By Oke Family
on 2017-06-14 Better with each update...
UPDATED with comments on firmware 3.0 worked in...
With firmware version 3.0 releasing at of the end of October 2017, we will have had our YI M1 for roughly 11 months at this point, and it is (still) a tough camera to review. It's a bit of an enigma, but a fun puzzle to decode nonetheless. There are quite a few out-of-balance bits with this camera, as if Ying and Yang are in constant opposition but it somehow makes it all work. Examples of this balancing act:
[#] It's a camera targeted a beginners, but requires skill to operate and get the best results.
[#] It's currently starts at $300 US (as of November 2017), but packs a sensor similar to the one found in bodies starting at $1000 and up (GX8, PEN-F) and with the same resolution as the $1600-2000 pro bodies (E-M1 Mark II, GH5, G9)
[#] Operational speed and controls layout are actually quite good (especially with firmware v2.0+ or higher), but the brakes are (still) put on by the auto focus system (which has been mentioned by many reviewers; it is a little better with v3.0, but still has room to improve)
[#] Does one compare it unfairly to more expensive professional cameras containing same sensor? Or does one compare it to entry-level (and 16mp) micro four-thirds cameras (GX850, E-PL8)? I'd say more the latter, but man, its sensor really is as good as the ones found in the professional bodies.
As I said, it's a hard camera to classify and fit clearly into any category, and with that in mind I won't do a full proper review here. DPR's review goes into more in-depth and covers a lot of the features (using the old v1.0.20-int firmware), so I'll cover  what I like (always subjective),  what I don't like (again, subjective), and  the oddities (in my opinion)
First, some background... I almost always purchase cameras on an "internal metric" (which just means within my own deluded head) of "Price vs. Sensor Quality". I'm looking for the best sensor at the lowest price when I buy a camera. That requires patience in buying decisions, but pays off by leaving more funds for glass, additional bodies, and other toys and gear. It also means I might end up with a camera mocked in "Pro" reviews due to its "operational eccentricities", but overlooked for other factors (such as the fact that it takes great pictures). It is this Price vs. Sensor Quality metric which caused me to venture into the realm of the YI M1.
 What I like about the YI M1:
[#] RAW Output. The 20mp sensor (in RAW) is as good as any micro four-thirds camera at about ISO 3200 and below (user note: I keep my ISO capped at 1600 for even better results). My results have been very good, especially so as I develop RAW processing skills. (user note: On Windows or Mac any Adobe Camera RAW program -- ex. Elements, Photoshop, Lightroom -- will process the RAW files of the YI M1, which are DNG format. On Linux, Darktable and RawTherapee seem to play quite nicely with the files).
[#] Regular Updates. The firmware updates from YI have been timely, useful, and very much appreciated (adding grid lines, remote control, a quick menu, speedier operation, RAW+JPG, live histrogram, etc). With firmware v3.0-int the camera has come a LONG way and is almost complete. This said, they still have room to improve a few areas (for example, focus and lens compatibility, in particular with Panasonic glass and the OIS function, could benefit from a software fix)
[#] Body Size. It's compact. The YI M1 comes close in size to the GX850 and GF7. It is smaller than the GX85 and E-M10 series, and quite a bit lighter. Despite being mostly plastic, it actually feels very well built. It looks bigger online than it is in the hand. It is the smallest and lightest 20mp Micro Four Thirds body by a wide margin. If you want a small 20mp mFT, this currently the only option. (Yes, I realize the PEN-F is small-ish, but it is quite a bit heavier than the YI M1).
[#] Standard charging via micro-USB. I really appreciate universal cables and in-camera charging. If you travel a lot, or a cable fails, a standard cable makes it trivial to replace (Panasonic has finally come around on this point too with the GX85 and GX850). Also the YI M1 can be used while plugged in and charging. A nice little bonus there.
