Fujifilm X-A7 Review

The X-A7 maybe Fujifilm’s most entry-level camera but it still looks good and has nice build quality. Rather than the traditional exposure controls found on Fujifilm cameras like the X-T3, X-T30 and X-Pro3, the X-A7 has a mode dial on its top-plate and dual adjustment dials. There’s also a clever ‘Smart Menu’ that makes adjusting some of the key parameters very easy for anyone who is new to picture taking. Crucially, this uses non-techy language and responsive touch-control. I think the Fujifilm X-A7 is well-judged. A viewfinder would be nice, especially in bright summer sunshine, but the vari-angle screen is very good, the autofocus system is capable and the stills and video are very good.

Check Out: Best Lenses for Fujifilm X-A7

Fujifilm X-A7 Price, Deals & Discounts

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Features

In a key difference from Fujifilm’s higher-level X-Series cameras, the Fuji X-A7 has a Bayer pattern color filter array over its newly developed 24.2Mp APS-C format sensor. That’s unlikely to end up being an issue for the X-A7’s target market, but existing Fujifilm X-series photographers looking for a smaller alternative to their X-T3 etc may want to know.

As there’s copper wiring in the X-A7’s sensor, its data readout is usually faster than the X-A5’s. Therefore, Fuji claims this boosts the noise control at high sensitivity (ISO) settings by a stop (1EV).

In addition, the sensor has 8.5x as many phase-detection pixels as the X-A5’s chip. This should be good news for subject recognition and tracking, leading to a boost in the Face/Attention Detection performance and focusing in low light.

There are a total of 425 user-selectable AF points available for use. The camera uses both phase and contrast detection for focusing.

Like the X-A5, the X-A7 can shoot continuously at up to 6fps (frames per second) with continuous autofocusing.

As we’ve come to expect from a new camera, the X-A7 is definitely capable of recording 4K video with a body rate of 30fps. The X-A5 can only record 4K video at 15fps and the modification means that the new camera produces smoother, more natural-looking footage with fewer rolling shutter artifacts.

Further good news can be that the X-A7 includes a mic port to connect an external microphone. It’s a 2.5mm port but Fujifilm supplies a 3.5mm adapter in the box.

There’s also an HDMI interface in case you need to connect an external storage device or monitor.

Build and Handling

The Fuji X-A7 probably the company’s most entry-level mirrorless camera nonetheless it still looks great and has nice construction. Unlike higher-level X-Series digital cameras, the X-A7 is made from polycarbonate (plastic) rather than metal, but it still feels reasonably solid.

It’s also quite compact and weighs just 320g.

Fujifilm markets the X-A7 with its XC 15-45mm F3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens. This has an effective focal length of 22.5-67.5mm, which is a great range for everyday photography.

While the lens may seem a logical pairing with the X-A7, I’m not an enthusiast of the optic. The zoom ring isn’t very responsive and changing focal duration seems even more of efficiency than it should be. A manual zoom band will be far better.

Screen

Making a small and more affordable camera naturally calls for a few compromises. One of the compromises made by the X-A7 is certainly that it doesn’t have a viewfinder. However, in a first for a Fuji X-Series camera, the 3.5inches 2,760,000-dot screen is mounted on a vari-angle hinge. That means the screen can be flipped out to the side and swiveled for viewing from in front of the camera.

The screen gives a good, clear look at but it’s a little disappointing that the mic interface is on the same aspect of the camera as the screen hinge. This means that the mic wire/adapter prevents the display from tilting fully. There’s just enough movement to give a reasonable watch when the camera is at waist-level.

Naturally, the cable connection also blocks a little of the view when you have the screen turned forwards for vlogging.

Controls

As opposed to the traditional exposure controls entirely on Fujifilm cameras just like the X-T3, X-T30 and X-Pro3, the X-A7 has a setting dial on its top-plate.

This dial provides markings to set the exposure mode to Advanced SR Auto, program, aperture priority, shutter concern, manual, panorama, Nighttime, Sport, Landscape, Portrait, Scene (Portrait / Evening / Fireworks / Sunset / Snow / Beach / Party / Flower / Text / Multiple Direct exposure / Light Trail) and Advanced Filter.

To the right of the setting dial, there are two dials for adjusting the camera settings. That’s a nice feature for a camera of this level, often there’s just one dial. It means you can alter the aperture and shutter speed settings directly in manual exposure mode without having to press a button as well. Similarly, in aperture priority or shutter priority setting, you can establish the aperture or shutter velocity directly and use the various other dials for adjusting the publicity compensation.

Touch-Control

Fujifilm has done a great job of making the X-A7 user-friendly by inexperienced photographers. As I said a moment ago, tapping the on-display screen arrow reveals a Smart Menu. Tapping any of its icons gives you control over some aspects of the image. What’s more, these operate in whatever direct exposure mode you have selected, although the selection varies a little.

Oddly, in auto, aperture concern, manual and panorama exposure mode, there’s an option to adjust the aperture setting, but in shutter priority, manual and sport mode, there isn’t control over the shutter speed.

Performance

Despite my misgivings about the 15-45mm kit lens, it performs pretty well optically. There’s some softening towards the corners of images, but it’s not a major issue.

Fujifilm claims that the X-A7’s autofocus (AF) system is normally a step up from the X-A5’s and it performed well in our tests. If there’s a bit of contrast, it gets subjects in focus very quickly, even in pretty low light. It struggled to focus on a distant hedgerow in the late afternoon gloom of an overcast time in December, but shifting the AF point to an area of greater contrast resolved the problem.

The Eye/Face Detection AF system is good in Single AF settings. It spots faces and eyes rapidly and gets them sharpened.

As the X-A7’s screen gives an accurate preview of the image, you can adjust the exposure to get everything looking right before taking a shot. However, the publicity metering system does a good job of assessing the scene in most instances.

Verdict

Entry-level cameras aren’t supposed to have every feature currently available. They are supposed to be an affordable introduction to digital photography. They should enable you to capture nice images, better than you will get from a mobile phone, and fire your interest in capturing the world around you.

I believe the Fuji X-A7 fulfills its brief very well. Okay, a viewfinder would be nice, however the vari-angle screen in an attractive bonus. That’s something that a smartphone doesn’t possess and it can really help you be more creative with your shots.

Fujifilm’s Smart Menu program is very good. It enables inexperienced photographers to take control of the X-A7 whatever direct exposure mode the camera is set to. It needs shutter rate control adding, but I like it’s not technical terminology and ease of use.

It doesn’t have got the same 26Mp sensor as the Fuji X-T3, X-T30 or X-Pro3, but the X-A7 is capable of capturing very attractive pictures and video.

I don’t like the kit zoom lens that it comes with. Its optical quality is fine, it’s the way it seems and the action of the zoom ring that I’m not so keen on. However, but it’s the sensible starting point and there are several great Fujifilm lenses offered if you get the picture taking bug.

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