First Impressions: Fujifilm X-F1

The Fujifilm X-F1 Compact Camera is the 5th camera in the popular X-Series. This camera is marked like the rest of the series by a reminiscent return to the heyday of camera design (In my opinion, of course) with leatherette accents and simplified manual controls. This model is the most compact of the bunch, even smaller than it’s slightly bigger brother the X10.

With a collapsible lens system paired with a unique on/off switch design and a clean minimal physical design, this camera has a market among the style-savvy and photographer nerd in all of us.

Not to only sing its praises, as this camera does have some room for improvement, also a seeming trend in the X-Series of cameras. Like all its siblings, this camera has some quirks that make it loveable and despicable all at the same time.

Tech Specs

  • 12 Megapixels
  • 4x zoom
  • (25-100mm eq.)
  • LCD Viewfinder
  • 3.0 inch LCD
  • 100-3200 Variable ISO Sensitivity
  • 30-1/2000s Shutter
  • f/1.8-4 Max Aperture
  • 4.2 x 2.4 x 1.2 in. (108 x 62 x 30 mm)
  • 7.9 oz (225 g)
  • $499.99 MSRP

(Specs provided by Imaging Resource)


This camera feels good in your hand. Unlike most compact cameras covered in plastic this model has a solid metal feel accented by the faux leather wrap for a nice comfortable weight and grip. With a very small tab on the back to help with thumb placement and the leather trim, this camera is quite snug in your hand at all times. I used the X-F1 without a wrist strap the entire time and never felt like I was in danger of losing hold of the camera.

Additionally, the manual zoom and unique lens extension mechanism makes for a very satisfying experience while using the camera. However, I did feel like the lens extension mechanics were a weak point on this model, but time will tell how well it will stand up to constant use. It feels like a wobbly part of the device until it is locked in place for the extension, but I do not know if this is really an issue or just me not trusting it to do what it was designed to do.

Along with it’s tactile assets, the Fuji X-F1 has a very simple (compared to most of its competitors) user interface. One of my favorite functions on this camera’s control interface is the E-Fn button, which changes the multi-function control wheel’s options instantly, allowing for multiplied uses with the same number of controls. The camera is a very simple device, which gets most of the superfluous crap that plagues the digital camera world out of the photographer’s way, and just lets the user make simply beautiful images simply.


Focusing was accurate, while not the quickest of its kind. It is contrast-detection with much room for improvement which is not inconceivable in regards to Fuji’s previous commitment to firmware upgrades that actually address user’s concerns. The camera is capable in most situations of achieving focus almost consistently, even in low-light situations, making it pretty on-par with the rest of Fuji’s offerings in the X-Series of cameras.

Ease of Use

Straightforward and fuctional, this camera seems to fill a void similar to the one addressed in the Sony RX100 for enthusiasts and professionals alike. As mentioned before, this camera gets high marks for simplicity that makes it a very attractive camera to users from all areas in photography. The auto modes work quite well, allowing for even the most novice of users to capture some decent images without much trouble, but this camera will really sing in the hands of someone who takes the time to get to know the camera and has the capability to utilize the exposure triangle while shooting.

Image Quality

For the compact camera that the Fuji X-F1 is, this device can take some truly beautiful pictures. While it has RAW capability, I shot the camera in JPG primarily with the S film emulsion simulation which is supposed to resemble Astia, one of my favorite slide films of all time. It really does make for some simply stunning straight out of camera images, I did not tweak with these images aside from pulling them into LR4 and exporting for web resolutions. Just a quick note, full resolution images are readily available around the web, and I will be mainly focusing on how great overall the images look as opposed to full res pixel peeping. However, here are a few images to satisfy some of your cravings for it’s output:

First Impressions

All glamour and pretense aside, this is still a point and shoot camera with a only-slightly-larger-than-usual 2/3rds inch sensor to match. While it is better off image quality-wise that many of it’s competitors, this camera has a hard time competing with the very well recieved and recently reviewed Sony RX100. However, even without the 1” sensor of its direct competitor in that camera, the Fuji X-F1 still produces some beautiful images with some unique controls that make for an appealing user experience that might tip the scales in its favor with some of the more design-minded photographers out there. If this sounds like you, please take a look at purchasing it through the B&H links provided above, or you can find it here on

Fujifilm XF1/Blk 12MP Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Black)

Fujifilm XF1/Brown 12MP Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Brown)

Fujifilm XF1/Red 12MP Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD Screen (Red)

I have barely had any time with this camera, so there will be much more to come on this model as I get to use it a bit more. I have also received the new Fuji X-E1 Mirrorless camera along with the impressive Fuji XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4R Lens that I will be posting a first impressions post on soon. Stay tuned for more amazing Fuji goodness and images to oogle.

Please Support The Phoblographer

We love to bring you guys the latest and greatest news and gear related stuff. However, we can’t keep doing that unless we have your continued support. If you would like to purchase any of the items mentioned, please do so by clicking our links first and then purchasing the items as we then get a small portion of the sale to help run the website.

Also, please follow us on FacebookFlickr and Twitter.