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Fujifilm XQ1 First Impressions Review

October 2013 | By Andy Westlake
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Based on a pre-production Fujifilm XQ1

The 'enthusiast compact' sector has rather exploded in recent years, with every major manufacturer now offering models which offer photographer-friendly manual controls and Raw format recording. In general these cameras fall into two distinct types - relatively large, chunky cameras with fast lenses and flash hot shoes, and smaller, externally-simpler 'shirt pocket' cameras. This latter category was for a while dominated by Canon's S-series like the latest Powershot S120, but was last year completely shaken up by the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 with its much larger, high resolution 1"-type 20MP sensor.

Fujifilm also entered this market last year, with the XF1 - a beautifully-designed, but distinctly quirky camera with a manual zoom ring and lens retraction mechanism. We loved its combination of striking good looks and photographer-friendly controls, but it appears to have struggled to make much of a market impact in the face of all the buzz that surrounded the RX100. So this year Fujifilm is trying again, but with the much-more-conventional XQ1.

The XQ1 is, in terms of design, determinedly mainstream, and in many ways it's as unlike the XF1 as chalk and cheese. It's dressed in a sober single-color body shell, either black or silver, and uses a now-common round-lens control ring, which rotates freely without click-stops like the RX100's. The XF1's mechanical zoom ring is replaced by an utterly conventional lever around the shutter release. Overall, the XQ1 looks just like its main competitors.

Fujifilm XQ1 key features

  • 12MP 2/3" X-Trans CMOS II sensor
  • ISO 100-12800, customizable Auto ISO (max and min ISO, minimum shutter speed)
  • 25-100mm equivalent, F1.8-4.9 lens with optical image stabilization (3 stops benefit)
  • Lens control ring (click-less)
  • Full manual control, Raw format recording
  • 3" 920k dot LCD
  • Full HD movie recording with built-in stereo microphones
  • Film simulation modes for different color and monochrome 'looks'
  • In-camera Raw conversion, with all in-camera processing parameters adjustable
  • 'Advanced Filters' image-processing controls, previewed live on-screen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for image sharing to smartphone, tablet or computer
  • 'Focus peaking' display for manual focus
  • In-camera battery charging via Micro USB port

The XQ1 is far from all-new though - dig into the specs and you'll find it has exactly the same 25-100mm equivalent lens as the XF1. This offers a headline-grabbing F1.8 maximum aperture at the wide end, but a less-impressive F4.9 at telephoto. It uses the same 2/3" type X-Trans CMOS II sensor as the Fujifilm X20, which employs a novel color filter array and no optical low-pass filter in an attempt to deliver more detail than its 12MP pixel count might at first suggest. The sensor also incorporates phase-detection pixels for fast autofocus - and this means that the XQ1 is startlingly quick.

On the back the XQ1 sports a large, high resolution 920k dot 3" LCD, and fills the remaining space with buttons to give direct access to commonly-used functions. Crucially, it retains one of our favorite features of the XF1, the 'E-Fn' button that accesses a further of range of functions (which the user can choose to suit their needs). We'll cover this later, but suffice to say it makes the XQ1 one of the most photographer-friendly small cameras around.

It comes in silver or black

The XQ1 will come in a choice of colors - a rather white-ish silver, or a purposeful-looking matte black. One point of note is that the black finish is distinctly textured, making this distinctly small camera less slippery in your hand than most of its peers. The silver version, in contrast, is noticeably smoother. The XQ1 will go on sale in November 2013, at a suggested retail price of $499 / £349.99.

Sensor sizes compared

The diagram below compares the size of the XQ1's 2/3" sensor to those in its nearest competitors - in general larger sensors potentially offer better image quality. The XF1's sensor is half the size of that found in the (rather more expensive) Sony RX100 (II), but it's about half as large again as the Canon S120's.

The XQ1's 2/3" sensor is half the area of the Sony RX100 II's 1" sensor, but about 50% larger than the Canon S120's 1/1.7" sensor.

Variation of maximum aperture with focal length

The XQ1's headline maximum aperture of F1.8 only applies at wide-angle, and like the Canon S120 and Sony RX100, the lens is much slower at the telephoto end. The table below shows the maximum aperture at each of the focal lengths on the on-screen virtual 'zoom ring' (as 35mm equivalents):

Equiv Focal Length
25mm
35mm
50mm
60mm
80mm
100mm
Max aperture
F1.8
F3.6
F4.2
F4.7
F4.9
F4.9

One point worthy of note here is how rapidly the maximum aperture diminishes as you zoom in; it's dropped by fully two stops at 35mm (equivalent). Other similar cameras tend to keep their maximum apertures faster in this intermediate range.

Enthusiast compacts: lenses, sensors and background blur

One real complication when comparing cameras with different sensor sizes is due to the interplay between sensor size and maximum aperture. A camera with a large sensor, but relatively small aperture lens may not necessarily outperform a camera with a smaller sensor but larger aperture lens, particularly with regard to low light performance and the ability to blur backgrounds - something often claimed in manufacturers' marketing materials.

