Xiaomi Yi Action Camera - travel camera?

Came to me camera Xiaomi Yi Action Camera. This is my first Chinese action camera ... And indeed the first camera of this format. Prior to this, more and more mirrors / mirrorless / phone / soap box video shot. But there was a need and desire to try exactly the action camera and I have a lot of things advised in the comments. One such camera was Xiaomi Yi from a famous Chinese brand.

They gave me this camera for a test. Honestly, I asked for the SJ5000 +, because of the reviews about it were at first glance better, but they sent Xiaomi. I hope after a while I will have 1-2 more cameras, and I can compare what is better. Looking ahead, I will say that I liked the camera from Xiaomi, and not.

The content of the article

Where can I buy

The camera Xiaomi Yi Action gave me a ChineseBanggood online store. There you can find a description, specifications, price and the ability to order. They usually sell it for $ 80-90, in Moscow they are more expensive.

But you can take a camera and on Aliexpress. There are a million options with it, for example, this one, sold immediately with a set of fasteners, aquabox, well, or a naked camera, you can choose.

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Pros and cons of the camera Xiaomi Yi

Cons and first acquaintance

I'll start from the beginning, with dating. I had to spend a couple of hours before you could start using the camera. This is too long! I have already got used to the fact that I have included everything intuitively and without instructions. I remember bought mirrorless Sony a6000 right before the flight to Poland, and already at the airport,just getting out of the package, began to use. I note, the camera is pretty fancy, but everything is clear. And then a small box with a pair of buttons, and first 2 hours, be kindly spend on the Internet.

Xiaomi Yi Action Camera Review

Xiaomi Yi Action Camera Review

  • When you turn on the camera, for some reason it turns outin photo mode, although this is a video camera! That is, I press and press the shutter button, and the camera takes pictures. Not logical. Moreover, if I switch in video mode and turn off the camera, then it does not remember it and when turned on again it turns out to be in photo mode. Yes, there is a setting in which mode the camera turns on, but how to change it, below.
  • Camera settings are changed only through the application.in the smartphone, which is not in Google Play. The Android version should be from 4.1 and the phone's processor is not Intel (at the expense of the pro, I'm not sure, but I met this info). UPDATE. Google Play already has an app.
  • No screen, even for the menu.
  • Illogical indicators, and I did not immediately understand how everything works.
  • After turning on the camera, the main one lights upindicator light and a signal. However, this does not mean that the camera is ready for operation. We must wait somewhere else for 10-15 seconds. Why was it impossible to signal this moment exactly? UPDATE. After updating the firmware, the camera turns on in a few seconds and the indicators now blink more clearly.
  • The camera gets very hot when you transfer pictures and videos from it.
  • The camera is very sensitive to the cable, I have only earned the third in a row. UPDATE. You just need to flip from a flash drive through a card reader.
  • The cover that covers the USB connector, flash drives and HDMI is quite small and easy to lose. I would make it c fastening to the body.
  • Poor package: camera only, battery, USB cable. In the Travel version is still a monopod.
  • Not every third-party monopod will do becausethe screw hole is very short, it is impossible to tighten the screw to the end and the camera dangles. The solution is to make a rubber washer and push it onto the screw of the monopod. On the other hand, it is convenient that at least the standard thread.
  • In some instances, the focus is knocked down - only sharplynear, a dull sound - as if someone had plugged a microphone hole with a finger (and this is without a box!), and there is a problem of self-discharge in the off state. There is a solution, but they are not trivial, I will tell about them below. Of these problems, I only have a bad sound.

Camera pluses and second impressions

  • Sizes. I decided to write this item, although all the action cameras are very small. Just now the video does not want to shoot something bulky.
  • Video. Not bad removes, I liked the quality. But I have nothing to compare with, only with the Sony a6000 and Canon 7d, with which it is not at all correct to compare. In general, I have enough quality for a blog for sure.
  • Low price. It costs around $ 70-90, plus or minus, green is a bit more expensive. And now, as I said, so in general for $ 70 you can buy.
  • You can use GoPro accessories through the adapter.
  • Working hours. In 1080p mode, 25fps will work for about 1 hour and 50 minutes.

