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Yongnuo YN450: an Android camera with Micro Four Thirds sensor and EF mount

Should it be called 4G Camera or Smart Camera, asks Yongnuo to the public, presenting the first images of its Android camera, another strange product that will reach the market in 2019.

Yongnuo YN450: an Android camera with MFT sensor and EF mount

A camera with an identity crisis, that’s what one first thinks, when faced with the announcement by Yongnuo, that asks viewers: “Who am I?”. It’s a new camera, the Yongnuo YN450.

The first idea that comes to mind, when you read through the information about the camera, is simple: this looks like Victor Frankenstein’s creature, with parts that either resemble Samsung’s NX camera using Android, or Olympus Air A01 solution for smartphone users. None was very successful, and that may indicate the fate of the Yongnuo YN450.

Yongnuo YN450: an Android camera with MFT sensor and EF mount
Yongnuo YN43

The Frankenstein concept, though, does not stop there. This is a camera with a Micro Four Thirds sensor and a… Canon EF mount. It’s a strange marriage, but maybe Yongnuo wants the camera to be ready to use a larger sensor, if the concept becomes popular. Who knows?

Some may look at the YN450 as something new but in fact it looks more like an evolution from something else that Yongnuo introduced early this, year, the YN43, a smartphone add-on able to turn any smartphone into a Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera. That add-on has a Micro Four Thirds sensor coupled with a Canon EF mount… just like the YN450. Yongnuo just added a complete camera to the back of this new model.

Yongnuo YN450: an Android camera with MFT sensor and EF mount

From the Olympus Air A01 to the YN450

There is one thing you should now, though: the YN43 is not a new concept, because we had in 2015, from Olympus, the Air A01, which was presented as the solution to pair “the sophistication of digital interchangeable lens cameras with the intelligence of a smartphone for SLR Quality photographs.”

According to Olympus, the AIR system “offers all of the benefits of an interchangeable lens camera – like optical zoom, high image quality, big bright apertures, strong low light performance and shallow depth of field – in a sleek, simple form factor.” Olympus developed an Open Platform Camera to support the AIR, but when you click on the link on the web page, you get a note that the OPC Hack & Make Project website has been closed… probably because the AIR A01, while interesting, is not exactly the most successful product from Olympus, even if it works with both Android and iOS smartphones.

The camera with no name, and for which Yongnuo is running a contest, asking the public what its name should be, is another Android camera. I write “another”, because this camera is also related to Zeiss’s ZX1 in one point, due to the use of Android: the Yongnuo YN450 will allow users to edit their photographs inside the camera, using the 5-inch 1080p Multi-Touch display, which in fact is bigger and with a better resolution than the one on the Zeiss ZX1.

Yongnuo YN450: an Android camera with MFT sensor and EF mount

Polaroid, Samsung, Zeiss and now Yongnuo

We’ve seen, in recent times, some of the most strange products being announced, so the Yongnuo YN450 is just another example of how different companies are trying to mix the world of smartphones and cameras; Android OS is used as “the bridge” connecting both worlds, a trend that was started by Samsung with the NX model, in 2013. Not to mention the Polaroid iM1836, which was the very first Android interchangeable camera to be announced, a model that had to be removed from the market after Nikon sued Sakar International because the camera looked a little too much like the Nikon 1.

Yongnuo YN450: an Android camera with MFT sensor and EF mountThe Yongnuo YN450 uses Android 7.1 (no information if it will ever be updated) and has a Panasonic MFT 3 CMOS sensor with 16MP, equipped with Qualcomm 8-core processor. The camera is able to record 4K (UHD) video at 30fps, has a 8MP front camera (for selfies, I presume), dual-microphone for stereo sound, a 3.5mm headphone jack, built-in dual LED flashes, and will support RAW format, says Yongnuo. With 3GB RAM+32GB storage built in and up to 32GB of expandable storage, the camera has a 4000 mAh battery and it supports GPS function and full Netcom 4G / 3G network data and WIFI connection. That’s probably one reason why Yongnuo suggests one name to be used: “4G Camera”.


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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…

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