[#] Operational Responsiveness (of controls). Touchscreen, control wheel, and quick menu all work quickly, accurately, and without a lot of fuss.
[#] Full featured Remote Control App. The new 2.0+ Yi Mirrorless applications allows just about everything to be selected remotely. It was worth the wait. With v3.0, you can even transfer RAW files over the app. That's pretty cool!
[#] Use with Manual Lenses. MF+PK with peaking lines and 2x and 4x screen zoom steps (on now it appears 6x and 8x zoom steps as of firmware v3.0) makes this quite usable for legacy glass (although you only get one peak color: dark red).
[#] Price. I got mine for 1/2 the current price... brand new... with the YI case. Remember my "price versus sensor quality" statement earlier, well there you go. At the price I paid, the YI was an impulse buy and no-brainer for me to add as a stable mate to my Panasonic GMs. And, after using the YI M1 a little while here, I would still be temped at the current retail of $300 (or $380 with the dual-lens kit; Either way, it's a pretty good value for the 20mp sensor).
[1b] FIXED items (as of firmware v3.0):
[#] Histogram added (very useful; Thank you, YI!)
[#] RAW+JPEG (and in-camera RAW*) appear working on v3.0. The mobile app now works with RAW files in addition to JPEG files. In past versions, it was JPEG only. Scene settings still only work with JPEG files (as is expected, based my experience with other camera brands too). RAW+JPG was probably my most wanted feature (Thank you, again, YI!)
 What I (still) don't like:
[#] The JPEG engine* could be better. It looks OK on "Vivid" and if the ISO is kept low. There (still) appears to be heavy-handed noise reduction going on (as of v3.0), but no way (as of firmware 3.0) to control the noise reduction amount. To be fair, only "pixel peepers" will likely notice, and subjectively, it looks like JPEG quality has been adjusted with firmware 3.0 (for the better). Prints have looked fine and indistinguishable from my other micro 4/3 bodies.
[#] Auto Focus*, while much improved with firmware v3.0-int focus still lags behind just about any other camera of the past 5-8 years. In good light it is OK. Some lenses seem to work better (YI's own, certain Olympus lenses) than others (Tamron, Panasonic are hit and miss, and OIS is still an unknown). Continued firmware updates should help with lens compatibility.
[#] No in-depth manual explaining features... that said, it's been a blast uncovering this camera's secrets (zooming with the "O" button in MF+PK mode was a nice accidental find, for example). It's not a complex camera (and that's a good thing in this case)
[#] Rather Large Kit Zoom Lens (relatively speaking). I believe the XIAOYI 12-40mm is the longest "standard" kit lens (or tallest depending on your viewpoint) in the mFT catalog, and this is despite being collapsible. I much prefer the Panasonic 12-32mm, Panasonic 14-42mm (version II), or the Olympus EZ pancake in terms of size. That said, the 12-40mm is a pretty good kit zoom, as is the funky portrait/macro lens (if you opt for the 2-lens kit)
* I attached a note to certain issues, because there are some benefits here. Although they are weaknesses of the camera, not having a perfect JPEG engine or in-camera RAW (with firmware 2.0 or lower) had forced me to learn to RAW process. I've always wanted to learn RAW processing. The YI M1 had finally overcome my laziness in that regard. I've always been a JPEG shooter. A few years ago on some huge scenery trips (Upper Peninsula, waterfall and lighthouse treks, Hawaii, Black Hills, etc), I turned on RAW+JPG to make sure I'd have the best quality files available for processing or print. In all of those travels, I think I processed maybe 10 RAW files over 10 years as the JPEG files were easier and "good enough." I've well eclipsed that 10 number with the YI M1. Additionally, manual focusing has been a blast on this camera and my focusing skills are improving. So, perhaps I was meant to find this camera. It has forced me into actually learning photography again (and I'm loving the hobby again).
