As many may have hoped, Fujifilm has finally brought out a mid-range X series compact system camera. The newest member of the desirable system is called the X-M1. Lots of good news here – it’s gorgeous, comes in three colors and with the same great 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans sensor as its older siblings, the X-Pro1, X-E1 and X100s. What you may like even more is the low (for a Fujifilm camera) price of $700 body only. But good looks alone is obviously not enough for that price. What else is there about this camera?
Fujifilm X-M1 Overview and Specifications
We at Photography Life are big fans of Fujifilm X cameras. We believe they brought some fresh air into the market. Dashing looks and photographer-friendly ergonomics, but also innovative sensor technology and focus on quality prime lenses have made the X series very desirable among photographers. That said, Fujifilm X series have had their share of problems and quirks. As a matter of fact, this is probably the most quirky camera system out there right now. You could even call it “character”. Fujifilm has been spending a lot of effort and time fixing these quirks with firmware updates. Also, with every generation, their cameras seem to be getting better and more complete than before. X-M1 continues that trend, at least on paper.
Let’s start off with the 3″ 3:2 aspect ratio articulated display on the back of the camera. It’s actually bigger than that on the more expensive X-E1 and packs better resolution at 920 thousand dots. As it should, because predictably X-M1 doesn’t have a viewfinder of any sort. Pity, because hybrid viewfinder found in X-Pro1 and X100/s has always been Fujifilm’s highlight. The fact you can tilt the LCD screen and small overall dimensions make up for the drawback, however. We loved the 16.3 megapixel X-Trans sensor in the X-Pro1 (see our Fuji X-Pro1 review), so you can expect the same phenomenal image quality from the X-M1. ISO setting has a range of 200-6400 with options to extend down to ISO 100 and up to ISO 25600 in JPEG quality. Full HD video is also available as expected, along with a 5.6 frames per second shooting rate in continuous shooting mode.
Following recent fashion, X-M1 includes Wi-Fi. Wireless network connectivity will allow you to connect this camera to a smartphone. Such great list of features makes this camera appear very attractive on paper. However, I did not find any mention about AF system improvements. I find that concerning. A most welcome improvement over previous X cameras would the hybrid AF system also used in X100s. We were not impressed with X-Pro1’s AF performance running the original firmware version and AF hasn’t been a strength of Fujifilm cameras on the whole. We haven’t had the chance to test X100s ourselves yet, but we hear AF performance is impressive. We were sort of hoping it would be used in the X-M1, as well. In any case, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions – a review is definitely coming!
Here is a short list of key specifications:
- Price: $799 with 16-50mm lens, $699.95 body only
- 16.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS X-Trans sensor
- ISO range of 200-6400 expandable from 100 to 25600
- Tiltable 3″, 920k dot LCD with Live View
- Shutter speed range of 30-1/4000 sec
- Built-in pop-up flash
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- 5.6 frames per second
- Video: 1080p 30fps H.264
- Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC
- Battery Life (CIPA): 350
- Weight (inc. batteries): 330 g (0.73 lb / 11.64 oz)
- Dimensions: 117 x 66.5 x 39 mm (4.6 x 2.62 x 1.54″)
Official Press Release
Here is the official press release for Fujifilm X-M1:
FUJIFILM UNVEILS THE NEW X-M1 PREMIUM CSC FEATURING A 16.3 MP APS-C X-TRANS CMOS SENSOR, EXR PROCESSOR II AND A KIT OPTION FEATURING THE NEW XC16-50MM LENS
New X-M1 also includes a 3” tilting, high definition LCD screen, wireless image transfer for easy photo sharing and advanced filters for creative picture taking
Valhalla, N.Y., June 24, 2013 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the all new, premium FUJIFILM X-M1 compact system camera (CSC), the third interchangeable lens system camera introduced within the award-winning FUJIFILM X-Series. The X-M1 is a lightweight camera that includes the same 16.3 Megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor used in the critically acclaimed FUJIFILM X-Pro1and X-E1 that delivers outstanding image quality, all in a premium, beautifully crafted body.
The X-M1 will ship with a newly-designed FUJINON XC16-50mm (24-76mm)*1 F3.5-5.6 OIS zoom lens that allows enthusiast photographers to capture crystal clear wide angle to mid-telephoto range images. The XC16-50mm is a versatile lens that is ideal for a wide range of photographic subjects, including stunning low-light scenes, true to life portraits and rich colorful landscapes. The lens consists of 12 all glass elements in 10 groups including 3 aspherical elements and 1 ED element. The lens features seven round-edged aperture blades, which offer 17 stops in 1/3 EV increments for precise aperture control.
