Playing The Long Game: Outdoor Photography With Telezooms

Fujifilm X-M1 CSC Review

The Fujifilm X-M1 is the compact and lightweight CSC from Fuji with the same APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor as the X-Pro1. Find out how it performs in our review.

| Fujifilm X-M1 in Mirrorless Cameras

Fujifilm X-M1 CSC Review: Fujifilm X M1 Black With 16 50mm Lens (3)
The Fujifilm X-M1 is a compact and lightweight compact system camera (CSC) with the same 16 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor as the X-E1 and X-Pro1, and is introduced with a new 16-50mm OIS lens available for £679 with the X-M1.

Fujifilm X-M1 Features

Fujifilm X-M1 CSC Review: Fujifilm X E1 Body Large (1) | 1/160 sec | f/11.0 | 60.0 mm | ISO 200

The Fujifilm X-M1 uses the same 16 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor as the X-E1 and X-Pro1 - this uses a new arrangement of the colour filter array that is designed to remove colour moire and false colour as well as improve noise performance. Fujifilm has also been able to remove the low-pass filter, which should mean increased resolution and detail is reaching the sensor. A diagram from Fujifilm can be seen below, showing the colour arrangement of the typical Bayer sensor, and the new Fujifilm X-Trans sensor designed to mimic a more random colour arrangement:

Fujifilm X-M1 CSC Review: Diagram from Fujifilm
Diagram from Fujifilm

The Fujifilm X-M1 is introduced with a new 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens that gives a wide-angle equivalent of 24mm zooming to 76mm at the telephoto end. Another feature of the X-M1 is built in Wi-Fi, letting you wirelessly transfer images to smart phones and tablet PCs via the Fujifilm Camera app available for iOS and Android devices. It can be used to add GPS information to photos, or for PC Autosave connectivity to PCs, for easy image backup.

Fujifilm X-M1 CSC Review: Fujifilm X M1 Black With 16 50mm Lens (2)

Key Features

  • 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor
  • 3inch tilting LCD, 920K dots
  • Built in flash with Fujifilm’s Super i-Flash technology
  • ISO200-6400, and extended range of ISO100 to 25600
  • Full HD Video recording at 30fps, with stereo sound
  • Art filters: 8 Advanced Filters plus 5 Film Simulation modes
  • In-camera RAW processing
  • Q button for list view of frequently-used menus and smooth configuration
  • Flash Hot shoe
  • Wireless image transfer to smart phones and tablet PCs via Fujifilm Camera app
  • PC Autosave Wi-Fi connectivity to PCs (for easy image backup)
  • The X-M1 camera is available in three colours: Black, Silver and Brown

Fujifilm X-M1 Handling

Fujifilm X-M1 CSC Review: Fujifilm X M1 Black With 16 50mm Lens (5)

Handling - The camera feels well built with good build quality even though the camera is mostly constructed of plastic, with some metal parts used in the pop up flash and tilting screen mechanisms. The textured front grip gives a decent area for your hand to hold, and on the back is a raised plastic area for your thumb although unfortunately it's not rubberised.

The 16-50mm lens doesn't feature an aperture ring around the lens, and the lens mount is made of plastic, compared to the more standard metal mount found on other X lenses. Whilst the camera body is quite small and lightweight, some of the X mount lenses are quite large due to the APS-C sensor, and the Fujinon 55-200mm lens is particularly large on this compact body.

Fujifilm X-M1 CSC Review: Fujifilm X M1 Black With 16 50mm Lens (1)

The Fn / function button on the top can be customised, and also doubles as the Wi-Fi button in playback mode. On the top is a control wheel, which is on the corner of the camera body, this defaults to exposure compensation in P mode, and is quite easy to accidentally move. A second control wheel can be found where your thumb rests, you can press this in playback mode to instantly zoom into a photo. Using Wi-Fi to transfer images to a smartphone is quite straightforward, however the app doesn't feature a remote control feature.

