Xiaomi 360 Mijia

Here’s my video review of Xiaomi 360 Mijia as 360° video. This video is best viewed within YouTube app. When watching it on your computer make sure the browser supports 360° videos (e.g. Chrome).

 

Note: This camera is from Xiaomi Company not YI Technology, manufacturer of the YI Action Camera. The name confusion for the first Action Camera came up as Xiaomi was distribution partner in China and therefore the name Xiaomi YI Action Camera was common. Therefore  Xiaomi 360° panoramic camera is not a associated with YI Cameras. YI also announced a 360° camera: YI 360 VR!

360° Cameras
Panoramic cameras recently became a trend, especially after Facebook and YouTube introduced 360° video upload. That way you can play a video on your smartphone and look around within the video by turning your device. As for YouTube this only works if you play the video within the YouTube App or on your computer with Google Chrome browser. Other famous brands already released 360° cameras, such as Samsung’s Gear 360, Nikon KeyMission 360 and the most famous: GoPro Fusion. The cheapest camera to offer 2 lenses is MGCOOL / Elephone Cam360. Be aware there are other cameras named “panoramic camera” which feature just one lens, but you won’t get a full 360° video or picture!

Xiaomi 360° Panoramic Camera - Design

Xiaomi 360° Panoramic Camera

 

Xiaomi 360° Panoramic Camera Mijia Specs

Sensor:
Xiaomi 360° camera uses a Sony IMX 206 sensor, that’s the same sensor being used in YI Action Camera. I think there are two sensors being used in the camera as this sensor is not capable of 4K video resolution.

Chip:
The camera features an Ambarella A12 processor, same sensor being used in SJCAM SJ7 Star or Thieye T5 action camera.

Lens:
Xiaomi Mijia features 2 lenses on each side of the camera, each of them having 190° FOV, consisting of 5 glass layers with an aperture of 2.0 and focal length of 1,43.

Video Resolution & Frame Rate:

  • 3456 x 1728 – 30 fps
  • 2304 x 1152 – 60 fps / 30 fps

Live Preview is available in 1440 x 720 at 30fps. The resolutions are in 2:1 format which is required for a full panoramic video.
As the height of 4K video (actually UHD) is 2160 pixels and HD is 1080 pixels, the resolution of this camera is between these.
If referred to width of the video, you could call it 3.5K camera.

Video Format:
videos are recorded in .h264 codec.

Electronic Image Stabilization
Mijia is equipped with stabilisation, which seems to be turn on all the time (no setting for that).

Photo:
Max. photo resolution is 6912 x 3456 pixels (3456 x 1728 is also available) in .jpg format.

Display:
Mijia doesn’t offer a display. You can switch photo / video mode with the button on top. All other settings are done via app.

Battery:
Xiami 360° cam holds a built-in 1600 mAh battery which lasts for 75 min of video recording.

Storage:
microSD cards class U3 are required, max. 128 GB cards are supported.

Connectivity & Ports:
Wifi & Bluetooth
Xiaomi Mijia connects to via WiFi and Bluetooth; an App “Mi Spheric Camera”is available for iOS and Android.
Ports
The only port the the cam is a micro USB port.
On the bottom of the camera is a 1/4″ standard tripod thread for mounting.

Dimensions & Weight:
Weight: 108,3 g
Dimensions: 78 x 67.40 x 24mm

Accessories:
Included is a small tripod as well as USB cable.
Xiaomi Mijia is IP67 waterproof, I’m not sure if there will be an additional underwater case for diving. Not shown below but included is a bag for Xiaomi Mijia:

Xiaomi 360° Panoramic Camera - Accessories

Xiaomi 360° Panoramic Camera – Accessories

 

Retailer / Price Comparison:

The camera is currently available for pre-order:

Gearbest offers an International Version, with English packaging and Manual. Also an English App is announced. See here.

 

Body, Buttons and Ports

Xiaomi 360 VR Camera

Xiaomi 360 Mijia Panoramic Camera – Front- & Backside

 

I’m not quite sure which side is the front and which the back side. Let’s put it this way: On one side there is a logo visible (left photo). When you turn on the camera on the other side some LEDs will light up (right photo). On the photo you can hardly see the LED’s. The sun was shining straight on the camera, but they are still very good visible. Above the lens are a photo camera and video camera symbol to indicate operation mode. During startup (shown in the photo) both light up). Right of the lens is a battery symbol indicating its status.

