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on 14 May 2017
Excellent camera
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on 24 October 2016
Excellent camera. Simple, light and easy to use. the screen is bright and the sensor is large so the image quality is really excellent - the same as the XE 2 and XT 1. There is no viewfinder which is a shame but if you need reading glasses like me, then it is actually really quite handy just using the screen only rather constantly taking your glasses off to look through the viewfinder, which is what I would do if there was one. Put on a small lens like the 18mm in you put the X-M1 it in a coat pocket. If you have other X series cameras like the Pro 1 or 2 or the XT 1 or 2 etc then this is a great second camera to have and it is so light I find it very convenient to take up the hills - although I wouldn't expect it to cope with wild weather though.
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on 24 December 2013
I won't write an in-depth technical review as DP Review etc do that so much better, but I've owned this camera for a few weeks and it's an absolutely dream.

I'm downsizing from a Canon 7D, and I wanted a decent camera in the £300-£500 range which didn't need its own backpack to take about, just a small everyday point-and-shoot with more options when I needed them, and if you're reading this while trying to weigh up your options I can sympathise, I spend weeks before I decided on the X-M1 but having had a chance to play with it now I'm very happy with my choice. :)

I'd narrowed down my list to these 7:

Canon G15
Olympus PEN E-PM2
Fujifilm X-M1
Fujifilm X20
Olympus PEN E-PL5
Canon G16
Sony RX100 II

I think you need to decide what's the most important feature for you in your new camera, as trying to compare them on all features is like comparing apples with oranges as they perform so differently. I decided image quality was my highest priority, over bells and whistles (in-camera HDR, sweep panorama etc, which the X-M1 doesn't have).

With its APS-C sized sensor, this camera delivers image quality almost comparable to my 7D, and that's with the kit lens. I've taken it to a photo studio and the images were as good as with the 7D, which is amazing considering the price difference.

I almost went for the Sony RX100 II, but it was the ISO performance on DP Review that sold me on the X-M1. I've got a toddler so lots of my photos will be taken indoors in low light and the quality of the images on the X-M1 at ISO 3200 is unbelievable. I would have liked a faster lens, but I think the ability to use higher ISOs with minimal drop in image quality compensates for it.

You also have the ability to increase dynamic range to try to capture some detail in blown-out white skies etc, not something many of the other cameras in the same price range had, and the in-camera noise reduction can be raised and gives very good results too.

The other thing that sold me on this camera was the hotshoe, a few of the others I compared it to didn't have one and it's nice to have it so I can use the wireless studio light trigger and attach an external flash if I ever want to.

As other reviewers have said the AF can be a little slow, but that's really my only complaint, and I'm comparing the speed with the 7D which is about twice the price without a lens. I think Face Detection is on by default so once you get into the settings and turn this off it performs much faster. It doesn't have a viewfinder, but it's not something that was a deal breaker for me.

I would definitely recommend the X-M1, it would be a great point and shoot if you just kept it on Auto mode, but in manual mode you have enough options to make it ideal for DSLR users looking for a second camera, plus the image quality is phenomenal, which at the end of the day is what counts! :)
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#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERon 22 July 2015
The Fuji X-M1 sits in the entry segment of the X series models but this one has the unique X-Trans CMOS sensor (the X-A1 has a normal bayer sensor) in other areas though these models are the same (controls/functions etc)

Being an entry model there are a few compromises here, firstly the most obvious one is the lack of viewfinder, secondly controls have been streamlined over higher end models and this doesn't feature the newer on sensor phase detect autofocus of the X-T1 (contrast AF here) despite this the camera still manages to achieve a very small size (very similar to the X10/20 compacts in fact slightly smaller) and it has most of the important requirements aspiring shooter might want.

I've been testing the camera extensively for a while now and made up a quick fire list of some of the better points and weaker areas of the camera. The camera is a good one overall though like most cameras does have some areas that could be better.

