Fuji XQ1 review

Fuji's X20 sensor in a tiny body

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Our Verdict

A fun camera, but we can't help feel it fails to live up to its promises, and with the falling cost of models such as the Canon Powershot G16/G15 and GX1 and the Panasonic Lumx DMC-LX-7, it might find standing against the competition rather difficult.


  • Lovely solid build
  • Super-fast power up and shot-to-shot times
  • Good colours and colour controls
  • Good resolution mid aperture range


  • F/1.8 is rarely available
  • Quite noisy images
  • Limited dynamic range
  • Lens ring moves too easily
Ratings in depth
Fuji XQ1 review

Fuji XQ1 review

Fuji XQ1 review

Fuji XQ1 review

Fuji XQ1 review

With the guts of the X20 and a new f/1.8 zoom lens, Fuji's XQ1 promises high image quality and great low-light functionality

There seems of be an insatiable appetite for premium quality compact cameras, with camera buyers happy to part with healthy amounts of cash to secure a well-built body that gives the impression of detailed control, a high-performance lens and some additional features that make it stand out from the crowd.

A super-wide aperture is an excellent example of the kind of 'additional feature' that users are looking for, and maximum openings of f/1.8, as presented here by the Fuji XQ1, have been a fashionable attention-grabber since Samsung's EX1 was launched in 2010.

But the XQ1 can offer more than that. It also includes that second most-desired additional feature – a larger-than-usual imaging sensor, plus the processor of a camera much further up the range than itself.

It's a heady mix, but one that experience tells us does not have to produce the fine results one would hope from the sum of so many advanced parts.


The Fuji XQ1 is a pocket-sized compact camera that features a 25-100mm (35mm equiv) lens with an aperture range of f/1.8-4.9. The camera uses the same 2/3in X-Trans CMOS sensor and processor as the company's advanced and stylish X20 compact camera – a camera that cost almost one and a half times as much when launched as the XQ1 does now.

The benefits of this connection, beyond the prestige, is that the sensor is twice the size of that used in many compact cameras, and 1.3x the size of those used in more premium models such as Canon's Powershot G16. Possession of a larger sensor, of course, means that the camera's 12 million pixels can be larger and can, in theory at least, collect more light. This in turn should lead to less image noise at higher ISO settings and in long exposures. Indeed, the camera has been allowed a maximum ISO rating of 12800.


Fuji claims that the size of the sensor isn't the only aspect of the camera that is working towards reducing imaging noise, as the high-powered processor has a hand in matters too.

Proving its premium credentials, the XQ1 offers the simultaneous saving of images as raw and JPEG files, and the exposure mode dial on the top plate houses positions for aperture and shutter priority modes, as well as full manual and fully automatic point-and-shoot functions.

Those who remember the film days will be glad to know that Fuji has included image settings to simulate the colour and contrast characteristics of Provia, Astia and Velvia transparency emulsions, as well as the black and white tones of Neopan. If you choose to record your images in raw format you have the chance to apply these 'looks' post-capture, as the camera is capable of a degree of raw processing independently of a computer.

Fuji black

Of course, physically plugging a camera into a computer is considered very third-world these days, and Fuji has rightly included wireless connection so that you can transfer files either to a hard drive, a smartphone or a tablet.

If we were to look for what's missing, perhaps some form of touch-screen capability for selecting at least a focus point might have been useful.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Wireless LANYes
Effective Camera Resolution12 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyX
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom4x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameFujifilm
FeaturesContinuous Shooting Mode, Live View, Orientation Sensor, Face Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsH.264, MOV
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)187 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, REACH
Image Sensor Size2/3" (8.80 mm x 6.60 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height58.5 mm
Width100 mm
Depth33.3 mm
Product SeriesX
Focal Length6.40 mm to 25.60 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
External FlashNo
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerFuji Photo Film Co. Ltd
Product ModelXQ1
Product NameXQ1 Compact Camera
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberP10NC11760A
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.fujifilm.co.uk
Marketing Information
  • High image quality of the FUJIFILM X Series in a pocket size
  • Maximum resolution and description power with the bright F1.8 lens and "Lens Modulation Optimiser" function.
  • World's fastest Autofocus speed of just 0.06 seconds
  • High-quality trimmed body design and control ring
  • Simple and fast Wireless image transfer
Superb build quality

Available in solid black and solid silver, the FUJIFILM XQ1's all-metal body is of the highest quality. With a stylish upper control deck, the black body has a textured finish, while the silver body is fully anodised with a single tone finish that matches the upper deck.

X series Image Quality

To maximise the power of the lens, Fujifilm has removed the optical low-pass filter from its X-Trans™ CMOS II sensor. In addition, the camera features a "Lens Modulation Optimiser," which minimises diffraction and chromatic aberrations by digitally processing images to improve sharpness and clarity. Extraordinary resolution can be experienced with simple shooting in JPEG format.

Package Contents
  • XQ1 Compact Camera
  • Li-ion Battery NP-48
  • AC Power Adapter AC-5VT
  • Plug Adapter
  • Hand Strap
  • USB Cable
  • Software CD-ROM
  • Owner's Manual
Limited Warranty1 Year