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Fujifilm X-M1 compared to X-E1

  • Exposure mode dial and modal control dials in place of shutter speed and exposure compensation
  • No eye-level viewfinder
  • No mechanical cable release option
  • No microphone input socket
  • No electronic level gauge
  • No AE-L/AF-L button (but available on Fn)
  • No focus mode switch (set via Q menu)
  • Fewer film simulation modes (Provia/Standard, Velvia/Vivid, Astia/Soft, B+W and Sepia only)
  • Tilting rear screen, 920k dot 3:2 (vs 460k dot 4:3)
  • Direct movie record button
  • Face detect and subject tracking autofocus
  • Improved focus control in movie mode (fixed/continuous/manual)

Design Differences

The X-M1 is a very different camera from the next model up in the range, the retro-styled X-E1. Here we take a detailed look at how the two cameras compare.

From the front it's immediately clear just how much smaller the X-M1 is, compared to the X-E1. The two cameras do share an obvious family resemblance though.
From the back the differences are more extreme. The X-M1 has no eye-level viewfinder, but uses a tilting screen instead. The four-way controller gives direct access to key functions, so that despite the X-M1's fewer buttons it doesn't give up too much control. It doesn't have dedicated AE-L /AF-L or metering mode buttons, but gains a movie record button (dedicated stills shooters may be disappointed that this can't be reassigned or inactivated).
At first glance the top layout is very similar between the two cameras, but while both have two top-plate dials, they have very different functions. Instead of the X-E1's shutter speed and aperture dials, the X-M1 has an exposure mode dial and and modal control dial - an approach that's likely to be instantly familiar to anyone who's used a modern camera.

The X-M1 is a very petite camera - it's not the smallest APS-C mirrorless model out there, but it may just be the smallest that offers proper two-dial control. Below we're putting its size into perspective by placing it alongside other cameras of interest.

Size compared to Canon EOS 100D (Rebel SL1) and EOS M

Canon EOS 100D + EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, Fujifilm X-M1 + XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS, Canon EOS M + EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

Here's the Fujifilm X-M1 sitting in between the smallest SLR on the market, the Canon EOS 100D, and one of the smallest APS-C mirrorless models, the Canon EOS M. The X-M1 is much more compact than the SLR, despite having about the same size sensor and if anything, slightly more external control. It's not so much larger than the EOS M, either, despite having a vastly more photographer-friendly control layout.

Size compared to Fujifilm X-E1 and X-Pro1

Fujifilm X-E1 + XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS, Fujifilm X-M1 + XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6, Fujifilm X-Pro1 + XF 35mm F1.4 R

Here's the X-M1 in between the other X-system models, the X-E1 and X-Pro1. It's very much smaller than the latter, and we suspect one or two X-Pro1 owners may well eye it up as a more portable backup that can still use their XF lenses and offer the same image quality. It's also significantly more compact than the X-E1 - which itself isn't exactly huge.

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Comments

Total comments: 217
12
rsf3127
By rsf3127 (Sep 17, 2013)

I don't get all the hype about these fuji cameras. The image samples look dull, mushy, without contrast and unsharp when compared to NEX and the 100D either in RAW or JPEG. The ergonomy is ok and the build quality is nice, but this does not compensate for the IQ problem.

6 upvotes
AndreaV
By AndreaV (Sep 17, 2013)

Well, I own a Fuji x-Pro1 and a Sony NEX-5... the quality of the Fuji is definitely superior (most of all at high ISO) and I would say is on par with at least some FF cameras (I compared with a friend's Nikon D600) and with my Canon 1D mark III. Have you ever tried to use one of these Fujis yourself?

14 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Sep 17, 2013)

That is probably why dpreview have scored the iq higher than any of the examples you have given. They must be utterly incompetent. Either that or you are.

10 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Sep 17, 2013)

I think a lot people put large emphasis on high ISO.

But I agree that at low ISO it does come a bit short compared to most of its peers, due the X-Trans design. A bit softer RAW files (for which you can partially compensate), a bit mushy greens in general due to the different color filters and moiré problems with diagonal lines (see test charts). And even at high ISO, you should substract about half a stop from indicated ISO's compared to most of its peers for the camera being a bit too optimistic in this regard.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Sep 17, 2013)

Quite a few stories are suggesting that the most widespread tools (Adobe, etc.) don't process the RAW files nearly as well as they could. From what I read, Iridient seems to do the best job by far. If dpr is using Adobe, that could be a problem.

3 upvotes
Northgrove
By Northgrove (Sep 17, 2013)

Agreed, I strongly recommend professionals to look at the RAW import. There's quite a difference especially with this new X-Trans technology. Here's a DPReview user who has compared Lightroom 4.4 with Iridient 2.1.1 output, clearly showing the better clarity with Iridient: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51732276?image=3

3 upvotes
mas54
By mas54 (Sep 17, 2013)

The IQ from my x100s is as good as it gets. Where have you seen prints from these cameras? I can make a 40x60 that is sharp all the way to the corners.
Contrast? That comes during processing.

1 upvote
AlpCns2
By AlpCns2 (Sep 17, 2013)

The "IQ problem" got the Gold Award. Odd, isn't it. Or maybe there is no real problem. Ah, choices, choices...

1 upvote
Kali108
By Kali108 (Sep 18, 2013)

The Fuji "hype" for me is...having the IQ of a Nikon D600 (I've now sold mine) in a small, light weight package. Allowing me to get images from subjects I would not get otherwise, due to the intimidation factor, etc of a larger DLSR / lens combo.
Also, now I have this IQ potential with me every single day. No way I would carry a D600 kit with me at all times. Fuji makes this a joy.

I understand why dpreview needs to use standardized tests, yet unfortunately, this results in veiling the IQ potential of the x trans sensor. Iridient Developer, C1P7 or the free supplied SilkyPix do not suffer from "mushy" greens and certainly not any lack of detail resolution.

Is the Fuji perfect? Of course not, nor is my D800 or Mamiya RZ67 ProII with a Leaf Aptus 33MP digital back.

My Fuji XP1 (with the incredible 14mm, 23mm soon, 35mm, 60mm lenses) is my favorite photographic tool. Period.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Asylum Photo
By Asylum Photo (Sep 18, 2013)

Like every other camera, there's pros and cons. One system might fit your needs, while another doesn't. Yet both systems could very well be high quality.

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Sep 18, 2013)

I'm not knocking the Fuji high ISO IQ, but it's clearly doing NR even on RAW. They have not overcome the laws of physics and have not discovered miracle low noise sensor and associated electronics.

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Sep 17, 2013)

It takes photo's as good as the x-pro1 so the gold award is deserved.

8 upvotes
Total comments: 217
12