YI M1 Comparison Review
The YI M1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was officially introduced in September 2016 and is equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. It offers a resolution of 20.2 megapixel.
Is the YI M1 a good camera? The M1 has a Camera Elo of 2219. This rating puts the M1 below average of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (Four Thirds cameras), the M1 ranks among the top 40 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3-star performance rating.
|Mirrorless system camera|
|Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|20.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 25 600|
|no viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0 LCD, 1040k dots|
|5 shutter flaps per second|
|450 shots per battery charge|
|114 x 64 x 34 mm, 281 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The physical dimensions of the YI M1 relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the YI M1 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|1.||YI M1||114 mm||64 mm||34 mm||281 g||450||n||Sep 2016||349||ebay.com|
|2.||Canon SX430||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||323 g||195||n||Jan 2017||299||amazon.com|
|3.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349||ebay.com|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A3||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||339 g||410||n||Aug 2016||399||ebay.com|
|8.||Nikon 1 J5||98 mm||60 mm||32 mm||231 g||250||n||Apr 2015||399||ebay.com|
|9.||Panasonic GX850||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||269 g||210||n||Jan 2017||549||ebay.com|
|10.||Panasonic GF7||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||266 g||230||n||Jan 2015||499||ebay.com|
|11.||Sony HX80||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||390||n||Mar 2016||349||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The YI M1 was launched in the US market at a price of $349. 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.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The YI M1 features a Four Thirds sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the YI M1 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
For most 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 alternatives.
|1.||YI M1||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||1030||73|
|8.||Nikon 1 J5||1-inch||20.7||5568||3712||4K/15p||21.1||12.0||479||65|
|9.||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|
|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. The M1 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the M1 can use is 4K/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the YI M1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||YI M1||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|2.||Canon SX430||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX730||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX420||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon SX720||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon SX710||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A3||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|8.||Nikon 1 J5||none||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Panasonic GX850||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/500s||10.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Panasonic GF7||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/500s||5.8/s||Y||n|
|11.||Sony HX80||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
It is worthwhile pointing out that the M1 has a touchscreen. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, when trying to adjust the focus point.
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 YI M1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||YI M1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|2.||Canon SX430||-||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon SX730||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX420||-||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon SX720||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon SX710||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Nikon 1 J5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Panasonic GX850||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Panasonic GF7||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Sony HX80||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the M1 offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M1 handle or perform in practice. 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 adjacent 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]).
|1.||YI M1||..||..||..||69/100||..||..||Sep 2016||349||ebay.com|
|2.||Canon SX430||..||..||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jan 2017||299||amazon.com|
|3.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349||ebay.com|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A3||..||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2016||399||ebay.com|
|8.||Nikon 1 J5||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||399||ebay.com|
|9.||Panasonic GX850||..||+||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||549||ebay.com|
|10.||Panasonic GF7||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||499||ebay.com|
|11.||Sony HX80||..||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2016||349||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
YI M1 FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the M1.
What type of imaging sensor is used in the YI M1?
The camera has a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the YI M1?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the YI M1?
YI does not publish a shutter rating for the M1. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.
Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences with the YI M1?
No, the YI M1 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.
Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the YI M1?
The M1 offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.
Does the YI M1 feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with the YI M1 for flash photography?
The M1's flash sync speed is 1/125 sec.
Which battery does the YI M1 use?
The camera gets its power from the BXM-10, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Camera to camera comparisons
If you would like to see a side-by-side review with another camera, 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.
|Camera Model||YI M1|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 349|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||225 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5 184 x 3 888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.34 μm|
|Pixel Density||8.96 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25 600 ISO|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||Intervalometer Built-in|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in|
|Battery Type||BXM-10 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||450 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging|
114 x 64 x 34 mm
(4.5 x 2.5 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||281 g (9.9 oz)|
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