One way of addressing this is to compare 'equivalent' apertures. In much the same way as equivalent focal lengths can be used to directly compare angle of view, equivalent apertures can be used to compare the lens's ability to blur backgrounds in any given shooting situation (a larger aperture will blur backgrounds more, at any given focal length). They can also be used as an indicator of how cameras are likely to compare in terms of low-light image quality, although plenty of other factors complicate this too (including lens quality, image stabilization effectiveness, and image processing, etc). In the graph below, the lower the line, the better the camera is likely to be for low-light image quality and blurring backgrounds, at any given equivalent focal length.

The XQ1 is shown by the darker of the two green lines on this graph. In this comparison it's ahead of the Canon S120 (orange), although not by all that much, but it's distinctly behind the Sony RX100 (dark blue). But its relatively small maximum aperture means that overall it also lags behind compact cameras with lenses which are consistently fast through the range, such the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7. In essence this is a consequence of its truly pocketable design.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2012 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Comments

Total comments: 162
12
Timmbits

hey wait a minute! did Fuji pay for this preview???

I mean, it says: "In short, it ticks all the right boxes." right after we find out it has no viewfinder OR tilting screen, will only take a little over 200 shots on a charge, looks plain like a canon (and no handgrip), removes some of the nice controls that set Fuji apart (because a few didn't like them), and is made in China (probably the reason why it has cheaper energy-hungry circuits)!

I wanted to like this thing... small size, larger sensor than most, reasonable lens and zoom... but I'm starting to agree with some who say this was just thrown together in haste.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Timmbits

ps: not to mention that it being $200 less than a camera that is $200 overpriced* hardly constitutes value!

* (referring to the $200 Sony label slapped onto another chinese product)

Fuji: drop the price by $200 at introduction, and it will sell, or step aside out of this market segment.

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
robogobo

Why is APS-C now considered "standard"?

It's not standard for Compacts. It's not standard for DSLR.

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Timmbits

yes it is! the majority of nikon (d3200, d5300, d7100) and canon dslrs, many fuji (x100s, xpro1, xe1, xm1, xe2), are all apsc.
they are by far the largest volume in good* cameras.
FF sales are much less in terms of unit sales, although they are better.
*obviously $100 small sensor cameras sell in higher volumes, but they don't qualify as good in comparison.
and looking at mirrorless, canon is headed towards apsc, sony is already on apsc, nikon may drop the 1" and go apsc as well, samsung is on apsc, while panoly are mft.
sony is also going FF in mirrorless, but that is to be expected, because arguably, eventually, they'll all be without a mirrorbox eventually.
and BTW, there are mirrorless IL cameras that are the same size as this "compact" Fuji x20. (canon eom, samsung nx300, with pancake lenses)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Jennyhappy2

Looks like a step up from the Canon S120 for someone who wants something smaller than than the RX100 and start at 25mm.

1 upvote
Timmbits

most any of the enthusiast compacts would be a step up from the s120 because of the larger sensors. a shot in the dark will get you a better camera assured.

0 upvotes
aerorail

another 'rush to market, keep up with the joneses piece of junk'

1 upvote
uzevla

What is all this nonsense with comparing this camera with rx100 based on sensor?
Like sensor does miracles and shoots pictures without other parts of the system being involved and at the same time, our subjects are waiting for us...

How do you take pictures of an indoor (kids) party ?
You use rx100? How is a good sensor going to overcome 5 seconds of flash recycle time vs 1.3 on this Fuji?

How can you take a picture if it happens to be the sun behind your subject. Nd filter on rx100? Flash with sync speed of 1/200? It likely is going to be fuji with 1/1000+ shutter speed with flash on.

Zoom speed on rx100 if you need to quickly compose your pictures?

I need fast shutter for indoor/outdoor events. Many do. Rx100 is far from that.

1 upvote
Timmbits

you seem to forget the benefits of larger sensors:
many instances you'll be able to forego a flash with a larger sensor, or use a lower power on your flash, prolonging battery autonomy.
personally I prefer to shoot without a flash whenever I can.
5 secs is long though, you are right. if you do like the rx100, perhaps an external flash with it's own battery may be the solution... but I have a feeling you don't like that camera at all.

1 upvote
Eugene CH

The question is if the click-less ring will remain mechanically reliable. It could be possible the ring will rotates to easy during the years. In my opinion a click-ring would be better since the “click” itself means the ring is pressed securely in that position.

0 upvotes
sadaka

Well, this thing looks like a 1 to 1 copy of my Canon Powershot S110 but for double the price. Brilliant!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ConanFuji

It looks like my old F30.

1 upvote
rfstudio

another rip of sensor from fuji

0 upvotes
LaFonte

I briefly owned XF1 and while I didn't mind that much the quirky lens mechanism, the images from it were abysmal. Indoor was almost unusable despite its 1.8f lens.
I see this as a continuation of that trend, except it is 2x more expensive. I think for the $500 you can go much better than this... it is total nonsense to start dressing essentially basic PS cameras with a price sticker of much more powerful one.
It is like deception by price - it is expensive so it must be better.

