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So just over a month ago I bought my very first action camera. It has been almost two weeks since I received it in record time. During that time I have been cutting my teeth as an amateur photographer and busy enjoying Easter.
Now that the holiday is over I am here to satisfy the curiosity of those who are wondering what you get when you hit that buy button.
The package was quite compact and much smaller than I imagined. The whole packaged weighed about 150 grams. This is not apparent from the pictures above but you can see this in the ones below. I think nowadays due to pressure to raise revenue ZIMRA will open all packages it inspects something that started happening last year I think. Whatever you buy they will open especially if it’s from the East as the Chinese have gained a reputation of understating the price on invoices.
Inside the package the camera box is safely wrapped to protect it against bumps and minor throws as it embarks on its journey from China into your hands.
The box is very compact and it comes in typical stylish white that Xiaomi seems to be partial to. Each side is adorned with tasteful relevant information about the product with an image of the camera itself on the lid. The box comes wrapped in transparent plastic so there is zero chance of the camera coming out without you opening the box. The box fits snuggly in one hand which gives you an idea of the camera’s size.
Peek inside the box
The camera fits in a slot made just for it. The slot is designed to minimise movement during transportation and handling. The lens is also covered by adhesive paper to prevent dust and dirt from reaching it before use.
The camera comes with just one physical button at the top to turn the camera on and off. It has a touch screen for selecting modes such as time lapse videos, video, photo, self-timer, loop recording and burst mode. At the bottom is a 1/4″ screw hole for mounting on monopods and tripods. There is a slot of a normal sized SD card which is inside the battery compartment. The camera can be charged using a normal micro-usb charger.
The Xiaomi Mijia Camera fits perfectly in one hand and its compact size makes it feel heavy. Although it is made out of plastic it feels solidly built with zero flex.
Package Contents and Battery
The camera package contains the battery, short micro-usb cable, an English manual and the camera itself. You will have to find an SD card just make sure it’s at least a Class 10 card otherwise you will not be able to shoot 4K videos.
The Xiaomi Mijia camera comes with a 1450 mAh battery that will give you about 1 hour of 4K recording and 1 hour 40 minutes at 1080p. Despite what it looks like in the pictures you are not going to be able to swap this with your phone battery. You can however use your powerbank with this camera while recording.
Extra batteries can be bought from Geekbuying only as far as I can tell. While they are available in other stores most shipping companies will not ship them to Zimbabwe.
At first glance the camera appears to be everything that I hoped for and more. It is a stylish, well built device that records stunning 4K videos and takes decent photo shots. The battery life was as advertised. With a firmware upgrade I was able to record 2K videos at 60 fps and these shots look great when scaled down and edited back to 1080p. 720P videos are revolting and should be avoided at all costs.
I will be posting a video and photo review soon showing the camera in action once I get the hang of things.
Where to buy
This is a $100 camera but like everything else it really depends on where you get it. I would recommend the following stores:
- Geekbuying where the camera is currently selling for $106.
- Geekbuying where the camera is $125 with a waterproof case
- Gearbest where the camera is currently selling for $122
- Aliexpress where the camera has a starting price of $108 with various extra accessories
- Another Aliexpress shop where the price starts at $105
- All the accessories you will need for $34 from Gearbest
- Extra battery from Geekbuying at $13 per unit and free shipping
All these places require you to pay using a Visa/MasterCard that can make international payments. If you don’t already have one you get get the FBC MasterCard or the Steward Visa Card both of which are prepaid. I would also advice you link your card with PayPal and checkout using PayPal. It is free and adds a layer of protection in case of mishaps.
Also your package will attract import duty please see here fore details.