I dont know about the rest of you but I for one baulk at the idea of paying $134.00 NZD for a leather half case for my XA2. Fortunately it was included in the special
deal when we bought it. However if you want one then thats the price you have to pay.
The news doesn’t get a lot better if like me you want the Hand-grip. Much to my frustration when using the camera in
Aperture Priority the small command wheel on the back of the XA2 is really easy to knock and that is the control for aperture setting. Extremely frustrating and a source of amusement for my son.
I also found that the thumb position on the XA2 was a little awkward to hold securely for a long time. I have considered getting one of the wrist grips but as yet dont feel I need
one. I decided to try the thumb-grip than sits in the external flash fitting.
To be honest I was somewhat speechless seeing the price for this item. Mine of course is black.
What this amounts to price wise from my point of view is that its hard to see the justification for these costs. I understand ( having had my own business ) that one has to make a profit to continue trading but seriously? at these prices!
Click on the above images to see the dealer prices.
So with a sinking feeling I was ready to forgo some of these accessories considering I would like a new lens for my camera, and these items would cover at least half the cost. Thanks to a DPreview Fuji Forum member I followed up on a suggestion he made.
He had suggested that I should look at Aliexpress, which up to that point I wasn’t aware of, but was familiar with the larger parent company Alibaba.
After signing up and doing a little searching I found what I was looking for. Now as I already had the half-case what I was looking for was the hand-grip and the thumb-grip and what do you know, bingo products found within a few minutes. And even better the shipping to New Zealand is free thanks to our trading agreements with China. After selecting and paying for the products I received follow up letters to advise the shipment had been sent and payment had been received. The shipping notices gave a lead time that was reasonable 10-20 working days. You also have a set time after the last day for delivery to advise the shipper and activate a non-received shipment complaint, all very professionally done.
Once the parts arrived, well within the lead time specified I received an email requesting confirmation of delivery, which I confirmed, job done.
The parts were black as requested, all metal, and well made and packaged. No complaints at all, and no issue with them fitting the camera. Below are some photos of the camera with its accessories on and an invoice from Aliexpress showing the prices. They are in US Dollars and when converted the total cost to me delivered to my rural address was $42.00 NZD. It definitely pays to shop around.. The thumb grip partially obscures the mode dial, but I dont use this much other than to swap between. P, Manual & Aperture modes, and its not difficult to change.
The upshot of all this , is that you have to shop around as a lot of these camera shops have extremely high prices, often times on the smaller items. Now I have a good amount of finance that I can put toward a nice prime lens.
The hand-grip works well and allows my large hands to grip more securely without depressing the lens release button. The battery compartment is easily accessible without removing the grip thanks to the cutout in the bottom of the grip frame. The total height of the camera with the grip on is 75 mm so its not a large change to the size unlike some of the battery grips.