YI M1 Detailed Review

See all images of the YI M1


In additional M1 was introduced by YI in September 2016. It belongs to the Mirrorless Cameras category.

YI is well-known and shouldn’t require further introduction, please see our manufacturer’s page for more digital cameras by YI.

Brand YI
Category Mirrorless
Date 09/2016
Sensor Properties

Also M1 has a Four Thirds CMOS sensor with size of 17 x 13 mm² (0.68″ x 0.51″).

Picture of M1’s sensor compared to popular format.

Infographic: M1 comparing sensor sizes

The 1-Euro coin has a diameter of 23.25mm.

The M1’s sensor has resolution of 20 megapixel.

The YI supports taking images in RAW. RAW images are stored as they come from the sensor, without any in-camera processing or sharpening. Converting to JPEG or other formats takes place on the computer, using software like Adobe Lightroom or YI’s RAW converter. This involves one extra processing step but almost always results in superior image quality. Some filters, like converting to monochrome (black and white) will only yield decent results when used with RAW images.

The M1 does not have a mechanism for automatic sensor cleaning. Dust that collects on the sensor has to be removed with a blower or brush.

Format Four Thirds
Sensor area 17.30 x 13.00mm²
(0.68″ x 0.51″)
Resolution (physical) 21.77 megapixel
Resolution (effective) 20.16 megapixel
Pixel size 10.70 µm²
Sensor cleaning
RAW support
Continuous 5 frames/second
Interchangeable lens
Mount YI Micro Four Thirds (MFT)
Viewfinder Properties

The M1 does not come with a built-in viewfinder. The camera’s display is used to compose the photo. That can be cumbersome in broad daylight.


The M1’s shutter speed varies from 1/4000s to 60s.

Max. shutter speed 1/4000s
Min. shutter speed 60s
Sensitivity Properties

The M1’s sensitivity goes from 100 ISO und 25600 ISO, a very useful and practical range.

Min. sensitivity 100 ISO
Max. sensitivity 25600 ISO
Exposure Modes

The M1 supports all general exposure modes.

The YI allows spot exposure for the difficult occasion.

Center weight
Auto Focus Properties

The M1’s auto focus processor uses 81 AF points (or sensors). A basic rule of thumb says that the more AF points you have, the better. More AF points mean a better chance to have a point at the location of interest in a scene, a big plus in challenging situations (e.g. when panning the camera).

Manual focus is also possible with the YI, a plus in tricky situations or for some creative freedom.

Type Contrast Detection
AF points 81
Manual focusing
Flash Specs

The M1 doesn’t feature a built-in flash. That is not unsusual in this camera category.

A flash or a trigger for remote flashes can be attached to the YI’s hotshoe.

Hot shoe
Display Specs

The M1 features a monitor with a diagonal of 76.00mm (3.0 in.) and a resolution of c. 1.04 megapixel. That’s about average.

Unfortunately, the M1’s monitor is not articulated. That can make it tricky to frame your subject in some situations, e.g. when taking selfies.

The M1’s monitor can work as a touch screen, just like a smartphone. That can be very useful, for example to pick AF points, but keep in mind that touch screens usually don’t work when wearing gloves.

Display characteristics at a glance:

Type LCD
Size 76.00mm (diagonal)
(3.0 in.)
Resolution 1.04 megapixel
Touch screen
Video Specs

M1 video supported the resolution with 3840 x 2160 pixel.

ACamera is not equipped with an external microphone.

YI M1 Video parameters:

Max. resolution 3840 x 2160 pixel
…with frame rates 30 frames/second
External microphone
Connectivity & Wireless Specs

The M1 has Wi-fi connection. You can transfer photos to a mobile or laptop using wi-fi.

For photo transferring users may use Bluetooth option.

Connect the YI to a monitor or TV set over HDMI.

The YI supports USB 2.0.

Connection parameters:

Remote (wired)
Remote (infrared)
HDMI (standard)
HDMI (mini)
HDMI (micro)
USB 2.0
USB 3.0
USB Micro
USB Mini

The camera supports SD HC and SD XC cards.

Memory cards characteristics:

Slots 1
Memory cards SD

The YI M1 works with a LiIon battery. The battery lifetime is a generous 380 shots. Usually enough for a full day or more.

The battery can be charged over USB while in camera. Very useful, especially on vacation when most people bring a USB charger for their smartphone anyway.

The M1’s battery battery parameters:

Type LiIon
In-camera charging
Battery life 380 photos

The YI M1’s size is 113.5 x 64.3 x 33.6mm³. (4.5″ x 2.5″ x 1.3″). That dimensions are without lens. The weight of camera is 4.5″ x 2.5″ x 1.3″ grams (300 oz.) without lens weight.

Here is front and top view of the M1:

Dimensions Comparison

To put the size of the camera in context, here it is next to a typical ID card (c. 86mm x 55mm, about the size of a credit card).

The M1 is not much bigger:

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