Fujifilm X-M1 Review
When Fujifilm introduced its X-system back in January 2012, it took the unusual step of starting out with a top-end professional model - the retro-looking but technologically innovative X-Pro1, which features the company's unique 'hybrid' optical/electronic viewfinder. Nine months later it followed this up with the enthusiast-orientated X-E1, which offers much the same feature set in a smaller body, but makes do with a purely electronic viewfinder. Now, nine months on again, comes the latest model: the distinctly mid-range-looking, miniaturized X-M1.
On the face of it, the X-M1 is a very different camera to its higher-end siblings. Gone are the traditional shutter speed and exposure compensation dials from the top-plate, along with the aperture ring from the new XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS kit zoom. Instead the camera uses a conventional exposure mode dial, along with twin electronic control dials on the top and rear to set exposure parameters. The X-M1 is also the first in the X system to feature a direct movie record button on the back of the camera to initiate recording at any time. In essence it's a thoroughly contemporary design.
Fujifilm X-M1 specification highlights:
- 16MP X-Trans CMOS APS-C sensor, EXR Processor II
- ISO 200-6400, expandable to 100 - 25600
- Up to 5.6 fps continuous shooting
- 0.5 sec startup time
- 1920 x 1080 Full HD movie recording at 30 fps with stereo sound
- Twin control dials, top and rear
- Focus peaking (for setting focus before shooting)
- 920k dot 3-inch 3:2 LCD display - tilts 120° upwards and 80° downwards
- Built-in Wi-Fi for image transfer to mobile device or PC
|The X-M1 uses the same 16.3 megapixel X-Trans CMOS sensor found in Fujifilm's other X system cameras. That's good news, since this sensor has drawn praise from DPReview and photographers alike.|
One thing that the X-M1 has in common with its more expensive siblings is its sensor. We've been impressed with this 16 megapixel X-Trans APS-C CMOS sensor in our reviews of cameras like the X-E1 and X100S, with JPEG quality so high that you rarely need to use Raw. If you want to learn how X-Trans sensors work, head on over to our X-E1 review.
Unlike the other X-system cameras, the X-M1 has no eye-level viewfinder at all, nor any option for a plug-in electronic viewfinder. Instead it uses an articulating rear screen, which is a 3-inch, 3:2 aspect ratio unit with 920k dot resolution. It can tilt to face almost directly downwards for overhead shots, or upwards for waist-level shooting. The X-M1 also has a 'focus peaking' feature that highlights high-contrast edges to assist manual focus.
Fujifilm says the X-M1 is designed to attract a broader range of users than the enthusiast photographers targeted by the X-E1, and it gains an array of features to reflect this. So it offers a full set of scene-based automatic exposure modes, 'Advanced filter' image processing options, along with face detection and subject-tracking autofocus modes. It also offers built-in Wi-Fi for remote control, geotagging, and image sharing with mobile devices. Overall, the X-M1's feature set and form factor places it squarely up against cameras like the Sony NEX-5T and Olympus PEN E-PL5.
The X-M1 is still an X-system camera, of course and retains many of X-E1 and X-Pro1's best features. Most importantly it includes Fujifilm's 'Film Simulation' modes, which we think offer among the most attractive JPEG color rendition of any brand. However it doesn't have as many options as the higher-end models (the ProNeg and filtered monochrome options are omitted).
The X-M1 also offers Fujifilm's 'Super Intelligent Flash', which adjusts flash output according to the shooting situation. This is good news as Fujifilm's cameras have gained a reputation among users of offering especially good flash exposure, particularly for balanced fill-in flash. The built-in flash can also be used as a wireless remote commander for compatible external units.
Other features on offer include Fujifilm's excellent Q-menu for quickly changing key settings, and in-camera Raw conversion (which helps get the most out of the excellent JPEG engine). But inevitably a few features are missing - for example there's no microphone input for movie recording, and disappointingly no electronic level display.
The X-M1 comes in three color schemes; black, silver and brown. The brown version will be available a bit later than the other two - and in some markets will be exclusive to certain retailers. In addition, the two lenses announced at the same time - the XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS and the XF 27mm F2.8 - will be available in black or silver, with the latter color providing a better match to the brown X-M1 in particular.
|The X-M1 comes in brown, black and silver options|
Kit options and pricing
The X-M1 will be sold as a kit with the XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS (described on page 3) in all regions, with an MSRP of $799 / £679 / €799. In the US and Europe, the X-M1 will be also be available body-only for $699 / €679. In some regions other lenses may also be offered as kits, for example the tiny XF 27mm F2.8 or the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4.0 R LM OIS.
