Fujifilm X-A5

      Photo Review 8.8

      In summary

      The X-A5 is a nice little snapshooters’ camera that provides above-average resolution for stills capture across a decent range of ISO settings. The flip-up monitor works well for ‘selfies’ and the touch screen is easy to use, although recording movies can become a point-and-pray exercise in bright outdoor lighting.

      Socially-active snapshooters will appreciate the various self-timer options and the ease with which images can be uploaded to sharing sites. As in the X-A3, the auto modes will help the technologically challenged. The lack of a built-in EVF or any kind of viewfinder will deter serious enthusiasts, particularly those who live in the Southern Hemisphere.


      Full review

      Fujfilm’s new X-A5 features a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sized sensor with on-chip phase detection pixels and conventional  Bayer filtration as well as a new (unnamed) image processor that is 1.5 times faster than previous chips. Its polycarbonate body has a metallic finish with leather accents and its touchscreen can be flipped up through 180 degrees for shooting selfies. While it resembles the X-A3 model it replaces, the X-A5 has a new user interface and includes a number of enhanced functions. It is supplied with the Fujinon XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens.


      Angled view of the brown version of the X-A4 with the kit lens fitted and pop-up flash raised. (Source: Fujifilm.)

      The X-A5 camera will be offered in brown, pink and silver, although the lens will only be available in silver.

      Who’s it For?
       Like its precursor, the X-A3, the X-A5 is designed for snapshooters who want better image quality and greater shooting versatility than their smartphones provide.  Its stylish appearance is similar to that of the X-A3 and, while it offers most of the same shooting functions, it features a new user interface with additional shooting modes, upgraded autofocusing and image processing systems and improvements to the monitor’s touchscreen interface.

      Unfortunately, the camera still lacks the built-in EVFs provided in higher-featured models in the X-mount range. There’s not even an add-on EVF that can be fitted to the hot-shoe, although there are four clip-on flash units and an external microphone.

      And, although the new camera can now record 4K movies, clip length is limited to five minutes and the frame rate of just 15 frames/second limits its usefulness. The new camera also supports Full HD 1080p and HD 720p resolution with frame rates of 50 and 24 fps for PAL region users, along with a new High Speed Movie option for recording 720p clips at 100 fps with between 2x and 4x playback rates.  Continuous recording times for FHD   and HD movies are 14 minutes and 27 minutes, respectively.

      Build and Ergonomics
      Physically, the X-A5 is very similar to the X-A3, with ‘block of soap’ shaping and a shallow grip moulding. The plastic body has an aluminised top cover, front plate and top dials and textured faux leather cladding.


      Front view of the X-A5, brown version, with no lens fitted. (Source: Fujifilm.)

      The front panel is dominated by the lens mount and the new 15-45mm kit lens covers a slightly wider angles of view than the previous one but retains the same maximum aperture. As before, the lens release button is positioned   beside the lens mount, while a small LED just below the mode dial doubles as a self-timer/AF illuminator lamp.

      The focus mode switch on the X-A3 has been removed and a new cover on the left side panel just below the flash pop-up switch hides a 2.5mm jack for the accessory microphone or remote controller. The top panel’s layout that replicates the 2015 X-A2 model’s. On the left side is a built-in flash, which is raised by a switch below the left side strap lug. To its right is an accessory hot-shoe.


      Top view of the X-A5 with the 15-45mm kit lens fitted. (Source: Fujifilm.)

      A new Motion Panorama setting replaces the Custom position on the mode dial but otherwise the shooting modes remain unchanged. The dial carries settings for   Advanced SR Auto (with scene recognition), Program, Shutter priority, Aperture priority, Manual, Night, Sports, Landscape, Portrait Enhancer, Scene Position and Advanced Filter shooting modes.  


      Angled rear view of the X-A5.(Source: Fujifilm.)

      Most of the rear panel is covered by the 3-inch touchscreen LCD monitor, which has a resolution of  1,040,000 dots and tilts upwards through 180 degrees as well as outwards by roughly 30 degrees. Tilting the screen upwards puts the camera into selfie mode automatically, with the rear command dial controlling zoom and shutter release functions, and eye AF enabled.


      The rear panel of the  X-A5.(Source: Fujifilm.)

      The rest of the controls are essentially the same as those on the X-A3. The thumb rest above this button cluster still has the sub-command dial half-inserted behind it. The right hand side panel has a compartment for the micro USB and HDMI terminals with a hard plastic lift-up cover.

      In keeping with its entry level position, the X-A5 stores its battery and memory card in a single compartment within the grip moulding, accessed via a locking cover on the base plate. Both battery and card are easy to access and the battery is CIPA rated for approximately 410 shots/charge. A metal-lined tripod socket sits just left of the battery/card compartment, well off the optical axis of the lens.