 Y1 M1 Oddities:
[#] No Flash included + non-standard Hotshoe. The YI M1 cannot use an Olympus or Panasonic flash. You can use generic, "modern" electronic single-post flashes only (legacy flashes are hit and miss). I found the tiny and inexpensive AAA-powered Neewer NW-610II universal bounce flash Neewer NW-610II Mini LCD Display On-camera Flash Speedlite for Canon Nikon Olympus Sony A7 A7S/A7SII A7R/A7RII A7II A6000 A6300 and Other DSLR Cameras
does the trick.
[#] No lens hood, despite having bayonet mounts for a hood. I found the Canon EW-53 snaps on OK to the kit zoom and works well in this regard. Bayonet Hoods from other lenses with 49mm filter threads might work. So far, the EW-53 is the best I have found.
[#] 49mm filter threads. OK so, perhaps this stretching it, but 37mm and 46mm filter rims seem to be the mFT standards for smaller lenses and kit zooms. If you have filters (polarizer, ND, etc.) for your micro four-thirds glass, they will obviously not work on the YI lenses. That said, you can build a nice little "off-brand" lens collection with the YI Lenses, the Neewer/Meike prime trio (28mm, 35mm, and 50mm which all have 49mm threads), and perhaps an adapted Pentax-M 40-80 Macro for a small telephoto (also uses 49mm threads as do many old Pentax lenses).
[#] No Dust Reduction System. Olympus, Panasonic, and even the other outlier, the Kodak PixPro S-1, all have a dust reduction option. It seems a strange omission. This has not been an issue for me yet, as I am extremely careful when swapping lenses. However, I do expect that as my time with the YI extends, a bulb blower and sensor swabs might be in my future (not a huge deal, just extra work).
CONCLUSION: I like the YI M1. It's weird, fun, and usable. It is capable of great results. It has forced me to slow down and work for my shots. This is a good thing (for me). This is NOT a camera for everyone. I don't believe this should ever be an "only camera" either. I think the YI M1 is a camera for landscape, portrait, and other still life (action and moving subject shooters should look for something else). It is a camera for those that want to test the 20mp mFT sensor without shelling out over a grand to do so. It is a camera you can learn with and that you will likely outgrow, but the costs to do so are minimal. In its current state (as of firmware v3.0-int) it is usable under the right conditions, and by the right user (patient users). I also have appreciated YI's responsiveness in getting updates out to users as the camera has become better with each update (please keep them coming!) Finally, the YI M1 is priced VERY well. Based on all these factors -- price, sensor results, and current features -- I'm giving it a 4 out of 5. Price versus sensor quality. That's my metric, and I'm sticking to it.
Postscript (Final Note): I am hopeful that YI sticks with their mFT experiment. The YI M1 is a good camera, but could be made better. Many things can be (and have been) fixed via firmware, but a few of the issues are hardware limitations. A M2 with the oddities listed above addressed would be a strong entry-level mFT camera (basically a M1 with standard hotshoe, a small flash or pop-up flash, dust reduction, and lens hood added to the package). YI can continue to have the compact 20mp mFT entry-level space to themselves if they want to continue in this segment (especially so, since Olympus and Panasonic seem to have no serious interest in the entry-level space at this point in time). I hope YI does continue down the mFT road, as the M1 is an impressive first effort.
5 Stars By Chuck Liddell on 1969-12-31
Way Better Than Expected. Faster Focus Than My Oly.
Way better image quality than I expected. On the Yi camera it was only so-so but when mounted on my g85 it works great. Faster to get focus than many of my older Pana lenses like the 20mm. Watch "YI 42.5mm F1.8 Vs Olympus 45mm" vid on u tube and see how well it does against the top Oly portrait lens. Very well. The lens is sharp and has good contrast. I now use this for portraits and shooting night events. For the money it is hard to beat.
3 Stars By formortals on 2016-10-19
So much potential, but so many problems.
Update 1/7/2017: YI claims that the latest firmware fixed the problems with Image Stabilization and Exposure jumping erratically.