Good points:
+ Excellent image quality easily as good if not better than equivalent rivals (with a similar sensor size) Tonality is very appealing and attractive (very subjective but I like it)
+ Huge latitude in raw files both highlight and shadow end with outstanding low light performance very minimal noise
+ Build is solid despite being plastic feels well put together no poor joints or creaking at the seams
+ Full manual controls quite good customisation and menus
+ Autofocus is good for accuracy in most cases
+ Start up is quick and the camera is responsive with no signs of lag
+ Fairly good buffer around 10 shots raw and about 31 jpegs at full resolution, able to take some advantage of faster cards too
+ Continuous shooting rate of 5.6fps is decent (note the points about AF)
+ Large clear 3.0” LCD is the same aspect ratio as the sensor (3:2) and sharp with a 920k resolution as well as partially articulated (up and down positions) option to brighten it up for daylight shooting (it's a bit reflective though quite clear in most light)
+ Battery life is quite good for a compact sized camera (I got about 390 shots per charge) flash use will shorten this
+ Q menu is well laid out and avoids trips into the main menu system for most common settings
+ Fn button can be user set, C position on the mode dial allows for a memory of settings to be stored (shame it is only one)
+ Hot shoe allows the use of dedicated flashes or other accessories, built in flash extends a decent bit though power is a little low (GN 7)
+ Consistent metering and white balance required little intervention for most shooting
+ Excellent flash exposures (though will increase the ISO if you let it a little too much)
+ Manual focus “peak” is useful though could use more colours (red/yellow)
+ Video is acceptable for a consumer level camera reasonable details and resolution and decent microphone quality, limited options though (you can set aperture before you start but not adjust it during recording) see cons on “moire”
+ Good in camera raw conversions you can adjust quite a few settings too (this creates jpegs from raw files but it's handy to have)

Weaker areas:
- No viewfinder, and no option to add one, no AEL button (Fn can be programmed for this)
- AF speeds are a bit slow, Continuous autofocus/tracking is weak (cannot re-focus after the first shot on cont AF) not a good choice for sports/action shooters (though with pre-focus techniques and some skill it might work)
- Raw not available for ISO 100 or above ISO 6400 (jpeg only) ISO values overstated by about a stop ISO 6400 is closer to 3200
- Jpegs overly contrasty by default and don't exploit the dynamic range of the sensor (adjusting the shadow/highlights to -1/-2 helps quite a lot) tendency to crush blacks
- Macro button fairly pointless (would be better to have a Fn 2 custom button)
- Battery/memory card slot is covered when on a tripod you can't change either (poor location)
- Card write light covered by your thumb
- Video shows moire and false colours when repeating patterns are in footage
- No dedicated button for ISO (you can set the Fn button to this), movie button cannot be re-programmed
- No “sweep panoramic mode” and no level gauge both are strange omissions, black and white doesn't have the filters either (red/yellow etc)
- 3 scene modes on the mode dial are wasting space, better to put them all in the SP setting (where the other scene modes are) This area would be better reserved for extra user settings
- “Top” control dial is a bit easy to move (can mean exposure compensation is engaged by accident)
- Flash exp compensation buried in the main menu cannot be assigned to the Fn1 button
- Wi-fi has limited use you can send images to devices (even a pc if the software is installed) you can Geotag images too, you cannot control the camera via the Fuji remote app which is disappointing. No option to turn this off (which could conserve battery power)
- No electronic shutter (full mechanical) though it's not obtrusive sound wise

Notes:

If you don't have any lenses the “kit” 16-50mm F3.5-F5.6 is well worth getting I've done a separate review on this lens it's very good optics wise and offers a nice wider angle field of view (equivalent to 24mm)

Unlike some compacts there is no built in memory so you'll need an SD card
Raw files average at around 24MB, which is on the large side for a 16mp camera

Video:
You have a choice of only two resolutions 1920 x 1080 @ 30fps this is for some reason limited to 14 minutes time
1280 x 720 is also @30fps but recording time is 27 minutes.
AF is available in continuous though it does fine don't expect miracles esp in lower light or tracking it's not unsatisfactory for this type of camera though. Moire and false colours are an issue so this isn't going to really suit very serious video shooters, but it does fine for quick clips.

