Sony A37 vs YI M1

Sony SLT-A37 front
YI M1 front

Sony A37 vs YI M1 Key Specs

Sony A37
(Full Review)
  • 16MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 2.6" Tilting Screen
  • ISO 100 - 25600
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Sony/Minolta Alpha Mount
  • 506g - 124 x 92 x 85mm
  • Released May 2012
  • Old Model is Sony A35
(Full Review)
  • 20MP - Four Thirds Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 25600
  • 4096 x 2160 video
  • Micro Four Thirds Mount
  • 350g - 114 x 64 x 34mm
  • Released September 2016
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Sony A37 vs YI M1 Overview

Below is a in-depth analysis of the Sony A37 versus YI M1, one being a Entry-Level DSLR and the latter is a Entry-Level Mirrorless by companies Sony and YI. The image resolution of the A37 (16MP) and the M1 (20MP) is relatively comparable but the A37 (APS-C) and M1 (Four Thirds) provide totally different sensor size.

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The A37 was released 5 years prior to the M1 and that is a fairly big gap as far as camera technology is concerned. Both of these cameras feature different body design with the Sony A37 being a Compact SLR camera and the YI M1 being a Rangefinder-style mirrorless camera.

Before diving into a in depth comparison, here is a concise view of how the A37 grades against the M1 with respect to portability, imaging, features and an overall grade.

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Reasons to pick Sony A37 over the YI M1

 A37 M1 
Screen typeTiltingFixed Tilting screen

Reasons to pick YI M1 over the Sony A37

 M1 A37 
ReleasedSeptember 2016May 2012More recent by 52 months
Screen size3"2.6"Bigger screen (+0.4")
Screen resolution1040k230kCrisper screen (+810k dot)
Touch screen Quickly navigate

Common features in the Sony A37 and YI M1

 A37 M1 
Manually focus Dial accurate focusing
Selfie screen Lack of selfie screen

Sony A37 vs YI M1 Physical Comparison

If you are planning to lug around your camera regularly, you have to take into account its weight and measurements. The Sony A37 has external dimensions of 124mm x 92mm x 85mm (4.9" x 3.6" x 3.3") along with a weight of 506 grams (1.12 lbs) while the YI M1 has proportions of 114mm x 64mm x 34mm (4.5" x 2.5" x 1.3") along with a weight of 350 grams (0.77 lbs).

Check the Sony A37 versus YI M1 in the all new Camera with Lens Size Comparison Tool. Camera Size Comparison with Lenses

Take into consideration, the weight of an Interchangeable Lens Camera will change depending on the lens you are utilizing during that time. Below is a front view overall size comparison of the A37 and the M1.

Sony A37 vs YI M1 size comparison

Looking at dimensions and weight, the portability rating of the A37 and M1 is 67 and 87 respectively.

Sony A37 vs YI M1 top view buttons comparison

Sony A37 vs YI M1 Sensor Comparison

Normally, it's hard to visualise the contrast in sensor measurements merely by checking out technical specs. The visual below will help give you a better sense of the sensor dimensions in the A37 and M1.

As you have seen, both of those cameras come with different megapixels and different sensor measurements. The A37 because of its bigger sensor will make shooting shallower DOF simpler and the YI M1 will provide more detail as a result of its extra 4 Megapixels. Higher resolution will also allow you to crop pictures a good deal more aggressively. The older A37 will be disadvantaged with regard to sensor tech.

Sony A37 vs YI M1 sensor size comparison

Sony A37 vs YI M1 Screen and ViewFinder

Sony A37 vs YI M1 Screen and Viewfinder comparison
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Photography Type Scores

Portrait Comparison

Sony A37 Portrait photography information
YI M1 Portrait photography information
you can focus manually
megapixel count decent (16MP)
good sensor size (APS-C)
supports face detect autofocus
delivers RAW files
manual focus
megapixel count decent (20MP)
sensor size is good (Four Thirds)
provides face detection focusing
delivers RAW files
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Street Comparison

Sony A37 Street photography features
YI M1 Street photography features
has a tilting screen
image stabilization (Sensor based)
good sensor size (APS-C)
delivers RAW files
good high ISO (25,600)
sensor size is good (Four Thirds)
delivers RAW files
supports focus by touch
very good high ISO (25,600)
screen does not articulate
no image stabilization
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Sports Comparison

Sony A37 as a Sports photography camera
YI M1 as a Sports photography camera
image stabilization (Sensor based)
megapixel count decent (16 megapixels)
good sensor size (APS-C)
sensor has phase detect autofocus
low frames per second (6.0 frames/s)
bad battery life (500 CIPA)
megapixel count decent (20 megapixels)
sensor size is good (Four Thirds)
great battery life (450 shots)
painfully slow continuous shooting (5.0 fps)
no image stabilization
no phase detect AF
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Travel Comparison

