It’s been a while since we’ve seen a high-end camera powered by Android, but Chinese device maker Yongnuo seems to have a new one one the way.

The company’s new mirrorless camera supports interchangeable lenses and has a 16MP Four Thirds image sensor and support for RAW image capture and 4K video at 30 frames per second.

But what sets it apart from most mirrorless cameras is what’s behind the lens: the device features a 5 inch, 1080p touchscreen display where you’d normally see a viewfinder and it runs Android 7.1 software.

The camera is currently called the YN450, but Yonguo is running a contest to come up with a catchier name for the device.

While some specs still remain a mystery, here’s what we know so far:

  • Qualcomm octa-core processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB built-in storage
  • Support for up to 32GB of removable storage
  • 4,000 mAh battery
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • Dual mics for stereo sound capture
  • 16MP Panasonic M4/3 CMOS image sensor
  • Support for Canon EF DSLR lenses
  • Dual LED flash
  • 8MP front-facing camera
  • 3G/4G and GPS support

There’s no word on when youll be able to buy the camera or how much it will cost. The support for Canon lenses is reassuring — when I first saw the brand name I was worried that you might be limited to using proprietary lenses.

If you’re wondering why you’d want a camera that runs Android, think about the ways you use a smartphone camera and then imagine doing the same things with higher-quality lenses. You could immediate crop or retouch photos without switching devices, share videos to social media or back up your camera roll to Google Photos, or live stream videos to Facebook or YouTube, for example.

That said, it would be nice if the camera wasn’t expected to ship with a version of Google’s Android operating system that’s already more than two years old at this point.

via PetaPixel and Android Police

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16 replies on “Yongnuo YN450 is an Android-powered mirrorless camera”

  1. Very neat concept, but I think it was a huge mistake to use the Canon EF mount. They are surely hiding this in the carefully angled photos, but this camera will probably have a very deep lens mount. The lens mount will probably protrude off the front of the camera about 2 or 3 inches.

    The reason is because a DSLR camera has much more internal distance from the rear-most point of the lens to the camera sensor. A mirrorless camera mounts the sensor much closer to the lens. Put simply, the Canon lenses are designed to focus light more distantly than Micro Four Thirds lenses.

    So in essence, this camera will likely have a large “lens spacer”. Combined with the fact that Canon EF lenses are much larger than most M43 lenses, this is going to be a large camera once you put a lens on it.

    I would be more interested in this if they made it with a micro four thirds mount. There are some very interesting lenses available for it.

    1. I don’t get the criticism.
      They’ve not stated to be making it a phone that transforms into a DSLR. They didn’t even say it was going to be compact, since most cameras aren’t. This is a DSLR just like your Canon/Nikon, except its running a more mainstream Chipset and OS and its mirrorless.

      I think its a neat idea, because it makes it easier to take a photo….then ‘shop it on the fly… then share it online. However, the biggest concern to me is the battery life.

      I think what would be a more intriguing proposition, is if the device is a thin and flat phone. And the camera module is removable. However, SONY tried that but got the recipe wrong and it flopped big time. So understandably this is a niche of a niche, most people are happy with the image quality you get out of an aged Samsung S7 or even a midrange ASUS Zenfone 5 (US$350). For better pictures, now most people prefer to completely skip over point and shoots, and head straight to a dedicated DSLR quality anyway.

      1. I didn’t say I expected it to be a phone, and it’s not a DSLR. It’s a mirrorless camera. I’ll summarize my criticism better:

        Its going to be rather bulky (for a mirrorless camera) with a large lens mount protruding off the front of it. This was a result of choosing Canon EF mount.

        Another criticism I’ll add (because I was curious about potential lens selection) is that it will be a little expensive to get some of the more common lenses for this thing.

        As an example, a 50mm (normal length) fast prime lens is one of the most common lenses in anyone’s camera bag. One of the most used lenses on the planet. With a Micro four thirds sensor, you will actually want a 25mm lens to achieve the same focal length. Well in Canon’s lineup, a 25mm lens is marketed as a “wide angle” lens, and being more niche, it costs $500-1500 depending on the model.

