Say cheese for the Fujifilm X-M1

Sep 08, 2013, 10:59 IST | Swapnil Mathur

Fujifilm X-M1 is a mirrorless compact camera with good picture quality

The Fujifilm X-M1 is the entry level mirrorless camera from the Japanese company, making it the third in the lineup. With the X-M1, the company aims at getting the quality of the X-series into the hands of those who cannot afford the more premium X-Pro1 and the X-E1. The X-M1 incorporates a 16 megapixel APS-C X-TRANS sensor coupled up with the second generation EXR Processor for better image processing. For some reason, Fujifilm decided to leave out the X-Trans II sensor from the X-M1,which is a slightly better performer than the X-Trans sensor in the X-Pro1 and X-E1.

Performance wise, the X-M1 yields incredibly good images, partly because the two new lenses (the 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 and the 27mm f/2.0) are optically amazing and also because Fujifilm hasn’t dumbed the insides of the camera down at all in lieu of the price. When shooting in low light, the camera can focus pretty decently (though it can be a little slow at times) and tends to capture images with very little noise. What you do get on the X-M1 is a 920K dot screen that can tilt, but what you lose out is a viewfinder. Given the price factor it’s a fair trade. The video option doesn’t allow you to change settings during filming, which is a little annoying.

Unfortunately, where Fujifilm does compromise is on the build quality of the mirrorless camera. The X-Series has so far carried a very signature metallic build, giving it a solid, robust feel, but the X-M1 turns to plastic as the material of choice. The camera just doesn’t feel as premium, but given that it costs less than half of the X-E1 and performs almost just as well, we feel it could find some traction with the masses who are willing to live with the lesser-than-premium build of the device.

The X-M1 has a slightly slower frame-rate, but the focus is just as fast. The best part is that you can still use the high-quality XF lenses, allowing you to save on the body and splurge on high-quality lenses instead. The other good thing about the X-M1 is that it is the first X-Series camera to back built-in NFC and Wi-Fi for transferring images to Android and iOS devices instantaneously. If you’re in the market for a nice compact camera that is an absolute performance workhorse, then the Fujifilm X-M1 might be perfect for you. 

>> Incredibly compact
>> Well priced compared to the competition
>> Build quality doesn’t feel premium
>> Lack of viewfinder is a little disappointing

Video: 1920x1080 at 30 frames per second
Price: Rs 42,999 (body only) Rs 47,999 (body+ XC16- 50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens)

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