PW

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.

camera

Is the YI M1 a good camera? The M1 has a Camera Elo of 2171. This rating puts the M1 among the top 50 percent 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 3.5-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
YI M1
Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses
20.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
4K/30p Video
ISO 100-25600
No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed touchscreen
5 shutter flaps per second
450 shots per battery charge
114 x 64 x 34 mm, 281 g


badge

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.

YI M1 vs credit card front
M1 versus credit card top view
M1 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the YI M1 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
YI M1 4.5 in 2.5 in 1.3 in 9.9 oz 450 n Sep 2016 349 i i YI M1
 
Canon M100« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
 
Canon SX730« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Fujifilm X-E3« » 4.8 in 2.9 in 1.7 in 11.9 oz 350 n Sep 2017 899 i i Fujifilm X-E3
 
Fujifilm X-A3« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 12.0 oz 410 n Aug 2016 399- i Fujifilm X-A3
 
Fujifilm X-A10« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.7 oz 410 n Dec 2016 399- i Fujifilm X-A10
 
Nikon 1 J5« » 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 8.1 oz 250 n Apr 2015 399- i Nikon 1 J5
 
Panasonic GX850« » 4.2 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.5 oz 210 n Jan 2017 549 i i Panasonic GX850
 
Panasonic GF7« » 4.2 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.4 oz 230 n Jan 2015 499- i Panasonic GF7
 
Sony RX100 V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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.

YI M1:
Check Amazon price

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.

YI M1 sensor measures

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 comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
YI M1 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----YI M1
 
Canon M100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278Canon M100
 
Canon SX730« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX730
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Fujifilm X-E3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----Fujifilm X-E3
 
Fujifilm X-A3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Fujifilm X-A3
 
Fujifilm X-A10« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----Fujifilm X-A10
 
Nikon 1 J5« » 1-inch 20.7 5568 37124K/15p21.112.047965Nikon 1 J5
 
Panasonic GX850« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p23.213.358673Panasonic GX850
 
Panasonic GF7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p----Panasonic GF7
 
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670Sony RX100 V

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.

Feature comparison

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.

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
Camera
Model
 
YI M1- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n YI M1
 
Canon M100« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n Canon M100
 
Canon SX730« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Fujifilm X-E3« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n n Fujifilm X-E3
 
Fujifilm X-A3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X-A3
 
Fujifilm X-A10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X-A10
 
Nikon 1 J5« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n Nikon 1 J5
 
Panasonic GX850« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/500s 10.0 Y n Panasonic GX850
 
Panasonic GF7« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/500s 5.8 Y n Panasonic GF7
 
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 V

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.

 

Connection 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 YI M1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
YI M1Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-YYI M1
 
Canon M100« »-stereomono--mini2.0YYYCanon M100
 
Canon SX730« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX730
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Fujifilm X-E3« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YFujifilm X-E3
 
Fujifilm X-A3« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X-A3
 
Fujifilm X-A10« »-stereomono--mini2.0Y--Fujifilm X-A10
 
Nikon 1 J5« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Nikon 1 J5
 
Panasonic GX850« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GX850
 
Panasonic GF7« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Panasonic GF7
 
Sony RX100 V« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 V

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.

 

Expert reviews

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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
YI M1-69/100-2.5/5- Sep 2016 349 i i YI M1
 
Canon M100« »+-4/5-3.5/5 Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
 
Canon SX730« »+-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« »+ +81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Fujifilm X-E3« »+84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i i Fujifilm X-E3
 
Fujifilm X-A3« »-74/1004.5/5-4/5 Aug 2016 399- i Fujifilm X-A3
 
Fujifilm X-A10« »--4/5-4/5 Dec 2016 399- i Fujifilm X-A10
 
Nikon 1 J5« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2015 399- i Nikon 1 J5
 
Panasonic GX850« »+76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2017 549 i i Panasonic GX850
 
Panasonic GF7« »+-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 499- i Panasonic GF7
 
Sony RX100 V« »+ +83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
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 M1?

The camera has a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the 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?

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 flash?

The M1's flash sync speed is 1/125 sec.

Which battery does the 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 of this and 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.

~
    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model YI M1
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date September 2016
    Launch Price USD 349
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.34 μm
    Pixel Density 8.96 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-25600 ISO
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type BXM-10 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)450 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 114 x 64 x 34 mm
    (4.5 x 2.5 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 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.

    You are here  »   »