Fujifilm X-M1 Review - X-M1 is the manufacturer's smallest and lightest CSC yet and is aimed at a wider audience then previous models. Does it succeed?
Fujifilm X-M1 Review – Design
The Fujifilm X-M1 continues the trademark retro styling of Fujifilm’s X-series cameras. It’s a nice looking CSC that’s available in a choice of three colour schemes – solid black, silver and black, as well as silver and tan (I have to say that out of the three, the tan finish is the most pleasing to the eye).
Proportionally, the XM-1 noticeably smaller than both the X-Pro1 and X-E1 (and the X100S come to that). With the new XF 27mm f/2.8 pancake lens attached, the X-M1 is actually more compact than the company’s X20 compact camera that utilizes a smaller 2/3in sensor, thus making it one of the smallest CSCs out there with an APS-C sized sensor.
At first glance it may appear to be constructed from metal, but the top and base plates are actually plastic. Don’t be put off though as once you’ve factored in the machined buttons on the top, the deeply textured synthetic leather grip running round the front of the body and the relatively shallow but comfortable handgrip, and the overall effect doesn’t disappoint.
With a wide choice of shooting controls compared to the X-Pro1 and X-E1 on offer, the control layout of the X-M1 is a little different than its siblings. Instead of having a dedicated shutter speed dial on the top plate, the X-M1 sports a more familiar mode dial instead, offering a host of automated shooting modes as well as the core M, A, S, P shooting modes for more creative shooting.
Next to that is the on/off switch with the shutter button sitting in the middle. This time it’s not threaded, so it’s not possible to attach a mechanical cable release and users will have to invest in the RR-90 remote release terminal.
The Fujifilm X-M1 features two control dials, the first of which located on the top plate where the exposure compensation dial resides on other X-series models – while there’s a programmable Function button (Fn) just in front of it that can be set-up to offer quick-access to a range of settings.
At the rear of the camera you’ll find the second control dial, positioned vertically and popping out from behind the thumb rest. It may look a little awkward to use, it’s actually quite easy to use with your thumb and while it’s a little plasticky for our taste, does the job.
The remainder of the Fujifilm X-M1’s controls, bar the button for the pop-up flash are all nestled underneath the second control dial. There’s direct access to White Balance, Drive, Video, Macro and AF, as well as the X-M1’s Quick menu. To the left is the 3in screen and there’s a decent breadth of movement from it, which can be angled at 90 degrees for waist-level shooting or 85 degrees if you’re looking to shoot from a raised position.