Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Closer Look at the Fuji X-M1

I mentioned this new camera, the Fuji X-M1, the other day, but I didn't really look at it all that carefully. Seemed at first glance to be just another boring camera, but maybe I was still reacting to Leica's X Vario/ Mini-M debut. So now after reading up on it a bit more, it turns out to be more interesting than it first appeared. The X-M1 continues the updated retro look of the other X-series cameras, like the X-Pro1, X-E1, and the X100S. While it is true that it doesn't feature an optical or LCD viewfinder or manual-oriented dials and switches, it manages to fit in with the rest of the X family quite nicely.

I like the new selection of colors it will be offered in and I really like the smaller size. That's a direct benefit of leaving off the viewfinder; you can cut down on the size of the body. People are now used to using the rear LCD screen for composing anyway. And I like that it uses the same 16 MP sensor as the two models above it in the line-up. So people can approach the X-M1 in at least two ways. You can see as the entry-level camera that it can be used like; its controls are intended for easy full-auto and point-and-shoot use. Or you can see it as a back-up body or stroll-around camera that will deliver images nearly identical to those produced by its higher-priced and bigger siblings. Plus, it has built-in WiFi for connecting and downloading images to your phone. And the prices is pretty good. The X-M1 body goes for $699 and the kit with the new 16-50mm zoom lens goes for $799. This is a smart, well-considered camera offered at an attractive price point. Fuji continues to follows its own lead in matters of camera design and execution, and I think they deserve a lot of praise for that. I wonder what they have planned for next?