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How Fuji could save the X-M1

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Mastering the X-PRO1 and X-E1:

 BookKindle editionApple iBook

Fujifilm X-A1

USA: AmazonUSeBay / BHphoto / Adorama / Pictureline / DigitalRev EUROPE: AmazonUK (via DR) DigitalRev / eBay

Fujifilm X-M1

USA: AmazonUS (save $72 on the silver version + kit lens) / BHphoto / Adorama / PicturelineeBay ($70 price drop) / DigitalRev EUROPE: eBay / DigitalRev / AmazonDE (via DR) / wexcamerasDE / AmazonUK (via DR) / PCHstore

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by Rico Pfirstinger

Talk to Rico (open forum for questions & feedback)Rico’s Flickr sets – X-A1 sample images set – X-M1 sample images set –  X-M1 vs. X-A1 shooutout set (private Flickr set, MUST use this link!)Original X-A1 & X-M1 shootout RAW files for download – Mastering the Fujifilm X-Pro1 reading samples (65 free pages) – Order my NEW book: Mastering the Fujifilm X-E1 and X-Pro1

It’s been almost a week, but my  X-A1/X-M1 shootout is still fueling controversy, even more so since my samples now also include comparisons with different external RAW converters: Lightroom, Photo Ninja and Iridient Developer. Feel free to download the original RAW files here and play with them with the converter of your choice. Or have a look at the Flickr set by clicking here.

The 200 Dollar Question

A popular discussion point in forums and blogs is the significant price difference between the X-A1 and X-M1, given that both cameras are pretty much identical and offer the same firmware. Granted, the JPEG engines of both cameras are calibrated differently in order to suit the perceived needs of either entry-level (A1) or mid-level (M1) photographers. However, there’s no difference regarding features and controls. Nor everybody seems to understand that. For about 200 dollars more, many (potential) users apparently expect more than just an X-Trans sensor CFA.

In my opinion, Fuji could quickly add (or rather bring back) a few useful firmware features to enhance X-M1’s value and usability for the mid-level customers Fuji is targeting, and also for advanced photographers who want to use the X-M1 as their second X-Trans body. Here’s what I have in mind:

  • Turn the video recording button into a second Fn button.
  • Add Pro Neg. Hi and Pro Neg. Std film simulations.
  • Bring back Adobe RGB as an optional JPEG color space.
  • Offer a Kelvin option in the white balance menu (shooting mode and internal RAW converter).
  • Add an option to turn the Sports, Landscape and Portrait scene modes on the mode dial into additional custom modes.
  • Enhance the camera’s exposure compensation to comprise ± 3 EV.
  • Support the Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO).
  • Add an option for WYSIWYG brightness and a working live histogram in manual exposure mode (M).
  • Bring back the electronic level indicator and Motion Panorama. However, I fear these two features are based on a hardware sensor that is missing in the X-M1.

These enhancements, in addition to the X-Trans sensor, could help justifying the current price difference between the X-A1 and X-M1.

What do you think? How could Fujifilm add value to the X-M1 through firmware updates?

Fujifilm X-A1 in stock check

USA: AmazonUSeBay / BHphoto / Adorama / Pictureline / DigitalRev EUROPE: AmazonUK (via DR) DigitalRev / eBay

Fujifilm X-M1

USA: AmazonUS (save $72 on the silver version + kit lens) / BHphoto / Adorama / PicturelineeBay ($70 price drop) / DigitalRev EUROPE: eBay / DigitalRev / AmazonDE (via DR) / wexcamerasDE / AmazonUK (via DR) / PCHstore

For your convenience, here’s a TOC with links to my previous X-PERT CORNER articles:

Rico Pfirstinger studied communications and has been working as journalist, publicist, and photographer since the mid-80s. He has written a number of books on topics as diverse as Adobe PageMaker and sled dogs, and produced a beautiful book of photographs titled Huskies in Action (German version). He has spent time working as the head of a department with the German Burda-Publishing Company and served as chief editor for a winter sports website. After eight years as a freelance film critic and entertainment writer in Los Angeles, Rico now lives in Germany and devotes his time to digital photography and compact camera systems. His book “Mastering the FUJIFILM X-Pro1” (Kindle Edition) (Apple iBook Store) (German version) is available on Amazon and offers a plethora of tips, secrets and background information on successfully using Fuji’s X-Pro1 and X-E1 system cameras, lenses and key accessories.

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