        There is no way in hell I would ever buy a low end camera when a fast Prime normal lens STARTS at $500. I would buy a camera like this if I could also pick up a 25mm f1.8 lens for like $200-250.

        Had they gone with a Micro four thirds mount, you could get a Panasonic f1.7 or Olympus f1.8 25mm for $250. And you have much more interesting options available, like some f0.95 25mm lenses.

        1. Hmm, I see your criticism.
          Although your second point holds more water.

          The portability is a non-issue. Even if the camera itself was tiny/non-protruding…this makes no difference to the portability if the lenses are huge. It’s like complaining about a Gaming Laptop is larger than usual, and forgetting about the power brick which you must take with you.

          Realistically, there’s not much point in getting this, or a mirrorless, or point and shoot. A phone can take really good photos these days. And for anything better, if you’re forced to take an extra camera a DSLR is the more logical camera to bring. As an analogy; it’s akin to owning a phablet, a large tablet, and an ultrabook. I find that when a phablet is inadequate, a tablet (half-measure) isn’t a better alternative than just bringing an ultrabook (full-measure).

          1. When you say that there’s no point to getting a camera like this, when phones take such good pictures, it’s obvious that you just don’t have the need for something like this. Which is fine, because you’re right, cameras on phones are fantastic these days. They just can’t do many things.

            It’s a hobby and an art for some people. Lens interchangeability is a valuable thing for those people. Being stuck with a single focal length (usually a very wide angle on most phones) and no manual controls makes phone cameras very limited in their use.

            And I think my complaint about portability will make more sense when you see how bulky this camera actually is. If you look carefully at that picture in the article, the lens on that camera is the Canon 14mm f2.8 II USM ($2k lens, btw) and only half if that is actually the lens, the rest of that cylindrical shape is actually the camera. And that is a small lens, compared to many others.

            If someone put a zoom lens on this thing, its length would be absurd.

          2. Yes, but I don’t think you got the gist of what I was saying.

            Use a very portable phone for good photos. Use a decently large DSLR for excellent photos.
            …why bother carrying a moderately large mirrorless camera/pointnshoot for great photos?

            You’re not getting much better quality photos than a phone, but it is still costing you a lot in terms of portability. The only rational reason I can think of getting a pointnshoot or mirrorless these days is if you either can’t afford a DSLR, or if you dont/can’t upgrade your smartphone (ie iPhone 6S Plus or worse).

  2. Think about how long you own a camera. Does it make any sense to use Android (especially an out of date version)? My Nikon is already 5 years old. I doubt I would want a 5-7 year old OS which can connect to the internet running on it. The thing would end up being part of a botnet.

    1. You bring up a good point. That being said, this camera could help me get business. I could package a small number of web/social media ready photos to be available during a game and send the rest of the pictures to my clients in a few days after culling and editing. If the camera is cheap enough, it could be worth it to me. I have tried downloading photos to my ipad and then uploading to social media, but that takes too long during a game.

    2. A newer OS is likely to have more security flaws rather than less, its just that they haven’t been discovered yet – although I appreciate the point it us useful to have an OS that is still supported by the developer.

      But they have gone so close to a phone why not just put in a sim slot and Bluetooth earphones, so you use it as a phone as well and you could leave your mobile at home!

  3. Sounds good! Android is a nice totally 100% lag free high performance real-time system with extremely modest hardware requirements and great usability in photography use, unlike the custom software everyone else uses.

  4. Camera McCameraface?

    I am a little confused. It has a Panny m43 sensor but supports Canon lenses? Is there some sort of lens adapter or it has a Canon mount?

    1. Adapting Canon lenses is a big thing in the mirrorless camera world. Sony, Fuji, Panasonic, and Olympus can all mount and autofocus Canon lenses with an adapter. Sony being the best, with 100% full performance, matching or beating the lens’ performance on Canon’s own cameras.

  5. This camera intrigues me. I photograph local youth sports in my hometown. The kids and parents are willing to wait a few days for the “good” photos, but I get requests to send low rez photos right after the game for team websites and social media. This camera could help with that. The problem for me is I am a Nikon shooter. Oh well, Canon kit lenses are not that expensive.

    I look forward to hearing how much it costs.

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