Fuji XQ1 review

Fuji's X20 sensor in a tiny body

TODO alt text

It is easy to write f/1.8 on the barrel of a lens, but quite another thing to make that lens work well at such a wide aperture.

closed lens

Performance at this maximum setting is okay, with decent-enough resolution and no evidence of chromatic separations even in the corners. As one might expect, f/1.8 isn't the XQ1's best aperture, but fortunately for detail (but equally unfortunate of lovers of wide apertures) we get the chance to use this setting only rarely.

Shifting the zoom even fractionally brings about a dramatic closure of the blades and we quickly progress to the f/4.9 end of the quoted range. By the 35mm zoom position the widest available aperture is f/3.6 and by 50mm - only halfway through the zoom range - we can only manage f4.2. From this point of view, the f/1.8 advertised marking feels a bit of a con.

In hand

We found in use the better apertures sit firmly in the middle of the range - f/5.6-8 - with those before and after producing less sharp work. In practice too, there is not a great deal of benefit to be had from using the wider apertures if shallow depth of field is your aim, as at normal distances there is little differential focusing.

Wider apertures though can be used to avoid straying into higher ISO settings, as these produce quite a lot of noise. Luminance noise is a feature of images shot at settings of ISO 400 and above, with noise really having a significant impact at ISO 3200. Less vigorous noise reduction is the culprit, but at the same time this helps the camera to maintain good levels of detail resolution at almost all sensitivity settings.


Exposure metering is typically bright for a compact camera of this type, aiming at print-from-camera results rather than the atmospheric. We employed the help of the exposure compensation function on a great number of occasions to reduce overall brightness – something especially important given the surprisingly limited dynamic range of JPEG files. Images saved in the raw format hang on to detail a good deal longer, but still DSLR users will not be used to the speed at which highlight detail can be lost.

When exposures suit the scene, the XQ1 produces good colour. In the standard Provia setting Fuji avoids over-saturation and produces nice natural-looking shades. We found the auto white balancing mode quite effective. The 'daylight' setting, being actually labelled 'fine' can be too cool, and 'shade' delivers the warmth we don't need on just a cloudy day – there is nothing in between.

extended lens

We've been pleased with the focusing speed and accuracy of the camera, as well as the camera's ability to support an AF point in 49 locations across the screen. In both bright and low-contrast situations, we found the system could find what we were aiming at with little delay, and even moving subjects were tracked rather well. Though on paper the macro mode's 3cm limit looks promising, in practice the close focus ability diminishes as soon as we leave the 25mm focal length setting.

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