ThiEYE T5 Edge Review
Action cameras are used for much more than just recording extreme sports nowadays. They have almost became casual and I’d even go as far and say that most people use them to record travel vlogs even. But the evolution doesn’t stop there. Live streaming has been really growing in popularity. Websites like Twitch and YouTube have even turned it into jobs. And action cameras are ideal for live streaming as not only are they small but they can also be mounted everywhere. Plus the video quality has gotten really good. Which is why have started to see action cameras target this niche as well. One of such is the Thieye T5 Edge, which is currently being advertised as an action camera for live streaming! So let’s take a look if it’s fit for that.
- Dimensions: 60×42×23 mm / 2.4×1.7×0.9″
- Weight: 70 g / 2.5 oz
- Chipset: Ambarella A12
- Sensor: Panasonic 14 MP CMOS
- Field of View: 170°
- Video resolutions: 4K 30 fps; 2.7K 30 fps; 1080p 60/30 fps; 720p 120/60 fps
- Photo: 20 MP
- Modes: Single Shot, Burst, Time-Lapse, Auto Low Light, Slow Motion, Aqua
- Features: WiFi, 2″ IPS screen, EIS (works with 4K), Live Stream
- Ports: Micro USB, Micro HDMI, Micro SD card slot
- Memory: Micro SD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 128 GB
- Battery: 1100 mAh Li-On
- Battery life: 80 minutes of 4K at 30 fps
In The Box
- Thieye T5 Edge
- 1100 mAh Li-On Battery
- Waterproof Housing up to 60 m / 197 ft
- Transparent backdoor
- 2x Helmet mounts
- 360 degree quick release buckle
- 360 degree vertical quick release buckle
- 2x adhesive stickers
- Remote controller
- Cloth bag and cleaning cloth
- Micro USB to USB cable
Thieye has a bunch of different action camera models and I’m glad that they have kept the same style with all of them. Well to be fair it is the most common action camera design that most other brands use as well. You know the typical rectangular shape with textured edges. The good thing about this design is that it works really well. It’s incredibly compact and it can be mounted anywhere. So there’s really no need to change up the design if it works.
The Thieye T5 Edge has a dimension of 60×42×23 mm / 2.4×1.7×0.9″, which is pretty standard. It also weighs just 70 g / 2.5 oz so you can definitely attach it anywhere you want without having to worry about it being too heavy. The entire camera is made out of plastic. They have added a ribbed texture on the sides, which makes it much easier to hold onto the camera. A simple but effective solution. And most definitely a necessary one as well as it’s a really small camera.
Everything else about the design should be pretty familiar as well if you have used action cameras before. There’s a power button on the front with two LED indicator lights and a lens. The backside has a pretty nice 2″ IPS screen. Unfortunately it’s not a touchscreen so you have to use the two arrow buttons on the side to use it. The other side has Micro USB and Micro HDMI ports, plus a Micro SD slot for your memory card (max 128 GB). And finally the record/shutter button, which is alone at the top of the camera.
Underneath the Thieye T5 Edge you’ll find a battery compartment and a standard 1/4″ tripod mount. Which is something that I really like to have on an action camera as it opens up the possibility to use other brand mounts as well. I’m also extremely happy with the build quality. The camera feels solid and the buttons have a nice amount of resistance when you press them. The plastic used on the body is average as well. So there’s really nothing to criticize about the build.
I’m a huge fan of these Chinese action camera brands. Mostly because they include a ton of useful accessories. And you can never have too many mounts. So basically what you get is everything you’ll need to get started. Even if you haven’t owned any action cameras before. You’ll get the two most basic adhesive mounts, extra adhesive stickers, two quick release buckles and of course a waterproof housing.
They have even gone as far to also include a remote controller that’s attached to a wrist strap. It’s incredibly useful if you need to use the camera from a distance and don’t want to waste battery life by connecting it to a phone. Or perhaps you are in an environment where you can’t use a phone. So yeah it can be really useful.
Video & Features
The Thieye T5 Edge runs on the Ambarella A12 chipset and records videos with the Panasonic 14 MP CMOS sensor. It’s capable of recording videos at a native 4K resolution at 30 fps. I’d say that this is considered the standard nowadays. And also it’s not interpolated so you do actually get a 4K resolution from it. Which immediately gives it plus points in my eyes. You can also switch to 1080p if you need to record fast movements at 60 fps. I’d say that it’s the most common video resolution as well since it’s still perfect for YouTube and it takes much less space. And if you need slow motion then there’s also 720p at 120 fps.
Here’s a 4K example video that has been recorded with a Thieye T5 Edge on a motorbike. What I noticed is that the video quality really depends on the weather. As you can see here there’s plenty of sunlight and the sky is clear. Which allows you to get the best video quality from the action camera. And as you can see from the video, the Thieye T5 Edge performs extremely well in such a setting. The footage is not only clear but also sharp. You can see clear details around the edges. And if you are watching it in 4K, then you can also pause at any time and take a closer look at all the details. The colors look pretty neutral as well.
It also includes an Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) system, which can be used while recording in 4K as well. This is actually really useful as EIS does a fantastic job at making videos smoother, especially if you record while walking around. Sure it can’t compete with an actual physical gimbal but it’s still good. Up until now, I have only seen EIS support 4K resolution on only the high end action cameras. So I’m glad to see it becoming more mainstream.
Controlling the camera is done directly from the 2″ IPS screen. There are two arrow buttons on the side that are used to navigate through the menu. It’s really easy to use and the interface has gotten really fluid. If you have again used action cameras with screens before, then you are most probably familiar with the user interface. You can also connect the T5 Edge to your phone as well via WiFi. You’ll need to install the ThiEYE Cam app, which is available on both iOS and Android platforms.
And finally the feature that they mention everywhere – Live Streaming! The ThiEYE Cam app allows you to directly stream on Facebook and YouTube. Unfortunately it doesn’t support Twitch. They have also published a small guide on how to do it. You can view it here. There’s obviously going to be a delay and the quality/smoothness will still depend on how good the internet connection is around you. But I’m still glad that brands have taken a step forward and realized that action cameras can be used for so much than they were initially designed for.
When I first saw the Thieye T5 Edge being advertised, I was extremely excited about the live stream feature. So I don’t know why but I expected it to be somehow different from any other action cameras. Which I don’t consider to be the case. The Thieye T5 Edge is a normal 4K action camera and the included accessories suggest that as well. There aren’t any accessories that would make it better for IRL streaming. Such as a selfie stick for example. The Live Stream feature is simply a setting mode on both the camera and the app.
The live streaming feature does work. You just need to have the camera connected to your phone and the streaming quality does also depend on your signal strength. You can also live stream only to Facebook and YouTube. For most people that is probably enough. That said, if there’s one platform that streaming has always been more known for then that’s Twitch. And I’d like it more if it also supported them.
Now putting that a side, the Thieye T5 Edge is a solid 4K action camera. I’m really happy that the EIS works with 4K as well. Which is a huge selling point for the camera as there aren’t many capable of that in the same price range. So if that is important to you then definitely take a closer look at the Thieye T5 Edge. I’ll soon compare it to other cameras as well.