The leatherette-clad Fujifilm XF1’S boxy design is reminiscent of a retro camera. Its entire shell is crafted from aluminum and the silver top panel, base and lens housing lend a good contrast. The top panel houses the mode dial, shutter release, a tiny customizable FN button and pop-up type flash that releases with gentle slide of the lever below it.
Fujifilm has devised the lens barrel to sink inside the shell. If you carefully notice the top panel, you’ll find zoom lever and the on/off button’s missing. The zoom is completely manual and you good flexibility to frame scene/subjects as theirs is no question of zoom steps. The lens extends from 25 to 100mm which translates to mediocre 4x optical zoom. However the bright f/1.8 aperture at the wide end and optical image stabilization’s are nice to have in low-light surrounding.
The 12 megapixel sensor is of 2/3-inch type, which is about 50% larger than the standard ½.3-inch type. The larger sensor goes a long way of capturing less noisy image at higher ISO speeds. Also, the shallow depth of field or background blur is much pronounced.
The rear of the camera is dominated by fairly large 3-inch display that has a resolution of 460k dots-looks good, but for premium camera it’s fair to expect 960k dots screen. The control panel includes two panel includes two dials-a clickable horizontal one at the top and another around the 5-way D pad. The D-pad offer quick access to EV, flash, self-timer and Macro. Around the D-pad are buttons for video editing, E-Fn, Display/Back and Playback.
Beside the Auto, Scene and PASM modes, the XF1 offers two customizable modes, Advanced Filter and EXR auto modes. The EXR auto mode is similar to smart auto. In addition to recognizing the type of scene and subjects, you can prioritize on the dynamic range and keep the noise level low. Also, like program mode, you have complete control over white balancing, metering, focus mode and flash intensity.
The user interface of XF1 is very intuitive. We liked the provision of E-Fn button that extends the function of the D-pad and the two buttons (playback and video calling) above it. It brings up and overlay of alternative functions mapped to the D-pad and buttons around it.
The XF1 is an incredible low light performer. The large f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization allows for shooting in very low light without having to use flash and boosting and ISO too much. The noise is handled extremely well up to ISO 800, beyond which it’s noticeable. The reproduction of color and details are excellent and compression artifacts are negligible. Shooting is the most enjoyable at 25mm, f/1.8 where the background, especially for portraits and close ups.
At such a high price, it’s fair to expect premium features such as 920k dots screen and GPS. The XF1 is worthy of consideration as an alternative to DSLR (provided you don’t intend to invest in additional lenses) or secondary enthusiast-class digital camera in addition to a DSLR.
Dimensions (WxHxD): 108 x 62 x 33 mm
Weight : 255g
Sensor size : 2/3-inch
Resolution : 12MP
Focal length : 25-100 mm
Optical zoom : 4x
Aperture : f/1.8-f/4.9
Shutter : 30-1/4000 sec
ISO : 100-12800
Display : 3-inch, 460K dots
Price : $618