Yi Technology -- Yi-M1

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Cameras' started by VidThreeNorth, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. VidThreeNorth

    VidThreeNorth TPF Noob!

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    Yi-M1 "HDR"
    - 42.5mm F1.8 Macro/Portrait lens

    This project started when I decided to post some pictures of my Sony a5000 using my Minolta 28-100 zoom. I expected to take a couple of quick "snap-shots" and post them. But when I saw the results I was disappointed and ended up working on the DNG files until I got fairly acceptable results.
    [see: ""Konica Minolta 28-100mm f/3.5-5.6 D AF Zoom" #9" Konica Minolta 28-100mm f/3.5-5.6 D AF Zoom]

    After I was done, it remained on my mind and I had a couple of approaches for improvement. The first was a simple change in the exposure to EV = +1.0. The second was to finally try out the HDR capability of the Yi-M1. Later in the evening I decided that it was a good idea for me to take the extra time and try out the HDR capability of the camera, so the decision was made to continue this as a new project.

    One reason I have not gotten around to trying the HDR mode on the Yi-M1 was because the camera does not save a RAW (DNG) file when it is used this way. I guess that this is probably because it is doing so much and taking its time just making the HDR. If there were an option to save a RAW, what kind of file would it be? I would be happy it the camera saved the RAW image indicated by the EXIF data.


    About HDR:
    NOTE: This forum has a specific area to discuss HDR which I have not had time to look into yet.

    As far as I know, "HDR" and "WDR" mean the same thing. Both terms were coined by people trying to cope with the problem of making pictures where the dynamic range of the subject matter exceeded the inherent reciprocity of the hardware. The techniques go back to the concepts like "dodging and burning" and other techniques developed in film photography to cope with the same problem. Some companies might be trying to define certain techniques as one or the other, but I have seen the terms used interchangeably, and I have not seen anyone state a specific difference. If anyone knows, or even "thinks" otherwise, let me know.


    This Image Set:

    I used a slightly different but similar setup as yesterday, but the lighting is a bit less diffused this time. For this set of images I also decided to control the depth of field by using "Aperture Priority" and working with F8 and F11, and in the latter pictures selecting the point of focus with the touch screen.

    I am not planning on posting "detail" crops for this set.


    "PC210003a-rsz1640-C1.JPG"

    I started this project with three images taken "regularly" with EV = +1.0 and DNG files. This is the last image with DNG. All the rest are HDRs. This is my "control" image. If I had taken yesterday's pictures with EV = +1.0 then I would have probably still worked with some of the DNG files, but I would have had an easier time, and probably better results. I probably would have posted this picture as-is. There is sufficient shadow detail to show the equipment using the adapter's tripod mount and how high it raises the camera. I was not trying to make it look "pretty", I was only trying to show the equipment I had been using lately.

    Partial EXIF
    Dimensions 5184 x 3888
    Color representation Uncalibrated (AdobeRGB)
    F-stop f/8
    Exposure time 1/100 sec.
    ISO speed ISO-3200
    Exposure bias +1 step
    Focal length 43 mm
    Max aperture 3.65
    Metering mode Center Weighted Average
    35mm focal length 86
    Exposure program Aperture Priority (forced F8)


    "PC210005a-rsz1640-C1.JPG"

    This file replicated most of the settings of "03" except that it is set for HDR and no RAW. Notice how that exposure time jumps from 1/100 sec. to 1/5 sec. and the ISO drops from ISO-3200 down to ISO-200. I did not do that, the HDR setting did that. Also, the picture is slightly zoomed/cropped compared to the control picture. If size is critical, one might have to anticipate, and maybe even calculate this difference. Also, the exposure is still EV = +1.0. In picture "11" below, using EV = +0, shadow detail starts to go away. So correct exposure is still a "judgement call" and bracketing is a good idea. I consider this image to be "almost perfect". The highlights have been muted bringing out the "AF 28-100" label and the exposure of the bright area on the lens mount is also reduced. Part of the camera body and parts of the tripod mount are sitting a bit too close to the "floor black" than I would like, but there is no detail of interest in those areas anyway. Likewise, at the front of the lens there is some silver area which is just inside the "white" value.

    Partial EXIF
    Dimensions 5184 x 3888
    Color representation Uncalibrated (AdobeRGB)
    F-stop f/8
    Exposure time 1/5 sec.
    ISO speed ISO-200
    Exposure bias +1 step
    Focal length 43 mm
    Max aperture 3.65
    Metering mode Center Weighted Average
    35mm focal length 86
    Exposure program Aperture Priority (forced F8)


    "PC210007a-rsz1640-C1.JPG"

    This file has slight composition changes (the angle of view) and F11 is used to increase the depth of field. The focus distance has been adjusted by using the touch screen focus in order to best use the depth of field. I tried a few focus points and this one turned out the best. I do not think there is a good way to check depth of field on this camera.

