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Fujifilm X-M1 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £672
inc VAT

Stunning photo quality makes it worth the high price, but additional lenses are expensive too


23.6×15.6mm 16.0-megapixel sensor, 3.1x zoom (24-76mm equivalent), 531g

Fujifilm seems to have a knack for designing truly luxurious compact cameras. We loved the Fujifilm X100S, which delivered the best ergonomics and image quality we’ve ever seen from a compact camera. The gorgeous retro design didn’t harm its appeal, either.

The X100S’s 35mm (equivalent) lens suits a wide range of shooting environments, but having a fixed lens with no zoom function isn’t to everyone’s tastes. That’s where Fujifilm’s X Mount compact system cameras step in. There are currently three models, all of which use the superb 16-megapixel sensor used in the X100S. The X-Pro1 (around £1,200 including VAT) sits at the top of the range, and includes the hybrid viewfinder technology that impressed us so much in the X100S. Then there’s the X-E1, which costs around £900 and has a simpler electronic viewfinder.

Fujifilm X-M1

The most recent addition is the X-M1. It costs £672 and lacks a viewfinder or dials for direct control over the shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation. Its body is made of plastic rather than aluminium, but there’s enough retro style to make it look like part of the family.


Considering this is the entry-level model, it’s still pretty expensive – other CSCs are available for half the price (a cheaper X-A1 model is widely rumoured but not yet announced as we go to press). However, various features position it closer to mid-range models in other ranges. There’s a hotshoe for an external flashgun, plus integrated Wi-Fi for transfers to iOS and Android devices. The articulated screen, dedicated mode dial and dual command dials also distinguish it from many cheaper rivals.

Even so, with no viewfinder – or option to add one – it falls behind on features to the similarly priced Sony NEX-6 and Panasonic G6. It’s also relatively bulky for a CSC, at 531g with its 16-50mm kit lens. That’s only a fraction lighter than the SLR-styled Panasonic G6. Most other CSCs weigh between 320g and 460g.

Fujifilm X-M1
There’s no electronic viewfinder here, and no way to add one

The Wi-Fi implementation is relatively simple, with no remote shooting function. Transfers are managed either on the camera or the connected smartphone or tablet, with an option to resize photos to 3 megapixels before transfer. Rather than using a password, the connected device must be confirmed by clicking OK on the camera. This works well on Android devices, where the Fujifilm app can manage the Wi-Fi settings automatically. The iOS app was less successful, with numerous “Not Found” messages before we got the camera, app and iPad’s Network Settings to work together at the same time.

Fujifilm X-M1
The app doesn’t allow for remote shooting

The app can also use the smartphone’s GPS radio to geotag photos. Rather than keeping a log, the app and camera must be synchronised manually each time you want to update the GPS position. Still, once we figured out what to do, it worked well with our Android phone.


Taking photos was a pleasant experience. The controls are well laid out, with dedicated buttons for autofocus point, white balance, drive mode and ISO speed (the latter being the default for the customisable Fn button). Meanwhile, pressing the Q button reveals a grid of 15 functions on the screen, navigated using the rear pad and adjusted with either command dial.

Having dual dials pays off in priority and manual exposure modes, giving direct access to exposure settings. The dial on the top plate is easily adjusted by accident, though. We often found that exposure compensation had been inadvertently changed. The sharp 3in screen tilts up and down by 90 degrees for waist-height or overhead shooting, but not all the way over for self-portraits. We’d have preferred a touchscreen for quicker navigation of the Q menu and autofocus point adjustment, but the rear pad handles these tasks reasonably quickly.

Fujifilm X-M1

We noticed some odd behaviour during our tests. At one point the camera complained that it had run out of numbers to assign to photos, and refused to take any more until we reset the numbering system. We’re told by Fujifilm that this is to avoid having photos with duplicate file names, but stopping taking photos altogether doesn’t seem like a practical solution. Why not just use longer file names? Another problem was that adjusting the zoom sometimes caused the screen to go blank for about a second. We eventually narrowed this down to a small amount of movement between the lens and camera – simply twisting the lens barrel (rather than the zoom ring) had the same effect. We’re assured that this fault hasn’t been seen on other X-M1s and would be covered by the warranty.

Autofocus was responsive, taking less than half a second to lock onto subjects. We measured one second between shots in normal use – a respectable result but half the speed of the fastest CSCs. It fared better in continuous mode, capturing 42 frames at 5.5fps before slowing slightly to 4.4fps. Raw capture lasted for 11 frames before slowing to 1.4fps.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****
CCD effective megapixels 16.0 megapixels
CCD size 23.6×15.6mm
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 920,000 pixels
Articulated screen Yes
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 3.1x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 24-76mm
Image stabilisation optical, in kit lens
Maximum image resolution 4,896×3,264
File formats JPEG, RAW; QuickTime (AVC)


Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied none
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 350 shots
Connectivity USB, mini HDMI, Wi-Fi
Body material plastic
Lens mount Fujifilm X Mount
Focal length multiplier 1.5x
Kit lens model name Fujinon XC16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS
Accessories USB cable
Weight 531g
Size 66x117x113mm

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £672

Camera Controls

Exposure modes program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed 30 to 1/4,000 seconds
Aperture range f/3.5-22 (wide), f/5.6-22 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 100 to 25600 (200 to 6400 for raw)
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 6 presets with fine tuning, manual
Additional image controls sharpness, colour, highlight tone, shadow tone, noise reduction
Manual focus Yes
Closest macro focus 30cm
Auto-focus modes multi, flexible spot, face detect, tracking
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, ISO bracket, film simulation bracket, dynamic range bracket