cameras
Review

YI 4K + review - Action Cam with 4K on 60 FPS

by 15. July 2018
With the YI 4K +, YI Technology announced at CES 2017 the world's first action cam, which will record videos in high-resolution 4K at 60 pictures per second. Meanwhile, the camera has appeared and submitted us for this detailed review.
Overview
Manufacturer/Model

YI Technology

Product

YI 4K + (Plus)

Specifications

Hardware
Image processor: Ambarella H2
Image sensor: Sony IMX377

Display: 2.2 inch LCD
* 640x360
* 330 PPI
* 250 cd / m²
* touch screen

Connections: USB-C
SD card: SDHC / SDXC up to 128 GB
Battery: 1400 mAh

video Resolution
4K HD @ 30
4K@60/48/30/24
4K Ultra @ 30
2.7K@60/48/30/24
2.7K Ultra @ 30
2.7 4: 3 @ 30
1440@60/48/30/24
1080@120/60/48/30/24
1080 Ultra @ 90 / 60 / 30
960 @ 120 / 60
720 240 @
720 Ultra @ 120 / 60
480 240 @

resolution
12MP
8MP
7MP W
7MP M
5MP

other
* WiFi, Bluetooth and App
*Time lapse
* Slow
* Self-timer
* Loop Recording
* Burst Record
*ICE CREAM

What's in the box

1x YI 4K +
1x Waterproof Case
1x bracket with screw
1x USB-C cable
1x user manual and hint cards

Update (January 2018)

YI Technology did that a few days ago Firmware update 1.3.29 rolled out, which eliminates errors in the loop recording and the time-lapse mode, among other things. As always, you receive the update directly via the app or on the homepage of the manufacturer!

Update (November 2017)

A new YI 4K + Firmware Update is already available for download. The update with the Version number 1.3.23 Amongst the more extensive updates, it offers a sound optimization for "bars" and "concerts", an improvement in the stability of the gallery, live streaming optimizations and a noise reduction for shots with a long exposure time. At the same time, YI Technology has improved the Manual IQ parameter settings, and the SD memory card compatibility has also been revised.

Update (September 2017)

The action cam is now included Firmware version 1.3.11 reached. Among other things was German as a selectable language, as well as other languages ​​added. There is also numerous optimizations the already existing functions, as well as can now higher resolutions for time lapse and slow motion Recordings are selected. For streamer interesting, the possibility is now Live stream feature to be able to use.

Update (June 2017)

Meanwhile, another one Update (1.1.7) appeared, including the RAW recording function and voice control adds and also the Image quality improved, The review has been adapted to the YI 4K + Update 1.1.7!

First impression of the YI 4K +

Only at the beginning of last year has the Chinese camera producer "YI Technology" with the YI 4K (YI 4K review) brought an Action Cam on the market, which could quite well with models well-known manufacturers, such as GoPro record and can. At this year's CES 2017, the manufacturer announced a successor to the hugely popular Action Cam. Although the predecessor model and the successor model are damned similar, but inside works a far superior image processor, the 4K video recording at full 60 pictures-per-second allows. This is the YI 4K + the world's first action cam with this feature and is even technically superior to the recently released GoPro HERO5 Black.

What's in the box

In addition to a hardware upgrade, there was also an upgrade of the scope of delivery. From now on, the scope of delivery is also included original waterproof case from YI Technology and Carrier for oxygen bottles at. Also included are one 1400 mAh strong battery, USB-C cable, as well as a flood Operating instructions and advice cards.

Design

The design of the YI 4K + differs only slightly from the standard model. The camera body still has Dimensions of 65 x 42 x 30 mm and weighs exactly when the battery is inserted 97 g, If you already own a YI 4K, you can continue to use the accessory with the Plus model. What you can distinguish between the two cameras is the front, the plus model with a pretty carbon pattern is provided. Even the exuberant lettering of the standard model has given way to a simple "4K +".

Hands-On

The lens equipment of the Action Cam continues to amount to one 7 layer lens with 155 ° wide-angle and a F-number of F / 2.8, To the left of the lens or the lens is a Note LEDthat informs about the battery level and the recording status. Another indicator LED is located on the top of the housing, which is also integrated into the camera's only physical control button.

Also placed on the top of the housing are the Loudspeakers and one of the total two microphones, Again, there is a small difference to the standard model. The YI 4K had both microphones placed to the left and right of the top control button. For the YI 4K Plus, one of the microphones has moved to the edge of the case.