Update: The low light performance of this camera is awful. Please see sample shot when there was still some daylight in the sky.
First I will say that I really want to love this camera and the 3 stars that I'm giving it is extremely generous and only because the problems may get better with future software and firmware updates. The MFT Sony 20 megapixel image sensor is really good for a camera in this price range. Note that it crops before it bins the image for 4K video recording so it is a little more zoomed in and it doesn't use the full sensor for video. The box is very well packed with thick foam to protect the camera. The body is solid and the lens is a decent starter lens for the price. The USB cable is very good quality and snaps perfectly into the charging port.
The most obvious auto-focusing problems were resolved with the updated firmware I downloaded on 10/19/2016.
Lots of camera lock-ups even after I updated firmware from SD card on 10/19/2016. This mainly happens when I try to record 4K video. Once it locked up for so long that I had to pull the battery. Other times it would lock up for minutes at a time. YI claims my SD card is causing these problems because it isn't fast enough, but my SD card can read 600 Mbps and write 240 Mbps which clearly exceeds the 75 Mbps 4K requirements.
The image stabilization in video is very problematic and produces some very strange warping distortion in the video. Someone posted a sample of the problems here [...]. There are also strange exposure flickering problems where the video flashes back and forth from dark to bright. Given that I paid $499 on BTA-MALL which is much higher than the $325 price in China, I'm not too happy about paying a huge premium to be a beta tester.
The Android App is very primitive. There is no Wi-Fi live video preview for you to remotely compose your shot or video. I asked Yi support by email before buying this camera and Yi Technology support assured me by email that it had low latency Wi-Fi preview like the Yi 4K Action camera. I guess it's true that there's no preview latency over Wi-Fi since there's no preview over Wi-Fi at all! I bought this camera based on the reputation of the Yi 4K action camera and I am disappointed. The app also only lets you download photographs but not videos. The app setup and getting connected is awkward and it puts too much focus on the tutorial for how to take good portraits than useful functionality. YI claims that the Wi-Fi preview function in smartphones is coming, but I was told by YI support that it already supports low latency preview. That deception caused me to buy this camera in the first place so I am very unhappy about this.
The settings are confusing because you need to swipe right and swipe up to get to additional settings like the video settings. The manual is very vague and skips a lot of these crucial steps so a first time user can easily get frustrated.
The Wi-Fi is only 2.4 GHz which is another disappointment compared to the dual-band Yi 4K Action Camera. Even if the future smartphone App supports Wi-Fi preview, it will have to contend with the interference prone 2.4 GHz band which will cause problems. Why couldn't YI Technologies have matched the experience of their cheaper Yi 4K Action Camera?
5 Stars By Devin Stephens on 2016-10-19
So FAR I am in LOVE!
This is the product I HAVE BEEN MOST excited about since it was announced.. I have been so excited that BTA-MALL Trade-In has been my best friend helping me earn enough gift cards to buy this camera! I know in the past Yi has asked me to review some of their products but this is one I have purchased.. Now I am just as excited for the Yi Erida Drone! HURRY AND RELEASE IT!!
Planned Use: I want to get a little deeper into photography and not just tinkering with my 10 year old DSLR that I purchased used or just taking photos with my Action Cameras.. I really feel this camera is great for someone like me who wants to learn a little more about photography but also keep it simple! So far I think it is perfect for that!! Id much rather spend only $500 for a learner camera instead of $1000+ on a leica!
Short Review: EXCELLENT CAMERA for the price!! This camera is perfect for someone like me who comes from a generation of smartphones! I had NO ISSUES learning how to use this camera BUT I gave it to a friend who takes TONS of photos with a DSLR camera and he had issues learning because this camera has been dumbed down for the smartphone generation.. The touchscreen works GREAT and the camera has really been simplified by having limited buttons.. Photo quality, while I haven't had a long amount of time to test it out, is GREAT SO FAR!! I plan to take it out tomorrow and shoot some fall photos that I will upload as a sample!! I just received the camera tonight so tinkering is all I have gotten to do BUT I PLAN to update this review as I get more time to play with it..
