Is the X-A1 the right camera for me?

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
virgil1612
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Re: Is the X-A1 the right camera for me?
In reply to bimbert84, 8 months ago

bimbert84 wrote:

After weeks of research I think I've finally narrowed my choices to the Fujifilm X-A1. I'd like to know whether or not you think I've made the right decision.

I'm not a photographer, rather I want to take pictures for the sake of preserving memories, so it'll be mostly (grown-up) family members, the lazy cat, vacations, and the occasional nature walk. But I want them to look good, and in particular, I want them to look good when they're taken inside the house. I'd like to learn more about photography as I go, but no doubt this camera will see its share of full auto use, and I'd prefer something that produces good jpegs straight OOC.

My priorities, in order, are:

1) Non-DSLR.

2) Good low-light performance, meaning low-noise indoor stills without a flash. I hate noise. I hear people talking about smudging and loss-of-detail when it comes to NR, but to be honest, I can't see that. All I see is the noise.

3) Ability to produce shallow DOF.

4) Tilting or articulating screen.

5) $500-600 range.

Originally I was looking at high-end compacts, but quickly realized that #2, #3, and #4 exist together only at extremely high prices. So I started looking at bigger sensors in CSCs, but the ones in my price range seem seem to suffer on #2. My favorite amongst the m43s is the Panny G6, but most of the sample pics I've seen were taken outdoors, and those that weren't are quite noisy. This tells me a fast lens would be needed as well (or would it?), catapulting the price into the $1000 range.

So I started looking at even bigger sensors. A couple days ago I found the X-A1, which to me looks like I might've struck gold. All the sample pics I've seen are clean up through ISO 12800, which means that even with the kit lens, it'll meet my needs. My only concerns are reports of "slow" autofocus. I'm wondering if somebody can put "slow" into context for me. Does the X-A1 fail to focus, or does it just take a while? How long is a while? 5 seconds? 2 seconds? 1/2 second? I'm coming from a Panny TZ3, which is a 2007 vintage small-sensor point-and-shoot that was quite snappy for its time. How does "slow" on the X-A1 compare to something like that?

There's also the problem of Fuji's too strong noise reduction. There is a thread dedicated to X-A2 (but with examples of X-A1). At high-ISO skin becomes waxy . I don't intend to reopen the discussion here but the OP should be aware of the issue. There is a group of people that find this acceptable even desirable. There is another group of people finding this unacceptable. You should decide for yourself where you stand.

With the 35mm f/1.4 you shouldn't get into those high ISOs and your jpeg people photos should be good.

If you're willing to shoot RAW your people photos should be excellent at any ISO.

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