Xiaomi Yi Camera is great value and produces some pretty decent image. However many units have focus problems, probably due to poor quality control. It’s not the end of the world and it’s fixable.
Check out our article on how to select an HD camera for racing drones.
This weekend I spent sometime to adjust my xiaomi yi camera lens focus. There are many ways of doing it, one of the popular ways is to plug the camera into a monitor or TV with a HDMI cable, and as you adjust the lens you can see how sharp the image is getting, so you know when to stop.
However for those who don’t have a HDMI cable, here is how I do it. You can take several high resolution pictures, each time with the lens rotated to a different position.
Check out this video for the original off-focus image, everything just look a bit blurry. Also how it looks like when the lens is adjusted.
Fixing Xiaomi Yi Camera Focus issue
I learnt this way from Shay A. on Multicopter International Group, I also found it’s more accurate, as you can really zoom in and check the detail of the image, even if your monitor is low resolution.
Here is how i did it:
- I took the front panel off (you can do it with your nails or anything sharp, but be very careful not to damage the plastic lockers), then I marked the 12:00 of the lens with a pencil (on top of the plastic), so I remember the original position of the lens, and use it as a reference point.
- There is hot glue on the side of the lens to stop it from moving, so you need to remove it first with a knife or something. The hot glues are located at 12:00, 4:00 and 8:00.
- I cut a small piece of cardboard, and a half circle at one end of the card, similar size to the lens, and stick it to the lens.
- i Taped the card to the camera, so it doesn’t move. I marked 14 positions on the cardboard, around the lens, 7 being the middle and original position.
- I then went outside and took one full resolution picture at each of the marked positions.
- I compared all the pics and chose the 4 pictures with best focus.
- Finally I zoomed into all 4 pictures, to compare the detail, and pick one that performed the best.
Here are the first 12 pictures (last 2 positions performed really poor anyway, so not showing them), they are in numeric order, from left to right, top to bottom.
And I found position 4, 5 6, and 7 (default position, bottom right pic) were the best, so I zoomed in a bit more and check.
It’s surprising how bad the focus was with the preset lens position (bottom right), and how much better it became with just a little adjustment. Image produced at Position 5 looks really sharp, so I went for that one, and put the front panel back on.
I didn’t hot glue on the lens, I personally think it should be fine without.
Alternative way of adjusting focus
Thanks for EngineerX who shared a different way of Adjusting focus. You can also use a focus pattern placed at about 5m distance, which can be downloaded from www.ifpv.co.uk/focus_pattern.pdf
Some cameras have really bad audio. The problem is the rubber sleeve that helps secure the microphone in place. It’s very soft so when inserted into the camera frame, it shifts and covers the mic so audio pick up is terrible. You gotta remove 4 screws, remove case and get mic out, cut larger hole (longways from edge to edge) on sleeve and reinsert with larger slit-hole pointing in direction that it’s inserted, not sideways. That way if rubber sleeve still moves it won’t cover the mic opening. This is not a magic fix, the mic/audio is horrible in the Xiaomi, this only improves it if the rubber is covering it.
There’s a picture of the mic fix at end of video www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOQ5BqO54rQ