I will add my impressions aftermajor issues have been resolved. Shooting an action camera is very cool! That is a delight! It is really convenient that you can put it in a regular pocket and then at any moment quickly get it. In the outstretched hand, she does not feel at all, it’s not to hold a SLR when your hand gets tired after a few minutes. Conveniently, the buttons are small, you will not accidentally press anywhere, while you twist it and shift it from hand to hand during shooting (so I don’t like to shoot video with a smartphone).

Paint about the quality of photos and videos will not. There are a lot of examples on the net, in every review that in the text, that on youtube, is not difficult to find. As I have already said, I am satisfied with the quality of the video, all I need is a stabilizer, while the movement is shaking. The quality of the photo does not really care, because there is a separate camera and a smartphone. Below are a few photos and a short video.

A photo

Photo without any processing. The article shows the resize, and by clicking on the resize the original will open in the pop-up Lightbox, where you can download and view it. Well, or directly on the download link (each photo refers to the original).

Blurred around the edges

Blurred around the edges

Just the view from the window

Just the view from the window

If you shoot from the floor, then you can clearly see the focus setting.

If you shoot from the floor, then you can clearly see the focus setting.

Against the sun and also from the floor

Against the sun and also from the floor

At night from the floor (blue color from the camera indicator)

At night from the floor (blue color from the camera indicator)

It’s harder to remove from your hands;

It’s harder to remove from your hands;


The first part of the video is shot on camera Xiaomi YiAction, the second part on the Sony a6000 camera. Specially put in a piece of video where I didn’t do anything with sound, so that its volume and quality were clear.

Camera Features Xiaomi Yi

The minuses listed by me can be consideredfeatures. And for one it is just minus-minus, for the other is nonsense, not worth attention. Probably, you have already understood my opinion, so excuse me, I will tell through the prism of my vision. Those who take the camera for the first time, I hope, will be useful, because most of the information from the forums, in the reviews, is omitted.

Camera control

Camera control, as I understand it, is prettythe usual. There are two buttons: the first is On / Off and it is Photo / Video, and the second is a shutter release for a video or photo. The camera turns on with a short press, switches to Photo / Video by a second short press on the same button, turns off with a long one. The shutter button also works as standard, for video mode: one press - Start, second press - Stop; for photo mode: press = photo.

A ring light is located around the camera power button, the color of which indicates the battery charge level: blue 50-100%, purple 15-49%, red 1-14%.

On the front panel on / off and photo / video, on the top start / stop

On the front panel on / off and photo / video, on the top start / stop

But the display modes can be confusing. Near the shutter button is a red LED responsible for the mode. How do I know the algorithm of the indicator? It is this: if the indicator is not lit, then this is the photo mode, if it is lit, then the video mode, if it is continuously flashing, then the video is recording. It seems nothing complicated, but all my life I thought that the burning of a red light bulb meant video recording, so I didn’t immediately understand how everything works. Perhaps in all action cameras it is just such a principle.

Further. Indication of the process of photographing is also a bit confusing at the beginning, I would mean only the direct release of the shutter. A double display was made in the Xiaomi camera: you press the button (squeak), after a while the shutter is released (squeak + blink). "Some time" may be 1-2 seconds.

Camera settings change via smartphone

All camera settings are changed only throughapplications in the smartphone. Including the same ill-fated "Photo" mode when the camera is turned on. I think this is not a very convenient solution. Not only do you have to have the phone always with you, because in general the linking to the phone appears, which is why the camera ceases to be an independent device. And if there is no smartphone, broke, discharged? At least switching video modes would make, just another button with cyclic switching. In addition, I want, for example, to give the camera another person to use, so I have to put the application on his phone. And if there is no internet?

But okay, this is a niggle, although I’m finding for myselfI made it easier for me to have a menu right in my cell. In general, I liked using the application, everything works without problems and the functionality is good. Conveniently, you can put the camera somewhere, connect the phone and see what falls into the frame.