    Partial EXIF
    Dimensions 5184 x 3888
    Color representation Uncalibrated (AdobeRGB)
    F-stop f/11
    Exposure time 1/2 sec.
    ISO speed ISO-200
    Exposure bias +1 step
    Focal length 43 mm
    Max aperture 3.65
    Metering mode Center Weighted Average
    35mm focal length 86
    Exposure program Aperture Priority (forced F11)


    "PC210011a-rsz1640-C1.JPG"

    This file has another composition changes (angle of view) and it tests setting the Exposure Bias = +0.0. The average brightness of the image is darker, but the highlights and "floor black" still seem to be "contained." Comparing the two, I think it is best to adjust the exposure compensation as if it was a normally exposured picture. The lettering at the front of the lens is falling out of the depth of field, but I think if I had focussed a bit more towards the front of the camera I could have covered it without the "Sony" label losing sharpness.

    Partial EXIF
    Dimensions 5184 x 3888
    Color representation Uncalibrated (AdobeRGB)
    F-stop f/11
    Exposure time 1/5 sec.
    ISO speed ISO-200
    Exposure bias +0 step
    Focal length 43 mm
    Max aperture 3.65
    Metering mode Center Weighted Average
    35mm focal length 86
    Exposure program Aperture Priority (forced F11)


    Conclusion:

    The HDR setting can be useful, but yes, it takes a bit of practice to get the most out of it. It still helps to set the exposure compensation appropriately.

    NOTE: Due to upload problems the rest of the files were uploaded 2017-12-22 09:31.


     

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    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  2. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    micro contrast is lacking.
     
  3. VidThreeNorth

    VidThreeNorth TPF Noob!

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    What are you referring to?
     
  4. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    The look of the images. Not impressed at all.
     
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  5. VidThreeNorth

    VidThreeNorth TPF Noob!

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    Yi-M1 Touch-Screen Focus Test
    (Partial report -- for now, consider this a partially uncompleted test. I considered abandoning this test and re-starting it with the "3.0 Int" firmware. Shortly after I upgraded the firmware, the flowers were gone, so now I would have to pick a completely new subject, or wait till next year.)

    Firmware version "2.0 Int"
    Lens: Yi 42.5mm Portrait/Macro


    In late August I decided that I wanted to test the accuracy and speed of the screen touch focus (and shoot) functions on the Yi-M1. I thought it should be easy. I just had to set up the camera on a tripod and use the screen touch to alternate between a "far" focus point and a "near" focus point. I thought that about 20 pictures of each to get the speed of the focus. I ran the test twice for about 80 total files.

    When I looked at the files on the computer I found out that the "time" on the files were reported down to the minute rather than down to the second. When I checked the EXIF internal information I found the same thing. The problem is that I would need many pictures to get a good calculation of the speed. Or I needed a better method of testing. I could use a stop-watch (which I have), or perhaps I could set up a camcorder on another tripod behind the test unit and take a video of test. That would be best because I could post the video and people could see the speed directly.

    I never did get around to running the re-test. But I did have the ~80 files of the test images.

    Much later I found that by looking for the EXIF info from the DNG file using Corel Paintshop Pro X7, I could read the file time down to seconds.

    The composition was high contrast illuminated flower with white petals against a background of trees, many of which were in shadow. My first set was done with EV = +0, which was not a terrible choice. But for my second set I decided that I should expose for the background in order to give the auto-focus a better chance. I can justify this choice because there are certainly situations when the main subject is in shadow and lightening the images is correct. Thinking about this later, maybe I should have adjusted the exposure downward for the flower petals, because they were a "real" point of interest and not just an imaginary possibility.

    I do not know if the camera can be set to use the "touch" to adjust both the focus and the exposure together. I think that that would be the best solution. It might be possible. I have not gotten that far yet.

    Still, that does inadvertently turn this into a "dynamic range test" and I did find out a bit about this camera and its sensor.

    NOTE: No "highlight recovery", "noise reduction" or "sharpening" were used in the initial images, so these are "worst case" in those regard. The "P9030007-2" image was re-converted with an extra correction to the exposure which can be considered an attempt at "highlight recovery".

    Unfortunately, the "1640" size detail crops turned out to be too big, and I had to compress them beyond the minimum, so more detail has been lost. If the file name ends in "C2" it means that I used compression level 2 which is the next step down from "C1" which is minimum compression. "C4" is two more levels down. I might try to re-do them again someday, but it might take me a while.

    [Uploaded 2018-01-13] Correction Files:
    I have uploaded new "Detail" crop files which are 1200 x 900 and saved as JPEG files with "C1" minimum compression. I will remove the previously uploaded "1640" files later.


    "P9030006 -1" [from DNG]
    Temperature 5260
    Tint 14

    Partial EXIF:
    ASDK-00129
    FlashPix version 01.00
    Date and time Sept 3, 2017 17:17:19
    Image width 5200
    Image height 3902
    Pixel height 3888
    Pixel width 5184
    Component config YCbCr
    Color space sRGB
    Exposure "Normal program"
    Scene capture "Standard"
    Exposure bias 0.00 ev
    Exposure time 1/640 sec.
    F number f/3.9
    Max aperture f/1.8
    Focal length 43.0
    ISO speed 200
    Metering mode Center weighted average
    Gain control Low gain up

    "P9030006 -1-Detail-Crop02-C1.jpg"
    [Uploaded 2018-01-13]
    Crop Starting at "0,2100"
    - cropped to 1200 x 900 and saved with minimum compression to retain detail.


