This Is The $330 Leica Copy

This Is The $330 Leica Copy

If you’re a fan of Leica, but can’t afford one (nobody blames you), then this may be just the ticket. You’ll get the style, the compact package, and $5,000 remaining in your bank account.

Yi, the Chinese camera manufacturer who have tried giving GoPro a run for their money, are now squaring up to Fuji and Leica. Their Micro-Four-Thirds camera boasts some impressive specs, and is a steal for what they’re offering. A Leica M will set you back a cool $5,400, and their style is certainly similar. That's where the comparisons end, however. Let it not be said that we're comparing a full frame digital rangefinder to Yi's M43 offering. This could be a wonderful purchase, if you’re after the same look, and willing to trust an underdog before the reviews come out.

Yi’s entry into the mirrorless world is bolstered by a 20MP Sony sensor, 4K video, 25,600 ISO, a touch screen, and the ability to shoot raw images. It even has a companion app, making use of its Bluetooth/Wifi connectivity for firmware updates and camera controls. Its stock lenses are a 12-40mm f/3.5-5.6 and a 42.5mm f/1.8 lens.
All for $330 in China, or $499 in the US. At this price, and those specs, it could be the perfect camera for a fan of the retro style and size.
However, with Fuji’s X-A3 coming soon it’s unclear whether Yi can compete. The X-A3 doesn’t shoot in 4K, but its stock lens has built in image stabilization and it’s only $100 more in the US than Yi’s camera.

Food for thought anyway, since Yi could be onto a winner with this one.

[Via The Verge]

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Christoph .'s picture

Cool feature of the Yi is that due to the open source nature of it, you can use it for Facebook live/other live video features

Spy Black's picture

If it was $330 in the US it would be a killer hit. Five bucks is a bit steep for an unknown player. No EVF either, good luck in bright sunlight.

Matthew Thomas's picture

What Leica is this supposed to compete with, it doesn't have a rangefinder, isn't hand made and doesn't look as cool as a Leica T. Looks like a good competitor to the discontinued Samsung NX line of cameras. Sorry to be a negative commenter on this :( but this seems too click-baity.

You seem to agree "That's where the comparisons end, however."

Orwin SantaCruz's picture

It may not look as good as the Leica T but it looks damn similar so that's the comparison.

Ramon Acosta's picture

Wonder how image quality will compare using the same glass.

Eduardo Francés's picture

To me it looks like more like a Samsung NX than a Leica.

It is weird how biased people are... Fuji with the X-pro and the X-E line gets a free pass on having a really similar Leica resemblance but YI doesn't?