When this camera was first teased last October, my mind was stuck somewhere between “wtf?” and “this is so crazy, it just might work!”. They made the camera sort-off official a few days later by releasing some early specs, which just made me even more confused at this odd combination of tech. Since then, it’s all been a little quiet on the Yongnuo front.
But now, the folks at Cinema5D had the chance to chat with Yongnuo about the new camera during CP+ 2019 and hold one in their hands. It confirms a lot of the specs and answers some questions that had thus far remained unanswered.
The specs seem largely as reported in November. It contains a 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds CMOS sensor and has a Canon EF lens mount. It has an 8MP selfie camera, a 5″ 1080p screen and will run Android 7.1 on a Qualcomm 8-core processor. It comes with 32GB of internal storage, and will have a microSD card slot which doesn’t support SDXC, so you’ll be limited to 32GB.
So, there are a couple of potential issues right there. Smartphones are already starting to come with Android 9. So, Android 7.1 is a little old already. And while 32GB of internal storage is great, chances are that will mostly be for the operating system itself and any apps you may install (assuming it can actually access the Google Play Store and let you install your own apps). So, limiting the card slot to a mere 32GB for all your photo and video storage seems very limiting.
And, speaking of photo and video, even though the sensor is only 16-megapixels, it will let you save out DNG raw files. Chances are, these will be completely uncompressed, further limiting that 32GB of storage. It will also shoot 4K video at 30fps. So far, that’s the only information available on its video capabilities. There’s no mention of faster frame rates at 1080p or other 4K framerates.
Hopefully, they’ll be able to at least give us 24fps 4K. But if we can indeed install apps from the Play Store, maybe Filmic Pro might let us override the defaults and shoot whatever we like.
Ok, so it’s an Android-powered camera with a Micro Four Thirds sensor. So far, so good. But why the weird Canon EF mount? Well, while they haven’t yet said as much, Yongnuo makes a number of very low budget EF mount lenses, and they likely wanted to make a camera that would allow people to take advantage of them. Sure, you won’t get the same field of view with those lenses that you’d get with a full frame or even APS-C Canon body, but if you’re a Canon shooter, you’ll have access to a wide array of lenses that can fit on this without adapters. Ironically, perhaps, you won’t be able to use Micro Four Thirds lenses on the camera, even with an adapter. And they say that it does fully support EF lens autofocus with a half-press of the shutter button.
One part of the camera that nobody was sure about until now was the battery. We assumed that as it’s kind of just a phone with a big sensor that the battery would not be removable. It turns out, though, that it is, and you should get about 4 hours of continuous use on a single charge. And speaking of kind of just being a phone, you can also insert a sim card into the camera to give it Internet connectivity for easy uploading to social media.
I still think it’s the weirdest camera I ever saw, but I also still think that this could make for an amazing location scouting camera, especially for Canon shooters (or Sony shooters who held onto their old EF mount glass). And even though I’m not primarily a Canon shooter, I do have a couple of EF lenses. So I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on one of these at some point to see what it can really do.
Another potentially perfect use for a camera like this is as a live stream camera, but with much better quality than your regular phone camera. Of course, this will depend on what kind of capabilities you might get while streaming video to Facebook and YouTube(assuming it can). If the Android operating system isn’t totally locked down and lets you use 3rd party apps, then it could be pretty awesome.
Yongnuo is planning to launch the YN450 for the Chinese market in April. There’s no mention of when it will hit the rest of the world, except to say that the USA might be next, although I’m sure you’ll be able to order one direct and have it shipped over if you want one badly enough. There’s not been much talk of a price yet, either, although it’s said to be under $500.