Tech News

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 | MYT 9:30 AM

The YI M1: A mirrorless camera that mirrors a smartphone's simplicity

A friend to all shutterbugs: With its unique Master Guide feature, the YI M1 will enable photographers of all levels to capture beautiful images and video. — AFP Relaxnews

A friend to all shutterbugs: With its unique Master Guide feature, the YI M1 will enable photographers of all levels to capture beautiful images and video. — AFP Relaxnews

The YI M1 Mirrorless Digital Camera offers professional-level performance but presented in a package that's so simple to use that anyone could conceivably ‘go pro'. 

Unveiled on the opening day of Photokina 2016 in Cologne, Germany, YI's first pro-level shooter is of the mirrorless, interchangeable lens variety. It will come with the choice of two lenses, a 12-40mm unit and a speedy (f/1.8) 42.5mm prime lens. 

But going for this camera won't mean having to invest in a host of completely new lenses. Thanks to an MFT mount system, it will be backwards compatible with over 50 existing interchangeable lenses from a host of camera companies. 

Regardless of lens set up, the camera should offer 20-megapixel still images via a very decent Sony image sensor and will film 4K video at a 30 frame per second rate. Its IOS range goes up to 25600 for shooting in poor lighting and it offers wide dynamic range video too. 

But it's how users access these features that sets this particular camera apart from a host of existing interchangeable lens cameras already on the market. 

"Our mission is to bring top of the line technology to professionals and beginners alike in a simple, easy-to-use form," said Sean Da, YI Technology's CEO and Co-Founder. 

The technological definition of easy to use is currently the smartphone and so that's what the company has used as its template. The camera's rear is essentially a large, simple-to-navigate touchscreen. And alongside the camera there's an app that can be used as a remote control or as a step-by-step guide for more complex settings. 

It offers templates and composition tips or can be used as a digital instruction book. And of course because everything is wirelessly connected via Bluetooth or WiFi, images shot via the camera appear automatically on a handset for viewing and sharing.  

"With the launch of the YI M1, we are aiming to re-energise professional quality photography by making it accessible and simple to use for the average person or amateur photographer," said Da. 

The YI M1 Mirrorless Digital Camera will be available in two colours – silver and black – and pricing and availability details will be announced in the coming months. 

Photokina 2016, the world's biggest biennial event dedicated to photography, runs Sept 20-25. — AFP Relaxnews

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