Fujifilm X-A1 vs X-A3
The Fujifilm X-A1 and the Fujifilm X-A3 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2013 and August 2016. Both the X-A1 and the X-A3 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The X-A1 has a resolution of 16 megapixels, whereas the X-A3 provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X-A1 and the Fujifilm X-A3? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-A1 and the Fujifilm X-A3 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-A1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, blue), while the X-A3 is available in three color-versions (silver, brown, pink).
In this particular case, the Fujifilm X-A1 and the Fujifilm X-A3 have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the X-A3 is slightly heavier (3 percent) than the X-A1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X-A1 nor the X-A3 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.
Concerning battery life, the X-A1 gets 350 shots out of its NP-W126 battery, while the X-A3 can take 410 images on a single charge of its NP-W126S power pack. The power pack in the X-A3 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Fujifilm X-A1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Sep 2013||399|
|2.||Fujifilm X-A3||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||339 g||410||n||Aug 2016||399|
|3.||Fujifilm X-A5||117 mm||68 mm||40 mm||361 g||450||n||Jan 2018||399|
|4.||Fujifilm X-E3||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899|
|5.||Fujifilm X-T20||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||383 g||350||n||Jan 2017||899|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A10||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||331 g||410||n||Dec 2016||399|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E2S||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Jan 2016||699|
|8.||Fujifilm X-A2||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||350 g||410||n||Jan 2015||399|
|9.||Fujifilm X-T10||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||381 g||350||n||May 2015||799|
|10.||Fujifilm X-E2||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Oct 2013||999|
|11.||Fujifilm X-M1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Jun 2013||699|
|12.||Fujifilm X-E1||129 mm||75 mm||38 mm||350 g||350||n||Sep 2012||999|
|13.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||140 mm||82 mm||43 mm||450 g||300||n||Jan 2012||1,699|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the X-A3 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 16 MP of the X-A1. This megapixels advantage translates into a 23 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the X-A3 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 4.80μm for the X-A1). However, it should be noted that the X-A3 is much more recent (by 2 years and 11 months) than the X-A1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.
The resolution advantage of the Fujifilm X-A3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X-A3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Fujifilm X-A1 are 24.5 x 16.3 inches or 62.2 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.6 x 13.1 inches or 49.7 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.3 x 10.9 inches or 41.5 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Fujifilm X-A1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The Fujifilm X-A3 offers exactly the same ISO settings.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the X-A3 provides a faster frame rate than the X-A1. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the X-A1 is limited to 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The X-A1 and the X-A3 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Fujifilm X-A1 and Fujifilm X-A3 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The X-A3 has a touchscreen, while the X-A1 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the X-A3 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Fujifilm X-A3 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The X-A1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the X-A3 uses SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Fujifilm X-A1 and Fujifilm X-A3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
Both the X-A1 and the X-A3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X-A1 was replaced by the Fujifilm X-A2, while the X-A3 was followed by the Fujifilm X-A5. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm website.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Fujifilm X-A1 better than the Fujifilm X-A3 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Fujifilm X-A1:
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2013).
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-A3:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 16MP), which boosts linear resolution by 23%.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (410 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 11 months of technical progress since the X-A1 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-A3 is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 1 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X-A1 and the Fujifilm X-A3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the X-A1 and the X-A3 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Fujifilm X-A1||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||399|
|2.||Fujifilm X-A3||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2016||399|
|3.||Fujifilm X-A5||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2018||399|
|4.||Fujifilm X-E3||4.5/5||+||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899|
|5.||Fujifilm X-T20||5/5||+ +||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||899|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A10||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Dec 2016||399|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E2S||4.5/5||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699|
|8.||Fujifilm X-A2||4/5||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||399|
|9.||Fujifilm X-T10||4.5/5||+ +||80/100||5/5||5/5||May 2015||799|
|10.||Fujifilm X-E2||4/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||999|
|11.||Fujifilm X-M1||3/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699|
|12.||Fujifilm X-E1||4/5||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999|
|13.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||5/5||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||1,699|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Fujifilm X-A1 vs Fujifilm X-A3
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Fujifilm X-A1||Fujifilm X-A3|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Fujifilm X mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2013||August 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 399|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Fujifilm X-A3|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.7 mm||23.5 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.95 mm2||368.95 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4896 x 3264 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.80 μm||3.92 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.33 MP/cm2||6.50 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 6,400 ISO||200 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Fujifilm X-A3|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Fujifilm X-A3|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5.6 shutter flaps/s||6 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/32000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Fujifilm X-A3|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Fujifilm X-A3|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||410 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
117 x 67 x 39 mm
(4.6 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
117 x 67 x 40 mm
(4.6 x 2.6 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||330 g (11.6 oz)||339 g (12.0 oz)|
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