Fujifilm X-A2 Review
|Full model name:||Fujifilm X-A2|
(23.6mm x 15.6mm)
|Viewfinder:||No / LCD|
|Native ISO:||200 - 6400|
|Extended ISO:||100 - 25,600|
|Shutter:||1/4000 - 30 seconds|
|Max Aperture:||3.5 (kit lens)|
4.6 x 2.6 x 1.6 in.
(117 x 67 x 40 mm)
includes batteries, kit lens
|Full specs:||Fujifilm X-A2 specifications|
The Fuji X-A2 feels designed for both new, step-up photographers as well as more experienced ones who expect additional physical controls. And though it lacks the fancy X-Trans sensor of higher-end Fuji cameras, the image quality is rather impressive at both low and higher ISOs. All in all, despite some notable drawbacks and performance issues, the Fujifilm X-A2 balances very good still image quality and decent performance with a great price point, and when all is said and done, makes it a great entry into the Fuji X-system and their excellent family of lenses.Pros
Very good image quality; Great high ISO performance for its class; Very good optical performance from the kit lens; Decent battery life; Very good value for the money.Cons
No built-in EVF; Slower than average full autofocus shutter lag in testing; Sluggish continuous AF for stills & video; Mediocre burst speeds; Limited dynamic range with JPEGs; No remote control with Wi-Fi.Price and availability
List pricing for the Fuji X-A2 with Fujinon XC16-50mm II lens is set at US$550 in the US market, some $50 (8%) below list pricing of the prior model. The Fuji X-A2 began shipping in February 2015, and the body is available in two-tone back & silver, white & silver or brown & silver.Imaging Resource rating
4.0 out of 5.0
$749.95 (27% more)
20.3 MP (20% more)
Also lacks viewfinder
$599.00 (8% more)
20.3 MP (20% more)
Also lacks viewfinder
$1346.95 (59% more)
20.3 MP (20% more)
Fuji X-A2 Review
by Mike Tomkins, Eamon Hickey, William Brawley and Zig Weidelich
Preview posted 01/15/2015
08/17/2015: Fuji X-A2 Field Test Part I by Eamon Hickey
09/25/2015: Fuji X-A2 Field Test Part II by Eamon Hickey
11/10/2015: Image Quality Comparison and Print Quality Analysis posted
11/11/2015: Review Conclusion posted
Back in late 2013, Fujifilm introduced the X-A1, a new entry-level point for its X-series mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera line. At the start of 2015, it followed up with the updated Fuji X-A2, a closely-related camera that sports some very worthwhile upgrades.
Key among the changes is a new LCD articulation mechanism on the rear of the camera. It adds just a fraction to the overall thickness and weight, but for that subtle difference, you get a more selfie-capable camera. (And at the entry-level, even on an interchangeable-lens camera, selfie capture is a pretty common use case.)
The screen tilts upwards close to 180 degrees, allowing shooting at a variety of angles such as from-the-hip. It still tilts downwards as well, and although we don't have an official spec for the tilt range in that direction, it's at least 45 degrees. At its full upmost tilt extent, it can also be extended upwards from the articulation mechanism a short distance, better allowing it to be seen from in front of the camera.
This extension mechanism also serves to put the camera in selfie mode, where a new Eye Auto Focus mode comes into play, ensuring focus sits in the right place. (It's one of a number of new autofocus modes on the updated camera.)
And as in recent Fuji models, the X-A2 now sports the company's Classic Chrome film simulation. There's also a brand-new kit lens, an updated version of the previous 16-50mm optic with improved image stabilization capability. Battery life, too, looks to be improved and is now rated at some 410 frames on a charge.
One final change of note is that the Fuji X-A2 kit -- despite its updated lens and new features -- is actually more affordable than ever before. List pricing for the Fuji X-A2 with Fujinon XC16-50mm II lens is set at US$550 in the US market, some $50 (8%) below list pricing of the prior model. The Fuji X-A2 began shipping in February 2015, and the body is available in two-tone back & silver, white & silver or brown & silver.
Fuji X-A2 Field Test Part I
Old school charm with modern features
Entry-level or enthusiast?
With a design that's more oriented towards the advanced photographer than most entry-level interchangeable-lens cameras, the Fujifilm X-A2 intrigued me. Could the X-A2 give me a satisfying enthusiast shooting experience for a relatively modest price? Let's find out.
Size, Design & Handling.
Unpacking the Fujifilm X-A2, I discovered a reasonably compact and lightweight camera, but it's certainly not the smallest of the mirrorless models, especially considering the likes of the Panasonic GM5 or Sony A5100. That's especially true when it's paired with the XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS II kit lens, which is bulkier than many competing mirrorless kit lenses. For me personally, that's a bit of a drawback since a big part of why I'm attracted to mirrorless models, compared to my old DSLRs, is the desire to lighten my load.
