Fujifilm X-M1 first thoughts and photos

Discussion in 'Fuji' started by entropic remnants, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Hall of Famer

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    I'll probably review this as part of an overall "X Camera" experience in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, I do want to say a few things about my first impressions of this camera and I'll show some of my first shots with it.

    • Plastic-ness: Not an issue. Yes, it's light and plastic feeling -- but it's a tight little brick of a camera. Definitely doesn't feel cheap. The budget body-only one I got is black and the finish is better than the chrome finished ones I've seen. The shutter button and power switch looked not smoothly chromed on some I've seen, the black one is quite nice. I really can't find much to comment negatively on in terms of the overall feel of this camera and it presents to me like a small micro four thirds camera like the GX1 or something.
    • Overall Controls: Well, although one could wish for the dedicated shutter speed dial, I do understand what Fuji did here. Certainly it all works well and to me the controls feel fine with positive clicks on buttons and all wheels. It is possible to move the top wheel a little easily, but I'll live with it for this price.
    • Control Wheel Layout: Yeah, Kai Wong on DigitalRev made a big show about how easy it is to adjust the two dials at the same time by accident. Yes, it can happen but I really don't find the control wheels bad at all and the fact that there are two on a low end body is a plus. Certainly, sans touch-screen you need them and all the buttons.
    • Display: It's really very bright and can be dialed up super-bright. It looks great and the tilt mechanism feels solid to me.
    • Autofocus: On par with the X-E1 as far as I can tell. I don't have the 16-50mm which some say is a little faster. It focuses as well as any X camera which is to say slower than most other cameras, lol. It's fine though for me. X100S feels quicker but it's a dedicated lens.
    • Responsiveness: I can very much feel the difference shooting with the X100S vs. my X-E1 due to the higher end processor of the X100S. The X-M1 feels similar to the X100S. If you do things like shoot brackets, even film simulation brackets, the speed of making and storing those images is noticeably faster on the X100S and X-M1 than on the X-E1. In single shot shooting it's hard to see much difference but if you are shooting RAW+Fine or a bracketing mode I'd say the X-M1 seems much quicker to process and store then X-E1 (with matching UHS-1 cards in both).
    • Auto ISO: The X-M1 has the X100S style of auto ISO where you can dial in a minimum (longest) shutter speed. This to me is a no-brainer and I can't believe my X-E1 doesn't work that way. Make it so, Fuji!

    That's just some first impressions. I was thinking this would be a camera I would put up with to have a backup X-Mount body and second shooting camera for events -- but in fact I find it actually pleasant to use if you disregard the lack of a viewfinder and so forth. It's really quite well done.

    Had a day off and took the X-M1, the 35mm f/1.4, and the 14mm f/2.8 to Longwood Gardens. I need to get the camera down in my head before I shoot a wedding with it.

    Since the bride wants b/w, I shot everything in RAW+JPG with the monochrome selected. I shot everything using a b/w LCD presentation (with the brightness at +5 in the sun). I used an ND for some shots and the only 52mm I had other than the Vari-ND was a 5 stop one, lol. Really slowed down the shutter speed but I made it work mostly in the sunny shots so I could shoot wide open. I did find that shooting in monochrome didn't really affect my ability to visualize the shots.

    These shots then are all from RAW as the JPG's are all monochrome. Everything with the 14mm (only one so far here) were shot with focus peaking in manual focus.

    More coming later.

    Fujifilm X-M1 Test: Fly in an Impressionist World by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Fujifilm X-M1 Test: Butterfly Trip by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Fujifilm X-M1 Test: James by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Fujifilm X-M1 Test: Percy by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Fujifilm X-M1 Test: Pumpkin Town by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr
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  2. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Hall of Famer

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Pretty much my same impressions John. Although I didn't notice the speed difference with the XE1, not doing any burst mode or raw+jpeg shooting. I agree that it's nice to have SOME level of minimum shutter speed that the user can choose with auto ISO in aperture priority mode, but 1/125 is too slow to be of much use to me. But it's still better than the very slow speeds the X-Pro and X-E1 will default to sometimes, particularly with wider lenses...

  4. mnhoj

    mnhoj gee aahrr

    Jan 27, 2012
    Well done John.
    Right down to naming the engines.
  5. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Hall of Famer

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Ha ha! Had to look them up, I had the names, but I had them backwards and my wife told me I'd better look. But I know the names from having grandkids, lol. Thanks!

    Totally agree, Ray. For my purposes just wanting to stay in the stabilizers range, or for general event shots, it works okay -- but it's far inferior to the auto ISO implementation that was in my Nikon's. Still, I'd settle for this on my X-E1 and I can't see why it's not already there after many firmware updates to the X-E1. Hope they eventually do it.

    I really liked the X-M1 when I used it today. It's another case of liking a camera more than I thought I would. I think the X-A1 will be a real winner with this kind of image quality (or better, lol) at the price point it is -- which will eventually fall.
  6. Stan

    Stan Regular

    Apr 19, 2013
    Superb images! The fuji colors are wonderful, and you're using the 14mm creatively.
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  7. rbelyell

    rbelyell All-Pro

    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    i love 1&2, really nicely done!
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