Build Quality: While the camera looks like a Leica, this camera is made of plastic and not metal.. It is made of a high quality plastic that feels GREAT in hand, but if you are used to a heavier camera, this might feel a little cheap in hand.. This camera is actually a blessing that its not nearly as large or heavy as the 10 year old DSLR it is replacing.. Yi has also sourced VERY high quality parts for this camera.. During my research I have found that the mechanical shutter is made by the Japanese Company COPAL, and the sensor is made by Sony.. The lens mount is metal which was one of my worries originally.. I wasn't sure how a plastic lens mount would last so I am very glad it is made of metal.. Overall, the quality and design of this camera is GREAT.
1.) Photo Quality - So far Photo Quality is excellent!! I will have some sample photos later in the week to upload!
2.) EASY to use - Coming from a smartphone generation, the touchscreen was super easy for me to learn!!
3.) Model Suggestions - THIS FEATURE ROCKS!! Basically the camera will suggest different ways to pose your model.. A stick figure shows up on the screen with the suggested pose that will look GREAT!! I love this feature and wonder why YI is the first to think of it!
4.) GREAT VALUE - For $500 you get the body and one lens.. Panasonic has camera bodies that you can get for slightly less BUT you will have to buy a lens making it cost more.
5.) Wireless Connectivity and Bluetooth LE
6.) Supports RAW photos
7.) Video quality so far is great
8.) Scene & Shooting Modes - This camera has a TON of scenes and shooting modes, again, making it great for someone learning about cameras and photography..
9.) Manual Modes - You can manually use EVERY bit of this camera which is GREAT when you want those professional shots
10.) Shutter Speeds - Slowest shutter speed of 60s and 1/4000s as the fastest
11.) Manually Adjust ISO - ISO range 100-256000
12.) Focus - Includes Manual and Auto Focus
13.) Includes leather neck strap
14.) MFT Lens - Giving you thousands of Lens Options! ANY MFT lens should fit!
15.) Flash - There is not an included flash but you can attach a flash to the camera!! The camera DOES offer a Auto Focus assist flash though, but it's just a red light
16.) Small and compact! No more lugging that old DSLR up the mountains when I hike!!
17.) Packaged like a PREMIUM camera and FEELS like a Premium camera!
1.) Limited YI branded accessories at the moment.. No extra batteries, looks like the case hasn't been released yet, and cant buy the lens on their own at this time.
2.) As of now, the first firmware update MUST be installed manually using a SD card.. I received this email from Yi after I ordered the camera with instructions on how to do that
3.) Doesn't seem to support RAW+ JPG.. I know, I shouldn't be shooting in RAW+ JPG but I do like having both formats when I take photos!! Maybe a firmware upgrade will allow this
4.) Touchscreen at times doesn't seem to be as sensitive as one on a mobile phone.. But that didn't cause me any issues
Overall: So far I am impressed with this camera.. The few sample photos I took inside far surpassed my expectations!! The quality is excellent!! And the price is even better
5 Stars By Bryan on 2017-05-17
So far so good.
Received camera, firmware updated immediately through the app. Have been shooting in autofocus with no problems locking onto my subject, am getting vibrant beautiful results. Have been toying with manual settings and attached an old flash I had and it fires. I'm pleased with my purchase. Bought the camera to have a lighter, smaller option for travel.
3 Stars By juddwood on 2017-07-13
The Potential Is There, but...
I'd probably really give it 2.5 stars, but I think it has the potential to be considerably better, so I'll go for 3 stars now (and will update my review with time). First of all, this is a great looking and feeling camera; that has nothing to do with its functionality, of course, but it looks nice. Touchscreen user interface is (mostly) very clean and intuitive; a bit laggy, at times. I love how quick and easy it is to sync with a phone, and that firmware updates are done through the app.
