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Fujifilm X-A1 versus Fujifilm X100S

The Fujifilm X-A1 and the Fujifilm X100S are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2013 and January 2013. The X-A1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the X100S is a fixed lens compact. Both cameras 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 X100S

The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-A1 and the Fujifilm X100S are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button 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 – the X-A1 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Fujifilm X-A1 vs Fujifilm X100S
Compare X-A1 versus X100S top
Compare X-A1 and X100S rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X100S is notably larger (20 percent) than the Fujifilm X-A1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X-A1 nor the X100S are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X100S has a lens build in, whereas the X-A1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the X-A1 and their specifications in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the X-A1 gets 350 shots out of its NP-W126 battery, while the X100S can take 330 images on a single charge of its NP-95 power pack.

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 X100S« 5.0 in 2.9 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 330 n Jan 2013 1,299- i
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- 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-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 X100T« » 5.0 in 2.9 in 2.0 in 15.5 oz 330 n Sep 2014 1,299- 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
Fujifilm X-E1« » 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Sep 2012 999- i
Fujifilm X100« » 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 300 n Sep 2010 1,199- i
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 14.3 oz 300 n Sep 2014 1,195 i 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. 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 X100S

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 generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and 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 X100S 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 X100S), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the X-A1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 8 months) than the X100S, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X100S has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

X-A1 versus X100S MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar 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 X100S« APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
Fujifilm X-A5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/15p----
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 X100T« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
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----
Fujifilm X-E1« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p----
Fujifilm X100« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/30p22.912.4100173
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p----

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the X100S 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.

 

Feature comparison: Fujifilm X-A1 vs Fujifilm X100S

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the X100S 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Fujifilm X-A1 and Fujifilm X100S in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. 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 X100S«2360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y
Fujifilm X-A5« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.0 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 X100T« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 6.0 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
Fujifilm X-E1« »2360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X100« »1440 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y

Both the X-A1 and the X100S have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X100S was replaced by the Fujifilm X100T, while the X-A1 was followed by the Fujifilm X-A2.

Review summary: Fujifilm X-A1 vs Fujifilm X100S

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Fujifilm X-A1 or the Fujifilm X100S – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Fujifilm X-A1:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • 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 flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x67mm vs 127x74mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 8 months after the X100S).


Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X100S:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the X-A1 necessitates an extra lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2013).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-A1 emerges as the winner of the contest (7 : 5 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 07:05 X100S

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 X100S. 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 expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews 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 X100S«HiRec81/1004.5/54/55/5 Jan 2013 1,299- i
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i
Fujifilm X-A5« »----3.5/5 Jan 2018 399 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 X100T« »Rec81/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2014 1,299- 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
Fujifilm X-E1« »HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999- i
Fujifilm X100« »-75/1004/54/55/5 Sep 2010 1,199- i
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 1,195 i i

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. 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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