Login or Join Now

Upload your photos, chat, win prizes and much more

Username:
Password:
Remember Me

Can't Access your Account?

New to ePHOTOzine? Join ePHOTOzine for free!

Fujifilm X-A1 Compact System Camera Review

Join Now

Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!

55% OFF new PortraitPro 12 - use code EPHZROS414.
Category: Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera
Product: Fujifilm X-A1
Price: £499.00
Rating: 4.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 5

Fujifilm X-A1 CSC Review - The Fujifilm X-A1 is Fujifilm's entry level mirrorless camera and features a 16 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor.

Posted:
Print Article Add Comment Add CommentJargon Buster: Off Jargon Buster: Off
Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Fujifilm X A1 (4)

The Fujifilm X-A1 is the entry level mirrorless camera in the Fujifilm X series, designed to provide high image quality whilst being easy to use and is the most affordable mirrorless camera from Fujifilm, available for £499 with 16-50mm OIS kit lens. 

Fujifilm X-A1 Features

Fujifilm X A1 (5)

The heart of the camera is the sensor, and for other Fujifilm X series compact system cameras, such as the X-Pro1, X-E1, and X-M1, the sensor features the unique X-Trans CMOS sensor with a Fujifilm arrangement of the colour filter array. Fujifilm developed this to provide better colour and low light performance, as well as higher detail due to the removal of the anti-aliasing filter.

The X-A1 instead uses a standard APS-C CMOS sensor with the more standard Bayer filter, allowing the price to be lower, but what affect this will have on image quality, such as colour performance, low light performance, and level of detail is what we plan to find out in this review. The camera is virtually identical in specification to the Fujifilm X-M1, and features a tilting 3 inch screen, built in pop-up flash, manual controls, Wi-Fi connectivity and the same ISO range.

Fujifilm X A1 (10)

Key Features

  • 16.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 3inch tilting LCD, 920K dots
  • Built in flash with Fujifilm’s Super i-Flash technology
  • ISO200-6400, and extended range of ISO100 to 25600
  • Full HD Video recording at 30fps, with stereo sound
  • Art filters: 8 Advanced Filters plus 5 Film Simulation modes
  • In-camera RAW processing
  • Q button for list view of frequently-used menus and smooth configuration
  • Wireless image transfer to smart phones and tablet PCs via Fujifilm Camera app
  • PC Autosave Wi-Fi connectivity to PCs (for easy image backup)
  • The X-A1 camera is available in three colours: Black, Blue and Red

Fujifilm X-A1 Handling

Fujifilm X A1 (7)

Like the X-M1, the camera feels well built with good build quality even though the camera is mostly constructed of plastic, with some metal parts used in the pop up flash and tilting screen mechanisms. The textured front grip gives a decent area for your hand to hold, and on the back is a raised plastic area for your thumb although unfortunately it is not rubberised.

The 16-50mm OIS lens doesn't feature an aperture ring around the lens, and the lens mount is made of plastic, compared to the more standard metal mount found on other X series lenses. Whilst the camera body is quite small and lightweight, some of the X mount lenses are quite large due to the APS-C sensor, and the Fujinon XF 55-200mm lens is particularly large on this compact body.

Fujifilm X A1 (14)

The top Fn / function button can be customised, and also doubles as the Wi-Fi button in playback mode. Also on top is a control wheel, which is on the corner of the camera body, this defaults to exposure compensation in P mode, and is quite easy to accidentally move. A second control wheel can be found where your thumb rests, you can press this in playback mode to instantly zoom into a photo. Using Wi-Fi to transfer images to a smartphone is quite straightforward, however the app doesn't feature a remote control feature.

Fujifilm X A1 (12)

The menu system has the photo and setup options neatly separated over a number of screens, with each section colour coded. There is an additional control panel accessible using the Q button on the back, which is used in combination with the 4-way controller and scroll wheel. This makes it easy and quick to set options, without having to dive into the menus options.

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 350 shots according to Fujifilm / CIPA test results.

Fujifilm X A1 (15)

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

  Fujifilm X-A1
Shutter Response 0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.3
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.45
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.2*
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.8
Shot to Shot with Flash 1.7
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
5fps (68 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A
Continuous Shooting - RAW 5fps (11 shots)

*Tested with Quick start mode on. Shutter response is excellent, and the camera has a quick continuous shooting mode, as well as quick shot to shot time. It's also possible to shoot a large number of JPEG images before slowdown. 

