Sony RX0 II vs YI M1
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX0II and the YI M1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in March 2019 and September 2016. The RX0 II is a fixed lens compact, while the M1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (RX0 II) and a Four Thirds (M1) sensor. The Sony has a resolution of 15.4 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX0II 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 RX0 II 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 M1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the RX0 II 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 larger (202 percent) than the Sony RX0 II. It is worth mentioning in this context that the RX0 II is splash and dust resistant, while the M1 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing. More than that, the RX0 II is water-proof up to 10m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX0 II 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 battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, 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 would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Sony RX0 II||59 mm||41 mm||35 mm||132 g||240||Y||Mar 2019||699||amazon.com|
|2.||YI M1||114 mm||64 mm||34 mm||281 g||450||n||Sep 2016||349||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399||ebay.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A3||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||339 g||410||n||Aug 2016||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Nikon 1 J5||98 mm||60 mm||32 mm||231 g||250||n||Apr 2015||399||ebay.com|
|6.||Panasonic GX850||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||269 g||210||n||Jan 2017||549||amazon.com|
|7.||Panasonic GF7||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||266 g||230||n||Jan 2015||499||ebay.com|
|8.||Sony ZV-1||105 mm||60 mm||44 mm||294 g||260||n||May 2020||799||amazon.com|
|9.||Sony RX100 VI||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||301 g||240||n||Jun 2018||1,199||ebay.com|
|10.||Sony HX99||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449||amazon.com|
|11.||Sony HX95||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429||amazon.com|
|12.||Sony WX800||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||233 g||370||n||Oct 2018||399||ebay.com|
|13.||Sony RX10 IV||133 mm||94 mm||145 mm||1095 g||400||Y||Sep 2017||1,699||amazon.com|
|14.||Sony RX0||59 mm||41 mm||30 mm||110 g||240||Y||Aug 2017||699||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony RX10 III||133 mm||94 mm||127 mm||1051 g||420||Y||Mar 2016||1,499||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||129 mm||88 mm||102 mm||813 g||400||Y||Jun 2015||1,299||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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. 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the 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 Sony RX0 II features an one-inch sensor and the YI M1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the M1 is 94 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 2.0. The sensor in the RX0 II has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the M1 offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 20.2MP, the M1 offers a higher resolution than the RX0 II (15.4MP), but the M1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.34μm versus 2.74μm for the RX0 II) due to its larger sensor. However, the RX0 II is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 6 months) than the M1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the YI M1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony RX0 II are 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm for good quality, 19.2 x 12.8 inches or 48.8 x 32.5 cm for very good quality, and 16 x 10.7 inches or 40.6 x 27.1 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX0II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the YI M1 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Sony RX0 II||1-inch||15.4||4800||3200||4K/30p||22.1||12.4||555||65|
|2.||YI M1||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||1030||73|
|5.||Nikon 1 J5||1-inch||20.7||5568||3712||4K/15p||21.1||12.0||479||65|
|6.||Panasonic GX850||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||23.2||13.3||586||73|
|7.||Panasonic GF7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.7||12.3||874||70|
|9.||Sony RX100 VI||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||12.3||478||64|
|13.||Sony RX10 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.0||12.2||408||63|
|15.||Sony RX10 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.1||12.6||472||70|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||531||70|
|17.||Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The RX0 II 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony RX0 II, the YI M1, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Sony RX0 II||none||n||1.5 / 230||tilting||n||..||5.5/s||n||n|
|2.||YI M1||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|3.||Canon SX730||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A3||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Nikon 1 J5||none||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Panasonic GX850||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/500s||10.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Panasonic GF7||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/500s||5.8/s||Y||n|
|8.||Sony ZV-1||none||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||Y||1/2000s||24.0/s||n||Y|
|9.||Sony RX100 VI||2359||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Sony HX99||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Sony HX95||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Sony WX800||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony RX10 IV||2359||Y||3.0 / 1440||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony RX0||none||n||1.5 / 230||fixed||n||..||5.5/s||n||n|
|15.||Sony RX10 III||2359||Y||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||14.0/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||2359||Y||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/3200s||14.0/s||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M1 has a touchscreen, while the RX0 II has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The RX0 II has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the M1 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the RX0 II only has electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
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 RX0 II writes its imaging data to micro SDXC or Memory Stick Micro cards, while the M1 uses SDXC cards. The RX0 II 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.
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-RX0II and YI M1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Sony RX0 II||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|2.||YI M1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Canon SX730||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Nikon 1 J5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Panasonic GX850||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Panasonic GF7||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Sony ZV-1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|9.||Sony RX100 VI||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|10.||Sony HX99||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|11.||Sony HX95||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|12.||Sony WX800||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Sony RX10 IV||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony RX0||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|15.||Sony RX10 III||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony RX100 III||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the RX0 II 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 RX0 II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the M1 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the M1 from 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 conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Sony RX0 II or the YI M1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX0II:
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the M1 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (59x41mm vs 114x64mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the M1).
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Water-proof: Is rugged and sealed and can thus be used for underwater photography (up to 10m).
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 6 months of technical progress since the M1 launch.
Arguments in favor of the YI M1:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 15.4MP), which boosts linear resolution by 12%.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k 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.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (450 versus 240) out of a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2016).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M1 emerges as the winner of the match-up (13 : 11 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony RX0 II and the YI M1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the RX0 II or the M1. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 RX0 II||..||..||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Mar 2019||699||amazon.com|
|2.||YI M1||..||..||..||69/100||..||..||Sep 2016||349||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399||ebay.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A3||..||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2016||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Nikon 1 J5||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||399||ebay.com|
|6.||Panasonic GX850||..||+||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||549||amazon.com|
|7.||Panasonic GF7||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||499||ebay.com|
|8.||Sony ZV-1||4/5||..||4.5/5||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||May 2020||799||amazon.com|
|9.||Sony RX100 VI||4.5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2018||1,199||ebay.com|
|10.||Sony HX99||..||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449||amazon.com|
|11.||Sony HX95||..||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429||amazon.com|
|12.||Sony WX800||..||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||399||ebay.com|
|13.||Sony RX10 IV||5/5||+||..||84/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2017||1,699||amazon.com|
|14.||Sony RX0||..||..||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Aug 2017||699||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony RX10 III||5/5||+||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2016||1,499||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||1,299||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony RX100 III||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799||ebay.com|
|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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Sony RX0 II 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 RX0 II||YI M1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24mm f/4.0||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||March 2019||September 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 349|
|Sensor Specs||Sony RX0 II||YI M1|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||116.16 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.4 Megapixels||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4800 x 3200 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.74 μm||3.34 μm|
|Pixel Density||13.22 MP/cm2||8.96 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Sony RX0 II||YI M1|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||1.5inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony RX0 II||YI M1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||..||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5.5 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/32000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||mMS or mSDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Sony RX0 II||YI M1|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Sony RX0 II||YI M1|
|Environmental Sealing||Waterproof body (10m)||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||240 shots per charge||450 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
59 x 41 x 35 mm
(2.3 x 1.6 x 1.4 in)
114 x 64 x 34 mm
(4.5 x 2.5 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||132 g (4.7 oz)||281 g (9.9 oz)|
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