The supplied strap is a thin “pleather” type affair it does the job (same as the X10/X20 cameras) but a fabric one is preferable.

Dynamic range modes:
There are Auto, 100%, 200%, 400%
The camera will raise the ISO levels up to ISO 800 for DR 400%, (and ISO 400 for DR 200%)
In most cases DR Auto does a good job, but DR 200% is fairly safe too the camera won't show massive noise problems at all even at ISO 800.

You do get some useful "one touch" controls if you press and hold the following buttons in:
DISP/BACK: this engages the "quiet mode" this disables the sounds/flash if raised and the AF assist light
Q Button: Brightens the LCD to high levels for use in harsh sunlight
Menu/OK: This locks the 4 buttons around the Middle Menu button (and disables the video button) to stop accidental button presses

When the X-M1 first arrived last year it was fairly expensive and that might have put people off trying one, however fast forward about to the present time it's now at levels similar to budget DSLR's. In terns of what's on offer this is a solid offering, but bear in mind that the main advantages of this are the smaller size compared to a DSLR, it can't offer the same autofocus performance and that's an important point for moving subjects, also the size advantage tends to disappear once you use larger focal length lenses (which are no smaller than their DSLR equivalents) Look at what you needs are. If you're a heavy phone user and want a big step up in quality, the sensor in this camera will destroy even the most expensive phone camera, with ease.

There is a 27mm f2.8 pancake lens which when paired with this body makes for a very compact machine (albeit with a fixed focal length) I've yet to test that lens but it's an option for some if you want to keep the size down.

The biggest attraction is probably the sensor which is very capable and responds well to raw processing, it's certainly a huge step up from a tiny sensor compact in image quality. Even premium compacts will fall behind this, but bear in mind when paired with the 16-50mm lens you don't have very good close up ability and the lens is slower esp the telephoto end. If you shoot a lot of macro or close up photos a premium compact with a fast lens might be a better choice.

On the other hand if you are into experimenting a little you can acquire a lens adapter and though manual focus and aperture control you can mount and use many lenses (there is an M mount Fuji adapter available and lots of third party ones for other lens mounts) this means that even if you are invested in an SLR system you could find a use for this body with your lenses. For newer users or those keen to keep the size down this is a very viable alternative to a DSLR, but it's not for everyone (action shooters) Grip wise a little small here I find a DSLR more comfy to hold for longer periods, everyone is unique though small suits some better than others.

Couple of odd points firstly leaving out the sweep pano and some of the newer film effects (and B&W filters) strikes me as strange considering the target market for the camera, it's also a shame to see no electronic level gauge this featured on the X series compacts. Controls are fairly logical though would benefit from an additional Fn button to program, you also can't turn off the “guide” which might annoy some more seasoned users (this describes the scene/modes on screen) Wi-fi is under exploited and Fuji could look at this not having remote control of a Wi-Fi camera is puzzling. The rear control dial is in an unusual location and takes a while to get used to, it also can be pushed for some settings as well as rotated.

At the default settings jpegs are a bit harsh for my liking (too much contrast and dynamic range is a bit weak) adjusting the shadow/highlight tone helps no end. It's also worth experimenting with the DR settings to get the best out of the camera. If you are working with raw then the X-Trans CMOS has some impressive latitude in both ends able to recover highlights and pull shadows aggresively without a major impact on images. Either way jpeg and raw shooters will be impressed with the camera

I would like to see a few things tweaked and maybe Fuji will get around to adding a sweep pano and some more film modes. The lack of viewfinder is a shame too even a basic one would be welcomed (or the option to add one) it’s down to personal use on that with lighter smaller lenses the lack of viewfinder isn't a massive loss (it's certainly easier to hold a camera stability wise with a viewfinder), but it becomes awkward if you start to use heavier or longer focal lengths.

