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ThiEye T5e finally made it! - Initial review

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  • ThiEye T5e finally made it! - Initial review

    So the day finally arrived and my T5e is here! It took a long time to get here but I expected that considering it was being shipped from China. The package made it here in good shape. I of course tore into it to see my new prize. The camera looks almost identical to my gopro3 size factor wise. Had a very nice feel to it with a rubberized feel to the plastic that gave me a nice grip. I love the screen as it was both bright and crisp. Considering the low price point on this, I was pleasantly surprised by that.

    The next thing I did was of course work my way thru the menu and have to say there are a lot of choices. I think ThiEye should have considered a layered menu and divided it up into maybe 3 or 4 sub-fields just to save some time but that isn't really a big deal and I am always happy to have the option of controlling functions so it is a good trade off. The two options I wish they would add would be 1)low light mode which would lock the framerate so it cant slow that down to compensate for low light. 2)digital zoom mode to allow for full view or cropped view options like other cameras have. I realize it is something that can be done in editing but it would still be a handy option to have. Hopefully ThiEye will consider adding those two options in a future firmware update or I might see if I can find a hack to get the options.

    Next I had to at least test the camera out so did a couple sample photographs and shot a 1080px120 video just to see if they both work. Inspecting the resulting images... the video was captured in 1080px119fps and the image was listed as size stated. I will post up some samples later after I have a chance to tweak the settings and see how they look in direct sunlight but to just comment on first impressions... the images were fairly crisp with the expected softness around the edges. In default settings, indoor images were nice although with a bit exagerated contrast which to be fair... just about all the camera makers do that these days and I am confident that minor tweaks to the settings will improve the already nice pictures.

    Just comparing default settings with my gopro3, I would have to say the edge sharpness would be about a wash. Both showed the expected softness and slightly exaggerated contrast. Now as for video mode... it is no contest. The T5e beats the GoPro hands down. I wont go in depth on the T5e since I have just started to get to know it but I will say I do like what I see so far. I plan to put the camera thru its paces this weekend and will post up more of my findings. I will close by saying I am impressed by what you can get for $115 these days. My GoPro cost me over $300 when I bought it and it doesn't have nearly the capability of this new camera. I think we live in a great time to be a camera enthusiast. The gear is becoming smaller, better and faster while price keeps dropping.
    Last edited by oldrockfan; 07-15-2017, 06:47 PM.

  • #2
    Hi, mine I received on Tuesday and updated the last firmaware (06/07), via SD almost immediately, expecting improvements and effectively, appeared the function of correction angle (FOV) ... But, the surprise, was quick and very frustrating: the camera stop to record around the minute to begin. I have not obtained more than a minute ten seconds of record, in any resolutio ... I have not received any response from the technical service, nor have I found any reports from other users about it. Another frustrating thing is that despite having double mic, the file information report with Windows and others, gets a single recording channel, nor has it been able to explain the technical service (rather have been quiet in this matter), I have not received information from other users in this regard. So for now, I'm very expectant and disillusioned with this camera. Maybe you know tell me if your camera behaves the same in these particular matters.

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    • #3
      sorry to hear about that Manusol. I did not update my firmware and have not had any issues so far. However, I have only started testing and have not done a long video yet. I will test more and let you know my findings. Hopefully if the new firmware has issues... they will fix them quickly and update. I would like to have the adjustable fov like other cameras offer.

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      • #4
        Thank you oldrockfan, don't be afraid, I think it's bad luck, nobody says what happens to me. Test the duration of recordings, the new firmware fixes settings and It provides the correction of FOV, which is very interesting of course. I remain waiting answer by gearbest and support team. But i go on vacancy with no 4K camera at all.
        Yesterday format my SD card (Toshiba sdxc c10 u3 64 Gb) completely (via computer, the mine camera do error format an shown 0,0 Gb after do it) and after format, record for 4-5 minutes😀

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        • #5
          ok, I had a good opportunity to test the camera out this weekend. .I did videos in bright light, moderate light and low light plus lots of still pictures both handheld and while in a car driving. The camera does a very good job in bright light and a respectable job in cloudy conditions. In low light, it was pretty grainy as I would have expected but I was impressed that the camera does a good job of adjusting to light conditions and it did it fairly fast with only about a 1 second delay when going from bright to low light.

