Fujifilm retro-inspired X-A5 gets faster autofocus, 4K bursts

On Wednesday, January 31, Fujifilm unveiled the X-A5 mirrorless camera and a brand new 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ kit lens. The X-A5 is an update over the existing X-A3, an entry-level model in Fujifilm’s X Series line of APS-C cameras. The new kit lens is designed to be extra compact, and is the first X mount lens to feature an electric powered zoom.

Wrapped in brown, pink, or black faux leather, the X-A5 puts a retro touch on an otherwise very modern mirrorless camera. Of course, so did its identical-looking predecessor. Save for the model number engraved on the front, there would be no way of telling these two cameras apart just by looking at them. The controls are identical, and the articulating touch screen still flips up a full 180 degrees for effortless selfies (or “self-portraits,” as Fujifilm insists). The user interface has been revamped, however, with a focus on touch operation, which should make the X-A5 even more approachable than its forebear.

For as little as has changed on the exterior, it’s not a terribly different story on the interior. The X-A5 still uses a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, sans X-TRANS color array to help distinguish higher-end models like the X-T20 and X-T2. However, it’s not the exact same sensor as used in the X-A3. The new model incorporates phase detection autofocus, a faster method than the contrast detection AF used in older models. According to Fujifilm, the X-A5 will focus twice as fast as previous models.

The image processor is also new, although Fujifilm didn’t call it out by name in the press release, leading us to believe it’s an enhanced version of the previous EXR Processor II used in the X-A3. Regardless, the company claims it is 1.5 times faster than the previous version. That extra processing power means the X-A5 can shoot 4K image bursts at 15 frames per second. It also incorporates new slow-motion HD video options, offering up to a 4x slow-motion when shooting at 720p resolution. While the video specs aren’t out of this world by today’s standards, users looking to dabble in video should find the optical stabilization and powered zoom of the kit lens to be a big benefit.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Fujifilm without a way to easily connect to an Instax Share printer, and the X-A5 includes Bluetooth Low Energy to easily pair with a printer or mobile app.

The Fujifilm X-A5 will be available on February 5 for $600, which includes the 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens. There is no body-only option for the camera, but Fujifilm shooters can pick up the lens by itself for $300.

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