Fuji XM1 user notes, including as compared to the EOS-M

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
:eek: Hellfire and Halation, that's a great whopping flare.
I suppose the solution is "don't shoot at the sun" lol. I was trying to test for starbursts. A proper evening test with bright lights would be better. I don't know how often this phenomenon would turn up, but given that no one else has reported this using a Fuji, I've got to think it's a pretty rare outcome.
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
Smearing? Urgh. I thought that was a X20 issue only. Bummer.
It's not a huge issue, and as I mentioned, you don't really notice till 100%, which is a pretty big print, and won't show up on web sizes.

I just checked my camera. There are 5 levels of noise reduction. The middle level ('standard') is 0, then there is +1, +2 and -1, -2. I've been shooting on 0 (standard). Maybe I should retest on -1 or -2, unless there is a Fuji user who can comment???

Edit: Found this with a quick Google. Seems NR impacts even low ISO. http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/fuji-x-e1/fuji-x-e1HI_ISO_NR.HTM

Sorry, I should have done a bit more research before commenting.
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
UPDATE: Liking the XM1 more and more

Just an update. I guess I'm treating this thread like a personal blog. Sorry about that, but what the heck.

I am glad I rented the XM1 for the week and not just the weekend. I continue to explore the camera, and find things I like about it.

A couple of things I've recently discovered, and make me think I might want to give this camera a continued trial.

MANUAL FOCUS
MF is pretty interesting. I've only got the native lenses, but if you go into MF via the Q menu, you get an elargement square. You can easily zoom in with a push in (actually, down) on the rear thumb wheel (more on this below). When you zoom in, the picture purposely loses detail, and it goes into white-outlined focus peaking and the exposure is set on the LCD to maximize the white outlines. When you are done, and half-press to get the exposure set, the correct exposure and detail is restored, and the full scene view is returned, and then you can click. Hard to explain, but easy to use. The 27mm steps it's focus points, so this feels a little choppy, but I'd bet with a proper MF smooth focus ring, this would be brilliant. I like it.

REAR THUMB WHEEL
The "vertical" rear thumb wheel, though odd, is actually really nice. One issue I've had with "click-able" thumb wheels (where you turn the wheel, then push in to click) is that I invariably end up clicking the wheel when I only wanted to turn it. This "vertical" oriented thumb wheel means I no longer accidentally click. You run your thumb over the edge to move back and forth, and then push DOWN instead of in, to click. It really keeps the two functions separate, and I have yet to accidentally click the rear thumb wheel. As DPR noted, it does seem like it could be a rain magnet, but it's an interesting innovation.

QUICK CHANGES AND CONTROL
I'm finding the combination of the clickable thumb wheel + the Q menu to be super-fast to change settings. There are SO MANY settings such a short distance away. Let's say you are shooting in "A" mode. The larger thumbwheel on the top plate gives you EV adjustment, and the rear thumbwheel gives you aperture adjustment. (side note -- Fuji makes the larger wheel ALWAYS the EV in most settings, and the wheels are so different, I've yet to confuse the functions of the wheels -- something that happened a lot with the OMD). Click down on the 4-way controller to access timer, burst, or bracketing (brilliant), or to the right for WB. Hit the Q button and use the 4-way pad to get to the feature to change, then use the thumbwheel to change it while you hover over. It's very quick, and all easily readable from a tilty screen (in case you are shooting at an odd angle). So, super, easy!

A side note -- as nostalgic and as wonderful as it is to see your settings on the aperture ring and shutter speed wheel, it's also nice to have access to 1/3 stops on both with the thumb wheels.

MENU AMNESIA
My only issues with this set-up are:
  1. After I turn the camera off and turn it on again, it forgets what Q-menu option I was last sitting on. I'd like it to remember that (the camera also doesn't remember the last menu I was in from the main menu button -- I'd like that remembered as well).
  2. I would also like it better if, e.g., the top plate wheel moved me across the Q menu items, and the rear wheel allowed me to adjust each item, so I wouldn't have to use the 4-way controller, which slows me down. The OMD had this behavior, and I prefer it to the 4-way controller. I would think they could put this in a FW update, if they do desired. I would also love a touch screen Q menu controller, but that won't be a FW update, lol.