          In camera mode In low light, the color rendition was respectable and colors seemed fairly realistic. Shadows had smooth transitions from light to dark. In bright light, colors were slightly overcompensated as I mentioned earlier but I will give ThiEye a thumbs up on that as it is what everyone is doing with digital cameras these days and is very easily adjusted if needed in post editing. I like to test pictures by shooting shots that have both power lines and writing on them in the distance. I took shots of a water tower while in a moving car with power lines in the background. I was impressed with the little camera as the lettering on the water tower was sharp and you didn't see the telltale signs of pixilation on the power lines. this little camera did a very good job in camera mode in bright light. I tested the camera by itself and in the provided waterproof case and it was easy to use and performed about the same both ways although when looking closely, I could notice a hint of distortion coming thru when using the housing. .I assume it is probably just the plastic on the case not being polished as smooth as it could have been but I think it is very acceptable given the cost of the camera. I also used the ThiEye app to control the camera thru my cellphone and after a bit of struggling to get them to connect... it worked just fine. I do wish the app would allow the pic to expand when viewed in landscape mode but otherwise, it worked well and will be used regularly when I use the camera on a tripod to do wildlife photography. For tripod use, the threaded hole in the camera is awesome as it connected perfectly with both of my tripods.

          I did notice the expected fishbowl effect around the edges and a bit of softening but overall it was very good. I'd say this camera is definitely better than cellphones and on par with any of the point and shoot digital cameras. It will not compete with my high end Nikon or Canon DSL cameras but to be fair... it only cost me $115 to my door. For $115, the ThiEye T5e is a great buy! Assuming it holds up reasonably well over time, I am very happy I got it. I have pics to share but still need to load them up on photobucket as this forum won't let me load full resolution images so once I do that... I will update this to share the pics so you can see for yourself how this little camera performed.

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          • TwoBlues
            TwoBlues commented
            Editing a comment
            OldRockFan
            What is the 1080p120 fps quality like?

        • #6
          Here are some of my test pictures.


          in a fairly dark room, you can see by blowing this up that the dog coat loses detail but the focus is very good and colors are well balanced.


          Here is a shot from a moving car. The camera really did a good job here. Look at the water tower and see how clear the lettering is plus look at the power line in the distance and notice the smooth arced lines without the typical blocky lines you see from cheap cellphone pics. The sony sensor does a nice job in bright light even at 70mph


          ok here is a pic with transition from bright light to dark. The camera does a respectable job of balancing here considering it is in full auto mode.


          And finally, the same pic with me walking closer to the darkened trailer to see how well the camera handles light balance in auto mode.

          I have to say... it does a great job for a small action camera! Keep in mind the pics are from photobucket so not full resolution but should at least give you an idea of what the camera is capable of. In full resolution, the colors are well balanced even in the darker shots and images are very sharp in bright light.
          http://i743.photobucket.com/albums/xx78/oldrock/T5e/15190400_zpsnb4bg7fz.jpg
          Last edited by oldrockfan; 07-16-2017, 11:34 PM.

          Comment


          • Grunta
            Grunta commented
            Editing a comment
            only 4:3 format available ?

          • AussieKev
            AussieKev commented
            Editing a comment
            Set Photo Size to 8.3MP (3840x2160) is only 16:9 resolution setting. Pretty good with the 12.4 MP sensor allows room for anti-shake and super fine to work well.

        • #7
          twoblues, I haven't had a chance to really put the video mode thru its paces yet. I've only used the auto settings and with them, it was good in bright sunny light and fairly good in overcast conditions. I think with some tweaking... I will be able to do better but wont know till I have a chance to do some trial and error shooting in manual mode with it. I will post an update once I've had a chance to run it thru some different conditions. Right now, I would say that it works fine as an action cam in bright light. I suspect it will be equally good in lower light when set up properly but can't say for sure till I have more time with it. I also am debating loading the new firmware and see how that works.

          Comment


          • AussieKev
            AussieKev commented
            Editing a comment
            I avoid AWB, doesn't really help, everything seems to go yellowish. ISO seems good in AUTO, noticed in "Properties" it is all over the place so cam firmware seems to be doing it's job.
            Found EV most useful manual setting of all.
            Here is a link to a nice easy way of working out EV settings for digital cams.
            http://camerasim.com/apps/exposure-compensation/#sim

            EDIT: Unbelievable. They have taken down the 2 test types for EV. Dark foreground and light foreground. Well that sucks. Here is one all round

            Use "Lighting" on Sim to see EV http://camerasim.com/apps/original-camerasim/web/
            Last edited by AussieKev; 08-01-2017, 09:49 PM. Reason: Not available. Use new link.

