Fujifilm XF1 Review - Digital Photography School
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Fujifilm XF1 Review

XF1_Black_Front_Left_Wide.jpg

After a swag of complex, interesting and somewhat challenging digicams passed over my review desk, I felt I deserved a holiday. So I fell upon this new, aluminium-bodied Fujifilm model as an example of what you can find out there: small, pocketable, easy to use, yet with a smallish zoom range … but with a very fast lens.

It’s easy to get blasé in this business and sometimes I don’t immerse myself deeply enough in the press guff that accompanies these delights of technology. So when I pulled the XF1 out of the box I was flummoxed at how to start it up. No power button! Nowhere could I find a means to kick it into life. And of course the last place I would look for assistance was in the instruction manual PDF!

So what to do?

XF1_Black_Front_Left_Off.jpg

I then noticed that the lens was oddly flush with the camera body. So I idly twirled the lens, pulling it out a few mils. Then twirled it a bit more.

Voila! Power’s on. LCD screen comes alive. What a gas! Cleverest startup I’ve ever seen.

XF1_Black_Back.jpg

Fujifilm XF1 Features

The review XF1 was beautifully styled with a chrome top deck and black body. Very Leica-ish! It’s also available in two other colours: red and brown.

XF1_Brown_Front_Left_Wide.jpg

XF1_Red_Front_Left_Wide.jpg

The lens is an f1.8 4x zoom, with the wide end a decent 25mm SLR equivalent, zooming into a useable 100mm tele end, ideal for portraiture.

The maximum image size can deliver a 34x25cm print.

Movies at Full HD res of 1920×1080 pixels can be shot.

In keeping with the clean design philosophy, external controls are down to an absolute minimum.
Top deck: mode dial (PASM, auto, two custom settings, EXR, advanced settings, scene position) plus shutter button, Function and flash pop-up.

Rear: four way rocker (trash, exposure compensation, macro, self timer, flash settings) display options, Function, replay and video record.

Main menu.JPG

Menu 2.JPG

SP.JPG

The screen menus are displayed in large, clear text in a series of well laid out panels. One of the best menu sets I have seen.

Beach group.JPG

Beach people 5.JPG

Shop mural 3.JPG

A note on the EXR feature: in this mode the camera selects the optimum setting from 103 patterns; this helps you lift the quality of your image taking

EXR.JPG

Choose from an auto setting, or ones that place emphasis on resolution, high ISO and/or low noise or D-Range that will increase detail highlights. One worth exploring.

Startup Time

The camera is fast in departments other than the f1.8 lens: in less than a second I was ready to shoot my first shot with follow-ons coming in at a rate of less than a second each and as I became more practised in rolling the lens out obviously the startup figure would fall!

Distortion

Some evidence of barrel distortion at the wide end of the zoom; no problems at the tele end.

Panoramas

As with the XE-1, this model can shoot large motion panorama stills, with the camera capturing a run of individual frames, then stitching them in camera.

Fujifilm XF1 ISO Tests

Fujifilm XF1 ISO 100.JPG

Fujifilm XF1 ISO 400.JPG

Fujifilm XF1 ISO 800.JPG

Fujifilm XF1 ISO 1600.JPG

Fujifilm XF1 ISO 3200.JPG

Fujifilm XF1 ISO 6400.JPG

Very interesting! The initial shot at ISO 100 revealed that the camera is not exactly razor sharp at close distances (ie 30cm).

Higher ISO figures revealed that definition fell further, then noise became apparent at ISO 1600 and rose even more by ISO 6400 (2816×2112 pixels). No point in testing ISO 12800 due to an even smaller capture size (2048×1536 pixels).

Fujifilm XF1 Review Verdict

Quality: good at normal distances. Not the best for close up work.

Why you’d buy the Fujifilm XF1: fast to get going; high quality snapping.

Why you wouldn’t: you may find the startup routine unnecessarily fiddly … takes some time to get used to!

There’s a lot to like in this camera, although I fell afoul of the startup routine when rolling the lens from wide to tele: if I ran the lens too hard against the tele end it shut down! Frustrating!

I then figured out there were two startup configurations: travel mode, where the lens retracts fully inside the camera to minimise the camera size; pull the lens slightly away from the body, then (when ready to shoot) roll the lens to the desired focal length.

An interesting camera for a number of reasons.

