Fujifilm X-A1: My Bold Shift from Canon DSLR (Sort of Camera Review)

Around 4 years ago, my dear cousin gifted me her Canon 400D which she barely used as she bought it merely for her photography subject in college.  During that time, I was just beginning to blog and used the Sony W310 which was the cheapest branded point and shoot we could buy.  Carrying the Canon 400D around made me look like a pro really.  Although I don't really know how to use it.  I relied on the auto mode and auto focus.  In fact, it was only when my kit lens focus broke that I learned about the manual focus.  Then, I slowly learned the basics and it has served me well.  (Almost all my blogpost photos on this blog, my food blog and my travel blog were taken using my Canon 400D)

My Fujifilm X-A1 Bought From SM Manila Camera Haus
However, I've always felt that it was too bulky, heavy and complex for me.  Most of the time, I'm reluctant to bring it out especially on formal family gatherings.  I didn't feel motivated to use or practice with it.  It bothered me when I see my family's sad faces whenever I use it and take longer than 5 seconds to take my food shots.  The size, weight and bulk made it difficult to move around the table.  And, the lack of LCD screen because it was an old model limited my angles.

fujifilm x a1
My Fujifilm X-A1 Unboxed
My brother has long been urging me to get a good point and shoot instead.  For the past few months, my view finder doesn't seem to be as clear.  I had it assessed with Canon Philippines and the estimated cost was 8,000 php for repair.  Of course, I figured it wasn't worth it so I still used it.  Taking too long (longer than usual) to take my photos, my mom offered to gift me a new camera.  Of course, I was so thrilled, happy and excited.  My brother and little sister, who knew more about photography than I did, accompanied me to Camera Haus SM Manila to buy.  I wanted to check out the Sony RX100 Mark II which was a good but easy to use point and shoot that brother has always suggested for me.  But, I felt that I didn't want to be too restricted.  The next options were the Samsung NX which brother had and lost (didn't want to have the choice as him!), Sony NEX and A series (which was expensive) then finally the Fujifilm X-A1 (priced at 21,990 php) which was so trendy in mint green and orange colors.
fujifilm x a1

The staff took it out for testing.  Brother tested it and told me it locks on the target and focuses fast but he couldn't focus on very near objects so he doesn't approve of it.  The staff commented that it has to be equipped with macro lens to work.  I persisted buying it outright because I liked the color. =p   It came with a matching mint green neck strap and leather casing.  It also has a free Transcend Class 10 8gb SD card.  I read the manual as soon as I got home!  And, I found it easy to use because it had helpful meters so you know the aperture, ISO and focal distance.  It has various focus modes as well which is still new to me.  It also comes with a WiFi function so I can sync it with my phone and upload the images in Instagram.  If you're my follower in Instagram, I bet you've seen the drastic improvement on image quality on my latest uploads. 

Update: I have a new phone too.  So with a new camera and new phone, I've now found a passion in uploading more pics in Instagram.  Hope you can follow me at @tsinoyfoodies

