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06-26-2014, 08:56 AM   #1
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K-01 Shooters: Thoughts on the Fuji X-A1?

Hi all,

So a Canadian computer store is currently selling the Fuji X-A1 with kit lens for $350. I am tempted. As far as value is concerned, this is right up there with the cheapest prices the K-01 went down to... Has anyone here made the move from K-01 to Fuji mirrorless? What has your experience been like? How would you compare the K-01 to your Fuji rig?

It seems to me like the X-A1 would be a "sidegrade" from the K-01, rather than an upgrade. Same sensor, probably - note that the X-A1 doesn't have the x-trans sensor but rather a "normal" bayer APS-C sensor that might just be the exact same part that is in the K-01. Basically, in moving to the X-A1, I'd loose IBIS (and some battery life, I think) to save quite a bit of weight as well as gain an articulated LCD. Having that LCD would really be great to shoot handheld macro - my main thing - but loosing IBIS might be a bummer on the very same front... I'd also get to see if I like Fuji JPEGS and would get access to Fuji's great glass. (That Fuji glass is mightily expensive, however!) I held an X-A1 at a local store and really wasn't crazy about the feel in my hand. Maybe I'd get used to it though? Using two systems for a while is a possibility, I guess...

The thing is if Pentax doesn't release a successor, it looks like the most appealing way forward for a K-01 shooter who doesn't want to "bulk up" to a full-on Pentax DSLR is either m4/3 or Fuji. This deal would allow me to dip my toe into Fuji land without breaking the bank. On the other hand, I could instead use that money to get more k-mount glass. Money doesn't grow on trees, and It's not like there's a dearth of lenses I'd like to try - maybe a 105mm Lester-Dine macro, a Pentax-A 135mm F/2.8, or an old F/1.2 beauty. One of the charms of having a K-mount body is the access to all that used glass, and I'm not quite sold on the idea of adapters that don't allow you to focus wide-open and automatically close the iris when a shot is taken.

Should I do it? Wait until Photokina? Go m4/3? Just get more K-mount glass instead? What do you think?

06-26-2014, 09:08 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Doundounba Quote
I held an X-A1 at a local store and really wasn't crazy about the feel in my hand.
That's all I need to know

Image quality across brands is at a point that most average shooters cannot see any difference. So the distinguishing factor is the ergonomics and body features. Looks like you need to decide if an articulated screen is worth giving up IBIS and getting a body that does not fit your hand.
06-26-2014, 10:02 AM   #3
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you got me interested. Can you share the store?
06-26-2014, 10:18 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
you got me interested. Can you share the store?
Right here - only two left though! I'm currently trying to hold off. They also had the white on sale at this price, but it sold out. I've purchased a lot of computer parts from NCIX and always been a satisfied customer. If you don't like the red, Camera Canada has black at $379, though I've never dealt with them.

06-26-2014, 10:20 AM   #5
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I like NCIX, bought my current rig there, assembled by them I can't pick it up though as I'm in NS, so need to pay for shipping.

Too bad no other stores around me sells the red one or I might attempt a price match :/ Oh well, I prefer the black one anyway, I should probably stick to saving for a Nikon Df
06-26-2014, 10:29 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
you got me interested. Can you share the store?
No idea which store has the $350 price, but Camera Canada has it for $380.

BTW, this past weekend I tried out multiple Fuji cameras at a "Walk with the Fuji Guys" here in Toronto, which included the X-A1 (or X-M1, the brown one), X-100S, and new X-T1. I also had my K-3 with me to compare (and the Fuji Guys wanted to fondle my Limiteds, so to speak).

The Fujis have very nice external control layouts (almost Pentax-like), and extremely fast processing and shooting speeds, but the build quality on all but the X-100S was just underwhelming. Everyone was raving about the EVF on the X-T1, while I thought the magnesium shell felt thin and the buttons were squooshy and cheap. The X-A1 didn't seem like it would hold up to my normal handling (which isn't abusive, but not delicate either). That said, the files I got are really nice and that 56mm f/1.2 AF lens is very, very delicious...
06-26-2014, 10:49 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
No idea which store has the $350 price, but Camera Canada has it for $380.

BTW, this past weekend I tried out multiple Fuji cameras at a "Walk with the Fuji Guys" here in Toronto, which included the X-A1 (or X-M1, the brown one), X-100S, and new X-T1. I also had my K-3 with me to compare (and the Fuji Guys wanted to fondle my Limiteds, so to speak).

The Fujis have very nice external control layouts (almost Pentax-like), and extremely fast processing and shooting speeds, but the build quality on all but the X-100S was just underwhelming. Everyone was raving about the EVF on the X-T1, while I thought the magnesium shell felt thin and the buttons were squooshy and cheap. The X-A1 didn't seem like it would hold up to my normal handling (which isn't abusive, but not delicate either). That said, the files I got are really nice and that 56mm f/1.2 AF lens is very, very delicious...
Thanks for sharing this pano! IMO Pentax people are very spoiled regarding build quality. Since K10D Pentax have been the best in build quality for money. IMO nothing else aside from the top model of other brands really compare. I have D600 and D7000, they feel squishy compared to the humble K10D, even if I know the construction is completely fine.

From what you're saying it seems that X-A1 isn't worse than the K-x. I think I will get that or the X-T1 eventually
06-26-2014, 12:16 PM   #8
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The K-01 is a really very solid body. The X-A1 is very "plasticky" but what bugged me is the lack of grip and the position of the wheels - just seemed awkward, but maybe after shooting for a while it would become second nature. If you want a light body to shoot wide though, the X-A1 and the 18mm F/2 and/or the new Samyang 12mm F/2 looks like a fantastic combo. You (or I) could even combine that with a K-01 plus two longer primes in the 35-135 range for a nice walk-around primes, two-bodies setup...

