Full sized DSLR’s are great, but sometimes due to constraints, not very practical. Compact point and shoot cameras do take of the issue of size being a boundary, but at a price; they lack manual and digital filtering creativity and have a limit on optical zoom technology.
Entre the very functional, very creative and extremely happy medium; The Fujifilm X-M1. Pairing it with the FUJINON LENS XC16-50mmF3.5-5.6 OIS, you now have yourself a full featured, fit in the palm of your hand DSLR system.
At first glance, standout features include, but in no way are limited to;
- The quality of a digital SLR in a compact body.
- The large APS-C 16M "X-Trans CMOS" & "EXR PROCESSOR II" realize impressive color reproduction and high resolution.
- Easy-to-use One Handed Operation & The 3.0-inch, 920K-dot Tilt LCD screen.
- Versatility, with interchangeable lenses.
- Wireless Image Transfer allows instant sharing via mobile devices.
Aside from the slide show in this article, other pictures taken by me can be seen at Fine Art America.
Testing included various photo opportunities, including;
- Sunsets and more.
Setup could not have been smoother. After a 1 hour battery charge, the included SD card was inserted. The on camera setup including WiFi and downloading of corresponding iOS and Android apps took less than 5 minutes.
While time will not allow a review of every setting, function and feature, we will explore the most useful to both the novice and amateur buff alike, as well as some settings that would easily please the professional. We will also be reviewing the included software; Fine Pix Studio as installed on a Windows 8.1 desktop.
The obvious first step is to take a look at the dial on the top (near the flash hot foot) and start with the auto function. This means all you have to do is point and shoot. It is actually a superior auto feature and will easily appease most photographers looking for a quick fix. This also will utilize the flash when it deems necessary.
I do want to preface the next part of the article by saying that I DID read the manual to learn about the other features. It is well written, concise and in a clear language meant for the novice, but in a way that the experienced photographer will understand and appreciate.
Adv Mode (next clockwise on the dial) allows you to utilize sophisticated techniques such as color enhancement and extraction, shading, multi-exposure and more. It is this mode however that has cost this camera its 5 Star rating and put it to 4.9 stars. On this advanced mode, it allows you to bring out the various colors, tones, etc., however, it is preset and does not allow you to adjust the intensity of the settings or color ranges. An example is if the sky is a light blue, but the ocean is green, you have to choose between those two colors. This is the same with the pop color feature and the dynamic tone feature. This is far from a deal breaker as the pre-sets do take beautiful pictures as you can see. In fact, there is a simple work around; install the FinePix studio and you can actually edit it quite nicely as well as cropping and other major edits and effects. You can do the same at www.myfinepix.com as well.
Advanced mode also allows you to create cool double exposure tricks (see the slide show).
Next going clockwise is the ScenePosition setting which allows you to select the scene or subject conditions, such as a moving target, scenery and portraits.
The next major group of settings are (M)anual, (A)perture and (S)hutter speed. Manual obviously lets you set all settings manually, including ISO, while A lets you set Aperture with shutter speed remaining automatic and S lets you set shutter speed while Aperture is automatic.
SR which is next, will automatically optimize the exposure and setting to the scene in front of the lens.
All in all, this camera allows for some great creativity if you can find the shot and have the imagination. It is the perfect size for going anywhere. Additional lenses will really complete the system as well as various filters whether it be 58mm or cokin style. Learn more at www.fujifilm.com or see the whole line at Amazon.com.