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Can the Yi M1 Micro Four Thirds camera repeat the success of the Yi 4K?

The company is planning to ship an aggressively priced camera with a Micro Four Thirds mount.

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Lori Grunin
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Lori Grunin

Senior Editor / Advice

I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.

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Yi Technology

Yi Technologies created a stir when it dove into the action cam market with an inexpensive but good competitor to GoPro, the Yi 4K. Now it's trying the same thing in cameras with the Yi M1, a Micro Four Thirds standard mirrorless interchangeable-lens model. It's not the first time we've seen a manufacturer trying to break in to that segment; Polaroid gave it a shot in 2013 and Kodak/JK Imaging followed in 2014. But those models felt cheap and plasticky. The M1 looks a bit like a Leica.

I only have basic specs and the company says the ship date is TBD, so it's quite possible it may never arrive. We've seen that before. It uses the Sony 20-megapixel IMX269 sensor that we've seen in models from Olympus and Panasonic, will have a 3-inch touchscreen LCD, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. There will be two matching lenses, a 12-40mm F3.5-5.6 (24-80mm equivalent) and a 42.5mm F1.8 (85mm equivalent).

Yi plans two kits: one for $500 with one of the lenses and a $700 kit with both lenses. The pricing is certainly aggressive. (I don't know how much it will be elsewhere than the US, but those prices convert approximately to £383/£536 and AU$660/AU$930).

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