on August 11, 2014
I bought this camera from the Japan Amazon site after several weeks of physical and use comparisons, even borrowing my friends' Sony rx100 iii and Canon S120, as well as the XQ-1 to evaluate what to purchase. Needless to say with my 5 star rating I really like the camera for my purposes which is for "religiously carry and use it as a daily pocket camera". Some points of my own as well as counterpoints to some of the points in the reviews here:
1. Batteries and charging:
- Battery life - certainly could be improved, however I find it travels well with me all day, and I've used it for a couple hundred shots in a day. I guess it depends on how much you rely on the LCD for focus and framing - if you're a careful, slow composer than it might consume more battery than I use in a typical day. In any case for extended shooting sessions I normally carry a spare battery anyway. There are also 3rd party replacement batteries available (inexpensive) which although aren't "approved" do carry 1350 mAh of power (compared to the 1000 or so in the stock battery). Also you can get external chargers (both Fuji brand and 3rd party).
- External charger - isn't included (but you can get external chargers (both Fuji brand and 3rd party).
- USB charging - the camera has a USB port, which has a rubbery plastic cover. I find the cover to be fine, while others commented it is flimsy. Its not as sturdy as for example the port cover on my Nikon D800, but for a P&S consumer camera its fine. Besides, I can use the USB port to charge from just about anywhere (PC, laptop, iPhone charger, etc.) which makes it VERY useful for travel situations and optimizing my entire kit weight. Additionally the camera can be operated connected to the USB port on EXTERNAL power which was key for me to use it for time lapse photography (albeit with a 3rd party intervalometer remote control).
2. Picture quality - in a single sentence its not what the RX100 iii is, nor as dreadfully slow, nor 3 times the price either. Picture quality is much better than the S120. There were some issues with raw support when the camera first came out but I find its supported now (mid 2014) almost everywhere.
3. Pocketability - certainly the most pocketable of the 3 I tested. The S120 size wise is about par but turned itself on a couple times in my pocket. The RX100 is really thick and heavy in comparison to the other 2.
4. Price - one thing about a "pocket camera" is the possibility of losing it. The RX100 is a huge cost to carry around without worrying "where is my camera", while the other 2 are in the range that if you lost them it wouldn't be nice but still not a hugely expensive loss. The xq-1 is the lowest price amongst them all for me (noting I bought mine from Amazon Japan).
5. Construction - xq-1's construction I find to be superb.
on December 22, 2013
*** Some comparisons mentioned regarding Sony RX100 and Nikon P7700/P7800 in this review. ***
The Fujifilm XQ1 does not compare to Sony RX100 (after all, the CyberShot is quite a bit pricier--good for the price and compact). However, it has phase detection + contract detection autofocus for the photography, but the video quality and performance is a different story, why the product given four out of five stars. Image quality is close to the Nikon P7700 (have the P7800 and sold the predecessor recently). However, at base ISO, in good outdoor lighting conditions; Nikon's out of camera JPEG images look cleaner (not 'jagged') and thus better detail through ISO 800, something that Fuji's X-Trans sensor without the optical low-pass filter proves more hype than actuality. Autofocus has a tendency to fail when lighting is too even (especially placed on a table indoors, when shooting through a window, etc.). An icon appears on the screen, followed by a beep, where the camera warns the autofocus is not phasing properly (the red square in the middle of the display).
Yes, videos look noisy and plagued with triangular-style dithering compression (hey, that's my eyes), and the zoom motor gives an unwanted scratchy motor noise. Sound quality is good in general.
Controls and features. Menu system is average, similar to Nikon. It has only two internal microphones, HDMI socket on bottom next to battery/memory card compartment, and USB socket on right of camera. On top of camera, dedicated movie record button (you can shoot one decent still in video mode but will not be at full-resolution; not several as you can with RX100). Shutter button has two levels--press down to focus, and down further to take the shot. Most of the body (camera made in China) is of metal (at least the silver model, which I bought mine on eBay through Adorama Camera). The buttons (except mode dial--made of metal) and battery cover are made of plastic. Not as flimsy as reviewers commonly say about this model, and Sony CyberShot.
I think that there could be a firmware update should correct the autofocus issue (does hunt a lot in video). Everything else seems fine.
Perhaps Adobe CC (Creative Cloud) should open the RAF (RAW) files other than the software bundled with the camera.
For the price, this camera is good for typical photography of parties and families, and is a bit more compact than the RX100. Even though the XQ1 is (still) quite a rare compact camera to feature phase detection, where it outdoes the Sony with low-light photography, and the F1.8 lens is so bright that even nighttime photographs look a bit overexposed. This may help with performance, but ISO 800 at night looks like ISO 6400 with noise reduction set to -2 on the Sony RX100.