Incidentally, the entire case frame is now with a thin Soft-touch surface moved, making the Action Cam much better in waterproof housing, but at the same time harder to get out. On the back is a 2.2 inch large display with touch screen, The connection possibilities are on one USB-C socket limited. On the underside is the battery baywho is also at the same time Micro-SD memory card slot includes. In addition to the battery bay is also a ¼ inch tripod thread appropriate.

USB-C standard

A major innovation of the YI 4K + is the use of the USB-C standard as a connection option. Unlike the standard USB micro-USB port, the USB-C socket is versatile. Among other things, one can now external microphone connect and you can do that Video Signal directly via USB-C tap. Provided, of course, is a corresponding adapter.

Update (September 2017): The original YI USB-C to 3.5 mm jack adapter is now also available on Amazon (Link to the adapter). Guaranteed to connect any external microphone!

application

The processing of the Action Cam and the enclosed accessories is not objectionable. The camera leaves one high quality impression, all control buttons have a good pressure point, there are no unsightly gaps, the battery compartment closes well and also the included waterproof housing convinces by a good and secure locking mechanism.

Display and touch screen

The back LCD triggers at one Diagonal of 2.2 inches in 640 x 360 pixels on. Thus be sharp PPI 330 reached. The luminance is 250 cd / m². In strong sunshine, the display is only slightly readable. There are also problems with polarized sunglasses, which darken completely when viewed horizontally from the display.

The color rendering of the display is not objectionable. The same applies to the viewing angle stability. Entries via the small touch screen are detected precisely. Of course, the YI 4K + can no longer be operated via the touchscreen in the waterproof housing. To operate, there is instead the "In Housing Fashion", which allows the camera to be completely controlled via the top-side control button.

Hardware

The YI 4K + is not only the world's first Action Cam with the 60 pictures-per-second at 4K resolution It's also the first action cam with the new one Ambarella H2 image processorwhich enables this recording mode. Made in the 14nm process, the processor is about twice as fast as the Ambarella A9SE chip of its predecessor. Be videos with a maximum possible 135 Mbit / s bitrate added. Only downside: YI Technology continues to rely on H.264 for video compression and not the latest H.265 standard! The 12 megapixel Sony IMX377 image sensor the manufacturer remains true.

Commissioning with obstacles

Normally the commissioning of an action cam is self-explanatory. Battery and SD card in and you can record. However, it was not that easy with the YI 4K +, which is why I included the subitem on commissioning in this review.

My action cam was with the Firmware 1.04 delivered. Only with firmware 1.0.18 compatibility problems with SD memory cards were solved. When I first turned the Action Cam on and used a conventional one Samsung Evo SDHC memory card inserted, the user interface of the YI 4K + has a nice "SD Card Error" welcomed. Numerous formatting attempts did not succeed. After all, the memory card was easily recognized in my standard YI 4K. Also the change to one SanDisk Extreme Pro did not succeed. The "SD Card Error" remained, whether with the Samsung or SanDisk SD memory card.

So it had to be the firmware update 1.0.18 be installed. In order to be able to import an update at all, however, a functioning SD memory card must be inserted. Only a NoName 4GB SD memory card that came with a China tablet was recognized by my YI 4K Plus. After the update was recorded, the other two memory cards were recognized error free.

User Interface

YI Technology has taken over the user interface of the YI 4K as far as possible. Only smaller settings were added. The splash screen or live image output is surrounded by recording mode, recording time, battery level and whether microphone and Wi-Fi are active. The recording mode can be changed directly via the start screen. The small gallery icon takes you directly to the gallery, where you can view the recordings on the memory card. As soon as one does not use the display for a longer period of time, the automatic activation is activated lock screen, which can be deactivated with a swipe again. This option can be customized within the settings.

Here is an overview of all recording modes and settings options.

shooting

Overall, the new YI Action Cam offers 10 recording modes. Here is an overview:

  • Photo mode
  • Photo Timer (Delayed Recording)
  • Burst mode (multiple recording)
  • video mode
  • Time-Lapse Video (Time Lapse Recording)
  • Slow Motion (slow motion recording)
  • Time-lapse photo (time-lapse shot with photos)
  • Loop Record (If the SD card is full, recordings will be deleted)
  • Video and Photo (In addition to a video are stored in photos)

The Live video featurewhat about recordings directly on Stream Facebook and YouTube meanwhile, is not yet implemented. Also with the YI 4K this function was added afterwards! Other promised features such as the Voice control or the possibility RAW image files were implemented shortly after the launch with the firmware 1.1.7!

