Why so little fanfare for the X-A1?

Started 9 months ago | Questions
forpetessake
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Re: Why so little fanfare for the X-A1?
In reply to Davidgilmour, 9 months ago

Davidgilmour wrote:

CAcreeks wrote:

I am not used to this. Lately, Fuji has pre-announced products that turn out disappointing in some way, later somewhat fixed by firmware update, introduction of a replacement model, or in the case of the X10, sensor replacement.

This time the X-A1 suddenly appeared at a very appealing price and seemingly without any major flaws.

The X-A1 is one of the more interesting cameras in recent years. Weight and size are similar to M43. Unlike the Nikon-1 and EOS-M, it seems like a serious product. Unlike NEX almost all lenses (so far) are good or excellent. Lightroom can support it easily and well.

Was the X-A1 just an afterthought, or an end-run around the X-Trans engineering team?

A lot of people who paid $ 1,600+ for a X-Pro body probably are not amused to see a (effectively) $349 body give the same (or even slightly better) IQ....

Yep, the critics clearly displayed the psychological issues, rather than evaluating cameras on their technical merits. The list of the issues that cloud cognitive thinking is pretty long: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buyer_decision_processes#Cognitive_and_personal_biases_in_decision_making

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Absolutic
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Re: Why so little fanfare for the X-A1?
In reply to CAcreeks, 9 months ago

CAcreeks wrote:

The X-A1 is one of the more interesting cameras in recent years. Weight and size are similar to M43.

That is true.  I have X-A1 sitting on my shelf next to X100 and next to Panasonic G5, and X-A1 looks truly tiny.  It is very light and when you carry it, you don't even know its there.   Can't wait for my 35/1.4 to arrive (probably tomorrow).     I don't have Sony NEX anymore (I used to own NEX 5n and NEX 7) but from memory XA1 feels smaller than even NEX 5n.

One thing it is that it is so small that at first I thought the grip was not comfortable.  However, I installed the thumb grip in the hotshoe and now it is much more comfortable to hold!

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Buttons252
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Re: Why so little fanfare for the X-A1?
In reply to Red5TX, 9 months ago

I lived without a viewfinder for a long time.  Its not essential to me, but its darn nice to have.

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WT Jones
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Re: Why so little fanfare for the X-A1?
In reply to forpetessake, 9 months ago

forpetessake wrote:

WT Jones wrote:

bowportes wrote:

As a long time photography aficianado though, it's difficult for me to take any camera without a viewfinder too seriously.

I very much feel the same way. It was one of the things that attracted me to the system from the start was the viewfinders as well as the old school manual controls & aperture rings.

Frankly, Fuji just like every other large company couldn't care less what "photography aficianados (sic) " may think, they care about the sales, and it's not a secret that cameras with only LCDs are quite popular. Many of those people prefer having a large tilting screen experience to looking through a keyhole experience.

Petessake, I do not follow you here. If what you say is true, then why did Fuji go through the time & expense of building the Hybrid viewfinder? Obviously someone at Fuji must have thought it to be a good idea for sales or they would not have done it. And the also must think something of what we think as they are being good about incorporating changes suggested by the user base, i.e. photography aficionados . Some of the other large companies don't do even seem to listen.

And of course some people could give a rats behind about about a viewfinder. I have a 30 year old daughter that could care less, her camera is an i-phone. does that make her wrong? Hell no! Nor does my love of a good viewfinder make me wrong.

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Warren

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bowportes
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Re: Why so little fanfare for the X-A1?
In reply to CAcreeks, 9 months ago

CAcreeks wrote:

You forgot to mention in-camera panorama stitching (10).

Of your drawbacks, the only ones that seem important to me are the second dial (1-2), exposure/focus lock (4), and histogram (5).

I seldom use manual focus, would never use aperture ring, am happy with just LCD, hate B&W, and think metal construction is overkill in a camera body that will be outmoded in a few years.

Cameras that cost over $1000 are just not in the cards for me.

bowportes wrote:

The X-M1 and X-A1 ... both lack:

1. a shutter speed dial

2. a dedicated exposure compensation dial (on the X-M1 and X-A1 the "exposure compensation" dial becomes a "shutter speed" dial in Manual exposure mode

3. a physical button for shifting from Auto to Manual focus

4. a physical Auto exposure/focus Lock button

5. The ability to see the histogram on the screen (on my X-M1, the histogram can be seen only in image review / playback mode)

6. An aperture ring on the lenses that are sold with the camera

7. Perhaps most importantly, a viewfinder. The M1 and A1 don't even make provision for an accessory viewfinder

8. Black and white filter simulations (among the films) as well as the Pro Negative "film" options

9. Metal construction.

I use manual focus quite frequently, love the aperture ring, like B&W variations, hope to use a camera body for many years, and use the LCD only when shooting from waste level (or lower) from above my head, or from on a tripod -- i.e. in cases where it is difficult to put a camera to your eye.

