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Fujifilm X-A7 Review

Fujifilm X-A7 Review - Fujifilm's entry-level mirrorless camera is designed to be easy to use, but with high image quality, with a 24mp sensor, 4K video recording and a large 3.5inch screen, find our how it performs in our review.


|  Fujifilm X-A7 in Mirrorless Cameras
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1/105 sec | f/5.6 | 35.0 mm | ISO 320
 

Quick Verdict

The Fujifilm X-A7 delivers a great combination of image quality, with a 24mp sensor, as well as a versatile and large 3.5inch screen. It could also be a great option for video use too, thanks to high-quality 4K video recording and a microphone socket, although a prime lens is recommended for the best results.

+ Pros

  • Large 3.5inch touch-screen
  • Great Fujifilm colour
  • Two control dials on the top
  • 4K UHD video recording
  • Face, eye detection focus
  • X-Series lenses

- Cons

  • Plastic construction has some rough edges
  • No dedicated Q button
  • Power zoom lens isn't great for video

 

Taken with X-Pro3  | 1/60 sec | f/7.1 | 50.0 mm | ISO 2000

The Fujifilm X-A7 is Fujifilm's new entry-level mirrorless camera, designed to be easy to use for beginners, but also offer high image quality from a 24mp APS-C CMOS sensor, as well as 4K video recording. There's a large 3.5inch touch-screen on the back, which is the biggest screen available on any recent camera. 


Fujifilm X-A7 Features

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Updating, and replacing the Fujifilm X-A5, the X-A7 uses a 24mp APS-C CMOS sensor, this being a Bayer sensor, rather than the X-Trans sensor used in other Fujifilm models. 

The 3.5inch screen is one of the stand-out features of the X-A7, larger than any other camera we can think of, the screen is a vari-angle screen meaning you can twist it out to face forwards, making it ideal for selfies or vlogging. It's also a touch-screen, and the camera has an updated, and easy to use user interface designed to make it easy to change settings, as well as preview different effects. 

 

The "Smart" Menu*

This lets you easily change the look of a photo, so that you can, for example, request a blurred background, without knowing that the camera is changing the aperture of the lens. This is great in principle, and does make the camera easier to use, but if you're using a kit lens, with a limited aperture range, then it's likely you may be left wondering why the camera isn't able to produce the same kind of blurred background of a dedicated prime lens or a smartphone with a fake blurred background bokeh mode. * It's not us putting inverted commas around the word smart, this is what Fujifilm has called it on their website.

 

Fujifilm Xa 7 Effect Preview
 

You can preview the effect of choosing different film simulations on screen, with a movable line between the before and after selections, and this lets you see the changes live, before taking the photo so that you can choose your favourite. 

Face and eye-detection focus is included, as well as portrait enhancer, which smooths skin. The camera gives quick access to "easy" (or "smart") settings, using the touch-screen. You can use this, and there is built-in help giving information on the settings and options available, or if you want you can press the on-screen Q button, and get to the more advanced camera options. 

You'll also find all the familiar P, A, S, M shooting modes, giving you full manual controls, as well as a number of scene modes, with SR+ (automatic scene recognition), advanced filter (toy effects, etc), SP (Scene Position) where you can choose the scene mode you want, which includes a new Light Trail scene mode (like bulb but on-screen development of the image). You can choose a Portrait mode in SP, and you'll find another Portrait enhancer on the mode dial, as well as an automatic panoramic shooting mode. 

The camera is sold as a kit, with the Fujifilm XC 15-45mm OIS Power Zoom lens, which gives you a useful wide-angle zoom range from 22.5mm to 67.5mm in 35mm equivalent terms. As the X-A7 uses the Fujifilm X-Mount, it's also compatible with a wide range of Fujifilm lenses, and we've also been testing it with the XF 35mm f/2 WR (shown above), and the 50mm f/2 WR lens, both compact prime lenses that fit well with the compact size of the camera system. 

The camera features 4K UHD video recording, at 30, 25, 24 and 23.98fps, as well as full HD video at 60fps. There are options to record high-speed video at 100fps (720p), as well as the option to enable digital image stabilisation. There's clean HDMI output, as well as HDMI record control, plus a microphone socket (2.5mm) on the side, giving the camera quite advanced settings and options for videographers. 

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are built-in, as you would expect with a modern camera, and this lets you easily transfer images to a smartphone or tablet, with the ability to remotely control the camera, as well as add location data to images from your smartphones GPS. 

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Key Features

  • 24.2mp APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Phase Detection AF, Face/Eye-detection
  • 3.5inch vari-angle touch-screen, 2760K dot, 16:9 aspect
  • 4K Video recording (3840x2160, 30fps)
  • FullHD video at 60fps
  • 2.5mm microphone socket
  • Built-in pop-up flash, 5.7GN (ISO200)
  • ISO100 to ISO51200 (extended)
  • 6fps continuous shooting
  • 270/440 shot battery life (standard, economy)
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity
  • Available in silver/black, dark silver

Fujifilm X-A7 Handling

1/180 sec | f/5.6 | 35.0 mm | ISO 320

At first glance, you can see how Fujifilm has gone for a retro/classic design style, with a two-tone silver and black colour scheme. This looks better with the graphite/dark silver version of the camera (available on Amazon UK). 

However, on closer inspection, the plastic body fairly quickly gives away the budget construction, with some slightly rough, or sharp edges on the plastic, as well as obvious flex if you grip the camera too tightly. The top of the mode dial is made from metal, as well as the flash hot-shoe, the tripod socket, and some of the other hinges in the camera, however, for the most part, the camera is constructed from plastic. 

In terms of handling, the front black leather-effect material has a soft touch, and is thin rubber, giving some grip. This grip is unfortunately interrupted by a silver band of plastic, making it slippier than it needs to be. 

On the back is the usual and expected thumb grip, which protrudes from the camera, with a texture aimed to provide an area of grip. Unfortunately, this is made from hard plastic, reducing the effectiveness of the grip if your thumb is moist. The camera is provided with a stylish looking brown leather-effect neck strap, and using this is recommended.

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There are a good number of dials, with two command dials, giving a front and rear dial, making manual modes easy to use, with direct and quick access to aperture and shutter, or exposure compensation depending what mode you're shooting in. The rear dial on the top has a middle Function button that can be used to start and stop video recording.

The screen has a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is great for video recording, but when shooting 3:2 aspect ratio photos, you do end up with black borders on the left and right of the camera. Colour reproduction is good, and the screen gives a clear view of settings and menu items. You can also use the touch-screen to set and select menu items when needed. Unfortunately, there's not a dedicated Q button, so you do need to use the on-screen Q button. 

The specifications don't specify how many focus points there are on the camera, however, when using the touch-screen, you can set the focus point to any area on the screen, with almost full coverage. 

The camera starts up quickly enough, and focus is reliable and quite the majority of the time. The only issues you're likely to face [no pun intended] is when face detection picks the wrong face, however, this is the same with any camera with face detection. You can quite quickly and easily switch to another person using the touch-screen. Continuous shooting lets you shoot at 6fps for a maximum of 10 shots, or you can shoot at 3fps, and take a maximum of 50 shots. 

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Battery life - Battery life is rated at 270 shots in standard mode, or up to 440 shots when the economy mode is switched on. This is either below average or above average if you switch on the economy mode. Either way, we would recommend a spare battery just in case. USB Type-C connection that can be used for charging the battery in the camera. 


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Photographs taken using the Fujifilm X-A7

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