YI 360 VR camera REVIEW

stay safe out there - I’d be afraid to even ride a quadbike on a narrow path like that.
The car being in the photo is an issue for most contributors, since it’s a trade off between stability/discreetness/cost etc. Nadir stitching isn’t great so it you are not losing much data from the image, it just doesn’t look quite as “pro”

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I took my YI 360 with us on our holiday to France. I am not the “sitting down and reading a bok person”… so what did I do with weather hitting high scores in 74 years… I walked around with my 360 camera :sweat_smile:

First I did my utmost best recording a fantastic cave and manually sort of geo-reference it. I just uploaded that one and will share a link for you to see how this pans out…

This was where we were on holiday:


I started recording all of Bonnal… but ended up walking about 130 km (80 miles) recording over 24 Gb of image data…


When I turn on “360 only” the area is completely empty

With this it’ll be a prefect dataset to improve my program to optimize the workflow… will keep ya’ll posted :wink:

[update][edit, missed a few :wink: ]
First stage automated, 148 MP4 files are converted to 42,236 images. This took 94 minutes, that’s 7.5 images per second (AMD A8-7600 Radeon R7 running Ubuntu)

Walk through the caves of Moidons (Jura France) !

Lessons learned so far:

  1. don’t play around with the movie interval, there is no way to find that setting out later. Ended up using one image per second. When walking briskly (about 7 km/u, being 2 m/s) that is more then enough. One image every 2 seconds would be enough to, but now I have a spare (a sun flare, or something else…)
  2. start your GPS recording sooner. The location is crappy the first few minutes.I had bought a second hand ‘GNS2000 plus’ (external compact GPS / GLONASS receiver) but misplaced it in the luggage (but found it agian :wink: ) That one gets a good bearing much sooner (at a higher quality)
  3. The date and more importantly the time of the MP4-file is the time of the last frame. Knowing the frame rate I can now easily calculate the time of each frame. Accuracy, up to a second, so when walking about 2m.

[edit] Update: 12th of August:
Hmmmmmm, point 3 has proven not to be true all the time… Even though I have a good and fast micro flashcard… sometimes there appears to be a delay for some reason… I had it now with one track… I thought I found the perfect solution:

ffmpeg -i movie.MP4 -dump

It gives a creation time like “creation_time : 2019-07-24 10:53:19”.
But the weird thing is… the file date is proving much more accurate then the time given in the meta data of the file itself…

So for now I hope that one movie file is a f*ckup and my approach is good (enough).
[/edit]

AD 1) I have set up a minimal distance in my program between images, so that will prevent an overload of images by default.

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As to the time it takes to process…

  1. The conversion from MP4 to seperate JPG’s runs at about 7.5 images per second on my computer
  2. The GEO referencing (and adding other EXIF data) runs quite fast. I built a detection to only load the GPX files of the matching day. Speed… about 10 images per second (removing about 1/3 of the images for upload)
  3. And then Hugin, the program that stitches the raw images… well… that one takes it’s time… One image takes about 18 seconds to get stitched… so that’s about 3 images per minute

With 27.641 images that’ll be almost 6 days of calculation!
It is that I am extremely content with the stitching quality… so…OK… well… that’s gonna take a while…

I red on this forum the (or some?) GoPro Fusion have temperature problems.

I used the YI360 on my holiday actively, and during the hottest week for the better part of the last century! So if that isn’t a good (over) heating test, I don’t know what would be :wink:

It does get warm, hot even. Which isn’t that odd, since mine is black and it got towards 40 degrees Centigrade! The internal battery lasts for about just under an hour. I brought two powerbanks along that add about an hour each.

To be able to use the powerbank during my walks I performed a small hack; I cut out a small part of the plastic cover, so I could plug in the USB power cord:

.

Luckely the YI360 allows operation during charging. All this went fine. The YI360 got warm, very warm even, but never refused operation!

So far I have learned that times and dates recorded by the camera do need some filtering…

These are the variables I can “play” with:

  • file date (usable for the moment of the last frame)
  • number of frames & frame rate => total time recorded
  • via “ffmpeg” the moment of the first frame

I have done some testing by taking images and interval movies of a synced clock. Images are just fine, there does appear to be some delay, but it’s something like half a second at most. For MP4 however: to my surprise there appears to be some sort of error in the time found by ‘ffmpeg’ for the start time, it is exactly a whopping 10 seconds earlier than the time I see on the clock!
Then the rest just became much easier… with more then 75 images the file time is about a second later, another for about 150 images and one more with more then 300 images.