Xiaomi 360 VR Camera

Xiaomi 360 Mijia Panoramic Camera – Buttons on top

 

On top of Xiaomi 360° Mijia You will find 3 buttons: Record/Shutter, Power/Mode Switch and wifi button. When you long press the power button you can turn the camera on and off. When you short press it, you can switch between photo and video mode. Microphone holes are on the outer end.

One side of the camera holds a flap that covers microUSB port and micro SD card slot.
A 1/4″ standard photo tripod thread is on the bottom. Next to it are charging contacts, maybe for other accessories or a charging station.

There is no display, therefore you need to download the App to change the settings. Without App you can only switch between photo and video mode.

How to connect to wifi:

  • Scan the QR code in the manual which will get you to Google Play Store or Apple App Store and download the App: “Mi Sphere Camera”.
  • Press the wifi button on the top of the camera.
  • Press the button on the bottom of the app “connect to camera”.
  • Your phone will search for the wifi. Standard password is: 12345678.
  • On your iPhone you might have to go to the settings and select wifi there.

 

App & Settings

When using the app you can edit the settings of Xiaomi 360. During the Live-Preview you can also turn your phone to look around.

Xiaomi 360 Mijia - Mi App for iOS and Andorid

Xiaomi 360 Mijia – Mi App Video & Photo Settings

 

Video Settings

Resolution
You can either choose 3456 x 1728 at 30fps or 2304 x 1152 at 60 or 30fps. The format is 2:1.

White Balance
can be set to Auto or adjusted manually with the options: Outdoors, Cloudy, Incandescent or Fluorescent to correct the color of your image.

Exposure Compensation
with a slider you can adjust exposure +/- 3 EV in 0.5 units.

Recording cycle
often called loop recording creates shorter files and overwrites the oldest ones once the micro SD card is full.

Photo Settings

Resolution
You can either set 6912 x 3456 (23MP) or 3456 x 1728 pixel photo resolution.

White Balance
Similar to video mode white balance can be set manually. (same settings)

ISO
In contrast to video settings ISO can be set for photos: Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600.

Exposure Time
You can set exposure time (Auto, 1S, 2S, 4S, 8S) for long exposure photos.

Exposure Compensation
Similar to video mode +/-3 EV.

Xiaomi 360 Mijia - Mi App for iOS and Andorid

Xiaomi 360 Mijia – Mi App Camera & Device Settings

 

Camera Settings

Wi-Fi settings
You can set wifi name & password.

Format SD Card

Preview Mode
You can choose between Mirror ball, Flat, Little Planet & Pano for the live preview on your phone.

Turn off Automatically
You can with it off or let the cam turn off after 5 or 10 min in standby.

Buzzer
You can turn on and off the buzzer sound

LED Lights
If the LEDs are disturbing or reflecting it is nice to have the option to turn them off.

Device

Here you can find all infos about your camera: Name (= standard wifi), Serial Number & Firmware version. When you press it you can check for updates, but the app notifies you automatically if they are available.

 

Important App Info:

 

The Android App can’t be found in PlayStore currently, here’s the download Link!

The iOS App currently can’t render full resolution video!

 

360 Video Workflow – How to upload to YouTube

Xiaomi 360 Mijia itself records a dual spherical video – that’s a video containing two images next to each other. You need to convert this type of video into a equirectangular video. That’s a flat image in 2:1 format. Here’s how it is done.

Xiaomi 360 Mijia - Double Spherical Video (recorded in camera)

Xiaomi 360 Mijia – Double Spherical Video (recorded in camera)

 

Unfortunately there is currently no PC or Mac software available from MI. So you have to do it via your smartphone app (available for Android & iOS). I tried other camera’s software, but the result was not satisfying. You could go for a 3rd party stichting software, but I haven’t found any free software tools. So here’s what to do on your phone if you don’t want to pay for a software:

Xiaomi 360 Mijia - Equirectangular Video (needed for YouTube Upload)

Xiaomi 360 Mijia – Equirectangular Video (needed for YouTube Upload)

 

Go to the library within Mi Sphere App. (On top there is a selection camera & local library). Open a clip on your camera and click download on the bottom. The video is now downloded to your phone and locally saved. But this is just the first step, you need to stick the clip.

Xiaomi 360 Mijia - Download the video to your SmartphoneXiaomi 360 Mijia - Download the video to your Smartphone

Xiaomi 360 Mijia – Download the video to your Smartphone

 

In the next step you have to export the video (to stitch the video). Click on the locally saved clips. The „download“ option is now gone. Now you click the “three dots icon” and a new menu opens. Select the third options „Export video“ and the video will be rendered and saved to your camera roll on your phone.

