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.
The group that provides Canon users with programs to expand the feature set of their cameras has begun cracking the new EOS R mirrorless firmware.
The Pixel 3 represents another step forward in computational photography for Google's smartphone. We're just getting started with our testing – for now take a look at some sample images, including 'computational Raw' files available for download.
Lens Rentals Founder, Roger Cicala, has given the Canon EOS R one of his signature camera teardowns.
Nikon says firmware version 1.03 "Fixes an issue that in rare circumstances would delay the shutter release or the start of the autofocus operation."
The Kickstarter campaign for Yashica’s digiFilm Y35 camera has produced a wave of complaints about delays in shipping product as well as cameras that don’t work.
Pixelmator today released Pixelmator Pro 1.2 Quicksilver, a major update to its image editing app for Mac.
Although Raw performance of the EOS R is very similar to the 5D Mark IV, Canon's done some tweaking on the JPEGs - take a look at our studio scene to see for yourself.
If you've backed one of the company's crowdfunding projects, the reward will not arrive and you won't get your money back either as Meyer Optik Görlitz's parent company, Net SE, is completely dead.
The importance of APS-C, a future a7S model in development and why customers want two card slots – read our full interview with Sony's Kenji Tanaka.
Google's Super Res Zoom technology uses pixel-shifting methods to achieve zoom results comparable to some optical solutions. Google has published an in-depth explanation on its AI blog.
CyberLink has release the latest version of its photo editing and design program PhotoDirector.
Toy manufacturer Tomy has launched a no-battery-required smartphone printer that is remarkably like the one Holga has been promoting via a Kickstarter campaign but which is already available for $40/£39.
A handful of Sony users have noticed a particular model of SanDisk SD cards is showing errors when used with Sony a7 III camera.
The Fujifilm X-T3's 4K video more than lives up to its impressive specification, making it one of the most capable video cameras we've ever tested.
VSCO has made it easier to find the right presets for your photos with a few interface changes to its smartphone app.
TinyMOS is back with NANO1, an all-new astrophotography camera that's one-third the size of the TINY1 it announced three years ago.
Huawei's latest flagship device comes with the widest range of focal lengths of all current smartphones.
After shaking up the Lightroom ecosystem with Lightroom CC last year, Adobe has released version 2.0 of the cloud-centric photo organizer and editor. We look at new features like People View, how far Lightroom CC has come in its first year, and where Lightroom is headed.
Today, at Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe previewed Photoshop CC on iPad, a full-featured, desktop-class version of Photoshop for iOS.
The weather and has most definitely taken a turn toward fall here, and our shooting opportunities have followed suit. We brought the Canon RF 35mm F1.8 along to a harvest festival of sorts and a few of our usual haunts.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed House Bill 1346 into effect, which imposes a fine upwards of $300 to drone operators who invade the privacy or harm the physical wellbeing of citizens.
Sigma is a company in flux, but CEO Kazuto Yamaki is undaunted by the upcoming prospect of developing lenses for eight lens mounts. The challenge will be keeping the company's identity along the way.
If you've been meaning to convert all of your old photos, video, and audio to digital formats, but simply lack the time or willpower to get through it all, a new service from Kodak will help you get the job done.
Almost all new cameras include impressive video features, but for the best results you'll often need an off-camera recorder. Chris and Jordan take a look at the brand new Ninja V from Atomos, and explain why it might just be one of the most useful tools you can add to your camera.
Collect allows you to transform 360-degree into a more easily digestible format by transforming it into directed traditional videos.
Sick of using your plain ol' keyboard to edit your photos in Lightroom and Photoshop? TourBox is hoping to expedite your post-production workflow using a clever combination of dials, buttons, and knobs.
Bag and accessory manufacturer Hex has launched two bags as part of its latest collection: the Clamshell Backpack and DSLR Sling.
Crank out instant photos with Holga Digital's new analog printer, currently being funded on Kickstarter.
We got some hands-on time with Leica's new S3 medium format camera, which boasts a new higher-res sensor as well as other improvements.