New Panasonic Lumix GH5 Vlogging Camera!

New Panasonic Lumix GH5 Vlogging Camera!

Quick overview of why I purchased my new Panasonic Lumix GH5 vlogging camera!  (This is not a camera review but that will follow at a later date).

Never safe from GAS! (“Gear Acquisition Syndrome”)

Whenever I think I’m safe from the dangerous GAS, aka. Gear Acquisition Syndrome something comes out of nowhere and catches me by surprise.  I certainly didn’t see this one coming! The Lumix GH5 idea came within two days and it was ordered.

Lumix GH5 Video

New YouTuber

After throwing myself head first into the scary world that is YouTube I’m now wishing I’d started it years ago.  I just keep thinking of all the cool things I’ve done and wished I’d caught on film to share!  I still need to drastically improve my monotone lifeless talking head style videos but I’m very excited to get cracking. 

My overwhelming passion for photography and to share content overcomes any doubts I have to face the camera. My head is full of topics I want to share on YouTube, I just wish I had longer days to do it all sooner!

Vlog camera limitations

If I do something I like to do it properly.  If take a photo, regardless of the model I try to exceed my previous best photo.  If I enter an Ironman triathlon I aim for a good time rather than just taking part.  With YouTube videos initially I was thinking to keep it very simple and no frills.  I tried this but with my mind set that wasn’t really going to work for long. 

One of my very early YouTube frustrations is that the Nikon D800 camera I film myself with has no flip out screen. The Yi4K+ action camera I have also doesn’t have a flip screen. I felt I could do a better job of it if I had the right tool for the job. It was an excuse to look an new cameras if nothing else!

Quick background info on me shooting video

The first time I shot video footage was with a crop sensor Nikon D90. From there I upgraded to a Nikon D800 and more recently a Yi4K plus action cameras. Feel free to skip the next few sections if you only want to read about the Lumix GH5 but I thought I would give it some context.

Nikon D800 (2012)(My first real video camera)

In 2012 I bought my Nikon D800 DSLR camera on pre-order specifically for recording video. At the time I was shooting as part of an Asian wedding videography team. The Nikon D800 camera allowed me to capture cinematic style footage by using fast lenses on the full frame sensor.

I had many fast lenses – 24mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4, 50mm f1.2, 85mm f1.4, 200mm f2 and I used them with a pro slider setup and heavy Manfrotto tripod with video head. I even had external H2 microphones, DSLR viewing loupes, the lot.

It was all great except video took me too long to edit (if shooting for myself) and I had no reason to shoot video other that for these wedding team gigs. Once I bought the Leica M9 that was the end of video for me and I sold my slider and most of the video specific kit. Soon after I got into film photography at that has kept me busy ever since!

Yi4K Plus (To record Ironman training)

When training for the second Ironman last year I was watching back to back YouTube videos. YouTube helps inspire me on whatever my current ‘phase’ is whether triathlon, ultra marathons, photography, vlogging or otherwise. From watching many ultra marathon videos I noticed everyone had GoPro style cameras and they recorded their experiences.

Slightly brainwashed by what I saw I bought the Yi4K plus action camera as a cheaper alternative to a GoPro. I setup an additional Instagram account to share such footage and that was the plan (@MrLeicaRunsBikesExplores). The action camera was great for running and cycling but I realised I didn’t like seeing myself on camera so that idea slowly faded too.

Nikon D800 limitations – YouTube

When starting YouTube I used the Nikon D800 to vlog with. The Nikon D800 in it’s day was a great camera but it fell slightly short of the Canon 5D Mk3 at the time for video use. Most wedding videographers were using Canon DSLRs but as I photographer I opted to stay with Nikon.

The main limitation today of the Nikon D800 is the lack of flip out screen. This makes it pretty difficult to know where you are in the frame for vlogging purposes. With manual focus fast lenses it is also near impossible to keep yourself in focus (as I proved in one of my videos, apologies!).

Yi4K Plus limitations- YouTube

As the Yi4K plus has a wider view fixed lens I tried using this for YouTube too. Yes it is easy to be in the frame but is can distort the face easily when in close to the camera. Action cameras are great for running videos or vlogging outside while multitasking but it is not really suited to talking head videos. (That was my excuse to get a new camera anyway!).

