X-E1 vs X-M1 for novice

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
vargan8
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X-E1 vs X-M1 for novice
8 months ago

I currently have the hx9v and looking to upgrade to a mirror less. I mostly shoot when i travel, and at times this involves low light indoor and outdoor.

At first, I wanted to upgrade to NEX6 until I saw somewhere that the X E1 had better image quality at low light/high iso. Now I'm looking at the E1 and M1 but just not sure which to get.

When researching the image quality differences in the X line I found some interesting things:

-some said that M1 and A1 were similar images depending on the type of processing
-others that A1 > M1
-and that M1 little better than E1 due to new sensor

I was able to look at the M1 and E1 bodies, but was not able to power. I was already resigned that this will be much bigger than my current camera, so the size difference isn't an issue.

E1
+ Fells better in hand
+ I like the idea of easily changing manual controls
+ looks nicer
+ better kit glass
+ EVF
- Full manual might not be suited for new user

M1
+ Tilting LCD
+ New sensor
+ Face detection
- no EVF (although haven't had one to use)
- cheaper kit glass
- Not quite as nice looking/feeling

I'm certainly leaning towards the E1, but the one negative thing is a major deterrent, seems most who buy E1 already have full DSLRs and experience.

On the other hand the full manual is precicesly the thing that would make learning it easier.

I have never shot in RAW before, but neither have i edited my photos on the computer. I don't really see myself starting to either, unless i see a good reason to.

Would the E1 be too much of a jump from a P&S? Are there any novices who purchased it? Also at times I will have to had the camera to someone to shoot, how would this work out?

Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-M1 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V
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darngooddesign
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Re: X-E1 vs X-M1 for novice
In reply to vargan8, 8 months ago

I haven't had a viewfinder since my AE-1 film days, but after a week of owning my X100 I would not consider buying a camera without at least an EVF. I enjoy it so much that I would choose a smaller fixed LCD over a larger tilting one just to get a viewfinder.

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Lisa O
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Re: X-E1 vs X-M1 for novice
In reply to vargan8, 8 months ago

X-M1  and X-E1 have the X trans sensor like the other X models. The X-E1 is a great bargain now with the 18-55 lens. The X-A1 has a different sensor.

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guitarjeff
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Re: X-E1 vs X-M1 for novice
In reply to Lisa O, 8 months ago

Not sure where you are getting that the X-M1 has a newr sensor, they have the EXACT SAME sensor.  Image quuality is EXACTLY the same.  What the XM-1 has is the faster processor, and that's it.  It does not have the new focus system pixelsadded to the sensor like the new X-E2.  So the XM-1 will shoot faster in continuous shooting, but there is no other difference, the sensors are the same and you get the Same IQ.

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lapiz
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Re: X-E1 vs X-M1 for novice
In reply to guitarjeff, 8 months ago

I shoot with both and normally carry both with different lenses on. The images are identical.

I bought the XE first but as I got more than 3 lenses for it I needed another body and I took to the XM right away - its quite a bit smaller which I like if I'm carrying a few lenses and more than one body. The tilt screen is very useful if you want to be discrete or doing macro or waist level shots.

The manual controls on the XE are a bit better and faster and the viewfinder is great when you have the opportunity to shoot a lot of pics and can have the camera to your eye.

I like both cameras equally for different reasons and if I was new to the system my choice in buying in would totally depend on price and what lens came with it. A lot of people will be selling their X cameras now to get the XT so prices for your needs should be very good particularly for the M.

Get a good lens tho.

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wyldberi
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Re: X-E1 vs X-M1 for novice
In reply to vargan8, 8 months ago

vargan8 wrote:

I currently have the hx9v and looking to upgrade to a mirror less. I mostly shoot when i travel, and at times this involves low light indoor and outdoor.

At first, I wanted to upgrade to NEX6 until I saw somewhere that the X E1 had better image quality at low light/high iso. Now I'm looking at the E1 and M1 but just not sure which to get.

