Fujifilm X-A5 Review

March 16, 2018 | Tim Coleman |

Fujifilm X-A5 Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 24 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 8Mb.

If the camera’s ease of use has been a bit of a disappointment in some areas, it’s all worth it for the quality of images that the Fujifilm X-A5 is able to produce. Goodness the X-A5 can make great pictures. 

It is not the same APS-C X-Trans sensor as Fujifilm’s high end X-Series cameras, but the 24.2MP images are still lovely. 

We had the new XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens for this test, plus the XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens. 

All 24.2MP images included in this review are taken in the full 3:2 aspect ratio. RAW files are a whopping 40MB approximately and JPEG files around 10MB.

Most of our pictures are taken in RAW and JPEG format, with the Provia Standard default colour setting, multi segment metering (which Fujifilm calls Photometry), auto white balance (AWB) and Dynamic Range set to its minimum of 100%. Any in-camera noise reduction has been switched off. 

We’ll start by saying how well the X-A5 is able to tackle a variety of scenarios and produce what appear well exposed pictures, with pleasing colour reproduction.

If you look at identical RAW and JPEG images straight out of the camera, we can see how well JPEGs are processed. There appears to be little change in colour rendition between the two; the hues of grass, blue skies, skin tones and cool shade are all consistent. 

Perhaps the most obvious difference in RAW and JPEGs is the handling of warm tones and increase in contrast for punchier end results. The X-A5 appears to enhance warms tones. For example, portraits we took at sunset show muted warm tones in RAWs, that are vibrant in JPEGs. It’s exactly to our taste. 

We’ve rarely needed to make colour corrections and all the sample images included with this review are unedited originals. 

On the whole, multi-segment metering produces well exposed images. If the scenario presents strong highlights and dark shadows - thinking a bright sunny day - then the camera is more likely to lose highlight detail than shadows.

That said, we had the camera set to its minimum 100% dynamic range. The X-A5 does offer 200%, 400% plus an auto setting. We’d recommend whacking the camera in auto to ensure the capture of the widest range of tones across a range of scenarios. 

Images can be stabilised optically, so the effectiveness of stabilisation depends on the lens. There is also electronic stabilisation for video. With the 15-45mm lens attached we have been able to consistently shoot sharp images handheld with shutter speeds as slow as 1/4sec.  

If there is one aspect of the camera to let image quality down, it is the speed and reliability of auto focus. 

The X-A5 may well produce well exposed images with pleasing colour rendition, but there are times that the accuracy and response of AF lets the side down. 

As for the clarity and detail in images, well the X-A5 excels. Even with the low cost kit lens, the X-A5 is able to tackle complex and fine detail and produce realistic and sharp-looking images. Blades of grass, tiny tree branches, hair, all wonderfully crisp. 

When viewed at 100%, you’ll see from the sample images in our standard noise test that ISO 200 and ISO 400 are completely clean, with no perceivable noise whatsoever. 

Noise like fine grain appears in shadow areas at ISO 800 but highlights are appear completely clean. Detail is still very crisp. ISO 1600 has fine noise in highlight and shadow areas, while again detail is really crisp. 

It’s at ISO 3200 that noise starts to affect the clarity of detail in shadow areas, while highlights still look quite clean. We would have no hesitation to make 100% prints (51x34cm approx at 300 PPI) all the way up to this ISO setting.  

After ISO 3200 there is a steady increase in noise, with ISO 25,600 and ISO 51,200 available in JPEG format only. Even at these settings, chroma noise is very well controlled, though of course ISO 51,200 exhibits luminance noise and therefore smudgy detail.

All in all, the high quality pictures that the X-A5 can produce makes you want to use it time and again. 

Noise

The Fujifilm X-A5 has has seven native ISO settings ranging from ISO 200 to ISO 12,800, for JPEG and RAW files. The ISO range can be extended down to ISO 100 and up to ISO 51,200 in JPEG format only. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting for both JPEG and RAW files.