Lumix GH5 Vlogging Camera

Why the Panasonic Lumix GH5?

When toying with the idea of a new camera for a better video solution I first looked at the smaller beginner level Nikon DSLR cameras. Some Nikon cameras have flip out screens which was the main feature I wanted for vlogging. After days of intense YouTube review videos (watching) I discovered the Panasonic Lumix GH5. I knew of the camera but nothing about what it can do. Having owned and used a Lumix G1 and Lumix G3 in the past I was happy to go with the Panasonic Lumix brand.

Lumix vs Nikon – Advantages

As a Leica photographer one huge advantage of the Micro 4/3 systems is I can use all my existing Leica glass on the Lumix camera. Most lenses can be mounted on the 2x crop sensor M4/3 system cameras whether Nikon, Canon, Leica, M42… In contrast you cannot mount a Leica lens on a Nikon DSLR for example. Another big advantage of the Lumix M4/3 camera is the small form factor similar to Leica. I love small cameras and small lenses!

Lumix GH5 – Ordered!

Perhaps I was lucky but after discovering micro four third cameras on YouTube I found a used Lumix GH5 camera listed online at a seemingly bargain price. It was a UK photography store but the price was cheaper than used GH5 cameras on eBay so I ordered it. Camera body only, perfect for me. As an experienced photographer I much rather buy a lens that suits my specific needs than be limited to and unhappy with a supplied kit lens. (I will do a separate review on the camera when I have used it and can share some example images).

Lens for Lumix GH5

Micro four third cameras like the Lumix GH5 have a 2x crop factor smaller sensor. This means a standard 50mm lens on the full frame Leica M240 is equal to 100mm on the GH5. When buying a lens for vlogging this crop factor must be considered. If I plan to hold the camera at arms length to talk to it I need a lens wide enough to show more than just a tight crop of my head.

One of the popular low cost Lumix kit lenses is the Lumix 14-45mm which gives 28mm-90mm in full frame terms. 28mm is a bit too tight for me so I looked for wider. There is the well regarded Lumix 12-35mm fixed f2.8 lens (giving the popular 24-70mm focal length often used at weddings). A great lens as I understand but I wanted something smaller and cheaper ideally.

I then found the really tiny, extra lightweight, very affordable older Lumix 12-35mm retractable pancake lens. I didn’t need the f2.8 shallow depth of field for talking into the camera so I bought that as my first lens. (I will review this lens properly once I have used it).

Excited! Let the Lumix GH5 vlogging commence!

As with any new camera or lens I am very excited to see what the GH5 can do, both for my photography and video use. I have no expectations for photography specifically but I said the same when I bought the Leica CL! I plan to use the Lumix GH5 mostly for video and I’m hoping it will add some excitement to my potentially quite dull YouTube videos!

It’s going to be quite difficult to add new features to my videos without following the masses. When binge watching YouTube it is very easily to get influenced by others. One phrase I have certainly already picked up from YouTube is adding the word “Super” to every sentence! Sorry!

Lumix GH5 Price

The Lumix GH5 price when it was released was over £2k but you can now find huge savings on Amazon. Here are some of the best deals I saw when researching for mine –

  • If you want the cheapest option (as I did) this might work for you – Lumix GH5 camera body only – Amazon UK / US
  • If you don’t already own lenses this is probably the best Lumix GH5 camera bundle – Amazon UK / US

Lumix GH5 Photoshoot

Here are a few Lumix GH5 photoshoot sample photos from yesterday with Harriett. I will do a separate blog for this when I’ve taken more images. The GH5 does look very promising though! Lumix Lightroom preset(s) to follow too as I’m developing them for myself.

Panasonic Lumix GH5 Portrait
Lumix GH5 Portrait
Lumix GH5 + Voigtlander 35mm f1.2

Related Posts

Lumix cameras may be better than you think. See here for example images of me using the Lumix G1 and Lumix G3 Micro Four Thirds cameras.

