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Canon M vs YI M1

The Canon EOS M and the YI M1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in July 2012 and September 2016. Both the Canon M and the M1 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an APS-C (Canon M) and a Four Thirds (M1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the YI provides 20.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon M versus YI M1
Canon M YI M1
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF-M mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 20.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600) ISO 100-25,600
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed touchscreen
4.3 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
230 shots per battery charge450 shots per battery charge
109 x 66 x 32 mm, 298 g 114 x 64 x 34 mm, 281 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS M and the YI M1? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon M and the YI M1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The Canon M can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the M1 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, silver).

Size Canon M vs YI M1
Compare Canon M versus M1 top
Comparison Canon M or M1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the YI M1 is somewhat larger (1 percent) than the Canon M. However, the M1 is markedly lighter (6 percent) than the Canon M. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Canon M nor the M1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

The power pack in the M1 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599i
2.
 
YI M1 114 mm 64 mm 34 mm 281 g 450 n Sep 2016 349 i
3.
 
Canon M100 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499i
4.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399i
5.
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499i
6.
 
Canon G7 X 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699i
7.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
8.
 
Canon SL1 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549i
9.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
10.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
11.
 
Fujifilm X-A3 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 339 g 410 n Aug 2016 399i
12.
 
Nikon 1 J5 98 mm 60 mm 32 mm 231 g 250 n Apr 2015 399i
13.
 
Panasonic GX850 107 mm 65 mm 33 mm 269 g 210 n Jan 2017 549 i
14.
 
Panasonic GF7 107 mm 65 mm 33 mm 266 g 230 n Jan 2015 499i
15.
 
Panasonic GF6 111 mm 65 mm 38 mm 323 g 340 n Apr 2013 499i
16.
 
Panasonic G3 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599i
17.
 
Sony NEX-3N 110 mm 62 mm 35 mm 269 g 480 n Feb 2013 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The M1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 42 percent) than the Canon M, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon M features an APS-C sensor and the YI M1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the M1 is 32 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the Canon M has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the M1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Canon M and YI M1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the M1 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 17.9 MP of the Canon M. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.34μm versus 4.31μm for the Canon M). However, it should be noted that the M1 is much more recent (by 4 years and 1 month) than the Canon M, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The Canon M has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon EOS M has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the YI M1 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

Canon M versus M1 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
2.
 
YI M1 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
3.
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
4.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
5.
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
6.
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
7.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
8.
 
Canon SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
9.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
10.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
11.
 
Fujifilm X-A3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
12.
 
Nikon 1 J5 1-inch 20.7 5568 37124K/15p21.112.047965
13.
 
Panasonic GX850 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p23.213.358673
14.
 
Panasonic GF7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p........
15.
 
Panasonic GF6 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254
16.
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
17.
 
Sony NEX-3N APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the M1 provides a better video resolution than the Canon M. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The Canon M and the M1 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon M and YI M1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon Mnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n
2.
 
YI M1none n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n
3.
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n
4.
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
5.
 
Canon M10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n
6.
 
Canon G7 Xnone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y
7.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SL1optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
9.
 
Canon T5ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
11.
 
Fujifilm X-A3none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
12.
 
Nikon 1 J5none n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n
13.
 
Panasonic GX850none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/500s 10.0 Y n
14.
 
Panasonic GF7none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/500s 5.8 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic GF6none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic G31440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
17.
 
Sony NEX-3Noptional n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n

The YI M1 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the Canon M and the M1 write their files to SDXC cards. The Canon M supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the M1 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

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Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS M and YI M1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon MYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
2.
 
YI M1Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
3.
 
Canon M100-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
5.
 
Canon M10-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon G7 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
8.
 
Canon SL1YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T5iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Fujifilm X-A3Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
12.
 
Nikon 1 J5-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Panasonic GX850-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
14.
 
Panasonic GF7-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
15.
 
Panasonic GF6-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
16.
 
Panasonic G3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Sony NEX-3N-stereomono--micro2.0---

It is notable that the Canon M has a microphone port, which is missing on the M1. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

The M1 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of YI. In contrast, the Canon M has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the Canon M was succeeded by the Canon EOS M3. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and YI websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon M and the YI M1? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS M:

  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in July 2012).

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Arguments in favor of the YI M1:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 4.3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (450 versus 230) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (42 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 1 month of technical progress since the Canon M launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M1 is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 4 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

Canon M 04:09 M1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M and the YI M1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the Canon M or the M1. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon M3/5+..4/54/5 Jul 2012 599i
2.
 
YI M1....69/100.... Sep 2016 349 i
3.
 
Canon M1003/5+..4/53.5/5 Aug 2017 499i
4.
 
Canon SX730..+..4/54/5 Apr 2017 399i
5.
 
Canon M10........4/5 Oct 2015 499i
6.
 
Canon G7 X4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699i
7.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
8.
 
Canon SL14/5+78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
9.
 
Canon T5i....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
10.
 
Canon T3i3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
11.
 
Fujifilm X-A3....74/1004.5/54/5 Aug 2016 399i
12.
 
Nikon 1 J5......4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2015 399i
13.
 
Panasonic GX850..+76/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 549 i
14.
 
Panasonic GF74/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 499i
15.
 
Panasonic GF6..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499i
16.
 
Panasonic G33/5+ +75/1004.5/55/5 May 2011 599i
17.
 
Sony NEX-3N3/5....4.5/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon M:
Check Ebay offers
YI M1:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon M vs YI M1

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon M YI M1
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF-M mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date July 2012 September 2016
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 349
    Sensor Specs Canon M YI M1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 3.34 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 8.96 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 65 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 827 ..
    Screen Specs Canon M YI M1
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon M YI M1
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 4.3 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Canon M YI M1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon M YI M1
    Battery Type LP-E12 BXM-10
    Battery Life (CIPA)230 shots per charge450 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 109 x 66 x 32 mm
    (4.3 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
    114 x 64 x 34 mm
    (4.5 x 2.5 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 298 g (10.5 oz) 281 g (9.9 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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