Fujifilm X-M1 Review
In-camera Raw conversion
One very nice feature on the X-M1 is its built-in Raw conversion - something we wish every camera had. In playback mode you simply select a Raw image and then select what you want to change, like so:
|The Raw conversion feature lets you adjust eleven different parameters. You won't be able to see the results until you hit the 'Q' button, though.|
The parameters that you can adjust include push/pull processing (AKA exposure compensation), dynamic range, Film Simulation mode, white balance, WB shift, color, sharpness, highlight tone, shadow tone, and noise reduction.
While you won't see the changes you've made immediately - which isn't a huge deal, since the thumbnail is so small - you will have a chance to review the results before saving the processed image as a JPEG.
One minor annoyance with this feature occurs when you want to convert more than one Raw image. Once the camera creates the JPEG it displays that image, so if you want to go back to the Raw image you were working on, you have to scroll all the way back.
The X-M1 is the first X-series camera to offer wireless connectivity with the help of Fuji's Camera App. You can transfer photos from your camera to your mobile device, and then forward them to friends via social networking or e-mail. You can also have photos automatically saved to your PC. Your smartphone can also provide location information that can be embedded in the EXIF data of your pictures. One thing you cannot do - which is a disappointing - is control the camera from your smartphone.
While the camera and smartphone pair effortlessly using an ad hoc connection, actually using the wireless features can be frustrating. If you want to select one image to send to your phone, you must choose it in advance, press the Wi-Fi button, select the appropriate menu option, open the app on your smartphone, and hit connect. It's smarter to select a bunch of images in advance and let all of them transfer at once.
Perhaps a better way to get your photos from camera to smartphone is to use the 'view and obtain images on smartphone' function. This allows your smartphone to see the images stored on the camera's memory card, and pick which ones are transferred over. You can transfer full size or downsized (3 megapixel) images.
Another thing you can do with your smartphone is geotagging, though the implementation is clunky. First you must load up Camera App and tell it to record your location, which it can do for up to 99 minutes. You'll want to send the location data to your camera prior to taking photos, as this information cannot be added retroactively. The main issue with the geotagging is that you must re-sync the app and the camera every time you change locations. This method certainly saves a lot of battery life (since Wi-Fi is used sparingly), but unless you're good about syncing the location data, you're not going to get very accurate results.
Fuji makes a 'lite' version of their Camera App called Photo Receiver. This does just as it sounds: it receives images that you've selected on the camera. There's no browsing or geotagging functionality.
One last thing you can do with Wi-Fi is automatically save images to your PC or Mac. The camera and computer must be connected to the same wireless network, with the PC Auto Save software installed on the latter. Despite the 'Auto' in the name of the feature, photos aren't actually transferred as you taken them. Rather, they are sent over in one batch via a menu option in playback mode.
The X-M1 can record videos at 1920 x 1080 (30 fps) with stereo sound for up to 14 minutes. If you don't mind a lower resolution, a 720/30p option is also available, with a maximum recording time of 27 minutes. Taking a movie is easy: just press the 'red button' on the back of the camera.
The camera can focus continuously while recording movies, though there's no subject tracking feature. If you lens has image stabilization, you'll be able to take advantage of it. While you can use any of the Film Simulation modes when recording movies, the Advanced Filters are not available.
In most shooting modes, recording movies is a point-and-shoot affair. However, if you put the camera into Aperture Priority or Full Manual mode, you'll be able to adjust the aperture to your liking.
All three of the samples below were taken with the 16-50mm kit lens.
This outdoor sample shows smooth motion, though subjects are on the soft side. There's also a bit of a 'wobble' here, though it's much worse in the next example.
|1920x1080/30p, 38 Mbps, H.264, 38Mb/sec, 12 sec, 58.3 MB Click here to download original file|
This semi-indoor video was taken with the camera held over the crowd. While you'd expect some camera shake when holding the X-M1 in that position, here it seems a bit excessive.
|1920x1080/30p, 38 Mbps, H.264, 10 sec, 49.9 MB Click here to download original file|
This final sample wasn't intended to demonstrate anything in particular, but it turned out to show very strong moiré in numerous places.
|1920x1080/30p, 38 Mbps, H.264, 13 sec, 63.2 MB Click here to download original file|
Most CMOS-based cameras suffer from at least some rolling shutter. We found that the X-M1 was a bit worse than most recent, comparable cameras, though it's only noticeable when subjects are moving quickly.