Yi’s camera brings some underdog to the Micro Four Thirds market

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Chances are you'll know Yi Technologies from its action cameras or its fancy, carbon-fiber drones, however at Photokina, the firm launched its first mirrorless Micro Four Thirds camera, the Yi M1. Sporting a 20 mpx Sony IMX269 sensor, a high-high quality 3-inch touch-screen and a raft of sharing-pleasant features, it’s crashing into an area that has been stale for some time.

Cheek to cheek

Cheek to cheek

At launch, the firm has two lenses out there – an honest all-rounder in the type of a 12-40mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, and a portrait prime clocking in at 42.5mm f/1.8. The camera makes use of the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lens mount, nevertheless, so it’s attainable to faucet into years and years value of high-high quality glass from quite a few totally different producers already.

I had an opportunity to attempt the camera and I used to be initially underwhelmed; weighing in at 280g, I discovered it exhausting to maintain secure (it weighs a 3rd of my everyday shooter, which itself is a tiny little factor carved out of a block of metallic) and the controls have been counter-intuitive sufficient that I didn’t instantly make associates with them. As somebody who handles a number of totally different cameras; that’s fairly uncommon and slightly worrying.

The focus ring on the lens is only ornamental, which seems like a weird design quirk

The main target ring on the lens is simply decorative, which looks like a bizarre design quirk

It’s attainable that the firm is falling sufferer to its “minimalist design”. Minimalist is all good and nicely, in fact, till you want to shortly modify the settings on your camera. For a lot of the similar cause that it's tough to use Lytro’s Illum, controlling the Yi M1 feels a bit ham-fisted to skilled photographers.

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Who's it for?

In not together with respectable controls on the camera, it makes you marvel who this little factor is for. Sure, it’s small and has a very good sensor, so that you’d assume it’d be good for journey photographers, however as a result of its lenses don’t collapse out of the method, it isn’t as moveable as you may want.

All the settings are changed using the touch-screen, which means you can't change them by touch. This choice makes me wonder who the camera is actually for.

All the settings are modified utilizing the touch-screen, which suggests you possibly can’t change them by touch. This selection makes me marvel who the camera is definitely for.

DIYPhotography reports that the price for the camera plus a lens might be $499, though the people manning the sales space resolutely refused to remark on the pricing, saying it was “nonetheless being confirmed”. The corporate does affirm it's delivery the camera later this yr, nevertheless.

Provided that Amazon is delighted to promote you any number of Micro Four Thirds cameras for under $500, it’s tough to see the place Yi’s new mirrorless beastie matches into the market. It is the solely 20-megapixel camera in that price bracket bracket — Panasonic’s GX8 prices virtually a grand, and Olympus’ Pen-F units you again $1,500 — however I’d hope we’re past pixel-chasing by now. Most significantly, each of these cameras have the dealing with of prosumer-degree cameras, which the M1 doesn’t have.

I solely spent a couple of minutes with the camera and it's totally attainable that it grows on you after prolonged use. Sadly, cameras aren’t purchased on prolonged use, however on evaluations and on first impressions in individual. Yi had best cross its fingers for glowing variations of the former, as a result of on the latter, it falls considerably in need of the mark.

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