Fujifilm X-A5 review: The perfect camera to up your social media game
Yep, I did an #OOTD challenge
When the Fujifilm X-A5 was announced, I was beyond excited.
You see, I own and shoot with a pink X-A3 for my stuff outside of work and my personal vlogging.
And sure, the fact that it was a pretty bright pink was part of what convinced me to get the X-A3, but it’s not just the color that drew me to this shooter. I wanted a small camera that I could bring on trips without being too bulky, something my frail arms could actually hold up for times I do decide to vlog. My non-negotiable was that “flippity screen” (yes, folks, I made that term up), the camera screen that flips upwards so you can see yourself as you shoot or record.
So, when the XA-5 came out, I was curious to see what improvements this new mirrorless camera had.
If you’ve already noticed by now, this will not be your typical camera review. For the benefit of those looking for camera specs, I’ll list them here, but know that this would probably be the last I mention them in this whole piece. This review will revolve around my experience with the X-A5 in the context of my needs when it comes to cameras.
The Fujifilm X-A5 is a mirrorless camera — this means it’s lighter and more compact than DSLRs. It’s equipped with a 24.2-megapixel APS-C image sensor and is capable of reaching ISO 12800 (which may mean good things for low-light shots). It’s also the first X series camera with phase detection which means that this device will focus twice as fast as previous cameras, like my X-A3. The body comes bundled with an XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens and it has a built-in internal flash.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s move on.
In true Fujifilm fashion, this camera looks like a pretty Instagrammable itself. The body has clean matte aluminum-silver details that extend to the buttons and the back. The body itself is textured and comes in black, brown, or pink. Of course, I pushed for the pink one.
Button placements are about the same: On/Off toggle with the shutter button, mode dial, exposure compensation dial, and a function key up top, and the usual buttons like menu, video record, playback, and other shortcuts are on the back of the camera. The display is also a touchscreen for easier navigation. Basically, if you’ve used an X series Fujifilm camera before, you’ll know where everything is.
This camera, dubbed Fujifilm’s smallest mirrorless camera, is light and it fits my hands perfectly. Although, I’d have to admit: There isn’t much of a size difference between the X-A5 and my trusty X-A3, save for the X-A3’s bigger kit lens.
The thing is, there’s no way I’m lugging around a big camera on vacation trips and the X-A5 (as well as my old X-A3) is a size that I find acceptable — it’s not as bulky and it’s small enough to fit in my bag with everything else I decide to bring around on trips.
Pointing and shooting
Fujifilm is a beloved brand in photography and it comes as no surprise that this camera can capture stunning pictures. I mean look at these sample shots…
Although I know my camera basics, I am not the best in shooting or handling cameras, mine or otherwise. The X-A5 was amazingly easy to use, especially since I’m already familiar with the past model. Honestly, I’ve had my share of crappy photos but these samples actually impressed me. Low-light photos, however, are a different story. Like many devices on the market now, you don’t exactly get the best photos when lighting conditions aren’t ideal.
The X-A3, my previous camera, only had Wi-Fi connectivity which means that it could only transfer photos when my phone is connected to the camera’s Wi-Fi. This process was a little cumbersome as that connection gets cut when you switch back to an actual network to get on the internet. That is now a problem of the past. The XA-5 is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity so that mean transferring photos from camera to your phone is so easy — you can even do it automatically and while connected to the internet through Wi-Fi.
Also, tourist selfies can go from this:
Yep, connecting the camera to the app allows you to take photos and videos remotely. This means you don’t need another person to take your photos; you can control everything with your phone.
Now, I generally suck at #OOTDs and posed travel content in general but I felt it was time for a challenge. I’d seen a lot of Instagram influencers tout their Fujifilm cameras so I wondered: Could I take the same photos with this thing?
Since I was traveling with the boyfriend when I was testing out this camera, I enlisted his help and had him be my token Instagram Boyfriend — ah the things we do for work!
I stood at random picturesque spots in Hong Kong and did the best travel/wanderlust/OOTD poses I could muster (which always translated to me looking up, for some reason). Since I’m not so big on editing, I only used the VSCO app on my phone to slightly adjust these photos and add a filter. Again, transferring photos to my phone for editing (and eventual posting) was a breeze because of connectivity functions. The results are as follows:
Needless to say, I was pretty happy with the pics, despite my awkward and repetitive posing. Expect these shots to be on my Instagram feed soon.
Videos and vlogging
One of the big things I use my camera for is vlogging. The fact that this thing is light is a big plus for me because it’s the weight my frail arm can handle as I hold out the camera to shoot myself. I mean, I have no idea how people actually shoot video with those humongous vlogging rigs, but that’s not a problem with the X-A5.
Although I’ve shot vlogs with this camera, my main gripe with this thing is that there’s no movie mode on it. This makes it a little hard to preview settings on the screen for shooting video — a problem I’ve grappled with on my X-A3 as well. The camera is capable of recording in 4K, which is literally bigger videos, but the camera display lags too much on that setting so I’d suggest sticking to a lower resolution like 1080p.
