The Fujifilm XF1 has a compact body with a retro design that is emphasized by the optional black, brown or red artificial leather and the matte metal finish. The camera doesn’t have an on/off switch but is activated by turning the lens ring on the camera front. This then opens the lens cover and extends the lens system.
The lens ring allows the photographer to change the focal length settings (25-100 mm, 35mm film equivalent) but doesn’t allow for focusing or aperture size changes. All parameters are changed with the setup dials on the back.
The camera offers one setup wheel near the top, which can be easily reached with the thumb of the right hand; this also acts as a function switch and offers quick navigation of the menu and fast setup of additional parameters. The second setup wheel encircles the cursor field on the back and is also used for parameter setup or for manual focusing.
The XF1 has a large monitor on the back that is used as an electronic viewfinder and control center for all setups. The screen is very brilliant and is readable even in bright lighting situations. The resolution of 460,000 RGB dots is good, but on an average level for a compact camera in this price range. The camera is able to record full HD video with up to 30 frames per second, plus additional “slow motion” modes.
Comments on Image Quality
Color: The automatic white balance system caused a slightly yellowish nuance in all test images, especially with fluorescent lights. The average color errors are on a low level because the saturation of all colors is very good and even a bit low for a compact camera (99.56 percent). Skin tones are nearly perfect, but red nuances have a very high yellow rate (which causes high saturation and diminished differentiation in reds. All test images where done in P-mode and the exposures were all well balanced.
Sharpness: The XF1 showed an excellence performance in our resolution tests. The combination of a large sensor and high quality lens system enables the camera to reproduce the test chart with a maximum of 2842 of 3000 lines in picture height (sensor resolution: 4000 x 3000 lines). The very crisp look is also based on an intense sharpness filtering, but this filtering stays on an average level for compact cameras. Fine details like the hair in the portrait shot have a very natural look, but the differentiation of red colors could be better. For example: The differentiation of single fibers on the red spool is worse than in images taken with other Fujifilm X-cameras.
Noise: The camera showed a good performance in our noise tests. Even though the luminance noise level seems to be on a higher level than in images taken with other compact cameras, the color noise is nearly invisible in images taken with ISO 100 to 800. Some color noise artifacts are noticeable, but even in images with ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 the color noise is very low and the images are still applicable for large prints.
In terms of dynamic range, the Fujifilm XF1 achieved a maximum result of 9.86 f-stops, a good result for a compact camera. When using its EXR technology and the “Dynamic Range” settings of the camera we got images with up to 11 f-stops (ISO 200).
+ elegant and stylish body in retro design
+ large image sensor, good image results with low color noise
+ sharp images with high resolution
- missing optical or electronic viewfinder (only LCD screen as viewfinder)
- missing focus ring on the lens for direct manual focusing
Contact and price: $499.95 at www.shopfujifilm.com