Fujifilm X-A1 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Fujifilm X-A1 Sample Photos

Bolton Abbey | 1/450 sec | f/9.0 | 50.0 mm | ISO 400

Bolton Abbey | 1/450 sec | f/9.0 | 50.0 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

Three Cows | 1/400 sec | f/6.4 | 50.0 mm | ISO 400

Three Cows | 1/400 sec | f/6.4 | 50.0 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

Flowers | 1/300 sec | f/5.6 | 50.0 mm | ISO 400

Flowers | 1/300 sec | f/5.6 | 50.0 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

Flash Portrait | 1/30 sec | f/5.6 | 50.0 mm | ISO 1600

Flash Portrait | 1/30 sec | f/5.6 | 50.0 mm | ISO 1600
High-Res


Sample Photos - The camera produces images with excellent colour and good exposure. Photos taken with the built in flash show no red-eye, however we found it was easy to accidentally change exposure compensation due to the placement of the control wheel.

Fujifilm X-A1 Lens test images

Wide | 1/450 sec | f/8.0 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400

Wide | 1/450 sec | f/8.0 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

Zoom | 1/350 sec | f/7.1 | 50.0 mm | ISO 400

Zoom | 1/350 sec | f/7.1 | 50.0 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

DR200 | 1/320 sec | f/5.6 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400

DR200 | 1/320 sec | f/5.6 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

Macro | 1/420 sec | f/7.1 | 48.4 mm | ISO 200

Macro | 1/420 sec | f/7.1 | 48.4 mm | ISO 200
High-Res


Lens Performance - Using the 16-50mm OIS lens, the closest focus is 40cm which means that the lens isn't ideal for close-up photos or macro use. Detail and resolution in the centre is very good, with good detail to the edges. The lens appears to be quite resistant to flare thanks to provided hood. Barrel or pincushion distortion is low enough not to cause issues in the photos we took, and purple fringing or chromatic aberration was low. Unfortunately the focus occasionally struggled indoors in low light.

Fujifilm X-A1 ISO test images

1/6 sec | f/5.6 | 43.4 mm | ISO 100

1/6 sec | f/5.6 | 43.4 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

1/10 sec | f/5.6 | 43.4 mm | ISO 200

1/10 sec | f/5.6 | 43.4 mm | ISO 200
High-Res | RAW

1/20 sec | f/5.6 | 43.4 mm | ISO 400

1/20 sec | f/5.6 | 43.4 mm | ISO 400
High-Res | RAW

1/40 sec | f/5.6 | 43.4 mm | ISO 800

1/40 sec | f/5.6 | 43.4 mm | ISO 800
High-Res | RAW

1/80 sec | f/5.6 | 43.4 mm | ISO 1600

1/80 sec | f/5.6 | 43.4 mm | ISO 1600
High-Res | RAW

1/170 sec | f/5.6 | 43.4 mm | ISO 3200

1/170 sec | f/5.6 | 43.4 mm | ISO 3200
High-Res | RAW

1/340 sec | f/5.6 | 43.4 mm | ISO 6400

1/340 sec | f/5.6 | 43.4 mm | ISO 6400
High-Res | RAW

1/350 sec | f/8.0 | 43.4 mm | ISO 12800

1/350 sec | f/8.0 | 43.4 mm | ISO 12800
High-Res

1/350 sec | f/11.0 | 43.4 mm | ISO 25600

1/350 sec | f/11.0 | 43.4 mm | ISO 25600
High-Res


ISO Noise Performance - ISO performance is impressive up to ISO3200 and even ISO6400 where images show low levels of noise and retain good levels of detail. At ISO12800 noise increases and detail drops, and noise increases again at ISO25600. ISO100, ISO12800 and ISO25600 aren't available if shooting RAW or JPEG+RAW, instead these are only available when shooting JPEG. The camera delivers impressive performance, and smoother results than the X-Trans CMOS sensor used in the X-M1, with excellent levels of detail.

