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Fujifilm X-M1 Review

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It’s been nearly two years since Fujifilm launched its pioneer X-system mirrorless camera to a surprised market.

That model, the awkwardly named X-Pro1, has been succeeded by a run of other models. So now we have the X-M1, missing a few niceties from the launch model, but undeniably an X-system camera. And, in some ways, it’s very much a ‘camera’ sort of camera. By that, I mean it looks slightly retro with satin chrome trim and a black leather-like surface and has a control interface which you should easily fall into step with.

And in one respect, more models in an interchangeable lens camera range suggests the likelihood of more lens choices. A good thing!

Many will notice the absence of an optical viewfinder, however it does have a vertically articulated rear LCD screen, so photographers working in bright sunlight will have a sporting chance of viewing their shot pre-shoot!

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Fujifilm X-M1 Features

The 16.3 megapixel CMOS can capture a maximum image size of 4896×3264 pixels: 41x28cm as a print.

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Fujifilm is long a believer in a different colour filter array than the norm to minimise moiré and chromatic aberration without the need for an optical low pass filter. This is claimed to boost resolving power.

Video: capture in Full HD 1920×1080 pixel video. And no, you can’t shoot stills mid video recording.

The ISO speed runs from 200 to 6400 and further to 12800 and ISO25600 with expansion.

The wireless image transfer function uses a free Fujifilm camera app (free download) for transfer of shots to a smart device or computer.

The review camera was supplied with the Fujinon XC f3.5/16-50mm OIS kit lens, giving a 35 SLR equivalent of 24mm–76mm.

Fujifilm X-M1 Handling

You might be able to pack the X-M1 with lens attached into a jacket pocket, but it will be a tight fit!

The camera is well-balanced and the textured leatherette assures a firm grip.

Fujifilm X-M1 Controls

Top deck: the flash pop up trigger kicks the cell up and forward, siting the light source a healthy, red eye defeating 7cm from the lens.

The mode dial has positions for auto, PASM, a custom setting, three scene positions (sport, landscape, portrait), the SR setting which automatically optimises settings to suit the scene plus a notch (Advanced) which gives access to even more (high and low key, partial colour — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple filter effects etc).
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Then there’s an advanced setting which can handle situations such as beach/snow, moving objects, night shots etc.

If you think there’s an avalanche of shooter aids you’d be right! This gives you an inkling of the likely market: the keen, but skill-deprived enthusiast.

At the edge we find the on/off lever and shutter button; the nearby prominent main command dial can set exposure compensation, shutter speed or trawl through images in replay. And a word of warning about the latter: it would be very easy to bump this dial and accidentally set an unwanted plus or minus exposure setting!

Just ahead is a function button that takes you directly into image size and quality, metering and AF options etc.

Rear: a second command dial is at the top, then to the right of the screen is the replay button, info display options, trash. And the video record button, usefully placed at the camera’s extreme right edge.

The jog dial has positions for single and continuous shooting, AF options, macro and white balance plus a centrally located main menu button.
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Bottom and to the right is found the Q button which gives immediate access to the main menu options such as ISO, image size, focus and flash modes etc. A useful short cut.

The menu display is easily accessed.

ISO Tests

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Definition starts to fall off at ISO 3200. No noise at ISO 6400 but sharpness falls further. Noise up at ISO 12800 equivalent but still useable. ISO 25600 equivalent? Not useable IMHO.

Fujifilm X-M1 Review Verdict

Quality: above average.
Why you’d buy the Fujifilm X-M1: good quality, small form factor.
Why you wouldn’t buy the Fujifilm X-M1: no panorama mode.

An excellent camera for the ambitious beginner. Available in black, silver and brown.

Fujifilm X-M1 Specifications

Image Sensor: 16.3 million effective pixels.
Sensor: 23.6×15.6mm CMOS.
Metering: Multi segment, averaging, spot.
Lens Mount: Fujifilm X.
Lens Factor: 1.5x.
Exposure Modes: Auto, Program AE, shutter and aperture priority, manual.
Shutter Speed: 60 mins (Bulb); 30 sec to 1/4000 second. Flash X-sync at 1/180 sec.
Continuous Shooting: 5.6 fps.
Image Sizes (pixels): Stills: 4896×3264 to 1664×1664.
Movies: 1920×1080, 1280×720.
Viewfinder: 7.6cm LCD screen (920,000).
File Formats: JPEG, RAW, JPEG+RAW, MPEG4.
Colour Space: sRGB, Adobe RGB.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 25600.
Interface: USB 2.0, HDMI mini.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery.
Dimensions: 117x67x39 WHDmm.
Weight: 330 g (inc battery, card).
Price: Get a price on the Fujifilm X-M1 with 16-50mm Lens or ;Fujifilm X-M1 Body Only.

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Barrie Smith
Barrie Smith

is an experienced writer/photographer currently published in Australian Macworld, Auscam and other magazines in Australia and overseas.

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