Further thoughts on the X-M1...

It’s been two weeks since I wrote my impressions of the new Fuji X-M1 camera and, as expected, more and more photographers are now getting a chance to use and review it. Fellow X-Photographer David Kai Piper has posted some very brief first thoughts while he prepares a full review for Photo Pro Magazine; he seems very positive about it and of course, his pictures are stunning as always. He’s a fabulously talented portraitist.

In fact, most reviews coming out at the moment are glowing and this can only be good news for the Fuji ecosystem as a whole — more users = more money, more money = more development. This secures the top end of the range and strengthens the company’s position.

I still stand by my opinion. It’s not a camera for me and I don’t believe it’s a camera for anyone interested in the X series because of its initial premise. I was accused of being a snob for wanting an aperture ring… I’m not a snob. That’s not me at all. I just like being able to go from f16 to f2 with a lighting quick turn of the wrist. I like being able to glance at the lens barrel and know where I stand. This is just a personal preference but it’s also part of how I work. Just like I prefer having a physical button to switch from AF to Manual. I’ve always shouted to anyone willing to hear that the ONLY thing that matters with gear is its ability to enable a photographer to fulfill his/her vision. Nothing else. People create incredible images with everything from plastic cameras to iPhones to D3s to Leicas… It doesn’t matter. It’s obvious the X-M1 will inspire just as much as the X100; in fact, it’s already happening.

I never said Fuji had “lost it’s soul”. The word "soul" doesn’t appear anywhere in my post. This was added to an article linking to my review. I said I didn’t enjoy shooting with this camera and I can’t apologize for that because it’s the truth. Just as much as it’s the truth when I say I’m ecstatic about the 55–200mm zoom or the X100S. I don’t sugar coat and I don’t lie.

Nashville photographer Peter Nash sent me an email this week, thanking me for the review. He was thinking of getting the basic X-M1 kit but realized after reading it that he’d be happier with the X-E1 and 35 f/1.4 which he has now purchased. This is the reason why I wrote the most honest review I could, as hard as it was to do. 

If I know I share similar tastes with a film critic, chances are I’ll enjoy the same movies… And vice versa. If you don’t mind anything that gave me pause about the camera then you’ll likely love it to death, as many out there undoubtedly will. Again: the image quality is NOT an issue. It’s an X-Trans camera and the XF lenses are just as impressive on this body as they are on the top X cams. Even the new, economical XC 16–55mm zoom Iens I had in Cuba offers splendid optical performance.

I’m sticking to the VF models and XF R lenses for all the reasons I stated in my initial review and more. But who knows? The X-M1 could very well become your muse.
And that's the only thing that counts.

P.S I’m leaving again for a few days. If like me you updated your X-Pro1 to the new 3.0 firmware this week, be sure to get the 3.0.1 version released this morning. The movie bug has been squashed and this is considered a required install.

P.P.S I don't like posts without images... So below are a few quick pics of the girls taken with that 55-200mm lens I so love :)


Patrick La Roque

laROQUE, 311 Lorncliff, Otterburn Park, Canada