Fuji X-A1 or X-M1 Part 1: To X-Trans or not X-Trans
To Bayer or not to Bayer, that is the question one must ask oneself when deciding between the X-A1 or X-M1
Does one shed the glass cover for clarity, or save a Franklin and obscure thine eyes from the world?
The main difference between the X-A1 and X-M1 is the sensor sub-system. The X-M1 is X-Trans and costs roughly $100 to $200 more than the X-A1 which is a traditional Bayer sensor. The X-M1 also has no optical low pass filter, and the X-A1 filter has a weak OLPF. The only other minor difference I have noticed is grip material. The X-A1 is a rubberized material and the X-M1 faux leather.
The Images were processed from RAW in Adobe Lightroom RC5.3, and used the following settings:
|X-M1 ISO 200||X-A1 ISO 200|
|X-M1 ISO 3200||X-A1 ISO 3200|
I picked the above settings based on what was pleasing to me. Without any NR the X-A1 might have had slightly more detail in the fabric at base ISO, but also more image noise, even at base ISO I think it needs some NR. I also applied sharpening until I noticed offensive artifacts, then dialed it back slightly.
I think overall I prefer the output from the X-Trans sensor for this comparison. The noise at ISO 3200 is a bit more blotchy and there is less noise. The colors from the Bayer sensor might be more accurate, but I prefer the X-Trans output here. Some more work with white balance and camera profiles might be able to get them more similar.
Next up I will run dynamic range tests when I have some time. Is it worth $200 more for X-M1? Maybe, maybe not. X-A1 is a steal for $500 right now.
Fujifilm X-M1 Compact System 16MP Digital Camera Kit with 16-50mm Lens and 3-Inch LCD Screen (Black)
Fujifilm X-A1 Kit with 16-50mm Lens (Black)
Here are the sample shots for you to compare: