Fujifilm’s new X-A5 adds 4K video and speedy phase detect autofocus

Jan 31, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Fujifilm’s new X-A5 adds 4K video and speedy phase detect autofocus

Jan 31, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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It feels like only yesterday I was playing with Fuji’s shiny new X-A3 entry-level mirrorless camera. Of course, it wasn’t yesterday, it was almost a year and a half ago at Photokina. While the X-A3 was a pretty decent camera to introduce the Fuji X system, it wasn’t perfect. Now it’s received a few updates to address some of those issues and add some great features in the newly announced Fujifilm X-A5.

Those features include some welcome updates for all users, but especially so for vloggers. It has a new faster phase-detect autofocus system. It shoots 4K UHD video, and it actually has a microphone input. I thought that the X-A3 might possibly be welcomed by vloggers, although few used it, mostly due to that lack of microphone input and crappy autofocus. Now, it would almost be a competitor, if the 4K video wasn’t limited to 15 frames per second.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsftbZfH6FY

Here’s a quick rundown of the specs.

  • Body type: Rangefinder-style mirrorless
  • Resolution: 6000×400
  • Effective pixels: 24MP
  • Sensor: APS-C CMOS with a Bayer colour filter
  • ISO: 200-12,800 (expandable to 100-51,200)
  • White balance presets: 7
  • Custom white balance slots: 3
  • Image stabilisation: No
  • Autofocus points: 91
  • Lens mount: Fujifilm X
  • LCD: 3″ tilting 1,040,000 pixel touchscreen
  • Slowest shutter speed: 30 sec
  • Fastest mechanical shutter speed: 1/4000 sec
  • Fastest electronic shutter speed: 1/32,000 sec
  • Continuous shooting: 6fps
  • Exposure compensation: +/- 5 stops at 1/3rd stop intervals
  • Exposure bracketing: +/- 3 stops at 1/3rd, 2/3rd and full stop intervals)
  • Microphone input: Yes (yay!)
  • Wireless connectivity: Built-in 802.11/b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.1LE
  • Remote control: Wired or through smartphone
  • Weight: 361g (including battery)
  • Dimensions: 117 x 68 x 40mm (4.61 x 2.68 x 1.57″)

As with the X-A3 predecessor, the X-A5 shoots a 24MP APS-C sensor, which uses a Bayer filter rather than the X-Trans filter of its more powerful siblings. Like the X-A3, the LCD flips up vertically so you can see yourself for vlogging or selfies and it’s also a touchscreen. The X-A5 boasts a battery life of 450 shots, but no indication as to how long that battery might last when shooting video.

This update sees the native ISO range increased from a maximum of ISO6,400 to ISO12,800, with an extended range of ISO100-51,200. The new phase-detect autofocus system, Fuji claims, doubles the AF speed over the X-A3. And the new touchscreen LCD allows for touch focus, making those selfies and vlogs much easier.

Unfortunately, you’ll still be shooting those vlogs at 1080p. I didn’t list the video capabilities in the specs above because I felt it deserved its own section.

  • 3840×2160 @ 15fps
  • 1920×1080 @ 23.976, 24, 50, 60fps
  • 1280×720 @ 23.976, 24, 50, 60fps.

As you can see, 4K UHD caps out at a measly 15 frames per second. This means it might as well not bother shooting 4K at all. 1080p, however, lets you shoot 23.976, 24, 50 and 60fps. With a $599 price tag, though, including the new 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens, it’s still not a bad 1080p vlogging camera, especially now that it has a microphone input.

Overall, it’s an impressive little camera for those looking to dabble with Fuji’s X system cameras. Personally, though, the lack of 4K 23.976fps video kills this for me. As I mentioned above, 15fps video means it might as well not offer that resolution at all. Short of using it to record video to speed up in post for timelapse, it’s basically useless. And I’ve already got a dozen cameras capable of shooting 1080p.

While the camera is obviously aimed at stills photographers and selfie takers and not really video shooters, this was almost the ideal Fuji vlogging camera. It seems that despite how popular vlogging becomes, camera manufacturers have yet to really grasp the needs of those who use their cameras to make them. This camera does solve many of the issues vloggers have, but with no real usable 4K, it’s not going to attract many in today’s vlogging market.

The Fujifilm X-A5 comes with the new 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens. It’s availabel to pre-order now for $599 in silver, brown or pink. They are set to ship on February 8th.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “Fujifilm’s new X-A5 adds 4K video and speedy phase detect autofocus”

  1. ikeofkc Avatar
    ikeofkc

    Would buy for my Dad’s salon for his videos if the 4k was 30fps. That way we could use my xf lenses without having to bring my x-t2. Also I could use the power lense to test. 4k at 15 only makes it not possible though