Fujifilm XQ1 First Impressions Review
Body & Design
The XQ1's design will look instantly familiar to anyone who's followed this sector of the market over the past few years - it looks almost exactly the same as Canon's S-series compacts and the Sony RX100. In the process, almost all of Fujifilm's usual design distinctiveness has disappeared - only the tiny accent to the top-plate underneath the shutter button marks it out as looking slightly different.
It's a very nicely-made camera though, which feels extremely solid in your hand. It's quite slender and genuinely pocketable, smaller than the RX100 but not quite as small as the Canons. The thumbpad on the back has a thick rubber coating, and has a slight 'hook' to help give a more secure grip. The textured surface of the black version shown helps in this regard too.
The back of the camera is dominated by the 3" 920k dot screen, with the rear controls clustered to its right. There's a small dial that also acts as a 4-way controller, with the Menu/OK button in its center. The XQ1 has a dedicated movie recording button, allowing video capture from all exposure modes. The E-Fn button acts as a 'shift key' to access further functions from the 6 buttons above it (Play, Record and 4-way controller), all of which are user-assignable - see later for more details.
Top of camera
The XQ1's top plate is utterly conventional - the shutter button is encircled by a small zoom lever, with the small On/Off button to one side and the mode dial to the other. The stereo microphones are placed towards the center., with the pop-up flash on the left. This is not motorized, but released by a sliding mechanical switch.
Here you can also clearly see the customizable control ring around the lens, which rotates smoothly without any click-stops. With the lens retracted, the camera is reasonably slender and pocketable.
In your hand
The XQ1 has built-in Wi-Fi which is primarily designed for sharing photos. Images can be transferred to your tablet or smartphone using Fujifilm's unimaginatively-named 'Camera Application' for iOS and Android. There's also a basic 'Photo Receiver' app that you can encourage your friends to install, so you can transfer images to their device. Alternatively images can be automatically saved to PC across a Wi-Fi network, using the equally literally-titled 'PC Autosave' program for Windows or Mac.
Wi-Fi sharing is activated by pressing the E-Fn button in playback mode, at which point the camera will fire up its network and give on-screen instructions for how to connect. It's all relatively straightforward, mainly because the camera sets up an unsecured network with no password. Instead all connections have to be explicitly authorized from the camera.
Overall this isn't the most exciting or sophisticated implementation of in-camera Wi-Fi we've seen. However it's reasonably straightforward to set up and use, and offering a stripped-down app that can only receive images is a nice touch.
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