    "P9030007-1"
    Temperature 5416
    Tint 19

    Partial EXIF:
    ASDK-00129
    FlashPix version 01.00
    Date and time Sept 3, 2017 17:17:21
    Image width 5200
    Image height 3902
    Pixel height 3888
    Pixel width 5184
    Component config YCbCr
    Color space sRGB
    Exposure "Normal program"
    Scene capture "Standard"
    Exposure bias 0.00 ev
    Exposure time 1/640 sec.
    F number f/3.9
    Max aperture f/1.8
    Focal length 43.0
    ISO speed 200
    Metering mode Center weighted average
    Gain control Low gain up

    "P9030007 -1-Detail-Crop02-C1.jpg"
    [Uploaded 2018-01-13]
    Crop Starting at "2000,1400"
    - cropped to 1200 x 900 and saved with minimum compression to retain detail.


    "P9030007-2"
    Brightness -1.0
    Temperature 5416
    Tint 19

    SmartFix
    Overall 15 [Recommended 28]
    Shadows -30 [Recommended 0]
    Highlights -15 [Recommended 10]
    Sat 16 [Recommended 0]
    Focus 0 [Recommended 42] *** No sharpening added in order to check the accuracy of the focus.
    White Balance OFF
    Black 10 [Recommended 10]
    White 0 [Recommended 0]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  6. VidThreeNorth

    VidThreeNorth TPF Noob!

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    "DPreview.com" published a review of the Yi-M1 on Nov. 29, 2016. I have just noticed that they have made the following announcement:

    "November 2017: Several issues raised in this review have been addressed in recent firmware. We are now shooting with an updated camera and hope to revise the review to reflect current behavior."

    I do not know when this update will be published, but I, for one, congratulate them on their diligence. As far as I am concerned, the poor state of the camera's original release, and the long time it took Yi Technology to get to the "2.0 Int" and then the "3.0 Int" makes it understandable that few of the "Pro" reviewers have taken on this task. These reviewers have a lot of other cameras and equipment to test and correctly focus on the products in which their readers have the most interest. They do not "owe" the manufacturers their attention and efforts. They "owe" them to their readers. The originally released firmware, and even up to "1.0.20 Int" were a waste of the reviewers time.

    DPreview's Yi-M1 Review page:

    New kid on the block: YI M1 review
     
  7. VidThreeNorth

    VidThreeNorth TPF Noob!

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    On 2017-12-19 Yi Technology released firmware version "3.1 Int". I missed this one until today. The update list is short:


    "...
    NEW
    Adds RAW & RAW+JPG shooting format in AE bkt mode

    Fixed
    Fixed some known bugs, and improved the overall stability of the system. "

    I have recently done some video and still work using "3.0" and was about to make some comments. I will probably post the comments later anyway. It is likely that there will not be another update for a long time (if at all now), so I guess this will be worth testing.
     
  8. VidThreeNorth

    VidThreeNorth TPF Noob!

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    "Read The Manual!"

    I am being partly sarcastic here. If you did read the original Yi-M1 manual, which was released on Nov. 28, 2016, you did not get much out of it for the effort. Out of roughly 24 pages, the first half of the manual gets you up to putting in the battery and setting the time and date. For actual photography they spent only one page for still pictures and another page of instructions for video recording.
    [2018-04-08 replaced "ironic" with "sarcastic" which is more accurate.]

    Yi Technology did provide "online support" by answering common questions and also a forum, but "in the field" unless you had mobile internet, you were stuck with guessing. Moreover, since that manual was written back in 2016, it did not cover the changes in version 2 firmware.

    But with the version 3 firmware came a new "supplement" manual specifically for Video. Dated Oct. 27, 2017, this short manual (about 9 pages) actually does a pretty good job of describing the use of the current functions. The current functions combine to change the way one uses the camera.

    The change in the approach to using the camera comes from being able to chose between the "still picture display mode" or the "video display mode". Toggling between these modes is done by holding down the video record button for more than two seconds.


    The firmware favours the still picture mode:

    1. When the camera is turned on, it starts up in the "still picture display mode."

    2. If you take a still picture while in "video display mode" the camera drops out of "video display mode" until a video record is started or the display is deliberately changed to the "video display mode" again.

    3. When in the "still picture display mode", taking a video will only change to "video display mode" until the end of recording and then switch back to "still picture display mode".

    More Changes

    "Single Auto Focus" is a completely new function. It focuses when the recording starts but does not change during the recording unless it is overridden. I believe aperture control is also new. EV setting was available before but I do not think it could be done during the recording. The small menu opened by the screen button on the right allows changes to ISO, Focus mode, video format (2K, 4K etc), meter mode, White balance and face detection. The only control still missing is contrast.


    About Video Auto-Focus:

    From what I understand, the camera always uses a single point for auto focus. When it is allowed to chose that point, it does look over the whole screen to find it. When face detection is on, it will favor the point where the face is. As far as I know so far, it only choses a single face, and it will track that face. If there is no face, I do not know whether it will "track" whatever was at a focus point that was automatically chosen. At any time, a manual focus point can be chosen by touching the screen. This point can also be updated by touching another point on the screen. To "clear" the manual selection and return to camera chosen automatic focus, the "Q" button it touched.