Xiaomi 360 Mijia - Render the VR video

Xiaomi 360 Mijia – Render the VR video

 

Currently the 360 meta data is not stored in that video, you have to add it manually. Get the „360 Video Metadata Tool“ (available for Windows and Mac), which is also recommended by YouTube. Start the software, click „open“ and select the video file. Check „Spherical“ and click „Save as“ and a new video file is created. This clip is now ready for YouTube upload.

360 Video Metadata Tool - Workflow

360 Video Metadata Tool – Workflow

 

Video Editing

Of course you can edit the video in any video editing software. Use the file created by your phone. It is in 2:1 format and be sure to use this format in your timeline! After you render your final clip (which has to be exported as .mp4!), use the 360 Video Metadata Tool to add the 360 video information. Afterwards you can upload it to YouTube.

 

360 Photo Workflow – How to post on Facebook

You can post a photo to Facebook straight via your app – well kind of. You don’t post a photo, but a link to Xiaomi’s platform where your photo is stored. It will open up within a player that is capable of showing a 360° photo. If you want to post a photo directly on Facebook, you need to follow some steps in order to be recognised as 360° photo. In the left image below I posted a Xiaomi Mijia photo without editing, in the left image I did. Notice the little icon on the bottom right of the thumbnail. Facebook now indicates it recognised a 360° photo.

Xiaomi 360 Mijia - Facebook Upload

Xiaomi 360 Mijia – Facebook Upload

 

You need to follow 2 steps in order to post your photo as 360° photo on Facebook:

  1. The max. file size Facebook is accepting for 360° photos is 6000 x 3000 pixels. A photo taken with Miami 360 Mijia is 6912 x 3456 pixels and therefore too large. You need to reduce the image size.
  2. 360 meta data is missing in the image. You need to add the information in order to make it work. Here you can download a xmp file which contains the required information. Add this data to your photo. I’ll show you using Photoshop CC:

Open your photo and click “file info”. In the new window click on template and import. Select the file you downloaded and select the last option “Keep original metadata, but append matching properties from template”. Save the new photo you just resized and added the metadata and you can post it to Facebook!

Xiaomi Mijia 360 - Facebook Workflow

Xiaomi 360 Mijia – Photoshop Workflow

 

Retailer / Price Comparison:

The camera is currently available for pre-order:

Gearbest offers an International Version, with English packaging and Manual. Also an English App is announced. See here.

Interested in 360° cameras? Join the Facebook Group to discuss: 360° VR Action Camera Group

 

Demo Photo

 

Here’s a photo I took during shooting of the review:

 

Camera Comparison

Here’s a comparison chart including Samsung Gear 360, 2016 and 2017 model, as well as the announced YI 360 VR:

 Gear 360 (2016)Gear 360 (2017)Xiaomi MijiaYI 360 VR
Samsung Gear 360 (2016)Samsung Gear 360 (2017)Xiaomi 360° Panoramic CameraYI 360 VR Camera
Sensor2x 15 MP Sensor
2x 8.4 MP Sensor2x 16 MP Sensor
Sony IMX 206
2x 12 MP Sensor
Sony IMX 377
ProcessorDRIMe5sDRIMe5sAmbarella A12Ambarella H2V95
max. 360° Resolution3840 x 1920 (30fps)4096 x 2048 (24fps)3456 x 1728 (30 fps)5760 x 2880 (30fps)
max. Photo Resolution7776 x 3888 - 30MP5472 x 2736 - 15MP6912 x 3456 - 23.8MP5760 x 2880 - 16.5 MP
Displaydata displaydata displayno displaydata display
Battery1350 mAh1160 mAh1600 mAh1400 mAh
Wifiyesyesyesyes
Bluetoothyesyesyesyes
Image Stabilizationnonoyes?
PortsmicroUSBUSB-CmicroUSBUSB-C
WaterproofIP53
splash-proof
IP53
splash-proof
IP67
splash-proof
no
Dimension56.3 x 66.7 x 60.1 mm100.6 x 46.3 x 45.1 mm78 x 67.40 x 24 mm102 x 53.2 x 29.6 mm
Weight152 g130 g108,3 g170g
PriceGearbest: 254.99 USDPre-Order 399 USD
ReviewReviewReviewReviewReview

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