You could look at the XF1 as a breath of fresh air, or old wine in a new bottle. Its retro look encases a camera with features that belong to this digital age. The camera’s response time is fast and it is beautiful to look at—in part because it is embellished with faux leather.
It is the latest in Fuji’s X series cameras. The XF1 has been stripped of extra baggage to make it lighter. And then, several new features have been added to it. The viewfinder has been done away with; there is just a 3 inch LCD. There is no ‘hot shoe’ to mount an extra flash, but the flash will no longer pop up automatically.
Even a cursory reading of the specs list tells you that it is fully loaded. It can also save pictures in RAW format. The XF1 uses a 2/3-inch EXR-CMOS, 12 megapixel sensor, which captures nice images even in low-light conditions. Its low-light capabilities are enhanced by the wide f/1.8 aperture of its lens. The camera can do 4x zoom, which means it has a range of 25 mm wide to a 100 mm zoom. The lens has to be operated manually, by rotating the lens barrel.
It has no extra buttons, hinges or anything else popping out here and there. To turn on the camera, just rotate the lens and draw it out of its body. The USB and HDMI slots on the side are neatly covered. On top is a mode dial and a function switch—by default, it changes the ISO, but you can allot any function to it. Of course, there is a shutter release.
It has a ‘full auto’ mode, besides various other ‘scene’ modes to help you shoot bright images. You can control the aperture or shutter priority functions by using the dial on the camera’s back.
Yes, it is priced high. But Fuji seems to be aiming it specifically at those who are willing to pay a premium for retro-look cameras.