Fujifilm X-M1 review - The X-M1 boasts tilting touch screen and Wi-Fi as well as manual photographic features

Fuji seeks a wider audience for its retro styled CSCs, with the X-M1 boasting tilting touch screen and Wi-Fi alongside manual photographic features

In contrast with the year-old Canon, here we have Fuji’s very latest CSC, though it looks deliberately less contemporary, the manufacturer having hit something of a rich product vein in its retro-styled X series compacts. The squarish X-M1 doesn’t fx what isn’t broken in incorporating a large 16.3 megapixel APS-C sized sensor; the same as the flagship X-Pro1 and E-M1 models that came before it. Clearly reaching out to a wider consumer audience this time around, the new Fuji ‘X’ comes in black, silver, or ‘tan’ and helpfully features a 3-inch, 920k dot resolution tilting LCD screen to achieve more creative or otherwise awkward framing. It delivers this whilst being roughly half the size of a traditional SLR at 66.5mm high and 39mm in depth – so of similar dimensions and feel to both the Olympus E-P5 and Panasonic GX7. Yet unlike that Panasonic, the X-M1 disappointingly doesn’t feature a built in eye-level viewfinder at all.

Powering up in just over a second, though the camera’s design could be described as ‘classic’, this serious yet approachable Fuji incorporates the latest must haves nonetheless, such as Wi-Fi connectivity, and is launched alongside a free downloadable Fujifilm Camera App that allows interaction with the latest smartphones and tablets. The essentials are here too in that the X-M1 offers both a built-in flash and a vacant hotshoe for the addition of accessories. Plus support for Fuji’s standalone ‘X’-mount camera format is growing; with 12 own brand lenses promised by the start of 2014 to add to three produced independently by Zeiss as part of its ‘Touit’ range. Also worth mentioning is the fact that the latest Fuji boasts a higher than average 350-frame battery life. Not a patch on a semi pro DSLR at this price perhaps, but a decent showing for its camera class. Read more Camera reviews

Thankfully as with its fixed and interchangebale lens ‘X’ series predecessors, this camera is not just a pretty fascia either. The X-M1 when equipped with 16-50mm kit zoom is capable of delivering some creamily smooth colour tones and some lovely shallow depth of field effects, even though the maximum f/3.5 lens aperture (running up to f/5.6 at the telephoto end) isn’t especially bright nor fast.

OUR VERDICT

Those keen amateur photographers who up until now had been considering an Olympus Pen for its ‘old fashioned’ levers and dials, or even a Leica at a push, will perhaps now want to take a closer look at what Fuji is offering these days, and in the case of the XM-1 for a fair amount less.

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