Fujifilm X-M1 CSC Review: Fujifilm X M1 Black With 16 50mm Lens (7)

Menus – The menu system has the photo and setup options neatly separated over a number of screens, with each section colour coded. There is an additional control panel accessible using the Q button on the back in combination with the 4-way controller and scroll wheel. This makes it easy and quick to set options.
Fujifilm X-M1 CSC Review: Fujifilm X E1 Body Large (10) | 1/160 sec | f/11.0 | 60.0 mm | ISO 200

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 350 shots according to Fujifilm / CIPA test results.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

  Fujifilm X-M1
Shutter Response 0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.35
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.45
- Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 Lens 0.35
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo* 1.2
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.8
Shot to Shot with Flash 1.7
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
5fps (39 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A
Continuous Shooting - RAW 5fps (10 shots)

* Quick start mode on. Shutter response is excellent, and the camera has a quick continuous shooting mode, as well as quick shot to shot time. It's also possible to shoot a large number of JPEG images before slowdown. Shooting RAW it takes 26 seconds to clear the buffer after 11 shots.

Fujifilm X-M1 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Fujifilm X-M1 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - The camera produces images with excellent colour and reliable exposure. Photos taken with the built in flash show no red-eye, and the camera performed well in our studio shoot, however we found it was easy to accidentally change the shutter speed due to the placement of the control wheel.

Fujifilm X-M1 Lens test images

Lens Performance - With the 16-50mm OIS lens, the closest focus is 40cm which means that the lens isn't ideal for close-up photos or macro use. Detail in the centre is very good, with good detail to the edges. The lens appears to be quite resistant to flare thanks to provided hood. Barrel or pincushion distortion is low enough not to cause issues in the photos we took, and purple fringing or chromatic aberration was low. Unfortunately the focus occassionally struggled indoors in low light.

Fujifilm X-M1 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - The camera produces images that have very low noise, right up to ISO1600 and ISO3200. It's at ISO1600 / ISO3200 that you can see a slight loss in detail and sharpness, and at ISO6400 there is a slight increase in noise. Above this images show more noise with ISO12800 and ISO25600 showing white dots. ISO100, ISO12800 and ISO25600 aren't available if shooting RAW or JPEG+RAW, instead these are only available when shooting JPEG.

The X-M1 has slightly stronger noise reduction at ISO1600 and ISO3200 and above when compared to the X-E1, but other than this, noise performance is almost identical.

Fujifilm X-M1 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs reasonably well under incandescent lighting with the incandescent preset giving a slightly less warm result. Auto white balance performs very well under fluorescent lighting, with the presets working well when adjusted.

Fujifilm X-M1 Outdoor images

Dynamic range can be extended using DR100, 200 and 400, and this does a good job of expanding the dynamic range and stops the sky from being over-exposed in these shots, although this does increase the ISO setting.

Fujifilm X-M1 Other sample images

Fujifilm X-M1 Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a number of digital filters built in, that can be found under the "Advanced Filter" mode dial position, examples can be seen above. You can also access the multi-exposure mode here. There is no built in HDR mode, although you can use AEB shooting. There are a number of film simulation modes, with the famous Fujifilm film types including: Provia (Standard), Velvia (Vivid), Astia (soft), B&W, and Sepia. You can also adjust colour, sharpness, highlight tone, shadow tone, and noise reduction settings individually.

There is no built in panoramic mode, which seems a strange omission considering the X-E1 and X-Pro1 both feature this.

Video - Video quality is decent and the camera records full HD video with stereo sound at 30fps. Film simulation options are available. Continuous focus can appear quite slow, particularly with low-contrast subjects, as seen in our example video of fish.

Value For Money

The Fujifilm X-M1 is available for £599 body only, or £679 with 16-50mm lens, which makes it very good  value for money considering the 16-50mm lens adds just £80 to the price. Alternatives to consider include the following cameras:

Olympus PEN E-PL5, with touchsreen, £489 with lens.
Panasonic Lumix GF6, with Wi-Fi, touchscreen, £399 with lens.
Samsung NX300, with Wi-Fi, touchscreen, £599 with lens.
Sony NEX-6, with Wi-Fi, EVF, £595 with lens.
Fujifilm X-E1, with EVF, £599 body only.