The camera body, while mostly plastic, feels solid. The grip is maybe a bit small, but helps. Mode and control dials have a good feel to them, and don't seem likely to be accidentally moved. I think the control wheel would be in a more easy to manipulate place if it was where the mode dial is, but that's minor. Kit lens (I got the 12-40) seems pretty well made, though it's pretty large on the body, even more so when unlocked and extended. I was hoping to use the tiny Panasonic 12-32 or Olympus 14-42 EZ on the camera, but that hasn't worked out so well (see below). If you care about packaging, the box / accessories are well made and presented... this really is impressive all-around for a first effort from a company.
Now, the truth about the camera in use. The autofocus is hit-or-miss. Usually (with the kit lens, at least) it's consistent and accurate, though on rare occasions the kit lens decides to struggle to lock focus at all. It's like the camera changes its mind every once in a while. It is possible to use manual focus w/ focus peaking using the kit lens, but I found it hard even with peaking to get the focus correct (I should mention that my primary camera is a Sony a6300, and I have no issues using peaking on it). Putting the Panasonic 12-32mm pancake zoom and Sigma 30mm f2.8 on the M1 gives you less consistent results than the Yi kit lens. Olympus 14-42 EZ and 17mm f2.8 were unusable (no focus, couldn't change aperture). And this is, to me, the real issue. I bought this to be a part of a micro 4/3 system - had no intention of using the kit lens made by Yi. The camera struggles to focus using its own lens, but seems a lost cause (using the current firmware) with some of the other lenses I have.
Sounds horrible, right? Not totally. I haven't given up. Support has been fast and friendly, to a degree that I don't think I've experienced with any other product, camera or otherwise. It seems that Yi are listening. I've been told that there is an upcoming firmware update which I'm hoping, HOPING, will address the focus issues I'm experiencing, particularly with other micro 4/3 lenses. The 2 other things I'd really love to see are the ability to shoot raw+jpg at same time (can't believe that wasn't there from day 1), and a live exposure display. It would also be nice to be able to order a second battery.
If Yi can sort out the focus issues (and some of the others that I've seen related to video, which I do little of), this has the potential to be the best value in photography. I'm pulling for the company, just hope they're able to make it a solid offering before the camera loses its appeal. As it stands, when it's behaving, you can get some really nice, detailed images from this camera. I can see a notable difference in detail in these files vs the 16MP micro 4/3 cameras, and I prefer the color palette of this camera to at least the previous generation Panasonics.
5 Stars By Dave on 2017-08-17
700 less I'll enjoy my YI M1 4K a lot
If you shipped any faster the camera would have been here before I ordered it. The camera....I have only played with it so far, learning about it, and I am impressed. I've read some reviews that are critical of the camera from those who use $3,000 + mirrorless cameras and they pick at some rather trivial points, but for $2,700 less I'll enjoy my YI M1 4K a lot. I am impressed with its quality, its' compactness and the many features it does have. Very clean design and one that stops you is the lack of controls and knobs. It's all on the touch screen, and I love it!
So I can't impress anyone with how much I spent but I am impressed with what I see, including the pictures I have taken easily with the camera.
