- 4K video recording capability.
- Affordable price tag.
- User-friendly interface.
- Longer than average battery life.
- Only capable of recording sound in Mono.
- No accessories included.
Action cameras capable of producing high-quality videos tend to be too pricey. While many may argue that you are paying for superb performance, there are other options in the market capable of delivering the same output for a smaller asking price. This Thieye T5E review will focus on how this small budget contender is being called as one of the best budget 4K action cameras in town.
Essential Features of an Action Camera
An action camera is mostly used outdoors. Given that, it must have several important features to survive the demands of shooting in an action-packed setting. These features make sure that you are able to capture your adventures without worrying about your camera getting wet or producing a shaky video.
The following are must-have features in an action camera:
- Waterproof protection – given that action cameras are mostly used by thrillseekers, it is a must that you opt for one that can survive water. Most of the available action cameras nowadays are equipped with this capability. However, the rating is where they set themselves apart. There are those who are prone to water splashes. On the other hand, there are action cameras certified as waterproof until a certain level of underwater depth.
- Longer battery life – battery life is one of the most pressing problems for tech gear. However, technology is keeping up to provide longer battery life. Action cameras released in the last few years have incorporated this feature. Longer battery life is something that would allow you to shoot endlessly and at a higher resolution for an extended period of time.
- Wi-Fi connectivity – Action cameras are not only point-and-shoot. Recent versions of this type of camera now come with Wi-Fi to easily share videos and photographs.
- Video quality – 4K is king if you want an action camera that produces the clearest high-definition video. Video quality of action cameras available in the market varies from the lowest resolution of 720p to the middle ground 1080p, which is the acceptable resolution if you intend to upload your videos on online video platforms.
Thieye T5e: A Capable 4K Action Camera
Action cameras capable of shooting 4K video are mostly found in the higher tier of this product segment. These action cameras are also integrated with the latest essential technology for outdoor photography enthusiasts. However, the T5e introduces 4K video capture functionality in the mid-tier segment. This action camera is perfect for those looking for a 4K capable action camera without breaking the bank. It comes with many essential features including:
- 4K, 2.7k, 1440p, 1080p and 720p video recording resolution
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- 45 minutes of battery life when shooting at 4K
- Sony IMX117 sensor
- Several shooting modes including video, photo, burst, long-exposure, and auto low-light
An In-depth Review of the Features of the Thieye T5e
The T5e action camera from Thieye is a budget 4k action camera but it’s capable of competing head-to-head with its counterparts from the higher tier segment of action cameras. Despite its lower price point, the action camera from Thieye has received positive feedback from action camera aficionados. It comes from the fact that it is able to produce great high-resolution videos without spending too much.
The 4K video recording capability is the biggest selling point of the Thieye action camera. Powered by the Ambarella A12S processor and the Sony IMX117 image sensor, Thieye made sure that the 4K capability of this action camera is able to produce stunning videos. The Sony image processor is a common sensor among those mid-range action cameras. It is a very capable image processor that allows you to shoot at native 4K resolution at up to 30 frames per second (fps). If you want to record fast moving objects, the T5e also has the ability to record 1080p videos at up to 120 fps.
The T5e is also a capable action camera for taking photographs. It features a wide range of image sizes and resolutions. The Thieye action camera can produce images ranging from as low as 3 megapixels to 16 megapixels, which is interpolated from the T5e’s 12-megapixels sensor. If you are a fan of different shooting modes, the action camera also comes with its own set. There is a night mode, sports, landscape, portrait, and sunset aside from the usual normal and flash mode. The T5e also comes with an autofocus function, which works in all kinds of lighting.
If its capability to shoot high-quality photos and high-resolution videos at a budget price-point is not enough to convince you, read more in this Thieye T5e review to know its other outstanding features:
Any action camera would be nothing if it was not made as solid as possible and built using sturdy yet lightweight materials. The T5e action camera comes in the normal box-shape that action cameras come in. Like most action cameras, the T5e is mostly made out of plastic. However, it makes itself stand out with its faux brushed metal finish. Its front is also where you’ll find the power button. Its back is where the 2-inch LCD screen is located. The action camera is also slip-proof. It comes with textured sides so that you can have a better grip while using it while on an adventure.
