£529/$599 with XC15-45mm lens Yes, it’s another entry-level mirrorless camera with no viewfinder – but it’s impressive nonetheless
This entry-level mirrorless system gets thoroughly tested by our expert team
The X-A5 is aimed at a very different market to Fujifilm’s high-end X-mount cameras. With simplified, user-friendly controls, a compact body and kit lens combination, and an affordable price tag, it’s aimed at smartphone upgraders choosing their first interchangeable-lens camera.
It doesn’t have a viewfinder, but what it does have is a new compact 15-45mm retracting power zoom kit lens to help make the X-A5 the kind of camera you can carry anywhere.
Inside is a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, and there’s a 4K video mode too, although this is restricted to just 15fps. You also get a touch-sensitive rear screen that flips through 180 degrees for quick and simple selfies.
Build and handling
The X-A5 looks smart and stylish and comes in a choice of black, brown and pink bodies. The control layout hasn’t changed much from previous X-A models: it features a mode dial and a control dial on the top plate and four-way navigational buttons on the rear, supplemented by a Q (Quick menu) button and a further small, ‘clickable’ control wheel next to the thumbrest.
The touchscreen display is not used for settings changes, but is used for touch focus and touch shooting options, both of which are quick, simple and effective. It’s a bit trickier to balance the camera for selfies than it is with a smartphone, particularly one-handed, but you’d expect that.
Testing the new 15-45mm lens on Fujifilm’s original X-A1 model revealed that the X-A5’s autofocus is faster, but not by much. The new Olympus E-PL9, for example, is faster. (It’s reviewed on page 118.)
The new power-zoom kit lens produces great image quality, but the electrically-operated zoom feels a little vague and unresponsive. It does have a stabilisation mechanism, though, and in our tests the AF system and stabiliser between them produced a really high hit rate of sharp images in a wide variety of shooting conditions.
The sensor might be just a regular CMOS type, but it enables the X-A5 to produce shots of terrific image quality, with good dynamic range and great colours.
The sensor might be just a CMOS type, but it enables the X-A5 to produce shots of terrific image quality
3 2 There is a second control wheel on the back of the camera, handily placed just above the thumbrest. 3 The touchscreen display flips up for low-angle shots and through a full 180 degrees for selfies. 2
1 1 Fujifilm’s new 15-45mm kit lens offers a wider than usual angle of view, and a power zoom mechanism that retracts to save space.
4 The top plate layout is straightforward, with a big, clearly labelled mode dial and a control dial alongside.