    Manual focus of an electrically controlled lens can be adjusted during a video.

    I have found that manually selecting the focus spot is generally the best way to use this camera, though realistically it requires the use of a monopod or tripod. I almost always use a monopod or tripod, so that has no effect on me.


    Room For Improvement:

    No "touch focus/with spot meter change"

    The "touch-focus" and "touch-focus-shoot" functions work well but there is no way to change the metering to favour the focus spot. It would have been nice if there was an option to adjust the meter to the focus spot at the same time. This would be particularly nice for still pictures.

    A Medium Focus Area Mode:

    It might be a good idea to have an option to reduce the area that the camera considers for finding a "focus spot" from the current "whole screen". I would suggest a "medium zone" roughly 1/2 the area using the 7 middle rows and the 5 middle columns.

    For videos in particular it would reduce the chances of picking a focus point that was "uninteresting".

    Low Contrast or Log


    It would be nice to have a "low contrast" option for videos. Since there is no equivalent to "raw" in videos, this has to be done during the actual recording. Even a simple "low contrast" setting would be an improvement, but a "log" setting would be welcome. The problem is choosing a "log" response. There are quite a few, and as far as I know, they are not mutually compatible.

    Firmware Re-Design:

    Lastly, I think that the firmware should further separate video and still picture functions and start replicate the controls. I would, for example like to have separate date-time stamp settings. Normally, I would like a date-time stamp on still pictures because I usually take stills for scouting locations and setting up videos. They are not really for "public consumption". Other people might prefer the opposite setup.


    Yes, It's Better:

    I think with practice, I am going to like this "3.1-Int"firmware version. Having the "video display mode" means that I am no longer guessing about the look of a video before I start to record. Any experienced photographer can understand the value of this. At this point, I have to wonder if Yi Technology has caught up to their competition in the lower end 4K video capable still cameras. I can no longer say that a GX850 or Olympus EM10 iii is clearly better. Olympus and Panasonic still have stabilization to claim superiority, but if you do not need the stabilization, then the Yi controls might actually already be better. I would have to go back over what has been written about those other cameras to be certain. And at bottom, the video quality was already quite good when using "2.0-Int".

    I do not know how far Yi Technology will push the Yi-M1. I hope there is still one more upgrade to come. I would also say now, that I hope Yi Technology is working on a an "M2". I have no doubt that they have learned enough from the M1 already to make a much better camera, and Amberella already has a better processor chip to work from.

    [22:05]
    I forgot to mention that I now know that for still pictures, "Continuous Auto-Focus" mode stops down the lens for "continuous depth of field preview." Other mirror-less camera bodies also work this way. I have to decided whether to switch to working this way in the future. The problem is that I do not know how much battery power this uses. The reason I have never used "Continuous Auto-Focus" mode goes all the way back to my first Panasonic Lumix GF3. The manual warned that it drains the battery faster, and so I always avoided that mode.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  9. VidThreeNorth

    VidThreeNorth TPF Noob!

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    Two More Requests:

    Since I have asked for specific changes above, I thought that I would add a couple more features which I do not think are currently common, but I have found useful in the past:

    1. "Level/Tilt" Indication

    Of the bodies that I currently use, the Pentax Q-S1 has level indicators both for "up - down" ("climb - dive" for aircraft) and "left-right side high/low" ("roll" for aircraft). Personally, I would appreciate it if I could get "roll" markers, but I have no doubt that others like having both types. This helps setting up a tripod as well as handheld. I would use a pair of small icons in the upper corners of the display.

    2. "Audio Record"

    Also, I would appreciate and audio record function so I can record voice memos. I had a small inexpensive pocket camcorder that had this function. If this is added to the Yi-M1, then I could make short audio notes mixed in with the still and video files. It would be particularly useful because they would be in the right order among the videos and pictures to which they would probably refer.
     
  10. VidThreeNorth

    VidThreeNorth TPF Noob!

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    Yi-M1 "3.1-Int" JPEG Processing
    Lens used: Yi 12-40 mm F3.5 - 5.6 kit zoom

    The question is "whether the Yi-M1 internal JPEG Processing is any good?" From what I have seen so far, I think that it is going to end up a matter of taste. And it will depend on what camera setting are being used, and what alternatives you have for processing raw files. This is going to take some time and a number of pictures, and I am not going to try to get it all done at once. In fact, at some point I will probably just stop and consider the question answered.

    My camera settings currently are standard "Program" mode, with my choice of EV, and occasionally I will force an ISO in order to get a good exposure time/f-stop combination. Everything else is automatic or default. I have not been exploring the available rendering options because up until now, I have only used "raw" capture and processing in various versions of Corel Paintshop Pro (this set of images in 2018).

