After setting its sights on the world leading consumer drone manufacturer DJI with an 4K drone for the masses of their own, Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi are gunning for upping the ante in the action camera market, currently occupied by a range of GoPro cameras, by updating their YI action camera, which is now grown from a basic GoPro Hero competitor to a full-blown 4K action camera. The Xiaomi YI 4K action camera is clearly a GoPro Hero4 Black competitor, but it also has a few unique features up its sleeve, that the Hero4 and Hero Session don’t have.
The new Yi 4K Action camera is able to record 4K (UHD) up to 30fps, features an advanced Ambarella A9SE processor, a Sony IMX377 12MP 1/2.3-inch sensor, a 155 degree angle lens a familiar design to what a GoPro looks like and some sweet slow-mo options – such as 1080p/120fps and 720p/240fps among others.
Check out this first impressions video on the new YI 4K action camera II by GeekBuying:
However, the most significant upgrades in this new model are the built-in Lens Distortion Correction and Electronic Image Stabilisation. The battery life when shooting in 4K is also doubled compared to what a GoPro Hero4 Black can deliver – from 65 minutes to a full 120 minutes (or 2 hours on a single charge of the internal 1400 mAh battery)! Impressive indeed.
YI 4K Action Camera vs. GoPro Hero4 Black Image Stabilisation Test:
In addition, the YI 4K action camera has a built-in 2.19-inch 640 x 360 touchscreen with 330ppi, which is comparable to the one on the GoPro Hero4 Silver. Of course, timelapse modes and 12MP stills capture from 4K are also available.
Unlike the previous model, the new YI 4K will also be sold outside of the China and Asian market, directly by Xiaomi in three colour options – black, white and pink (or Apple Rose Gold-like); you can now pre-order price of $249 (exactly half the price of the GoPro Hero4 Black at the moment) with shipping slated for late June/July later this summer.
It will be interesting to see if Xiaomi, as ambitious as they are, can make a dent in the gigantic footprint of GoPro action cameras. Let’s not forget, GoPro, despite currently not enjoying the best financial health recently, still have a fantastic brand name, recognition, a devout loyal customer base and a wide network of third party accessories manufacturers cranking out all sorts of accessories for adventure junkies. Summer 2016 is shaping up to be a lot of fun.
Once I find more interesting bits and news about this new camera, I’d be sure to share with you guys.