March 2, 2015

China Has a GoPro Clone for Under $70 With Better Specs Than the HERO

Xiaomi Yi Action Camera

Chinese company Xiaomi has just introduced the ¥399 (roughly $64) Yi Action Camera, which looks like an interesting budget version of the $130 GoPro HERO, but with better specs. The HERO can do 30fps at 1080p and 60fps at 720p, but the Sony 16MP sensor of the Yi can do 1080p 60fps and 720p 120fps. Unfortunately, you're only going to be able to get one in China right now. Even if Xiaomi does try to release it in other parts of the world, I'm not sure GoPro would be happy about that design. 

As we all know though, specs don't mean everything, and unless this video is compressed poorly, the HERO may actually have the edge in image quality:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUBJVgciigo

And for reference, here's the introduction of the entry-level HERO:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVrp4s9BYFA

Here are the specs:

  • 16MP Sony Exmor R Sensor
  • f/2.8 155 ° Super Wide-Angle Lens
  • H.264 MP4
  • 4608 x 3456 Maximum Still Resolution
  • 1080p 60/48/30/24fps
  • 960p 60/48fps
  • 720p 120/60/48fps
  • 480p 240fps
  • Length X width X height: 60.4mm x42mm X21.2mm 
  • Body weight: 72g
  • Audio: Dual-channel, 96KHz sampling, 92dBA SNR
  • Time-lapse: 0.5S / 1S / 2S / 5S / 10S / 30S / 60S
  • 1010mAh Battery
  • Waterproof to 40 meters (requires separate waterproof shell)
  • Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0
  • Supports up to 64G Micro SD Cards
  • Price: ¥399 ($64) for standard version, ¥499 ($80) for version with handle

It looks like the Yi can be controlled through mobile devices with its built-in WiFi/Bluetooth (this is a Chinese translation):

Yi Action Camera Mobile

And here's a blow-up of the device and the measurements:

Xiaomi Yi Action Camera Blowup

And it's also going to be available in this interesting color scheme:

For more info and specs, and how to order, check out the link here    

Your Comment

21 Comments

Hmmm....The specs seem great but the video is less than convincing. It does look like sucky compression though.

March 2, 2015 at 5:17PM, Edited March 2, 5:17PM

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Dantly Wyatt
Musical Comedy & Content Creator.
486

GPRO Stock 100 bucks to 40 bucks in 5 months. They found out what Canon is going to find out at some point, which is that technology will continue to get cheaper and those that continue to overcharge will get squeezed. Canon does have market share but their recent price drops suggests they have concerns but their pricing model in the future. Which is good for consumers.

March 2, 2015 at 5:42PM, Edited March 2, 5:42PM

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From $40 it went to $64 in August 2015 then crashed to $28, today's price. Today buy-and-hold will only leave you with losses. Got any other stock tips? DOW back to 16,000 or below?

October 19, 2015 at 1:51PM

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Rickyh
n/a
81

What's the size of the sensor? It seems the gopro sensor is bigger

March 2, 2015 at 6:55PM

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Heri Rakotomalala
DP/Camera, Studio owner, Associate Producer
375

Because the size of these shit camera sensors are relevant

March 2, 2015 at 7:38PM

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Max Ciesynski
Gaffer
566

Feeling a little bit like a dick, are you?

March 5, 2015 at 7:17PM

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I have a friend who's in China right now, I'll get him to look into this a little more. If the footage comes out better then that sample video (which did look poorly compressed especially because the intro graphic was pixelated) I might just tell him to grab a bunch.

March 3, 2015 at 2:21AM

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Frogy
Director / Shooter / Cutter
280

A cheaper, crappier version of a product designed somewhere else, coming out of China....say it ain't so=) But seriously, if it actually holds up under some abuse(doubtful), it will be a nice kick in the tail to GoPro. Competition is always a good thing. Regarding video quality, a high school kid doing skateboard videos probably won't care. For professionals, you're going to splurge and stick to the higher end GoPros.

March 3, 2015 at 8:19AM

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Josh.R
Motion Designer/Predator
782

I've got some headphones made by these guys and they're actually quite good, both in terms of sound and design/build. At around $65 I'd definitely be interested in grabbing one of these just to have in the kit. Their phones aren't too bad either. Take a closer look.

March 3, 2015 at 9:15AM

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Competition is always great for us (the consumers) so I'm happy to see this. However, It doesn't look like the footage holds up against the GoPro especially with ProTune. That could just be the online compression though.

These would be great for those times where you stick the camera somewhere where you'll likely not get it back though!

March 3, 2015 at 1:46PM

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Philip Bradley
DP | Editor
136

I-LIKE.

There is hope for the image quality though. Remember canon's video for the 70d (and some other cameras I believe) It was showcased at just a 480p. Looks like this Chinese gopro where edited and exported with the same H.264. 'Sigh' I really hope it is the case.

March 3, 2015 at 2:14PM

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Edgar More
All
1149

Judging by the audio compression quality, I'm going to go out on a limb and say the video was over-compressed by quite a bit.

March 3, 2015 at 3:48PM

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Joe O
Marketing Videographer/Video Editor
168

I wish people would stop making action cameras in the shape of air brakes. Put the lens/sensor on the edge of the case, not the front.

March 3, 2015 at 11:46PM

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Vidrazor
306

Many of the uses of these cameras involve them being strapped to the chest of a skateboarder, skydiver or whoever so for that it makes sense. One size doesn't fit all unfortunately and the ability to turn the lens around might be useful but that gives you something else to go wrong.

March 5, 2015 at 4:45AM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1110

Aliexpress £63 incl postage to the UK, although there is also customs duty to pay. Unless you are too chicken to buy by post, sight unseen, from a Chinese car boot sale.

March 4, 2015 at 7:22AM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1110

These cut price clones indictae the true cost of manufacture of the devices sold by big names - GoPro, Apple, SONY. etc. I guess these are the sort of prices they pay for the kit they sell at 400% markup - the difference is that the quality control is probably better, the tech support is better and you get a 'Brand' And Brand is what most people eventually buy. The clue is that it attempts to look like a GoPro. It's a pity these guys don't employ good original designers and put out something original.

March 6, 2015 at 5:23AM

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March 6, 2015 at 1:14PM

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Jordan Manov
Musician,Producer
74

you mean like the ones that have tried and failed?! Contour, Drift, Garmin, Veho, Ion and Replay? flat is better usually

March 8, 2015 at 12:16PM

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The GoPros are already so reasonably priced, why bother saving a tiny bit of money on a knock-off product that's certain to lack the QC of an established company? Not to mention app compatibility.

March 20, 2015 at 1:57PM

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Benjamin Lebeau
Cinematographer, Colorist, Editor
283

March 20, 2015 at 9:23PM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1110

Found another review online with test footage shot by the reviewer. Don't bump this camera about seems to be the conclusion.

http://www.gizchina.com/2015/03/16/xiaomi-yi-action-camera-mini-review/

March 26, 2015 at 2:16PM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1110

Anyone know of any of these knock off cameras that will sync so that they will simultaneously take stills?

November 27, 2017 at 11:33PM, Edited November 27, 11:33PM

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