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Fujifilm X-M1 versus Sony RX1

The Fujifilm X-M1 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in June 2013 and September 2012. The X-M1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the RX1 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X-M1) and a full frame (RX1) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 16 megapixel, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Fujifilm X-M1 vs Sony RX1

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-M1 and the Sony RX1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size 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 side – the X-M1 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Fujifilm X-M1 vs Sony RX1
Compare X-M1 versus RX1 top
Compare X-M1 and RX1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX1 is notably smaller (6 percent) than the Fujifilm X-M1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X-M1 nor the RX1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX1 has a lens build in, whereas the X-M1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the X-M1 and their specifications in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the X-M1 gets 350 shots out of its NP-W126 battery, while the RX1 can take 270 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack.

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 camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Fujifilm X-M1» 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.6 oz 350 n Jun 2013 699 i i
Sony RX1« 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Sep 2012 2,799- i
Fujifilm X70« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.7 in 12.0 oz 330 n Jan 2016 799 i i
Fujifilm X-E2S« » 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Jan 2016 699- i
Fujifilm X-A10« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.7 oz 410 n Dec 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-T10« » 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.4 oz 350 n May 2015 799- i
Fujifilm X-A2« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 12.3 oz 410 n Jan 2015 399- i
Fujifilm X20« » 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.5 oz 270 n Jan 2013 599- i
Fujifilm X-E2« » 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Oct 2013 999- i
Fujifilm X-A1« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.6 oz 350 n Sep 2013 399- i
Fujifilm X-Pro1« » 5.5 in 3.2 in 1.7 in 15.9 oz 300 n Jan 2012 1,699- i
Fujifilm X-E1« » 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Sep 2012 999- i
Nikon D5300« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 16.9 oz 600 n Oct 2013 799- i
Sony A3000« » 5.0 in 3.6 in 3.3 in 14.5 oz 470 n Aug 2013 329- i
Sony A7« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.7 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699- i
Sony RX1R« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Jun 2013 2,799- i
Sony NEX-7« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 14.1 oz 430 n Aug 2011 1,349- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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: Fujifilm X-M1 vs Sony RX1

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X-M1 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX1 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the RX1 is 132 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Fujifilm X-M1 and Sony RX1 sensor measures

With 24MP, the RX1 offers a higher resolution than the X-M1 (16MP), but the RX1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.96μm versus 4.80μm for the X-M1) due to its larger sensor. However, the X-M1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the RX1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X-M1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

X-M1 versus RX1 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Fujifilm X-M1» APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----
Sony RX1« Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493
Fujifilm X70« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X-E2S« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X-A10« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----
Fujifilm X-T10« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X-A2« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----
Fujifilm X20« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Fujifilm X-E2« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X-A1« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----
Fujifilm X-Pro1« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p----
Fujifilm X-E1« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p----
Nikon D5300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883
Sony A3000« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
Sony A7« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890
Sony RX1R« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791
Sony NEX-7« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.4101681

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the RX1 provides a faster frame rate than the X-M1. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Fujifilm X-M1 vs Sony RX1

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The X-M1 and the RX1 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Fujifilm X-M1 and Sony RX1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Fujifilm X-M1»- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 5.6 Y n
Sony RX1«- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Fujifilm X70« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-E2S« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 7.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-A10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting n 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-T10« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-A2« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 5.6 Y n
Fujifilm X20« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Fujifilm X-E2« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 7.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-A1« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 5.6 Y n
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »1440 n 3.0 1230 fixed n 4000 6.0 n n
Fujifilm X-E1« »2360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n
Nikon D5300« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 4000 5.0 Y n
Sony A3000« »202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n
Sony A7« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n n
Sony RX1R« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Sony NEX-7« »2359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 4000 10.0 Y n

The X-M1 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the RX1 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX1 was succeeded by the Sony RX1R.

Review summary: Fujifilm X-M1 vs Sony RX1

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Fujifilm X-M1 or the Sony RX1 – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-M1:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.6 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (350 versus 270) on a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 9 months after the RX1).

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 16MP), which boosts linear resolution by 23%.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 920k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the X-M1 necessitates an extra lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2012).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX1 comes out slightly ahead of the X-M1 (7 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

X-M1 06:07 RX1

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X-M1 or the RX1. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Fujifilm X-M1»Rec77/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2013 699 i i
Sony RX1«-79/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i
Fujifilm X70« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799 i i
Fujifilm X-E2S« »-77/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i
Fujifilm X-A10« »--4/5-4/5 Dec 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-T10« »HiRec80/1005/54/55/5 May 2015 799- i
Fujifilm X-A2« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2015 399- i
Fujifilm X20« »HiRec77/1004.5/5-5/5 Jan 2013 599- i
Fujifilm X-E2« »-80/1004.5/5-5/5 Oct 2013 999- i
Fujifilm X-A1« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2013 399- i
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »HiRec79/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 1,699- i
Fujifilm X-E1« »HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999- i
Nikon D5300« »HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799- i
Sony A3000« »Rec-4/54.5/54/5 Aug 2013 329- i
Sony A7« »HiRec80/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699- i
Sony RX1R« »--4/5rev4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799- i
Sony NEX-7« »HiRec81/1004.5/55/55/5 Aug 2011 1,349- i

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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