Yi Technology recently added a new camera to their action cam lineup: Yi Discovery. The new cam marks a new entry level action camera, priced lower than YI Lite. Let’s take a look at the specs:

Yi Discovery - cheapest priced YI Action Camera

Yi Discovery – lowest priced YI Action Camera

 

YI Discovery

Sensor
YI Discovery features the 8 MP Sony IMX 179 sensor. It’s not the same 8 MP Sony sensor from Xiaomi Mijia or Sony FDR-X3000, they use the superior IMX317 sensor. The Sony IMX 179, featured in Yi Discovery, is used in cheaper action cameras like MGCOOL Explorer and many smartphones, mainly as their front camera.

Processor
The processor used in YI Discovery is also known from budget action cameras, it’s an Allwinner V3. The advantage of using this lower spec (and priced) processor is of course the lower overall price of the camera. We have to see how the camera performs overall, since the processor is quite old.

Yi Discovery - Allwinner V3 processor

Yi Discovery – Allwinner V3 processor

 

Lens
While Yi Lite features a 150 ultra wide angle lens with F2.8 aperture, the new YI Discovery uses F2.4 aperture. That means the new lens is more light sensitive and should be better for low light situations, although the difference is nothing much.

Video Resolution & Frame Rates

  • 4K – (3840 x 2160 – 16:9) – max. 20fps
  • 1440p – (2560 x 1440 – 16:9) – max. 30fps
  • 1080p – (1920 x 1080 – 16:9) – max. 60 fps
  • 720p – (1280 x 720 – 16:9) – max. 90 fps

The sensor used in YI Discovery can’t deliver native (real) 4K resolution, it is interpolated from a lower resolution recording (3280 x 2464 effective pixels). Furthermore the camera can only do 20fps which is quite low for an action camera. If you are looking for a 4K camera go for YI 4K, YI Discovery is a low priced entry level camera.

Image Stabilization
YI Discovery does not feature EIS, if you are looking for that feature you have to go with (at least) YI Lite.

Recording Format
Format: .mp4 file; Codec: H.264

Photo Resolution
Yi Discovery features an 8 MP sensor, hence the largest native photo resolution is 8 MP. That’s half the max. resolution of YI Lite which got a 16 MP sensor. RAW photo is not available on YI Discovery or Yi Lite, only on YI 4K and YI 4K+.

Display
Yi Discovery features a 2″ touch display similar to YI Lite Action Camera. YI 4K and YI 4K+ offer a slightly larger 2.12″ touchscreen.

YI Discovery vs YI Lite vs YI 4K vs YI 4K+ - Touchscreen

Yi Discovery vs Yi Lite vs YI 4K vs YI 4K+ – Touchscreen comparison

 

Battery
Yi 4K and YI 4K+ offer a 1440 mAh battery. Yi Lite was released with a slightly lower capacity 1200 (mAh), but same size battery. The new Yi Discovery again has a lower capacity than the others: 900 mAh. Additionally Yi Discovery has a different sized battery compared to the other YI cameras!

YI Discovery vs YI Lite vs YI 4K vs YI 4K+ - Battery

Battery comparison of all Yi Action Cameras

 

Connectivity & Ports
Yi Discovery features a microUSB port, same as YI Lite and YI 4K. Only YI 4K+ uses a USB-C port that allows the use of an external microphone. But in contrast to all other YI models, the port is not covered with a flap. Same as YI Lite Yi Discovery also doesn’t offer A/V out via USB.
YI Discovery supports microSD cards up to 128GB and class 10 is required. Interestingly the slot of the microSD card was shifted from below the battery door to the side of the camera. This slot is not covered as well.
The new cam features Wi-Fi to connect YI Action app on your smartphone, but NOT Bluetooth to connect with the remote controller!
Note that YI Discovery has no 1/4″ photo tripod mount on the bottom compared to all other Yi cameras! To mount YI Discovery you either need a frame mount (careful the ports don’t fit) or the underwater case.

YI Discovery doesn't offer a 1/4" tripod mount (compared to all other Yi models)

YI Discovery doesn’t offer a 1/4″ tripod mount (compared to all other Yi models)

 

Dimensions
Size of YI Discovery is: 65 mm x 30 mm x 42 mm (same as YI Lite, YI 4K and YI 4K+)
Weight is 79 g.