Overall the X-M1 is a very decent offering and certainly likely to appeal a lot more at this price level, despite the flaws it's a capable camera and more than able to hold it's own image quality is as good as you can get with an APS-C sensor.
review imagereview imagereview image
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on 7 February 2014
Prior to purchasing this fantastic camera I had a Canon 5D mark iii and Sony Nex-7. Canon 5d is a fantastic camera however combined with most L Glasses it is very heavy and not easy to carry around and Sony Nex-7 is good but there are major drawbacks to it (Slow AF, Lack of quality Lenses at reasonable price and poor high iso performance). I decided to replace my NEX 7 with a fuji X series due to their great reputation. I have now carried out some tests and found this camera to be astonishing. Following is my opinion about this camera:

AF speed:
The AF speed of any mirorless camera would be slower than common DSLRs due to their design. One of the things that was bothering me with the sony was its AF speed. Fuji XM1 is however significantly snappier and more accurate than the sony. The AF speed in my opinion is also faster than X-E1 and X-pro1 (Maybe due to faster processor).

Operational speed:

The camera is very snappy and lag free compared to X-E1 and X-pro 1 and as i mentioned i think it is due to its faster processor.

Ergonomics:

This is were i had initial doubt about this camera the range finder design means that there is little grip. Sony Nex-7 is definitely far superior in ergonomics compared to fuji X-M1. However i purchased the Fuji's own hand grip and the ergonomics improved massively. Despite the fact that the camera is mostly plastic it feels very sturdy and very well built all buttons and dials have a quality feel to them compared to other cameras i have used.

Picture quality:
This is were Fuji shines and blow away the competition. Let me say that in my opinion Megapixel count is irrelevant after 10-12MPix unless you are printing your images at extremely large dimensions. This little camera inherits the same sensor as the bigger and more expensive X-Pro1 and X-E1. The image quality of this sensor is simply fantastic. High iso performance in my opinion is far far superior than Sony nex-7 and almost on par with some Full frame DSLRs. in a test that I did, colors from the fuji were more accurate than the sony and very similar to the Canon. I don't use the Kit lens in this camera so i cannot comment on that but combined with the fuji 35mm f1.4 it produces images that I sometimes cannot distinguish at the same size from my full frame camera which costs almost 5 times more.

Negative points:

Ergonomics (as i mentioned )
Lack of EVF (i actually finding it that I am more happy with tilty LCD than EVF)

Positive points:

Fabulous image quality
excellent build quality
Good AF speed compared to sony
Great High iso performance (Low noise)
Small size and weight
Fabulous image quality
Fabulous image quality
Did I mention image quality :)

Overall:
In overall i think fuji has listened to the customers much more than competitors and produced a camera system (x series) with excellent image quality and fantastic lenses both primes and zooms at a very attractive price (fantastic promotions). Compared to other X series X-M1 is a very attractive choice if you dont need the EVF or OVF. No need to say that i sold my NEX-7 on ebay and my DSLR is used less and less due to the high quality and comfort of Fuji.
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on 22 March 2014
I was simply looking for a small compact camera that looked different and stylish, but most importantly took very natural looking, high quality photos - for family, holiday and action shots, and small enough to carry around at weekends.

My previous camera was a Sony NEX6, then Panasonic GM1 (that was so cute) and I still have my Sony RX100.

Where the Fuji X-M1 excels for me comes down to 7 things:

1) It actually looks like a camera and not just another black gadget!

2) Low-light / noise - I can take pictures in such dim light that the Sony photos were a hazy mess

3) Image stabilisation (lens related) - I can hand-hold at much lower shutter speeds - as low as 10FPS

4) Photo qualify - This camera provides 'film like' natural warm skin tones and very realistic colours e.g. sky, grass etc.

5) Menu system - Logical layout and wonderful 'Quick Menu', whereas Sony & Panasonic were so slow to navigate!