    In "P3030049", the JPEG processing has handled some colour fringing from the lens. I could have done that, but I did not feel it was so bad. Likewise, there appears to be some noise reduction and sharpening. Previous versions of the Yi-M1 firmware have been criticized for going too far with noise reduction and sharpening. This image, and what I have seen since I started using 3.0 and 3.1 firmware looks typical of my Sony a5000. If someone makes a formal comparison, you would probably be able to see some differences, but really, it is not that huge. Look at the tree bark and colours are more muted than the files I made from the DNG.


    "P3030049"

    "a3030049a-jpg-rsz900-C1.jpg"

    This is a straight resize of the original JPEG created by the camera to give you an idea of what the whole picture looked like.

    Partial EXIF
    March 3, 2018, 16:08:38
    Image width 5200
    Image height 3902
    Pixel height 3888
    Pixel width 5184
    Component configuration YCbCr
    Scene capture type Standard
    Exposure mode Manual exposure [Actually I think this was "Program" w/EV compensation the same as the other pictures I took that day. I do not know why it says it is "manual".] *
    Exposure time 1/60
    F number f/5.4
    Max aperture f/5.4 *
    Focal length 33.0 mm
    Focal length in 35mm 66 mm
    ISO speed 200
    Metering mode Center weighted average
    Gain control Low gain up

    * [2018-03-08 21:28 Corrections and additions:
    Checking the camera JPEG file in Windows Photo viewer I found "Exposure bias +0.70 ev", which apparently I missed before, and "Max aperture 4.87". This latter discrepancy might be a bug in Paintshop Pro 2018 version "20.2.0.1 x64". The "Manual exposure" report error might be from either Paintshop Pro, or the Yi "3.1-Int" firmware. At this point I cannot tell which.

    About the exposure: As you probably guessed, I deliberately over-exposed this picture because I was interested in seeing shadow detail in the cluster of branches in the upper middle of the picture. I accepted that there might be clipping since I could see the highlights where the sun was hitting the tree trunks directly. If I had left the exposure bias "EV = +0.0", I think the highlights would have stayed in bounds. But these trees are dark and I see them often, so the over exposure produced a result that was interesting for me. In case you were wondering if there was any indication of the over-exposure, the version 3.0 and 3.1 firmware have a histogram function. So yes, I could have avoided it. I just wanted something a bit different this time.]


    "a3030049-Crop01-C1.jpg"

    This is the detail crop from the original JPEG created by the camera. All three crop files start from 2270,0 and run 1200 right and 900 down. This is far on the edge of the picture, which means the lens is outside its best performance, though at 33 mm, it is not far at the end of the zoom range, so it is not at its worst. I do not find this over processed. The colour fringing has been handled, noise probably reduced a bit (there was not that much to start with) and particularly, it has not be "over sharpened". The sharpening is about right.


    "b3030049-1-Crop01-C1.jpg"

    Temperature 5050
    Tint 14

    This is the converted raw DNG file from Corel Paintshop Pro with no other changes. Comparing this image to the Yi-M1 and we can see what the Yi-M1 has done. Oddly, this conversion looks more contrasty. The light spots on the tree trunk on the right appear to have clipped to white and are surrounded by dark shadows. Noise in the shadows is not bad. Overall, it is quite clean. As I mentioned, since this is far off-axis, there is some color fringing showing up on horizontal branches (this crop is at the top of a vertical formatted picture). The colour of the tree bark is a bit richer than the JPEG.


    "c3030049-1b-Smartfix-Crop01-C1.jpg"

    SmartFix
    Brightness
    Overall 33
    Shadows -40
    Highlights -10
    Focus 24
    Black 18

    Mainly, Smart fix has brought up the shadows and added a moderate amount of sharpening. Smart fix does not handle the colour fringing nor any noise reduction. I could have done that separately, but I did not. Because version 1.x and version 2 firmware did not support saving the DNG raw file and the JPEG file together, this is roughly what I have been seeing out of the Yi-M1 since I bought it.

    "dP3030049-1b-Smartfix-rsz900-C1.jpg"

    This file is a "resize" of the final "Smartfix" version from the raw DNG file. Is it better than the camera create JPEG? I think it is. The colours are a bit richer. But really, there is room for people who would disagree.

    But looking at the camera JPEG, it looks similar to a file out of my Sony a5000 subject to the way I have the a5000 set up. The main difference is that I have set the Sony to automatically handle HDR (reduce contrast). I think that the Sony would have flattened the exposure of this picture a bit. I do not see any way to do this in the Yi-M1. But then again, I do not miss it.


    "P3030002"

    Partial EXIF
    March 3, 2018, 15:44:21
    Pixel height 3888
    Pixel width 5184
    Component configuration YCbCr
    Exposure program Normal program
    Scene capture type Standard
    Exposure mode Auto exposure
    Exposure bias 0.00 ev
    Exposure time 1/250 sec.
    F number f/5.6
    Max aperture f/3.5
    Focal length 12.0 mm
    Focal length in 35mm 24 mm
    ISO speed 250
    Metering mode Center weighted average
    Gain control Low gain up

    "P3030002-rsz-1200-C1.jpg"

    I am leaving this topic, at least for now, with this file which has been reduced in size, but is otherwise an un-altered version of the camera JPEG. The pale beige "grasses" in the foreground are correct. This is an end-of-winter day and nothing has started growing yet. There is a faint spot of magenta lens flare in the bottom left corner from the sun. It is not a processing error. I have no plan to go through the exercise of comparing it to a processed raw DNG. It is a nice picture. Aside from the lens flare, or maybe including that, I doubt if anyone could tell that this was from the Yi-M1 or out of some Sony or Canon.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  11. VidThreeNorth

    VidThreeNorth TPF Noob!

