Fuji X-A2 Image Quality Comparison

Below are 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, Fuji X-E2, Olympus E-PL7, Panasonic GF7, Samsung NX300 and Sony A5100 -- links to the RAW files appear beneath those for the JPEG images, wherever we have them. And remember, you can always go to our world-renowned Comparometer to compare the Fuji X-A2 to any camera we've ever tested!


Fujifilm X-A2 vs Fujifilm X-E2 at Base ISO

Fujifilm X-A2 at ISO 200
Fujifilm X-E2 at ISO 200

Here we compare two Fuji siblings that both use a 16-megapixel APS-C sensor, but with an important difference: The Fuji X-A2's sensor uses a traditional Bayer color filter array, while the X-E2 uses Fuji's proprietary X-Trans color filter. As you can see, both cameras produce images with very low noise at base ISO, but it appears as if the X-A2's noise reduction is working a little harder, smoothing out the texture in the target's background. Indeed, the X-E2 does better with some types of detail, while the X-A2 does better with others. For example, the X-E2 renders much better detail in our tricky red-leaf fabric, however the X-A2 produces fewer artifacts in the mosaic crop and in other areas of the target, such as the small text in some of the bottle labels. The X-E2 however produces fewer sharpening artifacts and less obvious sharpening halos, as it doesn't require an image-softening optical low-pass filter to avoid aliasing artifacts like the X-A2 does.

Fujifilm X-A2 vs Olympus E-PL7 at Base ISO

Fujifilm X-A2 at ISO 200
Olympus E-PL7 at ISO 200

The Fuji X-A2 produces a cleaner, smoother image with significantly less noise than the 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds Olympus E-PL7 at base ISO, however the Olympus produces a sharper, crisper image with better detail.

Fujifilm X-A2 vs Panasonic GF7 at Base ISO

Fujifilm X-A2 at ISO 200
Panasonic GF7 at ISO 200

Again, the Fuji X-A2 produces a much cleaner image at ISO 200, but the 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds Panasonic GF7 delivers better detail all around. Color is better from the X-A2, though.

Fujifilm X-A2 vs Samsung NX300 at Base ISO

Fujifilm X-A2 at ISO 200
Samsung NX300 at ISO 100

The 20-megapixel APS-C Samsung NX300 out-resolves the X-A2 producing a sharper, crisper image with better detail while at the same time keeping noise levels almost as low as the Fuji.

Fujifilm X-A2 vs Sony A5100 at Base ISO

Fujifilm X-A2 at ISO 200
Sony A5100 at ISO 100

The 24-megapixel APS-C Sony A5100 clearly out-resolves the X-A2 while also producing few sharpening artifacts, however noise in the shadows and flatter areas is a little higher.

Fujifilm X-A2 vs Fujifilm X-E2 at ISO 1600

Fujifilm X-A2 at ISO 1600
Fujifilm X-E2 at ISO 1600

At ISO 1600, the X-A2 shows significantly less luminance noise than the X-E2, but both cameras produce images with remarkably low chroma noise. Overall, the X-E2 produces a crisper image and does a better job at retaining fine detail in most areas of our target, especially in the red-leaf fabric.

Fujifilm X-A2 vs Olympus E-PL7 at ISO 1600

Fujifilm X-A2 at ISO 1600
Olympus E-PL7 at ISO 1600

Here at ISO 1600 the Fuji X-A2 produces a much cleaner image with better detail. The Olympus E-PL7 works hard at reducing noise, but generates unwanted noise reduction artifacts which start to interfere with fine detail and edge acuity. The E-PL7 does produce higher contrast in the red-leaf fabric, though, but the X-A2 delivers more accurate detail, however both blur out the finer elements of the pattern.

Fujifilm X-A2 vs Panasonic GF7 at ISO 1600

Fujifilm X-A2 at ISO 1600
Panasonic GF7 at ISO 1600

The Fuji X-A2 produces a much cleaner image than the Panasonic GF7 at ISO 1600 and unlike at base ISO, the amount of detail captured by these two cameras is similar. Color continues to be noticeably better from the X-A2.

Fujifilm X-A2 vs Samsung NX300 at ISO 1600

Fujifilm X-A2 at ISO 1600
Samsung NX300 at ISO 1600

Luminance noise is higher from the NX300, but it still wins in the detail department overall, except for the red-leaf swatch where its noise reduction smears fine detail more than the Fuji.

Fujifilm X-A2 vs Sony A5100 at ISO 1600

Fujifilm X-A2 at ISO 1600
Sony A5100 at ISO 1600

The Sony generates a noisier image than the Fuji at ISO 1600, but it struggles to retain better detail depending on the subject, with its default noise reduction softening most of the image significantly. While the red-leaf swatch appears to contain more detail from the Sony, much if it is false.