Connect to computer

The following caveat, which I also already listed incons - sensitivity to the quality of the USB cable. And so much so that the native cord from the kit can be thrown out. It's funny, I checked 3 cables and only one liked the camera (one time), and after all they are all workers and through them I easily transfer something to the smartphone. With the others, when connected to the MacBook, the camera either didn’t see it at all, or hung tight so that you had to pull out the battery. Judging by the forum, on Windows everything is the same, but it all depends on the specific instance, someone does not have such problems. That on Windows, that on Mac OX, the camera is defined as a flash drive.

Thus, you need a microSD card reader orSD card reader and microSD to SD adapter. It is this option that I now use. You can also see photos and videos by transferring them to the smartphone through the application.


Firmware can be downloaded from the official website orsame install through the app. But you need to know your serial number, which is located under the battery on the camera. The fact is that the camera has 6 revisions, and depending on them, the firmware is different. If the firmware is from another revision, then you can get a bricked camera. That is why it is better to download on the site only by serial.

Problem solving

I will not dwell in detail, but we are with youlucky, the solution to many problems has already been found, since the camera has been on sale for several months and the craftsmen are not asleep. As I understood, the components in the camera (microphone, lens) are from different manufacturers, and therefore everything depends on the specific instance, someone is lucky, but not someone. It also happens that the focus is shot down, but the sound is good, or the focus is excellent, and the sound is deaf.

  • Bad focus. The most common problem occurs with black lenses. It is necessary to disassemble the camera and twist the lens (instruction one and two). It may not all at once.
  • Quiet sound. In order to improve it a little, you need to disassemble the camera and remove the cloth from the microphone. But the sound in any case should not expect anything special, only if the microphone is completely soldered. Look for video instructions in YouTube.
  • Self-discharge in the off state. It is necessary to disassemble and thrust the dielectric under the board (video instruction).
  • The camera writes video in pieces of 15-30 secondsinterrupted and losing part of the video. The solution is to replace the USB flash drive with a better and faster one. I have this problem, but it appears at the end of the flash drive (when it's almost over), so I scored.


Xiaomi Yi did not make a very good impression.because of its jambs: I went through USB cables to connect to my computer, downloaded different versions of applications from the forum, google about the work of indicators, made a gum for a monopod. In general, I spent the whole evening on all these ordeals, instead of going outside and starting to shoot. In principle, you can get used to almost all the shortcomings (considering the price of the device), they are not critical. Even binding the camera to the smartphone doesn’t bother later, because you don’t need to change the settings often, set the mode (for example, 1080p 30fps) and use it in most cases.

Therefore, the main disadvantage is technicalcamera problems (focus, sound, self-discharge). Yes, they are also sometimes solvable, but it seems to me to climb into the camera, not quite a civilized approach. In my copy there is a bad sound (the focus is in order), but I do not have a screwdriver at hand in China right now and have no time to look for it, so I can’t fix it;

As long as I have a Xiaomi Yi camera, I’m herI'll use it for a while, I just need to understand if I need an ekshn-camera and what I need from it (as long as I know for sure, I need a louder sound, but maybe a level is enough after fixing a bug). Then I can buy myself something like Sony HDR-AS100V, it is also inexpensive, and everything is fine with sound and focus, there is a screen for changing settings, and there is a stabilizer, even if it is electronic.

Which camera to choose for travel?

I still have a question. Are there cameras of similar size, but of better quality? Let more, if only with moisture protection (just from the rain, not for diving), even with a smaller number of mounts, even with an electronic stub, but writing a normal sound and video?

There is a difference, however, what to carry?

There is a difference, however, what to carry?

Many appeal to the fact that from the format of ActionCamera does not need much to demand, because why do you need to record a normal sound when you roll on a snowboard from the mountain, you still put the music on. Why do you need a super-duper video, if it's mostly a selfie, not a professional shooting of landscapes or Timelaps. I agree, that's right. Action camera is needed, first of all, for extreme lovers.

But what about NOT extreme travelers?who do not want to carry a SLR / mirrorless, and who would be more convenient to shoot themselves and everything around with a small box, commenting on everything going on during the trip?

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