 

Price





 

Comparison of Yi Cameras

Here’s a comparison chart of the 4 YI Action Cameras with Touchscreen and the original YI camera without screen:

YI 4K+ Action CameraYI 4K Action CameraYI Lite Action Camera YI Discovery Action Camera original YI
YI 4K PlusYI 4K Action CameraYi Lite Action CameraYI Discovery - YI TechnologyYI Action Camera
12 MP Sony
IMX377 Sensor
12 MP Sony
IMX377 Sensor
16 MP Sony
IMX 206 Sensor
8 MP Sony
IMX 179 Sensor
16 MP Sony
IMX 206 Sensor
Ambarella H2
Processor
Ambarella A9SE
Processor
Hisilicon Hi3556V100
Processor
Allwinner V3
Processor
Ambarella A7
Processor
4K – max. 60fps
max. 120 Mbps
4K – max. 30fps
max. 100 Mbps
4K - max. 20 fps
-
4K - max. 20 fps
interpolated
no 4K resolution
available
2.7K – max. 60fps2.7K – max. 60fpsno 2.7K resolutionno 2.7K resolution2.7K – max. 30fps
1080p – max. 120fps1080p – max. 120fps1080p – max. 60fps1080p – max. 60fps1080p – max. 60fps
720p – max. 240fps720p – max. 240fps720p – max. 120fps720p – max. 90fps720p – max. 120fps
12 MP
max. photo resolution
12 MP
max. photo resolution
16 MP
max. photo resolution
8 MP
max. photo resolution
16 MP
max. photo resolution
RAW photoRAW photono RAW photono RAW photono RAW photo
Display: 2,19″ touchDisplay: 2,19″ touchDisplay: 2,0″ touchDisplay: 2,0″ touchDisplay: no
Battery: 1400 mAhBattery: 1400 mAhBattery: 1200 mAhBattery: 990 mAhBattery: 990 mAh
Image Stabilization:
up to 4K 30fps
Image Stabilization:
up to 2.7K 60fps
Image Stabilization:
up to 1440p 30fps
Image Stabilization:
no
Image Stabilization:
no
wifi: yeswifi: yeswifi: yeswifi: yeswifi: yes
Bluetooth: yesBluetooth: yesBluetooth: yesBluetooth: noBluetooth: yes
Remote Control: yesRemote Control: yesRemote Control: yesRemote Control: noRemote Control: yes
microSD: up to 128GBmicroSD: up to 128GBmicroSD: up to 128GBmicroSD: up to 128GBmicroSD: up to 128GB
USB-C portmicro USB portmicro USB portmicro USB portmicro USB port
HDMI port: noHDMI port: noHDMI port: noHDMI port: noHDMI port: yes
A/V out: yesA/V out: yesA/V out: noA/V out: noA/V out: yes
Mic in: yesMic in: noMic in: noMic in: noMic in: no
Voice Control: yesVoice Control: yesVoice Control: noVoice Control: noVoice Control: no
Facebook Live: yesFacebook Live: yesFacebook Live: noFacebook Live: noFacebook Live: no
Amazon: $299.98Amazon: $149.48Amazon: $99.99Amazon: $59.99Amazon: $54.99
Amazon DE:
EUR 287,99
Amazon DE:
EUR 189,99
Amazon DE:
EUR 114,99
Amazon DE:
EUR 46,99
Amazon DE:
EUR 60,39
ReviewReviewReviewReviewReview

 

 

Body, Buttons and Ports

As mentioned before YI Discovery has the same size as all other Yi Action Cameras that feature a touchscreen. Therefore you can use all accessories available for YI Action Cameras.

YI Discovery vs YI Lite vs YI 4K vs YI 4K+

YI Discovery vs YI Lite vs YI 4K vs YI 4K+

 

But there are some differences in the body design of YI Discovery Action Camera. Same as Yi Lite and YI 4K, Yi Discovery offers a micro USB port. Only YI 4K+ offers a USB-C port that allows the use of an external microphone. But in contrast to all other YI cameras, the port on the side of the camera is not covered. The microSD card slot sits below whereas on all other models it can be found below the battery door at the bottom.

Yi Discovery vs Yi Lite - Ports

Yi Discovery vs Yi Lite – Ports

 

Functions & Settings

Operating Modes

Yi Discovery Action Camera - Modes

Yi Discovery – 6 operating modes

 

The camera has 6 operating modes, less than other YI cameras:

  • Photo – to take pictures (16 MP or 8 MP).
  • Timer, where you can set a countdown before a photo is taken. (Intervals available: 3s, 5s, 10s, 15s)
  • Burst, where you can set a a number of photos taken within a timeframe. Max. is 10 pictures within a second.
    Intervals available: 3P/s, 5P/s, 10P/s, 10P/2s, 10P/3s, 20P/2s, 30P/3s, 30P/6s.
  • Video – for video recording.
  • Lapse Video, where a time-lapse is combined into a video file.
    Resolution is available up to 4K (16:9) with 20 fps.
    Intervals available: 0.5s/1s/2s/5s/10s/30s/60s
  • Loop Recording, where short video sequences are recorded and overwritten once the microSD card is full. e.g. to use the camera as dashboard camera.
  • Slow Motion, where the video is recorded in a higher frame rate and the meta data to play it in a slower frame rate (in order to create the slow motion effect) is stored within the file. (added with firmware 1.3.32)

Modes that are missing compared to otherYi cameras : Live Broadcasting (also not available on YI Lite). Slow Motion (you have to set it on a computer) added, Time-Lapse Photo (to take individual photos for a time-lapse) as well as Photo & Video.

