Fujifilm X-A1 vs X-E4
The Fujifilm X-A1 and the Fujifilm X-E4 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2013 and January 2021. Both the X-A1 and the X-E4 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-E4 provides 26 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-E4? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-A1 and the Fujifilm X-E4 are illustrated 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-A1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, blue), while the X-E4 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, silver).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X-E4 is notably larger (13 percent) than the Fujifilm X-A1. Moreover, the X-E4 is markedly heavier (10 percent) than the X-A1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X-A1 nor the X-E4 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-E4 can take 380 images on a single charge of its NP-W126S power pack. The power pack in the X-E4 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Fujifilm X-A1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Sep 2013||399|
|2.||Fujifilm X-E4||121 mm||73 mm||33 mm||364 g||380||n||Jan 2021||849|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T200||121 mm||84 mm||55 mm||370 g||270||n||Jan 2020||699|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T30||118 mm||83 mm||47 mm||383 g||380||n||Feb 2019||899|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A5||117 mm||68 mm||40 mm||361 g||450||n||Jan 2018||399|
|6.||Fujifilm X-E3||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899|
|7.||Fujifilm X-T20||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||383 g||350||n||Jan 2017||899|
|8.||Fujifilm X-A3||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||339 g||410||n||Aug 2016||399|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A10||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||331 g||410||n||Dec 2016||399|
|10.||Fujifilm X-E2S||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Jan 2016||699|
|11.||Fujifilm X-A2||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||350 g||410||n||Jan 2015||399|
|12.||Fujifilm X-T10||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||381 g||350||n||May 2015||799|
|13.||Fujifilm X-E2||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Oct 2013||999|
|14.||Fujifilm X-M1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Jun 2013||699|
|15.||Fujifilm X-E1||129 mm||75 mm||38 mm||350 g||350||n||Sep 2012||999|
|16.||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.|
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 53 percent) than the X-E4, 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.
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, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the X-E4 is 1 percent smaller. 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.
Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the X-E4 offers a higher resolution of 26 megapixels, compared with 16 MP of the X-A1. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 4.80μm for the X-A1). However, it should be noted that the X-E4 is much more recent (by 7 years and 4 months) than the X-A1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X-E4 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Fujifilm X-E4 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X-E4 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 31.2 x 20.8 inches or 79.2 x 52.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 25 x 16.6 inches or 63.4 x 42.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.8 x 13.9 inches or 52.8 x 35.2 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 X-E4 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Fujifilm X-A1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Fujifilm X-E4 are ISO 160 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-51200.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the X-E4 provides a better video resolution than the X-A1. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the X-A1 is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the X-E4 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Fujifilm X-A1, the Fujifilm X-E4, and comparable cameras.
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The X-A1 has one, while the X-E4 does not. While the built-in flash of the X-A1 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The X-A1 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the X-E4 does not have a selfie-screen.
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-E4 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-E4 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-E4 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-E4 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
It is notable that the X-E4 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The X-A1 does not feature such a mic input.
The X-E4 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Fujifilm. In contrast, the X-A1 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the X-A1 was succeeded by the Fujifilm X-A2. 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? Which of the two cameras – the Fujifilm X-A1 or the Fujifilm X-E4 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X-A1:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x67mm vs 121x73mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (53 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2013).
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-E4:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (26 vs 16MP), which boosts linear resolution by 27%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 920k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 5.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.2 vs 2.0).
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 4 months of technical progress since the X-A1 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the X-E4 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 6 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. 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-E4 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the X-A1 or the X-E4 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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-E4||4/5||..||..||..||..||Jan 2021||849|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T200||3.5/5||..||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2020||699|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T30||5/5||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2019||899|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A5||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2018||399|
|6.||Fujifilm X-E3||4.5/5||+||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899|
|7.||Fujifilm X-T20||5/5||+ +||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||899|
|8.||Fujifilm X-A3||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2016||399|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A10||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Dec 2016||399|
|10.||Fujifilm X-E2S||4.5/5||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699|
|11.||Fujifilm X-A2||4/5||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||399|
|12.||Fujifilm X-T10||4.5/5||+ +||80/100||5/5||5/5||May 2015||799|
|13.||Fujifilm X-E2||4/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||999|
|14.||Fujifilm X-M1||3/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699|
|15.||Fujifilm X-E1||4/5||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999|
|16.||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.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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.
Specifications: Fujifilm X-A1 vs Fujifilm X-E4
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-E4|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Fujifilm X mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2013||January 2021|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 849|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Fujifilm X-E4|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.7 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.95 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16 Megapixels||26 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4896 x 3264 pixels||6240 x 4160 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.80 μm||3.76 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.33 MP/cm2||7.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 6,400 ISO||160 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||80 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXR Processor II||X-Processor 4|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Fujifilm X-E4|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||1620k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Fujifilm X-E4|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5.6 shutter flaps/s||8 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||no On-Board 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-E4|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 3.2|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Fujifilm X-E4|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||380 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)
121 x 73 x 33 mm
(4.8 x 2.9 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||330 g (11.6 oz)||364 g (12.8 oz)|
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