We opt for the Fuji XA2 as the new camera to replace our aging Fuji HS20EXR.
While it was not the first choice for a replacement as we really were hoping for a updated HS50, Fuji announced that they were withdrawing for the immediate future from the super-zoom market especially models with a manual zoom, something that is a must for a serious photographer.
With the arrival of the new Sony RX10 Mk3 24mm to 600mm bridge camera, it seemed like the RX10, although very expensive could be a long term replacement. Sadly its not to be. No manual zoom, only a powered zoom, and a wide to tele zoom time of 4 seconds, this camera will never be a fast enough to adapt to quick changes in shooting environment. It’s clear that all of the manufactures are leaning towards video as a prerequisite for the new generation of bridge cameras, ( with powered zooms ) with stills taking a secondary roll.
Therefore its back to a twin lens situation, and the three cameras we looked at were the Sony a6000 twin lens kit, the Panasonic G6 twin kit and the Fuji XA2 twin lens kit.
All three cameras are fine stills cameras, capable of some very nice imagery.
So what were the main factors for going with the Fuji?
Essentially price when the Sony was considered as well as the problem of the a6000 and its siblings all tending to overheat when shooting video. While there are a range of E-mount lenses available, most are expensive and tie the user to a limitation unless using adapters for Sony Alpha lenses.
With the Panasonic, the overriding caveat was not wanting to change to a 4/3 camera. Although very good image and ergonomically, the Panasonic lens line up was a little too expensive and more importantly were quite limited in range, as were the Olympus lenses. Video production was very good in both the Sony & Panasonic, but this wasn’t the primary reason for buying either.
Fit and finish were very good in all three cameras, but the size and layout of the control on the Fuji are very good. Couple that with a well known user interface and system and its not hard to quickly come to grips with the XA2 settings. The 16-50mm standard kit lens is very very good. The telephoto 50 – 230mm zoom lens is also very good if a little slow aperture wise. However coupled with the right ISO and shutter settings and this lens too aquits it self very well. Both lenses could well be all you need if the need for a specialist lens isn’t needed.
The Fuji lens range is large and getting larger with a good range of lenses priced from reasonable to very expensive those being excellent primes.
So what came in the box? This camera was bought as part of a package deal. Register the camera with Fuji and you receive a XF27mm F2.8 pancake lens, leather case, extra battery & cleaning kit. The lens on its own is worth $689.00NZD , which makes buying this camera a No-Brainer for anyone who likes Fuji X series cameras or wants to change what they are currently using.
The range of lenses are compatible with all Fuji X-mount cameras so no issues worrying about what lenses work on what body.
Check out the first images shot with the XA2 in the XA2 gallery.