27mm LENS
I don't think I like the 27/2.8, though.

First off, in terms of DOF, it's like a 40mm 4.2. The Panasonic 20mm 1.7 was like a 40mm 3.4, and the Oly 17/1.8 is like a 35/3.6. The EOS-M 22/2.0 is like a 35/3.2. The 27mm has the deepest DOF wide open as any of these lenses, and I've not gotten the "3D pop" that I'd like to see, and was able to sometimes get with the P20. I wish it was 2.0, or even 2.2 (to match the P20). It also has shown some poor starbursts and some nasty flare. It's sort of loud during focus and a bit expensive, given these other items. It'd be better as a sub-$300 lens. It's more like the Panasonic 14/2.5, IMO. This is the only pancake/small lens for Fuji in this focal range that is fast focusing. The 35/1.4 is larger and slower focusing (though a much better lens). The 18 is a possibility, though it's much wider. The 14 is, of course, really wide. I think they missed on the 27mm, and that makes the camera a question mark for me, because I am looking for a pocket camera (like the EPM or EOS-M series), and without the 27 performing well, I don't see the point. Though the kit lens is nice, I already have the excellent RX100, so there isn't really a place in my kit for a f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.

UPDATE SUMMARY
In short, this camera is VERY controllable, I've grown to like the body a lot more, but the lens a lot less, which still leaves me in limbo on whether I'd want to purchase. However, if you like the price point, are OK with LCD shooting, prefer other lenses than the 27mm, and don't mind the plastic feel, this is a very nice camera, and doesn't give up a lot to the XE1 past the viewfinder and labeled dials.

p.s. I changed the thread's title, as it's become a bit more of an XM1 user test than I expected, and a little less on the EOS-M
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
Impressed with the low light focus (though with AF assist). This is with the 27mm. EXIF says "brightness value: -3.21" not sure what that means, but I know it was very dark at the time, with just one incandescent lamp coming from the left behind a towel that covers that end of the guinea pig's cage. shutter speed was 1/10 second, so not the sharpest.



And my long suffering collie, with "brightness value: 0" whatever that means.

 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
Testing again for that nasty flare

Without nasty flare.


And with. This has become easy to replicate. It's straight into the sun at f/11 (both were shot at f/11). I should do some other tests, too. Like bright lights other than the sun, and apertures wider than f/11.
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
It actually is growing on me! It feels snappier than the XE1 I tried (maybe I'm just imagining it), and it's small and tilty LCD. I just want it $200 cheaper, and a better pancake lens.
 

BBW

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
BB
"It feels snappier than the XE1" - that's what they say, so it's not just you. :wink:

I don't know what it is that compels me towards wanting a "tilty LCD" because the only time I used one was several years ago when I borrowed Don AKA Streetshooter's NEX 5 (I think that was the #) and went for a walk with my dog... There's something about the incognito factor of a tilt screen and, honestly, it reminds me of using a mini view camera.
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
I agree. I don't always use it, but when you need it, nothing else really suffices. I like it for "incognito" but also for just interesting angles.
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
So far, here's my summary of the XM1:

Pros:
  • Small and light weight
  • Tilty LCD
  • X-Tran colors!
  • Vertical thumbwheel is VERY workable. Great controls
  • Quickest Fuji I've tried yet
  • MF assist and focus peaking
  • Q menu
  • with the 27mm and AF assist light -- pretty good low light focus
  • easily controlled focus points, and resize-able focus box. nice.