You may also like… What Gear I Use for Portraits!
  • See full details of my portrait photography lighting kit  – HERE
  • See full details of my portrait photography equipment kit  – HERE

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MrLeica.com – HOME >>> (Leica Blog & Film Cameras)

Leica Blog + Film Cameras

Interested in film cameras or specifically Leica?  Perhaps you are looking for product reviews or just a source of photography inspiration.

“Love teaching photography so blogging and now YouTube! helps me to do so”.

MrLeica.com is a free and fast growing resource for cameras, lenses and film comparisons.  With over 300 published articles this site caters to everyone.

“I enjoy using old film cameras but I do my research before buying.  Here I share the answers to the questions I had to save you searching the internet”.

Why is MrLeica.com different to other camera review sites? 

“My camera reviews include many comparisons to similar cameras and are based on up to 10 years of hands on experiences using the equipment”.

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Summicron 90mm Portrait
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MrLeica.com started in March 2013 after Flickr followers asked for my thoughts 

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Founder / Story

I’m a self taught photographer with around 10 years experience of photographing portraits, models and weddings.  After my first 3 years I was teaching photography to fellow professionals in the UK and overseas and after 4 years I bought my first Leica camera.  As a child my Grandfather inspired me to draw and taught me to paint with watercolours.  As a teenager I taught myself very fine detail acrylic painting but went on to study science (and later finance) rather than the arts.

Photography came to me later after an ex girlfriend kindly bought me a camera one Christmas.  I was immediately hooked and 3 months later a bought a better camera and then another.  My inquisitive data driven mindset and tendancy to document things inspired me to start this blog as a personal project.  When reading about photography and researching new cameras I find it is the perfect place to record everything I learn and I can share it with others.

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Mr Leica Photographer Blog

Coventry UK studio based portrait and wedding photographer using digital Leica cameras and a wide range of film cameras.  Analogue cameras include 35mm, medium format and large format and film developing is done in house.  Cameras, lenses and films are tested during model photography photo shoots both in the UK and overseas.  Blog reviews include a combination of technical detail, example images and side by side comparisons.

Before starting MrLeica.com I used to write technical articles for UK photography magazines.  As I continue to collect and test cameras and photography equipment I now share the information here.  I hope you find the content as enjoyable to read as it is to document.

Matt Osborne

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Where to find MrLeicaCom!

If you want to follow me on social media just search for MrLeicaCom or Matt Osborne.  It’s always great to hear from like minded people so feel free to get in touch!  You can find me on Instagram and I share images on Flickr and Pinterest too.

Godox AD200 Review + Portraits (Godox – Leica Setup)

Godox AD200 Review + Portraits / Godox – Leica Setup

Late to the party I know!.. here is an article I wrote last year but didn’t quite finish – My Godox AD200 Review:

Godox AD200 Review - Creative Lighting - Leica Portrait B&W girl

Looking for an affordable high power flash?!  – Meet the Godox AD200

Are you looking for a high power portable strobe for location work that packs down as small as a speedlight and needs no additional battery pack?  Meet the Godox AD200 light. My Godox lighting solution for overseas photoshoots where I travel with only cabin luggage. Here I compare it to the Godox TT350, Godox V850 II and Godox AD360, all of which I use with my Leica cameras (and other film cameras).

Leica CL + Elmar 135mm

Leica CL + Noctilux Portrait

Godox AD200 Flash – Why I bought one!

This is the new Godox light that I bought ahead of my model photography trip to Poland.  The Godox AD200 is powerful enough for fashion photography on the beach yet small enough to fit in my carry on luggage for when I work overseas.

Godox Ving V850 vs AD200

The reason I found the Godox AD200 light attractive is because of the option for an open bulb light similar to the Godox AD360 that I use.  Unlike a standard speedlight head the open bulb design sprays light in all directions filling a softbox or umbrella more evenly that a flat fronted standard speedlight head.  The Godox Ving V850 and Ving V850 II that I have are both great lights using lithium batteries instead of 4x AA. 

Leica M8 + Noctilux

The problem with the Ving V850/ V850II is that the light modifiers I use (excluding a few small umbrellas) don’t fit in my cabin bag.  I have a nice Godox rapid box / umbrella box but it only fits the open bulb design Godox lights (AD180, AD360, AD200).