And more importantly: try to reduce the variables:

It may sound so obvious, but when using external GPS recording for later matching it’ll make you’re life so much easier when you know how to synchronize the time of your camera with the GPS time.
The internal clock of your camera most likely isn’t perfect… I just found out that after the last time I synced the time with my phone about three months have passed and the time of the camera was a whopping 6 seconds out of sync!

So remember: before you go: sync the time of your camera with GPS!

The time recorded of your GPS device most likely is in (exact) sync with the time broadcasted by the GPS satellites (it doesn’t get much better than that!)

For the YI360:

  • connect your app to the camera
  • tap the gear symbol (top right)
  • scroll to the bottom and tap ‘others’
  • tap: ‘correct camera time’

PS: I honestly don’t understand why this isn’t done by default upon connecting the camera to app

Well there are some edits and corrections still in the pipe line, but now you can see I did quite some walking in my holiday: :wink:
Before and after:

Take a look for yourself:


I started recording all of Bonnal… but ended up walking about 130 km (80 miles) recording over 24 Gb of image data…

PS: don’t comment just too much yet… I have 16 pending edits for this region…

PS2: I uploaded all the GPX tracks to OSM also… If you’dd like there are quite a few edits/corrections to be done…

I could not hold a stick in my hand for so long.

Good eye, that did prove to require some treatment after my holiday… am figuring something out with a back pack for later. But If I want the same stability it’ll require a gimbal… thinking about the “g360 feiyu tech gimbal”:

Years ago I found a ready made backpack (with a camera pole mounted) on the internet. It was rather expensive. I do not find it any more.

There is backpack on Aliexpress https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32833663974.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.27424c4daB2ifg with camera mount
I made some modification - rotate bracket inside on 90 degrees and made straight aluminium tube 49 cm long

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I have bought this kit

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@gpsmapper Is that a good and stable solution?

Well, pretty stable and convenient.
The downsides are the same as with backpack-mounted pole - it’ is fixed and you do not have the same level of flexibility and control over the camera position as you do with holding the pole in a hand.

I.e., when hiking in a forest, or in a cave (your example) - you need to be careful not to hit the ceiling or getting trapped by a bush or low-hanging tree branches.
Same - when you cycle and there are low-ceiling tunnels on your path

On the open area - it is pretty convenient.

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I would put feathers on it and start a dancing career. (I do not have one).

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Rats… since the latest iOS update my iPhone can no longer comunicatie with the YI360 app… I have requested support from YI technologies… they are working on an app update…

Did you ask a serious question, or are you spamming links?

(That were removed)

web link: https://youtu.be/eEQQ9Yspx_w

They have fixed the problem for the “YI action” range… now they need to fix it for the “YI 360” !!

PS: do you have a google/youtube account, please reply to my response on that video, could help get them to fix it faster :wink:

This is the message I sent after two months of corresponding/complaining with YI technology:

I feel scammed.

I spent a serious amount of time setting up software to use the YI360 camera for my goal and I have even promoted your camera in the online community where I am active in. But everything is going down the drain. With the total lack of support for this camera I feel scammed out of hunderds of euro’s. I find it beyond unbelievable that you fixed the problem for an other range of your products months ago, but seem to be simply refusing to put in the time to fix the YI360 iPhone app for iOS13. This iOS version is supported by iPhones since 2015!
Does YI technology place zero value in customers who have trusted your company buying your products?

A salient detail: I bought the camera via Amazon, I complained there also. And to my surprise the YI 360 camera couldn’t be bought an hour later… but I got NO RESPONSE what so ever.

I think I will sell the camera to someone who can use it and take my loss.

A disillusioned former YI technologies customer

I completely realize Mapillary is not to blaim, but you guys could seriously “soften the blow” by implementing this feature so that I could use the camera directly via the Mapillary app. This feature (create an option “ignore errors and continue”) could also be helpful in getting basic support/usability for other cameras?

Sigh :sob::sob::sob::sob:

[update]
I remembered that I still have my iPhone 6 as a backup (the speaker is crappy, but still works) and I remembered that phone still runs on iOS 12… and “yay” now I can connect to the camera again…

But the conclusion remains:
Do not buy anything from YI, their (software) support is terrible. The hardware has great specs and is relatively cheap, but if software support is as horrible as it is with YI, you need third party software i.e. or other people that are dedicated in supporting their hardware… Now it is this camera in combination with iOS… what’s next? You are surrendered to the whims of the company…
In my opinion, not how a company should operate.