High-end pocketable compacts roundup (2013)
12MP 2/3" X-Trans CMOS II sensor | 25-100mm equiv. F1.8-4.9 lens | Built-in Wi-Fi
What we like:
- Extremely fast focusing
- Attractive out-of-camera images
- E-Fn controls work well
What we don't:
- Lens is slow at telephoto
- Small rear buttons
- Clickless lens dial
The Fujifilm XQ1 is a small camera which hides plenty of features inside its unassuming metal shell. Most importantly it has Fujifilm's 2/3" X-Trans CMOS II sensor, which incorporates phase detection for fast autofocus, and is larger than those found in most other cameras in this class (aside from Sony's RX100 and RX100 II).
"The XQ1 is strikingly fast, even in low light."
The XQ1 is strikingly fast, even in low light, but its tiny rear buttons and clickless lens control dial make it a rather unengaging camera to shoot with – changing settings can sometimes feel like a battle against the camera.
The lens is pretty good at the long end, but relatively weak at wide angle, where images don’t stand up too well to close examination. But in typical Fujifilm fashion, the JPEG color rendition is lovely, white balance generally well-judged (although tending towards the cool side), and high ISO image quality is pretty impressive. The in-camera RAW converter also lets you tweak your photos after they're shot – unusual in this class of camera.
Overall, if you tend to look at your pictures rather than the pixels they’re made up from, you’ll probably be more than happy with the results the XQ1 delivers.