Xiaomi Yi Versus SJCAM SJ5000+ Versus GoPro HERO
If you’re wanting to get started in some action videography, but not willing to fork out for a GoPro HERO4 just yet, there are plenty of low end options you can opt for. One of the latest and seemingly most popular choice nowadays is the Xiaomi Yi. The Yi offers above average specifications (Shoots at 1080p at 60fps, Still Image Resolution of 16mp) at an incredibly low price (Under RM450), making it one of the cheapest action cameras in its class.
This week, we decided to pit it against its closest competitors – The GoPro HERO and the SJCAM SJ5000+. Both have decent specs and priced at about the RM800 and RM650 mark respectively. We rigged all three cameras to a car and drove it out around Putrajaya by day and KL by night. Interested to see our results? Watch the video and read ahead.
To recap what we found; the default capture on the SJ5000+ was quite highly saturated and had higher contrast than the other two. We hesitate to call this a plus or minus for the camera because this is a setting you can tweak on the SJCAM to get the kind of capture that you want. Out of the box, both the HERO and the YI filmed more neutral footage.
In the night time footage the low resolution of the HERO started to show losing details in the contrast of far objects in the background, but it did do a great job of capturing light and actually gave color and value that was truer to what could be seen with the naked eye that night.
The Yi in all cases had a blurriness issue on the right side of the image that can be seen upon close scrutiny of the footage. Seeing as we had identical results testing a second unit of Yi, we believe this to be a manufacturing defect at Xiaomi’s assembly line.
Lastly, international localization of the Yi’s app needs to happen before they can market it to the rest of the world. The inner workings of the app can be a little bit cryptic. There is also one eccentricity with the way that the Yi writes 60fps footage that is extremely aggravating and that is it will write file order sequences iterated in the middle of the filename instead of the end. Because the Yi dumps its cache into many smaller files when filming longer videos this can be infuriating when it comes to editing.
We also nabbed some stills using the maximum resolutions of each camera (Xiaomi - 16mp, SJCAM - 16mp, GoPro - 5mp)
Xiaomi Yi #1
SJCAM SJ5000+ #1
GoPro HERO #1
Xiaomi Yi #2
SJCAM SJ5000+ #2
GoPro HERO #2
Xiaomi Yi #3
SJCAM SJ5000+ #3
GoPro HERO #3
While the HERO suffers a little due to only having a 5mp sensor again, it does a good job capturing true color and value, even at night.
In comparison #2, you can really see what we mean by the blurriness of the right side of the image. As you can see here in this image roll.
All in all, the Yi is a strong showing from Xiaomi for their newest product line. The disruptive phone giant definitely has a thing going but they are going to need to work out the quirks in software and fix the lens issue if they want to compete. The fact that the Yi pairs as an “SJ5000+” in the app is very curious indeed, but we’ll leave that speculation to you dear reader!
UPDATE (06/07/2015) : Our Latest batch of Xiaoyi Xiaomi Yi does not have lens issues causing blur images. That's an indication that Xiaomi has fixed the lens issue of the Yi!
Also check out our previous blog posts for a detailed comparison on the Yi vs GoPro vs HERO specifications :