6) Lenses - They are much sharper than my Sonys and the Zoom lens 55-200M is much faster (brighter) than the Sony equivalent

7) The external flash - EF-X20 - what am amazing design! It's so much smaller that other external flashes and works brilliantly!

Further advice:
A) If you are an adult, buy the grip accessory it helps with the handling and larger lenses
B) If you want to save money by an aftermarket battery rather than the Fuji - works just as good
C) Doesn't feel quite as robust as the Sony NEX6, so make sure you use a soft case to avoid damaging from dropping
D) Don't bother using the RAW setting - JPEGs seem identical in terms of qualify
E) Video qualify not as good as Sony - autofocus isn't as quick

Have fun!
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on 2 July 2014
Fast delivery.......interesting camera.
I'm getting used to it,have no issues with lack of viewfinder,but in many ways the camera and lens feel very plastic,so it takes a little getting used to.
Photo quality is very good indeed,and that makes you want to keep going with this camera.
So results are very good,and will probably get better as I get used to handling it day to day.
The body is a let down,but in many ways you ignore it for the image quality this camera produces.
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on 2 April 2015
I got this because my FF Canon DSLR is not ideal for my holidays or street I can't get the quality or responsiveness I want from the smaller sensor compacts.

This is a reasonably cheap compromise, it gives me a camera with a good sized sensor, without having to completely switch system and make too big an investment. This dinky camera is ideal for getting the biggest X-trans sensor quality from a small package. With the 27mm lens it will (just) fit in a (large) pocket . The bundled lenses are reasonable and certainly better than the Canon equivalent. If I later decide to buy the best lenses I'll get the as close to the same quality as makes little difference to the much more expensive top of the range models. So all's good in a small package.

Until you get to the menus.

Fuji have tried to make it simple for new users by providing lots of options, but in the process have done the opposite. By trying to provide too many different auto modes to try to cover every eventuality they have instead made it too complicated. If you set one thing one way another wont work until you change it and you end up going back and forth through the menus just to get it to do pretty obvious things. and. what is the inclusion of an SP setting to duplicate the ...SP settings... about? (Im sure there is an explanation that is supposed to makes sense but it's just more overkill). Like most blokes I don't usually bother reading the manual so it tells you something about the complexity of the menu and button hierarchy that I have had to. I have been through the manual fully once and still can't get the flash to work (maybe it is just broken- I don't know yet)

My advice, especially if you are a newbie (which I am not), is forget about the following modes: SR+, Adv, and SP. they are superfluous, pointless and confusing and do nothing to improve ones photographic abilities. There is more than enough to cover every shooting situation with the other modes.

Canon just have not 'got' the small with large sensor camera concept but they have totally mastered writing menus, and are better at designating button functons. Fuji could really learn from Canon about menus and buttons, just as Canon could learn from Fuji about what makes a desirable top level compact.

Some other controls are sluggish and annoying to use e.g. the program shift wheel in Program mode, but what I wanted specifically from this camera was a above average sensor in a smaller than DSLR camera with good responsiveness: so it's not perfect, somethings just aren't responsive, or intuitive, or contribute in least to the photographic experience.

However, menu hell aside, and considering the cost, it gives an excellent sensor, focusses and shoots as fast as most others in a similar class and I am happy with my purchase. I considered many other cameras and they all have pros and cons but this camera was the best on balance for the money, for me.
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on 26 January 2014
Excellence
==========
The Fuji X-M1 is an excellent camera. I'll repeat that, it is the best Fuji camera that I have ever owned.

It might help to explain what I was after. I wanted something light, with an interchangeable lens and hoped that is was reasonably priced. I knew if I wanted an interchangeable lens that I couldn't expect something exceptionally compact, but wanted something that wasn't "too cumbersome."

APS-C Sensor
============
This is one of the cheapest Fuji interchangeable lens cameras. I researched and researched and then researched some more. There was tons of hype about the Fuji APS-C X sensor. Did it disappoint? No. It's superb. Crisp, detailed photographs. Just perfect.

