Performance – 6/10
Total – 7/10
Verdict: Its compact and retro-inspired design is a plus. However, it just performs poorly in lowlight.
Are you an art school student on a budget? Can’t afford that vintage camera to gain additional hipster credentials? Look no further. FUJIFILM’s got you covered with the X-A2; the latest upgrade to their X-series mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. The X-A2 is an entry-level camera with a fusion of retro styling, traditional controls, and high image quality that will sate your urban photography needs at an affordable price.
I really love the whole vintage look the X-series is going for. The X-A2’s camera body shell is mostly faux leather with silver metal dials on top to complement a classic camera look. It is absolutely gorgeous. The obvious modernised giveaway is the 3-inch LCD screen, which acts as the viewfinder. But it is unfortunately lacking a touchscreen ability.
The screen can be tilted vertically on a triple hinge; thus making angular shots easier, and can be flipped forward for selfies. Like any mirrorless, the X-A2 is quite compact – which fits nicely in your hands, while being light at the same time.
Ironically, the camera does come with several mainstream photo editing features such as skin smoothening, and a variety of preset filters to sate your social media needs. Speaking of which, the X-A2 does come with a built-in WiFi function to transfer photos directly to your mobile device or computer. Give that coffee cup a legitimate 50mm lens ‘bokeh’ treatment that it deserves. Hashtags not included.
The X-A2 is available in two bundles: one with the 15-50mm kit and 50-230mm zoom lens (which we got for this review), and the other set is just with the former. While having interchangeable lenses is a welcomed addition, I can’t help but feel that it’s not optimised for it. I’ve tested the camera and both lenses in various locations with different lighting conditions, and it performed remarkably in daytime and brightly lit areas. However, it went immediately downhill when it came to lowlight situations especially with the zoom lens. The autofocus was certainly lackingas it didn’t registeran object even though it’s just less than 12 feet away.
This is remedied by shooting manually in terms of focusing, aperture, ISO, and shutter speed settings. This can be a major drawback for beginners, and isn’t particularly ideal if you’re planning to take candid shots during parties or events. Also, the lack of an actual viewfinder may not sit well with some people.
The X-A2’s video feature is considered basic at best; with recordings supporting up to 1080p only, so you may want to look elsewhere if 4K is your thing. Movies are recorded in MOV format, and is only limited to 30 frames per second. The camera does have a built-in microphone, but only for the sake of just having one. It does not filter wind noises, so it’s better to rely on a proper external microphone instead.
Not Quite There
The Fujifilm X-A2 achieves in terms of cosmetics, but is considerately underwhelming in performance. Having to do photography work in various situations, I would greatly prefer a camera that worked brilliantly regardless. That said; I still dig its vintage-inspired look, and nifty features such as the WiFi function and tiltable LCD screen. If you could ignore its flaws, the X-A2 is still something worth showing off as you sip your latte at the local hipster inhabited cafe.
Written by Heirul MK