Nikon F5 B&W Fashion

Godox AD200 vs AD360

I have a Godox AD180 and a Godox AD360. Both lights have the open bulb design and both have separate power packs.  The additional power pack makes these lights quite bulky to travel with.  Due to their size I also mount them in a Godox Bowen S mount bracket which adds more bulk and weight to the setup.  I love these lights for seemingly endless power, especially for wedding photography lighting. For my overseas trips however I find them too big to carry. 

Hasselblad 500 Portrait

As mentioned, my smallest nice light modifier is a Godox rapid box design mini umbrella box which also works as a beauty dish.  It mounts directly onto the open bulb of the Godox AD180/ AD360/ AD200 system but is not compatible with standard speedlights/ Godox speedlights.  The Godox AD-200 gives me a light similar in shape and size to a standard speedlight yet the same power output of 3 normal speedlights.  It fits in my travel bag and can mount directly to a light stand so requires minimal additional brackets (less to carry). 

Godox AD200 Review

Both the Godox AD360 and AD200 will do a similar job with the AD360 having a bit more power output.  The main advantage of the Godox AD200 for me is size.  The Godox AD360 requires you to carry yet more additional reflectors and light modifiers if you want a beam of light rather than an open spread from the bare bulb.  The Godox reflector head that comes with the Godox AD360 allows more control of the light output but again adds to the bulk of the Godox lighting system when using a Godox AD180 or AD360 flash.  The Godox AD200 with the standard speedlight head attached provides a tighter beam of light without needing to carry additional equipment.

Leica CL + M lenses

Godox TT350 vs AD200

You would probably never compare these two lights but as I have both I will.  If you need the smallest lightest Godox light kit for travel or to mount on top of a Leica camera get a Godox TT350.  I use a pair of Godox TT350s to add a pop of light when working in low light situations.  (I used them for my Budapest model trip last September). 

Godox TT350 lights take 2x AA batteries and are perfect size for an on camera flash for small cameras such as a Leica M or Leica CL. I use them as both on camera flash and off camera flash. I also use the Godox TT350 on camera to trigger larger Godox lights like the AD360 and AD200 from my Leica camera hot shoe. I tend to avoid on camera flash but the Godox TT350 can be useful for weddings when they provide ‘backup’ light on camera yet also trigger the lights off camera (best of both).  If you need a larger off camera flash (only) that has a higher power output and option of open bulb design, get the Godox AD200 instead.

Leica Elmar 135mm Portrait

13 Advantages of the Godox AD200 vs Yongnuo/ other standard speedlights

  1. AD200 gives 3x more power output than a standard speedlight
  2. Similar compact design to a normal speedlight
  3. Lithium battery vs 4x AA batteries give faster recycle time and life
  4. Bare bulb design option (clip on bare bulb head) for even fill light
  5. Can also operate as standard speedlight with normal reflector head design (clip on head) to help provide a tighter beam of light
  6. 3.5mm jack port for using pc sync cable (good if use old cameras!)
  7. Multiple screw mount sockets to mount AD200  directly to a light stand
  8. AD200 compatible with all Godox AD180/ AD360 light modifiers
  9. Compatible with standard speedlight light modifiers 
  10. AD200 compatible with other Godox wireless flash units that can be used as a trigger (Ving V850II and TT350 of those mentioned)
  11. Built in LED low power model light – to help light a dark scene
  12. Optional Godox AD200 LED head attachment available (to use as a video light)
  13. Godox accessories available to use the AD200 as a power pack to power a separate lightweight head unit attached via a cable

Leica CL + Summicron 50

Godox AD200 light modifiers / Godox AD200 accessories x11 (+ for the AD360)

  1. Godox rapid box / umbrella box / Beauty dish (in 1)
  2. Silver reflector head
  3. Wide reflector to use with umbrella (to reduce light spill)
  4. Godox round diffuser dome (white)
  5. Standard snoot
  6. Narrow snoot
  7. Godox bulb protector
  8. AD200 LED video light head
  9. Godox barn doors with colour gel kit
  10. Grids to control light spill
  11. NEW! Godox H200R round head attachment (like Profoto)

Zeiss Biogon 25mm

Godox AD200 trigger?  Compatible triggers x4

  1. Godox XT-16 wireless flash trigger
  2. Godox X1T wireless flash trigger
  3. Godox TT350 flash
  4. Godox Ving V850II flash

*It’s worth noting that I use Nikon version Godox triggers to work on my Leica cameras.  I’m not sure if Canon and other versions will work too.

