Xiaomi is the well-known Chinese brand that is emerging in so many fields worldwide, offering cheap products at really competitive prices compared to the competition, ranging from mobile phones to robotic vacuum cleaners, laptops, tv and action cams. We remember the first Xiaomi Yi, a great action cam of a couple of years ago, which competed hardly with the Gopro. The Yi brand then went to the Yi technology that produced other 2 cams of excellent quality, the Yi 4k and Yi 4k plus, the first action cam recording at 4k @ 60fps as will the future Gopro 6.
Now Xiaomi is again part of the action cam scene, presenting this new Mijia, aesthetically beautiful and technologically advanced and with exceptional price for what it offers. This cam allows you to record real-time 4k video at 30fps thanks to the Ambarella A12 chipset and the brand new Cmos Sony IMX 317 sensor.
The lens has a 145 ° FOV, which is smaller than the 170 ° class, bad news to the fisheye lovers, but it will make happy those who prefer less distortion.
The aesthetic is very pleasing and original, dark black color, rounded corners, lens surrounded by a chrome plated, with integrated UV filter. One button, on the top, like the Yi 4k.
Hardware then to the top of the range, accompanied by a huge 2.4 inch screen with 960 x 480 resolution which is even touchscreen! The thing in itself is not extraordinary, but if you look at the price of only 96€/115$ it becomes so! The action cams with touch screen, which have a certain video quality, never drop below 150€, such as the SJ7 and Yi 4k. So this cam will do a competition both at the slightly higher price range action cams such as the SJ7 and the Yi 4K, as well at the cheaper as the Firefly 8s that does not have the touchscreen.
But it does not end there, because the Mijia also has a 6-axis EIS stabilizer with Bosch gyroscope and accelerometer, dual microphone, bluetooth and wifi, 1450mAh battery with 120 minutes (4K recording), all in only 99grams and small dimensions of 71.5 x 42.7 x 29.5mm.
Coupon Xiaomi Mijia = 11.11GB179 (86$) or 11nov132 or GBCE | Price 96€ / 115$
Xiaomi Mijia features
Let’s see the main features of this brand new action cam by Xiaomi:
- Resolutions: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] / format: H.264
- Photos: JPEG and RAW, max resolution: 3840×2160
- Chipset Ambarella A12S75
- Sensor: Cmos Sony IMX 317 Exmor R
- Display: 2.4″ Touchscreen, resolution of 960 x 480px
- Lens: 7 elements in glass, F 2.8 3,2mm, FOV 145°
- Electronic stabilizer EIS 6 axis, 3 gyroscope + 3 accelerometer (BMI160 IMU Bosch)
- Double microphone
- Battery: removable with 1450mAh capacity, autonomy of 120 minutes in 4K
- Connections: Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi IEEE802.11 b / g / n
- Weight: 99 grams
- Dimensions: 71.5 × 42.7 × 29.5mm
As said, this cam action has a great 4k video quality thanks to a great hardware, chipset used by the best action cam of the moment, and new sony sensor, huge touchscreen display, very pleasing and original aesthetics, wifi and bluetooth, small weight and size, a battery pack of 1450mAh that allows up to 2 hours of recording in 4k, dual microphone, 6-axis stabilizer, AV output. In short, it has almost everything! Why am I saying almost? Because the output for the external microphone is missing.
Coupon Xiaomi Mijia = GBCE | Price 96€ / 115$
Unboxing & design
Let’s see in detail this cam, starting from packaging and aesthetics. The model we are reviewing has been kindly provided by Gearbest, which we recommend for purchase.
The Xiaomi traditionally comes in very small packaging, and includes the cam, the battery, an instruction leaflet (in Chinese), and a miniUSB cable for charging. There are no accessories, even the underwater case, which can be purchased separately here.
