Photography

Yongnuo’s 4G smart mirrorless camera could cost under $500

yongnuo mirrorless camera teased yongnuomirrorless
Yongnuo

Yongnuo’s camera may not yet have a name but it does have some interesting specifications. Shortly after announcing a naming contest for a new smart mirrorless camera, budget brand Yongnuo shared more insight into the upcoming camera, temporarily dubbed the YN450, including a 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor. While details on the camera are still slim, a recent interview offered additional insight into the upcoming camera, including a potential price point below $ 500. Yongnuo is a China-based company that’s most known in the photography community for budget flashes and lenses.

The back of the teased photo looks more like a smartphone than a camera, thanks to the Android 7.1 operating system built inside, along with 4G and Wi-Fi. The camera uses a 5-inch 1080p touchscreen to navigate through that operating system.

The sensor-packed inside won’t be designed by Yongnuo, it will house a 16-megapixel sensor created by Panasonic. A Qualcomm eight-core processor will help process those images, with 4K support at up to 30 fps. The camera is slated to have a Canon EF lens mount, supports RAW shooting, and there’s a second 8-megapixel camera for selfies.

The camera will use 3GB of RAM with 32GB of storage. Yongnuo says the camera will also have GPS along with a headphone port and dual-MIC support.

Yongnuo isn’t the first to try to mix smartphone operability and connectivity with an interchangeable lens camera. Samsung’s NX1 was ahead of its time but the NX1 is only available used on Amazon after the company pulled out of the U.K. and hasn’t been updated in years. More recently, Zeiss announced the development of a full frame mirrorless camera that has a large touchscreen and Lightroom built in.

The image quality of a mirrorless camera with the connectivity and on-device editing of a smartphone isn’t a bad idea if Yongnuo can find the traction previous attempts couldn’t. But, there are a few oddities on the YN450. For example, the sensor is Micro-Four Thirds, but the lenses are Canon’s full-frame options. Full-frame lenses can work on a smaller sensor with a crop factor, but the lenses are larger and often more expensive than a 4/3 or APS-C lens. The camera is also missing a viewfinder and a hot shoe slot.

Yongnuo hasn’t set an exact date or price yet, but has suggested the camera will launch in China this spring, with a potential U.S. launch to follow. The price could be under $ 500, Cinema5D suggests.

Updated on March 7, 2019: Added potential price and availability information.

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