LCD or not, question is now?
It is obvious that SJ4000 has a 1.5″ LCD screen, where as Xiaomi YI does not have screen at all.
How important is the screen?
If you are first time action camera user, you will find cameras with screen easier to use. Having immediate access to changing options and seeing what your camera sees will enable you better video and photo shoots. With cameras that do not have screen, it is sometimes hard to know if you managed to photograph right object. That is why I recommend that if you do want to change settings frequently and want to use camera for photographs, SJ4000 is much easier to use.
Where as with Xiaomi YI, which does not have screen it is possible to change options and see what your camera is recording, but only with application. This means that you first must enable the WiFi on your camera, and connect to it via your mobile device. By using mobile as a remote you can control the camera. While in some circumstances this is useful, for most of the users, including myself it is quite annoying.
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Just imagine that you want to change resolution for video for instance. You are in the mountain, wind blows, its cold. Well to do that, you must turn on the camera, press WiFi button, wait few moments for your device and camera to pair. Now you must enter the app and change options there. Quite frustrating user experience, don’t you think?
Okay, you are not much of an adventurist. Imagine this. You are with your family on a vacation. You want to take a nice group photo of your wife and kids, but in order to be sure that you do not cut off someone from the photo, you must repeat above steps and connect to an app if you are using Xiaomi YI.
With SJCAM SJ4000 it is much easier. You turn on the camera, take a glance at a screen and press the shutter. You do not like white balance. Okay, you just enter settings directly on camera and change it. No need for app and other WiFi crap which make whole process painful and slow.
If you plan to use camera in different way, where you just want to mount it onto a helmet a head strap or onto a chest and record your cycling tour, then you will not care if you camera has a screen or not. Its irrelevant as will be focused on
Having screen is an enormous advantage that SJ4000 has over YI.
I currently have the SJ4000 WIFI and its performed well over the last year, my main gripe has been white balance, on auto it noticeably jumps around a lot (usually too cold IMO), I tend to fix it at daylight which is usually too warm for our skies in Scotland, but with it fixed to one setting its easier to correct the colours in editing software.
I’m now looking for a new action camera that supports 60p for use on a drone and the YI Xiaomi keeps popping up as I research, I appreciate your own opinions based on these two cameras.
You are welcome Russ, appreciate your comment and I hope the comparison helped you.
thanks for the great work.
when i took a look at the pictures u took it seemed that the xiaomi has a bit more fisheye effect. what do u think?
It might be the case, since it has a bit wider field of view if you take a closer look at the images, you will notice.
Thanks for the article. I want to get a camera for my drone. I am a beginner though. What would you recommend? Also, durability wise what’s stronger? I imagine I may get some beating by a fall or a tree 🙂
I am an absolute newbie when it comes to quad copters, so I cant be the go-to guy for this. I have seen people using both of these, try browsing through different forums and see experiences of RC hobbyists. Xiaomi YI seams tougher, but not sure if that will make a difference when something falls from 50m. 🙂
If you are a true beginner in flying, better get some practice, that way you wont have to bother breaking anything.
Perhaps commenters here might be able to tell you which one is better for a quadcopter.
Nice review ! I was initially annoyed at it being divided across 15 pages but I really enjoyed it. It was a really good review.
You’ve helped me make up my mind too. 🙂
Thanks Alaba, pages are split because in my opinion it gives more time for reader to search what he wants and also separates content for easier consumption.
Very usefull. Thank you ☺
Which one is better for night action video shooting, eg. night Karting race… I couldn´t find low light comparisson in your post…
Again great post (y).
From what I have been reading on the web, I agree with you that Yi beats SJ4000 on many aspects. I haven’t been able to find many reviews on SJ5000x or SJ5000x Elite.
In your opinion how does Yi perform against SJ5000x and SJ5000x, do they worth the price difference?
I do not have any of those cameras, so I cant comment on that. You can read more about general differences on new SJCAM releases including 5000X and Elite here. I hope to review Elite in the next few weeks.
How are you?
Iam a begginer. I should choice one of those many action camera. Iam a traveler in the water. I like xiaomi but yi didn’t have lcd. As a preview,sj cam has lcd screen but yi has better spec. And xiaomi’s picture is difficult to be shown when it is in the water cause it doesn’t have lcd screen.
