Fuji XQ1 review

Fuji's X20 sensor in a tiny body

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It's the quality of the build of this model that struck us first. It's a solid little block, with a reassuring metal feel to the top plate, the dial and the lens mount. Although designed to be lightweight, the XQ1 has a certain authoritative presence in the hand, and a thumb catch on its rear is just enough to lend secure purchase.

Buttons silver

The buttons, though few, are well laid out, and conform very much to the industry standard. The layout comprises a rotating rear wheel that doubles as a four-way rocker-switch surrounded by additional access points.

The on/off button is nicely recessed, so it's unlikely to be pressed by accident, and the camera starts up very quickly. Not only ready to shoot in no time at all, the XQ1 spends very little time on itself between shots, which means we can enjoy a second bite of the cherry if we miss the decisive moment the first time. This is a rare skill in a compact camera and one to be cherished.

Top view

We're big fans of control rings around lenses, and were pleased to see one here, completing the retro look with something functional. While the lens ring on the X20 is used to turn the camera on, in the XQ1 it can be used to deal with apertures, white balance, exposure compensation, ISO, drive modes, colour modes and even to control the zoom.

The ring feels nice and in all activities other than in controlling focal length it works well (it's slow and un-reactive as a zoom ring). However, it has no click-stops or lock, or anyway of keeping it from moving. As such, we found on numerous occasions that even the way we held the camera was altering the exposure compensation value, or giving us f/8 when we thought we were enjoying f/1.8. It needs some way for the user to restrain its enthusiasm for its task.

Angle view

With few external buttons, presumably to make it look easy to use, the rear of the body falls somewhat short of supplying access to all the features an enthusiast photographer might want to use. Fuji has partly made up for this by creating an extra layer of functions for the rear wheel.

Pressing the E-Fn button brings up a virtual menu screen that adds an additional function for six of the rear buttons, thus giving access to features such as white balance, AF point positioning and film simulation modes. This provides a speedier route than having to go via the main menu, and is a reasonable price to pay for having a small body, but it can feel a little long-winded at times.


Wirelessly connecting the camera to a tablet (in our case a Sony Xperia Z) proved very easy once the Fuji Camera app was downloaded. The devices took a little while to find each other, but transfer is quick and, importantly, we were able to browse the camera's files as good-sized thumbnails and choose which to import. The app doesn't appear to offer remote controlled shooting, as is commonly a feature of these things.

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