Review – Xiaomi Yi 2 4K HD Action Camera

We all love the value of the original Xiaomi Yi camera for our quadcopters flying: robustness, good quality footag, and affordability. So how is this new version of Xiaomi Yi 4K that is able to capture 4K videos?

First Impression

I bought the Xiaomi Yi II camera from Banggood for $211. it came in a very simple package with minimal accessories, only a battery, a manual and an USB cable.

Xiaomi-yi-4k camera compare old gopro unbox parts Xiaomi-yi-4k camera compare old gopro camera lense

There is only 1 physical button – the shutter button. It also the power button – short press to turn the camera on, short press again to start/stop filming, long press will turn the camera off.

Xiaomi-yi-4k camera review Xiaomi-yi-4k camera back screen

The rest of the operations are done on a nice colour touch screen on the back. You can see what you are filming with very little delay. And the touch screen operation is very smooth too.

Xiaomi-yi-4k camera compare old gopro back lcd screen on

There is an “Ultra” mode to every resolution. At first I thought it’s the different FOV, like “Superview” in GoPro, but I was wrong. The difference being in the footage bit rate. With 1080p Ultra your footage are recorded at 40MBps, without (1080p) it’s 26MBps. Bitrate at 4K Ultra is 60MBps.

On the bottom of the camera there is a tripod mounting hole, just like the older version of the Xiaomi Yi. The USB port has a door that is attached by a string. I love this new feature as in the old version, I often lost the door when I crash my drone.

Xiaomi-yi-4k camera tripod mount hole Xiaomi-yi-4k camera usb connector

The SD card slot has been moved into the battery compartment. It can be good and bad. Good thing is your SD card is safely sitting inside the camera, with the old version, my SD card often get ejected with the door in a crash. The bad news is it takes slightly longer and more effort to remove the SD card.

Xiaomi-yi-4k camera compare old gopro top Xiaomi-yi-4k camera compare old gopro front

The new Xiaomi Yi is slightly longer than the original Yi and GoPro. But the height and thickness are about the same.

Xiaomi-yi-4k camera compare old gopro bottom

The camera with battery weights about 90g.

More technical Spec

Shooting resolution and frame rate:

  • 4K (3840×2160) @ 25 FPS
  • 4K Ultra (3840×2160) @ 25 FPS
  • 2.5K (2560×1920) @ 25 FPS
  • 1440 (1920×1440) @ 25 FPS / 50 FPS
  • 1080 (1920×1080) @ 25 FPS / 50 FPS / 100 FPS
  • 1080 Ultra (1920×1080) @ 25 FPS / 50 FPS / 100 FPS
  • 960 (1280×960) @ 50 FPS / 100 FPS
  • 720 (1280×720) @ 200 FPS
  • 720 Ultra (1280×720) @ 50 FPS / 100 FPS
  • 480 (848×480) @ 200 FPS

Hardware:

  • Sensor: Sony 12Mega Pixel CMOS
  • Input Power: 5V – 1A
  • FOV: F2.8 – 155 degree

App and firmware

There is an mobile phone app available for the camera, which you can use to control the camera, replay footage/photos, and update firmware.

Officially available accessories

Chinese Only?

It feels like the camera is designed for the Chinese users. The manual is written completely in Chinese. I couldn’t even figure out how to switch language on the camera, it seems like the camera can only operation in Chinese menu? It would be really annoying if you don’t know Chinese.

Video Quality Comparing to the old Xiaomi Yi Camera

The order of the comparison images are:

  • Xiaomi Yi @ 1080p (old)
  • Xiaomi Yi 4K @ 1080p
  • Xiaomi Yi 4K @ 4K

Larger FOV!

On the original Xiaomi Yi (older version), I installed the Superview script for better looking videos. But even with that the Yi 4K appears to have larger FOV and less fish eye effect.

Sharpness is also better. Unlike the previous version, the lens were mostly out of focus, in the new camera this is no longer a problem.

However the colour of the image appears to be darker (higher contrast?)

Xiaomi yi original version superview script test (1) xiaomi yi 4k 1080p ultra test (1) xiaomi yi 4k resoultion test (1)

Another shot from the sky, the image at 4K resolution is excellent.

Xiaomi yi original version superview script test (2) xiaomi yi 4k 1080p ultra test (2) xiaomi yi 4k resoultion test (2)

Wide dynamic range seems to be similar, but 1080p is a bit better than 4K on this.

