Xiao Yi M1: the first mirrorless Yi camera (with removable lenses)

Xiao Yi M1: the first mirrorless Yi camera (with removable lenses)

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Yi M1

Xiao Yi Technology, most famous for their action cams and webcams, has officially announced a new full fledged Micro 4/3 camera with removable lenses, the Yi M1.

Yi M1

The Yi M1 comes in black and grey and it’ll sport a Sony Exmor IMX269 20MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor, with an ISO range that goes from 100 all the way up to 25600. Photos will have a resolution of 5184 x 3888p and can be interpolated to 8160 x 6120 (50MP) while the videos will be 4K @30fps or 1080p @60fps, lower resolution options will be available as well.

Yi M1

The camera will feature full touchscreen interface, indeed there are only two physical buttons, a built-in professional ISP image processor, a quad-core ARM CPU, support for HDR, lossless RAW, video electronic image stabilization and distortion correction. There’s no EVF (Electronic View Finder) or flash, but you’ll able to mount one on the hot shoe.

Yi M1

The Yi M1’s camera sensor will boast 81 AF points which cover most of the Live View area and it’ll be able to recognize the faces of up to 32 people. The mechanical shutter will be produced by the Japanese company COPAL, with a slowest shutter speed of 60s and 1/4000s as the fastest.

Yi M1

New lenses for the Yi M1

Yi Technology also created a new lenses product line, the lens that comes with the camera will be a standard 12-40mm with an aperture of F3.5-5.6 (range F3.5-22,9) and it’ll be composed of 11 elements, including an ED lens, 3 non spherical lens, an aspherical ED lens. The 12-40mm will weight 186 grams and will have a 62mm filter mount.

In addition to that, they also launched a 42.5mm F1.8 prime lens for portraits and macros. The lens has what appears to be a focus ring but that’s there just for aesthetic, manual focus is not actually supported. Both lenses are equipped with image stabilization.

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Some sample photos from the Yi M1

42.5mm F1.8 1/200s F1.8 ISO400
42.5mm F1.8 1/200s F1.8 ISO400
42.5mm F1.8 1s F11 ISO200
42.5mm F1.8 1s F11 ISO200
42.5mm F1.8 1/13s F1.8 ISO400
42.5mm F1.8 1/13s F1.8 ISO400
12-40mm F3.5-5.6 F8 10s ISO10
12-40mm F3.5-5.6 F8 10s ISO10
12-40mm F3.5-5.6 F5 1/320s ISO100
12-40mm F3.5-5.6 F5 1/320s ISO100
12-40mm F3.5-5.6 F5.6 2s ISO100
12-40mm F3.5-5.6 F5.6 2s ISO100

Overall the Yi M1 looks like a good camera, the Sony image sensor is solid and should give pretty good results. It’s a camera mostly aimed at young people as the touch interface and smaller body size suggest, but in a market where camera manufacturers are in loss and the low-to-mid budget camera segment is slowly disappearing (in favor of smartphones) this is a really unexpected move from the Chinese manufacturer. We’ll have to wait and see how it evolves.

Pricing and availability

The new Yi M1 will debut on JD.com on September 23rd in China and it’ll cost 2188 Yuan ($329) with the standard kit lens and 2999 Yuan ($449) with both lenses.

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