Yis also produced ziggy zaggies if in-camera image distortion correction was used.
John
http://armadale.org.uk/archaeologyindex.htm
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kite-Aerial-Remote-Sensing/139846896185869
http://armadale.org.uk/snaps.htm

July 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Wells

Download some samples to decide if you are happy with the quality.

July 24, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks for creating the review.

One question, do you know how long the battery last in time lapse mode?

July 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

I don't, but if you want to record for more than a couple of hours, it's probably best to attach a USB power pack.

July 26, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Mat, another nice job.

Considering the image stabilisation issues; did you ever make use of your 3-axis gimbal whilst doing the walk around tests?
That might off-set some of those micro shakes.

Chris

July 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChris L

Another great review.

Aplolgies for the noob question but how is image stabilisation performed in-camera? Is it optical? If not I would have thought the powerful editing software/computer would do a better job.

cheers

July 27, 2016 | Unregistered Commenteral

It's E.I.S. Electronic Image Stabilisation.

July 27, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Mat,

Great review...that's one seriously impressive little camera the menu system looks really slick, I'll bet Go-Pro are a bit worried their Hero 4 Silver looks second rate compared to the Yi 4K with the nearly two hour battery life.

I'd love something like this in a Drift Stealth 2 type format with a small front cross section which would make a great bike camera.

July 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKlippie

Hallo Techmoan,

Have a question about your saying.

What do you mean by this " this is a fully tricked out 4K camera "

Do you mean people simply don't need a 4K, or Yi 2's 4K quality looks like a HD?

Interestingly, my 4K video looks great on my monitor than HD. Wonder if Yi 2 video quality is so bad?

August 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPat Lam

If you are looking for samples to download, files straight from the camera, untouched.

Go to "dashcamtalk" site and the forums, there are links there with files from the camera
that you can download. The camera is as good as the gopro hero 4 black but with
a better price, and EIS which is a must on a modern action camera.

August 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDennisOlof

Tricked out is a colloquialism that means that it has everything on it - all the bells and whistles, the whole nine yards. This is a good thing. You should watch the video - it will tell you more about the camera than the paragraph under it.

August 5, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Mat,

I did watched to the end. English is not my mother-tongue so I probably miss out some joke of yours at the end (cartoon).
In fact it is not a cheap camera from China, when you add up other accessories then it is almost catch up with GoPro. I am not a GoPro fan anyway.
thanks for answer me .

:)

August 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPat Lam

HI

Thanks for this detail review for Yi 4K action camera.

We just want to let you know we have official list our Yi products in amazon european marketplace. Could you please change the link in "where to buy" part? We don't want people to get the chinese version anymore, because that won't work when leaving china.

Here is our official link for yi 4k action camera:

Germany:
https://www.amazon.de/dp/B01JIGYSCM

Italy:
https://www.amazon.it/dp/B01JZ3DXCO

United Kingdom:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01IVQGOOA

Spain:
https://www.amazon.es/dp/B01JZAFDOI

France:
https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B01JZ7IJ2E

also here is our official stores link:

Germany:

www.amazon.de/gp/shops/A2JAUC835NRI9P

France:
www.amazon.fr/gp/shops/A2JAUC835NRI9P

Spain:
www.amazon.es/gp/shops/A2JAUC835NRI9P

United Kingdom:
www.amazon.co.uk/gp/shops/A2JAUC835NRI9P

Italy:
www.amazon.it/gp/shops/A2JAUC835NRI9P

You can find others Yi device from our official store.

Thanks for changing.

Amazon YI Europe Sales Team

August 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterYiEurope

Thank you for another great review.

Does this camera have an option to put the camera into a narrow angle mode like you can with the Git2?

With the Git2 you can narrow the field of vision to 120 degrees.

August 11, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterFisheye

Is that Palma Cathedral in the background at 13:58?

August 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Hi i have just got a DDpai M6+plus dash cam problem is when i put SD Card class 10 32 GB in my Pc windows 7 64 bit and use quick time and windows Medin player i keep getting video play back error also on my i phone 5 i get play back video play error on video that being downloaded to my Ph. Can you help please.

August 17, 2016 | Unregistered Commentertoby

Did you notice the warning message that comes on screen in the app that states only resolutions up to 1080p can be shown on an iPhone?

As far as your PC goes - update your codecs with the K-lite codec pack.

August 17, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi there.

Since you have reviewed both the YI 4K action camera and the GitUp Git2 action camera, which do you think is the better purchase overall? I'm not interested in taking action shots with it (or even filming 4K) or even using it as a dashcam (don't have a car anyway, just a bike). I intend to use it for making animations by using the video out as a large viewfinder via my PC and capturing high resolution frames on the micro SD card to later edit and put together.