Fujifilm X-A1 White-balance test images

AWB Tungsten | 1/10 sec | f/5.6 | 28.2 mm | ISO 200

AWB Tungsten | 1/10 sec | f/5.6 | 28.2 mm | ISO 200
High-Res | RAW

WB Tungsten | 1/10 sec | f/5.6 | 26.9 mm | ISO 200

WB Tungsten | 1/10 sec | f/5.6 | 26.9 mm | ISO 200
High-Res | RAW

AWB Fluorescent | 0.4 sec | f/5.6 | 28.2 mm | ISO 200

AWB Fluorescent | 0.4 sec | f/5.6 | 28.2 mm | ISO 200
High-Res | RAW

WB Fluorescent | 0.3 sec | f/5.6 | 28.2 mm | ISO 200

WB Fluorescent | 0.3 sec | f/5.6 | 28.2 mm | ISO 200
High-Res | RAW


White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs reasonably well under incandescent lighting with the incandescent preset giving a slightly less warm result. Auto white balance performs very well under fluorescent lighting, with the presets working well when adjusted.

Fujifilm X-A1 Outdoor images

DR100 | 1/170 sec | f/5.6 | 16.0 mm | ISO 200

DR100 | 1/170 sec | f/5.6 | 16.0 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

DR400 | 1/450 sec | f/7.1 | 16.0 mm | ISO 800

DR400 | 1/450 sec | f/7.1 | 16.0 mm | ISO 800
High-Res


Dynamic range can be extended using DR100, 200 and 400, and this does a very good job of expanding dynamic range and stops the sky from being over-exposed in these shots, although this does increase the ISO setting up to ISO800.

Fujifilm X-A1 Digital filters

Dynamic | 1/100 sec | f/5.3 | 40.2 mm | ISO 200

Dynamic | 1/100 sec | f/5.3 | 40.2 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

Hi Key | 1/60 sec | f/5.3 | 40.2 mm | ISO 400

Hi Key | 1/60 sec | f/5.3 | 40.2 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

Low Key | 1/280 sec | f/5.6 | 40.2 mm | ISO 200

Low Key | 1/280 sec | f/5.6 | 40.2 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

Miniature DSCF4280 | 1/150 sec | f/5.6 | 40.2 mm | ISO 400

Miniature DSCF4280 | 1/150 sec | f/5.6 | 40.2 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

Partial Colour Green | 1/160 sec | f/5.6 | 40.2 mm | ISO 400

Partial Colour Green | 1/160 sec | f/5.6 | 40.2 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

Partial Colour Red | 1/150 sec | f/5.6 | 40.2 mm | ISO 400

Partial Colour Red | 1/150 sec | f/5.6 | 40.2 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

Pop Colour | 1/150 sec | f/5.6 | 40.2 mm | ISO 400

Pop Colour | 1/150 sec | f/5.6 | 40.2 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

Soft Focus | 1/150 sec | f/5.6 | 40.2 mm | ISO 400

Soft Focus | 1/150 sec | f/5.6 | 40.2 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

Toycam | 1/160 sec | f/5.6 | 40.2 mm | ISO 400

Toycam | 1/160 sec | f/5.6 | 40.2 mm | ISO 400
High-Res


Digital Filters - Under the "Advanced Filter" mode dial position, there are a number of digital filters with examples shown above, although unfortunately raw is not available. You can also access the multi-exposure mode here. There is no built in HDR mode, although you can use AEB shooting. There are a number of film simulation modes, with the famous Fujifilm film types including: Provia (Standard), Velvia (Vivid), Astia (soft), B&W, and Sepia. You can also adjust colour, sharpness, highlight tone, shadow tone, and noise reduction settings individually.

There is no built in panoramic mode, which seems a strange omission as the X-E1 and X-Pro1 both feature this.

Video - The camera records good quality video at full HD with stereo sound and 30fps. Film simulation options are available. Continuous focus can appear quite slow, particularly with low-contrast subjects.


Value For Money

The Fujifilm X-A1 is available for £499 with 16-50mm lens, which makes it very good value for money considering the X-M1 with kit lens is around £650 with 16-50mm kit lens. Alternatives to consider include the following cameras:

Olympus PEN E-PL5, with touchscreen, £449 with lens.
Panasonic Lumix GF6, with Wi-Fi, touchscreen, £369 with lens.
Samsung NX300, with Wi-Fi, touchscreen, £510 with lens.
Sony NEX-6, with Wi-Fi, EVF, £585 with lens.

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Fujifilm X-A1 Verdict

The 16-50mm OIS kit lens, despite being a kit lens, delivers excellent image quality with a useful wide-angle to telephoto zoom range and includes a good sized lens hood. The combination of this lens and the compact body makes for a compelling package, with the added bonus of a good 3inch tilting screen and built in Wi-Fi connectivity. For those that want a more traditional feeling camera, as well as a built in viewfinder, you would be best looking at the X-E1, however for the price, the X-A1 delivers excellent results with good controls and layout.