That said, XQ1 pales in comparison to Sony for photo and video quality, although for still a rather larger-than-average sensor in a pocket-friendly body for a couple of hundred dollars less, the XQ1 is good for its price, features, and quality. Yes, what I mean by that is the build is on par with other compacts of today, but this, if used as a photography tool, is easily better image quality than Panasonic's DSC-ZS series, but if you are more interested in small-medium prints at low-ish ISO and very good video at this price point, the Panasonic is a better option. Overall, Sony is the best of both worlds--photos and videos--but without even knowing that you might find that high-end RX100 a bit of sticker shock.
Pros: Good image quality at base ISO, maybe ISO 200 (indoor photography is OK but incandescent lighting--see cons). Well made. More responsive menu navigation than Sony. Internal memory (66 MB) that RX100 has none. Good for the money.
Cons: Weak video quality. Erratic auto white balance (RX100 does not have any problem with indoor lighting without the flash; XQ1 with a yellow cast when photographing a computer monitor--on--in typical office lighting, for instance). Sometimes cross-type focus point cannot focus in some conditions (phase detection is faster but less accurate that contrast). Noisy zoom unlike Sony. Battery life is short--not even 20 minutes of video can be recorded before battery exhausted, and camera becomes very warm. Slow writing to internal memory but all camera I have used with internal memory are this way, so this con is very common.
Recommended? It depends on your needs as told above. Even though I do like the XQ1, it would be better if Fujifilm releases a firmware update. Thank you for reading.
on November 29, 2013
I so much wanted to like this Fuji XQ1 but have returned mine:
* Excellent low light auto-focus
* Pocketable but lens ring protrudes and size was larger than I expected, closer to a Sony RX100 than a Canon S120
* Good JPEG color and range of film simulations, but pictures were a little oversharp for my taste - this can be adjusted
* Battery life worse than X20 (which many thought was already extremely poor). Fuji appear to have used an even smaller, new battery (NP-48) in the XQ1! However, there are no additional batteries available for purchase anywhere which suggests this product may have been rushed to market.
* Flimsy plastic cover for micro USB port. There is no external battery charger provided so you have to charge batteries in-camera and open a flimsy plastic cover on the side of the camera to connect the charger cable provided. Given the poor battery life I am concerned this cover will not stand repeated use. As for additional batteries, there are no external chargers yet available for the new NP-48 battery so you have no choice but to use in-camera charging.
* Memory Card Read Errors with in-camera Playback. I bought a brand new SD card (for the benefit of the person who asked in the comments whether this was an "el-cheapo" card, it was not: Transcend 16GB UHS-1 600X Ultimate), formatted this in the XQ1 and could not playback pictures on the camera, instead I received a memory card error. A different memory card (also not "el-cheapo" - a SanDisk 16GB Extreme Pro) worked fine for a few pictures then repeatedly came up with a read error when I attempted to playback pictures in camera. Posts in fuji camera forums show others have reported similar memory card read errors with Fuji cameras. I may have just been unlucky, and others may not have this experience, but I did not want to run the risk that even with repeated reformatting or new cards this problem would appear again so returned the XQ1.
on June 16, 2014
This is a great compact camera. I use to own Canon s95 & s110, Fujifilm x20 (All great Cameras too). Although I really loved my X20, I thought it was a little too big to fit in my pocket, so I've decided to get another compact camera. It was down to XQ1 or S120.
After playing and testing both XQ1 and S120 in camera store, I've decided to get the XQ1. The XQ1 is almost $100 cheaper than S120, it also has a larger sensor. It is the same size as the s120, but the built quality reign over the s120. It fits in my pocket and sometime I barely feel it when I'm wearing lose jeans.
The XQ1 works great in low light. I've taken this out to bars and dinners and took amazing portrait photos. The filter setting is fun to play with. The AF speed is quicker than the s120. The raw files also came out great. It also take decent HD videos. The Wi-Fi and Fuji app works well together.
My only complaint for XQ1 is the setting compared to my X20 which is easily accessible by the dials but the "E-Fn" helps with some shortcuts. If you need a very light, portable, pocketable, fast AF, low light camera, this is the one to get. Also get an extra battery and you won't regret it.
I was one of the few who loved the Fuji XF1 Fujifilm XF1/Blk 12MP Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Black) and I never had the lens error everyone else complains about. I couldn't get used to the manual turn-on function of the XF1.
As far as I can tell, the XQ1 has the same sensor. This is one heck of a camera. I can get a good bokeh effect not only in manual mode, but it's just as good by using the easy way, with the Pro Focus mode.
This takes great pictures of animals, freezes them in action as it's so fast to focus. Pictures are sharp, colorful, and crisp. It takes good-quality videos as well. Great in low-light situations, I rarely have to use the flash.
I've tried the Canon arch nemesis of this, the S110 and also the S100, and although those are good cameras, I still prefer the Fuji XQ1 over them mainly due to the UI being easier to use....maybe it's because I started out with Fuji that I find the Fuji menus easy to understand. Another more major reason is the Fuji is just plain better in low light - no matter what Canon I've tried, low light = grainy photos.
