At Photokina 2016 I took a look at a surprise new addition to the Micro Four Thirds family for our hands-on Yi M1 review.
Yi Technology is a name that I have only relatively recently become aware of because of their position in the action camera market. However it seems that the company has aspirations beyond that realm and has branched out into interchangeable lens cameras, with the first model being called the M1.
Yi Technology has used the Micro Four Thirds mount for the M1, so it should be compatible with Panasonic and Olympus’s lenses. The Four Thirds type sensor has a 20 million pixel Sony sensor and is capable of shooting at up to ISO 25,6000. In addition to stills, the Yi M1 can capture 4K video at 30fps.
I tried an M1 on the Yi Technology stand and it seems quite nicely put together with a very simple control layout. The mode dial around the record button allows exposure mode to be set to automatic, program, shutter priority, aperture priority and manual along with a panorama and custom option.
Exposure settings are adjusted using the second dial on the top-plate. In manual mode the 3-inch touch-sensitive LCD screen on the back of the camera is used to swap between shutter speed and aperture, you just tap the appropriate icon and then rotate the dial to get the value you want.
The screen itself seems very responsive and the view it provides clear, which is just as well as there’s no viewfinder.
Hands on Yi M1 Early verdict
I’ve yet to see any images from the Yi M1, so I can’t comment upon the quality of the results. The sensor is a Sony unit, so the potential for decent results is there, but there’s more to a camera than the sensor. We know that Yi Technology has access to processors that can turn out respectable video footage, can it do the same for stills? We’re hoping to find out in the near future.