Fuji X-M1 review

    | Compact Cameras | Reviews | 14/08/2013 10:45am
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    The X-M1 is the smallest and lightest CSC in Fuji’s line-up, yet boasts the same sensor as the much-lauded X-Pro1. Amy Davies of our testing team puts it to the test in her Fuji X-M1 review video.

    Fuji X-M1 review

    The Fuji X-M1 is the third model in the company’s X range of interchangeable lens cameras, and it is the smallest and lightest compact system camera the manufacturer has produced to date.

    In fact, it’s a little smaller than the Fuji X20, which is a compact camera with a 2/3-inch sensor. The Fuji X-M1, however, has the same APS-C format sensor as the Fuji X-Pro1 and Fuji X-E1 (watch our Fuji X-E1 review).

    But does it live up to all these great expectations? Find out in Amy Davies’ Fuji X-M1 review video below.

    Fuji X-M1 Review Video Transcript

    The Fuji X-M1 is the third model in the company’s X range of interchangeable lens cameras, and is the smallest one in the line-up so far.

    In fact, the body of the camera is actually a little smaller than the Fuji X20, one of Fuji’s premium compact cameras. Despite this, it features the same APS-C sized sensor as found in the X Pro1 and X-E1.

    It’s also the same sensor design as used in the other cameras, which we’ve previously found can outperform some full-frame sensors thanks to its unique colour array filter. This means that an optical low pass filter isn’t needed, boosting the camera’s capability for capturing fine detail.

    Unlike with the X-E1 and X-Pro1, there’s no built-in viewfinder, but the LCD at the rear of the camera is mounted on a tilting bracket, which helps when composing from awkward angeles. Unfortunately it’s not fully articulated, which would have helped when shooting portrait-format images. But having it tilting only keeps the overall size down.

    With a high resolution of 920,000 dots, the X-M1′s screen provides lots of detail and a clear view. It doesn’t suffer too badly from glare or reflection in all but the very brightest of sunlight, at which point, tilting the LCD can be beneficial. It’s a little disappointing that the screen isn’t touch sensitive, but this has probably helped to keep the cost of the camera down.

    Despite the camera’s small size, this shallow grip here provides a solid hold when shooting one-handed. There’s plenty of room on the back of the camera for your thumb, while buttons are nicely spaced out for each reach.

    A slightly different arrangement of dials can be found on the X-M1, when compared to its siblings. There’s no shutter speed dial, for example, but there is a mode dial here which gives quick access to manual, semi-automatic and fully automatic exposure settings.

    A second large dial on the top of the Fuji X-M1 can be used to adjust exposure compensation when shooting in semi-automatic and automatic exposure modes. In fully manual mode this is used to set the shutter speed.

    A small dial above the thumb rest is used to set aperture in aperture priority or fully manual mode.

    There are no camera controls on the back right of the camera, as Fuji’s designers want to make it as easy as possible to use the camera with just one hand. On the bottom right hand corner is a Q button, used to access the quick menu for commonly used settings, such as metering and sensitivity. Simply navigate to the settings you want to change and make the adjustment using the scrolling dial.

    Fuji’s quick menu is one of the best around, but it would be nice if it were possible to customise the 16 options that are on offer. It may seem that white balance is missing from this menu, but there is a dedicated button here for accessing this function.

    Since there’s no touchscreen, to change autofocus point you first need to push the up navigation key, then use the keys to move around the screen until you get to the area you need. This is fine most of the time, but it’s sometimes easier and faster to set the focus point in the middle and focus and re-compose.

    Two new lenses were introduced with the Fuji X-M1. The first is this 16-50mm kit lens, which is a new breed of XC lenses, designed to be compact and more affordable. Fuji claimed that this is better than the average kit optic, and we’ve found that to be a pretty accurate claim, helping to produce sharp shots in the majority of situations.

    The second lens is a 27mm f/2.8 compact prime, or a pancake lens. With its equivalent focal length of 40mm, this is an ideal carry around lens for street photography work.

    Unlike Fuji’s earlier lenses, neither of these optics has an aperture ring, so you’ll have to change this setting via the camera body itself. The Fuji X-M1 is compatible with older lenses that do feature a ring, though.

    The Fuji X-M1 is the first Fuji X camera to feature in-built Wi-Fi connectivity. This is handy for transferring images across to upload to social media.

    Fuji cameras can’t really compete with Olympus and Panasonic cameras in terms of focusing speeds, but nevertheless, the X-M1 is quick enough for the majority of situations. Both start-up times and shot-to-shot times are also very quick.

    We had pretty high hopes for the X-M1 with its proven sensor. Happily, we have not been disappointed by image quality, with shots containing plenty of detail and bright, punchy colours.

    PAGE 1: Fuji X-M1 review video and transcript
    PAGE 2: Our original Fuji X-M1 announcement story

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    Posted on Wednesday, August 14th, 2013 at 10:45 am under Compact Cameras, Reviews.

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