Hasselblad 645 Portrait

Godox wireless trigger not compatible with AD200

  1. Godox FT-16 wireless flash trigger

I was disappointed that the Godox FTR-16 433MHz USB port legacy flash receiver will not work with the Godox AD200 flash. The Godox FTR16 receiver does work with the Godox Ving V850 II flash making it compatible with either FT-16 or XT-16 triggers which is helpful.

Leica M3 Film Camera

2 Godox AD200 – Power up! Shoot in them in pairs!

If you need more power than the output of of 1x Godox AD200 light  then you can get the bracket that mounts 2x AD200 units in a standard Bowen S mount bracket.  Using 2x AD200 at half power will give a faster flash recycle time than one unit ran at full power. It also gives the option of both units at full power if you are using a large light modifier and need a high power output. Perhaps something like a Broncolor Para 88 (parabolic umbrella). (An awesome light mod ..but then if you had that much money to spend then you would probably be using different lights too! Profoto!?)

Leica CL Portrait with 50mm f1 Noctilux

Profoto B10 vs Godox AD200 flash

If you are like me you probably lust after the Profoto lights. I remember the Profoto B1 release and it seemed to tick all my boxes without the wire distractions of the Godox AD360.  When the wire free Godox AD200 flash arrived it seemed to offer me much of what he Profoto unit offered but for much less money.  The Profoto B10 is a newer design of the B1 and is even more comparable to the Godox AD200 (especially if you fit the Godox H200R round head to the AD200 (see below for more). 

When I do wedding photography or blue sky day high power flash photography the Godox AD200 gives me the power I need in a compact setup.  I’ve managed to resist the Profoto lights so far but they are nice!  For the majority of photographers the Godox AD200 should be able to provide much of what the Profoto B10 offers and the money saved can be invested into a nice lens instead.

Leica Summicron 28mm Portrait

How I use my Godox AD200 flash

1. Godox AD200 softbox (60×060) setup (UK photo shoots only)

When I am not limited by cabin bag capacity I use the Godox AD200 flash with the open bulb head into a Godox 60×60 softbox or a large umbrella (most commonly)

2. Godox rapid box + AD200 (Overseas photo shoots)

When I was in Poland I used the Godox rapid box/ beauty dish light modifier setup.  A rapid box provides a more compact kit yet still offers a nice soft quality of light (if used close to the model).

3. Godox AD200 bare bulb

Regardless of where I am I use the Godox AD200 bare bulb mode to bounce light off a wall as a soft fill light.  This is especially handy for event photography such as weddings to spray light around the room.

4. Magmod kit + Godox AD200

If I want a controlled spot of light I use a Magmod magnetic grid onto the standard Godox AD200 reflector head.  The Magmod gives a smaller setup for travel than using studio reflectors and grids.

 

5. Godox AD200 round head diffuser dome

For wedding photography I find the white Godox round head diffuser dome the best lighting solution. The dome attachment gives a similar quality of light to a white shoot through umbrella yet doesn’t blow over in the wind!  The diffuser dome also helps protect the bare bulb if it was to be knocked over. (I’ve used the dome for the last 3 years on my Godox AD360, AD180 and now on the Godox AD200 flash).

6. Godox AD200 modeling light

If you shoot with fast lens (small f stop) like the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1 or Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH the Godox AD200 modeling light provides enough light to illuminate a face for portrait work.  It is also great when working in low light with strobes to light the model so it is possible to focus accurately prior to pressing the shutter/ the flash firing.