When researching the image quality differences in the X line I found some interesting things:

-some said that M1 and A1 were similar images depending on the type of processing
-others that A1 > M1
-and that M1 little better than E1 due to new sensor

I was able to look at the M1 and E1 bodies, but was not able to power. I was already resigned that this will be much bigger than my current camera, so the size difference isn't an issue.

E1
+ Fells better in hand
+ I like the idea of easily changing manual controls
+ looks nicer
+ better kit glass
+ EVF
- Full manual might not be suited for new user

M1
+ Tilting LCD
+ New sensor
+ Face detection
- no EVF (although haven't had one to use)
- cheaper kit glass
- Not quite as nice looking/feeling

I'm certainly leaning towards the E1, but the one negative thing is a major deterrent, seems most who buy E1 already have full DSLRs and experience.

On the other hand the full manual is precicesly the thing that would make learning it easier.

I have never shot in RAW before, but neither have i edited my photos on the computer. I don't really see myself starting to either, unless i see a good reason to.

Would the E1 be too much of a jump from a P&S? Are there any novices who purchased it? Also at times I will have to had the camera to someone to shoot, how would this work out?

One of the biggest features of the Fuji cameras is the inclusion of the manual controls. They allow the photographer to take complete technical and artistic control of his tool. That's when the controls are set to full manual.

The Fuji cameras also have the same automatic and programmable features that most other cameras have. There is a shutter priority mode, an aperture priority mode, and an ISO priority mode. Or, you might choose to manually set the shutter and aperture controls, and let the camera calculate which would be the best ISO setting - that can be the only exposure control that is left on automatic. Likewise, you can use the autofocus features, or decide you want to control the focus manually; and there are features such as focus peaking that makes that easier. If you need to hand your camera to someone to take your picture with, it's a simple matter to set the controls to put the camera into fully automatic mode and turn it into an expensive point and shoot with spectacular optics.

As far as being a newcomer to photography goes, you've identified a key advantage to having a camera with manual controls. These allow a person to select the shutter speed or aperture, change those values, and then get instant feedback on what the changed setting does. Instead of adding complexity, it actually helps a person learn the basics of photography; there is no need to go searching through confusing menus to locate the controls that govern those settings. Manual controls allow you to keep your attention focused on the subject you're shooting.

Most of the more expensive cameras today permit the photographer to shoot in raw format. It's a choice that works for some; but not a choice that's forced upon them. Like the other major brands, Fuji cameras allow you to shoot in RAW only; or in JPEG only; or in both RAW and JPEG at the same time. As for image quality, the JPEG images the Fuji cameras produce are excellent; most likely best in class of any camera made today. Many professional photographers have switched from shooting only RAW, to delivering at least some of the Fuji JPEG's directly to their clients.

Myself, when I shoot RAW files, I use the RAW + JPEG mode. This permits me to use the JPEG's to quickly sort and delete the RAW files I don't want to use. This saves a lot of time and needless work.

I like the EVF on my X-E1 a lot. It has a diopter setting that permits me to use the viewfinder without wearing my glasses if I choose. Since I most frequently wear prescription sunglasses outside during the day, taking my glasses off to shoot is a normal thing for me.

The output files from the X-M1 & X-E1 are both excellent. For my money, if the X-E1 feels and handles better when you hold it, that's certainly an important factor to consider. Add to that the discount prices available on the X-E1 + 18-55mm zoom, and it's a pretty sweet deal. Also, you're correct, the XF 18-55mm lens is considerably better in several respects to the XC 16-50mm.

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vargan8
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Re: X-E1 vs X-M1 for novice
In reply to lapiz, 8 months ago

The first lens I intend to get is the XF 35mm.

And considering that its cheaper to buy a kit and that E1 has comes with a better kit lens, another reason I'm leaning toward it.

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321estrellas
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Re: X-E1 vs X-M1 for novice
In reply to vargan8, 8 months ago

If you're looking to replace your P&S, maybe the X-M1 is for you. It's compact and geared towards the consumer audience, but still has similar functionality and quality as higher end bodies. Seems like the only advantage the X-E1 has is the viewfinder, which if it doesn't matter to you, then is probably not a factor.

