YI M1 front
  • 20MP - Four Thirds Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 25600
  • 4096 x 2160 video
  • Micro Four Thirds Mount
  • 350g - 114 x 64 x 34mm
  • Revealed September 2016
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

YI M1 summary

YI M1 is YI's Entry-Level Mirrorless digital camera originally revealed on September of 2016. It uses a 20 MegaPixel, CMOS Four Thirds sized sensor and has a full resolution of 5184 x 3888.

The M1 is positioned #48 out of 117 in Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras & over all #276 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our list. Please use our Smart camera finder to find camera rankings based on your personalized requirements.

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The following is a chart of different factors used in the rating system.

YI M1 Pros and Cons

Below is a shortlist of positives and negatives of the YI M1 based on criterias which are generally regarded as useful in a digital camera.

above average high ISO (25,600)
above average minimum ISO (100)
comes with touch to focus
connects via bluetooth
delivers RAW files
does have HDMI socket
features face detect autofocus
good battery life (450 shots)
high resolution screen (1,040 k dots)
megapixel count decent (20MP)
nice screen size (3 inches)
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
swap lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
touchscreen enabled
video res high (4096 x 2160 resolution)
you can focus manually
does not have phase detect autofocus
does not posses selfie friendly screen
lack of image stabilization
low fps (5.0 fps)
missing headphone socket
missing microphone socket
screen is fixed
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YI M1 Sensor details

The dimension of the sensor in the YI M1 is 17.3mm x 13mm (Four Thirds). The 225 mm² sensor is able to capture 5184 x 3888 pixels and aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9.

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The CMOS sensor has 20MP and supports a standard ISO range of 100 - 25600. RAW format is saved so you have wider room to maneuver in post.

The image underneath illustrates the M1's sensor dimensions when compared to other popular sizes. The M1 sensor has a crop factor of 2.1 and is pointed out in green.

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To get a sense of different aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

YI M1 dimensions

YI M1 has a weight of 0.77 lb (350g or 12.35 ounces) & the volume of the camera is 114mm x 64mm x 34mm (4.5" x 2.5" x 1.3"). The weight of average Entry-Level Mirrorless camera is 329g so the YI M1 is similar as compared to its competitors.

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Down below is a image of the YI M1 besides a softdrink so you can get a feel for its scale.

YI M1 dimensions scale

The top view under will show the button arrangement on the M1.

YI M1 topview buttons dials

YI M1 Lens specs

The M1 fits the Micro Four Thirds mount and has 162 lenses on sale. Below is a small number of the lenses we have in our database which will fit the M1.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Olympus-M.Zuiko-Digital-17mm-f1.8 lensOlympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f1.817mmf/1.8 120g
Olympus-M.Zuiko-ED-75-300mm-f4.8-6.7-II lensOlympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm f4.8-6.7 II75-300mmf/4.8-6.7 423g
Photography Glossary
Olympus-M.Zuiko-Digital-ED-100-400mm-F5.0-6.3-IS lensOlympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm F5.0-6.3 IS100-400mmf/5-6.3 1120g
Sigma-19mm-F2.8-DN-Micro-Four-Thirds lensSigma 19mm F2.8 DN19mmf/2.8 140g
Olympus-M.Zuiko-Digital-ED-30mm-F3.5-Macro lensOlympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro30mmf/3.5128g
Olympus-M.Zuiko-Digital-ED-12-200mm-F3.5-6.3 lensOlympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm F3.5-6.312-200mmf/3.5-6.3 455g
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Olympus-Zuiko-Digital-ED-90-250mm-f2.8 lensOlympus Zuiko Digital ED 90-250mm f2.890-250mmf/2.8 3270g
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YI M1 Connectivity

The M1 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Digital cameras that have NFC or Bluetooth support can easily be used wirelessly with smartphones. You can easily transfer files and at times change camera settings without connecting physically to the camera.

Certain applications even allow a Liveview and release the shutter in case you are not close to the camera. If the camera includes a HDMI port, it could be hooked up to an external display. Most cameras enable you to charge the battery pack using the USB port.

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YI M1 Video specs

The highest possible video resolution in the YI M1 is 4096 x 2160 and you can shoot in MPEG-4 and H.264 file format. 2160p provides an exceptional resolution for video recording. You are able to crop to 1080p in order to get better results. Be mindful of the massive file sizes and ensure you have got good SD cards that have fast write speeds. The camera does not offer a microphone or headphone socket so you get little control over the audio. It is probably a better idea to take a look at another model if you require decent audio for your videos.

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YI M1 Weather Sealing

There is no environment proofing on the YI M1 so you need to be careful in wet or dusty situations.

YI M1 Screen and Viewfinder

The YI M1 houses a 3" fixed display supporting a resolution of 1,040k dots.

Moreover the display is touch friendly so you are able to set focus points and change settings by using your fingertips.

