Following up the E1, an excellent budget video option, we have the M1 from YI. We’ve worked with YI before to look at a home security camera and are very excited to look at their mirroless offering.

Unboxing and Initial Impressions

Where the E1 was designed purely out of necessity the M1 is designed and packaged as art. The packaging is a simple but elegant affair with the camera well protected inside foam. YI Sent the larger of the two kits including both a zoom and prime lens along with the camera. The body of the camera appears inspired by rangefinder design particularly borrowing from Lecia models. Also included in the packaging is manuals in English and Chinese for both lenses and the camera as well as a microfiber cloth and strap. The body although primarily plastic feels rigid with an excellent coating on it.

The kit lenses

At first glance the kit lenses are everything you could hope for. There’s an excellent 12-40mm zoom lenses which will cover a wide variety of common focal lengths and a 42.5mm prime. The zoom lens offers a 3.5-5.6 minimum aperture while the prime offers a fast 1.8. The Prime also offers a hidden treasure of a macro toggle bringing it’s minimum focal distance from 1.64 ft down to .84ft. These lenses might not compete with some offerings that cost several times what the entire kit does but they’re more than enough to stop you from running out and buying new lenses to replace them.

Ease of use

Controls on the M1 are easy to grasp. Primarily driven by the touch panel everything is fairly straight forward to get to. The addition of a pair of dials to control the currently selected variable, as well as current mode. I have noticed that the camera seems to prefer high iso speeds but rarely fast shutters on automatic something I’ve sent a question in to YI. I’ll cover more of the controls, and the app in a full review.

Initial Thoughts

The E1 set our expectations of what we should see on a budget ILC and at first glance the M1 is set to break quite a few of those. Available as both a single or dual lens(which we have for review) kit it looks poised to impress. With an excellent design and good in hand feel the M1 feels closer to the big dollar body only crowd than anything else. Keep an eye out for a full proper review in the next few weeks.