Enthusiast Compact group test – Fujifilm XF1

Fujifilm XF1 4 | Reviews | What Digital Camera

Features

The XF1 sees a 2/3in 12MP sensor (the second largest in this group) based on Fujifilm's EXR architecture and paired with a lens that spans a 4x zoom range from 25-100mm. Although the optic is image-stabilised, it's disappointing to see its bright f/1.8 aperture at the wide end quickly closing down to just f/4.9 at the telephoto end.

The camera's sensitivity range may be extended to ISO 3200 at full resolution, which decreases as sensitivity is adjusted up to a maximum ISO 12,800 option, while full HD videos are captured at 30fps, with the provision of optical zoom while recording. The rear is largely devoted to a 3in LCD screen, although its 460k-dot resolution pales next to those on the other models here. The camera also has Raw shooting and PASM control in common with the other six, while the 7fps burst option can be boosted to 10fps at a reduced resolution.


Design

The XF1's design is the most streamlined out of the seven cameras here, and it also differentiates itself by having a smart faux leather covering around the majority of its body. The camera is powered up by pulling and twisting the lens, which, on account of its shallowness when stowed inside the body, is awkward.

The mode dial sits flush against the top plate, and although it only offers a small section of its side for turning - which makes it harder to turn accidentally - it does at least move freely. There's no grip to speak of but plenty of room has been left on the rear for the thumb, and as the buttons in this area sit flush against the back plate it's difficult to press any accidentally.

Still, the tiny Fn button on the top plate is difficult to press at all. The menu is a winner, though, with a logical order of functions.


Image Quality

Despite the use of a relatively large sensor and Fujifilm's EXR technology, the XF1 is decidedly behind the others with its image quality. Corner and edge sharpness are disappointing, although once stopped down the lens does improve.

In terms of resolution the camera manages to resolve details consistently throughout its sensitivity range, only sadly, at a lower level than the others, with far higher aliasing effects also present. Images in general appear over-processed, with noise and chromatic aberration frequently present.

Still, the metering system is generally sound, and the Auto White Balance system also proves its worth, with pleasing colours.

 


 


Performance

Thanks to the XF1's manual zoom, the lens can have its focal length changed rapidly. Furthermore, as the camera is powered on and off in this way, you don't have the wait for the lens to retract into and emerge from the body, which slows down operation on some other models here.

On the review sample, however, it was easy to overshoot the point of resistance which signified the 25mm focal length had been reached, which turns the camera off.

The lower resolution of the screen is noticeable against some of the other cameras, and the display staggers where others don't, but AF speed is above par.