0 upvotes
RuneMC

The enthusiast compact market may have expanded quickly, but it still is puzzling how few large sensor compacts there are to choose from.

The Sony RX100 is borderline acceptable with it's 1 inch sensor, but I would prefer an APS-C sensor size in the same compact format or preferrably even the smaller Canon S-series format.

Introducing yet another new 2/3" sensor camera does not cut it really...

2 upvotes
Northgrove

I agree. I just checked out the samples on the Fujifilm site. Photos have fallen apart utterly at ISO 1600, to the point of easily being visible even when not zooming in or anything. ISO 800 is probably borderline usable, ISO 400 looked good.

Which makes me wonder how this camera pushes anything forward at all? The X Trans sensor is clearly pressured to hard here to make any special difference.

0 upvotes
marike6

> Photos have fallen apart utterly at ISO 1600

I know the photo you are talking about, the accordion player, and I disagree. At normal viewing size, it looks great. Because it's a JPEG though, zooming in reveals NR artifacts. But similar JPEG NR artifacts are present on ALL small sensor compact INCLUDING the RX100 and the RX10. Pixel peepers should shoot RAW.

IMHO, the XQ1 samples look quite good for JPEGs, and it's a camera I'm interested in.

Clearly for many it would be a second camera, but part of what I enjoy about compacts is they force you to work to make interesting images, instead of relying on great IQ of large sensor cameras to make boring images passable. Compacts like the GRD III and X10 are some of my favorite cameras to shoot with out on the street, and the latter was quite good up to ISO 1600, even pushed a bit higher.

The key is understanding that such a small sensor simply won't equal APS-C, but images can often be quite beautiful.

6 upvotes
Timmbits

Fuji has a legacy investment in the 2/3" sensor, and although not nearly as large as the 1", and small compared to APSc, don't you think that the ones offering small 1/1.6 1/1.7 should be the focus of such criticism? They've done nothing to bring larger sensors to their obsolete-in-advance compacts. (heck, even Nikon who have the 1 system won't offer a compact with 1"!)

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
dark goob

Why not use degrees instead of "equivalent mm"? Equivalent to what? Hardly anyone (less than 5% of photographers) shoots 135 anymore. IT'S NOT 2003 ANYMORE!

Also if you used degrees then your graph's horizontal scale wouldn't be so compressed to the left and stretched out to the right.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
NetMage

How many degrees is normal? No looking up a 43mm lens!

2 upvotes
Bigheadtaco

You're right about degrees (180 deg for fisheye, 90 deg for 20mm equiv, etc.) but you know, sometimes certain standards just stick around even though it makes no sense. The term ISO for film doesn't really make sense for digital, and most users don't understand what ISO means or what it stands for, but hey, it's become the standard way to describe "digital grain"...look at the way sensor size is described. It's a mess. 1/1.7"? Most don't even know the history of APS and that it was a failed film format in the 90's. How about just diagonal distance in mm? So instead of full-frame, we say 35mm, which is the diagonal distance of the sensor. Ha ha...anyway, things change so quick now that it's hard to stick to a standard that makes sense...but good point!

2 upvotes
Timmbits

actually the sensor "size" is the diameter of the image circle made by the projection through the lens onto the film and now the sensor - the actual sensor diagonal is smaller.
iso is international standards organisation, and they just picked up the numbers from asa.
I had a German APS film camera and it took amazing pictures but not as good as 35mm, true. it wasn't as popular because it came out just before digital cameras started becoming popular just as it gained momentum in the marketplace.

true, we should use degrees! but then again, if we had degrees, we wouldn't be able to directly calculate the size of an opening based on f-stop. (ie: a 30mm lens (45mm equivalent) on APSc at f2.0 will give you an opening 15mm in diameter - measure it yourself, you'll see). from there, you can calculate the surface area and figure out exposure, etc.
by giving the lens in mm relative to 135mm just gives us a common denominator for view equivalency.

1 upvote
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Oct 25, 2013)

For guys that wanted an X10 or 20 that would fit in a shirt pocket, and the XF-1 was just a bit too wierd control-wise (manual zoom?) and too EXR, this is just the ticket, even though it obviously is not mining quite the retro vibe of the rest of the X range.

0 upvotes
LaFonte

Would work if the price was not almost like the x20 itself....
I see fuji is back at the game re-leasing the same stuff just dressed in different package and keeping the price hefty.

0 upvotes
mosc

Dear DPR: When you show equivalent apertures, you should use a logarithmic X axis.

...which will stop slamming all wide angle and standard focal length values into the fringe so we can all see a lot less of 100-200mm irrelevance.

4 upvotes
leorolim

This sounds like an excelent idea!

1 upvote
utomo99

I wish the lens is better. it drop very fast to 3.6 in 35mm.

