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Fujifilm XF1: First Look

The new XF1 compact digital camera is the newest addition to the pretty awesome X-series by Fujifilm, and going by what I see, it seems to be replacing the X10 as the company’s premium digital compact. Physically, however, it seems to be a very different product altogether, looking nothing like X10 in any sense. A much more compact body, a different lens, and a very retro-style silver and leatherette body makes a very unique looking camera – love it or hate it, Fuji has come up with a pretty cool design here, I think

UPDATE: I have done a complete, hands-on review of the Fujifilm XF1 – check it out!

The XF1 is a high-end compact. Just like the X10, it’s got a high quality Fujinon lens, a large 2/3” image sensor, plenty of manual controls, and if the X10 is any thing to go by, the XF1 should be a very good performer in terms of image quality

You can get yours from Amazon if you like! – or from B&H Photo (click the banner!) If you’re thinking of buying, please use these links. Thanks!

UPDATE: Just got to know that the XF1 is Made in China. Not a big deal for me, but it might be for some people who like the “Made in Japan” tag on their premium photo gear

Image from Fujifilm

Specifications You Want To Know

  • Body Type: Compact, Magnesium Alloy
  • Resolution: 12.0 mega pixels
  • Sensor Size: 2/3”
  • Sensor Type: EXR CMOS
  • Lens: Fujinon 6.4-25.6mm f1.8-4.9 (25-100mm equivalent)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Shutter Speeds: Max 1/4000 sec, Min 30 sec
  • ISO Range: 100-3200 (expandable to 12800)
  • Video: 1080p (30fps)
  • Video Format: H.264
  • Metering Modes: Multi-area, average, spot
  • Exposure Modes: P, A, S, M, Scene, EXR, Advanced, Panorama, Custom
  • Built-In Flash: Yes
  • Flash Modes: Auto, Forced, Suppressed Flash, Slow Sync
  • Hot-Shoe: No
  • Autofocus: Contrast Detection
  • AF Modes: Multi-area, Center, Single Spot, Tracking, Continuous
  • Manual Focus: Yes
  • Macro Range: 3cm (wide)/50cm (tele)
  • Screen: 3” LCD (460k dots) fixed
  • Touchscreen: No
  • Optical/Electronic VF: No
  • Max Drive Speed: 10fps
  • File Formats: JPEG, RAW
  • Connections: USB 2.0, HDMI (mini)
  • Memory Card Type: SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Dimensions: 108 x 61 x 33mm
  • Weight: 225g (including battery)

First Thoughts

On first glance, the XF1 seems like it’s everything the X10 is, minus the bulk of the body – which I am really starting to like! It’s as compact as the Sony RX100 (the standard by which I compare awesome compacts), it’s got a pretty large sensor, plenty of features, it looks great (debatable!), and at $499, is priced significantly lower than the Sony – quite an exciting new camera, I think!

Compared with the X10 that it’s replacing, the XF1 has a lot of similarities when you go deeper than the body (which is as dissimilar as you could get). Firstly, it’s got the same sized 2/3” EXR CMOS sensor, which performed great on the X10, taking superb pictures with high dynamic range. As long as the ‘white orb’ issue or anything of the kind is avoided, the XF1’s sensor looks to be a good choice

The lens is of a similar range, although the XF1 goes a bit wider (25mm compared to the X10’s 28mm), but at 100mm, it ends up 12mm shorter than the X10’s tele end. Similarly, it’s faster than the X10 at the wide end, with a very fast f1.8, but slows down a LOT at the tele end, to a pretty ordinary f4.9. The X10 ranged from f2.0-2.8. If you’re thinking that the XF1’s speed is the same as that of the RX100, yes that’s true – but the RX100 has a sensor that’s twice as large, giving better high ISO performance as well as shallower depth of field at the same aperture. The XF1 has the same 2/3” sensor as the X10, so the slower lens will be noticeable

Without using the camera, I can’t really tell if there are any other major differences. The XF1 does away with the hot-shoe, to reduce size, I guess – it also has noticeably fewer controls than the X10, for the same reason. However, thankfully they decided to keep the lovely manual zoom ring – like the X10, the XF1 is also powered on by the zoom ring, although an extra step is involved: you need to physically pull the lens out of the body, which then takes it into standby mode – after that, turn the ring to turn the camera on, just like the X10. An elegant solution to keep the manual zoom ring, AND keep it slim. Fantastic