      What’s New?
       While the sensor has the same 24.2-megapixel resolution as the X-A3’s, it now features on-chip phase-detection autofocus pixels, making the X-A5 the first camera in the X-A series with hybrid autofocusing. Although the system isn’t as advanced as those found on Fujifilm’s higher-featured   cameras, it’s a step up from the X-A3‘s and identical to the array found in the X-T20.

      There are 91 AF points arranged in a 13 x 7 rectangular grid with a central block of 35 phase-detection points and users can select from single-point AF, zone AF (with blocks of 9, 15, or 63 points selectable), plus a wide AF mode that employs all 91 points and is used for tracking moving subjects. The camera provides the standard AF-S, AF-C and Manual focus modes, with additional Face/Eye priority options for shooting portraits.

      The sensor is augmented by a new (so far unnamed) image processor which, according to Fujifilm, is 1.5x faster than the processor in the X-A3. It claims to cut focusing times in half when the hybrid AF system is used and also reduces start-up time to between  0.3 and 0.5 seconds.

      Continuous shooting times are unchanged with a maximum capture rate of six frames/second (fps) plus a low-speed three fps alternative. The X-A5 introduces the option to select either the normal continuous shooting mode or 4K video recording with the bottom selector on the arrow pad.  

      When 4K is selected, users can choose between a standard burst or a multi-focus burst of 4K resolution shots at 15 fps and then choose which frames they want to save from a thumbnail list in playback. In multi-focus mode users can choose which shots to combine to create a multi-focus image for saving.

      The new processor has also allowed Fujifilm to expand the X-A5’s sensitivity range from the native ISO 200 to 12800 to take in ISO 100 at the lower end and ISO 25600 and ISO 51200 at the upper end. The extended sensitivity settings are only available with the mechanical shutter and for JPEG files, not RAF.RAW files.

      Image quality is said to have been improved, particularly for skin tones, thanks to Portrait Enhancement Level function with three levels of skin tone adjustment, which also benefit from a more accurate scene recognition system. Two new creative filters  Fog Remove  and  HDR Art, bring the total number of filters up to 17.

      The touchscreen controls have also been improved and users can now access Touch AF in Movie Mode and Advanced Filter Select modes. Touch controls can also be used for digital zooming, regardless of the mode selected, using standard pinch-in and pinch-out gestures.

      The exposure compensation range has been increased from+/-3EV to +/-5EV. Unchanged features include the of 11 Film Simulation modes that replicate the look of classic Fuji emulsions and users are still able to convert raw files into JPEGs in the camera.

      Video capabilities have also been improved, with the ability to record at 4K resolution with a frame rate of 15 frames/second. The 4K functionality includes a Multi Focus Mode which stacks 4K quality images and automatically changes the depth of field setting.  The X-A5 also supports Full HD 1080p at 50 fps and 24 fps, HD 720p at 50p and 24p and includes a High Speed Movie mode that records HD footage with between 1.6x and 4x increases in playback speeds. A microphone jack is also provided. Normal burst shooting speeds remain the same as the X-A3’s at six frames/second.

      The X-A5’s battery is the same as the X-A3’s but its capacity has been increased to approximately 450 frames/charge. USB battery charging is supported. Bluetooth version 4.1 low energy technology has been added to the camera’s Wi-Fi capabilities, which allow users to transfer photos to a smartphone or tablet, shoot remotely or connect to instax SHARE printers. Bluetooth can also use the Android or iOS-compatible Fujifilm Camera Remote app to provide constant automatic transfer of images to the designated device, even during shooting.

      Playback and Software
       No software is bundled with the camera but the printed Owner’s Manual provides links to downloads for the Fujifilm Camera Remote and Fujifilm PC AutoSave application needed when using the Wi-Fi functions. Also downloadable is the very basic MyFinePix Studio and ineffective Raw File Converter EX 2.0, which is based on Silkypix technology.

      This raw converter is slow and we’ve demonstrated more than once that it doesn’t extract the best results from the camera’s RAF.RAW files. Fortunately, raw files from the X-A5 can be processed in the latest version of Adobe Camera Raw, our preferred raw file converter.

       We were quite impressed with the Imatest results we obtained from the review camera with the Fujinon XC15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ kit lens.   With JPEG files, the highest resolution for the camera+lens fell a little short of expectations for the camera’s 24-megapixel sensor, although they remained close for ISO settings up to ISO 1600.