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The View Finder details for YI M1 are below:

  • ViewFinder None

For sunny outdoor situations which make the camera displays washed out and hard to see, viewfinders can be quite valuable.

YI M1 Shutter specs

YI M1 continuous shooting rate is 5.0 fps. The max shutter speed is 1/4000 sec.

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YI M1 Flash and Hot shoe specs

YI M1 features external flash support but is without built-in flash.

YI M1 Autofocus specs

YI M1 features just Contrast Detect Auto Focus & does not have Phase Detect Auto Focus. Phase Detection autofocusing is more faster and precise in comparison with Contrast Detect autofocusing. The camera boasts Face detection which makes it useful for portraits.

It boasts 81 focus points to choose from. YI M1 has tap to focus. You can use your fingers in order to switch focus points. YI M1 has manual focus if needed for low light scenarios or you require more accurate focus control.

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YI M1 Battery life

The battery life on the YI M1 is designed to last for 450 photographs as per the CIPA measurements which is higher than the usual in comparison to its class. The average Entry-Level Mirrorless camera battery life is 343. Fujifilm X-S20 features the best (750) battery life for this class of cameras.

Following is a listing of Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras having the strongest battery life:

YI M1 for different kinds of photography

The following illustration gives a outline of the YI M1 for different kinds of photography. To look at more, have a look at the specific section underneath.

YI M1 Portrait photography features

The YI M1 gets a score of 76 which is fantastic, meaning that it is a wonderful fit to use for portrait photography. Taking portrait photos leans heavily to sensor size, RAW support along with the ability to work with external flash.

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focusing manually
good resolution (20 megapixels)
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
provides face detection autofocus
exports RAW files

YI M1 Street photography advice

Coming in at a very good points total of 74, the YI M1 is a good choice to use in street photography. A good street photography camera provides a good balance of image quality and portability.

Photography Glossary
good sensor size (Four Thirds)
exports RAW files
features focus by touch
good high ISO (25,600)
no articulating screen
does not have image stabilization

Sports photography with YI M1

A moderate sports photography points total of 55 indicates the YI M1 is somewhat acceptable for taking photos of sports. A camera needs fantastic focusing plus fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

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sensor resolution is decent (20 megapixels)
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
better than average battery (450 per charge)
continuous shooting slow (5.0 frames/s)
no image stabilization
has no phase detect AF

Travel photography with YI M1

Portability is pretty important in choosing a camera for travel. On the whole, the YI M1 gets a awesome 78 for a travelling camera which makes it a excellent pick to take with you on your travels.

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better than average battery (450 shots)
supports bluetooth
includes touch focus
megapixel count decent (20 megapixels)
doesn't feature selfie friendly screen

Landscape photography with YI M1

For anyone who is looking to buy a camera for landscape pictures, the most significant aspect is going to be image quality. The YI M1 at it's brilliant grade of 77 for a landscape camera is a brilliant option compared to its rivals.

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focusing manually
interchangeable lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
nice screen size (3 inches)
MP count good (20 megapixels)
good sensor size (Four Thirds)
good ISO range (25,600)
delivers RAW formats
good battery life (450 per charge)
no image stabilization

YI M1 Vlogging advice

A camera for vlogging should have a articulating display screen, microphone port and preferably image stabilization. Considering everything, the YI M1 is simply not acceptable as a vlog camera as it receives a awful score of 33.

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touchscreen capability
has face detection autofocus
video res high (4096 x 2160 resolution)
display isn't selfie friendly
lack of image stabilization
missing external mic port

YI M1 Alternatives

If you want replacements to the M1, here is a range of the top rated cameras which fall into the family of Entry-Level Mirrorless.

The line chart below gives you a summary of the M1 vs it's top scoring competitors shown above.

There are more cameras you might consider as alternatives. To go through a extensive comparison, simply click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Entry-Level Mirrorless
Physical type
Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Four Thirds
Sensor measurements
17.3 x 13mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Max resolution
5184 x 3888
RAW files
Max native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Manual focus
Touch to focus
Autofocus continuous
Single autofocus
Tracking autofocus
Selective autofocus
Center weighted autofocus
Multi area autofocus
Autofocus live view
Face detection autofocus
Contract detection autofocus
Phase detection autofocus
Number of focus points
Lens mount
Micro Four Thirds
Available lenses
Focal length multiplier
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen size
3 inches
Screen resolution
1,040k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch function
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
DXO scores
DXO Overall score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Minimum shutter speed
60 seconds
Fastest shutter speed
1/4000 seconds
Continuous shutter rate
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash range
no built-in flash
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Slow Sync, Red-Eye Slow
External flash
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Video resolutions
4096 x 2160 @ 30p / 75 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
Max video resolution
Video format
MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone port
Headphone port
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
350g (0.77 pounds)
114 x 64 x 34mm (4.5" x 2.5" x 1.3")
Battery life
450 images
Battery type
Battery Pack
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 secs)
Time lapse shooting
Type of storage
Card slots
Launch price