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

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by wt21, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    Absolutely the #1 EOS-M vs XM1 thread on the internet (this conclusion is derived from me saying so without so much as even Googling to see if anyone else bothered with this).

    ...OK, Might actually be the ONLY EOS-M vs. XM1 thread.

    I've rented an XM1 for the week. After my disastrous trial of the X100, and failed attempts with the XE1 and XPro1, I've decided to try the XM1. Why one earth? Well, my main issues with the XPro 1 and XE1 were size. Then with the XP1, XE1 and X100, it was the VF. I don't seem to get along with the OVF, had diopter issues with the XP1 and X100, and found there was too much glare and stuttering with the XE1.

    So, why the XM1? It's small, and there's no VF of any kind. Nothing to complain about, lol.

    The problem is that the Fuji image quality haunts me. It's really quite special. So, how can I find a combo that works? Give the XM1 a try.

    The positives:
    • The speed and performance of the XM1 is better than the X100 (original, not X100s) and as I remember it, better than the XE and XP.
    • It is quite a bit smaller, though it's actually still a little larger than I'd like.
    • It's got the useful tilty screen. Sweet
    • Wifi, two thumb wheels, pop-up flash. Very nice.
    • XTran!
    • Though this SHOULD be expected, my experience with Fuji's EVF makes this a positive. The LCD is great to shoot with, as LCDs go. No tearing, quick refresh, quick to come back after the shot. Maybe all Fuji LCDs operate this way, but their EVFs sure don't!

    The negatives.
    • Oh my goodness, it's plastic fantastic! It's got the build quality of a Canon 50mm 1.8 lens. They took a cue from the Holga lens in choosing plastics. I'm sorry, but this does not feel like a $699 body, IMO. I can't remember using a camera with so much plastic since the Canon a series (a720, for instance), and even then, I think the Canon might have been built better.
    • I don't mind the mode dial, but I wish they'd put the scene modes behind one dial setting.
    • It's not EPL5 small, though I suppose the trade off is it has more buttons and a flash.
    • This camera REALLY needs a touch LCD. At least just to set the AF point, but the Q menu is begging for it

    Lenses
    XF27 2.8

    Small, compact. Seems to provide some better bokeh and shallower DOF than I expected from 2.8. But it's noisy during AF. Noisier than the Panasonic 20mm. Noisier than the EOS-M 22mm. It is as noisy as the Fuji 35/1.4, which IMO is a worse statement for the 35. You might accept this in a pancake lens. It's unacceptable on the 35. The 27 focuses pretty quickly. No complaints there. It is a unit focusing element, so be careful as the front unit pops out and in during focus.

    XC16-50
    Wow is this lens small. This vs. the 18-55 2.8-4.0 is night and day. This is a compact zoom. I'd say it's the size of a PL25, or the NEX 18-55 kit zoom, but much more elegant looking. And I am amazed at how fast and silent the AF is. It's crazy. Focus parts are internal. nice.

    So, where's the XM1 vs. EOS-M part that everyone's waiting for?
    Physical dimensions and controls
    The XM1 is wider and taller and thicker than the M. More so than camerasize.com would lead you to believe. Plus the M is sleeker and rounder at the edges, giving a smoother profile. Both feel the same in-hand, though the Canon feels better built. I rented it, thinking they were pretty much the same size, but in real life, the XM1 gives the perception of being bigger. They are equally easy or hard to hold, depending on your viewpoint. Use a strap of some kind! I think the EOS-M might be heavier than the XM1. It's most certainly denser.

    The XM1 uses two thumb wheels, which is nice, though the rear one is odd. It's not hard to use, but it does break from what you expect. I have to stop and think a bit to use it. That would probably go away in time. I'll do some closer comparisons, but the touch lcd on the EOS-M is just as functional as the dials on the Fuji, IMO. Given that neither use a VF, it doesn't matter that the Fuji's are thumbwheels. You are still making settings with the camera in front of you (not to your eye). EDIT: after shooting the weekend with the XM1, the thumb wheels are an easier control point than the EOS-M's touch LCD. The touch LCD is fine, but the thumb wheels are just quicker and easier. Score one to Fuji.

    The XM1 has a pop-up flash that the EOS-M lacks. Anything else about the bodies outside of the size and controls are pretty much a wash for me.

    Speed - Fuji is king!
    Fuji the speed demon. This is the only review on the internet, where you'll see Fuji get the speed crown!!!

    If you think of speed in three components: acquiring focus, shutter lag, and buffer clear/LCD return, so you can shoot again. The XM1 w/27mm is slightly faster to acquire focus than the EOS-M w/22mm, and is much faster shutter lag and shot-to-shot. The EOS-M has a surprising shutter lag, the likes of which I haven't seen since the EP1.