Nothing wrong with a big jump from P&S to X-E1 or even DSLR. Before the mirrorless craze, it seems like P&S and DSLR were the only options so many of us had to make the big jump at some point. Full manual can be done on both X-E1 and X-M1, just handled a bit differently. Same principles will apply no matter what camera you use.

The bodies alone, right now, are probably about the same price -- that is, new X-M1 and used X-E1. Personally, I went with the X-M1 because size/weight was a major factor for me. I have a DSLR if I need all the bells and whistles. In addition, the X-M1 has a newer processor, tilting screen, and coming from the EOS M, the lack of viewfinder didn't bother me either (although, ironically, when I opened up my X-M1 for the first time and tried to take a picture, my eye naturally went up close as if there was a viewfinder...same thing happened when I first opened my EOS M! Haha. But I quickly adjusted).

Try out both cameras again and hopefully to a place that will let you power them on. I've never held an X-E1 so I don't know the button/layout/feel differences but try it all if you can.

Honestly, I don't think you can go wrong with either camera!

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321estrellas
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Re: X-E1 vs X-M1 for novice
In reply to vargan8, 8 months ago

Shortly after I pressed post, I did some reading and wound up here:

http://www.cameradebate.com/2013/fujifilm-x-m1-vs-x-e1-vs-x-pro1/

Its comparisons might help you with your decision making

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jeremyclarke
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Re: X-E1 vs X-M1 for novice
In reply to vargan8, 8 months ago

vargan8 wrote:

The first lens I intend to get is the XF 35mm.

And considering that its cheaper to buy a kit and that E1 has comes with a better kit lens, another reason I'm leaning toward it.

The lens you'll get with the X-E1 is way better which is a huge factor, especially because currently the kit lens is effectively on a huge discount because the discontinued X-E1 body is dragging the kit's price down like an anchor. Right now the 18-55 is the bestlens that Fuji makes! (though it won't be once the 2.8 constant aperture zooms are released )

Since you're not used to DSLRs I'll point out that the difference between f/3.5-5.6 and f/2.8-4 seems small, but is actually an enormous improvement. Among Canon lenses such an improvement could easily be a $500 price difference between two lenses (in which case you'd also get a huge improvement in the rest of the lens optics, which is the same with the two Fuji lenses, the XF version is not just faster, it's considered sharper and faster-to-focus too).

All that said, if possible it would be good for you to try both cameras powered on before deciding. The X-M1 doesn't have dials specifically dedicated to shutter speed or exposure compensation, but it does have two dials that should give really good manual control, so you won't be trapped in auto mode with either camera. Most other MILCs have similar "generic" dials that have different functions in different contexts, and as all the important info will be visible on the LCD you can still teach yourself about manual camera operation.

The big difference is the EVF v. tiltable LCD, which might come down to preference. You also shouldn't write off the benefit of face detection, as the "multi" autofocus mode on the X-E1 (i.e. let the camera guess a focus spot instead of specifying it manually) is considered near-useless by most users.

The X-E1 allows auto mode, but IMHO it truly is a camera designed for people who want to not only have manual control, but to think about it and grok it whenever they use the camera. Sure you can set it to auto and hand it to someone, but you'll probably want to change as many as 4 different settings first (set aperture to auto, set shutter to auto, set ISO to auto and set AF to "multi"). That's a far cry from slamming a mode dial to "Auto" and passing it over, but it's the cost of using a camera that is fully optimized for manual usage.

Personally I love the way the X-E1 looks and feels, and as a photo nerd it hits all my buttons, but if I didn't know about the many relationships between ISO/shutter/aperture/exp-comp and didn't want to study them, it would not be the right camera for me.