    Joined:
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    "Portrait Mode"

    When I use my Pentax Q-S1, I use "Portrait" finish because it gives a slight global saturation boost whereas the "Vivid" on that camera" emphasizes some colours. On that camera, the "Normal" and "Portrait" settings are what I generally use, and I prefer to use "Portrait" if the subject matter allows.

    If I were creating a "Portrait" mode, I would set saturation slightly high. I would set contrast low and sharpening low. I am not sure what I would do with noise reduction.

    [2018-03-19]
    After looking at the resulting pictures, I have found that the Yi-M1 "Portrait" setting is not one I like. The "blue cast" alone is enough to make it undesirable. Beyond that, the unnecessary over-sharpening can occasionally cause "halo". I have no opinion about noise reduction, but it would not surprise me if some people felt it was also too much. I had planned on further testing of the "Portrait" setting, but I think I will abandon it here.



    Location:

    This is the "Dundas St. West and Burnamthorpe Road" area of west end Toronto. around this area, along Dundas St. West there are a number of murals. I am not sure how many, but I think there are at least six. This is my first scouting trip to photograph them. Because it was late in the day (~16:30 - 17:00) the sun was low and there were strong shadows. Over the next few months I hope to return to this area and either get better stills, or record some video stock. Because of their different orientations of the various murals, it looks like I will have to make a number of trips at different times of the day.

    Sadly, many of the pictures turned out poorly because of sun flare. I am finding this to be an issue when I use this kit zoom. Yi never released lens hoods for either of their lenses. As time goes on, I think I will use this kit zoom less and use other brand lenses (with lens hoods) in its place. I think finding a hood for the 42.5 mm lens should not be a problem, which is fortunate since I have found that lens to be quite good and I hope to continue using it for some time.

    Conditions:

    The temperature forecast for 14:00 - 19:00 was -1 deg C. and breezy. Rush-hour traffic was a minor annoyance, especially when I photographed across a busy street.

    All pictures were taken with a monopod.

    All JPEG pictures with names ending in "C1" are minimally compressed and retain the most detail possible.

    All processing was done using Corel PaintShop ProX9 on a Gateway DX4375 with AMD A6-5200 APU and Windows 8.1


    "P3160009.JPG"

    Partial EXIF
    Date and time March 16, 2018 14:51:46 [I forgot to set DST, so actually the time should be 15:49:xx]
    Pixel height 3888
    Pixel width 5184
    Component configuration YCbCr
    Colr space Uncalibrated [AdobeRGB -- all my pictures are re-encoded to sRGB by PaintShop Pro during output to the new JPEGs.]
    White point 0 31 0 33
    Primary Chromataticities 0 64 0 33 0 21 0 71 0 15 0 06
    Exposure Normal Program
    Scene capture Standard
    Exposure mode Auto exposure
    Exposure bias 0.00 ev
    Exposure time 1/640 sec.
    F number 1/10.0
    Max aperture f/5.5
    Focal length 27.0 mm
    ISO speed 200
    Metering Center weighted average
    Custom rendered "Custom processing" ["Portrait"?]
    Gain control Low gain up

    P3160009_jpg-rsz1230-C1
    - resized, no other adjustments

    "P3160009a-Crop01-C1.jpg"
    Crop01 starts 2150,2390
    - 1200 x 900
    - no other adjustments

    I do not know whether the sharpening and noise reduction for the other finishes are the same as the "Normal" finish. I would have to repeat pictures with the different settings to tell. This "Portrait" setting picture seems to me to have a bit more sharpening than what I saw in the "Normal" pictures. The red "State Farm" sign had some over-sharpening haloing where it touches the blue sky, but that was the only instance I could find. Overall, I would probably sharpen it a bit less. It is not unpleasantly sharp, but I think, maybe a bit more sharpened than necessary, and lately, I tend to use less adjustments whenever possible. I included a lot of shadows in the detail crop to show the noise reduction. The amount of noise reduction here is appropriate for this picture. It could be argued that noise reduction is higher than necessary. I have not checked the DNG raw file yet, but I do not think there was any significant detail lost.

    [2018-0323 9:25]
    "P3160009 -1g-rsz-1230-C2.jpg"
    This is the corrected version of "P3160047_jpg-rsz1640-C1.jpg" which I uploaded 2018-03-19 in the "2018 Toronto, Winter" topic of the Landscapes gallery. This corrected version was made from the DNG (raw) file and so it is not related to the "Portrait" version posted here. The main point of interest is the difference in colours. PaintShop Pro X9's RAW converter chose the white balance and color set using the "Auto" setting, and the resulting file was further adjusted in SmartFix. The point of this file is that for the colour and exposure choices, it is the result of "default automatic" adjustments just as can be done within camera firmware. In theory, there is no reason why the Yi-M1 could not have created the same colours.