For being a small camera, it's fairly heavy but not so much that I don't mind carrying it with me every day. And even though small, the buttons are laid out well and easy for larger fingers to use without hitting the wrong button.
Although this has no viewfinder, I have no problems seeing the screen on a sunny day.
A great camera for anyone, even if you don't know how to use a camera with the PASM controls on the knob, you can still get "almost" professional-looking results with this camera. It's like a point & shoot camera on steroids.
on December 2, 2013
A brief review of the XQ1 coming from a previous ownership of Canon s120.
The larger sensor truly helps in color rendition and details. I've shot the XQ1 indoors at night w/ 60w lightbulb, as the only light source, and it simply maintains color clarity and noise control at its recommended ISO 800 (or lower) setup (during Aperture Mode).
My old canon s120 was nosier/grainer at the same iso. I'm thinking the XQ1's absence of the AA filter also helps (though I'm not an expert on this).
Other features that I also liked: Panorama on-the-fly (closest to flawless function behind Sony's cameras), fast focus, and multishot trick for lowlite clarity. All of which (in my opinion) works much better than the Canon s120.
Negatives (compared to the s120):
Touchscreen, button assignment for on-the-fly Custom White Balance, and battery power. I sometimes tapped the screen thinking that I could direct the focus square without having to go through the menu (tracking focus), only to realize that the XQ1 does not do touchscreen!
Just like the tracking focus feature located in the XQ1's submenu system, the Custom White Balance is also arranged the same way. Why Fuji couldn't include a (E-FN) button assignment to SPECIFICALLY snap a Custom White Balance shot, similar to Canon s120, is beyond my comprehension. The E-FN function button can't even assign a category for custom white balance! You have to push the menu button, browse through folder selection for white balance, then choose Custom White Balance to take a picture of your white (or grey) card.
Last but not least: The battery DOES NOT LAST very long. The Canon s120's stamina is lasts longer than the XQ1's battery storage.
Regardless of the bumps I mentioned above (and they are significant bumps)... The picture quality that it spits out is a TRUE UPGRADE from my s120. And picture quality (video too) was my main reason for choosing (and keeping) the XQ1. My decision was also enforced by the $400 price tag (purchased from Cameraland through ebay) which was much lower than the manufacturer's overpriced figure.
Until, of course, a better point-n-shoot comes out, that does not break the bank like the RX100 series. LOL!
on April 14, 2016
- Only 25mm wide
- It doesn't have a lens correction support in adobe lightroom.
- The absent of Low-pass filer: Well, I like the no low-pass filter feature but not on this camera.
- Although images were sharp but it easily gets noisy at ISO 800
- Video quality is OK but grainy (noise) nonetheless, due to lack of a low-pass filter.
- Color rendition
- Well built; doesn't feel cheap
- 2/3" Sensor size
- Wi-Fi Connectivity
- The manual focusing ring (my favorite)
- Price: bought it for $120 bucks on a lightning deal here in amazon.
on April 16, 2014
I bought this Fujifilm XQ1 for my wife to replace a Nikon D40x which never saw use because it was always too big and too bulky for what she wanted to carry around and shoot. Also, she started shooting with a cell phone because she wanted to upload to social media. With the cell phone camera however, IQ was low and forget about getting anything great in low room light.
The Fujifilm XQ1 offered a tiny, highly portable package, top IQ for family, travel and social/casual photo needs, easy/intuitive to use AND it has built-in wifi that let's her easily sync with her tablet or phone and upload to social media sites. All this for $369. Oh, and the f1.8 lens is so bright and sharp, most of the images taken have been entirely natural light - which is good as the one con of this camera is the built-in flash (it's puny but good for adding just enough light if ever needed).
Very pleased with this camera.
on February 26, 2014
After some weeks using it, I don’t have any major complain about the XQ1, by far… It is now my daily partner wherever I go…
It’s easy to use, very responsive, and really powerfull as far as image quality is concerned for a « point & shoot » cam.
Thanks to the clear lens, you can get great shoots in low light conditions, especially at wide angle.
Body is well built and commands are easy to customise.
In my opinion, it beats Nikon’s P330/340 as well as Canon’s S120 and other P&S in the range of highly pocketable cameras. Sony’s RX100 has even better image quality in general, but has no wide angle lens, and is less responsive…
on January 26, 2014
Extremely small. I got it for my wife and we went out shooting yesterday around town, and the results were absolutely amazing. The WiFi also works great, where we were able to look at the images on our high resolution tablet while having coffee with no need for cables or any other devices. The battery charging mechanism also is great, since you can use a computer if you don't have your charger with you.
The image quality, dynamic range, bracketing options, included filters and film simulation modes make it a great fun camera to learn the basics of photography in a very small package.
I highly recommend it if it is within your budget range.