Playback Screens & Menus
This is the default view in playback, which shows some camera settings information. Along the bottom you get date/time information, and the shutter, aperture and ISO settings along the bottom row. The right side of the screen shows the file number (from top to bottom), file size, dynamic range setting, and battery life indicator.
To change the view, you press the display button, then use the left/right buttons on the four-way control to select another information view.
The icon at bottom left lets you know you're in playback mode, which is an odd choice. At first, I thought this meant that an image had been taken in burst mode and that an automatic playback of the burst might be an available function.
Display menu options:
- Information on
- Information off
- Favorites (assign one to five stars)
- Detail information
Turning the information off gives you an uncluttered view of your image.
The detail information view gives you a deeper look into camera settings used, though not an exhaustive list (just the one page). Here, you see the menu overlay that pops up when your press the Display button, with the detailed display selected. Behind the overlay, note the histogram. You get only an overall histogram; there is no view with separate red, green and blue histograms.
There is no calendar view, or view by folders, though you can search by date.
To help you locate images, you can assign them a favorites rating of one to five stars. Then, in search you can find them based on their rating.
One click leftward of the sub-command dial brings up index view. The first index view shows four thumbnails in two different sizes.
Another turn leftward of the sub-command dial changes the index view to include nine thumbnails.
The X-A1's thumbnail view take a dramatic leap from nine thumbnails to 100. You can move quickly through them using the command dial, though there is no page up or down function. Turning the sub-command dial to right takes you back through the 9-up and 4-up views, and then to your chosen informational view, and then, finally, to a magnified view.
The magnified view is one place where the function of the sub-command dial works elegantly. If you turn the dial to move to magnified view from the informational view, you turn the dial to gradually magnify the image. But if you press the dial, which also operates like a button, the playback jumps to the maximum magnification.
As indicated by the box and arrows, you use the four-way control to move around the image to inspect it. Turning the command dial atop the camera will take you to subsequent images, leaving the magnification intact.
The camera will tell you if a face has been detected in a shot. The downward arrow tells you that by pressing downward you can access the face zoom feature.
A face will only be detected and show up in playback like this if you have face detection turned on while shooting, and if the face remains within the green box that appears on the face when taking the shot.
Interestingly, on one occasion, the camera detected my face even when it was merely a reflection on my computer monitor.
Though you can use face detection to search for portraits, you can not store individual faces by name and search to find just the photos of a particular person. Photos with detected faces can only be categorized as a close-up, couple, or group, which you can find using image search. This is located in page 2 of the playback menu.
Image search menu:
- By date
- By face: All, close up, couple, group
- By favorites
- By scene type: Landscape, night, portrait, macro
- By type of data: Still, movie, RAW
- By upload mark
So what can you do with the detected face function? Not a lot. The face zoom feature merely focuses the magnified view on the face, even if it is not in the center of the frame. That's convenient, but I didn't find that it worked perfectly - I still had to use the four-way buttons to center a face in the magnified view on occasion, so I could inspect the focus on the face of my subject.
If you're looking for a camera with lots of digital filters to tweak your JPEGs, you've come to the wrong camera. The X-A1 does not offer digital filters as edits in playback mode. In fact, the section in the manual on editing JPEGs in playback takes up less than a page. That's because, essentially, there are no edits to be done. You can crop and resize and rotate, but other than removing red-eye, there isn't any true editing available for JPEG files.
Editing RAW files in-camera is another ball of wax. You get the ability to change 11 parameters when converting a RAW image to a JPEG in the camera. You can perform these same functions and more on a computer using the included SilkyPix RAW conversion software that comes on the CD-ROM.
But if you must perform a conversion in the field to deliver a JPEG, you'll get a healthy assortment of tweaks.
RAW conversion menu:
- Reflect shooting condition
- Push/pull processing: -1 to +3 EV, in 1/3 steps
- Dynamic range: 100%, 200%, 400%
- Film simulation: Provia/standard, Velvia/vivid, Astia/soft, monochrome, sepia
- White balance: Auto, custom, fine, shade, fluorescent light 1, fluorescent light 2, fluorescent light 3, incandescent
- White balance shift: Color grid with axes for blue/amber and magenta/green
- Color: High, med-high, mid, med-low, low
- Sharpness: Hard, med-hard, standard, med-soft, soft
- Highlight tone: Hard, med-hard, standard, med-soft, soft
- Shadow tone: Hard, med-hard, standard, med-soft, soft
- Noise reduction: High, med-high, mid, med-low, low
To set up the PC auto save feature, you press the WPS button on your Wi-Fi router to add the camera to your wireless network (or, you can use your password).
Wireless transfer menu:
- View & obtain images on a smartphone
- Send individual image to a smartphone
- Send selected multiple images to a smartphone
- PC auto save
When first selected in playback, movie files appear with film strip icons on either side of the video frame. This is the information on view. You can turn this information off, leaving only the film strip icons and no overlaid text. Or, you can pull up a detailed view, which is the same as the detailed information view for still images. It operates the same way, by repeatedly pressing the display/back button.
Once movie playback begins, the film strip icons go away, along with any displayed camera settings information, and only these icons remain. Of course, it is shown here paused (icon at top right). Along the top is a time lapse bar.
The X-A1 does not offer any movie editing options, such as the ability to apply a digital filter. Nor does it allow you to trim a movie in-camera. All of these things you must do on a computer.
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.
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