Friday, 31 January 2014

Fujifilm XQ1 review

Fujifilm XQ1 review

Want a premium, pint-sized digital compact camera that takes excellent photos and fits in a pocket? Check out our Fujifilm XQ1 review

Compact cameras are getting more feature-packed than ever in order to offer an effective alternative to the smartphone. The Fujifilm XQ1, which is the brand's smallest retro designed X series camera to date and falls into the category of premium compact camera, is no exception.

A pocket-sized thing of diminutive beauty in either black or silver body, it's a near identical size match for competing devices, including the Canon PowerShot S120 and Panasonic LF1, even if it does omit the latter's teeny eye-level viewfinder. It is, however, cheaper than the Canon, with the Fuji retailing for a manufacturer's suggested £349.99.

The Fuji XQ1 featurest a 12-megapixel resolution from a 2/3-inch CMOS sensor, double the size of the chips in your standard £150 point-and-shoot. Lens spec is also a cut above the norm - though a match for its rivals - in offering a bright/fast f/1.8 maximum aperture (the lower the number, the greater the amount of light allowed in by the lens).

Indeed this camera lets more light in than most; the majority of pocket zoom cameras offer a maximum f/3.5 aperture. This partly ensures that the image stabilised Fuji can cope with handheld shots in failing light, as well as providing shallow depth of field effects at its widest setting for more interesting portraiture.

In short we can do a bit more with the XQ1 than your standard credit card-sized snapper, and it looks good too. Focal range in 35mm equivalent terms stretches from a wide 25mm to 100mm at maximum zoom, and the camera comes with the failsafe of a manually activated pop-up flash neatly incorporated into its chassis.

Attendant features of note are a blink and you'll miss it 0.06-second auto focus, up to 12fps continuous shooting, Light sensitivity settings ranging from ISO100-12800, plus a Wi-Fi button for sharing pictures with a smartphone via Fuji's Camera Application app.

Even though this is one of the more affordable options in its premium class, we still have the ability to shoot maximum quality Raw files plus regular JPEGs, and, naturally Full HD video clips.

Fast, well built, and with a bright lens and a bigger than average sensor the XQ1 looks good on paper. So how does it fare in practice?

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