0 upvotes
Hex144

In the equivalent aperture graph, there is something wrong with the focal length scale and/or the color traces of several cameras. For example, the LX7 should extend further up to 90 mm, the XQ1 and the RX100 up to 100 mm, and so on.

0 upvotes
mcshan

Canon has yet to followup on their larger sensor G1X. Theirsmall camera S series line has the same small sensor. They are starting to fall behind the competition. This little Fuji looks pretty good. If someone can afford it the Sony RX100 (1 or 2) would be even better. Sensor size matters. All things being equal I want a small camera with a bigger sensor. There is no way I would buy an S120 now.

5 upvotes
NetMage

The Fuji appears to be just ahead of the S120 in low light capability - probably not enough difference to justify a switch, depending in other factors. That slow aperture on zoom is really painful. The Panasonic LX-7 is a much better choice.

0 upvotes
NetMage

The Fuji appears to be just ahead of the S120 in low light capability - probably not enough difference to justify a switch, depending in other factors. That slow aperture on zoom is really painful. The Panasonic LX-7 is a much better choice.

0 upvotes
mcshan

The LX7 is not a shirt pocket camera. If someone were looking for a small shirt pocket camera the LX7 while great isn't the right choice.

1 upvote
LaFonte

The price between this and the older rx100 is not that much far apart... and trust me the rx100 would feel like 10x this fuji camera.

1 upvote
Archiver

Not so long ago, Fuji made the gorgeous Natura Black F1.9 film compact. It was a pocketable P&S with a 24mm f1.9 lens, and was aimed at people who wanted an everyday snapshot camera to document life in all lighting conditions. It was a Japan-only model, but was available throughout Asia as a grey import. I've used mine a lot, and I love the unique images it creates. Would it kill Fuji to make an aps-c digital version, if not 35mm full frame?

1 upvote
Tim39

Since your logic is overwhelming, yes, it would kill them
!!

0 upvotes
davids8560

I was talking to this homeless wino guy who hangs around downtown at the bus terminal the other night, and he says that while Fujifilm never advertised the fact, the internal workings of the XF1 are actually shielded against tachyon particle contamination from solar nanobite rays, and that there have been secret government studies that have shown repeatedly that the red XF1 in particular would be the one that would look best in your hands during a Judgment Day-Armageddon intergalactic warfare doomsday type of situation. But, see, with the XQ1, they had to trade off the nanobite particle shielding for the newer sensor, you know, to keep the MSRP in line. Then there was this whole big international controversy scandal thing where they had to try and keep that NSA Eric Snowden guy from talking about it publicly in the chat rooms of those quirky new Affordable Health Care Act web sites. Or something.

Comment edited 10 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
marike6

Thanks, I just wasted the last 15 seconds of my life reading your nonsensical comment. :-)

6 upvotes
bokeh

I heard the same thing.

1 upvote
igor_s

Looks like a modern reincarnation of my old Fuji F11. It had a 6MP 1/1.6'' (about the same as 2/3) sensor and a similar lens (no OS though). And it was far above the competition in terms of noise level.

0 upvotes
Sad Joe

Anyone else starting to get confused by Fuji and all their new cameras....?

3 upvotes
Rehabdoc

I think it's a nice camera, but it will all come down to image quality... if the image quality is top notch a la almost RX100, they would still have to price this more in the $400 range to position themselves in relation to the RX100.

RX100 made a huge splash, and I think in some ways opened up the "casual consumer's" mind to the issue sensor size in compacts.

Falling behind in terms of both MP and in terms of sensor size, this camera basically has to be SUPERIOR sensor quality to RX100 to really make any kind of big splash in this sector I think.

I might consider buying this camera, but probably at a lower price than $499. With peaking and the fast autofocus, the actual performance of this camera might be really great, and hopefully if it doesn't make a huge splash, the price will be much lower.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Northgrove

There are samples up on Fujifilm.com. The RX100 seems to clearly have a better high ISO performance as well as lens sharpness, while this camera's lens isn't very fast either. I would not recommend this camera. The X Trans sensor doesn't seem to help at all. It's like buying a year old camera for prosumer compact pricing. This one should cost $50-$100 less IMHO.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
LaFonte

The rx100 is also pretty fast in AF. Somehow I don't believe this fuji would be in the same range.

0 upvotes
Alex Moscow

Sony has proven itself with its RX100/100 II. Isn't it just a mee too thing, this new Fuji? Somewhere in the middle of the compact class...

0 upvotes
kjh7

This looks like a very nice alternative to the Canon S-Series. I liked the S-series, but after the problems i.e the 'Lens Error' , it's hard for me to trust another one whether it's the S100, 110 or 120. I think I am going to check out the Fuji XF-1 or XQ1. The sensor is also much bigger than the one in the Canon. I can pick up this camera today in my area for $400, but I will wait for a full-review and the price to go down a little before I buy.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
peevee1

"Not everyone needs a 20MP sensor in a small compact camera, and not everyone can justify its price. "

I think you can get RX100 for the same $500 now.

1 upvote
sadaka

Thc cam looks like a clone of my Canon Powershot S110. Very interesting i find...