      However, with ARW.RAW files (which can only be recorded for sensitivities between ISO 200 and ISO 6400, inclusive), centre-of-frame resolution comfortably exceeded expectations for ISO settings up to ISO 800 before declining gradually. The graph below shows the results of our tests.



      Long exposures at night showed little visible noise at ISO settings up to ISO 3200, although slight softening was visible at this point.  We found the expected increase in softening plus noise from ISO 6400 on. The two highest ISO settings showed visible noise and softening but produced files that were usable at small output sizes.

      The built-in flash under-exposed by more than a stop with the ISO 100 setting but produced evenly-exposed shots across the rest of the camera’s ISO range. We found a noticeable loss of contrast and saturation as well as increasing softness in flash shots at the three highest ISO settings.

      White balance performance was similar to the results we obtained from the X-A3.   The review camera came close to eliminating the warm cast of incandescent lighting and delivered close to neutral colours with fluorescent and flash lighting. But it failed to correct the warm tone of the LED light we used.

      There’s no preset for LED or flash lighting and it seems the latter isn’t needed since the camera provides adjustments for tweaking colour reproduction on the spot. The incandescent and fluorescent presets over-corrected slightly, with the various fluorescent lighting settings imparting slightly different colour casts. Manual measurement produced neutral colour rendition.

      Autofocusing performance was good in moderately bright conditions, although we found it slowed a little in low light levels and with low-contrast subjects. As with the X-A3, the lack of a viewfinder made it difficult to assess AF speed in bright sunlight and shooting became a largely point-and-hope exercise. AF was mostly quick and accurate in movie mode, although, once again, adequate lighting was essential for focusing to keep track of moving subjects.

      We weren’t particularly impressed with camera’s the 4K recording capabilities, where the relatively slow frame rate of 15 fps could yield jumpy footage at times. The five-minute time limit for 4K clips shouldn’t trouble the casual movie shooters at whom this camera is aimed.

      For Full HD 1080p recording, frame rates are higher and recording can be up to 14 minutes in length. The quality of the movies we recorded was generally good and most clips were free of glitches. The face detection focus mode ensured the camera kept track of moving subjects. Audio quality from the built-in microphones was very good, given their size and position, although it lacked a little stereo ‘presence’. we weren’t able to test the camera with an external microphone.

      The high-speed video mode performed much as expected, providing playback at half and a quarter of the normal speed. It’s only available at HD (720p) resolution, however.

      We carried out our timing tests with the same 32GB Panasonic SDHC UHS-1 U3 card as we used for testing the Fujifilm X-A3 camera.  The review camera  was quite a bit slower than its sibling, taking  just over three seconds to power-up and roughly the same time to shut down. The Fujinon XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens  played a key role here as it was driven by the camera.

      We measured a constant capture lag of 0.3 seconds, which was eliminated with pre-focusing. This is slower than average for a mirrorless camera. If you don’t mind reducing battery capacity you can take advantage of the Pre-AF setting, which focuses continuously, even when the shutter button is not half-pressed. It roughly halves the average capture lag.

      When the flash is raised, capture lag increases to roughly half a second because the camera meters the exposure before firing the flash. Lag times will be longer if the lens has to focus before the flash is fired.

      Shot-to-shot times averaged 1.1 seconds without flash and 1.9 seconds with flash. Going by the indicator light on the rear panel, it took just over one second on average to process each JPEG file and 1.3 seconds for each RAF.RAW file and RAW+JPEG pair.

      In the continuous high-speed shooting mode, the review camera recorded 11 high-resolution JPEGs  in two seconds before slowing, which equates to a capture rate of 5.5 frames/second. It took 4.1 seconds to process this burst.

      Swapping to RAF.RAW files, the camera paused after six frames were captured in 1.0 seconds. Processing time for this burst was 6.3 seconds. The same number of RAW+JPEG frames were captured in the same time of 1.0 seconds but it took 7.5 seconds to process this burst.

      The camera became a little warm during continuous shooting as well as when movie clips longer than a couple of seconds were recorded. We don’t see this as a serious issue.

       The X-A5 is a nice little snapshooters’ camera that provides above-average resolution for stills capture across a decent range of ISO settings. The flip-up monitor works well for ‘selfies’ and the touch screen is easy to use, although recording movies can become a point-and-pray exercise in bright outdoor lighting.

      Socially-active snapshooters will appreciate the various self-timer options and the ease with which images can be uploaded to sharing sites. As in the X-A3, the auto modes will help the technologically challenged. However, the lack of a built-in EVF or any kind of viewfinder will deter serious enthusiasts, particularly those who live in the Southern Hemisphere.