Even for reviewing photos in camera, I find the EVF to be far superior.  Some of it, I think, is a matter of focus. When you use the EVF, you see nothing but your image.  When you look at the LCD, everything else in front of you  is visible.  Each to his own.

I thought I would enjoy an Oly EPL5 because it had the same highly touted image quality as the Oy EM5, but I didn't enjoy visualizing images at all with just the LCD, and so hardly ever used it.  The XM1/A1 LCD is better, but you have to boost its gain to see it well in bright sunlight, and when you do, anything that is off-white or light cream color looks pure white, giving the impression of blown highlights. The LCD also displays more exaggerated contrast than you see in an EVF or OVF, making me feel like I must dial down the Highlights and Shadows setting.  Afterward, when I see the image on a computer, I  realize that the contrast in the photo was nothing like what I saw on the camera's LCD.

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bowportes
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Re: Why so little fanfare for the X-A1?
In reply to forpetessake, 9 months ago

forpetessake wrote:

WT Jones wrote:

bowportes wrote:

As a long time photography aficianado though, it's difficult for me to take any camera without a viewfinder too seriously.

I very much feel the same way. It was one of the things that attracted me to the system from the start was the viewfinders as well as the old school manual controls & aperture rings.

Frankly, Fuji just like every other large company couldn't care less what "photography aficianados (sic) " may think, they care about the sales, and it's not a secret that cameras with only LCDs are quite popular. Many of those people prefer having a large tilting screen experience to looking through a keyhole experience.

Actually, most micro four-thirds cameras that have gone that route at least have the option of an add-on viewfinder for outdoor shooting.

Do you have a problem with the word "aficionado" or just with my misspelling it?  I'm glad you enjoy your "large tilting screen experience" (sic); I'll keep my keyhole one.

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bowportes
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Re: Why so little fanfare for the X-A1?
In reply to Absolutic, 9 months ago

Absolutic wrote:

CAcreeks wrote:

The X-A1 is one of the more interesting cameras in recent years. Weight and size are similar to M43.

That is true. I have X-A1 sitting on my shelf next to X100 and next to Panasonic G5, and X-A1 looks truly tiny. It is very light and when you carry it, you don't even know its there. Can't wait for my 35/1.4 to arrive (probably tomorrow). I don't have Sony NEX anymore (I used to own NEX 5n and NEX 7) but from memory XA1 feels smaller than even NEX 5n.

One thing it is that it is so small that at first I thought the grip was not comfortable. However, I installed the thumb grip in the hotshoe and now it is much more comfortable to hold!

It is easier to hold with the 35mm or the 27mm than with the 18-55mm.  The latter almost requires two hands.  Don't know about the thumb brace...  but somehow the idea of bracing against the hotshoe (structurally) seems like it could lead to problems.  I guess they know what they are doing.

Anyway, I'm sure it would work better with an X-M1 than an X-A1.

(just kidding)

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CAcreeks
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Re: Fuji execs surprised?
In reply to jwalker019, 9 months ago

Sorry to mark this first reply as the answer, but I think John sums it up nicely.

Not just lack of fanfare here on DPreview - Fuji did not even pre-announce the X-A1 by more than a week (?) and it appeared for sale in the USA before its official release date. Morever the product page on Fujifilm's website is very understated.

http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/x/fujifilm_x_a1/

The sample images look like they expect mostly moms to buy it. Beautiful clouds in the landscapes even at DR 100!

jwalker019 wrote:

I think Fuji themselves may have been surprised at how well it tested and compares to the X-M1, et al, from an image quality perspective. I think it was *meant* to be the "little brother", but I suspect it will begin cannibalizing sales from the X-M1 ("big brother"), for a start.

Perhaps they're not ready to acknowledge their miscalculation and thus are keeping it a bit quiet, not wanting to admit the pricier alternatives are no bargain.

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vrot01
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Re: Why so little fanfare for the X-A1?
In reply to Davidgilmour, 9 months ago

Davidgilmour wrote:

CAcreeks wrote:

I am not used to this. Lately, Fuji has pre-announced products that turn out disappointing in some way, later somewhat fixed by firmware update, introduction of a replacement model, or in the case of the X10, sensor replacement.

This time the X-A1 suddenly appeared at a very appealing price and seemingly without any major flaws.