Sidenote: It's fun to notice how many X-E1 enthusiasts out there seem to be 50+ years old. It definitely appeals to the people who started shooting before automatic/digital cameras were any good

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wyldberi
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Re: X-E1 vs X-M1 for novice
In reply to jeremyclarke, 8 months ago

jeremyclarke wrote:

Sidenote: It's fun to notice how many X-E1 enthusiasts out there seem to be 50+ years old. It definitely appeals to the people who started shooting before automatic/digital cameras were any good

Why, hell, son, every time I pick up a camera I invariably push the thing up to my right eye expecting to encounter a viewfinder of some sort. Force of habit; 50 years of practice has a way of ingraining certain actions into our nervous systems. Can't tell you how many times I've picked up those annoying P&S cameras and felt confused for a few seconds while I searched around and remembered that things change, and most people today probably don't have a clue as to what an actual viewfinder is or what it's for.

Thank heaven's for Fuji. They've reinvented the wheel -- I mean camera. Now I've got a decent viewfinder to look through. Not to mention dials to turn, and rings on the lens barrel that actually DO something!

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vargan8
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Re: X-E1 vs X-M1 for novice
In reply to vargan8, 6 months ago

Thank you for all your replies. I know it's been some time, but I wanted to learn a bit more before making a buy. To do this I decided to watch an introductory class by John Greengo, which is very good. He is experienced at photography and teaching, and does a fantastic job at it.

Unfortunately, learning more also raised a few questions, and I was hoping the knowledgeable people here could help.

I heard on a youtube video that the histogram on fuji doesn't accurately display in manual. I have some trouble understanding this. When I set my p&s to manual and have an incorrect shutter, this is clear on the histogram, and each change in a stop will be reflected on it. Is this not how a Fuji works? (the video 22:40) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOaw-93F-wo . If the histogram in Fuji doesn't work right, it might not be the right one for an amateur anyway.

I've read somewhere that to get the most out of the dynamic range processing (something about color?), you need to use 200 iso+. Is this the case?  How does this effect trying to shoot wide aperture in bright light?

Are there any type of lens it would be worth giving up the X mount support for?  Would a macro be good, as you don't the AF, but the IS might be useful.  Macro is probably the last lens I would get though.

Do you guys use UV filters for protection?  If you do, could you say when you take them off to shoot?  The two potential times I can think of is to avoid glare from lights, and times you want to see reflections in the water of trees/sky etc.

I'm basically leaning towards Fuji because it should be able to get shallower depth of field, and low light performance.  The company is also better regarded in build quality than almost any other out there.  However these factors may mean very little in practice.  Are there any Fuji owners who also have a M4/3?  How do they compare in the high iso/depth of field departments?

I'm just trying to consider all the angles before buying a camera.

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jeremyclarke
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Re: X-E1 vs X-M1 for novice
In reply to vargan8, 6 months ago

vargan8 wrote:

I heard on a youtube video that the histogram on fuji doesn't accurately display in manual. I have some trouble understanding this. When I set my p&s to manual and have an incorrect shutter, this is clear on the histogram, and each change in a stop will be reflected on it. Is this not how a Fuji works? (the video 22:40) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOaw-93F-wo . If the histogram in Fuji doesn't work right, it might not be the right one for an amateur anyway.

This was a super awkward issue in the original firmware of the X-Pro1 and X-E1 that has since been fixed for both cameras. What happened was the histogram reflected what was shown on screen, but in manual mode the screen was configured to show you a useful rather than accurate image by boosting the "gain" when your settings were too dark for framing/composition. This meant that the histogram was useless and misleading in manual because it would always seem good since the system was auto-configuring it. Now there is a setting to enable/disable the auto-gain feature, it's called "PREVIEW EXP IN MANUAL". If it's on then manual mode will show you what you'll get in the final image even if it's blackness and the histogram will match.

FWIW in all cases even before the fix the histogram in review mode worked, so you could check your photo after taking it and see accurate details.

I doubt the X-M1 is affected by this bug, but I'm not sure about that. A quick search implies it might not have the same fix as the X-E1 now does.

I've read somewhere that to get the most out of the dynamic range processing (something about color?), you need to use 200 iso+. Is this the case? How does this effect trying to shoot wide aperture in bright light?