What’s great though is that there’s a touch-to-focus feature on video now, something only previously found on the photo mode. The X-A5 is also equipped with an audio port so you can now improve your vlog audio with an external mic.
Is the Fujifilm X-A5 your GadgetMatch?
Obviously, there are bigger, badder, and more expensive cameras out there that do a whole lot that this dainty thing can’t. But, that’s not the point (and those cameras are probably not pink). This shooter is designed for a certain demographic: those, like me, who want a simple, easy-to-use device in a light, compact, and stylish body. It’s not the best camera out there and at its price point, that would be pretty impossible. Nonetheless, it’s a camera that I really enjoy using.
If you’re like me and you’re looking for a more compact camera for IG photos and social media posts with great phone and app integration, you should consider the X-A5. It’s a great camera for beginners and enthusiasts who are just wetting their toes in the pool of content creation.
The Fujifilm retails for US$ 599 in the US and PhP 34,990 in the Philippines.
SEE ALSO: Fujifilm X-A5 is brand’s smallest and lightest mirrorless camera
Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G zoom lens now available
Future telephoto lens announced
Sony is introducing the new FE 20-70mm F4 G (SEL2070G) zoom lens as its latest product to join the brand’s lineup of camera lenses.
Comparatively lighter and more compact, the full-frame lens features a constant F4 aperture throughout the 20 to 70mm zoom range, making it ideal for creators capturing both stills and videos.
With its G Lens image quality, the lens is able to achieve images that have chromatic and spherical aberration both corrected. Optimized coatings also allow for high flare and ghost resistance.
Subjects as close as 0.25 meters can also be captured while producing ideal results, compared to standard zoom lenses which focus at around 0.32 to 0.38 meters at the most.
Maximized AF performance
For videographers, the lens is able to maintain a 16:9 or 2:35:1 aspect ratio when using the 20mm end of its range. When paired with Alpha series cameras that have Active Mode image stabilization, smooth, handheld footages are possible at 20mm.
The SEL2070G also has a 60% increase in AF speed, while focus breathing is also reduced. This allows for accurate focus and tracking of even fast-moving subjects at 4K and 8K.
The FE 20-70mm F4 G (SEL2070G) is now available in select Sony authorized dealers for PhP 75,000.
In addition, an upcoming FE 300mm F2.8 GM OSS telephoto lens has been announced by Sony for an early 2024 release to join its large aperture telephoto lenses ideal for sports and wildlife photography.
Canon unveils EOS R50 and R8 for content creators
Can come bundled with lenses
Cameras are still relatively expensive devices. But, despite their prices and the rapid development of smartphone cameras, nothing can beat the sheer quality of an actual camera. If you’re looking for a bulkier camera to take your photos, Canon has a new duo of mirrorless cameras for even the stingiest of budgets.
First up, the Canon EOS R50 offers a lot of quality for those who want an upgrade. Shooting at up 4K resolution, the camera can use its 24.2-million-pixel APS-C sensor and its Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology to create outstanding videos. It comes with a selection of features including whole area tracking, subject detection, and movie-prerecording.
For customization, users can fit the camera with a set of interchangeable lenses. It will also be available as part of a Content Creation Kit, which packs the camera with a microphone, lens, and a grip.
Currently set for a release in spring, the Canon EOS R50 will retail for US$ 679.99. Additionally, the camera can also come bundled with an RF-S18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM lens for US$ 799.99. A bundle with an RF-S18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM and an RF-S55-210mm F5-7.1 IS STM lens will sell for US$ 1,029.00.
An affordable full-frame mirrorless camera, the EOS E8 sports a 24.2-megapixel CMOS image sensor and a DIGIC X image processor to boost an up-and-coming content creator’s output. With full-frame lenses, the EOS R8 can improve wide-angle shots even compared to other APS-C cameras. It can shoot at up to 60fps with 1st-curtain Electronic shutter and up to 40fps with full electronic.
On its own, the EOS R8 will start selling in spring for US$ 1,499.00. Also, it can come with an RF24-50mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM lens for US$ 1,699.00.
Canon officially brings the EOS R6 Mark II to the Philippines
Taking hybrid to the next level
Canon Philippines has finally launched the follow-up to their much-beloved hybrid full-frame camera EOS R6 from two years ago, the EOS R6 Mark II.
The union of systems
The Canon EOS R6 Mark II is a mirrorless camera featuring a 24.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor. Paired with the DIGIC X processor, it promises better quality photos with reduced noise. Speaking of noise, the camera can reach an ISO of up to 102,400 and low-light sensitivity below EV -6.5.
If you’re concerned about display when shooting, the EOS R6 Mark II offers a fully-articulating 3″ LCD with touchscreen that enables you to shoot in various angles, whether overhead or low down.
