Fujifilm XQ1 Review

Daniel Bell reviews the Fujifilm XQ1, a compact camera with a 12 megapixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor, f/1.8 4x optical zoom lens and built-in Wi-Fi.

| Fujifilm XQ1 in Compact Cameras

Fujifilm XQ1 Review: Fujifilm XQ1 Black (4)

The Fujifilm XQ1, announced in October 2013, is a premium compact camera which has a 12 megapixel 2/3 inch X-Trans CMOS II sensor, fast f/1.8 4x optical zoom lens and full 1080p HD video recording. It is available in black or silver for £349.99.

Fujifilm XQ1 Review: Fujifilm XQ1 Black (2)

Fujifilm XQ1 Features

The Fujifilm XQ1 has a 12 megapixel 2/3 inch X-Trans CMOS II sensor, which is the same type of sensor that is found in the Fujifilm X-Pro1. The XQ1 also has a bright f/1.8 lens, ideal for shooting in low light, and there is 4x optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 25-100mm) and 3-stop optical image stabilisation to minimise camera shake. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 3cm for macro photography. You can shoot full resolution images at up to 12 fps.
There are plenty of shooting modes available. You can shoot in Advanced SR Auto mode, which automatically adjusts the camera settings, detecting from 64 scene types. You can also use full manual controls, for complete control over your photography. Advanced mode includes four options, which are Motion Panorama 360, Multiple Exposure, Pro Low-Light and Pro Focus. For added creativity, the advanced filter mode includes toy camera, miniature and pop colour. The XQ1 also has a number of film simulations, these are Provia / Standard, Velvia / Vivid, Astia / Soft, Sepia and Monochrome (+Ye / R / G filter).
The XQ1 has built-in Wi-Fi which makes it easy to transfer your images to a smartphone or tablet using the free Fujifilm Camera Application app, with a button on the rear of the camera designed to make connecting easy. The app will also allow you to geotag your images.

There is a built-in RAW data converter which lets you view and edit your images without the need for your PC. You can adjust the exposure compensation, white balance and other in-camera image quality control settings, as well as apply Film Simulation.
Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD at 60 fps and you can also use the Film Simulation modes.
Fujifilm XQ1 Review: Fujifilm XQ1 Black (5)

Key Features

  • 12 megapixel 2/3 inch X-Trans CMOS II sensor
  • 4x optical zoom f/1.8 lens (35mm equiv: 28-100mm)
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 3.0 inch 920k LCD screen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • ISO 100-12800
  • 3cm minimum focusing distance
  • 360º motion panorama mode
  • 12 fps continuous shooting
  • Available in silver or black
Fujifilm XQ1 Review: Fujifilm XQ1 Black (1)

Fujifilm XQ1 Handling

The Fujifilm XQ1 has a metal body which will fit in your pocket. The front has a textured effect to help grip it, there is also a rubber grip on the rear for your right hand thumb. Around the lens is a control ring, this allows you to adjust certain settings which you can customise to your preferred setting. Options available include zoom, ISO, exposure compensation, aperture, shutter speed and more.

On the top of the camera is a mode dial, on / off button, zoom rocker and shutter release as well as a button which pops the flash up. Buttons on the rear of the camera include playback, movie record, display / back and E-Fn. There is also a d-pad with a rotating wheel for cycling through menu options. The d-pad also gives access to macro mode, flash, exposure compensation and self-timer. When you press the E-Fn button, a menu appears on the screen, which gives a second use for the buttons on the rear. Options here include ISO, white-balance and continuous shooting.

Pressing the menu button brings up a screen which has 7 tabs, four of them are for shooting settings and three of them are titled setup. Any options which aren't available for the mode you are in are greyed out. The 3.0 inch screen is bright and colourful and has an excellent 920k dot resolution. If you are shooting in bright sunlight, there is a Monitor Sunlight Mode which increases the brightness to make it easier to view.

Fujifilm XQ1 Review: Fujifilm Xq1 App Screenshot 2 Fujifilm XQ1 Review: Fujifilm Xq1 App Screenshot 4 Fujifilm XQ1 Review: Fujifilm Xq1 App Screenshot 8

To access the Wi-Fi, you need to enter playback and press the E-Fn button. You need to download the Fujiflm Camera Application app from iTunes before trying to connect to the XQ1's Wi-Fi. Once connected you then need to open the app. You can view and transfer the pictures on the camera, or go into receive mode, which lets you pick images from the camera to send to your smartphone or tablet.
Battery life is rated at 240 shots according to CIPA test results, which may mean you may struggle to shoot for a whole day, particularly when using the W-Fi frequently. 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.

Shutter Response   0.06 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.2 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.3 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   1.7 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   0.8 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   1.3 secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG (Low)   3.0 fps
Continuous Shooting - JPEG (Medium)   5.0 fps
Continuous Shooting - JPEG (High)   6.8 fps
Continuous Shooting - JPEG (Super-high)   8.8 fps
Continuous Shooting - RAW (Low)   3.0 fps
Continuous Shooting - RAW (Medium)   6.3 fps
Continuous Shooting - RAW (High)   8.8 fps

Focusing speeds are quick, but we did find that the camera struggled to focus at all on occasion, although it was just a case of trying again. All continuous shooting modes record in full resolution.