JPEG RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

 
iso100.jpg  
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg
   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg
   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg
   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg
   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

iso12800.jpg iso12800raw.jpg
   

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

 
iso25600.jpg  
   

ISO 51200 (100% Crop)

 
iso51200.jpg  

Flash

Flash settings on the Fujifilm X-A5 are Auto, Forced Flash, Slow Synchro, 2nd Curtain Sync, Commander and Suppressed Flash (off). Red-eye removal can be applied to flash, plus a manually selected Flash Compensation up to ±2EV selected in values of 1/3EV. The sample pictures of flowers were taken at the same distance of approximately 1m.

A side note, the pop-up flash actually has a taller-than-normal clearance from the camera body, which may reduce any shadows cast by longer lenses or other obstacles. 

Flash Off

flash-off.jpg
 

Forced Flash

flash-forced.jpg
 

Flash Manual Compensation

flash-compensation-manual.jpg
 

Flash 2nd Curtain Sync

flash-2nd-curtain-sync.jpg
 

Flash SLow Synchro

flash-slow-syncro.jpg

Night

Using either mechanical or electronic shutter, the maximum shutter speed of the Fujifilm X-A5 is 30 seconds in manual exposure mode or up to four seconds in P Mode. There is also a Bulb mode which allows exposures up to 60 minutes long (points if you can find it, however). 

The exposure settings of the picture below are 4 seconds shutter speed, aperture of f/5.6 and ISO 200.

Night

night.jpg

Film Simulations

Most cameras include a choice of colour styles, but Fujifilm names these colour styles Film Simulation because they are designed to emulate the company’s film stock. In the X-A5, there are 11 different film simulation choices, including Provia, Velvia, Astia and a range of monochrome with filters.  

The camera offers a Film Simulation bracket mode in JPEG format only, where up to three different styles are captured with a single push of the shutter.

Provia / Standard

Velvia / Vivid

2-film-simulation-provia-standard.jpg 2-film-simulation-astia-velvia-vivid.jpg
   

Astia / Soft

B&W

2-film-simulation-astia-soft.jpg 2-film-simulation-monochrome.jpg
   

Sepia

Pro Neg

2-film-simulation-sepia.jpg 2-film-simulation-pro-neg-high.jpg
   

Classic Chrome

 
2-film-simulation-classic-chrome.jpg  

Advanced Filters

On the shooting mode dial is an option called Advanced Filter that offers 17 different filter effects (including six different ‘Partial Color’ effects). These effects can be selected quickly via the touchscreen and you’ll see the effect on the screen in real time.

Toy Camera

Miniature

2-advanced-filter-toy-camera.jpg 2-advanced-filter-miniature.jpg
   

Pop Color

High-Key

2-advanced-filter-pop-color.jpg 2-advanced-filter-hig-key.jpg
   

Low-Key

Dynamic Tone

2-advanced-filter.jpg 2-advanced-filter-dynamic-tone.jpg
   

Soft Focus

Partial Color (Red)

2-advanced-filter-soft-focus.jpg 2-advanced-filter-partial-color-red.jpg
   

Partial Color (Orange)

Partial Color (Yellow)

2-advanced-filter-partial-color-orange.jpg 2-advanced-filter-partial-color-yellow.jpg
   

Partial Color (Green)

Partial Color (Blue)

2-advanced-filter-partial-color-green.jpg 2-advanced-filter-partial-color-blue.jpg
   

Partial Color (Purple)

Cross Screen

2-advanced-filter-partial-color-purple.jpg 2-advanced-filter-cross-screen.jpg
   

Fisheye

Remove Fog

2-advanced-filter-fisheye.jpg 2-advanced-filter-fog-remove.jpg
   

HDR Art

 
2-advanced-filter-HDR-art.jpg  

Panorama

The Fujifilm X-A5 can record a 6400x1440 pixel panorama by sweeping the camera from side to side.

panorama.jpg