Fujifilm XQ1 preview: An all-new, ultra-portable pocket cam that packs a wallop, thanks to Fuji’s X-Trans II sensor


posted Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM EST


The high-end pocket camera market continues to heat up with Fujifilm's latest X-Series compact -- the Fuji XQ1. This ultra-portable, high-end digital camera is one of Fuji's smallest X-Series cameras, with a design that looks like the merging of the XF1 and X20. As we saw with the new Panasonic GM1 and other small premium pocket cams such as the Sony RX100 II, diminuitive models can still pack a powerful punch -- and the XQ1 appears to be no exception.

The big story with the Fujifilm XQ1 is that the new compact camera employs the company's award-winning X-Trans sensor technology -- to be precise, the latest generation X-Trans CMOS II sensor in a 12-megapixel, 2/3-inch size. Now users can have a slim pocketable design similar to the Fujifilm XF1 -- the XQ1 is actually a bit smaller -- but with increased image quality and performance.

The Fujifim XF1 (left) compared to the new XQ1 (right). The XQ1 combines the compact, slim size of the XF1 with the higher image quality offered by the X-Trans II CMOS sensor.

The lens is also one of Fuji's big selling points, as the XQ1 boasts a Fujinon 4x optical zoom lens (25-100mm-equivalent) with a very fast f/1.8 aperture at the wide end, though it slows down to f/4.9 when you hit full telephoto. The compact lens features aspherical elements and extra low dispersion lenses, plus Fuji's special High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating to help reduce ghosting and flare.


Not only can we expect image quality advancements to the XQ1, but focusing performance enhancements as well. The manufacturer says the XQ1 delivers "the world's fastest autofocus speed in its category of up to 0.06 seconds," which is due to the on-sensor phase detection combined with Fuji's EXR Processor II. The phase-detect algorithms are said to be improved, and when combined with contrast-detect AF in their auto-switching AF system, the XQ1 should show better autofocusing performance with low-contrast subjects in low-light scenes. It's not just AF speed that's been given a boost with this faster processor; the shot-to-shot lag time is also significantly improved to just 0.3 seconds in High Performance Mode, according to Fujifilm.

The rear of the Fuji XQ1 is dominated by a 3-inch, non-touch, 920,000-dot TFT LCD screen.

Overall, the Fuji XQ1 looks to be a little powerhouse of a camera with improved image quality, low-light performance and autofocusing. Additionally, it features other niceties and performance boosts such as built-in Wi-Fi and improved Full HD 1080p video recording at up to 60 frames per second. With an array of premium compact cameras now on the market like the Sony RX100, Olympus XZ-2 and Canon G16, and even now with interchangeable lens cameras shrinking to pocketable sizes with the Panasonic GM1, photographers looking for high image quality and performance in a small package have lots to choose from. Add the Fuji XQ1 to that growing list.

The Fujifilm XQ1 is set to round out Fuji's premium compact X-series lineup will be available in October 2013 for a price of US$500 in either all-black or all-silver color options.

Check out our Fujifilm XQ1 preview for the more details and full specs. Or place your pre-order with trusted Imaging Resource affiliates Adorama and B&H now:

  • B&H: Fuji XQ1 -- US$499 w/ free shipping (listed as pre-order) -- Black or Silver
  • Adorama: Fuji XQ1 -- US$499 w/ free shipping -- Black or Silver