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Fujifilm X-A1 versus Fujifilm X-E1

The Fujifilm X-A1 and the Fujifilm X-E1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2013 and September 2012. Both the X-A1 and the X-E1 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 16 megapixel. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Fujifilm X-A1 vs Fujifilm X-E1

The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-A1 and the Fujifilm X-E1 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the X-A1 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Fujifilm X-A1 vs Fujifilm X-E1
Compare X-A1 versus X-E1 top
Compare X-A1 and X-E1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X-E1 is notably larger (23 percent) than the Fujifilm X-A1. Moreover, the X-E1 is markedly heavier (6 percent) than the X-A1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X-A1 nor the X-E1 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 find an overview of suitable optics 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.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Fujifilm X-A1» 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.6 oz 350 n Sep 2013 399- i
Fujifilm X-E1« 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Sep 2012 999- i
Fujifilm X-A5« » 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.6 in 12.7 oz 450 n Jan 2018 399 i i
Fujifilm X-E3« » 4.8 in 2.9 in 1.7 in 11.9 oz 350 n Sep 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-T20« » 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.5 oz 350 n Jan 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-A3« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 12.0 oz 410 n Aug 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-E2S« » 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Jan 2016 699- i
Fujifilm X-A10« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.7 oz 410 n Dec 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-T10« » 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.4 oz 350 n May 2015 799- i
Fujifilm X-A2« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 12.3 oz 410 n Jan 2015 399- i
Fujifilm X-E2« » 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Oct 2013 999- i
Fujifilm X-M1« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.6 oz 350 n Jun 2013 699 i i
Fujifilm X-Pro1« » 5.5 in 3.2 in 1.7 in 15.9 oz 300 n Jan 2012 1,699- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X-A1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 60 percent) than the X-E1, which puts it into a different 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Fujifilm X-A1 vs Fujifilm X-E1

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Fujifilm X-A1 and Fujifilm X-E1 sensor measures

Even though the X-A1 has a slightly larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 16 megapixel. This implies that the X-A1 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 4.80μm for the X-E1), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the X-A1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year) than the X-E1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X-E1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

X-A1 versus X-E1 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Fujifilm X-A1» APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----
Fujifilm X-E1« APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p----
Fujifilm X-A5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/15p----
Fujifilm X-E3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Fujifilm X-T20« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Fujifilm X-A3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Fujifilm X-E2S« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X-A10« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----
Fujifilm X-T10« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X-A2« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----
Fujifilm X-E2« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X-M1« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----
Fujifilm X-Pro1« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p----

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the X-A1 provides a higher frame rate than the X-E1. It can shoot video footage at 1080/30p, while the X-E1 is limited to 1080/24p.

 

Feature comparison: Fujifilm X-A1 vs Fujifilm X-E1

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X-E1 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X-A1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Fujifilm X-A1 and Fujifilm X-E1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Fujifilm X-A1»- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 5.6 Y n
Fujifilm X-E1«2360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-A5« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-E3« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 8.0 n n
Fujifilm X-T20« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-A3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-E2S« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 7.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-A10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting n 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-T10« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-A2« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 5.6 Y n
Fujifilm X-E2« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 7.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-M1« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 5.6 Y n
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »1440 n 3.0 1230 fixed n 4000 6.0 n n

Both the X-A1 and the X-E1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X-E1 was replaced by the Fujifilm X-E2, while the X-A1 was followed by the Fujifilm X-A2.

Review summary: Fujifilm X-A1 vs Fujifilm X-E1

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm X-A1 and the Fujifilm X-E1? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X-A1:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/24p).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 460k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x67mm vs 129x75mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (60 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year after the X-E1).


Advantages of the Fujifilm X-E1:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2012).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-A1 is the clear winner of the match-up (8 : 3 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

X-A1 08:03 X-E1

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X-A1 or the X-E1. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Fujifilm X-A1»--4.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2013 399- i
Fujifilm X-E1«HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999- i
Fujifilm X-A5« »----3.5/5 Jan 2018 399 i i
Fujifilm X-E3« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-T20« »HiRec82/1005/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-A3« »-74/1004.5/5-4/5 Aug 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-E2S« »-77/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i
Fujifilm X-A10« »--4/5-4/5 Dec 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-T10« »HiRec80/1005/54/55/5 May 2015 799- i
Fujifilm X-A2« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2015 399- i
Fujifilm X-E2« »-80/1004.5/5-5/5 Oct 2013 999- i
Fujifilm X-M1« »Rec77/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2013 699 i i
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »HiRec79/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 1,699- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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