Short Review: Best Action Camera Period. Basically this is same exact camera as a GoPro hero 4 Black with improvements. Just compare the specs. Same exact lens, upgraded processors, better screen, upgraded sensor, better battery, much lower price. It has all the specs plus more of the Hero 4 Black. Not only that, but after a full day of testing I can confirm and promise it works better than my hero 4 black! Don’t just take my word for it, compare for yourself!
Background: I own several if the original YI Action Camera (I as asked to test one then purchased several of my own for extra shots) I also own hero 3 white and black as well as a hero 4 silver and black.
1.) Build Quality – The build quality seems just as nice as my hero 4 black.. I have also owned several other YI products and have never had any issues with them or their products
2.) Screen – The screen on this kills my Hero 4 Silver. Very sharp and vibrant! Crystal Clear. Responsive.
3.) Battery – I did receive 1 and a half hours on 4K out of my first charge! Still had a little juice left. This was with WiFi and all extras turned off
4.) 4K – There are several cheaper 4K cameras on Amazon bit read carefully.. most are very low FPS and some aren’t even true 4K.. this is the same 4K as GoPro and is very good 4K at 30FPS.
5.) Bluetooth & WiFi – Camera offers both Bluetooth and WiFi. I did test Bluetooth remotes with it and it worked excellent. Works on both 2.4 and 5ghz network’s. My phone is able to do 5ghz so that means very good WiFi connectivity. Video is almost flawless looking at it via the App
6.) Sound Quality – I haven’t received my case yet so I cannot comment about how the sound is with the waterproof case on.. all Action Cameras seem to have sound issues when they are in their case.. outside of the case, this camera offers excellent sound quality
7.) Versatile – These cameras aren’t just for action sports! these are great to film family videos on, great for the beach, great for camping.. they have a lot of uses!
8.) Sleek New Look. While being almost the same size and shape as GoPro, it does look much more modern and I love the sleek design
9.) Ease of Use – I find this camera much easier to use than GoPro.. the UI seems better, it’s more fluid, easier to change modes and everything..
10.) Mounts – With the waterproof case, this can be used with any GoPro and most other Action Mounts on the market.
11.) I love the App from Yi Technology. It is a very polished and super easy app to use
12.) Regular Updates – They have been updating and tweaking thr camera regularly since release!! It takes GoPro weeks and even months to listen and issue updates
13.) Waterproof Housing – i love how it fits great and has the hard back door.. while a touchscreen doesn’t work in the housing, it is much more secure with the hard door.. the housing also has a locking Latch!! Please note housing is extra. The camera does not overheat in the housing or anything, not even shooting 4k video. Great housing
1.) Waterproof Housing is still an accessory.. I really wish they would just include it!
Overall: I am very impressed with this camera and it’s price and specs.. don’t just take my word for it, compare part for part, chip for chip and you will see it’s the same specs buy improved over the hero 4 black by GoPro… The price for this camera is a steal and GoPro should be worried!
1.) Needs a very high quality memory card, especially for 4K! If you have memory card errors this is where I would start.. get at least a class 10 with a very high write speed.. name brand card! I use various brands but currently using a sandisk extreme class 10 and it works fine
2.) Grab the waterproof Housing.. this really helps protect the camera
3.) Grab a mount pack while your at it! Worth the money.. several companies offer large packs of action camera mounts for under $25
Received my housing today and it works great.. no overheating issues or anything
Sample Photos Below
First impressions: This review will be updated as I get more of a chance to play with this camera. I received it Oct 4th so still plenty of playing around to do!! So far I have added 1 additional con, updated some of the pros, and added a few pros.. I will continue to update!!
