In this article I’ll compare the new Fuji X-A2 vs X-A1. The X-A2 was announced on January 15, 2015. It offers some small upgrades over its predecessor, but it’s a very interesting camera nevertheless. If you are planning to buy a mirrorless camera and looked into Fuji’s offerings, this comparison will interest you.
We’ll start with a short introduction to the X-A2 and than move on to the comparison.
Fujifilm X-A2 is a Compact System Camera (CSC), which is compatible with Fujifilm’s X-series lenses.
The X-A2 is a relatively compact when compared to other cameras of its type. It’s slightly larger than the Panasonic GF6, but a bit smaller than the Olympus PEN E-PL7. The X-A2 is an entry level camera that was designed to appeal to new comers and photographers on a tight budget. As of the tome of writing, the X-A2 coasts $549.95 in amazon.com (as of 1.19.2015), which also included the 16-60mm kit lens. Just for comparison, the X-E2 costs $1098.95 (price as of the time of writing) with the 18-55mm lens and $655.00 for the body only.
The camera carries the about the same external design and size as its predecessor. It is available in three colors: brown, silver and white.
At the heart of the camera you’ll find a 16.3-inch (effective pixels) APS-C CMOS sensor with a sensor cleaning system. This means that you get a small camera, but you still enjoy DSLR-quality photos due to the high performing sensor. Other advantages include: better low-light performance, high-ISO performance with low image noise, more prominent depth of field (Defocused background), higher dynamic range, better image details, etc.
The new Fuji X-A2 is also selfie-ready, offering a 175-degree tilting display which can be rotated to the front for easy self-portrait shots. The camera also optimized for macro photography, allowing you to take macro with dedicated auto macro AF and as close as 15 cm with the kit lens attached.
The new X-A2 enjoys very high performance, with Eye detection AF, Auto Macro AF and ulti target “Multi AF” AF modes, 410 shot battery life, wide range of advanced functions (inc. full manual control over exposure), super fast start-up time (0.5), very short shutter time lag (0.05 sec.), 5.6 fps burst and advanced in-camera filters to play with.
The X-A2 also comes with a built-in Wi-Fi, which with the Fujifilm camera application, it allows you to share images to your smartphone or tablet, browser images which are on the camera and select those you want to download and easily share photos with friends online. It also makes it easier to download images directly to your computer via a Wi-Fi router and even use the “PC AutoSave” feature which automatically backup your photos to your home PC.
With the X-A2 release, Fuji also introduced two new CX lenses, the CX 16-50mm II F3.5-5.6 OIS (equivalent to 24-76mm) and the Fujifnon XC 50-230mm II F4.5-6.7 OIS (equivalent to 76-350mm). Those two lenses are small and lightweight and are a perfect fit for the X-A2. Fujifilm XC lenses are cheaper than the premium XF lens offering, but all are compatible with the same X-mount. XC lenses have no on-lens aperture adjustment, just in-camera, they are mostly plastic compared to the XF metal construction, they have smaller aperture, no aperture ring or toggle switches and obviously are cheaper.
Some consumers thought twice before buying a Fujifilm CSC because their lenses are expensive. This is why, I assume, Fujifilm has decided to release more budget-friendly lenses.
Other features include: 1080p30 video recording, in-camera RAW processing, ISO100-25600 range, 3″ 920K dots tiltable display, EXR processor II image processor, multiple exposure mode, smart flash control, etc.
Fuji X-A2 vs X-A1
Although the X-A2 is the newest model, it’s not a major upgrade. The X-A2 has the same sensor resolution and ISO range, same image processor, same 49 AF points AF system, same 1/4000 sec – 30 sec shutter speed, same built-in flash, burst speed, video recording resolutions, built-in Wi-Fi and the overall design stayed about the same.
That said, the new X-A2 does offer a 175-degree tilting LCD for easy selfies, which is more flexible than the X-A1 which only tilts down.
Furthermore, it has a new Classic Chrome film simulation mode that many of Fuji fans really enjoy using. It mimics the look that you get when shooting with a film camera with Fujifilm classic chrome film.
The X-A2 adds eye-detection AF, auto macro AF and Multi target AF, but as I mentioned the 49 AF points are the same on both cameras.
The X-A2 features longer battery life of 410 photos (CIPA) compared to 350 on the X-A1. There is not built-in GPS or viewfinder on either cameras.
Both cameras are available in three colors: the X-A1 in Black, Blue and Red and the X-A2 in brown, silver and white.
So overall it’s a minor update, but welcomed ones. Those improvements will appeal to those who care about taking self-portrait shots and prefer buying a brand new affordable CSC camera this year.
The X-A2 also sells with the new 16-50mm kit lens and the Kit offering is $50 more expensive than the X-A1 equivalent, so in general, you probably want to buy the new version over the older version.
Nothing overly exciting here but a nice update to a popular CSC camera which I’m sure will be popular as well among new comers and consumers on a tight budget.