Yongnuo announces an odd Micro Four Thirds camera module for iPhones
As well as the recent announcement of a new 60mm f/2 macro lens, Yongnuo have a new listing on their website for a YN43 camera module. But it’s a strange looking little unit. There’s no specifications listed on the Yongnuo website yet, but it appears to contain a Micro Four Thirds sensor. The name “YN43” would also suggest a Micro Four Thirds sensor.
It’s shown in one product photo with an iPhone mounted to one side of it. But what makes it odd is what’s mounted on the other side. A Canon EF mount Yongnuo 14mm f/2.8 wide angle lens. The lens mount surrounding the sensor also appears to be a Canon mount, compatible with both EF and EF-S lenses.
It’s not the first time something like this has been attempted. Sony and Olympus have attempted to bring similar products to market. Vivitar also showed off a prototype of their take on this sort of thing a few years ago, too. So it will be interesting to see how popular this item becomes, given that the others don’t seem to exist any more.
Using a Micro Four Thirds sensor makes a lot of sense. Despite being a 2x crop, they’re acceptable to many for both stills and video use, as evidenced by Panasonic’s GH5, GH5S and G9, as well as much of the Olympus range of cameras. DJI also use Micro Four Thirds sensors in several of their cameras, such as the Zenmuse X5R. And a number of other companies have picked up the format, too, such as the YI M1 mirrorless camera.
But why have they given it a Canon EF-S lens mount? It seems confusing at first, but when you think about it, it’s fairly obvious. Yongnuo
copies makes Canon and Nikon mount lenses. So, they naturally want people to buy and use their lenses with it, instead of those nice Leica Lumix and Olympus Micro Four thirds lenses.
Going with a Canon mount on the unit means that it can take all of their Canon mount lenses, as well as their Nikon ones by use of an adapter. But putting a Canon lens on a Nikon mount is not so straightforward. One would thing that the smarter move, though, would be to simply start producing Micro Four Thirds lenses.
I have to be honest, it is rather tempting, even if just for the sake of simple curiosity. I want to see how good or (more likely) bad it is. If it comes at the typical super low budget Yongnuo price, then I may have to pick one up just to have a play.
While specs have not been announced, it seems that it will be compatible with at least iPhones. One of the product photos shows it in use with an iPhone and there’s already an app on the Apple App Store for it. There doesn’t seem to be anything on the Google Play Store yet, so no idea on Android compatibility, but hopefully they’ll add support for that, too.
There’s no specs, pricing or availability info yet. But as soon as we know more, we’ll update this post.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.