Which To Buy: GoPro Hero 5 vs. Yi 4K Action Camera

Which To Buy: GoPro Hero 5 vs. Yi 4K Action Camera
Image source: Yi

To compare the two cameras that are currently leading the sports camera market requires a quick glance at your bank balance. If money is no object you’re clearly better off with the Hero 5, but at $150 less than GoPro’s offering the Yi 4k might be the simple solution that provides all you need if you’re only just starting to film your adrenaline fueled escapades.

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GoPro Hero 5 is feature filled but might be a bit steep for many at $399

While both cameras are relished for their durability, it should be noted that each could easily be placed in an upper corner of your kitchen to film your cooking podcast. But, let’s face it, these two cameras are designed for showcasing your daredevil nature and desire to share your adventures. All said and done, the technical specifications of the two cameras lead us to a near draw when it comes to the camera itself. While the Hero 5 is head and shoulders above GoPro’s flagship Hero 4, the upstart Yi 4k action camera stands right there with it.

Each of the two boasts a 12-megapixel camera with GoPro’s boasting sublime stabilization thanks to its Snapdragon 800 chipset. The Yi model includes a Sony IMX377 12-megapixel camera capable of shooting 4k video at 30 to 120 frames per second with the ability to capture time-lapse videos for those who are so inclined. GoPro also offers 4k video with the potential to boost it to 8k, but only shoots from 30 to 60 frames per second.

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In theory, the 1400mAh battery in the Yi 4K from Xiaomi compared to GoPro Hero 5’s 1160 mAh should give you a bit more battery life.

Yi 4K Action Camera
Image Source: Yi

Features and Pricing

As far as features go, this is where the GoPro Hero 5 shines in comparing the two models. The Hero 5 boasts electronic stabilization, a first for the leader in action cameras. This stabilization feature shines as you make your way down the bumpy trail or ski slope. There is little question that the Hero 5 takes a better video on the move which, at the end of the day, is the realm of the action camera.

Additionally, the Hero 5 offers voice control which is handy especially if you’re in the middle of some death-defying stunt. Death defying stunts have a tendency to work out better when you have both hands available to you, and you’re not fiddling about with tiny little buttons when racing at breakneck speeds. As far as features go, the Hero 5 takes this round easily.

However, that victory for the Hero 5 when it comes to features begs the question is it worth the extra $150 for electronic stabilization and the ability to command the camera with your voice? The Xiaomi action camera is a very good camera with a price tag of $250 while the Hero 5 will set you back $399.

Just as we started, it comes down to price given the competing specs that essentially end in a tie between the two. Now, if you’re planning on using the camera over bumpy terrain the electronic stabilization of the Hero 5 is likely worth the extra cost. Additionally, while the Yi Action Camera does have a more powerful battery, this is quickly offset by the voice activation features of the GoPro offering as you’re not burning battery when you’re simply telling the camera when to start and stop filming.

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While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. <i>To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at theflask@gmail.com</i>
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  1. Since the new Yi 4K+ hasn’t been released, only shown at CES 2017, you are assuming it’s much cheaper. Is it waterproof with voice commands? Does it auto upload to a cloud service that allows you to share and download to multiple platforms? Does it come with four different editors like GoPro Quik for desktop, GoPro Studio, GoPro Splice for iPhone/iPad, and Quik for Android/iPhone/iPad? Does it work with Dash and have integration with Polar products? Will it be able to compete with GoPro Hero6 when it comes out? Do they offer the same quality Customer Service as GoPro? Does anyone ever question someone using a GoPro, “Is that a Yi?”, No they don’t. However, if you are using a Yi, for sure people will ask you if it’s a GoPro. It’s not just about the specs of a camera or even the price.

  2. You can’t comapare old YI vs new gopro. Few days ago YI released new 4K+ with many new features (VR, 4k 60fps,….). This might beat more expensive gopro hero 5.

  3. Your specs are wrong for both cameras. Yi does not film 4K at 120fps and GoPro does not do it at 60fps. They both film 4K at 30fps. The Hero5 gives better video, especially under water, but that’s not the biggest difference. You failed to talk about audio which GoPro Hero5 is far superior. It’s not a little bit better, it is leaps and bounds better. Put the Yi in a protective case and there is absolutely no comparison. However, even outside the case, GoPro Hero5 gives you several options including wind reduction and the ability to make a separate Protune wave file for editing. Comparing the two in real life situations and it doesn’t take long to realize that the Yi 4K, while cheaper, is a waste of money. Better to spend a little more for GoPro’s complete ecosystem and superior camera than pay a little less and be left wanting.

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