Voigtlander Nokton 35mm 1.4

Behind the scenes video including Godox AD200

Godox AD200 portraits

Mamiya RZ 645 Back

Leica Fashion

Nikon F5 B&W Portrait

Digital Leica CL Portrait

Noctilux Portrait

Leica CL + Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5

Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH

More Godox AD200 sample photos – colour

Leica CL Colours

Leica CL + Voigtlander 35mm Color Skopar

Leica Summicron 90mm Portrait

Leica M240 + 35mm

Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5

Leica CL + Summicron 50 DR

Godox AD200 Review – Conclusion

I was an early adopter of Godox lights ever since they hit the UK 5+ years ago.  I have quite a few Godox lights now but I think the AD200 strikes the perfect balance between a portable studio light and a speedlight.  I use the Godox AD200 in the studio mixing it with studio lights as well as out on location.

Leica M8 Photoshoot

Links to some of the mentioned Godox kit I use

Tamron 45mm Portrait

New! Godox H200R Round Flash Head for Godox

It took me so long to get round to posting this article that Godox have now released their new Godox H200R round flash head to fit the AD200.  This allows the Godox AD200 to complete with the round head Profoto A1 AirTTL flash, but at a fraction of the price.  (The Profoto A1 is more like a Godox Ving V850 II design but with the Godox H200R round head available for the AD200 if you need a visual).  *There is actually a new Godox clone of the Profoto A1 which is a standard speedlight design but with a round head called a Godox V1 TTL.  I’ve not tried it but it is basically a Godox Ving V850II with a round head (in very simplified terms).

Summicron 50 Portrait

Godox AD200 – Whats in the box + Spec

What other Godox lights do I use with my Leicas?

To see the other Godox lights I use with my Leica  cameras (and other brand) see my Photography Lighting Kit article – HERE

More Leica Blog Posts

Godox AD200 Portrait

Yi4K Plus Review (& Yi4K+ vs GoPro)

Yi4K Plus Review (& Yi4K+ vs GoPro)

Qu. Need a small camera to take with you everywhere!?

First thoughts Yi4K Plus review! – The cheap GoPro alternative action camera for photos and videos.  Yi4K vs Yi4K+, Yi4K Plus vs GoPro Hero 6 & 7, Yi4k essential accessories, sample photos and sample videos.  My new toy!

 

Yi4K Plus Review (Blog)

Yi4K Plus action camera

If you are a regular reader you probably know I enjoy model photography but also cycling and running (triathlon training).  When I’ve been exploring in new places before I’ve always wished I had a small camera to capture some of the amazing experiences.  I have taken film cameras on various cycling trips abroad – Voigtlander R3A in Fuerteventura, Leica M3 in Fuerteventura and Mamiya 6 in Mallorca (blog to follow).  They were great but were too big to use while running and required me to cycle with a backpack.  The smart phone is the obvious camera choice for such situations but I use an iPhone 6 Plus and even that is a faff to carry handheld (and I find it awkward to use for photos).

Inspired to get an action camera

I had been watching lots of ultra marathon running videos on YouTube and the camera footage with small action cameras really inspired me to try doing some of the same.  It lets me combine both my passion for photography and for exploring on 2 wheels or 2 feet.  In the past I would visit a new country and perhaps have some model headshots against a plain hotel white wall to show for it (as an extreme example but it’s true!).  To date I usually have very little to share of the sights and experiences that make up my overseas trips.

 

Wide Angle Landscape Photo

GoPro Hero 7 / GoPro 6 vs Yi4K+

At first I looked at GoPro cameras as I knew nothing about the subject of action cameras.  GoPro is the brand everyone has heard of and perhaps think of.  I looked at GoPro Hero 5, 6, and 7 and GoPro Black vs Silver vs White.  It was all very confusing for a newbie.  From watching YouTube GoPro review videos I discovered Yi4K action cameras. I’d never heard of this camera brand but it seemed widely regarded as a cheap GoPro alternative and has been nicknamed by some as the “GoPro killer”.  The main advantage of the GoPro Hero 6 is the camera is fully waterproof without needing an additional waterproof camera case. This is true for the GoPro 5, 6 and 7.

Yi4K+ Photo

GoPro Hero 7

The latest GoPro Hero 7 camera has the best built in electronic anti shake of all the cameras I looked at.  The correct term is “EIS” (electronic image stabilization) but I didn’t want to pay almost double the price of the Yi4K Plus for this nice feature.  I think a lot of my work will be photos more than videos as I can share them easier via the usual social media channels, Flickr, Instagram etc.  I have a YouTube account but have not used it since experimenting with video years ago (Nikon D800 video mostly).

