Fuji's new XQ2 high-end compact is easy on the pocket, literally

Fuji's pint-sized compact packs a powerful punch with the same sensor as the X30

The Fuji X30 is the company's top high-end compact with a zoom lens, but its 2/3-inch CMOS sensor also appears in its much smaller stablemate, the XQ1 – and now there's an updated version.

The XQ2 has the same 12-megapixel X-Trans sensor and 4x 25-100mm equivalent zoom lens, but adds Fuji's latest Classic Chrome film simulation mode for rich colours reminiscent of old-fashioned transparency film.

The X-Trans sensor design has a unique, 'random' (not really, but it amounts to the same thing) arrangement of red, green and blue pixels which controls moiré (interference effects) with fine patterns and textures so that the sensor doesn't need an anti-aliasing filter. These filters control moiré by slightly blurring the fine detail, so if they can be removed the fine detail is just that little bit sharper.

The same but better

The XQ2 also has a new Multi-area AF mode that can automatically select up to 9 AF areas across the frame, but otherwise it looks – at first glance – pretty much the same as the XQ1, right down to the size and weight.

The 4x zoom retracts almost flush with the camera body when it's switched off and covers a good focal range, but although it offers an f/1.8 maximum aperture at the widest focal length, this shrinks to a somewhat disappointing f/4.9 at full zoom.

Fuji XQ2

The Fuji XQ2's zoom retracts fully into a body slim enough to slide into your pocket.

There's no room for a viewfinder, but there is a 3-inch, 920,000-dot display on the back of the camera. You get full program AE, aperture-priority, shutter-priority and manual modes, together with Fuji's highly-rated Film Simulation modes and a selection of Advanced Filter effects such as Toy Camera, Dynamic Tone, Partial Color and more. You can shoot raw files and process them later on your computer, or use the XQ2's internal raw processing options.

Accessories and availability

The XQ2 will be available in black, silver and white, and there will be cute black or brown leather half-cases to go with it. You can even get an underwater housing for shooting at depths of up to 40m.

The XQ2 goes on sale in March 2015 and will cost £330 (about US$503, AU$617).