Fuji X-A2 Field Test Part II
Testing performance & going beyond the kit lens
While the Fujifilm X-A2 has a bit more advanced control setup than most entry-level cameras, the same can't really be said for its performance, which is about par for this level of camera. On my first day fiddling and shooting with the Fujifilm X-A2, I found the control response -- how fast settings change and operations happen when you push buttons or turn dials -- to be perfectly adequate but not exceptional.
For reviews, I often shoot with 3-shot auto-exposure bracketing enabled, which brings me to an odd thing I noticed on my first walk with the camera. With the reasonably fast UHS-I class SD card I was using, the X-A2 needs to pause for about 8 seconds after shooting a 3-shot bracketed RAW+JPEG burst. (The pause was about a second shorter with RAW only, and there was almost no delay when shooting JPEG only.)
Fuji X-A2 Technical Insights
Let's take a closer look at the Fuji X-A2 and its new features
At the heart of the Fuji X-A2 lies a 16.3-megapixel APS-C sized CMOS image sensor. That's the same resolution as in the X-A1, and just as in that camera, there are no on-chip phase-detection autofocus pixels -- this is a contrast-detection only camera. Likewise, it's still a standard RGBG Bayer-filtered sensor, and doesn't use Fuji's proprietary X-Trans technology as in higher-end models.
ISO sensitivity, just as in the previous camera, ranges from ISO 200 to 6400 equivalents by default, and can be expanded to encompass everything from ISO 100 to 25,600 equivalents.
Performance is still quite good for an entry-level model, however, thanks to the EXR Processor II which is also retained from the prior design. Fujifilm rates burst capture performance at 5.6 frames per second for as many as 30 JPEG, 10 raw+JPEG, or 10 raw frames.
Fuji X-A2 Image Quality Comparison
Is the X-A2 the high-ISO king of entry-level mirrorless cameras?
Here we present crops from our laboratory Still Life target comparing Fuji X-A2 image quality to its more expensive X-Trans II sensor-equipped sibling, the X-E2, well as against several competing mirrorless models at similar price points or in similar categories: the Olympus E-PL7, Panasonic GF7, Samsung NX300 and Sony A5100.
NOTE: These images are from best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). All cameras in this comparison were shot with our very sharp reference lenses. Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the RAW files involved, click these links to visit each camera's respective sample image thumbnail page...
Fuji X-A2 Print Quality Analysis
Let's see just how large you can print those images!
Print quality and image quality are similar but not identical, because what you see on a print isn't always the same as what you see on the screen. Our print quality analysis answers the important question: "Just how big can I print my photos at higher ISOs?"
Despite the entry-level price point and traditional Bayer-filtered 16MP APS-C sensor, the Fuji X-A2 manages very impressive results in the print department. While not the highest resolution sensor, prints at extended low ISO 100 up to ISO 400 all look great up to 24 x 36 inches. There's some slight pixelation visible upon close inspection at this print size, but at the normal viewing distance for such large prints, detail is excellent. Mid-range ISO images all manage very well at controlling noise and allow for very good print sizes, such as a 16 x 20 inch print at ISO 1600. Reaching the maximum ISO levels, including the two expanded high ISOs, the X-A2 still manages to control noise well enough to produce usable prints up to 8 x 10 inches at ISO 12,800 and 5 x 7 inches at ISO 25,600.
Fujifilm X-A2 Conclusion
Entry-level X-series offers quality images at an affordable price
The Fujifilm X-series is known for its classically inspired cameras, and this updated entry-level offering is no different. Offered in an array of color combos (three to be exact in the US market), the X-A2 sports a compact, rangefinder-esque shape -- though, sadly, sans viewfinder -- with a decent amount of external controls.
Despite non-X-Trans sensor, X-A2 captures high quality images
Unlike most of the X-series cameras, however, this entry-level model utilizes a traditional RGBG Bayer-filtered sensor instead of their unique X-Trans sensor. The 16.3-megapixel APS-C sensor, nevertheless, produces very good images with lots of fine detail, pleasing colors and impressive high ISO image quality for a camera of this class. Compared to an X-Trans-equipped camera, like the X-M1, the X-Trans does capture slightly more detailed images, at both low and higher ISOs, however, the overall differences are not drastic.
In the Box
The Fuji X-A2 retail box ships with the following items:
- Fujifilm X-A2 camera body
- Fujinon XC16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS II lens, if purchased as a kit
- Front and rear lens caps (if lens included)
- Lens hood (if lens included)
- Body cap
- NP-W126 lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack
- BC-W126 battery charger
- Hot shoe cover
- Shoulder strap
- Instruction manual
- Software CD-ROM with Viewer software, RAW File Converter etc.
- Extra NP-W126 lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack for extended outings
- Large capacity SDHC/SDXC memory cards. 32GB is a good tradeoff between cost and capacity these days. If you plan to capture HD movie clips you'll need at least a Class 10 speed grade, and if you shoot image bursts or shoot in RAW format, look for cards with UHS-I markings for best performance.
- Medium camera bag
Follow Imaging-Resource.com on Twitter!