Yi4K vs Yi4K Plus

The Yi4K older model is cheaper (roughly half the cost on Amazon) than the newer Yi4K Plus version.  That said I wanted to find a balance between camera spec and camera price.  The newer YiK4+ is comparable to the GoPro Hero 6 in some regards offering 4K video at 60 FPS.  Both Yi cameras are 12MP sensors but the Plus model shoots 4K 60FPS vs 4K 30 FPS for the older model.  The main advantage to me is the Yi4K+ has image stabilization for 4K video (30 FPS) vs only for the 1080P video on the older Yi camera.

Wide Angle B&W

Yi4K vs GoPro – Accessories

The great thing about the Yi4K action cameras is they are fully compatible with the GoPro camera accessories.  The Yi4K cameras also have the advantage of a standard 1/4 thread tripod socket so will fit any standard studio tripods / accessories.  GoPro cameras require an adapter. The Yi4K+ camera also has a standard USB-C socket to use for charging, data transfer and to use with an external microphone. 

Yi 4K+ Micro SD card

The Yi4K plus camera takes micro SD memory cards rather than the larger SD cards I use in the Leica cameras. I already had a San Disk 16GB class 1 micro SD card but the Yi4K website recommends faster memory cards.  To be specific the micro SD card needs to be minimum UHS speed class 3 (U3) to be able to utilize all the functions of the camera. I ordered a San Disk Extreme Plus 64GB Micro SDXC card but it wouldn’t arrive immediately.

Yi 4K Plus review – First thoughts

I bought the Yi4K+ camera on Amazon just before my latest trip to Poland earlier this month. A big thank you to Amazon Prime for their unbelievably quick next day delivery (<18hrs door to door)(I used a free Amazon Prime 30 day trial!).  I didn’t have time to buy any GoPro accessories so my first experience with the Yi4K+ is the bare minimum, camera only. I used my old 16GB memory card which was fine for photos but for 2.7K and 4K video the clips stopped and buffered after around 15 seconds. I was just thankful I could use the camera at all while waiting for the new faster Micro SD card to arrive!

Sopot Fishing Boats

5 Likes of the Yi4K Plus

1. Tiny camera size! (65mm x 30mm x 42mm)

It’s amazing how small this camera is! It is truly a portable camera and is much smaller and lighter than my iPhone 6+. The Yi4K Plus 65mm x 30mm x 42mm dimensions are comparable to a GoPro Hero action camera but i’ve never really taken any interest in a GoPro before.  The light weight (96g/ 3.4oz) and small size means I can carry it with me literally everywhere. Running with the Yi4K camera in my hand was no chore at all.

2. GoPro accessories for Yi4K

There are endless GoPro accessories on the market so I love the fact I can use all of them with the Yi4K+ camera.  For running I plan to use the GoPro head mount, chest mount, selfie stick and backpack strap clip as potential ideas.  For cycling I will use the GoPro handlebar mount to make the camera hands free.

3. Yi4K+ voice activation

The Yi4K camera can be voice activated so I can take a photo with the camera mounted on the bike or my head for example without needing to touch the camera. A pretty cool feature!

4. Yi4K Plus app

The Yi4K camera can be easily operated from a smart phone device.  The mobile phone can display the view the camera is seeing so I can compose a photo without looking at the Yi4K+ camera LCD.  I can take the photo or start recording video straight from the mobile device.  The Yi4K phone app connects to the camera via WiFi and then photos can be exported from the camera, edited if needed on your phone and shared straight to social media. A seamless application that works brilliantly for my simple needs. (*I would say after using the Yi4K phone app more that it is better to transfer photos than video.  With video clips sometimes the WiFi connection fails and you have to start again).

5. Yi4K Plus photo quality (and video!)

I’m no expert when it comes to video quality but the Yi4K plus 4K video footage looks pretty crisp and the slow motion footage can look really cool if shot at 60FPS/ 120FPS (and then slowed down).  The true test for photo quality (for me only perhaps!) is to post a photo on my Flickr feed and see the reaction. Yi4K Plus photos were posted next to those shot with the modern digital Leica CL camera and film photos taken with the 4×5 Intrepid (blog to follow!) and other well regarded cameras.  I didn’t mention the camera used on purpose as I am guilty in that I judge a photo partly by the equipment used. 

