First Look: X-M1 with New Kit Zoom and Pancake Lens

by Rico Pfirstinger

Talk to Rico (open forum for questions & feedback)Rico’s Flickr sets – X-M1 sample images – Mastering the Fujifilm X-Pro1 reading samples (65 free pages)

Click here to read Andy Westlake’s excellent preview of the X-M1 on DPR – Click here to jump directly to my set of sample images taken with my pre-production camera and lenses

Edit [16/9/13]: Added additional findings to the “pro” section of this article.

Edit [1/8/13]: Added plenty of new samples, both JPEG and RAW (Lightroom & Silkypix) to the Flickr set. Updated Pro/Con comparison with X-E1.

Edit [30/6/13]: Added several SOOC JPEG portrait samples taken with the X-M1 and the two new lenses to the Flickr set.

Edit [29/6/13]: Added my experiences using an USB adapter to get RR-80 remote controls to work with the X-M1

Fujifilm’s new X-M1 mid-range system camera is targeting users and fans of premium compact cameras (like the Sony RX100 or Fujifilm X10, X20 and XF1) as well as users of entry-level DSLR cameras who do not want to compromise on image quality, but prefer a small, lightweight and still affordable package. It’s important to recognize that the X-M1 was at least as much inspired by the Fujifilm X20 and XF1 as was by its older and more expensive system camera sibling, the X-E1.

In other words: This is as much a smaller X-E1 as it is an APS-C sensor sized system camera version of the XF1 or X20. Believe it or not, but the X10/X20 is actually a little bit larger than the body of the X-M1.

A Little Bit of Everything

This turns the X-M1 into kind of a hybrid system: It features the mode dial, scene modes, additional AF modes (including face recognition and pattern tracking), an additional OIS mode and the “art filters” of Fuji’s premium compact and bridge cameras. At the same time, it records images with the same 16 MP APS-C X-Trans sensor found in the larger and more expensive X-Pro1 or X-E1.

In terms of image processing, the tiny X-M1 even surpasses its bigger siblings with the faster EXR Processor II engine already known from the X100S and X20, with conventional 12 Bit RAW image recording. This turns the X-M1 into a pretty responsive camera (at least in Fuji terms). A 95 MB/s SD card (such as a SanDisk Extreme Pro) certainly pays-off when used in concert with this camera. It takes the X-M1 just about 2 seconds to copy 3 FINE+RAW images from its internal buffer to the card. With its modest burst rate of 5.6 frames per second, this means that the camera can shoot 13 frames in a row at full speed, even though the buffer is just large enough to hold 10 FINE+RAW images at any given time.

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Iridient Developer (2.1.1): New native X-Trans support + Iridient (2.1) vs ACR (thevisualexperience)

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I’ve already told you that Iridient Developer (MAC only) now supports X-Trans RAW files here. The latest 2.1.1 version is now available with all “new, native demosaic processing for the Fuji X-Trans models!” Check it here and download the free trial here!  “Fuji: X-Pro1, X-E1, X20 and X100S now natively supported by new demosaic process in addition to existing support using Apple RAW libraries“.

Iridient Developer vs ACR

thevisualexperience made a comparison between ACR and Iridient (2.1). The question here: “is it worth in a Lightroom based workflow, to add this other piece of software or not?

Here are some of his findings: “White balances are different. Many differences in color rendering btw the two RAW processors […] The IRIDIENT output, in the same conditions as ACR, give a darker and more contrasty image. […] There is some “vignetting” in the IRIDIENT output. […] The details extracted from the RAW by IRIDIENT  blow out ACR

Now, it’s worth to add Iridient in your workflow? You can find the answer in part1 and part2 of his review (includes also a nice video comparison).

enjoy your day
Patrick

image courtesy: thevisualexperience (part 2)

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quick peek at 27mm: Samples and Crops at brandonremler

X-M1 BODY ONLY – USA: AmazonUS (silverblack) / BHphoto (silverblack) / Adorama (silverblack) / DigitalRev / Pictureline (silverblackbrown) EUROPE: DigitalRev / WexUK (silverblack) / PCHstore (silverblack)

