- 1Body and Ergonomics
- 2Rear Screen
- 3Operation and Menus
- 4Focus Peaking
- 5Autofocus and Performance
- 7Key Features: Wi-Fi
- 8In-Camera RAW Conversion
- 9Film Simulations and Advanced Filters
- 10Other Items of Note
- 11Image Quality: Resolution, Dynamic Range and Color
- 13JPEG Quality
- 14Movie Mode
- 16Image Samples
- Exceptional dynamic range and rich color lead to great depth to the images
- Excellent noise control, offering low noise images throughout the ISO range
- Short shutter lag
- Overall camera responsiveness is improved over previous X-Series cameras
- Autofocus is accurate and has acceptable speed
- Very compact and attractive body with very well laid out controls, including excellent dual dial system
- Rear LCD is high resolution with good color and sharpness, and has tilt capability over an impressive range of motion
- Focus Peaking works very well and can be switched on and off rapidly with the rear command dial
- Built-In flash works quite well
- Wi-Fi capability makes transferring images to your smartphone quick and easy
- Great JPEG output
- Body feels cheap in the hand due to smooth plastics throughout the construction
- No viewfinder, nor the option to add an external viewfinder
- Autofocus still lags the competition in speed by a decent margin
- Fewer film simulations to choose from vs. X-E1 and X-Pro 1
- Tripod mount is too close to battery/SD card door
- No touch-screen capability
- Wi-Fi mode is limited and doesn’t have the ability for remote camera control
- Geotagging could use some refinement
- No dedicated focus mode switch
- Can’t view vertical images using the whole screen on playback.
- Replacement of shutter speed dial with Mode dial may rankle some people, and removes the ability to see your settings at a glance with the camera off.
The Fujifilm X-M1 is a unique camera. It’s a mid-tier priced mirrorless camera, coming in at $699 body only, or $799 in a kit with the XC 16-50mm zoom. It has a lower end build feel, but an extremely high-end imaging pipeline. The combination leaves one with some mixed emotions. I wish it felt as solid in the hand as something like my OM-D or Panasonic GX1. At the same time, the controls are laid out extremely well, the rear LCD is very nice, and they’ve improved the performance over the previous X-Series cameras in a way that eliminates almost all of the small annoyances that still remained with those cameras. Then they’ve thrown in integrated Wi-Fi and packaged it in a very small body.
I didn’t think I was going to like the X-M1 that much. I really prefer to use an EVF where possible, though I’m not completely averse to using a camera without one. They modified the truly outstanding old-school control scheme, and I didn’t think I would like that at all. Then, when I picked up the body, it felt quite plasticky. Yet, as I used the camera, I found myself really, really enjoying it. It’s by far the most responsive X-series ILC to date, the small size and outstanding image quality, combined with a well thought out control scheme has made me quite happy to grab the X-M1 and go shoot. Focus peaking works very well on the rear LCD, I enjoy using Wi-Fi to quickly share high quality photos, and certainly, the image quality seriously impresses. I actually found myself enjoying the X-M1 more than my X-E1 in most situations.
It’s not all puppies and rainbows, of course. The autofocus speed still noticeably trails its competitors, though Fuji has made good strides over the past year to bring it up to a speed that is generally acceptable for most shooting. I missed the quick switch for focus modes and I do still wish it had an option for an external EVF. This is also the type of camera that one would expect to have a touch screen, and it’s a feature that Fuji probably should have added.
In all, though, I think the X-M1 is a very fun, small camera that packs some serious punch and has excellent external controls. It could have been phenomenal, had Fuji decided not to skimp on the body materials, but if you value control and image quality above all, the X-M1 doesn’t disappoint.
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