Here's the specs: (Got from the Fujifilm Site)
Model Name FUJIFILM X-A1
Number of effective pixels 16.3 million pixels
Image sensor 23.6mm x 15.6mm (APS-C) CMOS with primary color filter
Total number of pixels: 16.5 million pixels
Sensor Cleaning system
Ultra Sonic Vibration
Storage media SD memory card / SDHC memory card / SDXC (UHS-I) memory card*1
File format
Still image
JPEG (Exif Ver 2.3)*2 / RAW (RAF format) / RAW+JPEG (Design rule for Camera File system compliant / DPOF-compatible)
Movie File Format: MOV
Movie Video Compression: H.264
Audio: Linear PCM Stereo
Number of recorded pixels L: (3:2) 4896 x 3264 / (16:9) 4896 x 2760 / (1:1) 3264 x 3264
M: (3:2) 3456 x 2304 / (16:9) 3456 x 1944 / (1:1) 2304 x 2304
S: (3:2) 2496 x 1664 / (16:9) 2496 x 1408 / (1:1) 1664 x 1664
Lens mount FUJIFILM X mount
Sensitivity AUTO / Equivalent to ISO200 - 6400 (Standard Output Sensitivity)
Extended output sensitivity: equivalent to ISO100 / 12800 / 25600
Exposure control TTL 256-zone metering, Multi / Spot / Average
Exposure mode Programmed AE / Shutter priority AE / Aperture priority AE / Manual exposure
Exposure compensation -2.0EV - +2.0EV, 1/3EV steps
Image Stabilizer Supported with OIS type lens
Face detection Yes
Shutter type Focal Plane Shutter
Shutter speed
(with mechanical shutter)
Advanced SR AUTO mode: 1/4 sec. to 1/4000 sec.
All other modes: 30 sec. to 1/4000 sec.
Bulb: max. 60 min.
Synchronized shutter speed for flash: 1/180 sec. or slower
  • * At S or M mode, 1/160 sec. or slower can be set.
Continuous shooting Approx. 5.6 fps (JPEG: max. 30 frames, RAW / RAW+JPEG: max. 10 frames)
Approx. 3.0 fps (JPEG: max. 50 frames, RAW / RAW+JPEG: max. 10 frames)
  • * SD card class 10 or higher
Auto bracketing AE Bracketing (±1/3EV / ±2/3EV / ±1EV)
Film Simulation Bracketing (3 types of film simulation selectable)
Dynamic Range Bracketing (100% · 200% · 400%)
ISO Sensitivity Bracketing (±1/3EV / ±2/3EV / ±1EV)
Manual Focus / Area AF / Multi AF / Continuous AF / Tracking AF
TTL contrast AF, AF assist illuminator available
AF frame selection
Area AF (49 areas with 7 x 7), Changeable AF frame size
White balance Auto / Custom / Preset (Fine / Shade / Fluorescent light (Daylight) / Fluorescent light (Warm White) / Fluorescent light (Cool White) / Incandescent light)
Self-timer 10 sec. / 2 sec. Delay
Flash Manual pop-up flash (Super Intelligent Flash)
Guide number: Approx. 7 (ISO200·m), approx 5 (ISO100 · m)
Flash modes
Red-eye removal OFF
Auto / Forced Flash / Suppressed Flash / Slow Synchro / Rear-curtain Synchro / Commander
Red-eye removal ON
Red-eye Reduction Auto / Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash / Suppressed Flash / Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro / Red-eye Reduction & Rear-curtain Synchro / Commander
  • * Red-eye removal is active when Face Detection is set to ON.
Hot shoe YES (dedicated TTL Flash compatible)
LCD monitor 3.0-inch, Aspect ratio 3:2, Approx. 920K-dot Tilt type TFT color LCD monitor (Approx. 100% coverage)
Movie recording 1920 x 1080 30p, Continuous recording: up to approx. 14 min.
1280 x 720 30p, Continuous recording: up to approx. 27 min.
  • * SD card class 10 or higher
Mode dial Advanced SR AUTO / P / S / A / M / C / Portrait / Landscape / Sport / SP / Adv. / AUTO
Dynamic range setting AUTO (100-400%) / 100% / 200% / 400%
Advanced filter Toy camera / Miniature / Pop color / High-key / Low-key / Dynamic tone / Soft focus / Partial color (Red / Orange / Yellow / Green / Blue / Purple)
Other photography functions Auto Red-eye Removal, Setting (Color, Sharpness, D-range, Gradation), Multiple exposure, Depth of Field display, Histogram display, Framing guideline, Frame No. memory, Monitor Sunlight mode, Focus Peak Highlight, Date stamp, Fn button setting
Wireless transmitter
IEEE 802.11b / g / n (standard wireless protocol)
Access mode
Playback functions RAW conversion, Image rotate, Auto image rotate, Red-eye reduction, Photobook assist, Erase selected frames, Image search, Multi-frame playback (with micro thumbnail), Slide show, Mark for upload, Protect, Crop, Resize, Favorites
Wireless functions Geotagging setup, Image transfer (Individual image / Selected multiple images), View & Obtain Images, PC Autosave
Other functions PictBridge, Exif Print, Language selection, Time difference, Quick start mode, Silent mode
Video output
Digital interface
USB 2.0 High-Speed
HDMI output
HDMI mini connector (Type C)
Remote release terminal for RR-90 (sold separately)
Power supply NP-W126 Li-ion battery (included)
Dimensions 116.9mm (W) x 66.5mm (H) x 39.0mm (D) / 4.6 in. (W) x 2.6 in. (H) x 1.5 in. (D)
(Minimum depth: 32.1mm / 1.3 in.)
Weight Approx. 330g / 11.6 oz. (including battery and memory card)
Approx. 280g / 9.9 oz. (excluding accessories, battery and memory card)
Operating Temperature 0 - 40°C / 32 - 104°F
Operating Humidity 10 - 80% (no condensation)
Battery life for still images Approx. 350 frames (with XF35mmF1.4 R lens)
Starting up period Approx. 0.5 sec., when QUICK START mode set to ON
Approx. 1.0 sec., when QUICK START mode set to OFF
  • * Fujifilm research
Accessories included Li-ion Battery NP-W126
Battery Charger BC-W126
Shoulder strap
Body cap
CD-ROM (Viewer software, RAW File Converter etc.*3 )
Owner's manual
fujifilm xpph
Proud to be an XPPH Member
On top of the product itself, I'm also pleased that there's a very nice and friendly group (and I think official) in Facebook where Fujifilm X camera users (really good photographers) share their shots with camera and lens specifications.  Those really inspired me to get into photography more. They also share tips on accessories and camera care.  I learned to use a dry box from them.  (Found out viewfinder problem with my Canon 400D was also just moist problem that was solved with dehumidifiers).  I'd also like to note that the XPPH is very welcoming even to current non-Fujifilm X camera users.  While considering, I also joined the Sony Alpha Pinoy which kicks you out if  you don't post a selfie of yourself with a Sony Alpha camera and a photo of your valid ID.  XD
fujifilm x a1
Overall, I am very happy with my big bold shift.  Since my purchase last December, I've already attended 3 Fujifilm Official Events (I'll share my experience about them soon too) and taken tons of shots.  I'm still getting a lot of surprises from fellow bloggers and friends that I've shifted to a mirrorless camera instead of DSLR.  There's still the stigma of non-professionalism and inferiority of mirrorless cameras compared to DSLRs I guess.  But, I don't mind.  Some say, I'll eventually go back to DSLRs but let's see. =)