X-M1 + XC 16-50mm – USA: AmazonUS (silverblack) / BHphoto (silverblack) / Adorama (silverblack) / DigitalRev / Pictureline (silverblackbrown) EUROPE: AmazonUK (silverblack) / DigitalRev / WexUK (silverblack) / PCHstore (silverblack)

XF 27mm – USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto (silverblack) / Adorama (silverblack) / DigitalRev / Pictureline EUROPE: DigitalRev / WexUK / PCHstoreXC 16-50: WexUK / PCHstore

 

And as you can see at the FR dealsrunner sidebar, a user just found the X-M1 available for preorder at fotomundus (Germany)! Share your own findings with dealsrunner… they will automagically appear at the FR-sidebar and visible for all FR-readers immediately. It’s the best way to help us to save money ;). Let’s share deals!

_ _ _

Brandon Remler is testing the 27mm lens on the streets of New York city. These are the first shots (with some 100% crops) he did with new 27mm pancake lens. Click here to see more samples and crops.

image courtesy: brandonremler

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crop

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[UPDATE: set shutter speed limit in Auto ISO?] IT BEGINS NOW! X-M1 announcement: Pre-orders, first looks, specs, samples, new firmware and more… please reload this post

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[UDPATE] MJr carefully read the official FujiUSA page about the X-M1 and noted this: ” ISO100 – 25600 Sensitivity setting range Select from the broad sensitivity range of ISO100 – 25600 for shooting at a full 16-megapixel resolution. The FUJIFILM X-M1 also lets you set the AUTO ISO range (up to ISO 400 – 6400) and the shutter speed limit. For quick access to ISO settings, you can assign this function to the Fn or Q Button.” Is that what we all waited for? Read it here.

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PLEASE RELOAD THIS POST to see the latest links.

PRE-ORDERS

BODY ONLY

X-M1 silver: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama
X-M1 black: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama
X-M1 brown: BHphoto / Adorama

BODY + KIT LENS + LENSES

X-M1 silver with XC 16-50: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama
X-M1 black with XC 16-50: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama
X-M1 brown with XC 16-50: BHphoto / Adorama

XF 27mm black: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama
XF 27mm silver: BHphoto / Adorama

XC 16-50BHphoto

FUJIFILM USA X-M1 official page

fujifilmusa X-M1 website

 FIRMWARE

On 25th June and on 23rd July Fuji will upgrades the firmware. They will provide improved AF performance for all Fujinon XF lenses and add a ‘Focus Peak Highlight’ function for manual focusing. Check the firmware update site here. More details at dpreview here. Read Fuji’s announcement here.

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IMAGE SAMPLES

Fuji Japan sample shots: X-M1 with 16-50mm / XF 27mm

PRESS RELEASES and FIRST LOOKS

X-M1 (16-50mm):  dpreview / imaging resource / FUJIFILM press release /

XF27mm: FUJIFILM press release /

dpreview conclusions: “it looks very much as though it might be one of the most usable, photographer-friendly small mirrorless cameras on the market. Other companies have generally made their small models as externally-simple as possible, for fear of driving away beginners, but Fujifilm has instead gone ahead and covered the X-M1 with more controls than you’ll find on some entry-level SLRs. We’re not sure if it’s the smallest twin-dial interchangeable lens camera ever made, but it has to be close. […] Overall, then, the X-M1 combines a compact form factor with proper twin-dial controls, Fujifilm’s lovely JPEG colour rendition, and a full range of exposure modes which means it can be used by a novice while still offering enough manual control to keep enthusiasts happy. The new XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 kit zoom offers a usefully wider-angle view than typical 18-55mm kit zooms, and impressively fast focusing. This makes for a pretty mouth-watering package that looks very close to the Olympus PEN E-P5 at a distinctly lower price point”

VIDEOS

FIRMWARE press release

FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima) today announces the release of two new firmware updates for the FUJIFILM X-Pro1 and X-E1 compact system cameras, one on 25thJune and a further one on 23rd July.

