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I am impressed with how fast Fujifilm has built out its lineup of mirrorless cameras. It seems like only yesterday (but was, in fact, early 2012) when Fujifilm surprised the photo world with the X-Pro 1, the company's successful first mirrorless interchangeable lens digital camera, using a unique dual optical-digital viewfinder, followed in September by the X-E1, a smaller and lighter EVF model using the same impressive 16MP APS sensor. In June of this year, Fujifilm announced the X-M1, a more enthusiast-oriented model with a flip-out monitor but no EVF. That brings us to today, and the announcement of the most affordable Fujfilm MILC so far, the $499.95 Fujifilm X-A1. Fujifilm also announced two new lenses today, the Fujinon XC-16-50mm OIS and Fujinon XC50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS.
NOTE: Adorama is now taking pre-orders for the Fujifilm X-A1 and new lenses. Orders will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Credit cards will not be charged until orders ship.
Designed to attract first-time interchangeable-lens camera users, the Fujifilm X-A1 puts its most automated shooting modes within easy reach, and has built-in Wi-Fi operation. More advanced users can access P, A, S, and M modes and then use thumb and forefinger dials to adjust aperture, shutter speed and EV. The camera records 16MP images using the same outstanding APS sensor as its pricier siblings, so image quality (based on our field test experience with other models) should be spectacular, with little noticeable noise even at ISO 1000 and above.
Besides the penny-pinching price, the X-A1 is the smallest and lightest Fujifilm X-series camera, weighing in at 11.6 ounces (not including a lens or batteries). It is said to be about a third the size of a typical DSLR and is a mere 1.3 inches thick.
The Fujifilm X-A1 will ship in a kit with the Fujinon XC 16-50mm (24-76mm 35mm equivalent) f/3.5-5.6 IOS zoom lens, for $599.95. The new zoom is said to be well-matched to the X-A1.
Fujifilm claims the X-A1's processor is built for speed, with a negligible lag time of 0.05 seconds, 0.5-second startup time, and a burst rate of 5.6 frames per second—performance that should rival more pro-oriented cameras. ISO range is 100-25,600. The camera lacks an eye-level viewfinder but does have a high-resolution (920k dots) 3-inch tilting LCD monitor. There's a built-in flash with a modest reach. The Mode Dial includes the Advanced SLR Auto mode, which chooses the best scene mode for any given shooting situation. A Q Menu button accesses shortcuts to the most-used settings.
Other features include RAW + JPEG image capture and in-camera RAW processing, film simulation modes (Astia, Velvia, Provia, Sepia and Black-and-White), 8 advanced filters (Toy Camera, Miniature, Dynamic Tone, Pop Color, Soft Focus, High Key, Low Key, and Partial Color), a multiple-exposure mode, and the ability to record 1080p HD video at 30fps. The camera has a built-in stereo mic.
Wi-Fi Comes to Fuji
A new Wi-Fi button lets users transfer photos and videos to sharing, social media and cloud storge, as well as to smartphones, tablets and computers. A free "Fujifilm Camera Application" is available for iOS and Android devices and lets you transfer up to 30 photos at a time.
Two New Lenses
Along with the X-A1 and the new XC16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS kit lens mentioned above, Fujifilm also announced a telephoto zoom designed for enthusiasts, the Fujinon XC50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS lens. With a 76-350mm (35mm equivalent) field of view range, the lens offers optial image stabilization (which will come in handy at the longer focal lenghts), and has an on-board stepping motor for high-speed autofocus.
The two new lenses are the second and third zoom lenses to join the X-mount lineup, which now includes 6 prime lenses (14mm f/2.8, 18mm f/2, 23mm f/1.4, 27mm f/2.8, 35mm f/1.8, and 60mm f/2.4) and the original 18-55mm f/2.8-4, which was introduced late last year.
The Fujifilm X-A1 camera body will be available from Adorama this month for $499.95. It will also be available at the same time in a kit with the XC-16-50mm lens for $599.95 in black or blue. The Fujinon XC50-230mm lens will be available in November for $399.95 in black or silver. I look forward to putting this camera through its paces soon!