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Fujifilm X-E1 versus Fujifilm X-M1

The Fujifilm X-E1 and the Fujifilm X-M1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and June 2013. Both the X-E1 and the X-M1 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 16 megapixel.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-E1 and the Fujifilm X-M1 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the X-E1 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Fujifilm X-E1 vs Fujifilm X-M1 front
X-E1 versus X-M1 top view
X-E1 and X-M1 rear side
Body view (X-E1 on the left)

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X-M1 is notably smaller (19 percent) than the Fujifilm X-E1. Moreover, the X-M1 is slightly lighter (6 percent) than the X-E1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X-E1 nor the X-M1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can find an overview of suitable optics in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Fujifilm X-E1 (⇒ rgt) 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 no 2012 999discont. check
Fujifilm X-M1 (⇒ lft) 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.6 oz 350 no 2013 699 latest check
Fujifilm X-E3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.8 in 2.9 in 1.7 in 11.9 oz 350 no 2017 899 latest check
Fujifilm X-T20 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.5 oz 350 no 2017 899 latest check
Fujifilm X-E2S (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 no 2016 699discont. check
Fujifilm X-T10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.4 oz 350 no 2015 799discont. check
Fujifilm X100S (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.0 in 2.9 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 330 no 2013 1,299discont. check
Fujifilm X-E2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 no 2013 999discont. check
Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.6 oz 350 no 2013 399discont. check
Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.5 in 3.2 in 1.7 in 15.9 oz 300 no 2012 1,699discont. check
Panasonic GX1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 11.2 oz .. no 2011 949discont. check

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X-M1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 30 percent) than the X-E1, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Fujifilm X-E1 and Fujifilm X-M1 sensor measures
Sensor size

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 16 megapixel. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the X-E1 and the X-M1 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the X-M1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the X-E1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

X-E1 versus X-M1 MP
Sensor resolution

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Fujifilm X-E1 (⇒ rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/24p - - - -
Fujifilm X-M1 (⇒ lft) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/30p - - - -
Fujifilm X-E3 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 4K/30p - - - -
Fujifilm X-T20 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 4K/30p - - - -
Fujifilm X-E2S (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X-T10 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X100S (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X-E2 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/30p - - - -
Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/24p - - - -
Panasonic GX1 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 1080/60p 20.8 10.6 703 55

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the X-M1 provides a faster frame rate than the X-E1. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the X-E1 is limited to 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X-E1 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X-M1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Fujifilm X-E1, the Fujifilm X-M1, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Fujifilm X-E1 (⇒ rgt) 2360 no 2.8 460 fixed no 4000 6.0 YES no
Fujifilm X-M1 (⇒ lft) no no 3.0 920 tilting no 4000 5.6 7 no
Fujifilm X-E3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 4000 8.0 no no
Fujifilm X-T20 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 8.0 5 no
Fujifilm X-E2S (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 fixed no 4000 7.0 7 no
Fujifilm X-T10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 920 tilting no 4000 8.0 5 no
Fujifilm X100S (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 2.8 460 fixed no 4000 6.0 9 no
Fujifilm X-E2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 fixed no 4000 7.0 7 no
Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 920 tilting no 4000 5.6 7 no
Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 3.0 1230 fixed no 4000 6.0 no no
Panasonic GX1 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 460 fixed YES 4000 4.2 7.6 no

The X-M1 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the X-E1 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the X-E1 was succeeded by the Fujifilm X-E2.

Summary

So how do things add up? Is the Fujifilm X-E1 better than the Fujifilm X-M1 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X-E1:

  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2012).

Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-M1:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p vs 1080/24p).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 460k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x67mm vs 129x75mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (30 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (9 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-M1 is the clear winner of the contest (7 : 2 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features.

X-E1 02:07 X-M1

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the X-E1 or the X-M1 handle or perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites. The detailed reviews can be accessed, respectively, on the websites of cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
dp
review
ephoto
zine
imaging
resource
photography
blog
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Fujifilm X-E1 (⇒ rgt) HiRec 79/100 Gold 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 999discont. check
Fujifilm X-M1 (⇒ lft) Rec 77/100 Gold 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2013 699 latest check
Fujifilm X-E3 (⇒ lft | rgt) .. 84/100 Gold 4.5/5 .. 4.5/5 2017 899 latest check
Fujifilm X-T20 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 82/100 Silver 5/5 .. 4.5/5 2017 899 latest check
Fujifilm X-E2S (⇒ lft | rgt) - 77/100 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2016 699discont. check
Fujifilm X-T10 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 80/100 Silver 5/5 4/5 5/5 2015 799discont. check
Fujifilm X100S (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 81/100 Gold 4.5/5 4/5 5/5 2013 1,299discont. check
Fujifilm X-E2 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 80/100 Gold 4.5/5 - 5/5 2013 999discont. check
Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2013 399discont. check
Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 79/100 Silver 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2012 1,699discont. check
Panasonic GX1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 85/100 Rec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2011 949discont. check

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Other comparisons

If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please contact me, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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