Fuji XQ2 review

Fuji's smart-looking compact camera is tiny but tough, and a delight to use

Fuji XQ2

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Despite measuring only 100 x 59 x 33mm and tipping the scales at just over 200g, the XQ2 feels a remarkably sturdy little camera. The slightly textured matt finish on the body not only looks classy, it also makes it comfortable to hold and allows a confident grip. The inclusion of a small thumb catch in the top right corner also aids grip and makes one handed use of the camera that much easier.

I found the partially recessed on/off button is easy to access, without being prone to accidental pressing, and the camera starts up almost instantaneously. The top mode dial is nice and firm, without being too stiff. The zoom lever, however, can be a little temperamental, sometimes taking a while to engage and being a little jerky in use. A small pop up flash in included to the right and, although lacking in power, it's quick and easy to access by a slide switch and can do a good job of filling in shadows and providing a little illumination. The multi function lens ring, increasingly popular on compact cameras, aids the simple and intuitive handling of the XQ2.

Fuji XQ2

The pop-up flash isn't particularly powerful but it could be useful.

Fuji XQ2

The 3-inch 920k-dot screen is good, but it doesn't flip up or rotate and it's not touch-sensitive.

The rear of the camera is largely taken up by a generous 3-inch LCD screen. To the right of the screen, the control wheel (which doubles as a 4-way switch) and four partially recessed buttons are well placed, within easy reach of your thumb. Although necessarily small, they are remarkably comfortable in use. Those used to using a larger compact or SLR may find the number of buttons a little limiting, although the E-Fn button gives pretty quick access to some of the more useful menu items. This same button can also be used to boost screen brightness in sunny conditions.

The fixed LCD screen is clear and bright and boasts a high resolution of 920,000 dots. Although a tilting screen would be nice to have, it's hard to see how it could be included in a camera quite this small and the existing screen is easy to use in most conditions, with good viewing angles. In very bright light, areas of shadow can be a little hard to see - however, a simple press of the E-Fn button immediately brightens the screen to the extent that details in the shadows are easily viewed.

Overall the camera feels very responsive and is a pleasure to use, particularly when you consider how small it is. Enthusiasts wanting ultimate control will find plenty of features and functionality to keep them happy, whilst those wanting a simple point and shoot camera are not going to be baffled by a plethora of buttons and an overly complicated menu system.