Pros: Lightweight. Wide-angle lens. Plenty of shooting modes. Waterproof. Affordable.
Cons: Sounds recorded with the built-in microphone are quiet.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for an affordable, lightweight, waterproof action camera with plenty of shooting options, the YoCam might be for you.
There’s certainly no shortage of action cameras available on the market today, and the niche has largely been dominated by a few giants. Despite that, an American startup called Mofily has created what they call the “world’s most versatile waterproof life camera.” It’s called the YoCam.
The YoCam is a waterproof action camera that’s built in an entirely new form factor — Mofily says it’s the smallest and lightest action camera on the market.
After a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign, the YoCam is now available to purchase. But how does it stack up, and more importantly, should you buy one? Read on to find out.
Right out of the box, the first thing to notice is the form factor. The YoCam is small, particularly when compared to similar action cameras. It’s also a different shape, which might lend to its portability.
The front of the device is dominated by its rather large camera, as well as a single button for recording, which you’ll hold down to start recording or capture a photo. The button has a built-in LED indicator that flashes red when it’s recording.
The YoCam has two buttons on the side, an on-off button and a connectivity button, along with two corresponding LED indicators. Inside a waterproof compartment are the camera’s micro SD card slot and a MicroUSB port for charging. On the bottom, there’s a threaded adapter for attaching various accessories or tripods.
In the box, the YoCam comes with a user manual (not pictured), a small MicroUSB charging cable, a lanyard and a detachable pocket clip. A MicroSD card isn’t included, so you’ll need to buy one separately.
HD Recording, Image Quality & Battery Life
The YoCam supports video and image capture up to 2.7K at 30 frames per second (it can also film in 1080p at 60fps). It also features a wide F2.0 aperture, shoots in a 140-degree wide angle field of view, and supports HDR. Image resolution is 8 megapixel and the camera also features built-in image stabilization.
All of this results in really nice video quality across a variety of modes, both above water and underneath it. It doesn’t fare as well in low lighting — but neither do most action cameras.
The YoCam’s still image quality is also surprisingly good, which is pretty incredible for a camera with a sensor of this size.
The YoCam features an internal 700mAh battery, which the company says will last through about two hours of recording HD video, so it would be smart to pack an external battery for your lengthier adventures.
Design, Durability + Water-Resistance
The camera is made of a hard plastic, but its construction feels incredibly sturdy. While you probably don’t want to throw the YoCam off of a roof, the camera feels like it could easily take a drop or two. Its unique shape and size probably also contribute to its durability.
It also carries an IP68 dust- and water-resistance rating, so it’s basically waterproof. In our testing, this particular YoCam went for a swim in a normal-sized pool, and was even dropped momentarily into a lake with no issues. According to the manufacturer, it’s waterproof to up to 30 feet.
While the camera feels durable, it also manages to be incredibly light-weight. It clocks in at just around 2 ounces. Combined with its slim design, the YoCam is incredibly portable. You can put the camera in your pocket and basically forget that it’s there. The flat bottom also allows it to stand on its own, without the need for any external tripod.
Connectivity + Mofily App
The YoCam also easily connects to a smartphone, which is how you’ll access some of the camera’s settings and shooting modes (more on that below). It does this via its own Wi-Fi connection, but you don’t have to be connected to Wi-Fi for it to work. Luckily, the app walks you through the connection process step-by-step.
The free Mofily app lets you view a live preview or stream of the camera’s feed, which is itself pretty impressive due to the relative lack of any lag or latency. The app is also the only way to view the current battery life, adjust the video quality and resolution, and tweak a variety of other settings including additional shooting modes (more on those below).
You can also start and stop recording remotely via the app, as well as shoot still images. There’s also the option to download videos and images from the YoCam to your smartphone wirelessly. Overall, it was pretty simple and easy to use.
One thing that helps the YoCam to stand out is the variety of available shooting modes. The usual time-lapse and slow-motion video modes are here, and function really nicely. You can tweak optical image stabilization, resolution, white balance, HDR and EV on the modes, too.
On the photo side, it also features burst mode for shooting still images. There’s also a photo & video mode that can automatically take still images at varying intervals while simultaneously shooting video. An additional “Life Log” mode takes photos at an interval without video recording.
Lastly, the camera features a “Baby Mode” and a “Car Mode.” The former sends an audio and visual to your device, great for use as a baby monitor or impromptu security or “spy” camera. The Car Mode captures single looping videos in intervals of 5 to 10 minutes.
While the YoCam comes with a pocket clip, it’s also compatible with a variety of first-party accessories and mounting options. Mofily offers helmet-mounting kits, magnetic stands, clamp mounts and surfboard mounts from its site. Additionally, the camera’s threads will allow it to fit onto any number of tripods and third-party accessories.
Pros & Cons
The Mofily’s biggest perk is its small and lightweight design. It really is an ultraportable camera, and as mentioned before, it can basically disappear into a pocket. Despite that, it doesn’t sacrifice durability or camera quality by any means. Similarly, the YoCam also delivers surprisingly good still images. The still shooting modes worked great, as did the time-lapse and slow motion function.
It’s also incredibly simple to use. You push the power button to turn it on and push it again to switch between picture and video. From there, you just hit the prominent shutter button on the front to start shooting video or to snap an image. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
The Mofily app is simple to navigate and use, and the added baby monitor and security camera functionality is another plus on an already solid camera.
The biggest drawback of the YoCam has to be its audio quality. There’s no getting around it — it’s not great. The YoCam’s recorded audio is extremely quiet, to the point where it’s hard to hear much of anything. You could obviously correct this by using external audio, but there’s no way to connect a third-party mic to the camera. That means you’re left with the camera’s built-in mics (pictured above, though it’s hard to see). It’s nice that they’re forward-facing, but the resulting audio just isn’t that good.
The Mofily app is pretty great overall, but it’s (currently) only usable in portrait mode. To be clear, that doesn’t mean the YoCam itself only records in Portrait mode, but the app doesn’t switch over when you orient your iPhone into landscape. The app is still nice to line up shots, but the addition of a landscape mode would make much more sense with the camera’s Baby Monitor and Security Camera feature.
Should You Buy It?
All in all, the YoCam is a great little camera with an awesome form factor. It’s small, lightweight and durable, and yet it manages to pack in pretty impressive video quality. It’s also extremely simple to use and the extra shooting and functions are an additional plus. If you’re looking for a good-quality, waterproof action camera — particularly one that’s incredibly light and portable — the YoCam might be the one for you. Get it here for only $99.00, that’s 50% off of the YoCam’s retail price.