Xiaomi yi original version superview script test (3) xiaomi yi 4k 1080p ultra test (3) xiaomi yi 4k resoultion test (3)

1080p comparison between New and Old Xiaomi Yi

The Mini Quad i used in testing the camera: https://oscarliang.com/hibernagen-menel-5-frame-blheli-s-build/

Showing 4K footage from the New Xiaomi Yi 2 Camera

 

My final thoughts

Despite the good footage, I can’t recommend using it on a quadcopter. I think the original version would serve better. Firstly for $210, If you are looking for high quality videos, I would rather pay a bit more towards the GoPro, otherwise you won’t go wrong with the good old Yi at $60. Secondly I think 4K resolution is an overkill for most of us flying mini quads. 1080p is what we normally record at anyway. Finally the back screen also makes it more vulnerable in crashes.

However with the back LCD screen, I think it would make a better handheld action camera! It doesn’t matter how good your action camera is, without a screen you don’t know what you are filming, or if your shooting angle is right. You won’t have this problems with the Xiaomi Yi 4K and it’s a good substitution to the more expensive GoPro 4 Silver.

There are already many accessories available for the Xiaomi Yi 2 camera, though GoPro accessories are not compatible with it due to the different shapes.

18 thoughts on “Review – Xiaomi Yi 2 4K HD Action Camera

  1. Uzair Rizwan

    Xiaoyi YI 4K Action Camera 2 (Black) + Original Waterproof Case + 1 Piece Spare Battery + Charging Dock + EC-BRB01 Skateboard Accessory.
    price:239.99$ on geekbuying with free shipping . I want it, but need your help regarding the online store and price.

    Reply
  2. Jurica

    I buy this camera, international version. This is so bad camera and I am so disappointed!
    No focus on photos, no quality in 4k, stuttering. I will return it ASAP!

    Reply
  3. Chris G

    I just bought the camera ad I`m also experiencing the same stuttering issue. i`ve purchased the proper memory and still have an issue with it.

    Reply
  4. Kev

    Use Adobe premier, every video ive recoted and tested works fine on my camera and once exporting as silky smooth as original viewing. Windows codecs generally are not great. Id suggest use vlc. Ive had no issues.

    Reply
  5. Haold

    To cure the stuttering, load the video file in to a video file converter software programme , then convert it to MP4 1920 x 1080, do this at the slowest speed possible, then watch it in a good video player such as zoom player, the result is a silky smooth video, with no stuttering.

    Reply
  6. Pedro

    Hi,
    great review.

    Can you tell me if there is any av cable for th YI 2 4K available or instructions for doing one for FPV?

    Best regards,
    PV

    Reply
  7. Hugues

    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 ?

    Reply
    1. Oliver

      I have the same problem but not for all videos, it happens randomly. My firmware version is 1.1.0 and it happens in 1.0.8. My SD card is a Sandisk Extreme Pro U3 64 Go. Does somebody has a solution ? Is it a problem with my cam or is a design problem ?

      Reply
  8. Ceating

    Probably a bit late for this, but I just wanted to point out that you seem to have bought the domestic (chinese) version of the Yi 4K. I didn’t know that they had two versions either so I got the domestic version also.

    There are two different versions of the Yi 4K: The domestic (domestic) and international (english). Some differences between the international and domestic is that the international has an english menu, a slightly smaller battery and is slightly more expensive ($230). The domestic version has a chinese menu and comes with a slightly larger battery and is less ~ ($210). Buying from some stores that get their stuff directly from china such as banggood probably resulted in this. Yi’s own website directs you to amazon for the international version.

    Reply
  9. iforce2d

    Can’t find this on Banggood any more. Your link is 404 not found. I wonder why they would have stopped stocking it…?

    Reply
  10. Eric-Jan van den Bogaard

    Did not yet find all specs, of the 4K version but has it 60p in 4K mode ? A lot of people like this for fast action footage…

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      no… in 4K mode, 25fps is the only available frame rate.
      I will update with some more spec and technical detail… i wrote the review at 2am this morning and I was so tired LOL

      Reply
    2. Shayne

      Hi… It was a great review. I bought the can
      with high expectations, but little bit disappointed as any video over 30fps, the video is stuttering. Really disappointed disappointed. So I bought the special sd card SanDisc Extreme 32G U3 class Read 90 write 40. Still the issuey remains. Any Suggestions?

      Reply

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