Fujifilm X-A7

Cool factor 4½/5
Usability 3/5
Value for money 4/5

The popularity of the mirrorless camera is on the rise globally, and it is becoming an alternative to traditional DSLRs.

Like a DSLR, a mirrorless camera accepts different lenses but it does not use a mirror to reflect the image into the viewfinder. The absence of a mirror makes it more compact. It also has simpler controls and a limited selection of lenses, though options for video are usually better.

Fujifilm’s entry-level X-A7 is one of 12 mirrorless cameras in the X series, but this particular one is suited for content creators of any skill level. It has a 24.2MP sensor, paired with the popular XC 15-45mm F3.5-5.6 lens.

The camera is light at 320g, including the weight of its battery but without a lens, and the brown leather finish on the review device has a retro appeal. To prevent accidental damage, it’s easier to unclip and stow the lens separately when popping it into a bag.

What I love about the X-A7 is its 3.5 inch 16:9 LCD touchscreen interface that flips out so you can see what you’re capturing, especially if you’re working in isolation. As a beginner, I found it easy to capture my own portraits as I could see what was being shot.

Modes include aperture or shutter priority, portrait enhancer, landscape, sport, night, motion panorama and some advanced ones. It’s a great all-rounder beginner camera that is suited for various environments.

With lockdown restrictions I was confined to testing it in my home office and garden, but it produced excellent results from different light settings. The smartphone remote was useful for taking pictures of myself. It supports auto-focus and face detection, and is capable of shooting six frames per second (fps). It also shoots 4K videos at 30fps with external mic support, featuring a countdown video mode with a preselected duration like 15, 30 or 60 seconds.

The Fujifilm Camera Remote smartphone app pairs with the camera either via Bluetooth to act as a shutter remote, or via Wi-Fi to download the images onto your phone directly, without connecting to a laptop. I found the app to be hit and miss with Wi-Fi pairing. It worked only after several tries.

Overall, it is a great all-rounder entry-level mirrorless camera that delivers high-res images. However, it does not have an electronic viewfinder and battery life is average — it shoots 440 shots. I hope a future software update fixes the connectivity issues I faced.

The X-A7 is priced at R13,500.