One of the most affordable FUJIFILM X-series cameras arrives on our doorstep
There is no doubt that the FUJIFILM X-series aims to return class and sophistication to photography with its retro design, quality build, and amazing photography. With the X-M1, FUJIFILM seeks to offer the best of the X-series in an affordable mirrorless interchangeable lens package, and in many ways it delivered.
From the moment we took our first photo with the X-M1, we immediately noticed the best feature of the camera: its picture quality. The X-M1 shares the same X-Trans sensor as the X-E1, but it is coupled with the EXR Processor II found in the outstanding X100S. The results are some of the best photos taken with a mirrorless camera in its price range.
We were also impressed with the camera’s color accuracy and at how usable the photos are even when taken at high ISOs. In fact, the X-M1 delivers crisp results up to ISO1600. However, the usability of photos taken at higher ISOs highly depends on the subject, but they are mostly acceptable.
The inclusion of tilting screen and flash are not novel, but they are a very welcomed addition to the X-M1. The flexible angle encourages creativity as it makes it easier for photographers to capture shots from both lower and higher angles. It also enables old-school photographers to take photos at chest or waist level, much like with the vintage film cameras.
The tiny, tilt-able, and rarely needed built-in camera flash has to be manually activated, even in Auto mode. We like how we could tilt the flash up to bounce the light off of ceilings, which results in softer and more pleasant lighting. We also liked that the X-M1 could shoot in RAW format.
The X-M1 also offers access to some interesting repertoire of effects and capabilities. We found that effects such as multiple exposure and film emulation are fun and creative. However, the camera’s Wi-Fi capability, which uploads photos to Android and iOS devices via an app, can be a little confusing, but it works.
Where the X-M1 falters most noticeably is in its speed. Its autofocus is accurate and reasonably quick, but its startup and time between shots can be as long as two seconds. We also noticed slowdowns in the menus and when selecting camera modes via its mode wheel.
We also noticed that the 1650mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens faltered slightly when it comes to macro shots, even when set to Macro mode. We need to take a step back before the camera could focus on a close-up object. So if you are a fan of macro photography, you may want to look for an alternative lens. The videographers may want to think twice as well. Although we love the image quality on the X-M1, its videos appear jaggy likely due to the lack of anti-aliasing on its sensor.
The FUJIFILM X-M1 has its share of flaws, but it is excellent at what it does: taking photos. Make no mistake; it is a great choice for anyone looking for a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that offers exceptional image quality at a relatively modest price. Its classic build that harkens back to the days of film photography are merely icing on the cake.
165 // REVIEWS
Overall color accuracy is good and it handles high contrast situations very well.
The image quality holds up well, all the way up to ISO6400.