The looks might turn some people off, that’s the only real negative I can see from it (apart from the slow-ish lens, which might be an issue too) – I like it, but I can definitely see people not loving the two-tone look. Anyhow, it’s a striking design, good job Fujifilm


Pretty simple control layout. The interface looks clean, uncluttered, and should be great to use. Everything seems nicely spaced out, and they’ve managed to get a more useful control  layout in the same space than Sony did with the RX100

Image from Fujifilm

The top panel is super clean, and only contains: the shutter button, the mode dial, and an Fn button – as well as the flash on the opposite side

Image from Fujifilm

The back is where the rest of it all is – here you will find: a command dial, exactly like the one found on the X10 and other X-series cameras – also, there’s a Playback button, a dedicated movie button, a Display/Back button, and where you would usually find a Delete button, there’s an interesting “E-Fn” (explained later). There’s also a 4-way controller, obviously – and of course, this doubles as another control wheel. The 4-way controller can be used to control Macro, Self-Timer, Flash, and Exposure Compensation/Delete. All pretty straightforward

But if that sounds a bit minimal, here’s the clever bit: the E-Fn button. This button acts basically as a Shift key, allowing you to program an alternate setting for 6 other buttons – the Playback button, the Movie button, and the 4 directional buttons. Smart, isn’t it?

Along with the Fn button on top, that’s seven extra features you can access with the press of a single button. It’s similar to the RX100, which lets you access seven features using the Fn button – but Fuji’s solution is a bit more elegant

The front of the camera has nothing – just the zoom lens. As I already described how you turn on the camera by pulling out and turning the lens, there’s nothing much to say here

Considering the size, the control layout is fantastic. Absolutely fantastic


Having used the X10 a lot, and having had a great experience with it for the most part, especially in the performance area, I’m expecting no less from the XF1. In fact, even though it’s smaller, it’s a newer model, it’s newer technology – it should out-perform the older stuff. Turn-on speed will definitely be faster than the X10 – it has no external lens cap. From standby position, it just needs a little twist to turn on, and then seems to take just under 2 seconds to be ready for the first shot. Excellent. If the lens is pushed in, and you need to pull it out first, it’ll probably take you an extra second. Still very fast

AF speed and accuracy was fantastic on the X10 – I’d expect the same, or faster, from the XF1. Shooting speeds, rated at 10fps, is faster than the X10’s 7fps (at full resolution) – very impressive

So all in all, I’m expecting a performance similar to that of the X10, and hopefully surpassing it in ways. I doubt I’ll be disappointed


The X10 was a great camera, although it was flawed. The XF1, however, seems to be a worthy successor and a fantastic addition to the wonderful X-series by Fujifilm. If I had to take the X10 and dream up an improvement, I would’ve ended up with something very similar to the XF1. It’s super compact, it’s got a very cool design, superb control layout, that clever manual zoom ring/power on setup – the only thing different I would’ve dreamt up is been a 1” sensor similar to the RX100’s or something larger than the one it’s got. But then it would’ve been a perfect camera (on paper at least), and those don’t exist! (even on paper!)

So although it doesn’t quite dethrone the RX100 as the King of Compacts (yes, that IS my opinion!) it comes very close, and I’d say it replaces Fuji’s own X10 as the second-best compact available today. Smart design, all the features you’d want, in a very compact body – the only “if” would be if you personally like how it looks. If you do, I recommend you check this out…it seems to be a real beauty

However, as I said before, I’m going to be a bit wary when buying new Fuji products, as all their new stuff, namely the X-series, being beautiful as they are, have some sort of flaw. I’d wait for full reviews to be out before I can really recommend this camera – but on first sight it made a great impression! I’d love to do a full review on this camera, so if Fuji or anyone else would be so kind to get me one just to use for a week, I’d have a review up in no time!

Thanks for reading. If you want, you can get your own Fuji XF1 here from Amazon, or here, at B&H Photo. Yes, I do get a commission if you do, so please buy from my links! Until next time

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By Heshan Jayakody
All text content is my own - all images from Fujifilm

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4 Responses to “Fujifilm XF1: First Look”

  1. this is a very exciting new product, isnt it? very pleased to see this X series continuing like it began!

    Posted by Tom Cooper | October 15, 2012, 15:13
    • Yes it is! If I hadn’t had my hands on the Sony RX100, i’d have been all over this camera in a heartbeat. Like i said, i feel it’s gonna replace the Fuji X10 as the next best compact on the market

      Posted by pixelogist | October 15, 2012, 15:17


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