Settings

The settings menu is divided into two categories. There is a sub item for each "Recording Mode" and the "General Settings", Here is an overview of the settings

video settings

  • Resolution - 4K HD @ 30 4K @ 60 / 48 / 30 / 24 | 4K Ultra @ 30 | 2.7K @ 60 / 48 / 30 / 24 | 2.7K Ultra @ 30 | 2.7 4: 3 @ 30 | 1440 @ 60 / 48 / 30 / 24 | 1080 @ 120 / 60 / 48 / 30 / 24 | 1080 Ultra @ 90 / 60 / 30 | 960 @ 120 / 60 | 720 @ 240 | 720 Ultra @ 120 / 60 | 480 240 @
  • Field of View - Near | Middle | Far (depending on the resolution)
  • Shutter speed - car | 1 / 240s | 1 / 120s | 1 / 60s | 1 / 30s
  • Metering Mode (Measurement for Exposure) - Average | Center | commercial
  • Auto Low Light - Improved shots in low light conditions
  • Video Quality - Low | Middle | High
  • White Balance - Automatic | Native | Artificial light | Daylight | Cloudy
  • Color - Flat | YI Color
  • ISO Max - Automatic | 400 | 800 | 1600 | 3200 | 6400
  • Sharpness - Low | Middle | High
  • Exposure - + 2 to -2 in 0.5 steps
  • Image Stabilization - On / Off
  • Timestamp - Off | Date | Time | Date / time
  • filesize

Photo mode

  • Resolution - 12MP | 8MP | 7 MP W | 7 MP M | 5MP
  • Shutter speed - car | 2s | 5s | 10s | 20s | 30s
  • Metering Mode - Average | Center | commercial
  • White Balance - Automatic | Native | Artificial light | Daylight | Cloudy
  • Color - Flat | YI Color
  • ISO Min - 100 | 200 | 400 | 800
  • ISO Max - Auto | 100 | 200 | 400 | 800
  • Sharpness - Low | Middle | High
  • Exposure - + 2 to -2 in 0.5 steps
  • Timestamp - Off | Date | Time | Date / time
  • Quickview - 0.5 - 5 seconds in 0.5 steps
  • File format - JPG | RAW + JPG

General Settings

  • Lens correction ("anti-fisheye effect")
  • WiFi - On / Off | SSID and PW | 2.4G / 5G
  • SD Card - Available Memory | format
  • Standard recording mode
  • Bluetooth - to pair a remote
  • Display Brightness - High | Middle | Low
  • Sounds - Loud | Silently | Out
  • Microphone - Loud | Silently | Out
  • Sound Effect - Stereo | wind
  • LED
  • Case Mode - Better usability in the case
  • External microphone
  • Voice Control - On / Off | voice recording
  • Video mode - PAL | NTSC
  • Advanced Settings - Screen Lock | Automatic switch off | Turn display | A / V Out USB | Date / time
  • Device Info - Firmware | serial number
  • Factory settings - Settings | WiFi | Bluetooth
  • Location
  • About

"YI Action" app

If you want to control the YI 4K + remotely, you either need the YI Bluetooth Remote or you simply use a smartphone or tablet. The so-called "YI Action" app Google PlayStore for Android devices and Apple AppStore for iOS devices. A connection between Action Cam and App is made via WiFi. The camera is with one Dual Band AC WiFi Module (802.11 a / b / g / n / ac) equipped and can build its own Wi-Fi. The app then establishes a connection to this and transmits, among other things, the live image directly to the smartphone or tablet.

In addition to the recording control can also all settings be made directly through the app. About the Gallery View, save and share photos stored on the SD memory card on your smartphone or tablet. At the same time, the YI Action App offers its own Community Platform to exchange within the YI community.

The transmission between camera and smartphone was consistently stable in the test. Except one slight delay in the transmission of the live image The app worked as intended. Also, the access to the SD memory card was speedy and the transmission speeds in both the 2.4G, and 5G WLAN network were not objectionable. To keep the Action Cam up to date you can Firmware updates be accessed and played directly via the app.

recording quality

Video quality of the YI 4K +

By the combination of Ambarella H2 image processor and Sony IMX 377 image sensor the YI 4K + is better equipped on the hardware side than a GoPro HERO5 Black. For the first time a Resolution of 4000 x 3008 pixels supported and at a resolution of 3840 2160 x pixels the Action Cam is even capable 60 pictures-per-second to represent fluid.

The video recordings taken with the YI 4K + are primarily convincing high level of detail and a barely perceptible image noise at the same time. In terms of color, the action cam is very warm. Especially in the YI Color mode, the warmly matched hue is clearly emphasized. The automatic brightness adjustment succeeds the camera quite quickly.