“The X-M1 is a perfect combination of power and performance, all within a lightweight and well-built chassis. Photographers and enthusiasts alike can confidently take the X-M1 everywhere they go, and it will deliver images that exceed their expectations,” said Go Miyazaki, president and chief operating officer, FUJIFILM North America Corporation.
“The remarkable new X-M1 with its large APS-C X-Trans sensor, 3” tilting LCD screen, new XC16-50mm lens and easy wireless image transfer, gives enthusiasts the ability to capture amazing quality images and also share them effortlessly.”
Award-winning 16.3 Megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor and EXR Processor II
The FUJIFILM X-M1 uses the same large APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor that is found in the X-Pro1 and the X-E1 with a unique color filter array that minimizes moiré and false color without the need for an optical low pass filter. This makes it possible for the camera to maximize extremely high resolution, and to capture each image with accuracy and clarity when using high performance FUJINON lenses.
With the X-M1, users can set the sensor sensitivity from ISO200 to as high as ISO6400 in 1/3 step increments, and even take advantage of the extended range of ISO100 and ISO25600 to obtain amazingly clear and low-noise images even in low-light conditions when shooting at night or indoors.
Together with the EXR Processor II, the X-M1 gives customers incredible speed and response times with a start-up time of 0.5 seconds*2, a shutter time lag of 0.05 seconds and a maximum burst speed of 5.6 frames per second (max. 30 frames*3).
Compact performance and advanced features
The X-M1 compact ILC combines advanced features in a go-anywhere design. The X-M1 weighs just 11.6oz*4 and measures 4.6” W by 2.6” H by 1.5” D, about half the size of a traditional DSLR body. With a slim profile of 1.3” at its trimmest point, the X-M1 is easily carried anywhere, and can be trusted to deliver high-quality images.
Along with its large APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor, the X-M1 also features a 3” tilting high resolution LCD screen with 920,000 dots for easy image viewing and framing at various angles.
The 3” LCD monitor tilts at variable vertical angles, facilitating both low-angle and high-angle shots whether on or off a tripod.
The X-M1 gives users additional flexibility with its built-in high precision flash, with the guide number 7*5, and Super Intelligent Flash technology that automatically controls flash strength according to scene types to reduce highlight clipping.
Easy Image Transfer with WiFi® button
The X-M1 features a WiFi button that lets users transfer photos and movies*6 from the camera to smartphones, tablets and computers allowing enthusiasts to upload high quality images to social media sites for easy sharing.
To connect the X-M1 to a smartphone or tablet, users can download the free dedicated “FUJIFILM Camera Application” to their iPhone™ / iPad™ or Android™ smartphone or tablet device to transfer up to 30 pictures at a time from the X-M1. The app also lets users download movies, expanding the range of options available for enjoying pictures taken with the camera.
Intuitive design and easy operation
The intuitive design of the X-M1 gives users the ability for one-handed camera operation, which is perfect for the fleeting moments when you need to pick up the camera quickly and start shooting.
The X-M1 has its key operation buttons and dials positioned on the right side of the camera’s rear panel for easy use and quick picture taking. The Mode Dial for selecting the optimum setting for each scene gives access to the Advanced SR Auto function, which automatically recognizes each scene and selects the best settings for sharp and clear images.
The Advanced Filter function gives users a range of creative filters to apply and achieve unique and artistic looks. The use of two perfectly positioned Command Dials allows users to effortlessly adjust the aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation, while frequently-used functions are given individual buttons, thereby enabling intuitive and quick operation.
FUJIFILM X-M1 key features list
• 16.3 Megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor
• EXR Processor II
• Start-up time of 0.5
• Shutter lag time of 0.05
• Shooting interval time of 0.7
• 3” (920K dot) tilting high resolution LCD screen
• Full range of ISO100 – ISO25600
• Wireless image transfer
• Q Menu shortcut button
• In-camera RAW processing
• Film Simulation modes (Velvia, ASTIA, PROVIA, Sepia, and Black & White)
• 8 Advanced Filters (Toy Camera, Miniature, Dynamic Tone, Pop Color, Soft Focus, High Key, Low Key and Partial Color)
• Multiple Exposure mode to superimpose a second exposure on the first exposure
• Full HD movie 1080P\30fps and built-in stereo microphone
• Available accessories include: Leather Case, Hand Grip, and Clip-on Flash
The FUJIFILM X-M1 (body only) will be available in black and silver in July 2013 for $699.95.
The FUJIFILM X-M1 and XC16-50mm (24-76mm) F3.5-5.6 OIS lens (kit) will be available in July 2013 for $799.95.
The FUJIFILM X-M1 (body only) will be available in brown in August 2013 for $699.95.
The FUJIFILM X-M1 uses the same FUJIFILM X-Mount as the X-Pro1 and X-E1, and all FUJIFILM XF and XC lenses will work with all X-Series interchangeable lens cameras.