Ok we’ve seen the release of the Hero5 Black and the Hero4 might be last years, or even the year before’s news, but the quality of footage is still exceptional.
Although the Hero5 Black has changed everything when it comes to action camera features, packing in voice activation, GPS and motion sensors, when it comes to actual image quality the specifications of resolution and framerate differ little between the Hero5 and Hero4.
If you’re not one for the latest features then it’s well worth taking a look around and seeing what other action cameras are out there. If you have already then more than likely you’ll have come cross the ThiEYE T5e.
The list of specifications is quite incredible. 4K resolution at 30 frames per second, 1080p at 120 frames per second and 720p at 240 fps, this all sounds familiar, and in almost every other specification and way the ThiEYE T5e matches the GoPro Hero4 Black like-for-like.
The specifications of the ThiEYE don’t just match the Hero4, they go some way to beating it.
At the heart of the camera we have the processor and sensor. AnAmbarella A12LS75 processor and the sensor is a½.3” CMOS 16MP (Sony IMX117) Image sensor, these are latest generation and are far higher spec’d than in the Hero4.
On the front on the camera there’s the 3mm f/2.8 lens with 170º field-of-view, and on the back a 2-inch LCD and Wifi built in just to finish off those headline features.
This manufacturer combination of processor and sensor has proved itself in the GoPro and Yi cameras, and shows that the ThiEYE T5e action camera really does have the pedigree to rival the Hero4. Really it just comes down to how the engineers deal with the firmware, user interface, app and of course the build quality.
On arrival and based on the packaging the ThiEYE has a real feel of quality. Our version is the international ‘e’, but aside for the packaging the T5 is identical.
Open the box and everything remains pretty minimalistic, this is quite unlike many of the other budget action cameras that try to pack in as many mounts and accessories as possible. Probably to detract from the quality of the camera.
With the T5e however there is just the action camera, two batteries and a small selection of mounts, really not too dissimilar to what I’d expect to find when I open a new GoPro.
This lack of mounts and the quality feel instantly gives me the impression that the ThiEYE is a huge step up from other budget cameras.
This quality sets a level of expectation, ignoring the price, I’m now expecting this camera to work as well as the GoPro Hero4 Black. A tall order for a camera that is well under half the price of the Hero4 even with it’s recent huge discount.
General design is along the GoPro Hero box style with the small lens on the front giving a fish-eye perspective of the world. There’s also the usual array of buttons around the body.
The camera is self is protected within a waterproof housing with the GoPro style mount at its base.
This means it does look like a bit like a GoPro and the mount design means that all official and non official GoPro mounts will work with this camera.
A closer look at the ThiEYE T5e quickly shows that there are some pretty major differences between this and the GoPro Hero4 Black.
Aside from the graphics, colour and slight changes in the overall design, you’ll notice that there is an extra button on the side. This enables easy navigation when you’re going through the menu system, we’ll take a more in-depth look at that later.
Flip the camera over and you’ll see that it’s got a nice large 2-inch LCD which can be used to navigate and preview footage.
As usual it has Wi-Fi built-in which enables you to get a live preview of the footage that you’re shooting, also handy for composition. There is of course a freely downloadable app to compliment the camera.
So first impressions are pretty good, the specs are exceptional and the build quality seems solid and should satisfy most action camera users. Despite the budget price the ThiEYE T5e seems like a serious piece of kit ready to rival the GoPro.
I’ll bring you the full field tested review soon.