0 upvotes
mcshan

This has a bigger sensor.

1 upvote
Samaistuin

Meh. Just that, meh.
Hardware wise, it may certainly be a good performer (for its class). But design wise, it really pales in comparison to the XF1.
For the same price, I'd take an RX100 (I) over it any day.

3 upvotes
marike6

I find the design of the QX1 at least as nice looking as the XF1, and judging from the full-sized samples on Fujifilm's website, images look far better.

The RX100 is a good camera, but even the version I is at least $100 more, quite a lot for a compact.

0 upvotes
limlh

Some sample images taken with XQ1 are up at Flickr.

0 upvotes
marike6

They are also, of course, on the Fujifilm website, and I have to say they look very nice.

http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/x/fujifilm_xq1/sample_images/

0 upvotes
SergioNevermind

So let´s say this is an X-20, same X trans sensor, without the viewfinder, without the wonderfull lens, at a similar price?

Do I get it right?

1 upvote
prime

The XF1/XQ1 lens is wonderful in its own right, It is 1-1/2 stops slower at the 100 mm end, but gives better image quality than the X10-X20 lens at that focal length; it is 1/3 stop faster than the X10-X20 lens at the 28 mm end, but the X10-X20 lens gives better image quality at wide angle. The XF1/XQ1 lens has less flare and higher light transmittance than the X10-X20 lens. Call it a stand-off.

The XQ1 is debuting at a MUCH higher price than the XF1, but the XF1 is clearly the better camera. That is the oddity with this introduction.

3 upvotes
SergioNevermind

Thanks very much for the feedback. I guess if at f 4.9 the X 20 lens equals IQ of the XQ1, then both are more or less the same, using the same sensor, no big differences.

So this camera appears as a LX7 and so on competitor. That should be the market.

Price seems high right now.

I am seriously considering an X 20 JUST because it has a viewfinder, and a competent one as the reviews tell. Can´t decide because the IQ - price relation is not the best, but it seems to be the best camera of it class with a finder.

Would appreciate some advice.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
calking

Bear in mind that the sensor features both phase and contrast detect and Fuji's new Lens Modulation Optimizer technology which wasn't mentioned in this preview but was just unveiled in the new XE-2 model. The X20 is a fine camera but it is NOT shirt-pocketable and the XQ1 has a slightly more advanced sensor.

Whether that translates to better overall versus the sony rx100 is a matter of personal preference. I like the video capability in the RX better than anything fuji has issued to date, but I don't use my XE1 for video anyway.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
prime

The "new" in "...Fuji's new Lens Modulation Technology ..." appears to be the freshly minted phrase for a technology that already existed in the XF1. The XF1's lens is only minimally corrected optically, but very highly corrected in firmware, as Tom Niemann, author of the excellent PTLens lens correction software program, has shown.

So although the technology was just unveiled for the X-E2 for interchangeable lens models of the X-series, it was already in place (without a name) on the fixed-lens XF1. What is new on the XQ1 is the NAME of the technology.

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Andy Westlake

@prime. You're talking about two different things here. Pretty well every compact camera on the market now uses software distortion correction. Most cameras automatically correct for lateral chromatic aberration too - this has been going on for years (it was first really noticed in the Panasonic LX3). Lens Modulation Optimiser is a distinctly different concept - it's about understanding the lens's other aberrations that cause 'softness' and specifically correcting for them using selective sharpening. Most notably, in principle it should give better results at small apertures.

1 upvote
prime

Mr. Westlake, I am happy to see you actively participating in this discussion. A year ago, Richard Butler, whose body of work has been exemplary, produced what DPReview has labeled a "Review" of the XF1, as part of a round-up of disparate cameras, most of which were the subject of separate in-depth reviews on DPReview. The cursory treatment given to the XF1 might be described as a "hatchet job," but I am sure it was not intentional; but one cannot conduct a serious test of a camera in 15 minutes outside on a drizzly November day in Seattle. One hopes that you will include REAL tests of the XF1 as a baseline for your full test of the XQ1.

In fact, you will find that Fujifilm introduced major changes in software lens correction between the X10 and the XF1, which came to share the same sensor. You will find that the changes made BEFORE the XF1 was introduced are MUCH more significant than the tweaks for the XQ1, and there is no "distinct different concept" between the XF1 and XQ1.

0 upvotes
prime

The XQ1 is the to the XF1 what, seven years ago, the Fujifilm F20 was to the Fujifilm F30. When it was introduced, the F30 was a category leader, and pioneer. A few months later, Fujifilm introduced the F20, which was F30 Lite, with reduced functionality, at a lower price point.

X-Trans sensor advantages kick in at larger sensor sizes. The X-Trans sensor in 2/3" size is inferior to a 2/3" EXR sensor; see the DXO dynamic range comparator (X10 vs. X20) at DR400.

