Steve's Conclusion

Steve's SnapShot
  • 16.3 MP APS-C CMOS image sensor
  • EXR Processor II
    • 0.5 seconds start-up
    • 0.3 seconds AF
    • 0.05 seconds shutter lag
    • 0.4 seconds shooting interval
  • 3" LCD display
    • tilts to 175°
    • 920K dot
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • Eye AF
  • Auto Macro AF
  • Multi-Target AF
  • ISO100 - ISO25600
  • Q Menu shortcut button
  • In-camera RAW processing
  • Super i-Flash
  • Film Simulation Modes
    • includes the new "Classic Chrome"
  • Multiple Exposure Mode
  • Wi-Fi enabled
    • Wireless image transfer
    • compatible with INSTAX Share App (for iOS and Android devices)
    Pros
    • Very good image quality
    • RAW and JPEG formats available
    • Plenty of automatic and manual control shooting options
    • Good performance times overall
    • Can shoot at up to 5.6 frames per second in burst mode with the right lens attached
    • Popup flash works well
    • Hot shoe allows for attaching an external flash
    • High-quality LCD screen
    • LCD can tilt and rotate to almost 180-degree position to allow for self-portraits
    • Good mix of beginner and advanced features
    • Sharp looking camera
    • Good battery life
    Cons
    • Limited movie recording to 30 frames per second
    • Back panel control buttons could be a little bigger
    • Mode dial could be smaller, as it has too many options
    • Touchscreen LCD would be nice to have in this type of camera
    • No viewfinder option available to attach to hot shoe
    • Wireless connection offers only limited options
    • Shutter lag performance could be a little better
    • Use of silent mode isn't compatible with flash photography
    • Maximum ISO is limited to 6400 in RAW mode
    Timing Test Results
    • Power up to first image captured = 1.7 seconds
    • Power up to first image captured (fast start mode enabled) = 1.4 seconds
    • Shutter lag when prefocused = about 0.1 seconds
    • Shutter lag with autofocus = 0.4 seconds
    • Shot to shot delay w/ flash = 1.7 seconds (review Off), 2.5 seconds (minimum review On)
    • Shot to shot delay w/o flash = 1.3 seconds (review Off), 1.9 seconds (minimum review On)
    • Continuous Shot High = 10 frames in 2.3 seconds at 16M
    • Continuous Shot Low = 10 frames in 3.3 seconds at 16M
    All tests taken using Program mode, flash off, review off, and all other settings at default unless noted.
    Bottom Line
    The Fujifilm X-A2 offers very high image quality, while giving relatively inexperienced photographers plenty of easy-to-use features as they're migrating from a beginner-level camera to this mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The X-A2 also has all of the advanced, manual control options you'd expect in this type of model, allowing you to learn to use those features at your own pace as your skills improve. The X-A2 is a nice looking camera, and it offers an LCD screen that can rotate almost 180 degrees for self-portraits. It would have been nice if Fujifilm had given this model touchscreen capabilities, a viewfinder, or more control buttons, and its operational speeds could be a little better, but the drawbacks to this model are relatively minor. It's a solid mirrorless ILC option that's well worth considering.
    Pick This Up If...
    You are looking for your first interchangeable lens camera that remains easy to use, thin and stylish like a point-n-shoot, but you don't want to sacrifice image quality.
    Fujifilm's X-A2 mirrorless camera shows that even an entry-level interchangeable lens camera doesn't have to sacrifice image quality, while looking great.

    While the X-A2 may be missing a couple of key features and has a couple of design flaws, this is still a great camera for the photographer looking for an interchangeable lens model in a small camera body.

    Fujifilm gave this model a great-looking design that will appeal to a lot of photographers. It feels like a well-built small camera too, although most of its parts are plastic rather than metal. And it has an articulated LCD screen that can be flipped almost 180 degrees, allowing you to shoot self-portraits.

    But the best feature of the X-A2 is its strong image quality, which will greatly impress the beginning photographers looking to upgrade their hardware at whom Fujifilm is aiming this model. Image quality is very strong with this camera in almost all shooting conditions, which is probably the best feature of the Fujifilm X-A2.

    The Fujifilm X-A2 carries 16.3-megapixels of resolution in its APS-C sized image sensor, which is the same image sensor and megapixel count included with this model's predecessor, the X-A1. While this model's resolution count and image sensor size trail the majority of DSLR cameras currently in the market, most non-professional-level photographers won't notice much of a difference in the final results.

    You can shoot in either RAW or JPEG image formats with the A2, and you can even choose to shoot in both formats simultaneously. And, advanced photographers will also appreciate having full control over their shots when using Manual mode, including the ability to set aperture, shutter speed, and EV, among other settings.

    Flash photography results are good too with this camera, where you have the option of using the popup flash unit built into the A2 or of attaching an external flash unit to the camera's hot shoe. You'll be able to control the flash EV through the on-screen menus.

    And in low light photography, you're not going to notice problems with noise in most images. The X-A2 offers an ISO range of 100 to 25,600, and noise doesn't really appear in images until you're near the top of the ISO range. (RAW images are limited to an ISO range of 200 to 6400.)

