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Fujifilm X-A5 Review

The type of consumer that Fujifilm envisions purchasing the X-A5 is relatively well-defined. Instagram influencers and female family record keepers’ are more likely to be the focus of the company’s features, brochure, and promotional materials than tech-obsessed guys are. This is because women mainly use Instagram.

So let’s not be negative about it. This is a large audience that deserves friendly camera equipment just as much as anybody else, and the features of the X-A5 need to be evaluated with this audience in mind to be effective.

You have to agree that the tagline “Whenever, Whatever, Whichever, However, Wherever… and Forever!” found in the X-A5 brochure is rather appealing. It reads: “Whenever, Whatever, Whichever, However, Wherever… and Forever!”

Fujifilm X-A5 Features

The X-A5 is a beginner-friendly mirrorless camera, which means that it does not have an electronic viewfinder; instead, it just has an LCD screen on the rear of the camera for composing shots. This is perhaps the most crucial point to make regarding the X-A5.

And although it’s possible that experienced photographers won’t be wowed with the X-A5, the camera wasn’t created with them in mind. Instead, it’s geared toward smartphone upgraders who are accustomed to using touchscreen interfaces and don’t mind taking photos at a shorter distance.

A standard CMOS sensor may be found within the X-A5, as opposed to one of Fujifilm’s more sophisticated X-Trans sensors, such as the one found within the X-T20. This has happened to us in the past with Fujifilm’s entry-level models, and we seriously doubt that anyone other than an experienced photographer could tell the difference in the image quality between the two.

Fujifilm X-A5 Build Quality

The Fujifilm X-A5 features an aluminum shell with a leather-like trim that comes in your choice of one of three colors: black, brown, or pink. The design of this camera gives it an appealing retro appearance.

The new 15-45mm power zoom kit lens makes it more pocketable than previous entry-level Fujifilm mirrorless cameras. Still, if you place it side-by-side with the original X-A1 from back in 2013, it is evident that not much else has changed outwardly regarding the camera’s design.

All of the critical controls are precisely the same as they were on the X-A1. The only substantial modifications are minor variations in the trim and materials, a few beveled edges, and maybe an additional millimeter or two in height.

That is not a problem because the X-A series cameras have always had a pleasing aesthetic and a comfortable and natural feel in the hands of the user. There is a sizable mode dial located on the top of the camera, which allows you to make a speedy selection between the auto-everything mode, scene modes, effect filters, and manual control. The mode you select will be determined by the level of your camera knowledge and the amount of time you have available to fiddle with the settings.

Fujifilm X-A5 Performance

The Fujifilm X-A5 does have an advanced on-sensor phase-detection autofocus system, which should deliver faster and better autofocus than the contrast-based systems on older cameras. However, a lot will depend on the AF technology in the lens that you’re using, which boils down to how fast its AF motors are.

After switching the 15-45mm kit lens over to an older X-A1, it became clear that the new camera does seem a little bit faster than the older one, but there isn’t a lot of difference between the two. The Fujifilm X-A5, although not the slowest mirrorless camera we’ve tested, does not have the quickest autofocus speed we’ve seen.

What it does provide, though, is an AF mode that is suitable for almost any scenario. You have the option of setting it to the Wide/Tracking mode if you are content to let the camera decide what to focus on, setting it to the Zone AF mode if you have a general idea of which area your subject is located in, or setting it to the Single Point AF mode if you want complete control over the focus point.

Not only can you pick where to focus using the Zone and Single Point modes, but you can also adjust the size of the focus zone or point using the control wheel on the back of the camera. Because the eyes must constantly be in focus for a portrait to be effective, the autofocus mode that detects movement in the subject’s eyes is ideal for use while shooting people.

Fujifilm X-A5 Image Quality

The image quality is where this camera truly shines. While it does not contain Fujifilm’s top-of-the-line X-Trans sensor technology, the ordinary 24.2MP CMOS sensor included in the X-A5 nevertheless performs exceptionally well. These images have excellent sharpness, color saturation, and exposure.

You can obtain amazing images without getting too involved with the intricacies. However, more experienced photographers can still take manual control to the same degree as they would with more expensive enthusiast cameras.

Are the scene modes necessary for you? Probably not, considering that the standard P mode performs exceptionally well in various environments and grants you a little more control over the camera’s settings.

In a similar vein, the Advanced Filter options, despite the fact that they appear to be intriguing, are a bit of a letdown. However, the Toy Camera filter is very heavy-handed, and the HDR filter is pretty poor. The Partial Color filters produce exciting results in black and white, and the Miniature Filter can work well if you can find the right-angled overhead view of your subject. However, the HDR filter is pretty poor.

You should use an app on your smartphone if you want to play with special effects and retro styles. Alternatively, you may take standard pictures with the X-A5 and edit them on a computer afterward.

Fujifilm X-A5 Specs

Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Image ratio w:h1:1, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.5 x 15.7 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ISOAuto, 200-12800 (expandable to 100-51200)
Boosted ISO (minimum)100
Boosted ISO (maximum)51200
White balance presets7
Custom white balanceYes (3 slots)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Digital zoomYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points91
Lens mountFujifilm X
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/32000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject / scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes
Flash range5.70 m (at ISO 200)
External flashYes
Flash modesAuto, flash on, flash off, slow synchro, rear-curtain synchro, commander
Continuous drive6.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 secs)
Metering modesMultiAverageSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Resolutions3840 x 2160 (15p), 1920 x 1080 (60, 50, 24, 23.98p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 24p, 23.98p)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 15p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1280 x 720 @ 120p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1280 x 720 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1280 x 720 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1280 x 720 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1280 x 720 @ 23.98p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I supported)
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (mini-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.1 LE
Remote controlYes (Wired or via smartphone)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-W126S lithium-ion battery & USB charger
Battery Life (CIPA)450
Weight (inc. batteries)361 g (0.80 lb / 12.73 oz)
Dimensions117 x 68 x 40 mm (4.61 x 2.68 x 1.57″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

Fujifilm X-A5 Verdict

The Fujifilm X-A5 is not designed for experienced photographers but for Instagrammers, lifestyle photographers, and ‘life-loggers’ who want an upgrade in quality and features from a smartphone, and the X-A5 certainly delivers on that front. Experienced photographers may also find the X-A5 to be helpful.

It may have a screen that is a bit smaller than that of a smartphone, and its camera may be a little larger and more cumbersome to hold at times. Still, despite these drawbacks, it opens up an entirely new world of photography that is just beyond the capabilities of a smartphone.

Fujifilm X-A5 Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Excellent image quality
  • The selfie mode is excellent, and it has Eye AF.
  • An increase in the effective dynamic range
  • Fujifilm’s Film Simulation modes
  • Sharp and clear images despite the dim lighting.
need improvements
  • Adequate but unexceptional autofocus
  • What’s the point of recording 4K video at 15 frames per second?
  • Selfies taken with one hand may be challenging to capture with this device.
  • No viewfinder

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