Our latest test scene simulates both daylight and low-light shooting. Pressing the 'lighting' buttons at the top of the widget switches between the two. The daylight scene is manually white balanced to give neutral grays, but the camera is left in its Auto setting for the low-light tests. Raw files are manually corrected. We offer three different viewing sizes: 'Full', 'Print', and 'Comp', with the latter two offering 'normalized' comparisons by using matched viewing sizes. The 'Comp' option chooses the largest-available resolution common to the cameras being compared.

The JPEG engine produces JPEGs that are full of nice detail but some of the finer detail tends to get a bit muddled as it appears that they are applying larger radius sharpening during JPEG processing. The colors that the M1's JPEG engine produces aren't quite as vibrant as those seen in the E-PL7. The yellows and reds in particular aren't quite as punchy.

In terms of noise reduction the M1's JPEG engine takes a fairly lazy approach, leaving behind a lot of noise and generally not balancing detail retention and noise reduction as well as the Olympus with its context-sensitive approach. Color noise can be problematic with the M1, particularly at and beyond ISO 1600, although it starts to become evident by ISO 800 compared to the Olympus. It's also worth mentioning that the M1's JPEG engine also doesn't completely eliminate all of the color aliasing.

The M1's Raw performance is quite good. If you compare its images shot at ISO 3200 to an ISO 200 shot taken at the same exposure and pushed 4EV, you see very little difference, which demonstrates the camera is adding very little electronic noise (it's nearly ISO-invariant). You can push the Raw files to around +2EV with minimal problems. As you can see in this comparison the M1 performs well, similarly to the class leading Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mk II. Essentially, there's plenty of latitude in the M1 Raw files for pulling data up out of the shadows. Low light Raw performance isn't quite as good as the competition, with the M1 falling behind at higher ISOs. Additionally, the aliasing seen in the M1's Raw images is quite a bit stronger than that exhibited by the Olympus.

Overall the YI M1 has some very nice Raw performance, especially in terms of Raw DR. It's worth noting however, that the Raw files are quite large as it doesn't appear that the M1 is doing any sort of Raw compression, so that's something to keep in mind if you plan to shoot Raw on a continuous basis. The sharpening in the JPEGs yields fairly nice details, although some of the finer detail is a bit muddled at times due to larger radius sharpening. The overall JPEG performance was somewhat lackluster in terms of noise reduction, color saturation and vibrancy.