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YI M1 versus Canon SL2

The YI M1 and the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (labelled Canon 200D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2016 and June 2017. The M1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the SL2 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (M1) and an APS-C (SL2) sensor. The YI has a resolution of 20.2 megapixel, whereas the Canon provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: YI M1 vs Canon SL2

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the YI M1 and the Canon SL2. 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. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the M1 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare YI M1 vs Canon SL2
Compare M1 versus SL2 top
Compare M1 and SL2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SL2 is considerably larger (56 percent) than the YI M1. Moreover, the SL2 is substantially heavier (61 percent) than the M1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M1 nor the SL2 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (M1) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (SL2). Mirrorless cameras, such as the YI M1, have moreover the advantage that they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance and can thus use many lenses from other systems via adapters.

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, just select a new right or left 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 camera 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 SL2« 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i Canon SL2
Canon 77D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
Canon M6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
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
Canon M5« » 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.4 in 15.1 oz 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Canon SL1« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
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 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 i Fujifilm X-A10
Panasonic GX850« » 4.2 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.5 oz 210 n Jan 2017 549 i i Panasonic GX850
Panasonic ZS70« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449 i i Panasonic ZS70
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

Any camera purchase will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The M1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 36 percent) than the SL2, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: YI M1 vs Canon SL2

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 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the YI M1 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Canon SL2 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the SL2 is 48 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.6. The sensor in the M1 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the SL2 offers a 3:2 aspect.

YI M1 and Canon SL2 sensor measures

With 24MP, the SL2 offers a higher resolution than the M1 (20.2MP), but the SL2 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 3.34μm for the M1) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the SL2 is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the M1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

M1 versus SL2 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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.

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 SL2« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179Canon SL2
Canon 77D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178Canon 77D
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon M6
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
Canon M5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277Canon M5
Canon SL1« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon SL1
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
Panasonic GX850« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p23.213.358673Panasonic GX850
Panasonic ZS70« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636Panasonic ZS70
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 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 higher video resolution than the SL2. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: YI M1 vs Canon SL2

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the SL2 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful 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 YI M1 and Canon SL2 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or in the dpreview camera hub.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
YI M1»- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 5.0 n n YI M1
Canon SL2«optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon SL2
Canon 77D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon 77D
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M6
Canon M100« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.1 Y n Canon M100
Canon SX730« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 3200 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M5« »2360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M5
Canon SL1« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n Canon SL1
Fujifilm X-E3« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 8.0 n n Fujifilm X-E3
Fujifilm X-A3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X-A3
Fujifilm X-A10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting n 4000 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X-A10
Panasonic GX850« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 500 10.0 Y n Panasonic GX850
Panasonic ZS70« »1166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic ZS70
Panasonic GF7« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 500 5.8 Y n Panasonic GF7
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 V

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The SL2 has one, while the M1 does not. While the build-in flash of the SL2 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

Both the M1 and the SL2 write their imaging data to SDXC cards.

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 M1»Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-YYI M1
Canon SL2«YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon SL2
Canon 77D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 77D
Canon M6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M6
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
Canon M5« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M5
Canon SL1« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon SL1
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
Panasonic GX850« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GX850
Panasonic ZS70« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic ZS70
Panasonic GF7« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Panasonic GF7
Sony RX100 V« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 V

Both the M1 and the SL2 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The SL2 replaced the earlier Canon SL1, while the M1 does not have a direct predecessor.

Review summary: YI M1 vs Canon SL2

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the YI M1 or the Canon SL2 – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the YI M1:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • More compact: Is smaller (114x64mm vs 122x93mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 172g or 38 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (36 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2016).

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Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel SL2:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 11%.
  • Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
  • Richer colors: Larger sensor generates images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (650 versus 450) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (9 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SL2 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

M1 06:12 SL2

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the M1 and the SL2 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 rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

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 SL2«HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i Canon SL2
Canon 77D« »-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon M100« »Rec-4/5-3.5/5 Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
Canon SX730« »Rec-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon M5« »Rec82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Canon SL1« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
Fujifilm X-E3« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i i Fujifilm X-E3
Fujifilm X-A3« »-74/1004.5/5-4/5 Aug 2016 399 i i Fujifilm X-A3
Fujifilm X-A10« »--4/5-4/5 Dec 2016 399 i i Fujifilm X-A10
Panasonic GX850« »Rec76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2017 549 i i Panasonic GX850
Panasonic ZS70« »HiRec-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 449 i i Panasonic ZS70
Panasonic GF7« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 499- i Panasonic GF7
Sony RX100 V« »HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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. If the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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