Fujifilm XF1 Specifications

Image Sensor: 12 million effective pixels.
Sensor: 17mm EXR CMOS.
Metering: Multi segment, averaging, spot.
Lens: Fujinon f1.8-4.9/6.4-25.6mm (25-100mm as 35 SLR equivalent).
Exposure Modes: Auto, Program AE, shutter and aperture priority, manual.
Shutter Speed: 30 sec to 1/2000 second.
Memory: SD/SDHC/SDXC.
Continuous Shooting: Approx 3-16fps.
Image Sizes (pixels): Stills: 4000×3000 to 1536×1536.
Movies: 1920×1080, 1280×720, 640×480, 320240, 320×112.
Viewfinders: 7.6cm LCD screen (460,000).
File Formats: JPEG, RAW, JPEG+RAW, MPO (3D), MPEG4.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 12800.
Interface: USB 2.0, HDMI mini, AV.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery.
Dimensions: 107.9×61.5×33 WHDmm.
Weight: 225 g (inc battery, card).
Price: Get a price on the Fujifilm XF1 at Amazon.

Summary
Reviewer
Barrie Smith
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Fujifilm XF1
Author Rating
3

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Barrie Smith is an experienced writer/photographer currently published in Australian Macworld, Auscam and other magazines in Australia and overseas.

  • http://khurt.com Khürt Williams

    Please explain what this means?

    Sensor: 17mm EXR CMOS.

    I know full frame, APS-C, micro 4/3 but 17mm EXR means nothing to me.

  • http://csafotography.wordpress.com Chitra Sivasankar Arunagiri

    Khurt, I had the same question and check out this link for a cool and clear explanation. http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/cameras-photography/digital/question362.htm

    The camera looks good for a normal use, as in I can use it for writing work and stuffs like that and for personal journaling too. :) Great review thanks.

  • Barrie Smith

    To Khürt

    17mm is the diagonal measurement of the sensor.
    In comparison, the larger APS-C sensor (measuring 23.6×15.6mm) has a diagonal of 28.3mm.

  • Don DeCoursey

    I would like to see a review on the Fuji XS-1

  • Khürt

    So this sensor has a 2x crop factor. Good to know.

  • http://benchapmanphotos.blogspot.co.uk/ Ben Chapman

    A beautiful looking camera.

    I had a play with this in a local jessops a month or so back and it took my a couple of minutes to turn it on!

    I’d love to own this even if only for the look good factor

  • Jesper

    Khürt: The camera actually has a crop factor of almost 4.
    It’s a small sensor, smaller than the CX used in Nikon 1 but larger than most compacts.
    Look at this site, it shows all sensor sizes with crop factor.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sensor_sizes_overlaid_inside_-_updated.svg

  • Aaron

    I’ve got to say, for all the bad reviews I’ve read online, this is the most fun compact I’ve ever used. I love my dSLR and my expensive glass, but between the style, the feel and the various effects, this camera is fun, fits in your pocket and takes great shots. While this does shoot RAW, I generally have this set on B&W almost full time due to the nice rendering for candid street shots + it’s very unobtrusive! Thumbs up for this little beauty.

Some older comments

  • Aaron

    January 2, 2013 10:29 pm

    I've got to say, for all the bad reviews I've read online, this is the most fun compact I've ever used. I love my dSLR and my expensive glass, but between the style, the feel and the various effects, this camera is fun, fits in your pocket and takes great shots. While this does shoot RAW, I generally have this set on B&W almost full time due to the nice rendering for candid street shots + it's very unobtrusive! Thumbs up for this little beauty.

  • Jesper

    December 17, 2012 08:42 pm

    Khürt: The camera actually has a crop factor of almost 4.
    It's a small sensor, smaller than the CX used in Nikon 1 but larger than most compacts.
    Look at this site, it shows all sensor sizes with crop factor.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sensor_sizes_overlaid_inside_-_updated.svg

  • Ben Chapman

    December 12, 2012 11:00 am

    A beautiful looking camera.

    I had a play with this in a local jessops a month or so back and it took my a couple of minutes to turn it on!

    I'd love to own this even if only for the look good factor

  • Khürt

    December 10, 2012 01:16 pm

    So this sensor has a 2x crop factor. Good to know.

  • Don DeCoursey

    December 10, 2012 02:37 am

    I would like to see a review on the Fuji XS-1

  • Barrie Smith

    December 9, 2012 03:58 pm

    To Khürt

    17mm is the diagonal measurement of the sensor.
    In comparison, the larger APS-C sensor (measuring 23.6x15.6mm) has a diagonal of 28.3mm.

  • Chitra Sivasankar Arunagiri

    December 9, 2012 09:42 am

    Khurt, I had the same question and check out this link for a cool and clear explanation. http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/cameras-photography/digital/question362.htm

    The camera looks good for a normal use, as in I can use it for writing work and stuffs like that and for personal journaling too. :) Great review thanks.

  • Khürt Williams

    December 9, 2012 09:34 am

    Please explain what this means?

    Sensor: 17mm EXR CMOS.

    I know full frame, APS-C, micro 4/3 but 17mm EXR means nothing to me.

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