For example if there were 2 near identical photos, 1 film, 1 digital I would be much more impressed with the film photo (for me)(as I know what is involved in “making” film images).  Likewise if a photo said “taken with cheap GoPro camera” I would try to pick fault at it somehow (with my thought process being well it’s nice for a P&S photo).  If I see a nice photo on someones Flickr film feed I would think woo I wonder what lens/ equipment was used.  If I then see that it was shot with an iPhone (for example) i’m somehow disappointed even though it was a great image.  (I just appreciate the people that master the craft of using old cameras in the modern day as anyone can pick up and use a digital camera).  From the reaction on Flickr to the Yi4K Plus photos most people are luckily not as narrow minded as me (smiley face) and just appreciate the end photo regardless of what camera was used.  I guess I should remember that i’m an extreme gearhead but most people really don’t care what camera was used!

More Yi4K+ sample photos

Postcard from Poland

 

Wide Angle Landscape Photo

After Poland – Yi4K Plus

Since Poland I have been planning ahead for my next photogenic trip to take the Yi4K+ camera on.  I’ve played around with trying different video settings and used it for a few clips i’ve shared on my Instagram account (@MrLeicaCom).  I think the Yi4K+ is best suited to the GoPro style advert amazing locations – skiing with blue skies, surfing with the clear blue water and action sports (as the name suggests!)  For me I think I will use the Yi4K camera the most when abroad but it is great to have for when I need it.

Pimp your Yi4K – Essentials (+ Nice extras!)

If you buy a Yi4K plus action camera you may ask what are the top 5 essentials to get you started.  Here are some of the items i’ve now purchased on Amazon for my Yi4K camera.  It took countless hours of research (my usual before buying anything) but i’ve been happy with my setup and nothing is crazy expensive.  (A GoPro setup would cost a lot more as you have to pay extra for GoPro branded products).

5 Essentials for your Yi4K  camera (that I bought on Amazon!)
  1. San Disk Extreme PLUS 64 Micro SDXC memory card – UK / US
  2. Yi4K waterproof protective case  (Rhodesy) – UK / US
  3. GoPro accessories pack – UK / US
  4. Yi4K batteries (x2) & charger  (Newmowa) – UK / US
  5. Yi4K selfie stick tripod & remote – UK / US
More nice things for your Yi4K (that I bought on Amazon!)
  1. CNC Aluminium Yi4K case (with hotshoe) – UK / US
  2. Rode VideoMic Compact microphone – UK / US
  3. Yi microphone converter  (USB-C to 35mm cable) – UK / US

 

Yi4K+ photo of 4x5 intrepid camera photoshootSneak preview Yi4K+ photo of me using the 4×5 Intrepid camera in Poland!

 

Yi4K Plus – Specs

To see the Yi4K Plus specs in full visit the YiTechnology website Yi4K page

Yi4K Plus videos

Sorry I have not shared any Yi4K video footage here.  There are some video clips on my Instagram feed (@MrLeicaCom) if you want a taster but the best bet is view others work on YouTube.  Going forward I will try to get organised to share some videos via the blog.

Yi4K Plus YouTube Sample Video!

This Yi4K plus video impressed me enough to buy the camera.  Pretty cool for such a tiny device!

 

 

 

Treat Yourself!

Here is the Yi4K+ action camera I bought on Amazon (link below).  I managed to get a great deal on mine so keep a look out for discounts.   These small action cameras offer excellent value for money for the amount of fun they offer whether for action sports, vlogging, travel camera or just to capture family life.

  • YI 4K+ Action Camera Ultra HD 4K/60fps – UK / US

 

Yi4K Plus Review Action Camera RunnerPano crop sample photo of me running in Poland using the Yi4K+

 

Yi4K+ video review (vs latest GoPro 7)

If you want to see what the Yi4K action camera looks like here is an excellent video review to provide some visuals with the Yi4K+ vs GoPro Hero 7

 

 

 

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