The Fujifilm XQ1 | A Review Of An Ultracompact Camera
Updated: Jan 12
Summary: The Fujifilm XQ1 is pocketable, powerful, fast, and well built. Shoot wide at 25mm and stick the aperture at f1.8 and you will enjoy this for all your enthusiast needs for travel, street, and family photography.
The 2/3 inch sensor can throw some people off but in the hands of an enthusiast you can get great results. It's the kind of camera that can accompany your bigger cameras or go solo and light.
Fast aperture at the wide angle
Good image quality
Slow lens past 25mm through the telephoto range
Small sensor vs competition
Why I Wanted It
My quest to have a camera with me at all times has brought me back in time to this high quality point and shoot that may have just become one of my favorites. The Fujifilm XQ1 is an underrated camera for travel, family, and street photography.
The thing about older vs newer cameras is that we can get caught up in getting the latest gear but photography is however....photography. The tools we choose are about convenience and not so much about advantages. The results matter and if we ask ourselves what were people using 10, 15, or 20 years we still admire those same photos.
As a Fuji camera shooter I like to stay in the ecosystem with the sensors, film simulations, and WIFI connection. I recently found the X30 and added it to my arsenal and quickly fell in love with it. The XQ1 is from the same generation of 2/3 inch sensor compacts that Fuji was making. It's a really compact truly pocketable camera.
How I Use It
The difference between the X30 and XQ1 is the lens. The X30 has a 28-112mm f2-2.8 so its useful in low light throughout the range. However, the XQ1 has a 25-100 f1.8-4.9. This difference has forced me to use the camera in a very specific way.
My purpose of buying this camera was to be a companion to my smartphone. I really don't like using my phone to take photos because I want the RAW files in case I get a shot that I really like for personal or professional purposes. Also using a dedicated camera is the benefit of having physical dials and buttons. I like the controls versus the touchscreen experience which is terrible for photography in my eyes.
So my way I using it is like a fixed lens prime camera. At the wide end I stick to 25mm f1.8. That's because as soon as you zoom to 35mm it becomes a f3.6 which for night shooting/low light is not ideal. And when you combine that with the smaller 2/3 inch sensor the zoom range after 25mm is really reserved for daylight. And it that situation you're likely to be outdoors where zooming makes more sense.
An aperture of 1.8 is equal to depth of field f7 (f1.8 x 3.9 crop factor) and then shooting at a wide angle of 25mm ensures that you have a sharp photo while maintaining a low ISO number. This where a smaller sensor can have its advantage as long as the ISO performance holds up.
Overall the Fujifilm XQ1 is an oldie but goodie that can still hold up to today if you use right. Camera technology has gotten so good that we forget that these cameras from a generation ago can still much better than today's smartphones. And having bigger sensors and RAW support should be more than enough for the beginner as well as the enthusiast/professional.
SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera) Photo Gallery
My name is Jason Logan. I'm a photographer and content creator from Jersey City, NJ. You can learn more about my work at www.jmtphotographymedia.com. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org