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Fujifilm X-A1 – A Compact And Stylish Interchangeable-Lens Camera (Part 1)

12/14/2013 8:12:45 PM
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As big fans of Fujifilm’s X-E1 mirrorless, how well does the cheaper X-A1 fare?

We loved the image quality on Fujifilm’s X-1Pro mirrorless camera, while the retro-metal body of the X-E1 definitely tugged at our heart-strings. Both though were expensive (bodies only $224 & $144 respectively), and in a country still worshipping at the altar of DSLRs, they certainly didn’t set the market alight.

 Description: Fujifilm X-A1

Fujifilm X-A1

Enter the new 16 MP X-A1 that now retails for a more affordable $112. For your bucks you do get a solid offering, albeit a more plastic version than the X-E1 (pretty much the same as the $144 X-M1 which we did not test).

Missing from the X-A1 is an optical viewfinder, while the aperture adjustment is not directly on the lens anymore either. The X-A1 also doesn’t use the same X-Trans CMOS sensor as the M1/E1, instead opting for the more conventional Bayer color filter array as found on other cameras. Important to note is that it’s an APS-C sized sensor, as found in bigger DSLRs, and that image quality certainly cannot be faulted.

Some added benefits

Description: The X-E1 offers a host of functionality, including a custom setting and Wi-Fi.

The X-E1 offers a host of functionality, including a custom setting and Wi-Fi.

For easy adjustment of your speed/aperture and exposure compensation, Fujifilm provides two dials at the back of the camera within easy reach of your thumb. Also included is a programmable Fn button (we set it to AE Lock), and one Custom setting that makes it possible to save your personal preferences for taking portraits, for example. Although this provides versatility for those with some photography experience under the hood, Fujifilm certainly did not forget about the amateurs. This since an SR AUTO mode is include that can identify up to 54 scene types, adjusting the camera accordingly. Finally, we were surprised to find Wi-Fi onboard, a feature not usually featured on entry-level SLRs. With this you can automatically download pics to your PC, while you can also send images to smartphones/tablets if you install the Fujifilm camera application (unfortunately you can’t remotely trigger your camera).

Description: Top, Fujifilm X-A1

Top, Fujifilm X-A1

To the point

The Fujifilm X-A1 is still smaller and lighter than the smallest DSLR (Canon’s 100D) while offering a host of functionality, including a custom setting and Wi-Fi. At $112 it makes for a compelling offering, coming with a 16-50mm kit lens that is slightly wider than usual.

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