I have watched both reviews, but it's still hard to decide as I need something that would work as an all-rounder and allow me to manually set every setting available. The imaging sensor of the YI 4K I've read is meant to be better in low light than the Git2's, but the Git2 has more accessories available including that cool remote (the YI 4K's Bluetooth one seems pretty lackluster compared to it). Another thing that has me worried is how reliable it is. From what I've read about GitUp is that they seem to really listen to their users and update the firmware fairly often.

After reading some Amazon reviews for the YI 4K action camera, I'm worried I might get a lemon, but I don't know if it's worth waiting for them to iron out any bugs still remaining. Could you give me an idea of which is worth the purchase in your eyes? The Git2's price is swaying me (unless the YI 4K's price drops), but I might have buyer's remorse if the sensor in the YI 4K is really a great deal better and it overall has more control over photos. I also plan to change the lens as well and I've read you can do that with both (though it's a bit tricky with the YI 4K, I think). Hope to hear from you when you have time available. :)

P.S: The reason I'm going for an action camera is simply because the image quality is better than a webcam. What's more is that it has no mechanical shutter to wear out compared to a DSLR (it's cheaper too) and it's small enough for my animation sets.

August 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSyreeta

I honestly couldn't make this decision for you. In my opinion they are both great cameras that perform very well. If you really can't decide between them it might just be time to flip a coin...whichever way it lands you can't lose.

August 20, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I've been checking your site frequently to see when you'll come back to doing camera reviews.

I'm glad I caught this - I'm sold.

A couple questions; as a motorcycle action cam - are you keeping it in the waterproof case?
Also, I'm wondering if you're still using the same cardboard/scotch tape, tripod contraption as your breast pocket action cam mount or if you've revised it to a Version 2.0?

August 21, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterWinston

how well does this work as a dashcam? does it auto record once power is connected/car turns on?

does it have a loop feature that overwrites 1st file?

August 23, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLuke

Hi! Does the GOpro mounts fit for the YI 4K? And any gimbal working with it? Thanks for a good review:)

August 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJess

Can you record video and turn off the screen to save battery power?

September 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Hello,

I just returned to Amazon my recently purchased YI 4k action camera. Why you ask ? Because of the video stuttering. I find that all videos, in whatever frame per second settings, are not fluid at all. More surprising is that you'd think you 'd get better fluidity with 50 fps or 100 fps, but this is not the case.
The SD card is not the cause of the problem (I used the recommended Lexar pro 150Mb/s meant for 4k and tried a Sandisk too with same results). The PC on which i played the video is not the cause (core I7, two graphic cards in SLI, 16Gb RAM) of the stuttering.

I have tried various firmware, and also the latest 1.1 without improvement.

I have found other people via google who suffer too from stuttering with this camera. I find very strange that it is not explicitly said as a negative point of this camea in reviews.

Has anyone else experienced this video stutter problem with the YI 4K ?

September 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHugues

It sound like the same problem that people on Windows PCs often report with MP4 or MOV file format cameras....codecs. Once the codecs on your PC are updated with the k-lite codec pack playback is fine. If you still have any files you've recorded, then try updating your codecs with the k-lite codec pack and let everyone here know how you got on.

September 2, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Really cool camera for the price, I might get one from Geekbuying, they have them on promotion from $249.

September 23, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCoolait

Have you considered doing a feature on the worst action camera's available?

I think I've certainly got a contender.... I purchased it not expecting much and quite frankly it delivers less.

4k - Which looks more like 720p badly upscaled......

September 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterIain Mason

Great site and a cool review! I am starting a little blog too which includes well, reviews and some of my photowalks. Mostly with stuff that I am not really an expert like you. I just love the fact that we have this technology now and competition is getting tight therefore making mirrorless cameras, action cameras rather more affordable. I'd love to get one of these and make my own reviews too. You inspired me and will definitely follow you bro! Cheers!

October 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNeypacs Austria

A tip to buyers:

When you buy this, do yourself the favor of instantly updating it to firmware 1.3.3! (or just the latest version available, mine had 1.0.9 despite the recent purchase)
I bought it a few weeks ago, and was about to return it, because it kept loosing footage at random intervals, up to 10 minutes each time when continously recording for the full +2 hours of battery life, and a few times only only 1 of the 2 hours recorded was saved on the card, despite the camera itself showing the correct recording time eg. +/- 2 hours on the display, before i stopped it manually.

Also it splitted files at every 899 MB, whereas the 1.3.3 splits at the usual 3.99GB (FAT32 max filesize) like gopro, and with no footage missing.

Must add that the microsd card used before and after the firmware update is exactly the same, and was already formatted multiple times by the yi 4k itself, and never anywhere else.

November 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBuyer

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