Photokina 2016: YI Technology announced a new M1 mirrorless Micro Four Thirds camera

The Chinese company YI Technology announced a new M1 mirrorless Micro Four Thirds camera that looks very similar to the Leica T. The technical specs are:

  • 20MP Micro Four Thirds CMOS Sony IMX269 sensor
  • 3-inch LCD touchscreen
  • 5fps
  • ISO range: 100 - 25.600
  • 4k/30P video
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth built-in
  • Two colors: black, silver
  • Update: sample photos can eb found here

Two Yi Technology MFT lenses are currently available:

  • 42.5mm f/1.8 prime lens
  • 12-40mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens

Press release:

yi-technology-m1-mirrorless-micro-four-thirds-camera-2 yi-technology-m1-mirrorless-micro-four-thirds-camera-3 yi-technology-m1-mirrorless-micro-four-thirds-camera yi-technology-m1-mirrorless-micro-four-thirds-camera-4

YI Technology Announces the World’s Most Connected Mirrorless Camera at Photokina 2016

YI M1 Mirrorless Digital Camera Shoots Like a Pro and Shares Like a Smartphone

COLOGNE, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Photokina 2016 – YI Technology, a leading, international provider of advanced, intelligent imaging technologies, today introduced the YI M1 Mirrorless Digital Camera, its first professional-grade camera. The YI M1 is a mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera that features Bluetooth® connectivity and a simple app interface, offering the power and features of a professional camera with the ease and connectivity of a smartphone. YI will unveil the YI M1 at Photokina 2016, September 20-25 in Cologne, Germany.

“With the launch of the YI M1, we are aiming to re-energize professional quality photography by making it accessible and simple to use for the average person or amateur photographer,” said Sean Da, CEO and Co-Founder of YI Technology. “Our mission is to bring top of the line technology to professionals and beginners alike in a simple, easy-to-use form and the YI M1 is no exception.”

Stunning Image and Video Quality

The YI M1 offers the ultimate image and video quality capturing 20 megapixel still images and stunning 4K video at 30 frames per second. It features the latest SONY IMX269 Image Sensor, supports ISO up to 25,600, as well as 2000-megapixel and Wide Dynamic Range video. Two lens options include a 12-40mm F3.5-5.6 and 42.5mm F1.8. YI M1 also includes an MFT mount system, which is compatible with more than 50 interchangeable lenses.

Simple, User-Friendly Design

Inspired by the ease of a smartphone, the simple yet sophisticated design of the YI M1 means photographers of any level, from beginner to professional, can capture and share stunning video and images. It features a 3-inch LCD touch screen, intuitive design and comprehensive controls. The lightweight and compact design means the user can focus more on shooting and less on heavy equipment. With the “Master Guide” feature in the accompanying YI M1 App, users can access photography templates, composition guidelines and step-by-step instructions, to shoot like a professional.

Easy Sharing and Connectivity

Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth technology offer users a way to seamlessly connect to a smartphone for fast sharing to social networks.

Pricing & Availability

YI M1 Mirrorless Camera will be available soon in two colors, Ice Silver and Storm Black. US and European pricing and availability will be announced soon on

To view the YI M1 in person at Photokina 2016 in Cologne, Germany, please visit YI Technology booth A-032, Hall 09.1.

Xiaoyi via 43addict

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  • Jimmy Goodwood

    Does it have Autofocus?

    Didn’t see it anywhere in the specs.

    • It has, touch focus as well. But so far, it seems it’s no good, they would need to improve it via FW update.

      • peevee

        So far, there is no final version of the camera to test, only early prerelease.

        Unfortunately, AF seems to be only CDAF, like on PEN F.

        • harvey

          and which Olympus cameras have PDAF and how much do they cost?

          • peevee

            E-M1. Now about $1K officially, too much given that OSPDAF is just slightly different optical stack and software.

          • harvey

            precisely, so why talk negatively about an inexpensive camera that doesn’t have it? PDAF is on only one current Olympus body at almost 3x the cost of this Chinese one. If you are a m4/3s user, be glad there is another option. This is a great street camera for working in more interesting areas – you won’t feel as bad when you are robbed.

          • peevee

            But OSPDAF is also on almost every other mirrorless cameras, starting from Nikon 1 J1 etc, including cheap ones with bigger sensors (EOS M10, Sony a5100 etc). It adds nothing to marginal cost of a camera BTW, there is no connection between having OSPDAF and price of a camera. But it requires R&D, not just buying cell phone & P&S IP for CDAF.

            I am not saying I expected OSPDAF from the Chinese startup from the get go though, I am just saying that I am not interested in another camera without it. But that is only me.

