Well, this is a bit of a surprise. Yi Technology, yup, the action camera people, have announced that they are releasing a micro four thirds mirrorless camera. They’re also bringing out two new lenses to go along with it, a 12-40mm f/3.5-5.6 and a 42.5mm f/1.8.
Called the Yi M1, the new camera is built on a 20MP Sony IMX269 sensor, features a 3″ touchscreen LCD, and has built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. A companion mobile app allows for instant sharing across social media.
The two new lenses are 12-40mm f/3.5-5.6 and 42.5mm f/1.8. With the micro four thirds 2x crop factor, these produce the equivalent field of view to 24-80mm and 85mm lenses, respectively, on a full frame DSLR.
It’s an interesting move from a relatively new and unknown company. Many new names have popped up in the last couple of years in the lens market, but not interchangeable lens cameras.
Ok, Sigma started making cameras not too long ago, but they have a long history in the world of photography. Samsung, too have given the camera market a try briefly, but they are a major global electronics brand. For Samsung, it was an inevitable evolution. Or at least, an attempt at one.
Stepping into a market as large as micro four thirds as a fresh face is a daunting task. There’s a lot of well established competition out there, so it will be interesting to see how the Yi M1 stacks up.
There’s no official release date yet, but the camera will be made available in both silver and black. The camera plus either lens will set you back a mere $499. The camera with both lenses will be $699.
At the moment,there appears to be no “body only” option for those who may already have a solid stock of MFT lenses.
We’re going to have a quick play with one this week at Photokina, so keep an eye on our Facebook page for a sneak peek. We’ve also got one coming our way for review, so we’ll be sure to let you know how it handles!