Thanks to the good people at Fujifilm Italia, we have the (nearly) brand new Fuji X-M1 for two weeks of testing. Unfortunately I am swamped with work these days so I haven’t been able to enjoy it as much as I’d like. That’s why tonight Heather and I decided to take the camera out for a spin around the neighbourhood. Instead of doing the usual ISO test, I chose to take some B&W shots using the Monochrome Film Simulation mode. I also tried to build a first impression about the effectiveness of the autofocus in low-light conditions.
My lens of choice was the new 27mm f/2.8 pancake lens and this combo actually gave me a really good impression. The first thing I noticed was that the X-M1 focuses very quickly and accurately with this lens. It locked onto all the shots I took on the first try, except for the one above (missed it the first time) and the one below. For this one, it was more acceptable because the leaves and branches appeared fine and wispy against the brightly-lit background.
The spiderweb on the leaves demonstrates the great sharpness of the lens even when fully wide open and with the camera set at 6400 ISO.
The X-M1 autofocus seems to be at the same level as the X-Pro 1 with its latest firmware update, or the X100s. It isn’t as fast as an Olympus Pen E-P5 of course, but in low light you really need to focus on a dark spot or point it towards a largely contrasted area to end up with that dastardly red rectangle on your screen. The camera seems to perform well at close distances too.
Again, these are just my first shots with the camera, and all the subjects in my pictures are stationary so I cannot conclude anything about AF performance quite yet.
The camera has the same sensor as the X-Pro1, so that means wonderful ISO performance. The photos shown here are out-of-camera JPGs resized for the web. I only slightly applied contrast and clarity to some of them as I wasn’t satisfied with the results. The monochrome seemed a little bit too flat for my liking. I set the shadows to +1 but it is a shame that the camera has only one standard monochrome profile instead of the several you can find on higher-end X series cameras. The reason is probably that the X-M1 is a medium entry level – you can’t have everything!
I like the ergonomics so far and the 27mm pancake lens fits perfectly onto the body of the camera. I haven’t tried the kit zoom lens yet but I think I will find it (emotionally) difficult to unmount the excellent 27mm. Its focal length is also interesting, between a 35mm and 50mm equivalent.
That’s it for this very first test but expect much more to come soon. Enjoy the gallery!
Have you tried the Fujifilm X-M1? What were your first impressions?
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