Fuji and the road ahead…Pt.3

The X system.

For those who don’t mind doing a bit of lens swapping Fuji now has a good and growing list of lenses for the X series. That then gives some surety for those wondering how much Fuji was going to develop as far as lenses are concerned. X series users have reported that the lenses for these camera including the kit lenses are very good and some of the faster primes equal or better than many of the oppositions offering. Fuji has always done good lenses.

Couple this with fast reflexes, good performance for high speed shooting and you have a  winner. The jury is still out though regarding the video side of the X series cameras. To date this is something that still seems to elude the Fuji engineers. I have no doubt that as Fuji’s development program proceeds this will become a thing of the past. Lets hope that’s the case.

So what then is on offer in the X series that would temp one away from their current bridgecamera. Well not a lot as it turns out. As our purchase price is $1000NZD, that pretty much rules out all the X series camera other than the X-A1. The two lens kit is available for $1025.00 NZD. While this is a tiny amount over the price cap I think it would worth the extra for this setup. For a good many people though this camera just simply wouldn’t do, because it doesn’t have a viewfinder. For me its a non issue, for others it could be the end of the world. I never bother with the viewfinder on any camera simply because I wear low profile graduated bi-focals and this just becomes a giant pain in the ass when trying to use a viewfinder. And yes the dioptre does help if I were to take my glasses off, but then I can’t see properly for everything else, therefore a viewfinder for me at least isn’t an issue.

The X-A1 sports a standard APS-C sensor (not X-Trans) but does include the very good EXR II processor so both Raw and Jpeg images should be very good. There’s is a bit of discussion as to how much better the X-trans sensor is, but in all reality it will be a very small amount as the standard CMOS sensors are well proven for Image Quality. Suffice to say, the X-A1 is a nice entry into the X-Series world. The X-M1, identical to the X-A1 other than having an X-Trans sensor starts at Starts at $985.00 NZD and only comes with the XC16-50mm lens.

The X-A1 two lens kit has both the Fujifilm Finepix X-A1+XC16-50mm+55-230mm lenses. With a crop factor of 1.5 this gives the equivalent of 345mm focal length for the telephoto lens. Add to that the cropping ability of the APS-C sensor and you could quite happily crop to the equivalent of 450 – 500 mm focal length. Not perhaps as good as a HS50 but the image quality would several orders of magnitude above anything the HS50 is capable of.

So where does this leave our would be bridge camera owner who is looking to upgrade. They could buy an XS-1. But this is an aging camera, having been released in Nov 2011. Some of its ergonomics are almost substandard compared to newer models. That being said if you are not in the market for a fleetfooted and snappy camera then it could be for you. However be careful as to how much you pay for it. At the time of writing this the lowest price ( in stock) was $800.00 NZD. When you consider what you get from the X-A1 package for an extra $200.00 NZD it bears some serious consideration before buying.

The X-A1 2 lens kit and different colours available.

You may have noticed a couple of omissions in the X series line-ups. That being the X-Pro1 and the X20 which for obvious reasons are also non starters for this discussion. All things considered these two choices really aren’t what we are looking for. The XS-1 is really overpriced for a camera thats now almost 4 years old, and the XA-1 while a very nice unit still doesn’t give us that all in one system that we are looking for. It seems we will have to look further afield and see if there really is anything out there that will do the job…. more to come


6 thoughts on “Fuji and the road ahead…Pt.3

  1. Paul Till (Dp review) sold his X-S1 > baught a Olympus OMD 5 > sold it >and is now the proud owner of a Fuji X-S1 again!


    1. Paul seems to like to get something new from time to time, not that he always keeps it. If I recall, it wasn’t long ago that he had two XS-1s and decided to sell the spare for the OMD. Buying into a system camera can be expensive if you are going from a bridge camera to something more demanding.
      I’m not surprised he went back to the XS1, he always did nice work with it and like all the Fuji bridges it a pretty handy all in one unit.
      It’s a shame Fuji hasn’t shown any interest in updating it to at least the HS50 spec, at least for shot times and faster AF. They got a lot right with the HS50, but made the mistake of going for the longer focal length. No doubt due to competition pressure.

      I guess as always with Fuji its a wait & see approach.


    1. If they do indeed drop one of the range I hope its the XM1 despite it having the X-trans sensor. Fuji need to keep in mind that not everyone wants or can afford the larger price jump if they are considering getting into the X-series at an entry level price point.

      As to the X30, its not a contender as a replacement for the XS1 or HS50 which is what we are evaluating. Same applies to the X10 & X20 which can be had for some nice low prices if one looks around the various marketplaces.

      The reviewers intention was good in the Fuji Rumours comparison, but the methodology was fundamentally flawed.

      Most purchasers of the XM1 or the XA1 will be first time buyers with a few pro’s looking for a light weight addition to their kits. The most common lenses for these cameras are the two I mention in the twin lens kit. Both these cameras come with the XC16-50mm as standard with the zoom lens in the twin kit.
      The comparison should have been done with these lenses as this is what 99% of all purchasers will get ( remember these are entry level cameras ).

      That’s real world shooting with these cameras.

      Using primes that cost up to twice what the body costs and what most people probably wouldn’t buy ( way too expensive for entry level users ) is an interesting exercise in what the sensor out-put of these cameras can do, but its unlikely the average user would even bother with this level of comparative work.

      It will be interesting to see what Fuji do with these two cameras. My feeling is that they will replace both of them with a newer entry level model, that wont have quite the level of controls or features that the two current units have. No matter what its certainly interesting time ahead for Fuji.


    1. Hi Billy
      It depends on what you plan to do photography wise.
      For portrait work or street shooting that 35mm is a pretty good lens.
      If however you want to expand what you shooting to include a larger variety of possible images then a good all round lens would be this one – Fujifilm XC50-230mm f4.5-6.7 lens $629.00 NZD
      The price is from Photo & Video @ the following link.

      This would give you a pretty good setup.
      As I don’t know your locality so its hard to say what you might pay for this lens. But at the given price that’s pretty good and the price they list for your 35mm lens is $900.00 NZD so you probably got the camera at a really good price as its now a discontinued item here ( although there’s still plenty of existing stock.)


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