  • Licheus

    Priced very low with some absurd cost savings. No MF, no OIS, not even TTL – the hot shoe has only one contact that brings you back to film era.

    • JoeFunny30

      Call it a Leica retro model and charge triple.

      • Cynog

        Remove the rear screen and charge even more!

    • peevee

      Where did you see the pic of their hot shoe? Are you saying it is not 4/3-standard?

  • sickheadache

    Now where have I seen this camera before?

    • Exactly my thought when I first saw that.

      • sickheadache

        One thing you can count on the Chinese to do ….Rip You Off.

        • Tolot

          rip you off?
          me? you?
          i doubt it.
          i can buy chinese triggers that work as good as 200 euro more expensive flash triggers from american companys. 🙂

          • sickheadache

            Just a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

      • Agustinus Wijaya

        Leica T (Typ 701)

    • TinusVerdino

      Do you Lika it?

  • peevee

    For me personally this is the most exciting news from this Photokina. Not because of this specific camera (I hope they will make something with OSPDAF in the future), but because of the value proposition, and especially for the 42.5/1.8 lens.

    Great choice for their first 2 lenses. Target market has wide prime on their phones. But phones cannot do portraits with shallow DoF, and I guess the point of this lens is to differentiate the system from the phones from get go.

    Besides, shooting most indoor sports, you are sitting too far from the action for a wide prime, but it is where bright prime is the most useful as the kit zoom produces too much noise (requires too high ISO) and even has trouble focusing.

    Besides, WA is already covered by 12-40, but 42.5 goes a little beyond 40mm, and f/1.8 is not f/5.6, it is actually useful in indoor light on m43.

    All in all, very reasonable choice for the target market.

    I wish they would offer the 42.5/1.87 cheap ($100, in line with, say, Canon 50/1.8) separately, and made something like 70/1.8 and 100/1.8 next at progressively higher (but still reasonable) prices. Say, $160 for 70/1.8 and $300 for 100/1.8. And I don’t care how tack-sharp they are in the corners wide open, on m43 at ISO3200 and beyond it does not matter as required noise reduction will smother any tiny details anyway, and shallow DoF will likely not have anything sharp in the corners to begin with.

    • Tolot

      yeah and the nice fake focusing ring….

      • Spy Black

        Why do you think it would be fake? You can shut AF off on M4/3 cameras, and manually focus. My 45-150 Panasonic has a focusing ring.

        • Mistral75

          > Why do you think it would be fake?

          Because it is cosmetic, as stated by Digital Photography Review:

          Oddly, the 42.5mm prime doesn’t offer manual focus – the ‘focus ring’ is purely cosmetic.

      • peevee

        Or nice, non-slippery place to hold it. Target audience would never use MF anyway, MF in shallow-DoF portraits only produces misfocused pictures (because human subjects move even if you shoot from a tripod – which target users will not do to begin with).

    • Christopher

      “But phones cannot do portraits with shallow DoF…” isn’t this what the iPhone 7 plus is achieving?

      • peevee

        No. It still FAR FAR from being 85/2.6 FF-equivalent.

  • Tolot

    china getting into the camera biz…. that will be hard for the japanese.
    this is a joke. but give them 4 years and they will produce decent middle class cameras…. from brands you have never heart of before.

    • Jeffry De Meyer

      4 years? if they pair it with android and add a couple of strong processors they can have a crowd pleaser by the end of next year.

  • Minority_Taxi

    On paper it looks good. If its below $300 would be nice.

  • Spy Black

    Too bad it doesn’t have an EVF. If it’s under $500 with lens it may not be so bad a deal.

  • I think it’s an interesting approach for sure!
    Very clean and basic design and interaction philosophy.
    Sure, there’s the Z Camera E1 and DJI has the Zenmuse X5(R), but it doesn’t hurt to have another Chinese player entering the M43 system with this time an actual handheld stills/video camera.
    As used to from Xiaoyi, like the first Xiaoyi Sports that got hacked and then the 4K YI cam giving the GoPro HERO4 a run for its money, the sure give your bucks some worth. In the end… usability and image quality may still like just a little… for the price… how can I say no? I need to try this!

  • Innovative cameras need to have messaging capabilities like smart phones so I can send my pictures to whomever I want, whenever I want. Then I might get interested. Unfortunately for the Japanese brands, smartphones are becoming better cameras faster than cameras are becoming better smartphones.

  • MPHMPH59

    It’s remarkable how unoriginal the Chinese businesses are.

    • James Donahue

      Hop Sing want new Camera

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