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Noise and JPEG processing, low ISO sensitivities

Smart image processing and the X-Trans sensor yield excellent photo quality as high as ISO 1600, with just a little detail degradation starting at ISO 1600 and limited to just the dark areas.

Published:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET

Noise and JPEG processing, higher ISO sensitivities

While ISO 3200 isn't clean, it's pretty good, and depending upon scene content you can even go as high as ISO 6400. There's a huge dropoff in quality in the upper expanded range, however, and because you can't shoot raw in that range I don't really suggest using ISO 12800 or 25600.

Published:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET


The X-M1 delivers a very natural-looking sharpness.

(1/100 sec, f6.5, multimetering, AWB, ISO 200, 16-50mm lens at 38.7mm)

Published:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET

Highlight recovery

Overall, the camera does an excellent job of retaining detail in blown-out highlights, far better than most of its similarly priced competitors. The same goes for clipped shadows, which you can bring up without introducing any noise.

(1/100 sec, f4, multimetering, AWB, ISO 200, +0.67 EV, 27mm lens)

Published:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET

Sharpness, 16-50mm lens

The kit lens is quite sharp.

(1/100 sec, f5, multimetering, AWB, ISO 200, 16-50mm lens at 21.1mm)

Published:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET


Detail in the distance is usually hard to resolve with consumer cameras, especially at ISO 400 and above; the X-M1 does an excellent job.

(1/80 sec, f6.4, spot metering, AWB, ISO 200, 27mm lens)

Published:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET


I was really impressed with the camera's performance at ISO 1600. This is a scaled down version; a 100 percent crop appears on the next slide.

(1/40 sec, f3.6, spot metering, AWB, ISO 200, 27mm lens)

Published:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET

ISO 1600, raw vs. JPEG

The only significant problem with the JPEG shot is some of the blown-out highlights because of the contrast-boost applied. Other than that, it compares pretty well to the raw.

Published:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET

ISO 6400, raw vs. JPEG

Normally, this shot would have made a complete mush of the background grating. There's some color noise, especially on the tire spokes, but the shot is still quite usable, and the JPEG processing stands up very well.

(1/60 sec, f2.8, spot metering, AWB, ISO 6400, 27mm lens)

Published:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET

Bokeh, 27mm lens

The XF27mm f2.8 lens is a nice compact lens with attractive out-of-focus highlights and defocus areas.

(1/80 sec, f6.4, spot metering, AWB, ISO 200, 27mm lens)

Published:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET

Bokeh, 16-50mm lens

The 16-50mm kit lens renders reasonably sharp images with the type of out-of-focus highlights you expect from a 7-bladed aperture.

(1/100 sec, f5, multi metering, AWB, ISO 200, 16-50mm lens at 16mm)

Published:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET


The X-M1's default settings render colors quite accurately.

Published:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET

Film simulations

The camera's default color settings are quite good.

Published:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET
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