Cons:
  • a little plastic -- OK, if it's saving weight I suppose
  • could use a touch LCD, IMO -- could deal without it
  • Doesn't remember last location in the Menu or Q menu on power-off (my Canon's do) -- a bit annoying
  • Need to set NR to -2 for jpgs, which is kind of an odd way for Fuji to represent it (pretty minor niggle)
  • A little expensive
  • Some occasional, off purple flare with the 27mm lens. Not sure what the culprit is, and it can be avoided
  • Can't half-press the shutter to hold AF-L. You have to assign AF-L or AF/AE-L to the fn button. Shutter press to meter and focus, then fn1 to lock. I prefer to hold a half-press for AF-L. There's also no rear (thumb) button to engage AF.
  • 27mm lens is not the best pancake in the market, and IMO 2.8 is just too slow for good DOF control
 

madmaxmedia

Veteran
Nov 10, 2010
Los Angeles
Even though the sample photos are gone, this is by far the best, most comprehensive Fuji X-M1 vs. Canon EOS-M shootout on the internet!

I love the Fuji cameras, but don't love the slow AF. If a Fuji + 35mm f/1.4 combo focused as fast as a recent MU43 body + PL 25mm, it would be game over for me. But it doesn't, not by a long shot.

The X-M1/27mm combo looks really interesting though. I would probably need to try one in my own hands to decide if the AF was good enough.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Even though the sample photos are gone, this is by far the best, most comprehensive Fuji X-M1 vs. Canon EOS-M shootout on the internet!

I love the Fuji cameras, but don't love the slow AF. If a Fuji + 35mm f/1.4 combo focused as fast as a recent MU43 body + PL 25mm, it would be game over for me. But it doesn't, not by a long shot.

The X-M1/27mm combo looks really interesting though. I would probably need to try one in my own hands to decide if the AF was good enough.
Have you tried the XT1 or XE2? I haven't tried either with the 35 f1.4, but I've used 'em with the 60mm, which is a FAR slower AF lens than the 35. It was painfully slow to try to use with earlier bodies, but with the two new ones (with PDAF pixels), it's somewhere between adequate and fast. Others have indicated similar improvements with the 35. It's probably still not quite as fast as the PL 25 on a modern m43 body (because that's about as fast as it gets), but it might be close enough not to matter any longer...

-Ray
 

madmaxmedia

Veteran
Nov 10, 2010
Los Angeles
Thanks for the suggestion- unfortunately those are out of my budget right now! ;)

But the Fuji family as a whole does seem to be getting faster, and these improvements will gradually trickle down (just like Olympus and it's first couple of M43 generations...)

Right now, M43 is fast enough where lack of continuous AF is not a big deal for me personally- I can still grab even fast-moving subjects in S-AF and fire off some snaps, I don't necessarily need to keep tracking continuously. With the Fuji bodies in my budget, that's not remotely possible- yet.
 
Sep 8, 2010
London UK
Andy
My take on the X-M1

I bought the X-M1(almost new - £200! used) to give the Fuji system another try after selling my last lot to go Full frame (Canon 6D). I liked the fuji enough to buy the 35mm f1.4 which I consider to be one the the very best lenses I have ever used. I liked it so much that after a lot of consideration I sold the 6D and went Fuji as my main system. I now have the 18mm f2, 35mm f1.4 and the AWESOME 23mm f1.4.

The quality of the images from a recent shoot in Brighton with the 23mm pretty much blew me away. The 6D and any full frame camera are nice as the DOF is wonderful which is something I love. I just love narrow DOF. Fuji is the only system that gives a similar DOF to full frame. Even APS-C DSLR's don't do as good a job as Fuji. Bring physics into it and the DOF should be the same....and it probably is but to me the images from fuji at f1.4 are just brilliant!

I have now bought a 1 month old X-Pro1 which is wonderful. I will prob save up for the X-T1 but for now the X-M1 and X-Pro1 are just brilliant. So good that I'm considering dumping Micro 4/3 totally!!!!! :eek:

My X-M1 has the leather case which makes it feel more pro (read less plastic!) and it look nice too. I was going to sell the X-M1 when I got the X-Pro1 but I really like it and will keep it.

Fuji X can do no wrong for me at the moment. I get 'almost' full frame IQ (Damn close!!) in a smaller lighter system that's nearly as small as M4/3. Happy days!
 

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