25th June firmware update:

FUJIFILM X-Pro1 Ver.2.05, FUJIFILM X-E1 Ver.1.06

1.  Additional functionality to improve “one-handed” camera operation

A ‘Focus Frame Selection’ option has been added to the ‘Fn’ (function) button.
This offers easier/quicker operation when setting the Focus Frame Selection using only your right hand.
A second ‘Fn’ button can be allocated.
This enables you to allocate a function to the selector “down” button. The default setting is ‘Focus Frame Selection’ but this can be changed to whatever suits your shooting style.

2.  Enable aperture control for lenses without aperture rings (XF27mmF2.8 / XC16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS)

If you are using either of these lenses which do not feature aperture ring, this firmware update allows you to adjust the aperture setting by using the command dial.

23rd July firmware update:

FUJIFILM X-Pro1 Ver.3.00, FUJIFILM X-E1 Ver.2.00

1.  Improvement of AF speed. Improves AF speed on all existing XF lenses, thanks to the updated algorithm throughout the full range of focal length. Lenses covered:

XF14mm F2.8 R
XF18mmF2 R
XF35mmF1.4 R
XF60mmF2.4 R Macro
XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS

NOTES:

The AF Speed on the XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R MS OIS lens has been already optimised.
For all lenses other than the XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R MS OIS, the firmware for each lens must be also updated.

2.  ‘Focus Peak Highlight’ function for manual focusing

A ‘Focus Peak Highlight’ function, which features on the X100S and X20 cameras, can be added via this firmware update. It assists accurate and sensitive manual focusing by enhancing the outline of your subject in high contrast.

3. Improvement in ‘Checking Focus’ operation: how to change magnification ratio in manual focusing

The process to check focus by selecting manual focus magnification has improved. Just press and rotate the dial right or left and the camera will alternate magnification between 3x and then 10x , whichever way you continue to turn it.

To download the new firmware files & instructions on upgrading your cameras:

Please visit Fujifilm’s global website: http://www.fujifilm.com/support/digital_cameras/software/

miXed zone: X-reviews… and X-E1 with tilt screen! :)

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shared at the Fujirumors facebook page

X-E1 with tilt screen!

Tilt screen, Yes or No? For those who’d like to have it, FR-reader Ken developed this solution: “It’s simply a small rectangle mirror taped to the bottom so it can be angled. Great for low angle shots.” So, spend a few dollars and upgrade the X-E1. ;)

thanks Ken

X100S

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

 – Kevin has the X100S since a couple of months now. He published a blog post with his considerations. Low light performance, X100S or X-PRO1, with WCL-X100, JPEG vs RAW, Custom settings, X100S and wedding photography… there is a lot to read and see here.

Fstoppers X100S review can be read here: They liked: “Great Image Quality / Leaf Shutter / Plenty of Features / Manual / Focusing Options / Beautifully Designed” They disliked: “Complicated Menus / Bad Low-Light Focusing / 1/3rds Stops system for Aperture and Shutter Complicated”

– X100S review at cameralabs here: “While the biggest changes are of course the new sensor, improved AF and upgraded viewfinder, there’s a raft of smaller improvement and enhancements like faster start-up time, faster continuous shooting with a larger buffer, 1:1 aspect ratio, and a protective coating on the viewfinder. There are some minor niggles; the problem with unresposive buttons persists and the X100S can be difficult to wake from sleep. the new 1080p60 movie mode is a welcome addition, but movie shooting otherwise still feels like a bit of an afterthought. And though it supports Eye-Fi cards, built-in Wi-Fi and GPS would be a welcome addition. But it’s hard to be disappointed in the X100S, it’s a superb camera that’s, highly capable, beautiful to look at, and a pleasure to use.

 X20

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

 pcmag X20 review can be read here. From the conclusions:

“The Fujifilm X20 is an improvement over its predecessor, another camera that we liked. It’s got the same big optical viewfinder, but it now displays current shooting settings and visually confirms focus lock. There are plenty of physical controls, and a hot shoe if you’d like to use an external flash. It’s still easy to block the viewfinder when adjusting the zoom, and if you’ve got clumsy fingers like mine you may end up smudging it with frequency. The X-Trans sensor lives up to its promise of producing images with a more natural, film-like grain; but at this point in time, Lightroom struggles a bit with noise reduction of Raw files shot at ISO 1600 and above. We really liked the X20, but it doesn’t manage to edge out the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 as our Editors’ Choice for premium compact cameras. The RX100 has a larger 1-inch image sensor that gives it a one-stop advantage in terms of image noise control, records images at 20 megapixels, and it’s noticeably smaller. But if you value the optical viewfinder and manual zoom control, and if you can afford it, the X20 will pay you back with excellent images.