Whereas the XF1 zoom can be adjusted to any focal length between 25 mm and 100 mm, the XQ1 has a stepped increment zoom control, so the XQ1 zoom lens can be set to only a limited number of focal lengths. And the tiny lever adjustment of the XQ1 will be twitchy, and overshoot intermediate focal lengths.

The battery of the older XF1 has a greater capacity than the battery of the newer XQ1.

The XQ1 is -- thus -- an XF1 Lite -- but this time at a higher price than the original model.

I predict a very dim future for the XQ1.

6 upvotes
veggiesosage

Have to say, would rather they'd just done a XF2 ie the XF1 with the X-Trans processor and minor tweeks, in the style of moving from the X10 to the X20. I was disappointed they didn't do that at the time the X20 came out.

It looks like it'll be a lovely camera, just not as pretty as the XF1. And if thinking that's a shame makes me shallow, then mea culpa.

5 upvotes
limlh

This XQ1 may well turn out to be a pocket Hercules. EXR processor II, hybrid PDAF and CAF, LMO, high definition lcd, all features that are found in the XE2.

1 upvote
limlh

A turbo charged X20 in a smaller package.

1 upvote
HENNIGArts

Yeah. I like my X20 but don't use its viewfinder and would like it a bit smaller to put it in my pocket. The XQ1 can do this. I'm wondering how good "zoom by wire" is, the Sony RX-100 zoom is to slow.

0 upvotes
utomo99

Lets wait for the real review. I hope the image quality is good, especially on low light.
If the image quality is not good, many people will not buy this

0 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS

Why so much hate? If you don't like, don't buy it! I am waiting for a "perfect camera" all my life!

1 upvote
samfan

It looks like Fuji Natura, anyone remembers that?

A few years ago I kept buying old film compact cameras because pretty much no digicam was worth it. I'm starting to like where the market is going in digicams. This one looks like something I might like.

1 upvote
Timmbits

Could someone please tell me if I understood this correctly?

They've given the XF1 a cosmetic facelift, to make it's looks closer to those of the cheap and boring Canon's s110.

Heck, in the graphic, they've even bridged the gap between the s110 and the next worse camera, so the s110 doesn't look as bad as it did before, and the previous second-worse camera now looks better.

They've kept most things the same from the XF1 - even the slow zoomed lens. They may have moved a few buttons around.

So basically, it's the same thing, but with marketing's "new and improved" stamp on it.

What do you call this thing, when someone does the same thing over and over again, but expects different results?

Their efforts (and money) would have been better spent shrinking the X20, so it's actually smaller than a mirrorless ILC (it's the size of an NX300 for God's sake!) and can have a hope of competing with the RX100 despite the smaller sensor.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Dougbm_2

It's more than that. No more zoom by manually turning the lens or start up by turning the lens. Plus xtrans etc

0 upvotes
KariIceland

Sorry, I don't know if someone has said this before but after reading this title I HAVE TO "X-Trans in your pocket: First Impressions Review of Fujifilm's XQ1 "

Is that an X-Trans in your pants or are you just happy to see me?

4 upvotes
idnab

X-Trans all the way!

0 upvotes
skytripper

Fuji is releasing too many models, if you ask me. And why do so many wi-fi implementations fail to include the most useful wi-fi feature by far: remote control of the camera from a smartphone?

9 upvotes
locke42

They need an app in order to remote control a camera from a phone. Unlike Sony and Canon, Fuji may not have the resources (yet) to develop that kind of app.

0 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf

A 15 year old develops an app! Programming does not apear to be your strong side so why comment on those questions ?

2 upvotes
OlegDulin

Yeah the app is not the most expensive component here...

0 upvotes
locke42

Somehow I doubt either of you are any more qualified to speak on the difficulty of developing an app than I am.

0 upvotes
GabrielZ

Hmmm...a bit blah then. The X-F1 was beautiful and interesting, this is just like everybody else. I can understand why Fujifilm did this, but I still don't like it.

6 upvotes
cjhwang

this one looks more functional than the XF1. I'd rather have an ugly camera that has good controls and takes good pictures, rather than have a pretty camera... If you want FORM over FUNCTION, go to Sony.

0 upvotes
Wye Photography

I would rather have a camera that looks beautiful and performs average rather than an ugly camera that performs exceptionally. Luckily, the XF-1 is all of the former and most of the latter. The DR is superb as well.

But that is just me.

2 upvotes
Yanko Kitanov

Nikon P330 costs a fraction and DxO will show how it performs better even with a smaller sensor. Period.

4 upvotes
KariIceland

Way to show your fanboyism and ignorance at the same time.

3 upvotes
Dimit

I can hardly find a single thing-not a single-to be excited with,against its competitors...for the price I mean..that's all!

1 upvote
Optimal Prime

Good lens and big sensor is the only way for compacts to justify their existence these days....

4 upvotes
rpm40

I would say that versatile zoom range (wide to decent tele), and good controls (particularly external ones) are also key differentiators when showing value over a camera phone.

12 upvotes
Timmbits

this isn't exactly a "big" sensor! better than 1/2 and 1/1.17, but by far not big. Even the small 1" sensors are twice the size of this one. But you will get nice results with this sensor size in adequate lighting.

