With compact mirrorless cameras gaining popularity across the world, camera manufacturers are trying their hand at premium point-and-shoot cameras. The Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 was the first of the type to enter the Indian market. Now, Fujifilm is trying its luck with the XF1, a stylish camera which, without a doubt, is aimed at a niche consumer base.
WHAT IS DIFFERENT?
At first sight the leather-bound body of the XF1 gives it a retro look. The pancake lens only adds to this effect. But the lens can be rotated to switch on the camera and then reveal a 25-100mm equivalent, F1.8-4.9 lens. The zoom is mechanical and the lens can collapse back into barrel to shut the camera. This makes the camera very compact despite the impressive lens range. On the flip side, you have to open the lens even when all you want to do is playback pictures you have shot.
The control ring on top gives you all possible options—auto, manual, shutter and aperture priority, two custom settings and even Fujifilm’s very own EXR settings. What you will miss is a movie mode, for which you just have to push the record button. While you have to use the lens ring to zoom in, the mode dial and control ring can be used to shift to numerous other settings. There is also the Fn key in case you want to tweak more settings.
The XF1 has a 12MP 2/3-inch EXR-CMOS sensor which is good enough for most uses. Maybe, they could have packed in a bit more pixels, but this isn’t inadequate either. The results are good, especially in natural light. At F1.8, the macro is stunningly good. But at 12MP, the maximum ISO range is 3200. At 12800, the pixel quality is jut 3MP and the picture is extremely grainy. This was a bit of a disappointment. But then these high ISO ranges are not usually used by enthusiasts, at whom the camera is aimed. The EXR mode , on the other hand, has very good lowlight results. The camera is superfast in the burst modes and the unique sound of the shutter will have any photographer excited. The video quality is impressive too, and being a mechanical zoom, everything depends on how steady your hands are. The AF is up to the task, whatever you are up to. And, yes, like the RX100, this one shoots in RAW as default.
The XF1 is a good option if you want a camera that is stylish to look at and has loads of advanced features. But be prepared to pay a decent premium for the style and functions.
Ultra compact, great results. —TEXT BY NANDAGOPAL RAJAN
Price: ` 33,989 Specs:
12MP 2/3-inch EXR CMOS; f 6.4 - 25.6 mm, F1.8 to F4.9 30 sec. to 1/2000 sec; ISO 12800; FullHD 1080p; SD card.