The base ISO on these cameras is 200. That's how they were built to be used. There's almost no noise at 200 so 100 is pretty unnecessary and the whole exposure system assumes that 100 will be used for DR management rather than as a user-selectable option. If you absolutely need 100 you forfeit some esoteric amount of DR correction you would normally get, and I think you are also forced to shoot JPG (not sure about that one).

Either way it probably won't have a significant effect on your photos, you should focus on other concerns and only optimize such issues after you've chosen a camera.

Are there any type of lens it would be worth giving up the X mount support for? Would a macro be good, as you don't the AF, but the IS might be useful. Macro is probably the last lens I would get though.

Again not sure what you mean. Maybe you mean lenses not available for X mount currently? If so the main missing pieces are super-long telephoto lenses (max 200mm in XF and 220mm in the cheaper XC) and long macros (the only one being the famously awkward 60mm macro).

I'm basically leaning towards Fuji because it should be able to get shallower depth of field, and low light performance. The company is also better regarded in build quality than almost any other out there. However these factors may mean very little in practice. Are there any Fuji owners who also have a M4/3? How do they compare in the high iso/depth of field departments?

I don't own an mft camera but I almost bought one before coming back to fuji for the DoF control. The reality is that the depth of field difference is significant between the two sensor sizes, and if you crave bokeh you'll end up spending a lot on very fast lenses for mft when you could have used more average ones on Fuji/Sony/APS-C.

This article explains it fairly well:

http://diglloyd.com/blog/2013/20130724_3-MFT-lens-size.html

Their examples are kind of crazy because they end up implying f stops that just aren't practical in AF lenses, but you get the idea. You'll lose about a full stop of dof control on the shallow end with mft, and if anything you'll find less fast lenses than for Fuji (who's default normal prime is f/1.4 and who's kit is a full stop faster than Olympus').

Noise is potentially more subjective but ultimately there's no real contest. Fuji, Olympus and Panasonic all have excellent sensor designs that make the most of the hardware and all have good noise performance, but Fuji's is way bigger, so they have the edge. You can read fights all day between people who think the Fuji sensors are magically better and those who think Fuji users are delusional, but in the end you can probably just take for granted that with a Fuji sensor you get less noise than MFT, and if you decided to go for full frame Canon/Nikon you'd get to the next level (though of course trading a million other things that mft/Fuji have in common).

I find that even at ISO 6400 my X-E1 makes images where the noise isn't the first thing you notice and that makes me very satisfied with my purchase. I don't hear mft people saying the equivalent, though most of them feel that noise performance is great on their camera either way.

I'm just trying to consider all the angles before buying a camera.

Don't forget autofocus. If there's one thing I find the X-E1 still sucks at it's AF, where it regularly refuses to lock on to subjects unless they have just the right kind of contrast. I end up using manual focus a lot, and actually prefer my legacy MF lenses a bit because at least they're optimized for it (though they are very annoying in other ways of course).

I'm not sure if the X-M1 is better in this regard or not (i think it's a bit better), but I'm 90% sure a new Olympus or Panasonic would win at AF almost every time.

Good luck!

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vargan8
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Re: X-E1 vs others for novice
In reply to jeremyclarke, 6 months ago

Unfortunately, I have really no experience with focus. I would always use auto-multi on p&s and it is usually pretty quick. When i choose center and point at something with a line it's still quick, but if choose something bland, it has trouble. But I do not know how fast a Fuji or a DSLR is in comparison.

I don't really do sports, but there will be situations I will want to shoot moving subjects. Some type of performers/musicians both indoor/out; and shooting out of different types of moving water crafts. Maybe some bird/animal/bigfoot shots too but I doubt I'll be tracking fast movement. I didn't think i needed to worry about really fast focus, but I might be wrong.

The second major disadvantage imo is the display. It doesn't come out for convenience, is a bit on the weak side in terms of dpi/size, and it doesn't like to be touched.

3rd point is it lack of other useful tools like face detection and wifi. These would be used least and more of a convenience factor.