Short Review: I have owned GoPro cameras since the Hero 2.. I have recently been introduced to other brands that work just as well but I am loyal to GoPro and had to try out the new hero 5.. I am glad I did because GoPro is now on top of their game again and this is now the best Action Camera I have ever owned!!.. I used to hate all in one designs (Waterproofing being built into the camera) but I actually feel it works very well with this camera and provides much greater protection! No more “Naked” GoPros getting broken! (I have broke a few)
While the Hero 5 doesn’t really have any major improvements in resolution or shooting specs, the improvements that have been made in design and software actually work well and really make the photo and videos appear much better! The most notable improvements include built in stabilization that works very well and much better audio! Audio is where action cameras have always been lacking, but GoPro has made a huge improvement here. GoPro has also improved their user interface which is a great improvement. Old models took a little while to learn, but not the Hero 5.. I haven’t seen an action camera this easy to use ever! So even though GoPro has carried over the same sensor from the Hero 4, this camera is very much worth the improvements
1.) Video Quality – Is outstanding. The software changes they made, actually make the video quality look much better even though the same sensor was carries over
2.) Much easier to use interface – No more learning curve! Includes Voice Control
3.) Much easier to use – Thanks to the new interface
4.) Audio Quality – This is the most noticeable difference. The audio quality is simply outstanding
5.) Stereo Sound
6.) Ability to shoot RAW WDR (Also a Con because RAW is only available on a few options)
7.) GPS – Can now track where your photos are taken
8.) Camera is now much more durable thanks to the built in housing
9.) Photos are still simply amazing
10.) Battery life is now AMAZING – no more 1 hour battery.. I received a full two hours out of all three of my uses so far
11.) Love the built in screen
12.) I haven’t ran into any bugs YET but I own several Action Cameras so the little quirks here and there, I know how to get around them. I’m not really sure they are bugs, but just how action cameras are
13.) Voice Control – Thanks to Amazon, Apple, and others we now live in a day and age of controlling things with our voice.. Voice control is now included on this camera and works well!! This is what action cameras have needed! No longer do you need an app or bluetooth remote to control the camera on a selfie stick.. You can now do it with your voice!!
14.) Supports up to a 128GB memory card! Plenty of room for 4K videos!
15.) The new GoPro software is better than the past.. I like quik and find it to work fine for basic task.. I still use Final Cut for most of my stuff!
16.) Cloud – While the cloud is a good idea, and for some this is a GREAT advantage for the new GoPro. YouTube is free so is my Prime Photo account.. I will continue to use those but I am very happy to see GoPro integrate a REAL cloud solution for their cameras.. I know a lot of people don’t like this decision but it isn’t required to use their cloud. I was a GoPro Plus Beta tester and I found it easy to use.. I no longer have the account now that it cost money but I did find it to be very well thought out software!
17.) Still works with most OLD accessories!! Of course you need new batteries and stuff but old mounts, chest straps, selfie sticks, grips, and even cases should still work!! (Like storage cases, not waterproof housings)
18.) Higher ISO options than previous GoPros
19.) Improved connectivity to my phone, much easier to pair and connect than previous GoPros
20. Built in Waterproofing works down to 33FT BUT they have an external housing available for divers that makes it waterproof to 196FT
1.) While I was a fan of GoPro plus I no longer use it now that its out of beta. I wish GoPro would integrate free services a little better to their apps and not require the use of their services for their apps.. I would use their apps more often if it was integrated better with services such as YouTube. Final Cut integrates very well with other services, not only Apple Services. I feel that GoPro plus is going to be great for a lot of people, that is why it is also listed in my “Pros”..
2.) The biggest accessory that no longer works that I have a few of, are “Domes” for half underwater photos.. Most Domes that I own have an old GoPro housing that you place the GoPro into.. Something to keep in mind!
3.) Raw is only available on a few options
4.) The REAL waterproof housing now cost $50. This housing allows the camera to go down to 196FT.. The camera HOWEVER IS WATERPROOF already! But only down to 33FT… If you plan to use the camera for scuba this will run you another $50.. The standard housing on the OLD GoPros allowed it to go down to 131FT and then 197FT with the dive housing.. This is why I don’t really like built in waterproofing.. We lost a lot of depth on the hero 5!!
1.) Make sure you grab a high quality memory card to go with this. I personally use SanDisk Extreme but GoPros website list a lot of cards they suggest. Using a card that is cheap or not suggested MIGHT cause freezing, the camera to overheat, or even your videos to corrupt.. SanDisk has never given me any issues
2.) There are several Action Camera accessory kits on Amazon that will “Jump Start” your collection of mounts.. Remember, this camera has a basic mount but nothing major.. I recommend a good kit from Amazon to save you money!
3.) GoPro PLUS and GoPro software IS NOT REQUIRED.. I still use it for basic task, and think it works great for basic task but one of the complaints this camera is getting is the new software.. I use more of a professional video editing software such as Final Cut and it still works fine. Also, I don’t need GoPros cloud service. YouTube is FREE so is Amazon Prime Photos
Overall: After a few hours of playing with this camera I simply love it and feel it offers great improvements over previous versions! I look forward to updating this review as I play more with the camera.
This Product WAS offered at a Discount From GoPro for Review