    [2018-0319 9:35]
    I have posted a further corrected version of "P3160047_jpg-rsz1640-C1.jpg" at "2018 Toronto, Winter". The further corrected version was manually darkened in order to preserve saturation in the upper half of the mural. I also have more images of the murals in the area posted there.


    "P3160047.jpg"


    "P3160047_jpg-rsz1640-C1.jpg"
    - resized, no other adjustments

    Partial EXIF
    Date and time 2018-03-16 15:09 [I forgot to set DST, so actually the time should be 16:09:xx]
    Program name: ASDK-00141
    Pixel height 3888
    Pixel width 5184
    Color representation Uncalibrated [AdobeRGB -- all my pictures are re-encoded to sRGB by PaintShop Pro during output to the new JPEGs.]
    F-number 1/7.1
    Exposure time 1/250 sec.
    ISO speed ISO-200
    Exposure bias 0 step
    Focal length 15 mm
    Max aperture 4.03
    Metering mode Center Weighted Average
    35mm focal length 30
    Exposure program Normal

    Since this is St. Patrick's day weekend, I thought I should include a picture of a pub. This pub happens to have one of the murals. Unfortunately, when photographed from across the street, the mural is blocked by a bench.


    "P3160055.jpg"

    "P3160055_jpg-rsz1640-C1.jpg"
    - resized, no other adjustments

    Partial EXIF
    Date and time 2018-03-16 15:13 [I forgot to set DST, so actually the time should be 16:13:xx]
    Program name: ASDK-00141
    Pixel height 3888
    Pixel width 5184
    Color representation Uncalibrated [AdobeRGB -- all my pictures are re-encoded to sRGB by PaintShop Pro during output to the new JPEGs.]
    F-number 1/6.3
    Exposure time 1/250 sec.
    ISO speed ISO-200
    Exposure bias 0 step
    Focal length 12 mm
    Max aperture 3.64
    Metering mode Center Weighted Average
    35mm focal length 30
    Exposure program Normal

    This mural is the one in front of the pub.


    "P3160041-1c-rsz1640-C3.jpg"

    [Added 2018-03-26]
    NOTE: This picture is NOT an example of Yi-M1 "Portrait" mode.


    The original colours would have been acceptable, but since I needed to bring up the exposure of the mural I started with the DNG raw file and allowed PaintShop Pro X9 select the palette. As I noted, lens flair was a battle for this project. I am in the process of choosing a lens hood for the kit zoom.


    Re: Continuous Auto-Focus:

    This was also my first use of "Continuous Auto Focus". The experience was not one I enjoyed. If I zoomed quickly the display flickered. That was not a serious issue. The camera locked up once during the middle of the project. I removed the battery and when I powered up again, everything was fine.

    The focus tends to lag. If I touched the shutter button then the lens would jump into focus.


    More Changes I would recommend:

    These are the last changes I would recommend to Yi:

    1. "Silent shutter mode" This mode would bypass the mechanical shutter. The traditional reason to do this is to reduce "shutter shock" blurring. Personally, the reason I want this feature is because it saves power. The shutter is probably not necessary in many instances. There has even been some speculation that future mirror-less cameras might not have these mechanical shutters. I can see an advantage sometimes, but yes, I would like to have the option to bypass the shutter on demand.

    2. "PNG" file output. JPEG arose back when we were using 720MB floppy disks. We are well past that. Yes, there are still times when JPEGs are handy. The best compressed PNG file is still about twice the size of least compressed JPEG. But I can conceive of times when I would be happy just saving a file in the non-loss-y PNG format. PNG is the current non-loss-y format for the Internet. When I used the Yi-M1's HDR capability, after all the effort the camera made putting together a good HDR picture, there was no option to save it except subject to JPEG quality loss. Why force us to use an image format that necessarily loses quality?

    3. "Depth of Field Preview for Single AutoFocus mode" I did not like the "continuous autofocus" mode. First, I am still not sure how much power I am wasting, but I am aware of it. Also, the inability to keep up with a fast zoom change (which caused flickering) was a small annoyance. The fact that auto focus did not "keep up" while using this mode (it can be "caught up" by touching the shutter button, but that means it is not so much better than just using single autofocus mode in the first place). Also, there is no way to force the aperture open during this mode for a quick check of where the camera is actually focussed. Both open and stopped down aperture conditions are useful for photography. Being forced to only have one of these conditions available is less desirable.

    What I would prefer is that during "Single Autofocus" mode, I could select an option that would work like this:

    When I press the Shutter Button down "half way":
    - First the focus would be set.
    - Second, the lens would stop down to preview the depth of field
    - Third, the aperture would stay stopped down until I un-depressed the shutter button, or if I further depressed the shutter button, then the picture would be taken.

    These and the ideas I posted earlier are all the most important changes I would like to see. They have all been bouncing around in my head from early when I was using "Version 2.0-Int" firmware.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
  12. VidThreeNorth

    VidThreeNorth TPF Noob!