      Even though the camera has been on sale for a few months, discounting is quite variable, with most online re-sellers cutting less than AU$50 off Fujifilm’s RRP.  If you shop around, you can pick up the camera plus lens for less than AU$800.  

      Off-shore re-sellers have the X-A5 kit listed at US$599 (around AU$810 when this review was published), to which you must add roughly AU$35 for the cheapest shipping rate. So you’re unlikely to get a bargain if you buy off-shore.



       Image sensor: 23.5 x 15.7 mm CMOS sensor with  24.2 megapixels effective and Bayer colour filtration
       Image processor:  Not specified
       A/D processing: Not specified
       Lens mount: Fujifilm X-mount
       Focal length crop factor: 1.5x
       Image formats: Stills: JPEG (Exif Ver 2.3), RAF.RAW, RAW+JPEG; Movies: MOV with H.264 compression & Linear PCM stereo audio
       Image Sizes: Stills ““ 3:2 aspect: 6000 x 4000, 4240 x 2832, 3008 x 2000; 16:9 aspect: 6000 x 3376, 4240 x 2384, 3008 x 1688; 1:1 aspect: 4000 x 4000, 2832 x 2832, 2000 x 2000; Motion Panorama: 180 °: Vertical: 2160 x 9600 / Horizontal: 9600 x 1440; 120 °: Vertical: 2160 x 6400 / Horizontal: 6400 x 1440; Movies:   4K 3840 x 2160 15p, 1920 x 1080 59.94p / 50p / 24p / 23.98p, 1280 x 720 59.94p / 50p / 24p / 23.98p, High Speed Movie: 1280×720 1.6x / 2x / 3.3x / 4x
       Image Stabilisation: Supported with OIS type lens
       Dust removal: Ultra Sonic Vibration
       Shutter (speed range):   Focal plane Mechanical shutter – 30   to 1/4000 second;   Electronic Shutter – 30 sec. to 1/32000 sec.; Bulb mode (up to 60 min) and Time mode available; flash sync at 1/180 sec.
       Exposure Compensation: +/-5 EV in 1/3EV or 1/2EV steps (+/-2EV for movies)
       Exposure bracketing: 2/3/5/7 frames across +/1/3EV to   +/3EV in 1/3EV steps
       Other bracketing options: Film Simulation Bracketing (Any 3 types of film simulation selectable), Dynamic Range Bracketing (100% · 200% · 400%)
       ISO sensitivity Bracketing (+/-1/3EV, +/-2/3EV, +/-1EV), White Balance Bracketing (+/-1, +/-2, +/-3)
       Self-timer: 2 or10sec. delay plus Smile / Buddy (LV.1 – LV.3) / Group (1-4 subjects) / Face Auto Shutter modes
       Intervalometer: Yes, for time-lapse movies
       Focus system: 91-point Intelligent Hybrid AF: TTL contrast AF / TTL phase detection AF, AF assist illuminator available
       Focus modes: Single AF, Continuous AF, MF, AF+MF; Single point AF: 7×13 (Changeable size of AF frame among 5 types),   Zone AF: 3×3 / 5×5 / 7×7 from 91 areas on 7×13 grid, Wide/Tracking AF: (up to 18 areas)
       Exposure metering:   TTL 256-zone metering with Multi, Spot and Average metering patterns
       Shooting modes: Advanced SR Auto, P, S, A, M,   Night, Sports, Landscape, Portrait Enhancer, SP (Scene Position), Adv., Panorama
       Scene Position modes: Portrait, Night, Portrait, Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Party, Flower, Text, Multiple Exposures
       Film Simulation  modes: Provia/STANDARD, Velvia/VIVID, Astia/SOFT, Classic Chrome, PRO Neg Hi, PRO Neg. Std, Monochrome, Monochrome+Ye Filter, Monochrome+R Filter, Monochrome+G Filter, Sepia
       Advanced filter modes: Toy camera, Miniature, Pop colour, High-key, Low-key, Dynamic tone, Fish-eye, Soft focus, Cross screen, Partial colour (Red / Orange / Yellow / Green / Blue / Purple), Fog remove, HDR Art
       Colour space options: Adobe RGB, sRGB
       ISO range: Auto (x3), ISO 200 to 12800 in 1/3EV steps plus extension to   ISO 100, ISO 25600   and ISO 51200
       White balance: Automatic Scene recognition / Custom1-3 / Colour temperature selection (2500K-10000K) / Preset: Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight/Warm White/Cool White), Incandescent light, Underwater
       Flash: Manual pop-up flash, GN Approx 4 (ISO100/m)
       Flash modes: Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro, Rear-curtain Synchro, Commander; Red-eye removal is available
       Flash exposure adjustment: +/- 2EV in 1/3EV steps
       Sequence shooting: Max. 6 frames/sec.  
       Buffer capacity: 10 JPEG
       Storage Media: SD, SDHC, SDXC cards (UHS-I compatible)
       Viewfinder: None
       LCD monitor: Tilting 3.0-inch, 3:2 aspect ratio TFT colour LCD monitor with approx. 1,040,000 dots and touch screen capabilities
       Playback functions: RAW conversion, Image rotate, Auto image rotate, Face Detection, Red-eye reduction, Photobook assist, Erase selected frames, Multi-frame playback (with micro thumbnail), Slide show, Protect, Crop, Resize, Panorama, Favourites
       Interface terminals: micro USB 2.0, HDMI Micro connector (Type D), 2.5 mm 3-pole mini jack for microphone
       Wi-Fi function: IEEE 802.11b / g / n (standard wireless protocol); Bluetooth Ver. 4.1 (Bluetooth low energy); Geotagging setup, Image transfer (Individual image/Selected multiple images), View & Obtain Images, PC Autosave, instax Printer Print, Pairing registration, Delete pairing registration, Bluetooth ON/OFF setting, Auto image transfer
       Power supply: NP-W126S  rechargeable Li-ion Battery Pack; CIPA rated for approx. 450 shots/charge
       Dimensions (wxhxd): 116.9 x 67.7 x 40.4 mm
       Weight: Approx. 361 grams (including battery and memory card)