1 upvote
Joseph Mama

Hmm. So its basically last year's RX100, with a smaller sensor. I'd have a hard time picking this up, when there are RX100s Mk1 on sale for a similar price and available now.

Still, if you discount the RX100 existence it seems to stack up pretty well vs the LX7, P330, P7800, S120, etc. Bigger sensor, similar zoom, similar price.

11 upvotes
JackM

True, as nice as the XQ1 is, it is hard to consider any compact other than the RX100, if one is at all serious about photography.

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
10 upvotes
marike6

The RX100 is still a $600 camera, and not everybody is willing to spend DSLR or m43 type money on a compact, no matter how good.

The P7800 has a VF and an articulated LCD, and the LX7 can take an optional VF both big advantages over both this new XQ1 and the RX100.

4 upvotes
ET2

"RX100 is still a $600 camera"

On Amazon yes, but you can buy them anywhere between $470 to $550 (depending on luck) from other online stores -- like ebay -- brand new sealed in the box.

4 upvotes
sbansban

"True, as nice as the XQ1 is, it is hard to consider any compact other than the RX100, if one is at all serious about photography."

If one is willing to pay for quality, what about the Nikon Coolpix A at only around 1.5 times the price of an RX100M? Otherwise, I second marike6 - from my experience the LX7 is great in decent light and in addition, S100 is amazing in low light up to ISO 160 and pretty decent up to ISO 400 - 800 with an image stabilizer that has given me blur-free shots at shutter speeds as low as 1/3 of a second in very low light!

2 upvotes
Timmbits

don't be silly! after the s120 it is the second-worse. look at the graph.
...and not even remotely last year's rx100 - it's an xf1 with a face-lift.

2 upvotes
PicOne

However, I see the XQ1 is already being discounted. On Amazon they're offering it for $.95 below retail.

0 upvotes
Joseph Mama

The Nikon Coolpix A (and Ricoh BR) are different beasts all together, lacking any zoom. As such they aren't really as valid of a comparison to enthusiast compact zooms that we are discussing.
Yes, various cameras have certain advantages but we are discussing the XQ1. To me it seems a bit "meh" for a newly released camera.

0 upvotes
Photato

This camera ticks many good boxes.
The zoom range 25-100 is pretty much all you need in a compact.
But, If I was Fuji I'd have added an optical viewfinder though, no matter how small, to differentiated it against the S120 and RX100 and extend battery life.
I had an old Fuji F700 with optical viewfinder, it was small, but great to have that option and didn't take much space.

Other possibility is to replace the zoom lens with a prime 35mm F1.8, to make it a really small and light package while increasing quality even further.
I don't think there is much competition in that area of 2/3" sensor with prime lens.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
bzanchet

Very nice camera! Looks very promissing, too bad it misses all the gorgeous retro looking...

1 upvote
Lucas_

Looks like everyone now is rushing in to the gold mine gap Sony discovered with the RX100/II! Competition is always great for consumers. Thank you Sony!

2 upvotes
JackM

Except Sony is really the only one occupying that gap. For now. Let's hope that changes. I'm hoping for a Canon SX1, or a Nikon with the 1" sensor.

4 upvotes
Kwick1

You want a Nikon with a 1" sensor? It's called the Nikon 1 system.

2 upvotes
Northgrove

Fuji won't fill that gap with this 2/3" sensor...

0 upvotes
utomo99

Good move fuji. Just make sure that the image quality are good.
Especially on low light.
By limiting to lower mp, i hope fuji can maximize the sensor. Compare to 20 Mp on rx 100

1 upvote
YiannisPP

They can maximize the sensor but it will most probably still be behind the RX100I/II in both low light and resolution and everything else except price. Somebody said they wouldn't want to pay such money for a compact camera. As if "compact" is some sort of value limiter. When it's the other way around, the camera's real value for the user is greatly enhanced when it's always in your pocket.

2 upvotes
utomo99

If this fuji xq 1 can deliver good image on 12 Mp, almost same as Rx 100 image, i believe people will buy.
But if the image quality not good enough, then may be only some people will buy

0 upvotes
DouglasGottlieb

The 2/3 sensor in a compact makes a lot of sense to me. That’s a pretty appealing little camera. But with the RX100ii coming with hotshoe, tilting screen and more capable video, it might be a tough sell. And I much prefer the XF’s style. But to me, this really exposes the X20. That camera should have gotten a bigger sensor in this round. Gorgeous and ergonomic as it is, the compact sensor in that relatively large X20 form factor no longer feels competitive. The Xtrans makes up some quality distance, but at some point, sensor size and IQ start to align. I’m eager to see a FF Fuji.

3 upvotes
DouglasGottlieb

And of course, the Sony sensor is 2x the size, albeit, for a lot more money.

1 upvote
iae aa eia

IMO, I can't see any sense about a sensor smaller than a 1" one, unless we're talking about built-in zoom compacts and phone cameras.

