Sony RX10 IV vs YI M1
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV and the YI M1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2017 and September 2016. The RX10 IV is a fixed lens compact, while the M1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (RX10 IV) and a Four Thirds (M1) sensor. The Sony has a resolution of 20 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-RX10 IV 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 physical size and weight of the Sony RX10 IV and the YI M1 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear 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 RX10 IV 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 (42 percent) than the Sony RX10 IV. It is worth mentioning in this context that the RX10 IV is splash and dust resistant, while the M1 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX10 IV 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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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 RX10 IV||133 mm||94 mm||145 mm||1095 g||400||Y||Sep 2017||1,699|
|2.||YI M1||114 mm||64 mm||34 mm||281 g||450||n||Sep 2016||349|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark III||115 mm||78 mm||51 mm||399 g||200||Y||Oct 2017||1,299|
|4.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A3||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||339 g||410||n||Aug 2016||399|
|6.||Fujifilm X-Pro2||141 mm||83 mm||46 mm||495 g||350||Y||Jan 2016||1,699|
|7.||Nikon 1 J5||98 mm||60 mm||32 mm||231 g||250||n||Apr 2015||399|
|8.||Panasonic GX850||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||269 g||210||n||Jan 2017||549|
|9.||Panasonic FZ2500||138 mm||102 mm||135 mm||915 g||350||n||Sep 2016||1,199|
|10.||Panasonic GF7||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||266 g||230||n||Jan 2015||499|
|11.||Sony RX100 VI||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||301 g||240||n||Jun 2018||1,199|
|12.||Sony RX0||59 mm||41 mm||30 mm||110 g||240||Y||Aug 2017||699|
|13.||Sony A6300||120 mm||67 mm||49 mm||404 g||400||Y||Feb 2016||999|
|14.||Sony RX10 III||133 mm||94 mm||127 mm||1051 g||420||Y||Mar 2016||1,499|
|15.||Sony RX100 V||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||n||Oct 2016||999|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||129 mm||88 mm||102 mm||813 g||400||Y||Jun 2015||1,299|
|17.||Sony RX10||129 mm||88 mm||102 mm||813 g||420||Y||Oct 2013||1,299|
|Note: 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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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.
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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony RX10 IV 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 RX10 IV 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 RX10 IV (20MP), but the M1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.34μm versus 2.41μm for the RX10 IV) due to its larger sensor. However, the RX10 IV is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the M1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The RX10 IV has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 64-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the YI M1 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|1.||Sony RX10 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.0||12.2||408||63|
|2.||YI M1||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||1030||73|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark III||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.8||13.2||1649||81|
|7.||Nikon 1 J5||1-inch||20.7||5568||3712||4K/15p||21.1||12.0||479||65|
|8.||Panasonic GX850||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||23.2||13.3||586||73|
|10.||Panasonic GF7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.7||12.3||874||70|
|11.||Sony RX100 VI||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||12.3||478||64|
|14.||Sony RX10 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.1||12.6||472||70|
|15.||Sony RX100 V||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||531||70|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the RX10 IV has an electronic viewfinder (2359k 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 RX10 IV and YI M1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Sony RX10 IV||2359||Y||3.0 / 1440||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0/s||Y||Y|
|2.||YI M1||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark III||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||9.0/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX730||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A3||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Fujifilm X-Pro2||2360||n||3.0 / 1620||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.0/s||n||n|
|7.||Nikon 1 J5||none||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0/s||Y||n|
|8.||Panasonic GX850||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/500s||10.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Panasonic FZ2500||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Panasonic GF7||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/500s||5.8/s||Y||n|
|11.||Sony RX100 VI||2359||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Sony RX0||none||n||1.5 / 230||fixed||n||..||5.5/s||n||n|
|13.||Sony A6300||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Sony RX10 III||2359||Y||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||14.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony RX100 V||2359||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||2359||Y||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/3200s||14.0/s||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony RX10||1440||Y||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The RX10 IV has one, while the M1 does not. While the built-in flash of the RX10 IV is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
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 RX10 IV is one of those camera that have an additional 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 RX10 IV writes its imaging data to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards, while the M1 uses SDXC cards. The RX10 IV 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-RX10 IV and YI M1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Sony RX10 IV||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||YI M1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark III||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX730||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Fujifilm X-Pro2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Nikon 1 J5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Panasonic GX850||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Panasonic FZ2500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Panasonic GF7||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Sony RX100 VI||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|12.||Sony RX0||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|13.||Sony A6300||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony RX10 III||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Sony RX100 V||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony RX10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the RX10 IV 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.
Both the RX10 IV and the M1 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The RX10 IV replaced the earlier Sony RX10 III, while the M1 does not have a direct predecessor. 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 how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony RX10 IV and the YI M1? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV:
- 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.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1440k vs 1040k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (24 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- 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.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- 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 device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 11 months after the M1).
Advantages of the YI M1:
- 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.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- 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 133x94mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (450 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2016).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX10 IV is the clear winner of the match-up (16 : 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 RX10 IV 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 comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the RX10 IV 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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 RX10 IV||5/5||+||..||84/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2017||1,699|
|2.||YI M1||..||..||..||69/100||..||..||Sep 2016||349|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark III||5/5||+||4/5||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2017||1,299|
|4.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A3||..||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2016||399|
|6.||Fujifilm X-Pro2||..||+||..||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||1,699|
|7.||Nikon 1 J5||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||399|
|8.||Panasonic GX850||..||+||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||549|
|9.||Panasonic FZ2500||..||+||..||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2016||1,199|
|10.||Panasonic GF7||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||499|
|11.||Sony RX100 VI||4.5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2018||1,199|
|12.||Sony RX0||..||..||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Aug 2017||699|
|13.||Sony A6300||4.5/5||+||..||85/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999|
|14.||Sony RX10 III||5/5||+||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2016||1,499|
|15.||Sony RX100 V||4.5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||1,299|
|17.||Sony RX10||5/5||+||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,299|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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 use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Sony RX10 IV 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 RX10 IV||YI M1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24-600mm f/2.4-4.0||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2017||September 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 1,699||USD 349|
|Sensor Specs||Sony RX10 IV||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||20 Megapixels||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.41 μm||3.34 μm|
|Pixel Density||17.18 MP/cm2||8.96 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||64 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Screen Specs||Sony RX10 IV||YI M1|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1440k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony RX10 IV||YI M1|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||24 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||Built-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||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Sony RX10 IV||YI M1|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||no Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Sony RX10 IV||YI M1|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||450 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
133 x 94 x 145 mm
(5.2 x 3.7 x 5.7 in)
114 x 64 x 34 mm
(4.5 x 2.5 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||1095 g (38.6 oz)||281 g (9.9 oz)|
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