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Fujifilm XF1 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £281
inc VAT

A stunning design, equally impressive photos and genuinely pocket-sized too


2/3in 12.0-megapixel sensor, 4.0x zoom (25-100mm equivalent), 225g

We’re a bunch of cynical pessimists, always trying to reveal the worst in the products we test, but it’s hard to maintain an air of cynicism when holding the XF1. Decked out in brushed aluminium and synthetic leather, the retro design is incredibly handsome. There’s a choice of red and black if the tan finish doesn’t appeal.

Fujifilm XF1

The lens barely extrudes from the body when switched off, giving a 33mm overall depth that slips easily into a pocket. A small twist unlocks the lens, whereupon it’s pulled outwards and then twisted again to power up and adjust the zoom. This three-part action quickly becomes second nature – we measured just 1.8 seconds to release the lens, switch on and take a photo – and the manual mechanism reinforces the retro appeal.

Fujifilm XF1
The XF1 is much slimmer than most other premium compacts, and the manual lens mechanism is extremely satisfying

Around the back it looks more modern, with a 3in screen and the usual array of buttons. Having both a command dial and a rear wheel helps to make quick adjustments, although most of the time they duplicate each other’s functions. One exception is in manual exposure mode, where they’re assigned to shutter speed and aperture. Pressing the command dial swaps their functions, which we found a little disorienting. The two controls work well together when adjusting the autofocus point, with the wheel moving the point and the dial adjusting its size.

There’s one small but significant change compared to previous Fujifilm cameras. The old two-tier menu system that we never much liked is gone. Instead, pressing the E-Fn button reveals alternative roles for six other buttons on the back of the camera. These can be customised, and an on-screen prompt makes it easy to see what’s assigned to each button. It’s a vast improvement on the old list-based quick menu. With another customisable button on the top of the camera, accessing settings is generally very quick.

Fujifilm XF1
The buttons have labelled functions as we’d expect, but pressing E-Fn swaps their roles for a customisable set, as shown on the screen

However, there’s a caveat we’ve seen many times before on Fujifilm cameras, whereby most buttons are unresponsive while the camera is saving photos to memory card. It’s not much of an issue in normal use, where we had to wait two seconds after taking a photo before we could adjust a setting. It doesn’t affect the ability to take another photo either, with just 1.1 seconds between shots. It’s more frustrating in continuous mode or when shooting raw, where it took up to six seconds to regain full control of the camera. Continuous mode performed reasonably well, shooting at 6.7fps for six frames before slowing to 1.8fps. There’s no option to update the autofocus between shots, though.

Fujifilm XF1
The 2/3in sensor set to 8 megapixels gives incredibly low noise, as this ISO 1600 shot taken under a grey sky demonstrates

The best performance comes when the resolution is set to 6 megapixels, giving 9.7fps shooting for 14 frames, slowing to 3.3fps. The XF1 uses Fujifilm’s excellent EXR technology, so switching to 6 megapixels also reaps big benefits for noise and dynamic range. It helps that this 2/3in sensor is almost twice the size (by surface area) as the 1/2.3in sensors used in most compact cameras. It’s a little bigger than the 1/1.7in sensors used in other brands of premium compact camera too. It appears to be the same sensor as in the Fujifilm X10, which means that noise levels are among the lowest of any compact camera.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****
CCD effective megapixels 12.0 megapixels
CCD size 2/3in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 460,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 4.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 25-100mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based
Maximum image resolution 4,000×3,000
File formats JPEG, RAW; QuickTime (AVC)


Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied 25MB internal
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 300 shots
Connectivity USB, AV, mini HDMI
Body material aluminium, leather
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB cable
Weight 225g
Size 62x108x33mm

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £281

Camera Controls

Exposure modes program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed 30 to 1/2,000 seconds
Aperture range f/1.8-11 (wide), f/4.9-11 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 100 to 3200
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 7 presets, manual, Kelvin
Additional image controls color, sharpness, highlight tone, shadow tone, noise reduction, dynamic range, film simulation
Manual focus Yes
Closest macro focus 3cm
Auto-focus modes multi, flexible spot, face detect, tracking
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, ISO bracket, dynamic range bracket, film simulation bracket, panorama