All of these cameras are so close and the differences in how they process video are so minimal, that what you should look for while watching is which camera processes exposure more appealingly to you, which camera has the most appealing audio to you and which cameras user interface will work best for you. No matter which you buy you’ll end up with a camera that has decent video quality.
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Xiaomi Mijia 4K – Gearbest International
The SPCA 6350 / OV4689 Processor and sensor combo does a decent job faking 4K. Some Youtubers even claim (incorrectly) that it’s better than GoPro 4K! You might not be able to tell the difference on a smaller screen… But it is only 1/2 the resolution of real 4K, and since it uses MJPG instead of H.264 for 4K mode, there is a lot of compression artifacts. It is also only 25FPS instead of 30, making it jittery at times. Some shots even got corrupted. This was filmed with an H9R clone (same cam as Akaso EK7000, but unbranded). It is also found in Eken H9 and a bunch of other cams around $50 – 60 on Amazon/Gearbest/AliExpress/etc.
While this camera may not have the best video quality of all the cams I’ve tested recently, it certainly has some of the best hardware, with a metal front plate and handsome orange accents. The camera feels well built in comparison to other cheap action cameras. Since this cam is based on the OV4689 4MP image sensor, it is not capable of real 4K. 1080p at 60 FPS will likely be its best format. It also features interchangeable filters, that make it unique among the rush of generic action cameras that have hit the market recently. This review will be updated as more footage is captured.
More coming soon.
I don’t expect a $30 cam to match a $100 camera for quality, but if they advertise 4K they should AT LEAST get something close, not … this … mess …
So many cams are based on the NT96660 processor, which results in fake 4K. The results are often less than stellar. The camera I used is the MGCool Explorer 1S (because it has pretty sharp video for Novatek). This is versus the ThiEYE T5e (real 4K). In order to get real 4K you need at least 8MP sensor, and many of these cams are advertised as 12, 14 or 16 but really have more like 4MP. This comparison shows a cam with a real 12 MP sensor. I’ll do another Novatek one with a 4MP cam later.
Summary: Despite a few little issues with the stabilization and a slight size difference with other action cams, the T5e is an excellent value, from a pure image quality perspective.