I was expecting great things from the YI, as it is getting quite popular review, but I was quite blown away with what you can get for $250. I mean, the YI 4K is half the price of the GoPro, which you would think will put it with the knockoffs bin. But no. It actually scored much higher than the HEro 4 on our tests.
Of course, different people care about different things, so score may vary a bit for you, but all and all, I think it was a very clear cut, and if you judge value for money, it really is a no brainer ( see our comparisson table below)
On paper, the cameras share quite a bit, both can do 4K video at 30FPS, and both can increase FPS at the account of resolution. Now, the YI 4K does use a slightly newer chip, the A9SE vs the older A9 on the GoPro and I think this is why the YI does not warm as much when shooting 4K.The YI also uses a slightly newer sensor.
I am not a fan of the stills on either, and I think the main usage for it is for timelapse movies. The Yi 4K, though, does not suffer from this annoying fisheye distortion. This is also true for video. This is definitely nicer.
Video quality – default
The fact that you can shoot reasonable 4K video with a device that is smaller than the TI calculator that I had as a kid is a miracle for me. For that only, I stand in awe.
Both cameras show very similar video quality on the default profile. This is nice considering that the YI 4K is only $250. The YI 4K is definitely not in the same class as those cheapo gopro knock offs.
Here is some raw footage for you to play with: http://bit.ly/2cT9M2C
Video quality – flat profile
The YI exposes for shadows, which means that it will lose some highlights. if you care about this, the GoPro is better on flat profile. Though I am not really happy with either of the cameras flat profiles.
Here is some raw footage for you to play with: http://bit.ly/2ct78W4
There is no way around this, operating a camera with a full control LCD control system (YI 4K), is way (WAY!) better than this two buttons thing that GoPro uses. I never press the right button, alway somehow leave the WiFi on and generally hates it. Not to mention that you can actually see what you are shooting. This is a huge advantage for the YI 4K. Just like the battery, you can invest another $80 for an LCD back. but even then it is not as nice as the YI built-in LCD.
The only thing you need to remember is that you lose access to the LCD once the YI 4K is in the case. If you want to change anything you can only use the app. I know I said that the GoPro 2 buttons thing is crap, but when placed in a case, it is better than nothing.
Then the YI has a built in tripod mount. I find this extremely refreshing after struggling with so many GoPro mounting cases.
OK, if you wanna shoot 720 and get killer 240 slo-mo both cameras do it well. The YI does allow you to interpret the movie as a slow motion movie without having to bring it into premiere and time map it. While the results are similar, the fact that you don’t need editing software may be a big things for the less tech savvy.
Non excel at low light. Really. If you are shooting at a dark place, either bring some lights or use a different camera. We did an “extreme” test at dusk. meh.
Oh my! YI definitely stuck it in Gopro’s eye. not only it comes with an LCD it still lets you have about 2 hours runs. This is about twice the time from the GoPro. I mean you can always get the GoPro battery pack for $40 more. But then it will be even more expensive + you would need a different back door.
3MBPS on the YI 4K vs. 1.5MBPS on the GoPro hero4 black. + this annoying rubber cap on the go pro is replaced with a cap that won’t get lost on the YI.
If we compare the two cameras, it is a clear cut (at least for me). The YI 4K has more features than the Gorpo, more battery life and almost identical video (slightly lower dynamic range on flat profile). You would have to shall out about $40 for a YI case, but still, you’d be $200 richer than if you bought the GoPro.