    Joined:
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    Photos NOT OK to edit


    "Vivid"
    Yi-M1, firmware version "3.1-Int"
    Panasonic 14 - 42 mm, 3.5 - 5.6 H-FS014042 zoom lens
    Monopod

    I am a lot happier with the result of the "Vivid" mode than I was using the "Portrait" mode. The colour balance, saturation and contrast are all well selected. Sharpening might be a bit higher than necessary, but I did not see evidence of over-sharpening, so leave that with a question mark. Noise reduction is another area where there is room for disagreement. It does seem higher than necessary, resulting in some loss of detail.

    This set of files was made with a Panasonic 14 - 42 mm, 3.5 - 5.6 H-FS014042 zoom lens. This is one of the older "kit zooms" and I do not think it is currently available. It has optical image stabilization, but the Yi-M1 does not support that capability. Optically it is only a bit better than the Yi-M1 (not as much as you might have expected), yet it actually is a much better lens, not just because of the image stabilization, but because the movements of the elements do not "reverse".

    In most of the kit zooms I have tried, when you are zooming from wide-angle to telephoto the front element moves back a bit and then moves foreward. This is what I would call a "complex" cam-actuated movement. The problem is that the torque required to turn the zoom control ring changes at the point where the elements reverse direction thus making it hard to maintain a consistent zoom movement for video. Also, the Yi zoom is probably not a true zoom. I have not tested for focus shifting during zooming, but I expect that there is probably enough to be visible unless autofocus is able to keep up and correct it. The Panasonic zoom does not have the "complex" cam-actuated movement, but I expect that it too probably will show focus shift when I get around to testing it.
    [2018-06-20 clarification]


    About the Yi Lenses:

    I have actually come to like both the Yi lenses. The zoom has done better overall than I expected despite it being less than wonderfully sharp as noted by the better camera testers. I think that it boils down to it being just within range of usable software enhancement. The 42.5 mm lens has been a real bargain. Yes, I wish it had a focus ring, and yes I would have preferred it to have used some better materials, but the auto-focus and aperture selection have worked well, and really the sharpness is quite good. I have been pleased with the optical characteristics overall.


    Processing:
    Corel PaintShop Pro X9

    Resizing was variable. I decided that these files were good enough that I wanted to upload the best versions that I could. So in many cases I tried more than one size, trying to get the largest images that allowed "C1" compression which retains the most detail.

    NOTE: My names are not necessarily the official names of the various murals. I might change them later.

    The name of the artist who painted all of these murals is "John Kuna". I tried searching that name in Wikipedia but did not turn up anything.
    [2018-06-17]


    "P3240002a-rsz1600-C1.JPG"
    "Fox & Fiddle Pub"
    Partial EXIF:
    Date taken 2018-03-24 09:08
    Program name ASDK-00141
    Dimensions 5184,3888
    F-stop f/9
    Exposure time 1/500 sec.
    ISO speed ISO-200
    Exposure bias 0 step
    Focal length 15 mm
    Max aperture 3.71
    Metering mode Center Weighted Average
    35mm focal length 30


    This is much better than the previous version. It can be argued that the lighting was better this time, but even taking account for that, the colour selection is much improved. Overall, there is no "blue cast" to this set of pictures.

    "P3240002b-Crop01-C1.jpg"
    - detail crop of above


    "P3240020b-rsz1440-C1.jpg"
    [2018-04-08 "P3240020a-rsz1240-C1.jpg" has been replaced. The new version is the largest I can upload]
    "Cemetery" [Left 3 panels]
    This has the most vibrant colour set.


    "P3240030a-rsz1640-C1.JPG"
    Partial EXIF:
    Date taken 2018-03-24 09:16
    Program name ASDK-00141
    Dimensions 5184,3888
    F-stop f/9
    Exposure time 1/400 sec.
    ISO speed ISO-200
    Exposure bias 0 step
    Focal length 14 mm
    Max aperture 3.63
    Metering mode Center Weighted Average
    35mm focal length 28

    "Skating"
    This is one of my favorite murals.


    "P3240044a-rsz1640-C1.JPG"
    "Radial Line"


    "P3240051a-rsz1200-C1.JPG"
    Partial EXIF:
    Date taken 2018-03-24 09:26
    Program name ASDK-00141
    Dimensions 3888,5184
    F-stop f/8
    Exposure time 1/400 sec.
    ISO speed ISO-200
    Exposure bias +0.3 step
    Focal length 28 mm
    Max aperture 4.55
    Metering mode Center Weighted Average
    35mm focal length 56

    "Sledding"
    This is another of my favorite murals in this series.

    "P3240051b-Crop01-C1.jpg"
    - detail crop of above
    [I might make a version from the DNG raw file to compare later.]


    "P3240086a-rsz1230-C1.JPG"
    Partial EXIF:
    Date taken 2018-03-24 09:48
    Program name ASDK-00141
    Dimensions 3888,5184
    F-stop f/5
    Exposure time 1/250 sec.
    ISO speed ISO-200
    Exposure bias 0 step
    Focal length 15 mm
    Max aperture 3.71
    Metering mode Center Weighted Average
    35mm focal length 30

    "Apples"
    This panel has one of the richest colour sets, but is more natural than the "Cemetery" panel above.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018

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