Fujifilm X-A2 Review - The X-A2 adopts classic rangefinder styling and presents some subtle improvements over the X-A1. Is this enough to make it stand out as one of the best options in a saturated entry-level market?
Fujifilm X-A2 Review – Build and Handling
The X-A2 bears a striking resemblance to other models in the Fujifilm line up, specifically the X-Pro 1, X-E2 and X-M1. Designed to appeal to those who’d like their camera to look like a classic rangefinder, it’s hard to fault the classic styling from the front however this style is largely superficial. Unlike Fujifilm’s premium models that are characterised by a magnesium alloy body to offer maximum strength and robustness, the X-A2’s body is entirely made of plastic. The positive to take from this is that it’s light and with the strap attached you’ll barely notice you’re carrying it with you over your shoulder. Though the plastic used in its construction suggests it won’t survive the same kind of rough treatment one could expect to get away with from a camera boasting a metal construction, the fit and finish is to a high standard.
Handling and operating the camera for long periods out in the field identified a few quirks that weren’t initially noticed straight out of the box. In manual mode, shutter speed is controlled using the large round dial on the top plate that operates positively and reassuringly.
Regrettably the same can’t be said for the much smaller recessed wheel located above the thumb rest that’s used to control aperture. Due to its loose feel and rather poor positioning, there were instances when I nudged it inadvertently at the cost of altering the exposure.
Out of manual exposure mode, the top plate dial also controls exposure compensation in shutter and aperture priority modes, but with no indications on the dial itself you’re reliant on the small exposure scale on screen to refer to what it’s set to. The on/off switch, like all of Fujifilm CSC’s, is well placed for quick operation with the index finger, while the most awkward control to get to is the button to raise the flash, which I found easier to access after the screen was pulled out.
On the subject of the screen, it flips by 175° into its selfie position smoothly. Pulling the screen up slightly detects a sensor to invert the displayed image by 180° and also allows the entire display to be viewed when you’re standing behind the lens and the camera is being pointed at you. Although it’s fair to say the articulation mechanism feels positively robust, the screen itself has plastic construction, which matches the body in this respect.