    Here's my unscientific measure: focus on something close, point at something far away, and push the shutter. Count "one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand" etc. to the picture being taken. EOS-M: I got past two-one-thousand, so estimate 2 1/2 seconds. Fuji: I didn't finish one-one-thousand. Unscientifically, the Fuji is more than twice as fast.

    Hey Fool -- where are the pictures?
    I have a number of things going on this weekend, and I hope to get some pictures up, but I know EVERYONE is dying to know how the EOS-M compares to the XM1, so here are some first thoughts.

    Conclusion (already? without brick wall shots??)
    Am I going to sell my EOS-M and get an XM1? No. I rented the XM1 specifically just for a spot of fun. I am not dumping my $300 slow EOS-M with the gorgeous 22mm lens for a $1,000 XM1 + 27mm lens. I have my Canon 6D for speed, lol. This is just my play-around camera for my hiking and still lifes (still lives??). If the XM1 ever drops to under $300 on the body, though, then cheap access to an XTran might be hard to pass up. I'd still like to see a slightly better build quality and a touch screen, so maybe I'll wait until Fuji hits v2 of their cameras -- either a better EVF on the XE2, or a better build quality and touch screen on the XM2.

    Happy weekend everyone!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Garylh

    Garylh SC Veteran

    Thanks for the insight. Interesting info there. What did u think of the picture quality of the 16-50 zoom?

    Gary
     
  3. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    I've literally only done some test shots from my desk. I'll get more chance to play with it this weekend. JMan's got some great stuff up on the 16-50 over on FredMiranda: Fuji X-M1 / 16-50 Impressions - FM Forums
     
  4. aleksanderpolo

    aleksanderpolo SC Regular

    112
    Apr 18, 2013
    Polo
    I would love to see a comparison of the 22/2 vs 27/2.8

    By the way, why two-one-thousand and not two-two-thousand? Does it affect your counting in some way? :biggrin:
     
  5. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    You are too funny, Bill. There are two reviews over of Amin's FujiXspot, too (flysurfer also includes many photos and Jordan Steele/Jman13 has written a very nice one as well http://www.fujixspot.com/f6/my-full-x-m1-review-admiring-light-1539/)...and I know Ray's going to be putting one together too. It's funny but Rico/flysurfer commented on the build being "plasticland". I do like your real life style o' writing!

    I haven't seen one in real life yet but I find it intriguing and I've seen excellent photos from that nice wide zoom lens.

    So many camera choices and not enough funding!:tongue:

    P.S. How great that you could rent the camera!
     
  6. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    I was taught to count "one thousands" so "1 one thousand, 2 one thousand" etc. Have I been doing it wrong all these years?!?!
     
  7. serhan

    serhan SC All-Pro

    May 7, 2011
    NYC
  8. Garylh

    Garylh SC Veteran

    Thanks

    I will go check it out.

    Gary
     
  9. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    You're not alone!
     
  10. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    I'm perplexed at how cheap the XM1 appears to be (according to the review). Even the point and shoots like X10/X20/XF1 feel very solid.

    I'm also perplexed as to why Fuji didn't implement wifi remote shutter control for the XM1. That's pretty much standard for all wifi enabled cameras nowadays.
     
  11. Garylh

    Garylh SC Veteran

    I'm ok w/ plastic feel body myself...for that type of camera. I agree w/ no remote though. Maybe it will come later as a fw update.

    Gary
     
  12. romi.gilles

    romi.gilles SC Veteran

    338
    Jun 8, 2013
    idk anymore. all over the country.
    romi gilles
    even if fuji came up with all those improvements you ask for in their successors, wouldn't their size still be one of your major cons?

    (Sent from my EVO via Tapatalk)
     
  13. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    I can deal with a plastic body. How is the rear LCD to use in sunlight?

    EDIT: Okay. I read the full review.
     
  14. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    Though I meant this post sort of as a joke, I did do some EOS-M vs. XM1 testing.

    First, to answer some questions:
    • For Biro: The LCD is perfectly serviceable. However, I don't shoot at high noon. I shoot mainly in the morning and evening hours. No problems to date.
    • For Romi: if they improved the AF speed (and overall speed) of the XE1, I could see replacing my 6D with the Fuji as a system camera. Without those improvements, the Fuji is just a back-up/travel camera, so light and small are the key elements.
    • Armanius: after shooting for a couple of days, I still believe this is one of the cheaper feeling cameras I've used, but I am maybe a bit less alarmed after using it a while
    • Alexsander: M/22mm vs. XM1/27mm coming up.
     
  15. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    EOS-M 22mm vs. Fuji XM 27mm

    Cut to the chase, and spoil the plot: I don't see a lot of difference in these lenses in terms of output. They are both lightweight and pretty good. I still like the 22mm better as a lens. It seems to handle starbursts better, and goes one stop faster, but overall the XM1 is a better camera, if you want to pay the extra money (I'm not sure it's that important to me, personally, so I'll stick with EOS for now).

