Cameras

Fujifilm Announces X-M1 Entry-Level X-Mount Camera

Retro styling and an APS-C X-Trans sensor in the smallest X-Mount body yet

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Fresh off the improved X20 and X100s, Fujifilm continues to grow its successful premium camera lineup. A new X-series interchangeable camera was inevitable, but we were hardly expecting a brand-new model in the lineup.

The upcoming X-M1 is the new entry-level model featuring Fuji's X-mount interchangeable standard. Even though this is an entry-level camera, it features the exact same sensor and processor as the X-Pro1 and X-E1.

The newest X-mount camera also happens to be the smallest, and smaller than Fuji's own compact X20 in some dimensions. It's been designed with amateurs in mind while also keeping features that more hands-on users demand. It features a 3-inch tilting LCD, a handy Q button and two control dials on its backside. Fans of viewfinders should take note that the X-M1 is the first X-Mount camera without one. On the other hand, it's the also the first X-series camera with WiFi, compatible with the same Camera Application on iOS and Android that other wireless-enabled Fujifilm cameras use.

Alongside the X-M1 comes a new low-cost kit lens, the first to bear the XC mark. Compared to previous XF lenses, we're told that the XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS (24-76mm 35mm equivalent) zoom has a more plasticky construction and ditches the aperture ring in order to keep its cost down. That said, it features 12 glass elements (one extra-low dispersion element) in 10 groups and seven round-edged aperture blades for smoother bokeh.

The X-M1 and XC 16-50mm will be available in July. Body-only, the X-M1 will sell for $699.99 and the kit with the aforementioned XC lens for $799.99. In true X fashion, black and black/silver two-tone color options are in the mix while there will also be a handsome brown leatherette/silver version available in August.

It's priced to compete directly with the NEX-6, the only other comparable system camera featuring an APS-C-sized sensor. Even though the NEX-6 comes with an electronic viewfinder built-in, the X-M1 has an undeniable aesthetic edge that could lure some towards Fujifilm. This new X camera is a move into the market not just occupied by Sony, but also by higher-end Micro Four Thirds cameras from Panasonic and Olympus. That's some tough competition.

An additional XF lens is also coming along for the ride, the first pancake available in the X-Mount family. Although its existence as part of Fuji's lens roadmap was announced previously, the XF 27mm f/2.8 (41mm 35mm equivalent) will be available alongside the X-M1 for $449.95 next month.