    Fujifilm has given the X-A2 a nice kit lens in the 16-50mm model, which contributes to this camera's strong image quality. You have multiple autofocus options as well as an easy-to-use manual focus configuration, allowing you to create sharp images.

    While Fujifilm's marketing materials strongly emphasize the high operational speed of the X-A2, my tests showed the camera isn't quite the blazing performer the manufacturer suggests. Don't misunderstand: The X-A2 is a fast camera, but I couldn't quite duplicate the speeds claimed in Fujifilm's marketing. Part of the explanation for the slightly less than top speed performance likely lies in the kit lens though.

    You can expect a shutter lag with the kit lens when using autofocus of less than one-half second, which is a good, but not great, performance. You can record your first photo about 1.4 seconds after pressing the power switch, which is again an acceptable performance level, just not as fast as Fujifilm claims.

    It also would have been nice if Fujifilm had given the X-A2 a viewfinder option, as is a common feature on interchangeable lens cameras, but there's no viewfinder built into this model's design, and you cannot add a viewfinder through the hot shoe.

    You'll use the camera's LCD screen to frame all photos, so it's good that the X-A2's LCD screen is a high-quality unit that measures 3 inches diagonally and offers 920,000 pixels of resolution. While the LCD cannot rotate along a horizontal axis, it can be rotated vertically up to almost 180 degrees, allowing for self-portraits. (The X-A1's LCD could only tilt 90 degrees.)

    However, the LCD screen is not a touchscreen-enabled model, which is a bit of a disappointment. In a camera aimed primarily at beginner and intermediate photographers, having a touchscreen LCD would make the X-A2 easier to learn to use. Because you have to control the camera's settings through the on-screen menus primarily, a touchscreen would've simplified this process versus the slightly undersized control buttons on the back of the camera. The buttons are large enough to be usable, but it would be easier to use them over a long period of time if they were a bit larger.

    Having a mode dial on top of the camera body is great for selecting the desired shooting mode in a hurry. You can pick from several manual control or automatic shooting modes. If you don't use scene modes, you may find the inclusion of several scene mode icons on the mode dial odd, but it's another indication of how Fujifilm is aiming this model at less experienced photographers, who may be comfortable with using scene modes on their point-n-shoot cameras.

    If you'd rather use special effect modes than scene modes, you will have to first twist the mode dial and then work through a couple of screens of menus to make the selections, which is a bit time consuming. The special effects are fun to use with the X-A2, again showing how Fujifilm is trying to make this interchangeable lens camera appeal to beginners. And Fujifilm even provided a nod to film photographers with a Classic Chrome film simulation mode, which wasn't available in the X-A1.

    This model's Q screen is a really nice option, as it provides a shortcut to changing the camera's features versus working through the more traditional on-screen menus. Because Fujifilm didn't give the X-A2 a lot of dedicated buttons for controlling various settings, the Q screen is an especially important feature.

    Unfortunately, Fujifilm didn't extend the ability to greatly control the settings to movie recording. You don't have much control over movies, as you'll only have two resolution options (1920x1080 or 1280x720). And you can only shoot at 30 frames per second in either resolution.

    Battery life is really good with this model, as you can expect 325-plus shots per charge. And Fujifilm included a separate battery charger unit with the A2, allowing you to charge the battery while it's outside of the camera, which is perfect for photographers who like to make use of two batteries.

    The X-A2 has built-in wireless connectivity too, but it's not as useful as it could be. You cannot connect directly to a Wi-Fi network. Instead you'll need to pair the camera with a smartphone or tablet and use an app to share photos between the camera and mobile device. You can use the mobile device to embed GPS data onto each photo stored in the camera, but there's no ability to remotely control the camera through a mobile device.

    Bottom Line - The Fujifilm X-A2 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera has a lot of nice features designed to entice less experienced photographers to migrate from a point-n-shoot camera to a camera with more advanced options. The X-A2 has a great mix of automatic and manual control shooting modes, which will allow the inexperienced photographer to learn how to use this model's advanced features at his or her own pace, steadily gaining more skill. The mode dial makes it easy to pick the shooting mode you want, and Fujifilm gave the X-A2 a Q menu screen, through which you can see all of the settings on a single screen, speeding up the process of making changes versus using the traditional on-screen menus. You can flip the LCD screen up to almost 180 degrees on its horizontal axis, allowing for self-portraits and odd-angle images. Best of all the X-A2 produces great images in a variety of lighting conditions, giving this model a significant advantage over the beginner-level cameras that the X-A2 customer may have been using before migrating. This model is missing a few features that I'd like to see, such as a viewfinder, a touchscreen LCD, slightly larger control buttons, and more options for movie recording, but it's still a really nice model for those seeking a good looking, thin, and small first interchangeable lens camera. Perhaps the biggest complaint regarding the X-A2 is that it doesn't greatly separate itself from its predecessor, the X-A1, with a lot of improved features. Still, if you don't already own the A1 and if you can find the A2 for less than $500 with a kit lens, you'll want to strongly consider it.

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