    Here are the major differences:

    • EOS-M 22mm: Center sharp wide open, but vignettes much more than the Fuji (doesn't show in these pics, as I cropped the 22mm shots to keep the FOV the same). But, it goes to f/2.0! Also, IMO, the 22mm handles flare and bright lights better. Might be better for starbusts, but I haven't done those kinds of tests yet.
    • Fuji 27mm: corners seem a bit better, and doesn't vignette. Bokeh (not shown well in these pics) seem just as good and just as little DOF as the EOS-M, even though the Fuji is 2.8. Might focus just a bit faster than the EOS-M 22mm, but the difference in AF speed in the bodies is night and day -- with the Fuji actually having a shot at movement, and the EOS-M being relegated to pre-focusing. I found some xtran funkiness in a few of these shots, but that's down to the sensor and not the lens.


    Here are some pairs. Note: I cropped the wider shot in a number of pairs, to avoid the obvious signs of which is which. Also, all shots were OOC jpgs. Both were shot in standard mode jpgs, with no in-camera tweakings. The EOS-M was mostly shot at +2/3 EV, because I find the Canon's under-expose.

    You be the judge.

    [​IMG]
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    set is here, with a few more shots and access to full size: XM1 vs EOS-M - WT21's Photos
     
  16. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    Here's a pair showing the M22mm vignette (hint: look in the upper right corner), and the FOV differences. I happen to like vignette, so it's a non-issue for me.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. aleksanderpolo

    aleksanderpolo SC Regular

    112
    Apr 18, 2013
    Polo
    Thanks for the test, I think I like the first one for pair #3,4,and 5 - seems to have more clarity and detail (especially the forest one). Are you going to tell which one is which later?

    And what kind of flare is the one in pair #4??!!
     
  18. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    A different test: 6D vs XM1

    I enjoyed the XM1 over the weekend. I carried it on a peak design strap, and barely even knew it was there. It is a pretty responsive camera, and the thumb wheels are very handy. The Q menu is great, and I've really come to appreciate a lot of the Fuji controls.

    I liked the lenses that I rented (16-50 and 27) and they, too, are very lightweight. The 16-50 I think is a lens worthy of recommendation in a price/performance ratio.

    However, at the end of the day, this is not enough to get me to switch to Fuji. I still think my 6D/EOS-M-22mm/RX100 is more versatile, and I can't see replacing any of them with the Fuji, and for me, I cannot see me picking up another system (I find myself paralyzed with too many cameras hanging around).

    The latest test was the 6D vs. the XM1. I know, it's not fair. The XM1 is 1/3 the price. But the beauty, to me, of the 6D is that, wedded to a Tamron 28-74/2.8 ($400), it's small and light enough to come with me when I can carry a shoulder bag. It's super versatile, quick on and quick focus, great battery life, and nice DOF control. It's only missing a tilty LCD and super-compact size. I think for travel, I'll stick with the EOS-M + RX100. Nice 1-2 punch. For everything else, there's still the 6D.

    Some comparisons of the 6D vs. XM1 w/16-50. I've no doubt that the Fuji with the 35/1.4 could equal (or beat) the DOF here, but the slow speed of focus and lack of versatility as a prime is a bit of a hit for what I need. BTW -- at a pixel level, the 6D and Fuji seemed pretty close. Of course, the 6D has 25% more pixels.

    There was some odd/random detail loss on the Fuji from time to time. Sometimes my daughter's face would get kind of "smeared" even at low ISO (200) when looking at 100%. Other times not. These were shot in jpgs, so it wasn't the RAW converter's fault. I had NR set to low. I'll have to go back and see if I can shut it completely off. EDIT: seems Fuji NR standard still impacts base ISO: http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/fuji-x-e1/fuji-x-e1HI_ISO_NR.HTM. I'm going to try some more this week with NR set to -2, instead of 0 ("standard").

    I might try some RX100 vs. XM1/16-50 shots if I get a chance.

    XM1 5+fps is nice:
    [​IMG]

    6D. At 2.8, that's kind of like a 1.8 zoom on a 1.5 crop. Maybe Sigma will downsize their new 1.8 zoom for mirrorless, and put it in X-mount??
    [​IMG]

    DOF test. The 6D is at 75mm/2.8, the Fuji at 50mm/5.6
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Being a FF addict, I suppose I will have to sit tight and see what Sony releases in their rumored FF NEX line.
     
  19. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    That looks to me like light reflecting off the sensor, and then back off the rear element. I think the Olympus EPL2 had a similar issue.
     
  20. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    :eek: Hellfire and Halation, that's a great whopping flare.