Fuji has translated its rugged retro build to a smaller camera aimed at those on a budget or who don't want to carry a bulky camera. Thanks to the provision of a Mode dial the controls are also simpler for less experienced photographers, but the enthusiasts' favourite options of shutter priority, aperture priority and manual are still available quickly.
As with the X-M1, the X-A1 has no viewfinder and there's no optional one available so images can only be composed on the screen, which isn't entirely without issue in bright ambient light. We'd also like to see a rubberized pas on the thumb-rest to give it a little more grip.
Most photographers will tell you that image quality is their biggest consideration when selecting a camera, but the build and functionality of the camera are also key factors along with the price. Many manufacturers reduce the functionality and build quality of their more entry-level cameras in order to keep cost down, but Fuji is in the unusual position of being able to achieve the same thing while keeping these two elements the same. The X-A1 scores well for build and functionality and price, which makes the slight (and some might say theoretical) dip in image quality in comparison with the Fuji X-M1 much more palatable.....