        • #8
          ThiEYE T5e indoor photo and edited with Photo Director 8 using Hero 4 black parameters
          Last edited by AussieKev; 07-19-2017, 04:56 PM.

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          • #9
            hey aussiekev, did you load the latest firmware yet? If so, how do you like it? I would like to have low light mode and the zoom option but have been waiting to see how it is working overall first.

            Comment


            • AussieKev
              AussieKev commented
              Editing a comment
              Not until I fix the non mic version T5e. [Micro switch coming from AliExpress]. T5e arrived with broken UP button and cannot "long press" when power up for PC upgrade.
              My 2nd T5e mic version Lost/Stolen so waiting for T5e "REV 3" to come from GearBest LOL

              My non mic T5e has the "locked settings" firmware problem and needs upgrade.
              NOTE: Suggested to rename BIN file for SD card version upgrade to "firmware.bin" to force upgrade to latest version. Not tried but will try when new T5e arrives

          • #10
            wow, sounds like you have had some bad luck with gearbest. I have only ordered from them this one time but everything went smoothly. Hopefully third time is a charm for you and the camera will arrive in good working order. Be sure to post up when you get it and let us know how the firmware update goes. I want to do it but I am not a computer pro so thought I better wait to see others do it and get some tips on how to do it without issue.

            Comment


            • AussieKev
              AussieKev commented
              Editing a comment
              Just arrived yesterday! Surprising working well so far! 3rd time lucky LOL Shot a 14 min video, cam not overheating or breaking file into parts which had happened on earlier version. Even waterproof case looks fine, no cracks around lens section mounting screws (2nd cam had 2 hairline cracks and may have leaked)
              Noticed you did update f/w and have convinced me to have a go using SD card version.
              The micro switches finally arrived from AliExpress so will also have a go at fixing old T5e (non mic version). But geez they are tiny! Wish I was still at Honeywell with their PACE soldering gear! That would have been a lot easier in the engineers room compared to the damn kitchen table! LOL

            • AussieKev
              AussieKev commented
              Editing a comment
              Update: Latest T5e with firmware 170908v5.0 from GB works fine but NOT recognized by Windows computer as a USB Device !!! SD card direct to PC shows proper directories and pics/vids through a USB 3.0 reader though.
              Tried reformat via the cam (FAT32) and Secure Digital's format program to exFAT. Neither helped. Another faulty T5e from GB. WTF?!!!

          • #11
            tiny screws are no fun but with a magnetic jewelers screwdriver kit... they are not too bad. I'd recommend you try to pick up a magnetic jewelers screwdriver to save the headaches. I got mine at an electronics store here in the us called Fry's electronics. No idea who would carry there in Australia but someone must have them. Good luck! Regarding ev control... I am very familiar with that as I use it all the time on my other digital cameras. Nikon has an especially helpful ev control that makes a huge difference. In DSLRs, ISO is also extremely helpful but not as much on the T5e although it is handy to have.
            Last edited by oldrockfan; 08-02-2017, 02:15 AM.

            Comment


            • #12
              Originally posted by oldrockfan View Post
              tiny screws are no fun but with a magnetic jewelers screwdriver kit... they are not too bad. I'd recommend you try to pick up a magnetic jewelers screwdriver to save the headaches. I got mine at an electronics store here in the us called Fry's electronics. No idea who would carry there in Australia but someone must have them. Good luck! Regarding ev control... I am very familiar with that as I use it all the time on my other digital cameras. Nikon has an especially helpful ev control that makes a huge difference. In DSLRs, ISO is also extremely helpful but not as much on the T5e although it is handy to have.
              Luckily bought a fairly good set from China anticipating this with a magnetizer/demagnetizer device included ... and it actually works! Bunch of super small screwdrivers for all types of heads plus a bunch of special items for disassembly of smartphones and cams. Have a pile left over from my engineering days but not THAT tiny plus getting around the ribbon cables and tight corners it is a necessity.
              ISO was handy on SLR's back in the day to set the actual film speed (ISO/DIN) but obviously different on DSLR's but agree on T5e
              Professional? Well no, pretty cheap but they should help.

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              • #13
                ThiEYE T5e firmware 180515 version DOWNLOAD
                Donate here if you want to support my efforts and this site.

                Email me if you have any offers, requests or ideas.

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