Fujifilm XQ1 Review: Fujifilm XQ1 Black (6)

Fujifilm XQ1 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 XQ1 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Images have excellent colour reproduction and are well exposed. Portraits have good skin tones, you can use the portrait enhanced mode to take portraits with even softer skin, although it is a little too much for male subjects. Our nightscape above was shot using the pro low-light mode.

Fujifilm XQ1 Lens test images

Lens Performance - Detail is good at both ends of the lens and purple fringing is kept under control in contrasting areas. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 3cm, which allows for excellent macro shots.

Fujifilm XQ1 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 100 and remains so at ISO 200, 400 and 800. At ISO 1600, images become a little soft and are even softer at ISO 3200. At ISO 6400, noise impacts significantly on image quality, with significant detail lost, with lots of detail lost at ISO 12800.

Fujifilm XQ1 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - The Auto White Balance (AWB) produces an image with a strong orange cast under the incandescent lights, with the incandescent preset performing much better. Under the fluorescent lights, the AWB performs excellently, with fluorescent preset has a slight colour cast.

Fujifilm XQ1 Review: Panorama | 1/400 sec | f/6.4 | 7.4 mm | ISO 100
Panorama | 1/400 sec | f/6.4 | 7.4 mm | ISO 100

Panorama mode - The XQ1 records 360º panoramas, they have plenty of detail and are reasonably well stitched, although there are some issues if you look closely enough.

Fujifilm XQ1 Digital filters

Digital Filters - Above you'll find a number of examples of the various film simulations and advanced filters available.

Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD. Quality is good, but the noise of the zoom is picked up and the focus is slow to adjust when zooming in.

Value For Money

The Fujifilm XQ1 is available for £352.99. Other serious compact cameras include the Olympus Stylus XZ-2 at £259Nikon Coolpix P330 at £235Canon PowerShot S120 at £450Sony Cybershot RX100 II at£557 and Panasonic Lumix LX7 at £289. For more, read our top 10 serious compacts article.

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 XQ1 Verdict

The Fujifilm XQ1 is an easy to use camera which packs lots of useful features such as a fast f/1.8 lens and a 2/3 inch CMOS sensor. It also has built-in Wi-Fi for easy transfer of images to a smartphone, tablet or PC. The focus occasionally struggled but image quality is excellent. The 220 shot battery life might be limiting for some, so a spare battery will be worth purchasing. We also struggled to get near to the 12 fps in continuous shooting. Available for around £350, the XQ1 is excellent value for money and cheaper than many of its competitors, such as the Sony Cybershot RX100 II.

Fujifilm XQ1 Review:
  The Fujifilm XQ1 offers excellent image quality, plenty of shooting features and is excellent value for money.

Fujifilm XQ1 Pros

Fast f/1.8 lens
Large sensor for a compact camera
Built-in Wi-Fi
Excellent image quality
Easy access to image settings
High resolution screen
Great value for money

Fujifilm XQ1 Cons

Focusing struggled very occasionally
Short battery life
Struggled to shoot near 12 fps
Zoom noise in videos


Fujifilm XQ1 Specifications

Max Aperturef/1.8 - f/4.9
35mm equivalent25mm - 100mm
Optical Zoom4x
Image Sensor
Pixels12Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4000
Pixels (H)3000
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size2/3inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 4:3
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution920k
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus3cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Program Variable
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Centre Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
  • Underwater
Exposure Comp+/-3
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting12fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
  • 320x240 QVGA
Video FPS60,30fps
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium Ion
Battery Life (CIPA rating)240shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsLi-ion battery NP-48, AC power adapter AC-5VT, Plug adapter, Hand strap, USB cable, CD-ROM*4, Owner's manual

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Photographs taken using the Fujifilm XQ1

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uzevla Avatar
uzevla 9
3 Dec 2013 4:51AM
Worth mentioning is the flash sync speed of 1/4000.

Also, can you write if the lens ring can act as manual zoom (manual means instantaneous as soon as I turn the ring).
With this feature and already confirmed flash sync speed, flash recycle speed and fast focus this would be 10x faster shooter than RX100 is.

Any note on LCD quality ? Is it on par with regular 3" LCDs used in e.g. cheap DSLR. I am just afraid this might be some""ïmproved" version of that crap used in XF1, X100, X-E1.
joshwa Avatar
joshwa Plus
13 927 1 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2013 9:27AM
Hi, the screen is a high resolution screen (921k dots), and is gapless and looks really good, it appears to be a high quality screen (we've seen a lot of worse screens).
sasan Avatar
sasan 10 36 England
31 Jan 2014 2:05PM
No doubt 60 fps has better quality than 30 in all results.I saw sample video in 1080p & 60 fps.I must say it was the best video quality I ever seen in a fuji camera.This video quality is indebted of f1/8 aperture ' low number of optic equipment & 60 fps recording speed.Fuji always makes the best use of body parts in cameras.For example in X series U can see lots of equal parts.XF1 & X10 & X-S1 had the same sensor.But Here it maybe we see a new sensor

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