Fujifilm X-A2 vs Fujifilm X-E2 at ISO 3200

Fujifilm X-A2 at ISO 3200
Fujifilm X-E2 at ISO 3200

Echoing what we saw at ISO 1600, the X-A2 shows significantly less luminance noise than the X-E2 at ISO 3200, but both cameras continue to produce images with remarkably low chroma noise. Overall, the X-E2 still produces a slightly crisper image and does a better job at retaining fine detail in most areas of our target, especially in the red-leaf fabric.

Fujifilm X-A2 vs Olympus E-PL7 at ISO 3200

Fujifilm X-A2 at ISO 3200
Olympus E-PL7 at ISO 3200

There's really no contest here at ISO 3200, with the X-A2 clearly producing a cleaner, more detailed image with fewer noise reduction artifacts than the E-PL7.

Fujifilm X-A2 vs Panasonic GF7 at ISO 3200

Fujifilm X-A2 at ISO 3200
Panasonic GF7 at ISO 3200

Again, the Fuji X-A2 comes out ahead in this battle, producing a much cleaner, clearer and brighter image with better color than the Panasonic GF7.

Fujifilm X-A2 vs Samsung NX300 at ISO 3200

Fujifilm X-A2 at ISO 3200
Samsung NX300 at ISO 3200

The Samsung NX300 still manages to out-resolve the Fuji X-A2 at ISO 3200 in some areas of the target, but the Fuji image is again cleaner and more vibrant.

Fujifilm X-A2 vs Sony A5100 at ISO 3200

Fujifilm X-A2 at ISO 3200
Sony A5100 at ISO 3200

The 24-megapixel Sony A5100 still manages to capture more detail in certain areas of our Still Life target, but the Fuji X-A2 comes out on top overall with a much clearer, cleaner image and better color. Again, the Sony may look to retain better detail in the red-leaf swatch because of its higher contrast, but much of the pattern is heavily distorted by noise.

Fujifilm X-A2 vs. Fujifilm X-E2, Olympus E-PL7, Panasonic GF7, Samsung NX300, Sony A5100

Fujifilm
X-A2
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Fujifilm
X-E2
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Olympus
E-PL7
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Panasonic
GF7
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Samsung
NX300
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Sony
A5100
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Detail comparison. We also like to take a look at high-contrast detail, as results often differ from what we see in the tables above. Here, the Fuji X-A2 trails the pack, unable to fully resolve the horizontal lines within the lettering, as well as producing lower contrast than all others in the group save for the Panasonic GF7. The Olympus E-PL7 and Sony A5100 are the clear winners here, though the Sony produces the most false colors.

 

Fuji X-A2 Print Quality Analysis

Nice, large 24 x 36 prints at ISO 100-400, impressive 16 x 20 at ISO 3200, and a usable 5 x 7 at ISO 25,600.

ISO 100/200 prints look great up to 24 x 36 inches. At this size, you're pushing the resolution limit of the 16MP APS-C sensor, but nevertheless at normal viewing distances prints look great with lots of detail and vibrant colors.

ISO 400 images look very similar to the previous ISOs, but with just an extremely subtle drop in very fine detail if you look closely. That being said, we're calling 24 x 36 inches here as well for the maximum print size. For even crisper images, 16 x 20 inch prints look excellent.

ISO 800 prints display little to no noise, even at this mid-range ISO level. Prints look very good up to 20 x 30 inches.

ISO 1600 images still manage impressive prints up to 16 x 20 inches. Prints are surprisingly light on noise, even in shadow areas. Some subjects like the tricky red-leaf fabric in our Still Life target show a drop in detail, however, elsewhere in the print detail and colors are great.

ISO 3200 prints top out at 16 x 20 inches as well. The Fuji X-A2 continues to impress with very good high ISO noise control, and colors remain bright and pleasing.

ISO 6400 images show a bit more softening, due to in-camera noise reduction, but otherwise look fantastic up to 11 x 14 inches. We're kind of on the fence here, but a 13 x 19 inch print could be usable for less critical applications.

ISO 12,800 prints look good up to 8 x 10 inches; a rather impressive feat for an entry-level camera. Detail is certainly a bit soft in some areas, but noise and grain is very well controlled despite the high sensitivity.

ISO 25,600 images manage to squeak out a usable 5 x 7 inch print. Any larger and the lack of detail becomes quite apparent. That being said, the detail and the vibrant, accurate colors are impressive for this ISO sensitivity.

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.

 

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