Holding the Xiaomi Mijia in hand, you have a feeling of sturdiness and durability. The plastic materials with which it is made look very treated and of good quality, so that it is rough to the touch and gives the feeling of being metal, also because of the weight slightly above the average action cam. On the front lens are printed the features, aperture F / 2.8, 145 ° FOV and UV filter. The lens is 7-layer glass and is of good quality. The FOV is 145 °, as we will see below, and it allows to have wide visuals but without excessive distortion, which is mainly observed if objects taken are very close.
On the top side, there are the microphone holes and a single button that is used to turn on the cam, turn it off if pressed for more than 2 seconds, start and stop recording, take pictures, and switch modes if you have set In housing mode from the settings, useful when the cam is inserted into a diving case and therefore the touchscreen can not be used.
On the back side there is only the large 2.4-inch touchscreen with 960 x 480px resolution. The touchscreen is well sensitive to touch and allows access to any cam settings and functions with a few simple finger movements, but we’ll see it later in the review of Xiaomi Mijia.
On the bottom side there is the battery compartment, which has a capacity of 1450mAh, so very large and it allows to record for more than 2 hours in 4k while keeping the monitor off and wifi turned off.
There is also a threaded hole, essential for connecting the cam to a tripod, or to any GoPro through an adapter type accessory.
On the left side there’s the socket for connecting the cam to the charger via mini USB, protected by a snap-in.
Menu & settings
When you turn on the cam for the first time, it starts a small tutorial that goes through the various cam features and how to use the swipe. The next time the cam starts in video mode, unless you change this setting from the main menu.
The screen is really huge and enjoyable to see, it is bright and it is possible to adjust the brightness so that it can also be seen in the sunshine.
Above are the features of the SD with the remaining space and the state of the battery.
Also by moving your finger from the edge of the screen inward, with a gesture called “swipe”, you access the various menus:
- swipe down to get access to shortcuts: general settings, Wi-Fi, display lock, and cam shutdown;
- swipe to the right to have a menu for selecting shooting or shooting modes;
- swipe to the left to enter Play mode and review the photos and video + audio in the SD.
In the bottom right you find the settings of the selected mode (video / photo / timelapse etc.):
By pressing this function in video mode eg. you access the menu where you can choose resolution, quality, whether to disable the microphone, whether to print date and time in movies and photos, metering, exposure, ISO, and white balance. With all the resolutions we also have the feature that eliminates the effect of the lens-distortion, while the gyroscopic stabilization – EIS – is only active if the set resolution is 1080P at 60 or 30fps, at least for now, we’ll see in the next firmware updates.
In photo mode, you can set the 4:3 or 16:9 format, while the available resolution is only 4K or 3840 × 2160. You can take photos in JPEG format but also in RAW with DNG extension, which can be treated with every software such as Photoshop, Lightroom, CameraRaw, etc. You can also set ISO, exposure, white balance, shutter speed, as well as some pre-set color profiles (Standard, Bright, Artistic, Film, and Classic).
By swiping to the right, as mentioned, you enter the choice of shooting mode with these options:
- Time Lapse Video
- Slow Motion
- Loop Record
- Video + Photo
- Photo Time Lapse
Swiping down you enter the general settings menu, with the following entries:
- Choice of format: PAL or NTSC;
- SD Capacity and Formatting;
- Default Mode: Setting the active mode when you turn on the cam;
- Beep volume: choose the volume while navigating in the menu;
- LCD Brightness: Display brightness, normal, high and low;
- Rotate: To rotate the display on the screen and put the cam upside down;
- Auto screen lock: Time after which the screen locks;
- Auto power off: automatic shutdown time;
- Wi-Fi auto on: to activate wi-fi when the cam is switched on;
- Bluetooth Pairing: pair a remote control via bluetooth to control the cam;
- In housing mode: When enabled, you can change modes between photos, videos, timepieces, and so on. holding down the main button, useful when the cam is inserted into a diving case;
- User Guide: to review the tour or guide explaining the operation of the cam;
- Date and time;
- Language: only English and Chinese;
- Device info: to know the firmware version,wifi sid and mac address.
