Fuji The Fuji X-A1: a camera to be reckoned with

Stephen S

Veteran
Feb 14, 2014
East Bay, Northern California
Stephen Scharf
No question the E-M5 is faster. The X-A1 has slower AF than my X-Pro1 or the X100S, just a bit. The EM-5 is still has slightly faster AF than the X-Pro1 with the latest firmware update, but not by any practically meaningful difference.

I rented an X100S for a couple weeks on vacation, and actually, I think the AF on my X-Pro1 is faster than the X100S. Just my 2¢.
 

jacobsen1

Rookie
Jan 21, 2014
I use a step down ring that takes the lens from it's 52mm threads (I think?) down to 30mm. So that inner hole is technically threaded for a smaller filter. No vingetting. And it's a small enough hole I can slide the camera into a jacket pocket w/o anything touching the lens itself so I can ditch the lenscap. Basically it means I can shoot with a miniature hood all the time that doesn't make the camera any bigger and also allows me to go w/o a lenscap so I don't have to worry about dropping it or losing it (especially with gloves on). It's a trick I learned from some X100 guys but figured I'd try it with my 18mm and it works pretty well.
 

Dave Swatscheno

New Member
Jan 9, 2014
Hi. I purchased the X-A1 as a back-up camera to my X-E2. I keep a Fuji 27mm pancake on it and it is actually smaller than my X100. The images it produces are excellent. I paid $449.00 for the camera with the 16-50 lens, a 32GB SD card, and a extra battery. One of the better camera purchases I have made. Dave S.
 

caver3d

New Member
Oct 4, 2013
No question the E-M5 is faster. The X-A1 has slower AF than my X-Pro1 or the X100S, just a bit. The EM-5 is still has slightly faster AF than the X-Pro1 with the latest firmware update, but not by any practically meaningful difference.

I rented an X100S for a couple weeks on vacation, and actually, I think the AF on my X-Pro1 is faster than the X100S. Just my 2¢.
With all due respect, I have the E-M5 and also the X-M1, X-E1, and X100. The E-M5 has the fastest autofocus. And, quite frankly, if you figure that the X-E1 and X-Pro1 (with firmware upgrades) have similar AF speeds, the E-M5 still beats both of them. It is a practically meaningful difference (not insignificant). I have done comparative autofocus shooting with these cameras.

I just received the X-T1 which has faster autofocus, but still not faster than the E-M5 (or E-M1).

(BTW, I have also shot at Mare Island with my cameras.)

caver3d
 

Stephen S

Veteran
Feb 14, 2014
East Bay, Northern California
Stephen Scharf
With all due respect, I have the E-M5 and also the X-M1, X-E1, and X100. The E-M5 has the fastest autofocus. And, quite frankly, if you figure that the X-E1 and X-Pro1 (with firmware upgrades) have similar AF speeds, the E-M5 still beats both of them. It is a practically meaningful difference (not insignificant). I have done comparative autofocus shooting with these cameras.

I just received the X-T1 which has faster autofocus, but still not faster than the E-M5 (or E-M1).

(BTW, I have also shot at Mare Island with my cameras.)

caver3d
No problem.

Regarding the X-T1 vs. E-M5 AF speeds, with all due respect, I don't agree. The E-M5 takes considerably longer to acquire focus in low light than the X-T1 does, and it cannot match it for continuous high-speed focus (see my go-kart thread elsewhere, or the Ferrari Challenge shots just posted on Saturday).

It all depends on what one's definition of what constitutes a "practical difference". For me, all I can say is that I have not missed a shot with my X-Pro1 or X-T1 because of AF speed. For me, that's all that matters. Your requirements may be different, and that's fine.

For example, here is a series of shots taken with my X-Pro1 at 6 FPS, continuous focus of an Indy Car entering a pit box....not exactly a slow-occuring event...

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flysurfer

Hall of Famer
Aug 31, 2011
However, since the XP1 (and A1, M1, E1) does not focus at all in continuous mode (except for the very first frame), this series of images is hardly relevant with regards to AF performance.
 

Stephen S

Veteran
Feb 14, 2014
East Bay, Northern California
Stephen Scharf
I think perhaps we might be getting hung up a bit here on semantics, requirements, definitions, whatever.

I put the continous focus AF reticle on the car, and tracked the car entering the pit box while shooting at 6 FPS. All of these frames are in focus, which, from a practical perspective, as far as I'm concerned, is all that matters.
 

flysurfer

Hall of Famer
Aug 31, 2011
You can't track anything at 6 fps, as the mentioned cameras do not feature tracking AF in continuous mode. Focus is fixed before the first frame of the series and remains the same throughout the entire series (so do exposure, DR and white balance). It's not a question of semantics or getting hung up, it's a mere question of facts: If there is no autofocus (because the camera is not focussing), there is no AF performance to discuss. :) You could just as well have used manual focus and prefocussed on the pit. Effectively, that's what AF-C did when it focussed the camera once(!) before taking the first shot of the series.