 

Video Settings

Yi Discovery - Video Settings

Yi Discovery – Video Settings

Video Resolution
available Resolutions are:

  • 4K – (3840 x 2160 – 16:9) – 20 fps (interpolated)
  • 1440p – (1920 x 1440 – 4:3) – 30 fps
  • 1080p – (1920 x 1080 – 16:9) – 60  / 30 fps
  • 720p – (1280 x 720 – 16:9) – 90 / 60 / 30 fps

You can switch between NTCS and PAL in the device settings. NTCS represents 30 fps and a multiple of that as shown above. PAL will get you 25 fps and a multiple of that. 24 fps frame rates are currently not available.

Mic
You can switch on/off audio recording from the integrated microphone.

Metering Mode
To define the area where the camera is measuring exposure: Center, Spot or Average

WB (White Balance)
You can select predefined settings for color correction based on the given light situation: Auto / Native / Tungsten / Daylight / Cloudy.

ISO
is the sensitivity of the sensor and you can set the max. signal gain. The higher the ISO the brighter, but noisier, your image will get. You can set a value if you don’t want the camera to automatically change (adjust) during recording. Available settings are Auto / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600.

Sharpness
You can select High, Medium or Low sharpness. If you want to do color grading in post production, you should set it to low.

EV (Exposure Value)
is the exposure compensation. You can adjust exposure by setting up / down EV in these steps: +- 0.5 / +- 1 / +- 1.5 / +- 2.

Time Stamp
You can display date and/or time in your video recordings.

 

Photo Settings

Most settings are the same as for video settings mentioned above. Including: Metering Mode, WB, ISO, Sharpness, EV & Time Stamp.

Photo Resolution
You can choose between 16 MP and 8 MP photos. Since sensor pixel size is 8 MP I would recommend using this option, 16 MP is interpolated within the camera.

Shutter Speed
is available with the following settings: Auto, 2s, 5s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 30s; which is needed for long time exposure photos.

 

Device Settings

The most important settings include:

In Housing Mode
In House Mode was adapted for better control when placed inside the underwater case. Long Pressing the shutter will not turn off the camera, it will get you in a sub menu where you can select the operating mode or turn it off. Of course when long pressing the button you can turn on the camera again.

Video Standard
You can switch between NTCS (= 30 fps and a multiple of that) or PAL (=25 fps and a multiple of that). As as side note: 24 fps and a multiple of that are currently not available which was offered on YI 1.

Note that compared to other YI cameras there is no distortion correction!

You can expand all available settings which include Wi-Fi and SD-card settings if you want to take a closer look:

all device settings

Camera Default Mode
You can set one of the 9 modes in which the camera should power up or set it to “last mode used”.

Language
You can switch menu between English & Chinese. German, Italian, Frech, Spanish & Japanese were added with firmware 1.3.32.

WiFi
You can switch on / off wifi.

WiFi Info
Shows you the camera’s wifi name & the set password. Standard password is 1234567890.

SD Card
To see info how much space is used/free and to format your microSD Card.

In Housing Mode
In House Mode was adapted for better control when placed inside the underwater case. Long Pressing the shutter will not turn off the camera, it will get you in a sub menu where you can select the operating mode or turn it off. Of course when long pressing the button you can turn on the camera again.

Video Standard
You can switch between NTCS (= 30 fps and a multiple of that) or PAL (=25 fps and a multiple of that). As as side note: 24 fps and a multiple of that are not available which was offered on YI 1.

Brightness
Which is related to the brightness of the LCD screen: Hight / Middle / Low. Higher brightness requires more energy which will result in shorter battery life.

Beeps
Which is the volume for the buzzer sound when hitting the button: High / Low / Mute.

LED
You can choose all on, only status – front LED is turned off, record LED on top will light up during recording – and all off.

Screen Auto Lock
when the screen turns off to save battery.

Auto Shutdown
When the cam powers down when in standby.

Set Date & Time

Reset Default
to go back to factory settings.

Reset Wifi
to reset wifi, but I’m not sure where to actually set them.

Device Info
To display firmware version and serial number.

About
Which will show you the internet domains of Yi Technology.

 

Firmware Update

Best way to update your firmware is via app and phone. But you can also download the firmware on YI’s website and do it manually.

The latest firmware release is 1.3.32 which added more menu languages, Slow Motion Mode and optimised the menu navigation.

 

Demo Photos

Here are some demo photos I took with Yi Discovery. They are unedited, straight from the camera with auto settings, 8MP resolution & medium sharpness. You can click them for full resolution:

Yi Discovery - Demo Photo

Yi Discovery – Demo Photo

Yi Discovery - Demo Photo

Yi Discovery – Demo Photo

 

Demo Video

Price





 

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