Sony HX400V vs YI M1
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V and the YI M1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2014 and September 2016. The HX400V is a fixed lens compact, while the M1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (HX400V) and a Four Thirds (M1) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20.2 megapixels.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony HX400V and the YI M1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The M1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the HX400V is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the YI M1 is considerably smaller (40 percent) than the Sony HX400V. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the HX400V nor the M1 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the HX400V has a lens built in, whereas the M1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the M1 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
The power pack in the M1 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
|1.||Sony HX400V||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||660 g||300||n||Feb 2014||499|
|2.||YI M1||114 mm||64 mm||34 mm||281 g||450||n||Sep 2016||349|
|3.||Canon SX70||127 mm||91 mm||117 mm||608 g||325||n||Sep 2018||549|
|4.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|5.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A3||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||339 g||410||n||Aug 2016||399|
|7.||Kodak AZ901||139 mm||104 mm||119 mm||777 g||400||n||Jan 2016||499|
|8.||Nikon B700||125 mm||85 mm||107 mm||565 g||350||n||Feb 2016||499|
|9.||Nikon 1 J5||98 mm||60 mm||32 mm||231 g||250||n||Apr 2015||399|
|10.||Panasonic GX850||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||269 g||210||n||Jan 2017||549|
|11.||Panasonic GF7||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||266 g||230||n||Jan 2015||499|
|12.||Sony HX99||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449|
|13.||Sony HX95||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429|
|14.||Sony HX350||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||652 g||300||n||Dec 2016||449|
|15.||Sony HX90V||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||360||n||Apr 2015||429|
|16.||Sony H400||130 mm||95 mm||122 mm||628 g||300||n||Feb 2014||319|
|17.||Sony H300||128 mm||89 mm||92 mm||590 g||350||n||Feb 2014||219|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony HX400V features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the YI M1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the M1 is 704 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Even though the M1 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 20.2 megapixels. This implies that the M1 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 3.34μm versus 1.18μm for the HX400V), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the M1 is much more recent (by 2 years and 7 months) than the HX400V, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the HX400V has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 80-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the YI M1 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|2.||YI M1||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|9.||Nikon 1 J5||1-inch||20.7||5568||3712||4K/15p||21.1||12.0||479||65|
|10.||Panasonic GX850||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||23.2||13.3||586||73|
|11.||Panasonic GF7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. 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 HX400V. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the HX400V has an electronic viewfinder (210k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the M1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony HX400V and YI M1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|9.||Nikon 1 J5||none||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0||Y||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The HX400V has one, while the M1 does not. While the built-in flash of the HX400V is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
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.
The HX400V writes its imaging data to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards, while the M1 uses SDXC cards.
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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V and YI M1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|9.||Nikon 1 J5||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the HX400V has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.
Both the HX400V and the M1 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. Neither of the two has a direct predecessor, so perhaps they will constitute the origins of new camera lines for Sony and YI. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony and YI websites.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Sony HX400V or the YI M1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the M1 requires a separate lens.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2014).
Advantages of the YI M1:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- More compact: Is smaller (114x64mm vs 130x93mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (450 versus 300) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the HX400V launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M1 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 10 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony HX400V and the YI M1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the HX400V and the M1 in practical situations. 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.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.
|1.||Sony HX400V||4/5||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||499|
|2.||YI M1||..||..||69/100||..||..||Sep 2016||349|
|3.||Canon SX70||..||+ +||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Sep 2018||549|
|4.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|5.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A3||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2016||399|
|7.||Kodak AZ901||..||..||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2016||499|
|8.||Nikon B700||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2016||499|
|9.||Nikon 1 J5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||399|
|10.||Panasonic GX850||..||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||549|
|11.||Panasonic GF7||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||499|
|12.||Sony HX99||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449|
|13.||Sony HX95||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429|
|14.||Sony HX350||..||..||..||..||4/5||Dec 2016||449|
|15.||Sony HX90V||4/5||+ +||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429|
|16.||Sony H400||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2014||319|
|17.||Sony H300||..||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2014||219|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Sony HX400V 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 Model||Sony HX400V||YI M1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2014||September 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 349|
|Sensor Specs||Sony HX400V||YI M1|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.18 μm||3.34 μm|
|Pixel Density||71.80 MP/cm2||8.96 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 12,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Screen Specs||Sony HX400V||YI M1|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||210k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony HX400V||YI M1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Sony HX400V||YI M1|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Geotagging||GPS built-in||no internal GPS|
|Body Specs||Sony HX400V||YI M1|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||300 shots per charge||450 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
130 x 93 x 103 mm
(5.1 x 3.7 x 4.1 in)
114 x 64 x 34 mm
(4.5 x 2.5 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||660 g (23.3 oz)||281 g (9.9 oz)|
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