Whether the frames are all in focus (or not) is a matter of depth-of-field (as a function of aperture, focal length and circle of confusion) and the point the camera was focussing before the first shot of the series was taken. It's not a matter of AF speed, because there was no AF operation (and hence no AF speed) between shots of this series.
 

walker

Regular
Jan 18, 2014
Italy, Northeast
You can't track anything at 6 fps, as the mentioned cameras do not feature tracking AF in continuous mode. Focus is fixed before the first frame of the series and remains the same throughout the entire series (so do exposure, DR and white balance). It's not a question of semantics or getting hung up, it's a mere question of facts: If there is no autofocus (because the camera is not focussing), there is no AF performance to discuss. :) You could just as well have used manual focus and prefocussed on the pit. Effectively, that's what AF-C did when it focussed the camera once(!) before taking the first shot of the series.

Whether the frames are all in focus (or not) is a matter of depth-of-field (as a function of aperture, focal length and circle of confusion) and the point the camera was focussing before the first shot of the series was taken. It's not a matter of AF speed, because there was no AF operation (and hence no AF speed) between shots of this series.
thank you for pointing this out, very informative!
 

caver3d

New Member
Oct 4, 2013
Then we will completely disagree on this.

I also shoot with the E-M5 in caves. That's right, cave photography, and I shoot with (1) available headlamp light, and (2) also with multiple strobes. (I'm not talking about tourist or show caves. These are wild, undeveloped caves.) Autofocus speed in low light will also depend on the lens that is used. The faster the lens, the better. I have no problems with the E-M5, such that it would make me want to use one of my Fujis. I can easily and quickly autofocus (if I choose to use AF) with the E-M5 even on a small, dim headlamp from a distance away inside a cave. It nails autofocus. It gets it done in great fashion, and some times under very adverse conditions underground (translation; cold, wet, muddy). I will only take the X-T1 in there once I have one of the weather-resistant lenses.

I also shoot with world-class cave photographers. One of these cave photographers, who has shot with a Nikon SLR in the past, is now using a Panasonic GX7 with m43 lenses, and the results are stunning. And the GX7 is a competitor to the E-M5.

I have repeatedly shot with the E-M5 above ground too, where I am in moving vehicles. It's lightning fast focus gets the shot, where the Fujis would struggle. That is a fact.

There you have it.
 

flysurfer

Hall of Famer
Aug 31, 2011
It's common knowledge and there's a consensus that current Olypmus cameras offer a pretty advanced CDAF. Their first models featured a really bad CDAF, btw, so there's a learning curve for every manufacturer who expand their comfort zone.

The jury is still out on the performance of the PDAF featured in the latest Olympus models. Reviews have been inconclusive, even DPR didn't actually test PDAF tracking in their EM-1 "in-depth review" expect for a few demo shots at an official Olympus event that are basically worthless. This is strange, as Fuji's predictive PDAF tracking is tested all the time, and I (and others) have the images to prove how well it works.

Of course, none of this is related to the X-A1, which features a simple, non-tacking CDAF. Not really fast, but fast enough for most. Of course, with the proper technique and experience, you can pretty much shoot anything with anything.
 

Stephen S

Veteran
Feb 14, 2014
East Bay, Northern California
Stephen Scharf
Of course, none of this is related to the X-A1, which features a simple, non-tacking CDAF. Not really fast, but fast enough for most. Of course, with the proper technique and experience, you can pretty much shoot anything with anything.
I agree, and would like to suggest we move back on topic, which specifically is centered around the fact that the X-A1 excellent little camera with image quality that should not be underestimated.
 

Stephen S

Veteran
Feb 14, 2014
East Bay, Northern California
Stephen Scharf
The jury is still out on the performance of the PDAF featured in the latest Olympus models. Reviews have been inconclusive, even DPR didn't actually test PDAF tracking in their EM-1 "in-depth review" expect for a few demo shots at an official Olympus event that are basically worthless. This is strange, as Fuji's predictive PDAF tracking is tested all the time, and I (and others) have the images to prove how well it works.
So, I'm hoping we'll be able to find out some point in the reasonably near future. I just purchased a LNIB E-M1, which should arrive next week, and I plan to rent an Olympus 4/3 sonic wave AF motor lens and test it while shooting motorsports. We'll be able to see how it stacks up to the X-T1 and also to a pro Canon 1D series body and Canon USM AF lenses.
 

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