X Series

FUJIFILM X-A1

Leigh Diprose

Leigh Diprose has been working in the imaging industry as a professional photographer, networker, business manager, blogger, entrepreneur and helper to all. Leigh's passion for wedding, wildlife and landscape photography has taken him on many journeys locally and internationally, to try and capture that allusive shot.

Being present on social media has given Leigh an opportunity to start a international photography site www.fstoplounge.com as well as an established photography blog - http://camerasmash.com.

Creating Color with the FUJIFILM X-A1

by Leigh Diprose from Victoria, Australia

I sat listening to the chiming sounds of Candy Crush as the inconsiderate teen behind me played noisily on his iphone.
The racket was more annoying than the newborn child exercising its lungs toward the back of the tram.

My journey into the city had started.

Looking out the window the buildings twinkled as the dew shimmered a glittery glow. A thin blanket of white quickly passed above my surroundings revealing sketchy patches of pale blue as cloud stretched along the horizon, broken by the buildings standing before it.

A sat patiently confiding my camera case full of gear. I thought about the sort of things I would be photographing on my short visit. Would there be enough light to capture the beauty of Melbourne? The rain seemed constant however I was determined to test the limits of the yet to be released, FUJIFILM X-A1, and this seemed to be the perfect opportunity. I set myself a challenge, to try and capture the colour of Melbourne on a wet, grey windy day.

Walking down the street I snapped into gear, XF14mmF2.8 R lens attached and tilted screen at the ready.
My very first shot happened to be an iconic building at Federation Square positioned in the heart of Melbourne. The sharp design of the building stood boastfully against the threatening sky. I composed my image using the tilt screen, which offered a sharpness I could only dream about. The scrolling digital text on the side of the structure stood still as my finger fired the shutter.

FUJIFILM X-A1 - 14mm - ISO 400 - 1/350 second - f9 - Manual Focus – Handheld

FUJIFILM X-A1 – 35mm – ISO 640 -1/350 second – F10 - Handheld

Venturing on I noticed the architecture of the older buildings. The window seats hovered over the street below and again, it was a perfect opportunity to test the FUJIFILM X-A1. A traveling tram was about to pass my view, so with a quick turn of the power switch the camera started up instantly with the XF35mmF1.4 R Lens attached.

Without a moment to lose I pressed the shutter, capturing the tram to the right side of the frame. Reviewing my image I was impressed with how the camera handled a real life situation. The ability to gain focus while offering an incredible image quality was something I couldn't fault.

Thinking back to my photography challenge I set myself earlier a smile climbed on my face as I notice a market stall down the street. Vibrant yellows, oranges, pinks and blues leaped from the street as the colourful flower stall absorbed the dullness of the day.

All these colours were tested using the XF60mmF2.4 R Macro and yet again the flip screen became a huge asset to my photography arsenal. The clear tilt LCD offered a vibrant reproduction, which was almost life-like in appearance.

FUJIFILM X-A1 - 60mm - ISO 1000 - 1/400 second - f7.1 - Handheld

FUJIFILM X-A1 - 60mm - ISO 1000 - 1/200 second - f5.6 - Handheld

FUJIFILM X-A1 - 60mm - ISO 500 - 1/90 second - f2.4 - Handheld

FUJIFILM X-A1 - 60mm - ISO 500 - 1/150 second - f4.5 - Handheld

FUJIFILM X-A1 - 60mm - ISO 1000 - 1/170 second - f5.6 - Handheld

FUJIFILM X-A1 - 60mm - ISO 800 - 1/125 second - f4 - Handheld

FUJIFILM X-A1 - 60mm - ISO 2500 - 1/320 second - f5.6 - Handheld

Using the same lens, I had to capture the expression of the statue which reflected my thoughts about the quality of Fujifilm's latest camera – 'AMAZING'!

FUJIFILM X-A1 - 60mm - ISO 2500 - 1/350 second - f5.6 - Handheld

I wanted to continue my testing with a new scene. I continued my walk with the XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens attached to find out what the quality would be like when using a zoom at a high ISO.

Again I amazed at how this camera could interpret the scene thrown at it, no matter what the settings! The images appeared on the screen, crisp, sharp, colourful and noise free. I couldn't believe it!

FUJIFILM X-A1 - 141.3mm - ISO 2500 - 1/400 second - f20 - Handheld

FUJIFILM X-A1 - 77.9mm - ISO 2500 - 1/280 second - f5.6 - Handheld

FUJIFILM X-A1 - 200mm - ISO 2500 - 1/320 second - f5.6 - Handheld

With my mouth firmly shut I continued by venturing into the dark alleys of Melbourne. The narrow dark passages seemed to be a perfect place to test the XF18mmF2 R lens. Walking my way down the alley I couldn't help but point the camera toward the high buildings that surrounded me as well as framing the graffiti covered door hidden by the darkness.

I noticed the FUJIFILM X-A1 was able to meter the light beautifully. Highlights contained detail while the shadows contained the perfect balance of grain and colour. I also found almost no aberration using this lens and sensor combination.

FUJIFILM X-A1 - 18mm - ISO 1000 - 1/350 second - f5.6 - Handheld

FUJIFILM X-A1 - 18mm - ISO 1000 - 1/400 second - f6.4 - Handheld

FUJIFILM X-A1 - 18mm - ISO 1000 - 1/20 second - f2 - Handheld

Overall summary:
This camera is the perfect travel camera due to its small size and light weight body. From my experience, the FUJIFILM X-A1 offers the image quality similar (if not better) to a Digital SLR.

When I first got hold of this camera the lack of a viewfinder seemed alarming, however my mind was quickly changed by the extremely high-resolution tilt LCD. I believe this camera will do extremely well against any competitor's entry-level APS-C or Micro Four Thirds sensor and with the range of Fujinon lens available this camera is a must have.

Quality, speed, affordability and style are the true definition of what this camera stands for. I would recommend this camera to my family and photographer friends as I believe Fujifilm have truly built something ground breaking. To be continued....

Gear Used:
FUJINON LENS XF35mmF1.4 R lens
FUJINON LENS XF14mmF2.8 R ens
FUJINON LENS XF60mmF2.4 R Macro lens
FUJINON LENS XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens
FUJINON LENS XF18mmF2 R

Favourite Combination:
FUJIFILM X-A1 with the FUJINON LENS XF18mmF2 R lens