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Old November 21st, 2017, 07:10 PM   #1
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360 Re-Visited at 5.7K: The Yi 360 VR

The latest consumer-grade 360 video resolution frontier is 5.7K. And the Yi 360 VR gives you that for $399. Resolution is critical for 360 viewing, since one sees just a part (slice) of the full video at a time. So, with this new frontier, time to re-visit 360 video!

Note: the GoPro Fusion only gives you 5.2K (at $699); the Garmin Virb does 5.7K also, at $799!.

The camera is easy to use with the (Android) app: connected instantly, no password asked for. All the settings were there. Live view with little lag. The max bitrate for 5.7K/30P is 120 Mbps. I chose that.

You can set everything on the camera without the app - there are buttons and a bright OLED screen with the settings and options.

I used the included tripod attached to the Yi "selfie" stick, making for an extendable, portable, sturdy and near invisible stand.

Shot for about one minute on a dim day at dusk - so little light. The camera has f2.0 lenses. The resulting video is also dull, but not noisy. Well exposed (there are ev controls, but I was on full auto).

I stitched the file in the free Yi 360 desktop software, using the best optical flow setting. Stitching takes a long time, but it is really good. The one minute video took 22 minutes to stitch. The produced 360 stitched video at the highest quality setting is 5.7K at - 317 Mbps! The high bitrate (it's optional) is so that you can place the stitched video into another editor for color correction, clipping and merging, with little resolution loss.

I used the resulting video as-is to upload to YouTube, after injecting the metadata according to YouTube instructions - easy, instantaneous and no degradation of the file.

The uploaded raw video is here:


YouTube recognized it as a 360 video, and can play it in 5K, the highest resolution. You want to see it in 5K, no matter what your viewing screen, since, again, you are only really seeing a part of the scene at a time.

In terms of quality, I cannot see where the stitch is; best I have ever seen. No distortion, no CA, a good picture. Better than the 4K 360 videos of the previous generation for sure, but of course not 5.7K or even 4K as viewed in a 360 slice.

I also uploaded the video to Vimeo, which now plays 360 videos, so you can download the original raw (stitched file).


I can barely play the 5.7K, 317 Mbps file on my computer. But it was ingested easily into Vegas Pro 15 and I could easily color grade it and produce a new 5.7K version.

Next is to see how the video looks from a scene lit with sunshine.

Last edited by Mark Rosenzweig; November 21st, 2017 at 07:59 PM.
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 06:26 PM   #2
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Re: 360 Re-Visited at 5.7K: The Yi 360

This is a pretty interesting camera. Small 360 cams come of age!

Did you run into any issues or obstacles in the workflow? I really think that the output is acceptable. Maybe I have high standards, but I've not been that impressed since the Theta first opened the market for small 360 dual-cams. I *wanted* to like the pixpro, but the near/far stitching seemed unacceptable.
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 06:43 PM   #3
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Re: 360 Re-Visited at 5.7K: The Yi 360

whata hoot
So in any given frame where is the focus point
Be real nice if something like this had live out hdmi
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 06:59 PM   #4
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Re: 360 Re-Visited at 5.7K: The Yi 360

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
This is a pretty interesting camera. Small 360 cams come of age!

Did you run into any issues or obstacles in the workflow? I really think that the output is acceptable. Maybe I have high standards, but I've not been that impressed since the Theta first opened the market for small 360 dual-cams. I *wanted* to like the pixpro, but the near/far stitching seemed unacceptable.
Other than the long time it takes to stitch using optical flow in the free software (long!), it is straightforward. The stitching software will batch process all the clips and you can trim each clip before stitching. The software plays the video clip as stitched in real time before the rendering/stitching, so you can look around.

I appreciated the high bitrate used to produce the 5.7K stitched 360 videos using the software, so there is little loss for further color grading and merging the stitched clips.

So far, tests elsewhere indicate the Yi 360 VR IQ and stitching beats that of the GoPro Fusion.
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 07:34 PM   #5
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Re: 360 Re-Visited at 5.7K: The Yi 360

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Dempsey View Post
whata hoot
So in any given frame where is the focus point
Be real nice if something like this had live out hdmi
It does have live HDMI out! And it's clean.

When the camera is set to 5.7K or 4K internally it outputs what my monitor reports as UHD and it shows the two raw unstitched globes. To have live stitched video, perhaps some software in the computer could do the stitching in real time.

The camera will livestream (internally) stitched 4K 360 video to YouTube and Facebook and other sites over 5G wifi, and the app shows the stitched video with almost no lag even if the camera is recording 5.7K (unstitched).

Last edited by Mark Rosenzweig; November 22nd, 2017 at 08:05 PM.
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Old November 25th, 2017, 09:32 PM   #6
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Re: 360 Re-Visited at 5.7K: The Yi 360


Still have not found an editor that will merge and render 5760 x 2880 videos at a high bitrate. So just clips for now.
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Old November 26th, 2017, 06:09 AM   #7
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Re: 360 Re-Visited at 5.7K: The Yi 360

Hi Mark,

I've got one of these coming next Tuesday, so hopefully will get some time to play with it.

So how did you take yourself out of the subway station video? Did you hide round the corner and hope nobody ran off with camera, or use some removal software?

Edited to say that I think that may be you behind the 'Oscar' pillar.

Roger

Last edited by Roger Gunkel; November 26th, 2017 at 06:12 AM. Reason: Addition
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Old November 26th, 2017, 10:04 AM   #8
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Re: 360 Re-Visited at 5.7K: The Yi 360

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
Hi Mark,

I've got one of these coming next Tuesday, so hopefully will get some time to play with it.