– Read the test of expertreviews here.

“The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 is a better video camera, and its even brighter f/1.4-2.3 lens makes up for its slightly smaller sensor to put them roughly level pegging for photo quality. The LX7 is also quite a bit cheaper, at around £330. However, the X20’s superb optical viewfinder, superior controls and sumptuous design mean it doesn’t seem overpriced. So while the LX7 remains our favourite premium compact camera, the X20 deserves nothing less than five stars.”

 X-E1

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

Steves-digicams comprehensive X-E1 review here: “The Fujifilm X-E1 is an outstanding ILC camera that is designed more for the photo enthusiast, rather than the average person. It has an outstanding set of features and hardware that provide amazing image quality and low-light performance, with relatively good shooting performance.”

jrbernstein X-E1 review can be read here: “The X-E1 packs a lot of punch in a very small, mid-priced, interchangeable-lens, EVF camera. It get’s you 90% of the way to a X-Pro1, but at a decent cost, size, and weight savings.  However, in my mind, the lack of optical viewfinder would make this a tough sell to full-time pros, like myself. […] ”

Dan Bailey flew out to the Knik Glacier and shot landscapes with the Fujifilm X-E1 under Alaska evening light (click here): “I’m finding the XE-1 to be a real joy to shoot with, and I think that it’s an really great camera for shooting landscapes. It’s got great resolution and the XF lenses give gorgeous, crisp images.

lenses

Fuji XF 55-200mm Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

Photos and short commentary. Downtown Toronto with the X100s, X-E1, 18-55, 55-200. Check it out here. “This gear is so light, small and flexible! I’m no street photographer but I have been inspired by what I have seen from others. This gear-set lends itself to being mobile and discreet. Low light performance is excellent and JPG’s out of the camera are excellent. I shot both RAW and JPG and actually liked the JPG’s better. Fun factor is high.”

image courtesy: misturphotography
55-200 @ 67mm F/3.6 1/50 sec ISO 400

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Here are Bert Stephani first impressions of the 55-200: “The lens seems very well constructed, the build quality seems to be very similar to the excellent 18-55. […] The zoom action is very smooth and with the right amount of friction. I will however need some time to get used to a tele zoom that physically changes length (and therefor also balance) when zooming after years of working with the internal zooming Canon 70-200 L IS 2.8. […] The autofocus is completely silent and reasonably fast as long as there’s enough contrast in the area you want to focus on. I expect to see a firmware update soon to improve the AF in more difficult circumstances. […] The optical quality is excellent

image courtesy: Bert Stephani

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Zeiss Touit

Zeiss Touit 12mm Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay Zeiss Touit 32mm Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

– At Sulantoblog you can read the 12mm Zeiss Touit review: “In my opinion the Zeiss Touit 12 mm f/2.8 is an excellent lens, but it makes sense for Fuji only if 14 mm is not wide enough. For Sony Nex the Zeiss will be very interesting option, because there is really no alternative if you want a super wide E-mount lens.”

image courtesy: sulantoblog

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Fuji XF14mm Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

admiringlight posted the sull XF14mm review here (with the shortest “con” list they ever posted :) ) From the conclusions: “The lens is very sharp from wide open and extremely sharp to the very furthest reaches of the corners when stopped down.  Chromatic aberration is controlled extremely well, and perhaps the most surprising element is the near total lack of distortion. About the only thing that bugs me about the lens is the relatively loose aperture ring, which is far too easy to accidentally knock out of your desired aperture position.  It’s very odd, too, as the aperture rings for Fuji’s other lenses are nowhere near as loose as the one on the 14mm.  However, in the grand scheme of the lens, it’s a minor inconvenience on what is otherwise just a stunning optic.”