Sony A37 Travel photography details
YI M1 Travel photography details
megapixel count decent (16 megapixels)
flash built-in
doesn't have Timelapse recording
bad battery life (500 shots)
screen isn't selfie friendly
great battery life (450 per charge)
has bluetooth
supports focus by touch
megapixel count decent (20MP)
screen isn't selfie friendly
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Landscape Comparison

Sony A37 as a Landscape photography camera
YI M1 as a Landscape photography camera
you can focus manually
swap lenses (Sony/Minolta Alpha mount)
image stabilization (Sensor based)
megapixel count decent (16MP)
good sensor size (APS-C)
good high ISO (25,600)
delivers RAW files
screen is small (2.6")
bad battery life (500 CIPA)
doesn't have Timelapse recording
manual focus
swap lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
screen is a decent size (3 inches)
megapixel count decent (20 megapixels)
sensor size is good (Four Thirds)
very good high ISO (25,600)
delivers RAW files
great battery life (450 shots)
no image stabilization
Photography Glossary

Vlogging Comparison

Sony A37 Vlogging features
YI M1 Vlogging features
image stabilization (Sensor based)
supports face detect autofocus
video res high (1920 x 1080 pixels)
includes microphone jack
screen isn't selfie friendly
has touchscreen
provides face detection focusing
high quality video (4096 x 2160 pixels)
screen isn't selfie friendly
no image stabilization
doesn't have external microphone port
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Sony A37 vs YI M1 Specifications

Detailed spec comparison table for Sony A37 and YI M1
 Sony SLT-A37YI M1
General Information
Manufacturer Sony YI
Model Sony SLT-A37 YI M1
Class Entry-Level DSLR Entry-Level Mirrorless
Released 2012-05-16 2016-09-19
Body design Compact SLR Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type CMOS CMOS
Sensor size APS-C Four Thirds
Sensor measurements 23.5 x 15.6mm 17.3 x 13mm
Sensor area 366.6mm² 224.9mm²
Sensor resolution 16MP 20MP
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio 3:2 and 16:9 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Max resolution 4912 x 3264 5184 x 3888
Max native ISO 25600 25600
Minimum native ISO 100 100
RAW files
Manual focus
Autofocus touch
Autofocus continuous
Autofocus single
Tracking autofocus
Autofocus selectice
Center weighted autofocus
Multi area autofocus
Live view autofocus
Face detection autofocus
Contract detection autofocus
Phase detection autofocus
Number of focus points 15 81
Cross focus points 3 -
Lens mounting type Sony/Minolta Alpha Micro Four Thirds
Number of lenses 143 107
Focal length multiplier 1.5 2.1
Screen type Tilting Fixed Type
Screen sizing 2.6 inch 3 inch
Resolution of screen 230 thousand dot 1,040 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Touch functionality
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder Electronic None
Viewfinder resolution 1,440 thousand dot -
Viewfinder coverage 100% -
Viewfinder magnification 0.73x -
Minimum shutter speed 30 seconds 60 seconds
Fastest shutter speed 1/4000 seconds 1/4000 seconds
Continuous shutter speed 6.0fps 5.0fps
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual exposure
Exposure compensation Yes Yes
Change white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash range 12.00 m no built-in flash
Flash settings Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, High Speed Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in, Wireless Auto, On, Off, Slow Sync, Red-Eye Slow
External flash
WB bracketing
Fastest flash sync 1/160 seconds -
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60, 29.97 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30fps), 640 x 424 (29.97 fps) 4096 x 2160 @ 30p / 75 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
Max video resolution 1920x1080 4096x2160
Video file format MPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264 MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
Wireless Eye-Fi Connected Built-In
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS None None
Environmental seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
Weight 506 gr (1.12 pounds) 350 gr (0.77 pounds)
Physical dimensions 124 x 92 x 85mm (4.9" x 3.6" x 3.3") 114 x 64 x 34mm (4.5" x 2.5" x 1.3")
DXO scores
DXO Overall score 75 not tested
DXO Color Depth score 23.3 not tested
DXO Dynamic range score 12.9 not tested
DXO Low light score 799 not tested
Battery life 500 images 450 images
Style of battery Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery model NP-FW50 -
Self timer Yes (2 or 10 sec, 10 sec 3 or 5 images) Yes (2 or 10 secs)
Time lapse feature
Type of storage SD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo SD/SDHC/SDXC card
Storage slots 1 1
Launch price $522 $320