If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).
Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.
Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.
To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.
DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.
This article is Copyright 2013 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.
Aug 9, 2016
Jun 14, 2016
May 25, 2016
Feb 24, 2016
Sony's newest G Master telephoto zoom, announced alongside the a9, is the first of the company's FE lenses to reach 400mm natively. We had one in California and photographed horses, portraits, and landscapes - check out how it did. Read more
Garmin has entered the 360-camera market with the VIRB, which captures 5.7K video at 30p as well as 15MP stills. Read more
Join DPReview editors Rishi Sanyal and Carey Rose on Facebook Live as they share their experience and answer your questions about the new Sony a9, Wednesday at 9:30 AM Pacific time. Click here for additional details and time zones
German media reports that the founders of the company behind the Panono 360-degree ball camera have filed for bankruptcy at a court in Berlin. Read more
With a claimed 800 new custom parts, Microsoft's updated Surface Pro comes with the latest Kaby Lake processors, better battery life, a new hinge, plus the Surface Pen is updated as well. Read more
DW Photo is attempting to resurrect the Hy6 medium format camera, though the legal tangles of its development may stop it being branded Rolleiflex.
The Kodak EKTRA, the company's 'camera first' smartphone, is now available to purchase in the United States. Read more
Apple and Nokia have settled their years-old patent dispute. Apple will make an undisclosed payment to Nokia and sign a licensing agreement related to digital health products with the Finnish company.
David Gibson, one of Britain's best known street shooters, shares all.
Photographers from the SKYGLOW project travelled 150k miles and took 3 million photos in increasingly rare locations: those without light pollution.
The world's fastest 200mm was produced for 16 years. In that time, only 8000 were made.
Photokina, the biennial photo industry trade show in Cologne, Germany, has announced that it will become an annual event beginning in 2018, and expand its focus to additional areas of imaging technology. Read more
No mic socket? No problem. In this video, Daniel Peters at Photo Gear News shows you how to make a lapel microphone using just a smartphone and a pair of earbuds.
How does the iPhone 7 Plus stack up against the Arri Alexa cinema camera? Watch this short video to find out.
Canon Australia's video series "The Lab" is designed to make photographers experiment and think outside the box. In the latest video a group of photographers create images based on their sense of taste.
The GH5 is expected to get a firmware update this summer to support 400Mbps internal recording. NewsShooter explores what memory cards you'll need to make it work.
Microsoft's new Surface Pro offers Intel's latest processor generation and improved battery life.
Riding a mountain bike downhill is dangerous enough in daylight, but potentially lethal at night. Which is where drones come in.
Rumors abound that Canon (and maybe Nikon) may produce a mirrorless camera based using their existing DSLR mount. Does this guarantee immediate great lens choice or a perpetually second-rate experience? Read more
According to rumors, the next camera from Nest will be able to capture 4K video, though that resolution will be only used for 'virtual' pan and tilt functions.
Boundary's Prima 'fully modular' backpack is expandable to 30L and has a removable camera case and tablet sleeve. Early Kickstarter backers can get one for $189.
Stanley Greene captured 'brutally honest' photographs in the war zones of the Middle East, Chechnya and Georgia. He was also one of the few African-American photographers working internationally.
Owners of Leica M cameras that suffer from peeling CCDs will be able to claim a free repair in the future so long as the camera was purchased within five years of the fault becoming apparent, the company has announced. Read more
The Carl Zeiss Jena BIOTAR 75mm F1.5 Red T lens is very rare and priced accordingly. It can be yours today for the low, low price of $15,000.
The MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has developed a drone that does not require any human control for recording tracking shots. Read more
In this terrifying video, Iraqi journalist Ammar Alwaely narrowly misses a sniper's bullet, which takes out his chest-mounted GoPro. Warning: strong language. Watch the video
A new report expects action camera growth to increase about 15% by 2021, with Ultra HD cameras driving demand. Read more
Profiles for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom have been released for Irix's ultra-wide 11mm and 15mm primes. Like all profiles, these correct for distortion and vignetting.
An upcoming firmware update from DJI will cripple its drones unless they are 'activated' on the company's website. Live streaming will be turned off and flight radius/altitude will be limited.
Brent from ShareGrid rounds up the 10 most common products filmmakers are renting from one another for productions; chances are good you own one or more of them.