The X-A1 is the most affordable Fujifilm X series CSC available yet, and despite using a "standard" APS-C CMOS sensor, delivers impressive image quality, with low noise right up to ISO3200 and ISO6400 while retaining good levels of detail. Some may even find the results from this camera preferable to the results from the more expensive X-M1. With the introduction of the X-A1, Fujifilm also introduced a number of more affordable lenses, making the Fujifilm X series a much more compelling system. With impressive image quality and a camera packed with features, we would highly recommend the Fujifilm X-A1.


 
  The Fujifilm X-A1 delivers impressive image quality, all for an excellent price and comes with a great kit lens.

Fujifilm X-A1 Pros

Excellent 16-50mm OIS kit lens
Very good value for money
Excellent noise performance
Excellent colour reproduction
Impressive detail and resolution
Dynamic range expansion works well
3inch tilting screen
Wi-Fi connectivity
Printed manual
Compact body

Fujifilm X-A1 Cons

Lacks panoramic mode
Lacks HDR shooting
Advanced filters don't save raw files
Wi-Fi doesn't allow remote operation

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Fujifilm X-A1 Specifications

ManufacturerFujifilm
Image Sensor
CCD pixels 16.3Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W) 4896
Pixels (H) 3264
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size APS-C
Sensor Size (width) 23.6mm
Sensor Size (height) 15.6mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 1:1
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor 3in
Screen resolution 920k
Touch Screen No
Focusing
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest 1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest 30sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Program Variable
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity 100 - 25600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Cloudy
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp +/-2
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Resolution No Data
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting 5.6fps
Video
Movie mode Yes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
Video FPS 30
Stereo Sound Yes
Optical Zoom with Video Yes
Other Features
Image Stabilisation No
Interface
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery Type Lithium Ion
CIPA Rating 350
Box Contents
Box Contents Li-ion Battery NP-W126, Battery Charger BC-W126, Shoulder strap, Body cap, CD-ROM (Viewer software, RAW File Converter etc.), Owner's manual
Dimensions
Weight 330g
Width 116.9mm
Height 66.5mm
Depth 39mm

View Full Product Details


Explore More

Kodak Pixpro S1 Micro Four Thirds Camera Hands-On Preview

Kodak Pixpro S1 Hands-On Preview

Gary Wolsteholme goes hands on with the new Kodak Pixpro S1,...

Sony Alpha ILCE-5000 Full Review

Sony Alpha A5000 Full Review

We review the new Sony Alpha A5000, the compact mirrorless c...

Panasonic Lumix GH4 Hands-On Preview

Panasonic Lumix GH4 Hands-On Preview

We go hands-on with the new Panasonic Lumix GH4, and see wha...

Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.

Comments

kodachrome
2 Oct 2013 - 3:36 PM

Fuji never ceases to amaze me with their designs and innovations, not to mention their superb sensor technology. If only this camera had some sort of eye level view finder it would be the sale of the century. A plug in EVF would probably work or even a little optical finder like the X10/20, it would make this camera complete, well, at least for me.
Fuji are certainly carving out for themselves a fantastic range of 'X' cameras that are becoming very popular with the enthusiast. They already hold the title for the best Jpegs in the business, once held by Olympus and that alone will sell this camera.

Sponsored Links
Sponsored Links 
3 Oct 2013 - 6:55 AM

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

Cat&Mouse
Cat&Mouse  10101 forum posts Russian Federation
3 Oct 2013 - 6:55 AM

Hm... A1? Well, we have already M1, Pro1, E1, A1,.....Z1 Who is next? We will be waiting for A2, ..., Z2?
No more! Where is a REALLY GREAT cameras, like S2Pro - S3Pro - S5Pro? !

AlexandraSD
AlexandraSD e2 Member 2432 forum postsAlexandraSD vcard United Kingdom
5 Jan 2014 - 4:57 PM

No touch screen? Thats a bummer really, and no remote control through the app either, i know the price reflects the spec, but these are becomming standard now!

- Original Poster Comments
- Your Posts

Add a Comment

You must be a member to leave a comment

Username:
Password:
Remember me:
Un-tick this box if you want to login each time you visit.