Xiaomi Yi - A budget GoPro alternative?

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Happy Heyoka
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Re: Xiaomi Yi - A budget GoPro alternative?

Postby Happy Heyoka » Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:04 pm

Viking wrote:I haven't tried NFC, to be honest I hadn't heard of it before I got the cam! When I read that it's only good for ~20cm, I couldn't see the point to it.


It's the same tech as "tap to pay" etc - you wave (or scrub?) your phone over the camera and it automagically connects via WiFi in PlayMemories... this is important because for whatever reason the QR code not supported in my phone/camera combo. It's like Bluetooth pairing but via physical proximity... very cool except for when it's misused (ie: see paranoid ads on TV for shielded wallets)

Viking wrote:I used the app with WiFi and with the cam at the pad I could control it from the flight line, not sure of the distance, but if Google Earth's measurement tool is to be believed it's around 60 or 70 metres. Brilliant.

Haven't gone for distance yet but it is indispensable for actually setting up the camera shot. HPR pad at Serp more like 100m from the safety line but open ground? I was planning on just leaving it running for a whole bracket of launches and then downloading that, erase card, rinse, repeat. We'll see...

Oh, for completeness:
System Software Update
Ver.1.10 for FDR-X1000V

What Does This Do?

This utility updates the system software and provides the following benefits:

In addition to microSDXC card, the camera records XAVC S format video with microSDHC card.
Note :
When shooting movies in XAVC S format, it requires SD Speed Class10, or UHS Speed Class U1 or faster. (When recording in 100 Mbps or more, UHS Speed Class U3 is required.)
When a microSDHC memory card is used to record XAVC S movies over extended periods of time, the recorded movies will be divided into files of 4 GB. The divided files can be integrated into a single file using Action Cam Movie Creator and PlayMemories Home.
http://www.sony.net/Products/actioncam/en-us/support/update/

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Re: Xiaomi Yi - A budget GoPro alternative?

Postby Viking » Wed Apr 27, 2016 1:46 pm

Happy Heyoka wrote:... it automagically connects via WiFi in PlayMemories... this is important because for whatever reason the QR code not supported in my phone/camera combo. It's like Bluetooth pairing but via physical proximity... very cool except for when it's misused (ie: see paranoid ads on TV for shielded wallets)

Ah okay, when I read about the NFC standard it says <20cm, and 10cm typical. Didn't realise Sony used the WiFi for it.
Call me stupid, but I still don't see the benefit of NFC? I open PM and from memory it automatically connects to the camera, or maybe there was one button press... whichever, a few seconds and it's done. Simple as.
*EDIT* Ah I think I understand now, are they using the shortrange NFC just to initiate the WiFi connection after which you get the full WiFi range?

Haven't gone for distance yet but it is indispensable for actually setting up the camera shot. HPR pad at Serp more like 100m from the safety line but open ground? I was planning on just leaving it running for a whole bracket of launches and then downloading that, erase card, rinse, repeat. We'll see...

I couldn't see exactly where the pads are usually set up on Google earth, so rather than a bold distance claim I erred on the side of caution with the estimate, could well be around 100M too (Drew? Scoop?), I'm sure you will have no problems at 100M.
I left the cam set up for a couple of launches but not recording, I just hitting start/stop in the app whenever a launch was ready/over.
I also have a couple of Rosmoss Sense 4 USB powerbanks as backups. Glad I did as the camera's internal battery wasn't charged on the day!

System Software Update
Ver.1.10 for FDR-X1000V

Hah!!
I checked for a firmware update around 11pm last night, they must've released it only shortly after.

Hmm, I think we've derailed Drew's thread... sorry mate!
Perhaps Blake can split this chatter off into a Sony X1000V thread?
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Re: Xiaomi Yi - A budget GoPro alternative?

Postby drew » Tue May 31, 2016 5:04 pm

SpaceManMat wrote:Anyone used them in a rocket yet? Interested to see how they perform under load and Cope with vibrations.

martymonsta wrote:Has anyone ran one of these in a rocket yet? I'm interested in whether the WiFi remote system causes any interference with other rocketry related electronics. Also how do the handle the forces experienced in flight?

I'm cutting a 32mm hole in my NC and airframe tonight gents. If everything works as expected (AND THAT'S A BIG IF) I should have some "in rocket" footage for you early next week. Flight computers won't be near it though Marty, I'll be up in the nose cone on the other side of the sled from a 70cm BRB high power GPS unit.
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Re: Xiaomi Yi - A budget GoPro alternative?

