So recently I decided to branch into a little bit of vlogging. I have the handsome face for it and a beautiful voice to match. It would be a crime not to share it with the wide world. I also want to rely less on stock images on my main blog. The problem is I did not have a camera and had a budget of $100. The hunt was on.
Asking for too much
I wanted a camera:
- That could take stunning videos preferably in true 4K. 1080P is the new normal in Zimbabwe but it never hurts to be future proof
- Has an excellent inbuilt microphone
- That could take decent videos at night and in low light
- I have a shaky hand so EIS stabilization would be welcome
- Can take 16:9 photos in decent resolution
I wanted to use this as a cheap camcorder so I needed the option to be able to turn fish eye distortion off
- Importantly I wanted all this for $100 or below
For the price it was a no brainer that I ended up settling for action cameras. A lot of so called 4K action cameras under $100 do not record in real 4K. Low scale videos are actually interpolated to 4K and the result can be less than ideal. After weeding out the “lemons” two winners emerged: ThiEye E7 and Xiaomi Mijia Action Camera both of which are currently selling on Geekbuying for less than $100.
Xiaomi wins again
While both cameras are great the Mijia 4k from a Xiaomi affiliate ticks all the right boxes:
- It records in real 4K at 30fps
- It comes with EIS anti shake technology when you are recording in 1080P. It’s not perfect but well ..
- You can record awesome slow motion videos in 1080P at 100fps
- You can switch fish eye distortion at a cost of course
- It can take decent 8MP photos that look respectable especially if you save them in Raw format
- Ability to take time lapse videos automatically
- A phone app that allows you to control the camera from up to 10m using inbuilt Camera WiFi
- More importantly the microphone and night time videos samples I saw are enough to give the GoPro a run for its money.
NB Sample footage can be found here
The Mijia 4K is coming my way
I am an admirer of Xioami products of which I have several so it ended up buying the camera. As always you will need a card that can make international payments which means a Visa/MasterCard which most banks will require you to preload with foreign currency. I would recommend the FBC MasterCard or Steward Visa Card both of which are prepaid.
The camera qualifies for free shipping and you can expect it to reach you after about 40 days from the date of purchase. You can use this time to look for money to pay the ZIMRA Taxman who will demand his dues. Expect to pay around $70 on this purchase. That might look steep until you start looking for a locally available camera with similar specifications. I am going to put the 40 day delivery period to and turn this whole purchase into a Lay bye of sorts.
Mijia 4K Cons
Although I am buying this camera it does not mean it’s flawless awesome as it is.
- It would have been nice to have stabilization on 4K videos the ThiEye E7 has this.
- It comes with practically zero accessories, there are no waterproof cases and zero mounts, you have to purchase these separately for the price this is understandable
- You will need a class 10 memory card or better to use this but then again this is true with all cameras.