Not a fan of screen shooting? The EOS R6 Mark II has a 0.5″ OLED EVF (Electronic View Finder). With 3.69-million dots and a refresh rate of up to 119.88 fps, it’s as great as how you look at Optical View Finders found on DSLRs.
If you’re shooting a lot of action, Canon has the improved Dual Pixel AF CMOS II system with an outstanding AF zones of 1,053 and approximately 100% AF coverage.
Other than that, there’s the EOS iTR AF X (Intelligent Tracking & Recognition Autofocus) that can now track horses, trains, and airplanes aside from people, animals, and other vehicles. There’s even Deep Learning-based Subject Tracking and Auto Subject Detection as well for better tracking. This also makes an 80% faster AF performance than its EOS R6 predecessor.
For burst mode shots, you can shoot 12fps under Mechanical Shutter and 40fps with Quiet Mode support under Electronic Shutter. That’s very ideal for concerts and wildlife shoots.
If you’re that serious in videography, the EOS R6 Mark II not only offers the usual 4K/60p video recording, it also supports a jaw-dropping 6K/60p with 10-bit RAW HDMI out. And if you’re a sucker for slow motion, this hybrid camera can also shoot slo-mo Full HD at 180p.
Worried about shaky footages? Canon combines three image-stabilizing systems in one with Coordinated Control. That’s the fusion of 5-axis In-Body Image Stabilizer (IS), Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS), and Movie Digital IS. There’s even the Canon Log 3 if you prefer flat-looking shooting profiles that allows you to be versatile in color grading.
Much like iPhone’s Cinematic Mode, the EOS R6 Mark II can seamlessly change focus points regardless if one tries to change the focal length through Focus Breathing Correction. You can even select several focusing speeds to match the effect and speed of the subject.
Durability-wise, the Canon EOS R6 Mark II is rated to last up to 400,000 cycles. That’s more than enough for the continuous use and abuse of the hybrid mirrorless camera compared to conventional bodies of the same kind. And if you shoot under harsh weather conditions, its body is made from a durable magnesium alloy chassis that’s also dust and drip-resistant.
Other notable feature is the Dual Card Recording which allows simultaneous recording on both SD cards. That’s one 4K/60p shooting and FHD/180p on the other or just record footages and stills all at once. Lastly, the R6 Mark II uses the specialized set of RF and RF-S lenses just like any other mirrorless cameras of Canon.
A true 6ame ChangeR
Canon Philippines has finally held an in-person event ever since the launch of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III — which I attended before the pandemic lockdown happened in the country.
We were welcomed by Canon PH’s several ambassadors on the board. They were also able to use the EOS R6 Mark II for two weeks all before the launch event took place. Those include Ian Celis together with his daughter, Eyah Celis under Ian Celis Productions based in Antipolo, Rizal.
During the small talk, Ian Celis showed us a reel showcasing his work using the EOS R6 Mark II. He even mentioned that his favorite feature has got to be Focus Breathing Correction and the FHD/180p slo-mo feature very ideal for wedding footages. Meanwhile, Eyah talked about how the camera’s lightweight body was able to help her shoot extreme lengths despite her slimness and petiteness during a marathon event.
Another in the ambassador lineup were Pat Dy and Chissai Bautista of Team Pat Dy. It started when they showed us Chissai’s interview on the large projection. As a wedding shooter, she told everyone that wedding events are always fast-paced.
But with the fast and precise AF system of the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, she expounded that she was able to quickly grasp the situation around and shoot fast-moving subjects blurry-free. That’s also possible thanks to the very lightweight body of the mirrorless camera.
More so, Pat Dy has explained and showed us how the EOS R6 Mark II is a true game-changer. From its lightweight body, one-handed camera use thanks to better camera controls and ergonomics, and more about how it’s a true “hybrid” by having the ability to shoot great stills and footages all at once are just some of the great feats of Canon’s newest mirrorless camera.
Before the wrap up, Pat even did a live demo of how he shoots wedding portraits under controlled-environment situations such as a movie theater with one source of light and a diffuser. Remarkably, we have witnessed how the EOS R6 Mark II greatly-performed without compromises despite such shooting condition.
Pricing and availability
The Canon EOS R6 Mark II will be available in the Philippines starting as early as January 2023. The body only configuration will cost you PhP 179,998. There’s also a bundled RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM configuration that retails for PhP 199,998.
Other than that, Canon has also introduced a new RF 135mm f/1.8 L IS USM being sold at PhP 160,998 as well as a lighter external flash unit Speedlite EL-5 for PhP 30,998.
If you pre-order the EOS R6 Mark II from December 3 to January 16, you’ll get added perks like a free 128GB SD Card, additional 2 years warranty aside from the usual 1-year warranty, and a special PhP 25,000-worth Creator’s Access Membership that includes:
- Free Membership Fee
- Priority Service
- While-you-wait service
- Four (4) working days of expedited service
- Free external cleaning
- Service unit
- Lens loan for three (3) months
- Show/Event Support
- Printing Services with discounted rates
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