Audley Jarvis finds out whether this latest launch from Fujifilm makes a good choice for first-time buyers looking to take a step up from their smartphones
audley Jarvis finds out if Fujifilm’s latest launch is a good choice for firsttime buyers
The X-A5 succeeds the X-A3 that was released towards the end of 2016 as the entry point to Fujifilm’s X-series mirrorless range. Primarily designed to appeal to video bloggers and casual photographers looking to take their first step up from the camera that’s on their smartphone, the X-A5 is a compact and stylish mirrorless camera that’s generously featured yet easy to use.
The X-A5 is built around a newly developed 24.2MP APS- C CMOS sensor that, as with the X-A3 before it, employs the traditional Bayer colour pixel array rather than the proprietary X-Trans pixel array found in more advanced Fujifilm mirrorless cameras higher up the range. The main difference between the X-A5’s sensor and the otherwise similar 24.2MP chip fitted to the X-A3 is that the new sensor benefits from the addition of phase- detection technology. The X-A5 also benefits from a ‘newly developed image-processing engine’ and although Fujifilm hasn’t given it an actual name, it’s most likely to be an enhanced version of what was found inside the X-A3. Either way, Fujifilm claims that the new processor is 1.5x faster than its predecessor.
While the X-A5’s hybrid autofocus system isn’t quite as advanced as those found on more expensive Fujifilm cameras such as the X-T20 and X- E3, it’s certainly a step up from the X-A3. The new system employs a total of 91 AF points arranged in a 13x7 rectangular grid, including a central block of 35 phase- detection points. By way of comparison, the X-A3 provides 77 AF points, all of which are of the contrast- detect variety. You can select from single-point AF, zone AF (using blocks of 9, 15, or 63 points), plus a wide AF mode that employs all 91 points and which can be used for tracking moving subjects. Focus modes, meanwhile, extend to AF-S, AF- C and manual focus, with additional Face/Eye priority options for easy portraiture.
Exposure modes include the standard quartet of program, aperture-priority, shutter-priority and manual modes (PASM), along with a fully automatic Advanced Scene Recognition mode whose accuracy Fujifilm claims has been improved over the X-A3. These are backed up by 18 individual Advanced Filter effects and 10 individual scene modes – a number
The new XC 15-45mm lens is impressively sharp for a kit zoom Fujifilm XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ, 1/400sec at f/8, ISO 200