Fujifilm XF1 review: Stylish, creative controls and image quality amongst the best compacts

By Paul Carroll - Thursday March 07 2013

Camera Review
Introduction | Fujifilm XF1 sensor performance | Fujifilm XF1 versus competition | Conclusion

Introducing a new XF product line, Fujifilm looks set to launch more options in to the ever-popular small camera with high image quality category. The first camera in the new range, the XF1 uses the 2/3-inch type sensor that’s smaller than the APS-C, Micro Four Thirds or 1-inch type sensors used in interchangeable lens Hybrids, but it’s a little bigger than the 1/1.7-inch type predominantly used in more expensive compacts.

The advantage of 1/1.7-inch or 2/3-inch is they allow for retractable lenses, which makes a compact truly pocket-sized compared to interchangeable lens Hybrids that while small are still a little bulky for a pocket. Add to that the stylish retro looks of the XF1 with choice of colors, with matching accessories, as well as customizable Function buttons and creative exposure control, and you have a compact that many serious enthusiasts would take for a holiday point and shoot.

The 12-megapixel 2/3-inch EXR-CMOS sensor at the heart of the XF1 puts in a solid performance in the DxOMark Scores, ranking 12th overall for compact and high-end compact cameras. That said, despite the slightly larger sensor, it only boasts roughly the same image quality as competitors, such as the Nikon P7700, Olympus XZ-2 iHS, Canon PowerShot S110, and Panasonic LX7.

While these competitors achieve their best scores at the lowest ISO, the XF1 is a little stronger through the sensitivity range. The relatively small sensor compared to APS-C or Micro Four Thirds sensors however mean compact like this are always going to struggle with noise, and with a Low-light ISO score 199 ISO the XF1 struggles to achieve good image quality at higher sensitivities.