EDIT: Just checked and the combo of the X-A1 & Samyang 12mm F/2 weighs barely more (590g) than the K-01 body by itself (560g)...


Last edited by Doundounba; 06-26-2014 at 12:24 PM.
06-26-2014, 03:32 PM   #9
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I'm pretty happy with my K-01, but the mirrorless cameras have gone a long way since the K-01 was designed. Sony, Olympus, Samsung, Fuji all make some nice small cameras.. I think with this segment of cameras its really important how it feels in your hands, how you warm to it.
I didn't really love the K-01 when I first saw photos online.. but when I saw it in the store and held it, it won me over. I recently made a thread about this type of cameras:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/173-general-photography/265701-compact-backup-camera.html
Wondering about a smaller, tinier backup. The Sony a5000 seems like a good candidate, but I want to try more of the suggested cameras in my hands. Its the only way to decide
06-26-2014, 04:38 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
From what you're saying it seems that X-A1 isn't worse than the K-x. I think I will get that or the X-T1 eventually
Well, the X-T1 is a nice camera... if you like physical dials:


But it really needs that f/1.2 AF lens to finish it off (oh, and I think her name is Elaine):
06-26-2014, 06:23 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Well, the X-T1 is a nice camera... if you like physical dials:

But it really needs that f/1.2 AF lens to finish it off (oh, and I think her name is Elaine):
Dont you find that a beautiful sight? I mean the camera of course
06-27-2014, 01:29 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Wondering about a smaller, tinier backup. The Sony a5000 seems like a good candidate, but I want to try more of the suggested cameras in my hands. Its the only way to decide
Yes, I am pretty much in agreement that the camera's ergonomics are very important, which is why I am holding out on the X-A1, despite the tremendous value and the (IMHO) good looks. For me, the K-3 and K-50 have a grip that is too thick and simply not very comfortable. The cameras which have felt good in my hand when I've picked them up (lately) have been the Fuji X-T1, the Sony A7 and the Panasonic GX7. The E-M10 also looks pretty good, but I've not held one. All of those are pretty expensive (for now) though! Part of what drew me to the K-01 is value... The Sony a6000 also looks like a nice body, but I've never been a big fan of Sony, or Samsung for that matter.

BTW, do any of the K-mount adapters for shorter flange distance mounts include aperture control (to the effect that you focus wide-open and the iris is only closed down when the shot is taken)? I would think not. Of course, if you're only shooting wide-open portraits, I guess that's not a big deal, but it makes a difference for me on macro in helping me achieve precise focus!
07-09-2014, 03:28 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Doundounba Quote
Hi all,

So a Canadian computer store is currently selling the Fuji X-A1 with kit lens for $350. I am tempted. As far as value is concerned, this is right up there with the cheapest prices the K-01 went down to... Has anyone here made the move from K-01 to Fuji mirrorless? What has your experience been like? How would you compare the K-01 to your Fuji rig?

It seems to me like the X-A1 would be a "sidegrade" from the K-01, rather than an upgrade. Same sensor, probably - note that the X-A1 doesn't have the x-trans sensor but rather a "normal" bayer APS-C sensor that might just be the exact same part that is in the K-01. Basically, in moving to the X-A1, I'd loose IBIS (and some battery life, I think) to save quite a bit of weight as well as gain an articulated LCD. Having that LCD would really be great to shoot handheld macro - my main thing - but loosing IBIS might be a bummer on the very same front... I'd also get to see if I like Fuji JPEGS and would get access to Fuji's great glass. (That Fuji glass is mightily expensive, however!) I held an X-A1 at a local store and really wasn't crazy about the feel in my hand. Maybe I'd get used to it though? Using two systems for a while is a possibility, I guess...

The thing is if Pentax doesn't release a successor, it looks like the most appealing way forward for a K-01 shooter who doesn't want to "bulk up" to a full-on Pentax DSLR is either m4/3 or Fuji. This deal would allow me to dip my toe into Fuji land without breaking the bank. On the other hand, I could instead use that money to get more k-mount glass. Money doesn't grow on trees, and It's not like there's a dearth of lenses I'd like to try - maybe a 105mm Lester-Dine macro, a Pentax-A 135mm F/2.8, or an old F/1.2 beauty. One of the charms of having a K-mount body is the access to all that used glass, and I'm not quite sold on the idea of adapters that don't allow you to focus wide-open and automatically close the iris when a shot is taken.

Should I do it? Wait until Photokina? Go m4/3? Just get more K-mount glass instead? What do you think?
Every time I get tempted by something such as the X-A1, I ask myself: and what will I gain over my K-01, and inevitably conclude... next to nothing and the envy goes into remission for a while ;-)
07-09-2014, 03:40 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by regor Quote
Every time I get tempted by something such as the X-A1, I ask myself: and what will I gain over my K-01, and inevitably conclude... next to nothing and the envy goes into remission for a while ;-)
I know what you mean. I figure if i wait long enough a magic piece of gear will appear that will turn me into a great photographer. Hasnt come along yet so i will make do with the gear i have.
07-11-2014, 09:12 AM   #15
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Of course, no camera will magically turn you into a great photog. Conversely, great photographers can turn out good shots even with pretty lousy equipment. Yet my neck would still appreciate having an articulated LCD! (BTW, I did pass on this special, and will invest elsewhere instead...)
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