Fuji X-M1 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens - Second Impressions.


In some ways this camera + lens could be seen as the best point and shoot compact camera without a viewfinder ever released. For the simple reason that you can shoot with it virtually anywhere. The combination of the incredible high ISO performance and remarkable effectiveness of the Fuji OIS system makes it pretty much unique in this class of camera. Nothing m4/3 and NEX (sorry Alpha) have comes close to this. This little thing turns out very usable pictures (jpgs.) at ISO 6400. Plus I seem to able to get pin sharp results down to 1/8th. sec with no trouble at all with the lens. When you factor in the relatively 'anonymity' of the camera you have a very useful photographic tool, that could be invaluable in a number of low light situations. Currently lots of people are getting all hot and bothered about the Panasonic GM1 (Do these companies co-ordinate their camera names - X-M1, GM1 ??) but I doubt very much that camera will get even close to the results from this Fuji in poor lighting conditions. 

Hand held OOC jpg. 1/7 sec. at ISO 3200. !!!!! 

I need to check it out further but it seems very similar to the rest of the X-Trans sensor range in terms of output. I do have a suspicion that the files are slightly softer and less noisy though I'll have to test this to see if I am right. 

It has two real disadvantages, no EVF and the same low-powered Fuji battery. But it's light, handles well, looks great, takes all those lovely Fuji lenses and does pretty much everything it's supposed to do.

I bought it because it was a great deal. £100 cashback from Fuji + £100 credit on my Amazon account. I did this mainly for the lens, which is a useful focal length and lighter that the 18-55mm zoom. However I'm going to keep the camera. In fact, just out of interest I'm keeping everything. I was going to sell some items before my tax year finishes at the start of April, but it's to my advantage to keep everything. So two Sony FE's, one m4/3, four Fuji X's, all my lenses and adapters etc. should keep me going for a bit!

Back to the X-M1, it's a camera that gives me some interesting choices. I've just come back from an afternoon in a shopping centre (I was actually going shopping not on a photo shoot!) and I took the X-M1 + 18mm lens with me. I've got some interesting stuff which I'll post in the next part of this 'review' and somewhat different to what I normally come up with. Regular readers will be aware that this isn't a camera type I use a great deal, but in the past I've used m4/3 models such as the GF1, GF2 and GX1 with lenses like the 20mm f/1.7. I've also used a Sony RX100, which I liked. They do change how and what I shoot and that's no bad thing.

Whether the lack of a viewfinder will get to me or not I don't know, but I'm certainly more interested than I used to be in trying some more 'informal' type photography and this camera would certainly facilitate that. I'm also keen to try it with the 18mm and 60mm lenses as a very light outdoors location kit, to see how that works for me. 

But as you've probably guessed I like it most of all because it's a Fuji. I'm really sold on what they are trying to do in terms of design and features. I don't own four of their cameras for no reason. I did have to restrain myself from taking advantage of cashbacks on the 27mm and 35mm lenses, which I really don't need but still seem to want to own. I'm also having a really hard job not buying the 23mm f/1.4 but how much longer I can hold out I'm not sure. Then there's the W/A zoom on pre-order and the 56mm f/1.2. 

Too much temptation!!


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