4 upvotes
Joseph Mama

A lot more money? This thing is 500 bucks and brand new. The old RX100 still works great and can be found on sale for under 600 consistently, usually less. Especially if bought refurbished.

3 upvotes
rpm40

If the x20 had a 1 inch sensor and was otherwise unchanged, it would be quite a feat. I'd buy one.

2 upvotes
Ocolon

I disagree about exposing the X20.

Due to its optics the X20 has notably better low light performance and depth of field control, as shown in the equivalent aperture diagram (even better than RX100 in the tele range). It also offers more external controls, such as a dedicated exposure compensation wheel, and its manual zoom is awesome. Last but not least it has an optical viewfinder – the best one in the current zoom compact camera market, actually, with an unique information overlay.

The XQ1 on the other hand is much smaller.

These are really two very different cameras. If the XQ1 can cannibalize any X20 sales, then it’s from customers who considered the X20 although it wasn’t the right camera for them anyway. XQ1 is much more similar to Sony’s RX100(ii) in my opinion.

4 upvotes
DouglasGottlieb

Good point mama. I was thinking of the RX100ii, but this really stacks up directly against the RX100 first generation -- no hot shoe or tilting screen. At comparable prices, it looks like the Sony has the edge on feature set (video in particular), but I'm betting that the Fuji will handle better and have better UI than the Sony. At this price, I'd have to consider some other cameras that are less directly comparable, but fit the "small enthusiast" category: the GM1 with 4/3 should be only a tad larger at the lens, but way more versatile and better IQ. Or the Ricoh GR, with APS-C and a fixed 28mm equivalent 2.8. Less versatile focal range, but killer feature set and IQ, and an ideal street photography companion. Of course, Ming Thein's new compact camera masterclass demonstrates pretty clearly that a good eye matters so much more than sensor size! :) For me, the new priority is handling

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
yonsarh

still use 2/3" sensor? I was a compact photographer for the last 10 years, and I am finally fed up now. I am moving to DSLR with mirror in it.

1 upvote
Joe Ogiba

Get the compact 36MP Sony A7r with compact 35mm Sonnar T FE 35mm F2.8 ZA lens for jaw dropping images.
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5522/10337184266_b6f9a37751_o.jpg

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
1 upvote
yonsarh

too expensive for FF right now, maybe I'll wait another 10 years more price dropped down for FF sensors.

0 upvotes
JackM

@Joe Ogiba - impressive example, but f/10 and studio lighting make for a hyper-ideal image, wouldn't you say?

1 upvote
rfsIII

That photo conclusively demonstrates that the A7r is way too sharp and detailed to use for portraits; 99.9 percent of people cannot stand up to that level of resolution. I'm sure that the woman in real life is very attractive, but whoever put that photo up should be shot. It's a nightmare of pores, unplucked hairs, veins, mascara flakes, splotches, and lines—doesn't anyone take the dignity of the subject into account before they post these things?

2 upvotes
Wye Photography

I bought the XF-1

I love it. What I wanted was an in-your-pocket camera with good image quality for all sorts of shooting conditions. The selling points of the XF-1 was its gorgeous retro looks, the manual zoom, the manual pop-up flash, size and weight. After ten years of carrying around bulky and/or heavy digital gear I am just totally fed up of doing that.

I would have liked an XF-2 fitted with a X-Trans sensor.

Instead we have the XQ-1...

...a boring, bland, same-as-the-rest camera. Yawn!

No doubt the IQ will be better than the XF-1, shame about the looks!

6 upvotes
nspur

I have an XF1 and I bought it because of the manual zoom. It's a really backward step for the XQ to have a zoom lever round the shutter button like everybody else

5 upvotes
PicOne

I'm sure you all weren't that shallow.. but I'm reading that between the 2 of you, you purchased the XF1 for:
retro looks, manual zoom, flash, size, and weight.

Nothing about whether it takes good pictures?

0 upvotes
Wye Photography

Looking at the XF-1's competitors, the picture quality is round about similar-ish. So I was attracted by a USP. Using the XF-1 for a while now I have to say the AF speed, dynamic range, colour, exposure, resolution and sharpness are superb for such a small camera.

I just love the manual zoom with the lens marked in 35mm equivalent focal lengths. It's faster than a zoom lever type, and you have much better control over your framing. OK, so you have to use two hands, but this has the added benefit of a more stable shooting platform added to the already excellent IS. I have hand held to 1/5th of a second with very sharp results.

The XQ1 would have to have a much improved IQ for me to be tempted.

Oh! IF only the XQ1 was in the same body as the dear little XF-1

2 upvotes
iAPX

I like my Canon S100, a truly pocketable camera, that is 2 years old now, and looking forward to change it for another one with a better sensor, and still keeping same form factor.

This one is an interesting contender, as I mainly work with wide-angle and full aperture, I wonder how noise is handled by this sensor, that's my only concern with my current gear (compared to my X100s!!!)

0 upvotes
Total comments: 162
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