Xiaomi Mijia review
We finally go to the video test with the Xiaomi Mijia. As far as the video is concerned, the cam has a very good quality as it was possible to expect by analyzing hardware components, the Sony IMX317 sensor and the Ambarella A12 chipset that are mounted in many of the best action cams, such as Firefly 8s, SJcam SJ7, Thieye T5e, Andoer AN7000, its direct competitors. Video performance therefore does not disappoint, giving natural-looking colors, sometimes too warm. Contrast and sharpness can not be set, but they have an optimum value that allows you to get videos that are always sharp and with the right contrast. The sky, like all cams with Ambarella processor, has no artifacts – unlike cams that mount Novatek processors – and is rendered in natural colors, even when the sun enters the frame without burning the whole sky. The passages from little to much light are well managed and fast enough.
Stabilization works very well, one of the best at least amongst the ones we tested, which are all major competitors, and returns fluid movie clips and not “Jelly” videos, or gelatin effect, typical of many stabilized action cam. The only defect found is a certain degree of shakiness during the horizontal rolls when the stabilizer is active.
Files in 1080p @ 60fps and 2K @ 30fps have a bitrate of about 40Mb/s, while in 4K you get to 61Mb/s.
App, wifi & Bluetooth
There is no dedicated app, but you have to rely on the more general MI Home App that allows you to control a vast array of Xiaomi devices, which really produces everything. Once you’ve installed the app in your phone, you have to choose China as your location, then click on “+” at the top right of your My devices, activate the cam wifi and connect the cam to the app. You will be able to change settings, modes, features, command the cam to start recording, see what is being recorded, review what is recorded, and download it to your phone, while there is no social area to share your movies directly, as in the apps of SJcam and Yi Technology.
In addition to the WiFi this cam has Bluetooth, you can then control it using a Bluetooth remote control such as the one for Yi technology or the Firefly 8s. With the remote control, when pairing is done, you can record videos, take pictures, switch between modes.
Conclusions on Xiaomi Mijia
The Xiaomi Mijia is certainly a great action cam, which comes with hardware at the level of its major competitors but with some arrows in its arc as a huge and clear touchscreen, a great stabilization, video quality at the same level of its competitors. Unfortunately, it does not have the capability to connect an external microphone, which might suggest the ones that need it to get the Firefly 8s (which does not have a touchscreen) or the SJ7. The fact that there is no underwater case in my opinion is a serious shortage, which makes it lose some points with Firefly and SJ7 for example, provided with homes and many accessories, but it is also true that even the Yi 4K and Yi 4K plus are sold without any accessories.
A big advantage of Xiaomi Mijia is also the price, it costs like Firefly 8s but it features a touchscreen – very useful for changing settings very quickly -, it costs much less than SJ7 but doesn’t have the external microphone. So whatever choice you make, it will be a great choice, all the above mentioned cam have a great video quality and are excellent cameras, the Xiaomi offers a big touchscreen and a very good stabilization at a really good price. Xiaomi is also a guarantee, and if you keep in mind the aesthetics, well the choice is reduced between SJ7 and this Xiaomi Mijia.
Xiaomi Mijia overview
This cam allows you to record real-time 4k video at 30fps thanks to the Ambarella A12 chipset and the Sony Cmos IMX 317 sensor, the same chipset featured in a number of excellent cam action such as the SJ7, Firefly 8s, Thieye T5e, and a new sensor by Sony.
The lens has a field of view or FOV of 145 °, it is in 7-element glass F 2.8 3.2mm
Video and photo resolutions
The Xiaomi Mijia has a generous 2.4″ display at the back, which is touchscreen and allows with just one finger to easily change settings, switch from video to photos, play videos and photos recorded previously. The screen occupies the whole back of the cam, making it even more aesthetically pleasing.
The removable battery has a capacity of 1450mAh which allows a 120 minutes autonomy in 4k resolution. The capacity is very wide and above the average action cams, and is the same as the Yi 4k.
Dimensions and weight
The dimensions are very small and the weight is 99 grams.
Coupon Xiaomi Mijia = GBCE | Price 96€ / 115$