After struggling to fit my iPhone 6 and Panasonic video camera into my models I decided that I needed to investigate smaller cameras. I also found it difficult to preview the shot when the camera was inside the model, along with their integral previewing screens, so needed a camera that also allowed remote preview. Action cameras fit this bill and after some investigation I decided to buy the Xiaomi Yi action camera.
This only cost around £55, which was much cheaper than the competitor Go Pro cameras, and according to reviews had as good (or better) lens and image capture quality. The low price is due to the lack of included accessories (which I don’t need) and that it is produced for the Chinese market (my one was shipped from China along with Chinese instructions). The free iOS app is in English and English instructions are easily found on the web.
Like all action cameras, the Yi has a very wide-angle lens, along with the accompanying lens barreling. Before purchasing I ensured that I could correct for this in Adobe After Effects, which is achieved using the Optics Compensation effect. Fortunately the Yi has an inbuilt setting option to remove the lens distortion, although some minor barreling still remains.