The X-A1 is one of the more interesting cameras in recent years. Weight and size are similar to M43. Unlike the Nikon-1 and EOS-M, it seems like a serious product. Unlike NEX almost all lenses (so far) are good or excellent. Lightroom can support it easily and well.

Was the X-A1 just an afterthought, or an end-run around the X-Trans engineering team?

A lot of people who paid $ 1,600+ for a X-Pro body probably are not amused to see a (effectively) $349 body give the same (or even slightly better) IQ....

No regrets... X-A1is only available with a kit lens I don't want for $600... That's no bargain without an OVF or EVF... And the menu driven controls... Not to mention the 1.5 yr of use with the X-Pro1... Everyone should know by now that cameras get better and cheaper as time marches on...

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Damon Joyce
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Re: Why so little fanfare for the X-A1?
In reply to Al Valentino, 9 months ago

Al Valentino wrote:

WT Jones wrote:

bowportes wrote:

As a long time photography aficianado though, it's difficult for me to take any camera without a viewfinder too seriously.

I very much feel the same way. It was one of the things that attracted me to the system from the start was the viewfinders as well as the old school manual controls & aperture rings.

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Warren

same here. In a nutshell, no viewfinder, no sale!

Yea, all those medium format and large format cameras without eyepiece viewfinders are for total n00bs

You do have to admit that composing with an LCD is very similar to composing with a TLR.

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photo perzon
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But X100 is only 1 ounce different than X-A1/M1 with 27mm
In reply to Absolutic, 9 months ago

Absolutic wrote:

CAcreeks wrote:

The X-A1 is one of the more interesting cameras in recent years. Weight and size are similar to M43.

That is true. I have X-A1 sitting on my shelf next to X100 and next to Panasonic G5, and X-A1 looks truly tiny. It is very light and when you carry it, you don't even know its there. Can't wait for my 35/1.4 to arrive (probably tomorrow). I don't have Sony NEX anymore (I used to own NEX 5n and NEX 7) but from memory XA1 feels smaller than even NEX 5n.

One thing it is that it is so small that at first I thought the grip was not comfortable. However, I installed the thumb grip in the hotshoe and now it is much more comfortable to hold!

15 vs 16 ounces.  The X-A1 is very small, m4/3 small.  Makes it social for gatherings.  The X100 surpiringly light.

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HB1969
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Re: Why so little fanfare for the X-A1?
In reply to baobob, 9 months ago

baobob wrote:

I belong to that cohort yes 1600$ and now....

But with the different EOS series it's about the same

They start with xxD then they release the xxxD model at half the price....

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Experience comes from bad judgment

That's exactly right. I bought the 300D (the first of the xxxD models). It was under $2000 (a bargin in the early days of consumer dSLRs); it's sensor was identical to the 10D except that some of the firmware features were crippled. Canon's philosophy was to offer a number of camera's at different price points to appeal to anyones budget. Fuji is doing the same thing except that nothing is "crippled" or left out of the firmware of the budget models compared to the higher end models.

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CAcreeks
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Re: Why so little fanfare for the X-A1?
In reply to HB1969, 9 months ago

HB1969 wrote:

That's exactly right. I bought the 300D (the first of the xxxD models). It was under $2000 (a bargin in the early days of consumer dSLRs); it's sensor was identical to the 10D except that some of the firmware features were crippled. Canon's philosophy was to offer a number of camera's at different price points to appeal to anyones budget. Fuji is doing the same thing except that nothing is "crippled" or left out of the firmware of the budget models compared to the higher end models.

Do you think in-camera panorama stitching, available on the X-P1 and X-E1, but not on the X-M1 and X-A1, was intentionally removed to "cripple" the low-end models?

Wow, 10D goes way back.

At first I thought you meant the D10, a classic waterproof camera. Interesting that the 10D is totally forgotten in the mists of history, but the D10 lives on.

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rusticus
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Re: Why so little fanfare for the X-A1? is OK
In reply to CAcreeks, 9 months ago

CAcreeks wrote:

The X-A1 is one of the more interesting cameras in recent years

No, probably not. It is too small and the lenses then ugly

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HB1969
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Re: Why so little fanfare for the X-A1?
In reply to CAcreeks, 9 months ago

CAcreeks wrote:

HB1969 wrote:

That's exactly right. I bought the 300D (the first of the xxxD models). It was under $2000 (a bargin in the early days of consumer dSLRs); it's sensor was identical to the 10D except that some of the firmware features were crippled. Canon's philosophy was to offer a number of camera's at different price points to appeal to anyones budget. Fuji is doing the same thing except that nothing is "crippled" or left out of the firmware of the budget models compared to the higher end models.