Postby martymonsta » Tue May 31, 2016 7:29 pm

Thanks Andrew. See you on the weekend.
Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, "Because it is there."
Well, space is there, and we're going to climb it

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Re: Xiaomi Yi - A budget GoPro alternative?

Postby lucifer911 » Tue May 31, 2016 9:15 pm

I don't think cheap chinese imitations even count as a GoPro alternative. That's like saying a counterfeit chinese swiss watch is as good as a swiss watch. I have ordered keychain cameras from Hong Kong recently and funnily enough neither of them work now.

I would not risk a GoPro as an onboard camera unless you got money to burn.

For overall footage they are fantastic devices but their quality does get downgraded the moment you upload them to youtube. I use vimeo to retain maximum video quality. GoPro studio is the software which comes with GoPro and its great software which can convert files suitable for youtube, vimeo and other streaming websites.

You don't need a Hero4 just the Hero3 edition would be enough to get high quality footage and the price of them has come down the last year or so.

The original footage of this video looks much better when played through GoPro Studio.
Edit: for some reason whenever youtube videos are embedded on here it does not autoplay in HD but you just click on the setting to convert to HD quality

[youtube]watch?v=S7dPOoSVwwA[/youtube]
Last edited by lucifer911 on Tue May 31, 2016 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Xiaomi Yi - A budget GoPro alternative?

Postby lucifer911 » Tue May 31, 2016 9:19 pm

now for a vimeo comparison you can clearly the quality is retained much better.


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Re: Xiaomi Yi - A budget GoPro alternative?

Postby drew » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:13 am

lucifer911 wrote:I don't think cheap chinese imitations even count as a GoPro alternative. That's like saying a counterfeit chinese swiss watch is as good as a swiss watch. I have ordered keychain cameras from Hong Kong recently and funnily enough neither of them work now.

I would not risk a GoPro as an onboard camera unless you got money to burn.

For overall footage they are fantastic devices but their quality does get downgraded the moment you upload them to youtube. I use vimeo to retain maximum video quality. GoPro studio is the software which comes with GoPro and its great software which can convert files suitable for youtube, vimeo and other streaming websites.

You don't need a Hero4 just the Hero3 edition would be enough to get high quality footage and the price of them has come down the last year or so.

The original footage of this video looks much better when played through GoPro Studio.
Edit: for some reason whenever youtube videos are embedded on here it does not autoplay in HD but you just click on the setting to convert to HD quality

[youtube]watch?v=S7dPOoSVwwA[/youtube]


I disagree lucifer. In your example GoPros are also the "counterfeit chinese swiss watch" as they're also made in China. I could be wrong but Google tells me GoPros OEM is Foxconn. And comparing the Xiaomi Yi or the GoPro to a keychain camera is akin to comparing a C6-5 to a H410. They're not even in the same ballpark. Your point about risking a GoPro in rocket resonates with me though, it's the reason why I bought the Yi. At approximately a quarter of the cost of a GoPro I'm more comfortable wearing that expense. I don't want a camera to be the most expensive piece of kit on my rocket. Plus I don't have a single screen capable of 4k so 1080p60 is more than adequate in my use case.

And your comment about youtube is valid, but all the videos I upload from my Yi are in 1080p60 resolution. You just have to manually select that HD setting in the video window.
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Re: Xiaomi Yi - A budget GoPro alternative?

Postby drew » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:16 am

martymonsta wrote:Thanks Andrew. See you on the weekend.


The hole is cut and tonight I'll finish test fitting the camera. I reckon a combination of double sided tape and zip ties on the sled will be more than enough to hold the unit in place.

Looking forward to catching up this weekend Marty!
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Re: Xiaomi Yi - A budget GoPro alternative?

Postby drew » Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:02 am

So it's been a while since I've chimed in on this thread but I thought I should share the onboard video I shot last weekend with my Yi camera. For some reason the camera switched off prematurely at Williams so I thought I'd try again at Grass Valley. All I've done with the footage is trim off either end of the video. I didn't rotate it as I wanted you to see the "full resolution" video. The boost if fairly gentle thought so I don't reckon it's too off-putting. I've got to admit, I'm pretty happy with the result given the cost.

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Re: Xiaomi Yi - A budget GoPro alternative?