Video recording 4K at 30 pictures-per-second

Yi 4K + (Plus) Review | 4K @ 30 Sample Footage / Test Recording

bitrate

The video bitrate can be on 4K maximum 135 Mbps to reach. With a conventional Samsung SDHC Evo UHS-1 the video bit rate is 4K HD (4000 x 3008) at average 100 Mbit / s and 4K @ 60 at 120 Mbit / s. But even with a much faster SanDisk Extreme PRO Memory Card I was able to reach maximum 4 Mbit / s on 105K HD and maximum 4 Mbit / s on 60K @ 130. Nevertheless, a noteworthy value compared to the YI 4K, which only achieves 4K average 60 Mbit / s on XNUMXK. The bitrate of the sound recording is 128 kbit / s.

Video recording 4K at 60 pictures-per-second

Yi 4K + (Plus) Review | 4K @ 60 Sample Footage / Test Recording

image stabilization

The Action Cam is able to stabilize video recordings up to a resolution of 4K @ 30. This is a electronic image stabilization (EIS)who are doing an integrated 3-axis gyroscope and an 3-axis accelerometer served. As is typical of EIS, the image is minimally indented at the edges, so that the full image area is not used.

Image stabilization is a nice feature. However, the EIS of the YI 4K + can not match the capabilities of optical image stabilization or gimbal stabilization. Light wobbles are still fairly well balanced. In sports, however, the electronic image stabilization is simply overwhelmed. Partly it can lead to unnatural image shaking. The flickering edges that the YIS 4K's EIS struggled with have got YI Technology under control.

Video recording 4K - stabilization vs. No stabilization

Yi 4K + (Plus) Review | 4K Stabilization vs. No Stabilization | Sample Footage / Test Recording

sound Quality

When it comes to sound quality, GoPro continues to be in the lead. The sound recorded with the YI 4K + is acceptable, but sounds a bit tinny. If the camera is additionally in the waterproof housing, the recording volume is greatly reduced. Enclosed you will find two audio recordings, one without and one with a waterproof case.

Sound recording without waterproof housing

Sound recording with waterproof housing

Photo quality of the YI 4K +

Photos can with maximum 12 megapixel resolution be included. Within the general settings you can use the function "Adjust Lens Distortion" the "fish-eye effect" generated by the 155 ° wide-angle lens on the software side. This option can also be enabled for most 4K video recording modes, which is not possible with the YI 4K.

The YI 4K + is suitable for one or the other snapshot. Photographs convince by a good contrast ratio, a high degree of detail and a natural color representation. Interesting is the possibility to use RAW RAW images as a raw file universal format DNG to record or save. At the same time, when RAW is selected, the recording will be made as a JPG (RAW + JPG) saved. The saved DNG files could be easily opened and edited with Adobe's Lightroom. The recordings provided a consistently convincing picture quality and provided enough scope for post-production.

Voice control

The so-called Voice control or voice control Another way to control the Action Cam remotely. Overall there is 5 voice commandsthat allow you to take photos, start and stop a video, and turn off the camera. By default, the Voice commands in English recognized. For example, pronouncing the command "YI Action take photo" automatically takes a picture. The command "YI Action begin recording" starts a video recording and "YI Action stop recording" stops the recording.

In the test, the voice control provided one high recognition rate, Even if the pronunciation was not perfect, commands were recognized. The Recognition range depends on how loud the voice command is pronounced. At normal call volume, commands up to about 3 meters were detected. Furthermore, it is also possible to speak your own voice commands, However, converting the English commands into German commands did not work. Even after multiple voices, only the English voice commands were recognized!

Accumulator

The YI 4K + uses the same 1400 mAh Li-Po battery like the predecessor. The battery is manufactured by the Dongguan Amperex Technology Ltd., a manufacturer that also produces batteries for DJI, Apple and BMW. Replacement batteries can be easily bought for this Action Cam. The battery life varies depending on the resolution, how long the display remains active and whether the WLAN is active. The run times measured by YI Technology can be seen in the following chart.

Yi 4K + battery life

The most important resolutions (4K HD, 4K @ 60, 1080p @ 60 and 720p @ 240) I tried to understand in the battery test. The deviations from the values ​​measured by YI Technology were only slight. With the tested 4K HD resolution (4000 x 3008 @ 30) was the average Runtime at 90 minutes, On 4K @ 60 I reached one Running time of 64 minutes, on 1080p @ 60 it was 96 Minutes and on 720p @ 240 became a Running time of 92 minutes reached. It should be noted that YI Technology determined the values ​​under the best possible conditions.

A full battery charge will take 1 half an hour. A YI 4K needed a good 2 ½ hour for a complete charge.

Price Comparison

Price history

Current prices

Amazon
1-5 working days
232,71€
Buy geekbuying
1-5 working days
242,94€
Buy geekbuying
3-7 working days
266,33€
Buy geekbuying
10-30 working days
361,71€

Price too high? Use our price alarm clock!

