Fujifilm X-A1 Body - Blue Compact System Camera, Body Only
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- 16.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with Hi-Speed EXR Processor II
- Tilt able 3-inch LCD (920K-dots high definition)
- PC Auto save Wi-Fi (*6) connectivity to PCs (for easy image backup)
- Wireless image transfer to smart phones and tablet PCs via FUJIFILM Camera App
- Full HD video recording at 30fps
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The X-A1 has a compact and lightweight feel, yet features a high performing APS-C CMOS sensor and EXR Processor II, offering high quality image capture. The 16M large APS-C CMOS sensor captures rich tonal expression, a beautiful “bokeh” depth-of-field effect, increased dynamic range and exceptional low light performance. With a tilt able high-definition LCD monitor, built-in flash and Wi-Fi link to transfer photos to smartphones, the FUJIFILM X-A1 has all the features consumers will be looking for when venturing into an affordable interchangeable-lens type compact system camera.
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The Fuji 16-50 kit lens is sharp! Forget about using legacy Leica, Zeiss etc. lenses. you can get similar sharpness from this kit lens and as a bonus, you don't have to fiddle with focus peaking to focus manually. The only reason to get prime lenses is, if you absolutely have to have faster apertures. I find no problems using kit lens with slower apertures while zoomed in, because the camera is capable of producing excellent details up to ISO 3200. No other brand camera comes close to Fujifilm X-series cameras. Even though X A1 do not have X-trans array, it's high ISOs up to 6400 are very similar to X M1, IMO.
Fujifilm's proprietary "Q" button is amazing, every camera manufacturer should copy it. You can access every menu setting on one single page, so that you can review the vital settings or change them as needed.
Fujifilm's OOC(out of cam) jpegs are the best in business. There's almost no difference between RAW and OOC jpegs. With that being said, I found these settings to deliver best this camera can do.
NR: -2 (even at "0", NR is way too aggressive and robbing some finer details. I like to keep it at -2).
Color: +1 (If shooting in STD film mode)
DR: I keep it to 100 most times. Few times, I use DR 400, if you feel the need to produce more details in shadows. You could no longer use ISOs lower than 800, if you choose DR 400. If the light is low and you cannot choose ISO below 800, then just choose DR 400.
Shadows and highlights: +2
Some cons according to me:
My X A1 tends to overexpose most shots. I don't know if I have defective piece but I have to set exposure (-2/3) at all times to get "normal" exposure. Another issue, to me is that, the jpeg files have aggressive amounts of NR by default and setting the NR to (-2) is not improving anything significantly. IMO, NR is too much that it's robbing some finer details. Unacceptable. IMO, this NR issue is the same with all Fuji X-series cameras.
I have owned 2 Fuji X-series cameras (X A1 and X M1) and used another 2 (X-E1 and X 100S). And all these cameras have at least 1 stuck pixel visible at all times at ISOs below 800. Even at ISO 200! These stuck pixels are not visible at ISOs greater than 800. I tried sensor cleaning in camera to rid of the issue but NO luck. With X-trans cameras, the stuck pixels is NOT removed even if I shoot RAW and load files onto LR5 and Photoninja. However, X A1's stuck pixel is removed automatically when I load RAW files on LR5. Fuji needs to incorporate sensor mapping like Sony and Olympus have been doing. Pixel mapping is very simple program that can be included into camera menus. Olympus has been doing it for so many years and I don't see why other companies shouldn't do that. Something so simple like that can save consumers from returning the cameras to dealers for something so minuscule as stuck pixels.
I was worried that focusing and framing with a LCD and no view finder would be a problem, but it actually lets me take photos in a less obtrusive and obvious way, as I can tilt the LCD and look down and snap a photo while talking to someone casually for more candid shots at parties and other venues where I'm trying to take candids and keep people in their natural pose.
I find the camera much less obtrusive than my Nikon D90 SLR, which I absolutely love. The quality of the photos from this camera are absolutely excellent, even in extremely low light, with next to no noise or distortion.
One more slight negative note that I've found, is that I've experienced some yellow chroma blotches, similar to the so called, "panny blobs" I used to get from my panasonic LX series in low light/high iso environments. Not sure why this happens and, unlike my old panasonic, I can't find an algorythym online to remove them in the post process. If anyone knows how to do this or what's going on and can offer me a tip, please reply or post for me. Otherwise, this thing is a real gem.
I've rented a Leica M to do low light and street photography, and with the right lenses this thing is nearly as good photo-quality wise at a great fraction of the cost. Incredible camera at a dirt cheap price.
It is possible to set the auto ISO upper limit at 6400 and not worry about excessive noise.
Owner's of Fuji's x100 series cameras may miss the tank-like construction and prolific manual controls and view-finder, but for a second Fuji X-body that provides basically similar images at a much lower price-point that owner's wouldn't have to baby, it has it's own niche. No one will think this is a Leica, but the images produced are more than adequate.
The bundled kit-lenses, being a couple of examples of Fuji's economy line, can produce sharper and maybe better images than one expects (for the price). The OIS works. Handheld shots in low light are not out of reach.
In thinking about this camera (with bundled kit-lenses), if one takes into consideration the almost ridiculously low price-point, it can be considered a screaming deal. In the mean time, considering my desire to produce images in all manner of available light (sans flash), this Fuji X-combo is producing much better images that my aging Nikon D7000 with the equally aging 18-200 VR lens. Time marches on. We have our hands on low-cost equipment now that would have been considered impossible just several years ago. I'm enyoying it.
In the next couple of years, when used Fuji prime X-lenses reach a certain price-point, it would be time to get a couple for portraits, landscapes, etc. In the mean time, there's no reason not to use great legacy Nikon primes with an adapter and manual focus for a change.