Do you think in-camera panorama stitching, available on the X-P1 and X-E1, but not on the X-M1 and X-A1, was intentionally removed to "cripple" the low-end models?

Wow, 10D goes way back.

At first I thought you meant the D10, a classic waterproof camera. Interesting that the 10D is totally forgotten in the mists of history, but the D10 lives on.

Are you saying I'm old

Didn't know that the X-M1 and X-A1 didn't have panorama stiching so I guess I'll have to retract my comment about fuji not leaving anything out in the lower end models.

As for the Canon 10D/300D- There was a hack for the 300D to unlock all the crippled features but I was never game to try it. If panorama stitching is mearly disabled on the lower end fuji models, someone may come up with a similar hack but my guess would be that it's not in the firmware.

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AustinB
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Re: Why so little fanfare for the X-A1?
In reply to CAcreeks, 9 months ago

CAcreeks wrote:

This time the X-A1 suddenly appeared at a very appealing price and seemingly without any major flaws.

The camera is interesting. As a person who is interested in Fuji though, I'll wait for the same benefits in a camera that has a viewfinder.

The X-A1 is one of the more interesting cameras in recent years. Weight and size are similar to M43. Unlike the Nikon-1 and EOS-M, it seems like a serious product.

I have a V1, it's an excellent camera. Monikers like "serious product" don't do much for me. I suppose you mean the sensor, but for a person like me serious means a viewfinder (V1), PDAF ability or very fast CDAF (V1, M43) and great IQ (not so much V1, although good enough. X-A1 wins obviously).

Unlike NEX almost all lenses (so far) are good or excellent. Lightroom can support it easily and well.

This is true. The ability to process RAW files in LR, which is familiar, is a good thing. Fuji IQ is top notch no doubt, king of mirrorless. But to answer your question, people probably don't take it seriously because all that it brings to the table will soon be brought by cameras with more direct controls and a nice VF.

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Davidgilmour
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Re: Why so little fanfare for the X-A1?
In reply to CAcreeks, 9 months ago

CAcreeks wrote:

HB1969 wrote:

That's exactly right. I bought the 300D (the first of the xxxD models). It was under $2000 (a bargin in the early days of consumer dSLRs); it's sensor was identical to the 10D except that some of the firmware features were crippled. Canon's philosophy was to offer a number of camera's at different price points to appeal to anyones budget. Fuji is doing the same thing except that nothing is "crippled" or left out of the firmware of the budget models compared to the higher end models.

Do you think in-camera panorama stitching, available on the X-P1 and X-E1, but not on the X-M1 and X-A1, was intentionally removed to "cripple" the low-end models?

This is not a crippled firmware issue but most likeky a hardware issue. Fuji left out some stuff to make the camera smaller.

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CAcreeks
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Re: Why so little fanfare for the X-A1?
In reply to Davidgilmour, 9 months ago

Davidgilmour wrote:

Do you think in-camera panorama stitching, available on the X-P1 and X-E1, but not on the X-M1 and X-A1, was intentionally removed to "cripple" the low-end models?

This is not a crippled firmware issue but most likeky a hardware issue. Fuji left out some stuff to make the camera smaller.

That is hard to believe.

I have in-camera panorama stitching on my F750EXR, and had it on my F550EXR until the camera got flooded. These models are very small, not much larger than an iPhone, which has in-phone panorama stitching.

This is an important feature for me.

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CAcreeks
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Re: Why so little fanfare for the X-A1?
In reply to AustinB, 9 months ago

AustinB wrote:

I have a V1, it's an excellent camera. Monikers like "serious product" don't do much for me. I suppose you mean the sensor, but for a person like me serious means a viewfinder (V1), PDAF ability or very fast CDAF (V1, M43) and great IQ (not so much V1)...

In my view the Nikon 1 lens lineup is not good enough, especially for telephoto. Especially given fast AF it would be a good birding camera, if it had appropriate lenses.

Dynamic range is poor, especially with all the blown highlights. Can't see the sense in Nikon 1 models when my EXR P&S does a better job of preserving highlights. I have been visiting the Nikon 1 forum and find this problem to be a show-stopper for me.

Maybe I'll be an AW1 nonetheless...

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AustinB
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Re: Why so little fanfare for the X-A1?
In reply to CAcreeks, 9 months ago

The 30-110 is an excellent lens, sharp at most apertures.

Dynamic range is not the best, it's a small sensor after all. Try one out, you may end up liking it, like myself and the rest of the skeptics of the system.

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