It's good to hear that the histogram 'issue' isn't a problem, and it makes sense now that the ISO 200 is the base.

It certainly seems like the noise levels of this camera are low. A lot of reviewers were impressed with the results of their tests. It appears to produce the closest results in high ISO compared to full frame camera. This, the build quality, and the classic controls are what really attracted me to it.

Now the really hard part, the color :P. How much more unobtrusive is the black? The silver XE is so sexy but will it stand out too much? Also read in a review that the black wore off a bit on the shutter and the corners, so another point for the silver

The reason i was considering other brand lens is price, nothing to do with the glass Fuji has available. The Fuji 60mm macro lens is around $6oo. I think in macro, manual focus is more useful anyway, so one might not need AF for a macro. Would it be worth getting a lens via adapter if its much cheaper.

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Rachmaninoff2
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Re: X-E1 vs X-M1 for novice
In reply to vargan8, 6 months ago

I own the x100s and just bought the X-E1. Shooting with an EVF is such a wonderful experience.

Also, you CAN shoot X-E1 on full auto. But it also makes it easier to progress.

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dmaclau
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It's the finder
In reply to vargan8, 6 months ago

Each camera is quite good.  The difference in the "old" vs new sensor is insignificant.  The X-E1 has a viewfinder, the X-M1 a tilting LCD but no viewfinder.

I have an X-100 and an X-M1.  I enjoy the tilting LCD for close to the ground shots.  I don't have to get down on the ground, (I'm 70).  Although that's a real convenience...I seriously think I would change it for a viewfinder and take my chances getting back up.

Each camera will be good for you.  They each will be easy to learn and to use.  I believe that the X-E1 has more features.

I bought the X-M1 to use with one specific lens and I was looking for small size and small price.

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William Ing
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Re: It's the finder
In reply to dmaclau, 6 months ago

dmaclau wrote:

Each camera is quite good. The difference in the "old" vs new sensor is insignificant. The X-E1 has a viewfinder, the X-M1 a tilting LCD but no viewfinder.

I have an X-100 and an X-M1. I enjoy the tilting LCD for close to the ground shots. I don't have to get down on the ground, (I'm 70). Although that's a real convenience...I seriously think I would change it for a viewfinder and take my chances getting back up.

Each camera will be good for you. They each will be easy to learn and to use. I believe that the X-E1 has more features.

I bought the X-M1 to use with one specific lens and I was looking for small size and small price.

I live in a rural, rather isolated community in South Dakota, so have never had the chance to see up close, let alone handle, any of the X-series cameras other than the X-M1, which I researched online and then mailordered. So I'm not in a position to make comparisons about the handling characteristics of the two cameras.

There's one thing I need to point out, however. Too often the X-M1/-A1 cameras are dismissed out of hand, or relegated to the status of severely handicapped backup bodies, by dint of the fact that Fuji designed both as viewfinderless bodies.

Yes, it's true there exists no option for a clip-on accessory EVF you can mount atop Fuji's two lowest-end interchangeable lens X-cameras. But that doesn't' mean there isn't a quite feasible workaround for eye level shooting.

Before choosing the X-E1 over the X-M1, you should at least consider the Clearviewer accessory viewfinder. For my money, the CV offers multiple advantages over other accessories such as shoe-mounted optical viewfinders or tube-shaped optical loupes that must be held over the LCD or clipped into place via a metal frame.

While I'll be the first to concede the CV doesn't hold the answer for everyone, nor does it claim to perform all the functions of a proper EVF, this low-tech, relatively low cost accessory does make it quite easy to use the X-M1 for eye level shooting, normally a daunting task for a viewfinderless body WRT to telephoto and telephoto zooms, and especially MF legacy lenses.

I won't attempt to include here any detailed arguments in favor of the CV, except to say that the accessory is almost permanently attached, via the tripod socket, to my X-M1, and that it has enormously increased the overall versatility of that camera, as far as I'm concerned.

Anyone seeking further information should consult the CV Website <clearviewer.com>

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