So how did you take yourself out of the subway station video? Did you hide round the corner and hope nobody ran off with camera, or use some removal software?

Edited to say that I think that may be you behind the 'Oscar' pillar.

Roger
You got me! As you indicate, a significant challenge of 360 video is to get out of the way. Unless you are a vlogger...

Here is the Yi 360 VR in sunshine:


Choose 5K.
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Old November 26th, 2017, 10:33 AM   #9
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Re: 360 Re-Visited at 5.7K: The Yi 360

Considering that only part of the footage is in view at any one time, I am impressed with the overall clarity, much better than other 360 footage I have seen. I'm also impressed with the performance in the lower light of the subway station.

Did you use the supplied software to stitch the clips, I assume it's not the 4k in camera stitching. How long did the stitching take? Just wondering as I am thinking of putting together some semi serious footage to use in conjunction with my normal wedding work, maybe as a fun add on.

Roger
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Old November 26th, 2017, 11:27 AM   #10
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Re: 360 Re-Visited at 5.7K: The Yi 360

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
Considering that only part of the footage is in view at any one time, I am impressed with the overall clarity, much better than other 360 footage I have seen. I'm also impressed with the performance in the lower light of the subway station.

Did you use the supplied software to stitch the clips, I assume it's not the 4k in camera stitching. How long did the stitching take? Just wondering as I am thinking of putting together some semi serious footage to use in conjunction with my normal wedding work, maybe as a fun add on.

Roger
Yes, I used the supplied software, as the camera will only carry out stitching in 4K, not 5.7K. Stitching in the software is very slow - on my i7 machine, 20 minutes of stitching for one minute of video. It is very, very good and very, very slow. You can also trim the clip before stitching - you see the provisionally stitched video in the editor before the full stitching.

The bitrate of the stitched video is selectable - I always use the "best" setting to minimize degradation, and the bit rate is very high (dependent on the complexity of the scene), which is good.

What has proved to be a challenge is finding software that will edit and render 5760 x 2880 video - merging the stitched 5.7K clips and rendering a video in 5.7K at a good bitrate (at least 100 Mbps). I have not found any.

I think the Yi 360 VR will do very well in well-lit indoor venues. Outdoors, the sun is always in the frame - the camera does well in handling that, but we normally avoid pointing any camera at the sun. This is an issue in all 360 video.
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Old November 26th, 2017, 12:01 PM   #11
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Re: 360 Re-Visited at 5.7K: The Yi 360

To rise out of the realm of surveillance video quality, 24k is needed will give nice 360 video as in 6 yi4k+ units mounted in a rig
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Old November 26th, 2017, 01:22 PM   #12
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Re: 360 Re-Visited at 5.7K: The Yi 360

Thanks for that Mark, it will be interesting to see what I can do once I start playing with it :-)

Roger
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Old December 1st, 2017, 08:37 AM   #13
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Re: 360 Re-Visited at 5.7K: The Yi 360

@Mark,

Hi Mark, My Yi360 arrived 16 hours after ordering it and I have been playing about with it whenever I can. It definitely needs reasonable lighting conditions to get the best out of it but for fun stuff it does a good job, clearer than offerings from other 360 cams I've seen. Pity it doesn't stitch the 5.7k in camera as the processing is so slow in the software, but hopefully it won't be long before faster software is available.

I downloaded the Movavi software demo which gives some more options, but only seems to be able to render to a 4k file. Not sure if the paid version does more.

Have you been able to use the camera with your stabiliser? It only seems to be usable vertically to still be able to scroll around the picture properly, which makes it too out of balance for the stabiliser.

All in all for the price looks good so far.

Roger
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Old December 1st, 2017, 08:18 PM   #14
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Re: 360 Re-Visited at 5.7K: The Yi 360

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
@Mark,

Hi Mark, My Yi360 arrived 16 hours after ordering it and I have been playing about with it whenever I can. It definitely needs reasonable lighting conditions to get the best out of it but for fun stuff it does a good job, clearer than offerings from other 360 cams I've seen. Pity it doesn't stitch the 5.7k in camera as the processing is so slow in the software, but hopefully it won't be long before faster software is available.

I downloaded the Movavi software demo which gives some more options, but only seems to be able to render to a 4k file. Not sure if the paid version does more.

Have you been able to use the camera with your stabiliser? It only seems to be usable vertically to still be able to scroll around the picture properly, which makes it too out of balance for the stabiliser.

All in all for the price looks good so far.

Roger
Thanks for the report.

1. There is 3-axis gimbal available specifically for 360 cameras, that puts the motors below the camera and thus out of the way. Guru 360 is the name.

2. The latest Yi 360 VR firmware update adds stabilization, just like the GoPro Fusion.

3. I have not found any software that enables merging 5.7K equirectangular clips at high bitrates.

Cutting edge!
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Old December 2nd, 2017, 04:31 AM   #15
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Re: 360 Re-Visited at 5.7K: The Yi 360

Hi Mark,

I agree with cutting edge, seems to be way out in front of the alternatives in the price range. Just tried out the voice control which works ok, but a bit of a gimmick I think. Can't see me talking to the camera unless it is very quiet and I want to remain a few feet from it.

I can't see any stabilisation option in the menus, although I updated the firmware a couple of days ago my version now is V10.1.0.79 does that match yours?

Roger
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