People who own an action camera mostly use it while they are outdoors. Given that this camera is commonly used on-the-go, there is a need for a user-friendly interface. The T5e is one of the best examples that the manufacturers are learning from their past mistakes and listening to users on what improvements to make. This Thieye action camera comes with a user interface that is easy to understand and navigation that is clear and easy to understand as well. Even though its made in China, settings are in English. Aside from being user-friendly, the settings menu is easily configurable. It easily allows you to change white balance and ISO levels, as well as pairing of the device with an Android phone.
Video quality, lightweightness, and user-friendliness are the most sought after in terms of features. But you should also go for an action camera that provides more than the basics.
- Sound Quality – The quality of sound is perhaps the Achilles Heel of this action camera. It is only capable of recording sound in Mono. However, you can easily adjust its microphone volume from “no sound” to between 50% and 100%. The overall sound can also come out muffled specially if you are using the T5e with its bundled waterproof case.
- Battery Life – Longer than average battery life is what you should aim for when looking for an action camera. The T5e delivers exactly that. While it does not exactly have a battery that could last you for a day’s worth of videos, it does better compared to others in its price range. You can squeeze about 45 minutes of video when shooting at 4k at up to 30 fps. However, you can extend your battery life by opting to record videos at a much lower resolution like 1080p.
- Waterproof case – You can save your action camera from being affected by water by using its waterproof case. The case is rated as IPX8, which means it is capable of protecting your action camera against dust and shock. Aside from those, an IPX8 rating also means you can safely use your T5e underwater with up to a depth of 197’/60 meters.
- Accessory compatibility – Like most Chinese brands, the T5e is bundled with most of the accessories you need while shooting outdoors. Thieye has also packed a waterproof case, a 360-degrees quick release buckle, an adhesive mount, and a skeleton backdoor. If you need another battery, you can search for deals that throw in an additional battery in the package or purchase a spare battery charger.
What Consumers Say
The T5e is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts who love to document their adventures. The combination of its 4K recording capability and its price is what makes it a sweet deal. One user commented that he purchased the T5e without any expectations. So, it was a big surprise for him to find out that it has the ability to take photographs in various modes. He added that it was nice that the T5e also comes with a user-friendly interface and reliable stabilization technology, which he said is a let-down as it can only be used at 1080p.
Another review praised the T5e action camera for being a 4K capable device without a hefty price tag. He said that his only gripe is that it is a challenge to connect it to his iPhone and how it repeatedly asks to update its firmware. Lastly, a customer said that while the T5e is the best mid-range action camera, there is room for improvement. He said it would be better if its front camera is covered with a lens cap and to have its firmware updated before shipping.
Alternatives to the T5e Action Camera
The V5 Pro from Akaso is one of those in the mid-range segment capable of delivering what it promises. It features the ability to capture videos at 4K ultra high-definition resolution at 30 fps. It also comes with built-in stabilization technology for steady and smooth videos, a user-friendly interface on its two-inches IPS touchscreen, and a dedicated app so you can control it from your smartphone.
If you want something that’s more established and are completely focused on price, the Hero 7 is the one you are looking for. This budget offering from GoPro comes with 4K ultra high-definition resolution recording capability, waterproof built, intuitive user interface, voice control, 12 megapixels for taking photographs, and photo timer functionality.
The Dragon Touch Vista 5 Native 4K30fps action camera is for those looking for a capable action camera under $100. It also is able to record videos at 4K high-definition resolution like the formerly mentioned. But what sets it apart from the pack is that it comes with 1.0-4.0 zoom functionality. It also features a built-in stabilization technology and a waterproof rating making it ideal for use in up to 100 feet underwater with a case. It also has a built-in Wi-Fi, which allows you to easily connect it to your smartphone, smart TV or any compatible device.
The Thieye T5e is a Must-Buy Action Camera
The affordable price tag of the T5e 4K action camera is what should convince you to purchase it now. The T5e was able to tick off all the essentials needed in an action camera. It comes with 4K ultra high-definition video recording capability, which uses the trusted Sony IMX117 image sensor. This Sony sensor is the reason why the camera is able to produce quality videos and photographs. The T5e also comes with an easy to navigate user interface and is lightweight enough for outdoor adventures. If you are still on the fence after reading this Thieye action camera review, remember that this action camera is bundled with every accessory you need to shoot that perfect outdoor fun video so you won’t be buying tons of extras to get it to work how you need it to.