The Fuji XF1 is the latest X-Series point and shoot camera. It features a retro-style that’s as much of what defines the camera as technical features like the 12MP EXR CMOS sensor and f/1.8 lens.
The XF1 is certainly a pretty camera, and those specs put it near the top of point and shoot models around. The prints from the XF1 that I saw at PhotoPlus looked solid, which is promising for a camera as pretty as this one.
It is quite compact for a camera that looks rather big. I could comfortably stuff it into the front pocket my jeans.
The XF1 comes in different colors of a leather-wrapped body – red, black and tan. You can also add matching leather camera cases to complete the kit.
The XF1 has a proper mode dial with common exposure modes of PASM, as well as Auto and EXR modes found on Fuji point and shoot models. The rear panel works nicely to give you access to quick settings and a logical menu system.
Fuji has done well to give users the option to customize which quick settings are available when pressing the Fn button on the rear panel.
By adjusting these in the menu, you can have up to 8 custom buttons of pretty much anything you want access to by pressing the Fn button. You can also store different customized sets of buttons for access on different types of outings.
The only real hang up for me on the XF1 was the somewhat awkward retractable lens. The camera is powered on and off when the lens is retracted or extended by manually twisting and pulling/pushing the lens barrel. The first time I tried this it was quite difficult just to get the lens out of the camera.
The process works by moving the lens from the “off” position to a slight twist and then it stops.
Then, you must pull the lens out of the camera body until it stops, then twist it slightly over a little “bump” in the turn and is in a “standby” mode. From there, you twist the lens to turn it turn it completely on, at which point you are able to zoom in and out. After you are in standby mode, the XF1 works and feels great to power on and zoom the lens in and out.
This lens twisting process seems like it might have been a good idea, but pulling the lens out of the body is something that just didn’t feel quite right to me. Additionally, the move from the “off” position to standby mode requires a bit of finesse that just shouldn’t be required for a modern camera – no matter how retro the styling is.
All in all, the Fuji XF1 has the makings of a nice point and shoot camera. I will be curious to see how others receive the lens-twisting quagmire once the camera hits store shelves in the next few days.
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