Xiaomi is turning Yi from an action camera brand to commercial camera brand. Xiaomi’s sister brand Xiaoyi is introducing new micro four thirds mirrorless camera, M1 with the promise of strong performance for the price.
Xiaomi’s M1 mirrorless camera pairs a 20-megapixel image sensor with a maximum ISO sensitivity of 25,600. The Yi M1 mirrorless camera also offers premium build quality and seems every bit inspired by Leica. Right from the camera body to branding, there is strong resemblence to Leica’s legacy, which is not a bad thing for a first time attempt.
Xiaomi’s M1 action camera comes bundled with standard zoom lens of 12-40mm f3.5-5.6 or dual lens option of standard zoom lens and a 42.5mm f1.8 portrait lens. Considering the Xiaomi brand, the price point is again the biggest selling point here.
Xiaomi M1 mirrorless camera starts at 2,199 Yuan (approximately Rs 22,000) while the dual lens kit is priced at 2,999 Yuan (approximately Rs 30,000). Micro four thirds camera is a market dominated by Sony and Xiaomi seems to be going after that space.
Xiaomi’s Yi M1 mirrorless camera features a Sony IMX269 image sensor. The camera features only two buttons for control and Yi wants users to control the device using the touchscreen. The camera can also be paired with a smartphone for quicker access to controls and images shot with the camera.
On the company website, Yi lists support for up to 50 different lenses but it is unclear whether these are built by Yi or some other vendor.
Xiaomi, which continues to dominate the budget smartphone market, has started exploring other areas. The company offers connected rice cooker and even an air purifier. Xiaomi has also acquired some Chinese startups to improve its IoT-based offerings. With M1 camera, Xiaomi is setting its eyes on prosumer camera market and that day is not far when the company announces its first DSLR.