       Distributor: Fujifilm Australia; 1800 226 355; www.fujifilm.com.au.  



       Based on JPEG files captured with the Fujinon XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens.


       Based on RAF.RAW files captured at the same time and converted with Adobe Camera Raw.






      Auto white balance with incandescent lighting.


       Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.


      Auto white balance with LED lighting.


       Auto white balance with flash lighting.


      30-second exposure at ISO 100, 31mm focal length, f/4.5.


      15-second exposure at ISO 200, 31mm focal length, f/4.5.


      8-second exposure at ISO 800, 31mm focal length, f/6.4.


      5-second exposure at ISO 6400, 31mm focal length, f/8.


      2-second exposure at ISO 12800, 31mm focal length, f/8.


      1-second exposure at ISO 25600, 31mm focal length, f/8.


      1-second exposure at ISO 51200, 31mm focal length, f/11.


      Flash exposure at ISO 100, 45mm focal length, 1/60 second at   f/5.6.


      Flash exposure at ISO 400, 45mm focal length, 1/60 second at   f/5.6


      Flash exposure at ISO 800, 45mm focal length, 1/60 second at   f/5.6.


      Flash exposure at ISO 6400, 45mm focal length, 1/60 second at   f/5.6.



      Flash exposure at ISO 12800, 45mm focal length, 1/70 second at   f/5.6.


      Flash exposure at ISO 25600, 45mm focal length, 1/90 second at   f/5.6.


      Flash exposure at ISO 51200, 45mm focal length, 1/170 second at   f/5.6.


      Close up at 45mm; ISO 200, 1/1000 second at f/5.6.


      15mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/150 second at f/5.


      45mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/150 second at f/6.4.



      Strong backlighting; 15mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/800 second at f/16.


      Wide brightness range subject; 15mm focal length, ISO 400, 1/240 second at f/6.4.



      15mm focal length, ISO 2500, 1/25 second at f/3.5.


      15mm focal length, ISO 25600, 1/240 second at f/5.6.



      45mm focal length, ISO 640, 1/27 second at f/9.


      29mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/160 second at f/5.



      45mm focal length, ISO 400, 1/400 second at f/5.6.


      27mm focal length, ISO 320, 1/125 second at f/6.4.



      Panorama mode; Focal length not registered, ISO 200, 1/240 second at f/10.


      Still frame from 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) movie clip, recorded at 15 fps.


      Still frame from Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) video clip recorded at 50 fps.


      Still frame from Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) video clip recorded at 24 fps.


      Still frame from HD (1280 x 720 pixels) video clip recorded at 50 fps.


      Still frame from HD (1280 x 720 pixels) video clip recorded at 24 fps.


      Still frame from high-speed video clip recorded at 2x 50p speed.


       Still frame from high-speed video clip recorded at 4x 50p speed.

      Additional image samples can be found with our review of the Fujinon XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens.



      RRP: AU$899; US$599.95 (includes Fujinon XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens)

      • Build: 8.6
      • Ease of use: 8.5
      • Autofocusing: 8.5
      • Still image quality JPEG: 8.9
      • Still image quality RAW: 9.0
      • Video quality: 8.5