First impressions from the M1 – Mirrorless camera by YI

Sep 23, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

First impressions from the M1 – Mirrorless camera by YI

Sep 23, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

YouTube video

Yi is a definitely a weird company in the camera makers word. While Sony, fuji and the likes are marketing their cameras as part of of a complete life style story, YI is more focused on technical specs and price.

This is how they marketed the YI 4K, and this is their approach with the Mirrorless YI – M1.

We had a quick play with the camera at photokina and the camera is different in some ways from what we have learned to expect from mirrorless cameras. (there will be a full review coming soon too) .

The first think that you notice when picking the camera up is that it is feather light. Camera weight has a lot to do with how the camera feels and it was waaaaay to light for me. Down to the point that got me thinking that other makers are making their cameras heavy on purpose.

The lens has no focus ring, I mean it has a focus grip kinda ring, but it will not rotate. And it seems it is there for cosmetic reasons only. The only way to focus is via the camera controls.  (We checked the prime YI prime lens, though it is compatible with any micro four thirds mount). To focus you can select the focusing point on the LCD and do the actual focusing with the usual half press. I wish it supported touch to focus.

There are very little physical controls on the camera, a mode dial, a shutter button, a control dial and play/stop controls. Everything more than that in done with the LCD menus.

Conditions we not optimal for actual image quality testing, but focusing felt OKish. (say, somewhere between fuji and Sony)

Ergonomic wise, the mirrorless YI  feels OK. Without a grip it will probably be fun for people with small hands, but for me it did not feel very natural.

We are going to take this camera for a full spin and see how it functions in the real world soon. Stay tuned.

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 responses to “First impressions from the M1 – Mirrorless camera by YI”

  1. Darnell Austria Avatar
    Darnell Austria

    Good one! I can’t afford an expensive digital camera to achieve shots that I want. Plus I am not an advanced photographer. Adding to that, I am a minimalist. Thank God for the technology and now I can shoot nice pictures in a more less complicated way. This looks promising and for the price, I would love to check out this mirrorless camera. Thank God again, it’s micro 4/3! Lens… more lens! I am just wondering if they will have a sale on their official website http://yitechnology.com I am gonna get one! Cheers!

  2. James Avatar
    James

    At first glance I was delighted, then disappointed, then delighted, now just accepting “It is what it is”. Its packaged beautifully and leads you to believe you got a really good deal. Then you try to use it. Holy Crap! Not even a USB interface? Yes, there’s a USB plug…for charging, but apparently no UART to communicate with the processor. You have to upgrade the bios through a strange and clumsy App that seems to be centered around templates of pre-adjusted LUTs and photos of Chinese women (if you’re into that kind of thing).

    The app tries to link into the camera through Bluetooth and WiFi. When you try to send a command to the camera it asks to disconnect. You have to comply for the action to occur…magically odd. All in all, very difficult to navigate through the app and figure out how to change any setting.

    The menu on the camera itself is straight forward, but then you hit a wall. I still haven’t figured out how to change my video settings. Fortunately, its stuck on 4K which is really all I bought this for in the first place. The factory lens has a non-functioning focus ring. Its auto focus only, and for a good thing…you couldn’t focus it manually if you tried. You can barely see if the image is in focused by looking at the screen. I thought I could use the app so that it would work like a field monitor, that’s not happening either.

    External lenses do not communicate with the camera. I tried my Lumix 14-42mm lens. It fits the mount, but not recognized so the auto focus is unavailable…but you have manual focus (like that does you any good).

    There is also an issue with exposure stepping when you pan or have objects change the historgram. I read somewhere that you can set the auto exposure to manual which will stop if from jumping all over the place as the computer tries to pick the optimal exposure (probably best when used for still shots). Haven’t tried it yet, hopefully that will be a simple solution…just letting you know its a noticeable problem when shooting video.

    I also noticed the image stabilization is “lacking”. So I used it on a tripod with a decent fluid head and got some really nice footage. All in all, there are many things this camera “could have, should have, and would have” but it doesn’t so you get what you pay for. Here’s my first video, you be the judge.

    https://vimeo.com/215321518
    Hopefully, by the time you’ve read this I’ll have figured out how to properly encode 4K video for vimeo. RIght now, vimeo is saying I’ve over compressed it and it could look much better if I monkey around with the settings…I have to agree, it looks a lot better on my PC than it does on the browser.