I have been in love with photography since I was a child. I had an uncle who was a photographer and I remember the few times he allowed me into his darkroom while he worked being fascinating. Seeing the images appear on the paper…well it was simply brilliant to me. As time has gone along, technology has changed but my love for capturing a moment or place has not. My photography equipment has gone from a simple point and shoot all the way to my beloved DSLR with a big learning curve along the way.
It took me ages to purchase my DSLR, during which time I read everything I could about using it. Once I’d bought it, I had to take courses to learn the in-depth technology and theory behind the stunning photos I dreamt of taking. The reality of a DSLR is that there is a learning curve which can be intimidating, it’s bulky and lenses are expensive. For many of us this makes it an illogical choice when buying a camera…but what is there on the market which will be convenient to carry around, simple to learn and take smashing shots?
Fuji X-A2 Review
Enter the Fuji X-A2…I was completely chuffed when I received an email from Fuji North American inviting me to try out the X-A2 and let you all know what I think. I’ve been using the X-A2 for three weeks now and to be honest there are so many features that I can’t possibly cover them all but I will focus upon the features which I feel are most relevant to you if you’re looking for a new camera coming from a point and shoot or a smart phone camera. All of the photos in this review are unedited, shown exactly as they came from the camera.
Look and Feel
The Fuji X-A2 is much smaller and lighter than a typical DSLR but larger than some other entry-level cameras. With battery and camera card it weighs about 13.8 oz and the dimensions are 4.6 in. (W) x 2.6 in. (H) x 1.6 in. (D). This means it’s a convenient size when you’re on the road.
It comes your choice of a brown, black, or white leatherette covering, 16-50mm lens, lens hood and neck strap. I chose the white covering and have to say that I do dig the retro look. There is a hot shoe for an external flash (if you choose to buy one) and an internal pop-up flash on the top of the camera.
This camera feels great in my hand, with the moulded handgrip on the front and the wee thumb grip on the back it felt quite secure. The 3″ high resolution LCD screen is made for selfie-lovers such as myself. It flips over to 175 degrees rotation, has face and eye detection which means you get selfies that are focused on the faces on the screen.
Below is a selfie I snapped while out shooting, unfortunately my glasses had a reflection of light but the focus is spot on my face…freckles and all.
The only change I’d request is to have a viewfinder somewhere on this camera. I’ve gotten used to peeking through that window and while the X-A2 has a “Bright Light” mode to brighten the LCD screen in direct sunlight, I prefer that little window. Call me a creature of habit if you will.
Ease of Use – Auto Setting
The first topic my friends touch on when we’re discussing cameras is the difficulty involved in using many cameras. If you’re not looking to go on courses in order to achieve great shots, the Fuji X-A2 is a fine choice. With the Auto setting, this camera really delivers amazing results.
When shooting in the Auto setting, the camera will automatically detect what’s happening in the scene and do the work of choosing the best setting for you from 58 scene modes. There are other modes such as aperture priority, shutter priority and even full manual control but for this review, I’ll focus on the Auto and some Advanced settings.
When you are shooting a person in Auto mode, the facial recognition will kick in and the camera will go to Portrait mode. The shot of Sydney below was taken in a low lighting room with a fireplace behind her. There’s NO way my phone would have achieved this lovely result. It reminds me of the lovely moments we enjoyed as a family on the May long weekend at Fern Resort in Orillia. We don’t get much time to just chill out together…these moments are lovely.
The next image was taken in a shady spot where the light was bright behind Sydney. This is possibly my favourite photo of her I’ve ever taken and while I’d probably choose to lighten it a bit, the camera exceeded my expectations based upon the lighting situation. It was taken on a friends property at a fantastic outdoor birthday party, Sydney was impatient to get back to her friends but I managed to convince her to give me 1 minute on a swing.
The most impressive thing about the Fuji X-A2 is the photo quality, just look how crisp it is when I go up close and personal. I can see the light of Sydney’s eyes so clearly. With the size of the image file, the photos will look fantastic printed.
This shot of Chelsea is lovely, the camera wanted to use Landscape mode first but once it recognized her face it quickly flipped over to Portrait. The sunset is just gorgeous on her little face isn’t it?
This beautiful shot was taken in Orillia, Ontario where we enjoyed watching a sunset as a family. I love how the camera caught the sun’s rays between the Muskoka chairs. The camera switched to Landscape mode and when I moved the screen to the water afterwards, it automatically flipped to the Moving Object mode.
This shot at the dock shows off the brilliant colours the X-A2 achieves, with the different lighting other cameras wouldn’t handle it as well. Remember, this is completely unedited except to add a watermark.
Next up is probably my favourite setting to play with, Macro. Again, I had the camera set to Auto and it adjusted to the Macro setting as I got within close range of the subject. How cute is this wee hedgehog? We met him on our family trip in Orillia when the kids went to a zoo show. No we didn’t get a hedgehog…yet.
I have also been visiting one of my favourite locations…the garden centre! Yes Spring is here and I just love getting my hands dirty planting gardens. Being in the garden centre affords me a sense of peace, surrounded by the colours and smells I can feel myself relax.
There are also Action and Nighttime settings which will function in Auto mode if the circumstances are right for it.
Advanced Function on Fuji X-A2
The X-A2 has a nifty setting for advanced functions. These photos below were taken while we were going for a walk in Alton, Ontario. The top image is on Auto and while it’s lovely, the image below was taken using the Colour Pop function on the Advanced setting and is much brighter.
This lantern below was so neat, the left is on Auto and the right was taken using the Toy camera function in the Advanced settings. I really like how it accentuates the rugged aged look of the lantern.
Here I used Auto on the left, Colour Pop in the middle and the right was the Advanced setting with the green colour filter. 3 different images of the very same scene, all snapped within 1 minute, easy-peasy.
Uploading Photos To Your Phone
One of the most amazing features of the Fuji X-A2 is the ability to upload the photos directly from the camera to your phone by simply using the FujiFilm Camera App. This is super-simple and allows you to share to your social media directly in the moment. You need to be in an area with wifi on your phone with your phone wifi turned on.
Simply download the App, open it and set the camera to the Playback mode (where you see the phots you’ve already taken). Next press the fn button on the top and a Wireless Transfer menu will come up on screen. Choose how you want to transfer the images.
On your phone tap RECEIVE and then CONNECT. Choose the images you want to transfer, hit OK and it will begin to transfer. It’s that easy! Now that they’re on your phone, you can begin sharing your fantastic shots with friends!
If you’re on Instagram, have a look at the hashtags #MyFujiFilm or #FujiMoms to check out what others have been doing with this camera. The photos are simply amazing! I have officially fallen in love with the Fuji X-A2 as I’m sure you’ve guessed. It’s light enough to be comfortable in my purse, takes amazing photos and I can’t wait to keep learning more of what it can do! Don’t forget to follow FUJIFILM on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay in the know!
WIN a Fuji X-A2!!
I can’t believe it but my friends at Fuji Canada have given me 1 Fuji X-A2 to giveaway to one VERY lucky Canadian reader (excl Quebec). You must be 18 to enter, simply fill in the Giveaway Tools form below. Winner will be drawn on July 8th and will have 48 hours to respond.