Postby Happy Heyoka » Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:21 pm

drew wrote:I didn't rotate it as I wanted you to see the "full resolution" video. The boost if fairly gentle thought so I don't reckon it's too off-putting. I've got to admit, I'm pretty happy with the result given the cost.


That's excellent quality video (for any price)... but, man, the sound is crazy... rocket noises are awesome, like some insane slasher movie!

The "disassembled" view you posted first up - did you pull it apart or just snag those pics somewhere? Obviously you mounted it in the case "longways" but I wonder if it you considered a chop job and mounting it rotated 90 deg?
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Re: Xiaomi Yi - A budget GoPro alternative?

Postby drew » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:07 pm

Happy Heyoka wrote:That's excellent quality video (for any price)... but, man, the sound is crazy... rocket noises are awesome, like some insane slasher movie!

The "disassembled" view you posted first up - did you pull it apart or just snag those pics somewhere? Obviously you mounted it in the case "longways" but I wonder if it you considered a chop job and mounting it rotated 90 deg?


Yea, I'm not too sure why the sound is so loud... Hopefully I'll sort it next time around. I've used the camera and OpenShot before and it wasn't deafening so I suspect I did something wrong with the audio.

As for the disassembled images those are from advertising, I didn't actually disassemble mine. And while it'd be nice to have the camera mounted correctly keeping the lens in line would make that a bit harder. I kinda wish they mounted the lens in the center of the unit instead of offset to one side. It would definitely make it an easier install that way.
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Re: Xiaomi Yi - A budget GoPro alternative?

Postby drew » Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:32 pm

So I thought I'd quickly chime in and state that Xiaomi has released a new Yi 4k variant (the Yi II) that's effectively comparable to a GoPro Hero4 Black. Pricing is ~$250-$300AUD dependent on which version you choose. I'd actually go as far as to say it's superior to the Hero4 Black, at least in terms of hardware specifications. The inbuilt SoC is an Ambarella A9SE which is a newer variant than the Hero4 Black A9 (and includes a 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope and is a 28nm chip vs 32nm for the standard A9). The imaging sensor is a Sony IMX377 vs the Hero4's Sony IMX117. And despite the 2.19 inch touch screen it sports it still is able to do 120 minutes of 4k/30 recording vs roughly 65 minutes 4k/30 that the Hero4 Black can do. Plus it can do 5GHz wireless. It even has an inbuilt slow motion mode which supports 1/8, 1/4, and 1/2 speed slow motion.

Here's the product page that includes the Hero4 Black side by side comparison.

https://www.yitechnology.com/yi-4k-action-camera

And here's a dealextreme link for the white "Chinese" version for $265AUD with free shipping.

http://www.dx.com/p/xiaomi-yi-ii-imx-37-cmos-wi-fi-4k-2-19-tft-action-camera-white-434880

And finally a photo of the unit!

Image

Personally I don't think I'll consider purchasing one of these as I don't yet even have a 4k capable display. Still, it's good to keep in mind.

And the original Yi's are still around (DX also has them) for $85AUD with free shipping.
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Re: Xiaomi Yi - A budget GoPro alternative?

Postby Viking » Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:18 pm

There's an even newer version, the Yi 4k+ which does 60fps at 4k. https://www.yitechnology.com/yi-4k-plus-action-camera
A little bit pricier though.

4k can come in handy when editing, allowing you to reframe, pan/tilt, zoom, rotate, track and reduce shake/vibration etc while still outputting full HD.
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Re: Xiaomi Yi - A budget GoPro alternative?

Postby drew » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:54 pm

On the one hand, I hear you Viking. On the other hand I don't want to be a video editor! I'd rather just chop a clip and throw it on youtube.

So my latest update was driven by my bench testing of my Yi camera after my K300 CATO in my 1/2 scale AMRAAM last year. :cry:

I powered it up last night with the micro SD card in to do some testing to ensure it still worked. And it did! During that process I also noticed there were 3 video files with time and date stamps yesterday instead of the 2 I recorded. Strange! So I opened the first file, it's the CATO flight and IT WORKS! Granted it's not the full flight but It's got liftoff, "apogee", and about half of the way down!

I'll post some updates (including stills and video) soon!
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Re: Xiaomi Yi - A budget GoPro alternative?

Postby air.command » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:06 pm

Thanks for posting the link to the 4K camera. It certainly looks like it has some nice specs at a reasonable price. The slow motion options look like they have good frame sizes. 120fps for full HD (1080p) and 240fps (720p)
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