3 Stars By John Buckingham on 2017-10-28
A RAW deal
Yes, the YI M1 is a cheaply made, plastic bodied Micro 4/3 mirrorless camera with "Baby Leica" styling aspirations, and yes, its nearly all plastic lenses are far from the sharpest around. No, it's not reliable as a video camera, either; the M1 lacks both manual control for setting video exposure and a microphone input jack for better sound recording. It's a quirky little camera which, although designed for and marketed to total amateurs and casual enthusiasts stepping up to an ILC from their smartphones, actually requires advanced photographic techniques in order to get top notch results from it. The juicy 20MP Sony sensor is the YI M1's best selling point - colors render nicely, and with a good pop to them. However, with even its highest quality level JPEGs rendering slightly soft and mushy, the YI M1 fortunately delivers very good RAW files when set to "Manual" mode and low ISO settings are used. Better quality lenses also help enormously - I've purchased two used Panasonic zooms, with the 12-60mm providing the best results so far. I like the easy to use swiping interface - it works relatively well, for the most part, with only occasional lagging when selecting shutter speed and aperture settings, plus deleting files. Using the touch screen with its multiple focus points provides the fastest means of focusing an image - it also can trigger the shutter. Bottom line: Despite its numerous tics, the YI M1 provides a compact, capable option for taking above-average RAW file images (with the average size coming up to 31MB). After learning the camera's limitations and keeping it set to RAW mode, I've come to really enjoy using mine - it reminds me of shooting film. So, if anybody is curious enough to try one, be certain to get a good copy (the first I bought was defective in setting exposure options, the second has been the charm), buy some better glass for it, use touch point focusing, keep ISO settings to 400 tops, forget using the video for more than quick little clips (until the long promised third software upgrade finally is released, that is), purchase a couple extra batteries, and the YI M1's charms just might reveal themselves. It won't be the best camera anyone has ever used, but it can be a lot of fun in its own right.
5 Stars By LRS on 2017-07-19
Inexpensive but Impressive Camera
I recently saw the YI M1 mirrorless camera reviewed and it looked like a very good addition to my hardware cabinet. It fills a niche between my aging Canon 20d and my #1 camera, the Sony a6300, both in size and image quality. The YI is small enough and robust enough to be a handy "walkabout" camera with enough control flexibility to satisfy the serious photographer as well as being easy enough to operate to please the point-and-shoot picture taker (just put it in full auto and start shooting). Is it going to take the place of my Sony? No, but I didn't buy it to do that; I wanted a small, lightweight camera that would allow me to "run-and-gun" when the top priority of the day is sociability and mobility and not expressly serious photography. The MFT sensor (by Sony) is very detailed with 20MP of resolution and the photos coming out of the hardware are superior to both point-and-shoot and cellphone cameras. Plus, you can shoot in 4K video as well. The kit lens (I purchased the zoom model) will never win any pixel-peeping awards, but it's not too bad either. The YI M1 can be highly recommended for either the entry-level shooter or for the seasoned veteran who wants an inexpensive camera to toss in his or her suitcase for that upcoming vacation. For the price, you can't go wrong.
5 Stars By Andrew F. on 2016-12-19
The New Price-to-Performance Ratio King of All Digital Cameras
I've gone on exactly one photoshoot with my new Yi, and I can safely say the workmanship and attention to detail here is untenable at this price point by any of the other players in the market. I'm quite a fan of, let's say, unconventional camera bodies (a proud owner of a Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera and was demoing the Lytro Illum for a while before deciding against getting one), and needed something to complement my growing collection of MFT lenses. This camera is a beast. It supports shutter speeds as fast as 1/4000th of a second and as slow as 60 seconds (or more in timelapse mode) and shoots 4k video. However, your needs are important. If you need a camera that primarily shoots video, you would have to turn off manual mode and learn how to focus yourself (the autofocus during video with this camera is very wonky; professional videographers never use autofocus for video, however). If you need a low-cost and low profile camera that shoots extremely high quality photos, this is the perfect vehicle for your creativity. I prefer the shots I've gotten with this little thing to anything Nikon- or Canon produces, and it's so lightweight and tiny that you won't get those stares a huge DSLR get you, nor the bicep fatigue. The autofocus during photo-taking is zippy and accurate with the kit lens, and the lens itself is pretty damn amazing. I haven't even considered swapping it out yet, but that will change once I want to do night photography or landscape photography. I've attached real-world indoor shots as well as a few outdoor shots, and if they seem too dark it's primarily because I was still trying to figure out the menus.