The Fujifilm X-Series cameras have always fascinated me with their retro styling, sharp image quality and urban feel.
I suppose coming from a background of using larger Canon 1D bodies, my views were rather reserved and skeptical when it came to the compact pro debate. However, since the release of the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 camera I have been hooked! I made the change from digital SLR to compact pro when the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 was released and since then I haven’t looked back. The size, portability, quality and style are all winners for me, don’t get me wrong though, I’m a bit of a camera freak so I do love picking up the odd Canon, Nikon, Olympus or other branded camera from time to time. It’s always good to compare image quality between brands and so far for me nothing has gone past the X-Series, the price and image quality have been very hard to beat.
With the recent announcement of the Fujifilm X-M1 I wanted to get my hands on one to see what the differences were between the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 and Fujifilm X-E1 cameras. To my surprise there’s wasn’t a lot. The Fujifilm X-M1 camera uses the same X-Trans CMOS sensor found in the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 and X-E1 and additionally uses the same Fujifilm EXR Processor II used in the X20 and X100s camera – what a combination! The only major differences I could see was the lack of a hybrid viewfinder (or electronic) and secondly, no XF lens mounted on the front. Instead the camera came bundled with a Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5 – 5.6 OIS lens which was incredibly sharp and clear, unfortunately I don’t have pictures to show you as the X-M1 (pictured) was only a pre production unit, the final X-M1 camera was still coming. To see samples from the X-M1 taken by X-Series photographers click here.
I like how Fujifilm have kept the styling of the camera traditional to the original X100. The sleek silver design is very appealing to me and I really did want to take this demo unit home to add to my collection! Scanning the top of the camera with my camera I did notice a new function, the SR+ Auto. With this function turned on, I was told the camera could auto detect up to 58 different scenes (and in some modes only up to 54 scenes) which I suppose it’s an absolutely perfect mode for the photographer just starting out.
Also have a look at the picture above and take note of the black wheel positioned on the top right of the back of the camera. The position of this wheel is spot on because it allowed me to change the aperture with my thumb while adjusting the shutter speed at the same time! Considering I have ginormous Aussie farmers hands this was certainly a win, thumbs up for one-handed photography!
I think one of the reasons Fujifilm decided to remove the viewfinder was to keep the price lower for the average consumer. Being a traditional viewfinder photographer I struggled when I first picked up this camera, although with a bit of patience I easily adapted to shooting with the tilt-able LCD screen, it actually made photography fun.
Apart from the quality sensor and image processor there were a few other stand out features, one of them being the flash. Having previously worked as a manager for several camera stores I have seen my fair share of bad quality photos. Do you know the sort of bad photos I’m talking about? It’s the typical photo, the one of over exposed face due to a powerful flash. Selfie’s and couple shots during the night would be the best examples of bad flash photography! My hope is this little Fujifilm X-M1 should change that!
The X-M1 has an incredibly smart flash, it’s called a ‘Super Intelligent Flash’. The super flash regulates the amount of light it fires dependent on the scene, so whenever your subject is close to the camera it emits a super quick pre flash to discharge itself, so intern you don’t end up with a photo which ends up being deleted! Can we give this flash a cape please… it’s super! Oh dear, that was a bad dad joke…and I’m not even a dad!
The other important feature to note can be found in the Shooting Menu. Fujifilm have decided to add two additional focus modes; continuous and tracking. I didn’t have a huge play with these features as time was short although from what I understand these focus modes should really help with fast moving objects. I did get some time to quickly scroll through the main menu of the demo X-M1 and simulate it in a short video for you all.
I would be interested to hear your feedback about the X-M1 or your current X-Series camera. Please drop a comment below or tag me on social media and let me know what you would like to see on future X-Series cameras. Fujifilm as a company welcome feedback from their users so I’ll be sure to pass it on.
Until Next Time,
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