Features & Controls


The 23.6mm x 15.6mm (APS-C) CMOS with primary color filter offers a total of 16.5 million pixels (or, 16.3 million effective pixels).

The camera has an ultra sonic vibration sensor cleaning system. You can choose to have sensor cleaning occur at start-up or when the camera is turned off (as long as it's in shooting mode).

Note the texture of body - this helps you keeping a firm grip.

Fujifilm_X-A1-lens-off.jpgThe X-A1 has the Fujifilm X mount. At press time, there were 10 lenses in the XC and XF series you can mount directly on the camera. Also, with the optional M mount adapter, the camera can shoot with an M lens. The latest information on the Fujifilm website showed a dozen Carl Zeiss lenses, seven Voigtlander lenses, and 23 Leica lenses that use the M mount.

Note that the 16mm-50mm/f3.5-5.6 kit lens we tested has a focus ring, but not an aperture ring. Because the camera lacks an optical viewfinder, the highlight peaking is a welcome feature, which sharpens the outlines of objects on the LCD to help you achieve sharp focus. But in bright sunlight, even this help on a high-resolution LCD is no alternative for an optical viewfinder. Also, once you have pressed the shutter button halfway, the focus ring no longer changes the focus, nor will it continue to do so while shooting in burst mode.

You might also notice that the front panel of the body is free of buttons - there are no additional controls (in particular, a customizable one) located on the front of the camera.

Fujifilm_X-A1-LCD-out.jpgThe LCD folds out 90 degrees - both upward and downward (for overhead shooting). The metal hinge is sturdy, and will stand up to a few knocks (no flimsy plastic here). However, the screen does not swivel out to the side for additional creative angles.

The LCD is bright and its 921,000-dot resolution is top-notch. But the way the menus display can be hard to read in bright sunlight (that is, the text-heavy ones). That's because while the page names are bright, the selections within each menu are gray, which can be difficult to see, especially if you're wearing sunglasses. These menu lists do turn white, however, once you highlight one of the selections.

In contrast, the Quick Menu (launched by the Q button at bottom right of the back panel) is easier to read because it displays large icons rather than smaller, gray text.

Fujifilm_X-A1-top_detail.jpgThe X-A1 is Wi-Fi capable, and offers a dedicated button near the shutter-release button. Pressing it in playback mode brings up the wireless transfer menu. You can transfer images to a smartphone or other device running the Fujifilm Photo Receiver application.

In shooting mode, the Wi-Fi/Fn button can be assigned one of 15 functions.

Fn button settings options:
  • Depth of field preview
  • Sensitivity
  • Self-timer
  • Image size
  • Image quality
  • Dynamic range
  • Film simulation
  • Metering
  • Focus/exposure lock
  • Instant AF
  • Focus mode
  • Intelligent face detection
  • Location info search
  • Movie mode
  • RAW/JPEG toggle

The camera offers two dials - one on top (command dial) and a second one just below it at the top of the back panel (sub-command dial). The sub-command dial offers the double function of operating as a button.

The mode dial offers 12 positions, including one user-selectable custom position. Three common scene modes are offered here, plus a scene position (SP) you can assign one of 10 additional scene modes.

Mode dial menu (clockwise from bottom):
  • SR+ (auto scene recognition)
  • Program mode
  • Shutter-priority mode
  • Aperture-priority mode
  • Manual
  • Custom (user selectable)
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Sport
  • SP (scene position)
  • Advanced filter
  • Auto

Note that the body has a slight grip contour - not exactly a full hand grip, but in combination with the body's texture, it's adequate in most cases. But if you need more assurance for one-handed shooting (particularly in low light) you can pick up a hand grip accessory, which attaches to the tripod mount on the bottom of the camera and wraps around the body below the shutter release button.

The sub-command dial sits just below the dials on the top panel, and is very comfortable to use, in part because its slightly set back on a little ledge created by the back panel. The grip pad just below it helps your thumb get traction during one-handed operation.

Fujifilm_X-A1-back-detail.jpgBelow the rear dial sit the majority of the camera's controls, including the playback and dedicated movie recording buttons above the four-way control.

The four-way control offers quick access to four settings in shooting mode (clockwise from top): AF box position, white balance, burst mode, and macro mode. To move the AF box, you must be in area AF mode; if you're in multi-area, continuous, or tracking AF, the button does nothing.

The downward (burst mode) button offers four bracketing options.

Burst mode button menu:
  • Still image
  • Burst mode: 5.6fps (high), 3fps (low)
  • Auto exposure bracketing: +/-1/3 step, +/-2/3 step, +/-1 step
  • ISO bracketing: +/-1/3 step, +/-2/3 step, +/-1 step
  • Film simulation bracketing
  • Dynamic range bracketing

The display/back button is used in both shooting and playback modes to change the information display. Once in the menus, it serves as a back button.

The Quick Menu button at bottom right brings up a menu of commonly adjusted settings (see screenshot below).

Fujifilm_X-A1_record-Q-menu-color.jpgThe X-A1 offers a lot of fine-tuning options to the color space. Shown here is the Quick Menu (launched by its dedicated button on the back panel) with the color density setting highlighted. You can adjust this up or down two steps.

One row above the color density icon, and one to the right (labeled "Std") is the film simulation setting. Keeping true to its film beginnings (which it retains in its company name) Fujifilm incorporates digital simulations of its different photographic films. Here you can approximate the look of five film types (see below).

In the Quick Menu, you change the highlighted setting with either the command dial or the sub-command dial, which is convenient. But that means you have to use the four-way buttons to navigate the Quick Menu (not quite as convenient, in my opinion). And, you'll likely have to use both the up/down and left/right buttons because in both cases reaching the end of a row does not jump you to the next row - it returns you to the beginning of the same row.

Film simulation menu:
  • Provia/standard: standard color reproduction
  • Velvia/vivid: high contrast with saturated colors
  • Astia/soft: enhances skin tones and preserves bright blue in daylight skies
  • Monochrome: standard black and white
  • Sepia: sepia tone

Q button menu:
  • Focus mode
  • ISO setting
  • Dynamic range
  • Noise reduciton
  • Image size
  • Image quality
  • Film simulation
  • Highlight tone
  • Shadow tone
  • Color
  • Sharpness
  • Self-timer
  • Image stabilization mode
  • Flash mode
  • LCD brightness

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.