Fujifilm today announced the 16 megapixel X-M1, the third model in its compact system camera line. Although the least expensive of the trio, the X-M1 is built around the same 16 megapixel, APS-C sized X-Trans CMOS sensor as the X-Pro 1 and the X-E1. Because it uses the same sensor, the X-M1 (like its siblings) does not have an optical low pass filter but, Fujifilm notes, the camera is equipped “with a unique color filter array that minimizes moiré and false color.” The removal or omission of the OLPF may be a growing trend with interchangeable lens cameras. Whether or not this is a benefit or a drawback certainly depends on how well each manufacturer’s implementation handles potential issues such as moiré.
At 11.6 ounces and measuring 4.5 x 2.6 x 1.5 inches, the X-M1 is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, in part due to its build. Fuji notes that in order to deliver a compact design with a large sensor, there was no room for a viewfinder. But the camera offers a 3-inch, high resolution (920,000 dot) tilting LCD, a built-in flash and a hotshoe.
Other features of note include WiFi, which can be used in conjunction with the free Fujfilm Camera Application app, which is iOS and Android compatible. The X-M1 also features an ISO range from 100-25,600 and RAW shooting (with in-camera RAW processing).
While the X-M1 may not offer the same build quality or speed as the X-E1, it sounds like it might be a good option for pro’s who want an affordable, full-function compact interchangeable lens camera to toss in their bag.
The X-M1 is will be available in a duo-tone black and silver, black only or a retro-like brown leatherette. Available as body only or, when purchased as a kit, with the new XC 16-50mm, f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens. The XC lens is X-mount compatible but lacks the aperture ring of the XF lenses and, due to their construction (more plastic than metal), are lighter. Right now, the XC 16-50mm is only available in the kit.
The camera and XC lens will be available in July, with the brown leatherette version following in August.
At the same time, Fujifilm also announced a new prime X-mount lens, the 27mm, f/2.8. The lens is compact and lightweight, measuring 23mm in length and weighing a mere 2.75 ounces. It features a 7-blade round diaphragm, a high-torque DC motor for AF, a metal focus ring and 7 lens elements in 5 groups. The lens will be available in July. With the XC lens, Fuji now offers a total of 8 X-mount lenses, with five primes ranging from 14mm to 60mm, and three zooms including the 16-50mm, 18-55mm and 55-200mm.
Price: X-M1 body only: $700; with 16-50mm kit lens: $800;
XF 27mm lens: $450
Camera Review: Fujifilm X-E1