Fujifilm XQ1: The enthusiast compact the XF1 wanted to be?

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/ Updated: October 17, 2013 9:30 PM PDT
This is black. It will also come in silver, although not a retro black and silver model. Fujifilm

In addition to having a name that's really hard to type, the Fujifilm XQ1 seems to be an enthusiast-targeted version of the XF1. With a somewhat similar design -- that thankfully eschews the gimmicky extend-lens-to-power-on in favor of a traditional power button -- it's more compact with a higher-class X-Trans II CMOS sensor. While the XF1 remains in the product line at the same manufacturer price, it generally runs about $350 to $400, about $100 less than the XQ1's $500 price tag.

In addition to the new sensor, some upgrades over the XF1 include a higher-resolution LCD with ostensibly improved visibility, Wi-Fi support, and 1080/60p video. The company's X-Trans CMOS II also has an on-sensor phase-detection array, so it should deliver improved autofocus performance as well. The XQ1 incorporates some of the company's more recent technologies, including the faster EXR Processor II and Lens Modulation Optimizer (a fancy name for using lens performance data to improve image sharpness). Unlike the XF1, Fujifilm plans to offer a waterproof housing for the XQ1.

Although the control layout is relatively similar to the XF1, these are a little more cramped and the XQ1 loses the second rear adjustment dial. There's a single customizable button. Fujifilm

It seems to use the same lens optics as the XF1, which according to reviewer Josh Goldman narrow very quickly from that desirable f1.8 maximum aperture; I suppose if it used the much faster lens that's on the X20, Fujifilm wouldn't have been able to hit that desirable $500 price. However, the XQ1 uses a traditional zoom switch rather than the manual zoom ring that you find on both the XF1 and X20.

For comparison:

  Canon PowerShot G16 Fujifilm X20 Fujifilm XF1 Fujifilm XQ1 Nikon Coolpix P7800 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100
Sensor (effective resolution) 12.1MP CMOS 12MP X-Trans CMOS 12MP EXR CMOS 12MP X-Trans CMOS II 12.2MP BSI CMOS 20.2MP Exmor CMOS
1/1.7-inch 2/3-inch 2/3-inch 2/3-inch 1/1.7-inch 1-inch
(13.2 x 8.8mm)
Sensitivity range ISO 80 - ISO 12800 ISO 100 - ISO 12800 ISO 100 - ISO 12800 ISO 100 - ISO 12800 ISO 80 - ISO 3200/6400 (exp) ISO 100 - ISO 25600
Lens 28 - 140mm
f1.8-2.8
5x
28 - 112mm
f2-2.8
4x
25-100mm
f1.8 - 4.9
4x
25 - 100mm
f1.8-4.9
4x
28 - 200mm
f2-4
7.1x
28 - 100mm
f1.8-4.9
3.6x
Closest focus (inches) 0.4 3.9 1.2 1.2 (est) 0.8 1.9
Burst shooting 10fps
unlimited JPEG
12fps
11 JPEG/n/a raw
7fps
8 JPEG
n/a 8fps
6 JPEG/ n/a raw
2.5fps
(10fps with fixed exposure)
n/a
Viewfinder Optical Optical None None EVF None
Autofocus n/a
Contrast AF
n/a
Contrast AF
n/a
Contrast AF
n/a
Contrast, phase-detection AF
n/a
Contrast AF
25-area Contrast AF
Metering n/a 256 zones n/a n/a 224 segment n/a
Shutter 15 - 1/4000 sec 30 - 1/4000 sec 30 - 1/2000 sec
(1/1000 at full aperture)
n/a 60 - 1/4000 sec 30 - 1/2000 sec; bulb
Flash Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hot shoe Yes Yes No No Yes No
LCD 3-inch fixed 922,000 dots 2.8-inch fixed
460,000 dots
3-inch fixed
460,000 dots
3-inch fixed
920,000 dots
3-inch articulated
921,000 dots
3-inch fixed
921,600 dots
IS Optical Optical Optical Optical Optical Optical
Video (best quality) 1080 @ 60p
H.264 QuickTime MOV
Stereo
1080/60p H.264 QuickTime MOV
Stereo
1080/30p H.264 Quicktime MOV
Stereo
1080/60p H.264 QuickTime MOV
n/a
1080/30p
H.264 QuickTime MOV
Stereo
1080/ 60p/50p
AVCHD Stereo
Manual iris and shutter in video No No No n/a Yes Yes
Zoom during movies Yes Yes Yes n/a Yes
(Auto only)
n/a
Mic input No Yes No No Yes No
Wireless connection Wi-Fi No No Wi-Fi Optional
via WU-1a ($59.95)
No
Battery life (CIPA rating) 360 shots
270 shots 300 shots n/a 350 shots 330 shots
Size (WHD, inches) 4.4 x 3.0 x 1.6 4.6 x 2.7 x 2.2 4.2 x 2.4 x 1.2 3.9 x 2.3 x 1.3 4.7 x  3.1 x 2.0 4.0 x 2.4 x 1.4
Weight (ounces) 12.5 12.8 7.9 n/a 14.1 (est) 8.5
Mfr. Price $549.99 $599.99 $499.95 $499.95 $549.95 $649.99
Availability October 2013 March 2013 October 2012 October 2013 September 2013 July 2012

It's cute, and based on previous experiences I think it should deliver decent performance and good photo quality. But the enthusiast compact field is pretty crowded, with tons of competitors at both lower and higher prices, and Fujifilm has yet to deliver solid video in these cameras. A large part of this camera's potential attraction will hinge on how much Fujifilm has tweaked the lens and how much better the X-Trans II performs in comparison.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Digital camera type Digital Camera
  • Optical Zoom 4
  • Optical Sensor Type CMOS
  • Sensor Resolution 12.0 Megapixel
  • Image Stabilizer Optical
  • Optical Sensor Size 2/3"