Yi 4K vs GoPro Hero4 Black first impressions

Jul 13, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Yi 4K vs GoPro Hero4 Black first impressions

Jul 13, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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yi4k_vs_hero4black_first_impressions

Yesterday, we mentioned that the Yi 4K action camera was now available in the USA and it seems that the pre-orders have already started arriving into the hands of waiting users.

One such early recipient is filmmaker Deejay Scharton, founder of DSLR Film Noob, who has put together a quick first impressions video, side-by-side with the GoPro Hero4 Black.

YouTube video

An interesting first look, and I wasn’t actually aware that you could use an external microphone with the GoPro via USB until I saw this video. I hadn’t considered this with the Yi 4K, but now that I know it doesn’t have this feature, I kinda want it.

It’s not a deal breaker for me, though. I can always record sound to my iPhone or Tascam DR-100 if need be and sync up in post, and when the camera’s inside a housing that fully conceals the internal mic, that’s what I’d do anyway.

But let’s have a look at Deejay’s list.

  • The field of view isn’t as wide as my hero 4 back
  • Size is almost Identical
  • Screen on the back of the Yi is beautiful
  • Audio is good, but the USB audio option on the hero is better
  • Video quality is similar though hero 4 has more contrast

I find the first one a little interesting, because the Yi’s specs (they’re right down at the bottom of the page) claim that it has the same 155° field of view as the GoPro Hero4 Black.

I also find the last one quite nice, personally, because I’ll be editing the footage in Premiere Pro and grading with DaVinci Resolve where lower contrast is generally desirable. It was one of the first things I noticed in videos when played side-by-side.

If you’re not going to get too heavily into editing and grading your footage, and simply want to set start and end points before uploading straight to YouTube, then I can see why the higher default contrast of the GoPro can be more useful.

Deejay’s on the fence, he says, regarding the image quality, and that “the hero 4 is getting a run for the money with the Yi 4k action camera, but there are a few trade offs.”

I’m still looking forward to getting my hands on one.

Did you pre-order a Yi 4K? Has yours arrived yet? What do you think? Let us know what you think of it in the comments.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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2 responses to “Yi 4K vs GoPro Hero4 Black first impressions”

  1. Bartosz Sypniewski Avatar
    Bartosz Sypniewski

    i wonder how it compares in terms of battery. Hero4 stock battery, and heat management is just a joke.

  2. Herra Kuulapaa Avatar
    Herra Kuulapaa

    Full sunlight videos are naturally stunning with both cameras, but it would be really interesting to see how they compare with max 30sec exposures in the dark. That would be the real test between IMX377 and IMX177 sensors used in cameras.