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Fujifilm X-M1 Verdict

The X-Pro1 and X-E1 with manual control dials, and built in viewfinders were a joy to use due to classic styling and quick photographic control. The Fujifilm X-M1 on the other hand no longer features as many external controls, and with the 16-50mm OIS lens aperture and shutter speed is controlled by the two control wheels. However, the additional of a 3inch tilting screen and built in Wi-Fi, along with a more compact body helps make up for this.

Image quality is very good with excellent colour, and fans of Fujifilm colour and film will find the X-M1 gives very pleasing results, with very good detail, and reliable exposure. Focus speeds are a little on the sluggish side, and indoors, in low-light focus occassionally missed, causing us to have a blurred photo.

The 16-50mm OIS lens gives a useful wide-angle equivalent of 24mm zooming to 76mm at the telephoto end and produces very good results for a "kit lens". When the X-M1 is used in combination with the 27mm f/2.8 lens, the camera is very compact indeed. If you buy the X-M1 with the 16-50mm kit lens, then the kit offers very good value for money, as the alternative of buying the camera body only, and then adding a lens, can be quite an expensive option. Overall, the Fujifilm X-M1 produces excellent images and is part of a growing range of cameras and lenses.

  Fujifilm X-M1 CSC Review:
  The Fujifilm X-M1 produces excellent images and is very good value for money with the 16-50mm lens.

Fujifilm X-M1 Pros

Low noise
Excellent colour
3 inch tilting screen
Built in Wi-Fi connectivity
16-50mm lens performs well
16-50mm lens kit offers good value for money
Film simulation modes
Printed manual

Fujifilm X-M1 Cons

Easy to accidentally set exposure compensation
Raw not available with advanced effects
Doesn't feature a panoramic mode
HDR mode not included


Fujifilm X-M1 Specifications

Image Sensor
Pixels16.3Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4896
Pixels (H)3264
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor SizeAPS-C
Sensor Size (width)23.6mm
Sensor Size (height)15.6mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution920k
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • AF Tracking
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest1/4sec
Bulb modeYes
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • A
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
  • TTL
ISO sensitivity100 - 25600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
Exposure Comp+/-2
Viewfinder ResolutionNo Data
MagnificationNo Data
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting5.6fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationNo
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLi-ion Battery NP-W126
Battery Life (CIPA rating)350shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsLi-ion Battery NP-W126, Battery Charger BC-W126, Shoulder strap, Body cap, CD-ROM (Viewer software, RAW File Converter etc.), Owner's manual

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Photographs taken using the Fujifilm X-M1

SunsetReflections eveningCina Park IIChina Park IThe Red Buoyexperimenting in holiday timetime for experimentingSurprise!Back Home from schooldomesevilla in its 30iesNot from this world? #2shilouetteFace of the Beast

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Just Jas Avatar
Just Jas Plus
21 26.4k 1 England
5 Jun 2014 11:46AM
A pity that the body has a plastic mount - perhaps Fuji reckon that the supplied kit lens will suffice for most users?

Does the lens itself have a metal mount or a plastic one?
petebfrance Avatar
7 Jun 2014 1:21PM
odd - to me the lens mount on the body looks like metal in the product photo in this article, and on other photos I've seen on the internet......
joshwa Avatar
joshwa Plus
13 927 1 United Kingdom
7 Jun 2014 1:47PM
The lens has a plastic mount (on the 16-50mm lens), the body has a metal mount. The section talking about a plastic mount in the review is talking about the lens mount being plastic.
Just Jas Avatar
Just Jas Plus
21 26.4k 1 England
7 Jun 2014 11:40PM
Thank you Joshwa for clearing that up.

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