Fujifilm makes X-mount mirrorless even more affordable with the entry-level Fuji X-A1


posted Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 12:00 AM EST

Fujifilm has just taken the wraps off the 16.3 megapixel, APS-C sensor-shod Fuji X-A1, and it's the spitting image of last June's X-M1 -- yet somehow manages to shave one-quarter off its sibling's price tag. And when we say it's the spitting image, we mean it! The Fujifilm X-A1 appears next-to-identical in most respects. Both cameras feature what appears to be the exact same body design, save for the texturing of their grips. They also share the same processor, display, flash, Wi-Fi radio, and basic feature set.

So what's changed -- how did Fujifilm manage to take what was already a pretty affordable camera, and then bring it down to an entry-level price point? We're sure that there will turn out to be other differences, but based on preliminary press information, the only change we can spot is to be found in their choice of image sensor.


The existing Fuji X-M1 is based around the company's proprietary Fuji X-Trans image sensor. No sensor type is specified for the CMOS chip of its more affordable X-A1 sibling, though. We're reading that as likely meaning it's a standard CMOS chip. If that  turns out to be correct, there will likely be a noticeable difference in image quality between the two cameras. But in other respects, though, the Fuji X-A1 looks to offer almost exactly the same package at a significant savings over a camera that's just three months old.

The Fujifilm X-A1 compact system camera ships in the US market in black and indigo blue body colors. Kit pricing with the Fujinon XC 16-50mm lens is set at around US$600, well below the US$800 for an X-M1 with the same lens.

Want to know more about Fuji's most affordable mirrorless camera? Read our Fuji X-A1 preview, and see how it stacks up against the competition.


Alongside its new camera, Fuji has also announced a second XC-series lens, compatible with its X-mount lineup. (But aimed in particular at the affordable, entry-level models.) The FUJINON XC 50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS lens offers 35mm-equivalent focal lengths from 76 to 350mm, and maximum aperture falls from f/4.5 to f/6.7 across the zoom range. (So it's not the brightest lens around.) On the plus side, it's got a reasonably affordable list price of US$400, is stabilized, and is said to offer high-speed autofocusing. The design includes 13 glass elements in 10 groups, including one aspherical and one extra-low dispersion element.

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