Fujifilm brings faster autofocus to its selfie-friendly X-A5

At $600 and with a new microphone input, it's for vloggers on a budget.

Fujifilm has improved its entry-level mirrorless camera lineup with the retro-styled X-A5, bringing faster autofocus, sort-of 4K video and a microphone input, of all things. The new model has a brand new 24.2-megapixel Bayer (not X-Trans) sensor with on-chip phase detection that makes autofocus up to twice as fast as its predecessor, the X-A3. Native ISO has also improved from 6,400 to 12,800, with a maximum range of 100-51,200 including expansion. The fully flippable display now allows touch focus, making selfies and video focus much easier.

On the video side, the X-A5 now offers 4K, but it's hobbled to 15 fps and five minute max, making it useful only for high-speed photo capture or Lytro-like variable focus shots. Fortunately, it does offer 1080p capture at up to 60 fps now, so with the addition of a 2.5mm microphone input and touch autofocus, the X-A5 has potential as a nice budget vlogging camera.

With a new sensor and processor, Fujifilm is promising not just faster AF, but also better skin tone reproduction and subject recognition. However, burst shooting speeds remain the same as the X-A3 at a respectable 6 fps. Recognizing the set-it-and-forget-it crowd the camera will appeal to, Fujifilm added two new advanced filter functions, "Fog Remove" and "HDR Art," bringing the total to 17.

Along with the camera, Fujifilm introduced a new lightweight, motorized zoom, the $300 XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ. It's optically stabillized, and goes slightly wider than Fujifilm's XC 16-50 f/3.5-5.6 model, making it a bit more useful as a walkaround lens.

The X-A5 costs $600 with the XC 15-45 f/3.5-5.6 lens, so it's going to be a mighty tempting option for buyers considering Canon's M100 or the Sony A6000. For around the same price, Fujifilm offers an arguably nicer-looking retro body, a microphone input and a more versatile kit lens.