Prices last updated on: April 5st, 2020 14:03

* The prices refer to the model with waterproof housing!

Final Words

rating
Positive

4K at 60 images-per-second
Very good video and picture quality
Touch-operated display
Versatile USB-C connection
App support
Numerous setting options
RAW + JPG recording
Long-lasting battery life
Fast loading times

Negative

Display brightness in sunshine
Micro-SD compatibility problem with retail firmware
Tinny audio quality
EIS quickly overwhelmed
Voice control does not recognize its own commands

First impression
9.0
10
application
8.5
7.6
Design
9.0
9.1
Display
8.0
8.3
User Interface
8.5
8.8
Features
9.5
8.6
usability
9.0
9.3
video quality
9.5
9.4
picture quality
9.0
10
Microphone
7.5
9.5
App
9.0
8.1
Battery life
9.5
7.1
Summary

GoPro needs to dress warmly. With the YI 4K +, YI Technology presents a reasonably priced yet technically outstanding action cam, which even outshines the GoPro HERO4 Black with the 60K video recording function at 5 pictures per second. Of particular note are the very good video recording quality of the YI 4K + and the long battery life.

Minor cuts are in the sound recording quality. Here, GoPro continues to be in the lead with the HERO5 Black. In return, the USB-C socket of the YI 4K + now also offers the possibility to connect an external microphone. Also, the display is to criticize, which is difficult to read in strong sunshine. Nevertheless, clearly outweigh the positive experiences that I could make with the YI 4K +, which is why I can pronounce a clear buy recommendation for this Action Cam!

8.8
Our rating
8.8
user Rating
1 rating
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Anonymous
guest
Anonymous

Damn good review. The 4K with 60 FPS recording but you have stabilized with a gimbal, right?

Erik
guest
Erik

So I think the recorded sound is still quite acceptable. Sounds vlt. a bit rough when you are very close to the microphone. In the case, you can anyway bend the sound on any camera ... and who uses an action camera for the right film with sound. Is there actually an external microphone from YI or fits no matter which?

shixx
guest
shixx

Super detailed test. Helped me a lot in my purchase decision. Do you think the price will fall in the coming weeks? She wanted to order me on Amazon.

Frank Sch.
guest
Frank Sch.

There is an update that adds the voice control, etc. to the Yi 4K Plus! Have you already tested the update? That sounds very interesting.

Added Russian language
Added Chinese language
Added fixed ISO value when in video mode
Added RAW image capture
Added voice control function
Added battery-save function when in time-lapse mode

Fixed issues when viewing pictures and videos

Optimized red tone of the image quality and sharpness
Optimized SD card compatibility
Optimized QuickView function
Optimized stability of system upgrade

Mike
guest
Mike

Can the battery be charged via USB during use?

Karl
guest
Karl

Is the Action Cam Yi 4K + combinable with DJI osmo mobile?

Frank
guest
Frank

Hi all,
Overall, I am impressed by the processing of the camera. Only I did not get any liquid videos.
Maybe someone will explain the benefits of a gimbal to me
Thank you
Frank

Christoph
guest
Christoph

Hi Timo,

Thank you very much for the very interesting report. I would have two questions again:
- Is the camera splash-proof or should I already use the case during a drizzle (eg on a bicycle tour)?
- Does the case change the picture quality?

Best regards

ALBERTO Einstein
guest
ALBERTO Einstein

Which external (stereo) microphone would be recommended? And then takes the camera internally synonymous sound in stereo or processes this in stereo?
LG Joerg

pollop
guest
pollop

With the latest firmware 1.3.11, saving a photo Raw + Jpg takes about 10 seconds, is this normal?
Jpg alone not half a second.
SanDisk Extreme 32GB, U3, V30, A1,

Thomas
guest
Thomas

Do voice commands work even if the YI is inside the case?

Rantanplan
guest
Rantanplan

Hello Timo,

Thanks for the very detailed review. I would like to get an action cam soon, which is mainly used on the helmet when karting.

Should I also put on a gimbal, or does not work on the helmet?

And would you prefer the 4k + (without gimbal) wg the better fps with and without electronic stabilization to a set of 4k (simple) + gimbal? (Would be roughly the same price)?

Thank you!

Oliver
guest
Oliver

Super Review. The Amazon Deal Code does not work for me. Could nowhere else find an info about it?

Alex
guest
Alex

Where do I have to enter the discount code for the Amazon Ptime Day?

Rüdiger
guest
Rüdiger

Which gimbal fits the Yi 4K plus