What do you think?
So, you need a decent photo quality and an LCD for action cam?
Perhaps Dazzne P3 or Blackview Hero 1, or upcoming SJ5000X Elite.
Or if you are good with Xiaomi YI, you can get external LCD for it.
I think is good. But the lcd has expensive price. I think i’ll choose sj cam 4000.
One HUGE advantage I just found out after having to return the 6 SJ4000 I bought for a 360 Video i was planning to make is that the YI can shoot VIDEO in 4:3 which was not a big deal until this new technology for VR Video which MAY OR MAY NOT end up being the next big thing.
Good I just bought it
Great comparison. I couldn’t decide between Yi and M10, finally went with M10. Why? LCD screen. I am professional photographer and I’m used to adjust options of my camera to get most of it…if I can’t adjust exposure and white balance in few clicks, I don’t want to use that device. You pointed out that most people don’t bother with options, but it is evidently they can change image quality significantly. Interesting thing I learned from your review: size of sensor doesn’t make so much difference(for video) in this type of camera: that could also be the reason why is SJ sharper (smaller sensor means bigger depth of field).
The quality of xioami yi is exeptional but i’m gonna have to go with the sj4000. I go on hiking and on the beach i think it would be wiser to buy the sj4000 for beginners like me. It is important for me to have a screen on my cam for navigation. Though xiaomi yi has an app but what if i go to places where there is no wifi. Or what if i go to a place where there is no signal. Thank you so much for the review.
Xiaomi Yi has internal WiFi, like Bluetooth so you’ll have it everywhere.
Travis Bennett says
ok. I have a couple questions about the 2 cameras discussed here. I film my hunts and bowfishing trips with a gopro 3 silver. Most of the time my gopro is stationary and mounted to a pole, tree, tubing, rail, etc. I need a few more pov’s so want a couple more cameras but don’t wanna spend $300 to $400 a pop on gopros. I was thinking about the newer gopro hero and came across your blog about these 2 cams. My current gopro doesn’t have a screen and I use the app if I wanna see what is in the frame so lcd is not a must. I also use the gopro remote to control the cameras when they are mounted on trees in the woods. My question is does either of these cameras have a remote control ability whether by wrist remote or through an app. Also I record at 720p to save room on cards and to record at a faster fps so I can do slow motion post production. the 120fps on the YI is very tempting for this reason. Is the 120fps on the YI actually 120fps because this would be a great benefit when doing slow motion. Have you done any slow motion. using the 120fps setting to see how well it works. thanks for your time.
Both can be controlled via the WiFi app. YI supports Bluetooth remote controller. 120 fps in YI is true.
Hi Pavle, in the specifications said the xiaomi yi don’t support Bluetooth. If support you could fix that. Thank you for your review and time. Help me a lot.
Thanks Fernando, I corrected it.
Apple Marie says
I’ve been researching and watching reviews on action cameras now and yours are my fave! Thank you for taking the time to create these in-depth reviews! I’m honestly still at a loss. I want to take beautiful photos and I would like to be able to adjust my settings. After much research, I’m considering getting the
Yi+frame mount or SJ5000+
But I’m still at a loss. Would you have any suggestions?
Thanks Pavle! I appreciate your blog!:)
I haven’t really tested 5000+, so can’t tell you my opinion on it.
Have you tried any one of these in underwater ? with a waterproof case on it . which one is better in underwater photography
As said in the review, for photography YI is a better camera.
Check my youtube channel for some under water videos with the sj4000. youtube.com/user/baggacfreaks I do have to say that sound is the only issue I have with the qumox SJ4000. Underwater I do not care because the cases even from better cameras do suck. The fisheye lense is great for wide views, but not for making pictures. If you want a action cam do not by the cheapest ones because their sensors are really bad. SJ4000 for 70 Euros was a good inbetween and for better videos with audio I am currently thinking of buying a real cam aroung 1000 euros which does not have underwater option, but for macros and so on a better quality and 4k to downsize video part and still get full hd video.
Do you know if SJ Cam accessories are compatible with the Xiaomi?
Most of them are, but not all. I’d recommend you to read the article about YI acessories, there you can see pretty much everything.