Fuji have a range of CSCs (Compact System Cameras). All seem to aim at the keen amateur to the professional. I did look at the Fujifilm X-Pro1 Digital Camera with XF18mm Lens (16MP, APS-C X-Trans CMOS Sensor) 3 inch LCD , the Fujifilm X-E1 Digital Camera with XF18-55mm Lens Kit - Black (16MP with APS-C X-Trans CMOS Sensor) 3 inch LCD , and this Fujifilm X-M1 Camera - Black (16.3MP, 16-50mm Lens Kit) 3 inch LCD.

This was smaller and lighter. Looks retro with a very modern interior.

LOOKS
=====
Along with it's beautiful retro styling is the build quality. The build quality is more than good. It feels solid and quite durable. (Although I didn't drop it, it feels like it may survive a drop or two.)

The overall size is a lot smaller than the pictures imply. If you have a chance to see one in a shop you will see what I mean. It can be held without arm ache with one hand. Mine came with the 16=50mm lens kit. The body is quite a bit smaller than the lens.

PICTURE QUALITY
===============
I use the JPEGS format and found the picture quality quite breathtaking. Low light, macro, distance, busy, not so busy- all came out beautifully. I don't use the RAW format so I can't comment on that quality.

FAST
====
Very, very responsive and quick. Turn on, point, and click and you should be taking quality pictures almost instantly. It was easy to focus, and has the standard Fuji menu (which I like)so that if you need to shoot with an effect it's reasonable quick to get to.

WIFI
====
I was able to synchronise the camera with my phone and post instantly onto facebook. It was remarkable easy to setup and the iphone app (free) was easy to use.

ANYTHING WRONG WITH IT?
=======================
Well. It's not something that put me off purchasing the camera but given that you can synchronise with your phone I would have liked to have controlled the camera this way. (As of January 2014 this isn't a feature.)

Pros:
=====
+ EXCELLENT JPEGs
+ Easy to use menu
+ Fast focus
+ Small size

Cons:
=====
- WiFi app doesn't allow control of the camera
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on 13 February 2015
ORIGINAL REVIEW WRITTEN IN FEBRUARY
I had two main concerns when thinking about buying this camera. (A) Whether it would produce better pictures than my Canon G 9 (highly regarded when I bought it five years ago, and (B) would I find the absence of any viewfinder except the rear screen too much of a disadvantage. The answers:
(A) a resounding yes. Image quality is very good. Even my wife, a non-photographer, said she could tell the improvement over my old camera. I am very happy with the results: whether or not they are better or poorer than its competitors would have produced I cannot say. The rear screen is articulated - I have already taken pictures with it which would not have been possible otherwise.
(B) Again, all I can say is that I have had no problems so far. It is quite likely that some photographers will not consider a camera without a viewfinder, but I cannot mark it down because of that. Build quality, for me, is fine.
Of course, it helps if you are getting value for money. No question about it here. On Cyber Monday I paid £400 for the camera and two lenses, and got a free zoom lens from Fuji. Because I had no receipt from Amazon I rang Fuji to make sure what documentation was needed to qualify for their promotion, and there was no problem. The lens arrived a few weeks later.

UPDATE, WRITTEN IN APRIL
I gave the original review five stars. Despite the above, I have now downgraded it to three.
I have taken maybe 200 pics with the XM1 and would be happy to show them to anyone. Picture quality is great, the camera looks good and is a pleasure to use.
Until yesterday. I went down to the local beach to take some atmospheric pics of a bright sun dispersing thick mist. And I found that the LCD screen, which is the only way to compose pictures, was literally useless. Reflections made it impossible to see what I was shooting. Point and shoot? It was more shoot and hope.
Such a shame There's so much to like about this camera. But anyone who thinks of themselves as a proper photographer should really ignore it and pick a model with a viewfinder. There are several in the range.
At least I will still have the lenses if, in a couple of years, I decide to go for a body-only upgrade.
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