When Yongnuo teased a new mirrorless camera the other day, there wasn’t really any information to go along with it. Pretty much the only thing we new for sure was that it had 4G capability. But we could make a few assumptions based on what we saw and prior Yongnuo history.
Now, some of those assumptions have been confirmed as Yongnuo has released the specs for the yet-to-be-named new camera, which currently bears the code YN450. And there are a couple of surprises…
- Sensor: 16MP Micro Four Thirds CMOS sensor
- Lens mount: Canon EF
- Front camera: 8MP front camera (oh yes, it has a front camera)
- Display: 5″ 1080p Multitouch LCD
- Operating System: Android Bougat 7.1
- Photos: Supports RAW format (presumably DNG)
- Video: 4K video @ 30fps
- CPU: Qualcomm 8-core processor
- RAM: 3GB
- Connectivity: 4G, 3G, WiFi
- GPS: Yes
- Storage: 32GB + microSD slot up to an extra 32GB
- Mic input: Dual-mic Stereo input
- Headphones: 3.5mm headphone jack
- Battery: 4000mAh
- Flash: Built-in dual LED flash (no hotshoe)
Micro Four Thirds & EF-Mount?!?
So, first thing’s first… Yes, like I guessed, it’s another weird Micro Four Thirds sensor & Canon EF mount combo like that funny smartphone camera thing they announced (which still doesn’t exist). I kind of get why, because they make cheap EF mount lenses. But it’s still odd. The fact that it uses EF mount lenses, though, with presumably an EF mount flange distance makes me wonder how thick this thing is going to be.
The Canon EF mount flange distance is 44mm. If we add another 0.6cm to cover the LCD a circuit board and the thickness of the sensor itself, that means this thing could be 5cm thick in total. It looks Yongnuo might be making the same mistake Sigma did with their SA mount lenses (which also have a 44mm flange distance) for their mirrorless cameras.
Operating system, storage & software
The version of Android they say it runs is pretty old. It’s Android Nougat 7.1, which was released in 2016. I’ve got two ASUS ZenFones here (a 4 and a 5) and both of them are running Android 8. Perhaps the YN450 will be upgradable, though.
A 1080p display is nice, as is 4K video at 30fps. Hopefully, it won’t be totally locked down to 30fps (although I suspect it will) and we can get 24fps out of it, too. I wonder how well Filmic Pro might work?
The storage is a little disappointing. 32GB in the camera is fine, but only supporting 32GB through microSD? When we’ve got cards designed specifically for exactly this type of application coming in at 512GB now. Of course, with built-in WiFi, you could use Resilio Sync to automatically transfer images to another device as you shoot them, and then delete them from your phone at will.
4000mAh battery is nice. Hopefully, it’s got a Type-C USB socket on there for some fast charging out in the field, though. I think this could chug through the battery a lot quicker than a phone with the same capacity battery due to the fact that it has to run (hopefully runs) autofocus in your EF mount lenses. I wouldn’t hold out much hope for it supporting IS, but if it does then that is also going to drain the batteries.
The lack of a hotshoe is disappointing. Although perhaps all hope is not lost. The YN450 has a stereo microphone socket as well as a headphone jack. There’s nothing to potentially stop them turning the headphone jack into a PC Sync socket so that you can plug it into a flash trigger. Perhaps wishful thinking, though.
The other option is that Godox can work some more on their Android app for the A1. With the Flashpoint R2Pro Mark II also having built-in Bluetooth, this could be a decent combination for giving this camera some flash capability.
I’m still not entirely sure whether this camera is going to be amazing or awful, but I still want to have a play with one when they become available. Even if it’s not perfect (which it probably won’t be), it holds a lot of potential for the direction in which cameras could go.
When Samsung released their Android-powered Galaxy cameras a few years ago, and particularly the Samsung Galaxy NX, a lot of people who used them really liked them. They were fairly disappointed when Samsung ceased to making cameras.
Whether Yongnuo can really pick up that mantle and make it work remains to be seen, but it’s still an intriguing idea.
The camera’s set for an official announcement and final naming in January. So, I suppose these specs are subject to change. And I definitely want to see what it looks like from the other side and how thick that lens mount is. We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.