The 5 Worst Fujifilm Cameras That You Should Never Own

There are five Fujifilm cameras that you should never, ever own. Don’t even think about it! These cameras have qualities that are downright awful. If you should buy one, you’ll certainly regret it. How do I know? Because I have personally used all five of these Fujifilm cameras, and trust me, you should never own one. Ever. They’re the worst!

What are these five foul Fujifilm cameras? What makes them so bad? Read on to find out!

#5 – Fujifilm X-E1

“…performance lags in its class.”

CNET

Never judge a book by its cover. The X-E1 might be one of the most stylish cameras ever made, but on the inside you’ll find sluggish low-light autofocus and an unbearably antiquated menu. Where’s the focus joystick? There isn’t one. You won’t find any film simulations with the name Classic in it, either. The camera is almost 10 years old, which in digital terms is ancient. It received plenty of criticism when it was brand-new, and cameras weren’t nearly as good back then as they are now, so it must be especially awful when judged by today’s standards.

Besides, are 16 megapixels really enough? I mean, we’ve got 100-megapixel cameras now! Nobody is making cameras nowadays with such low resolution. They’re all going to laugh at you with a measly 16; that’s barely enough for social media posts, and not nearly enough for pictures of fluffy the cat. If you’re serious about photography, you need more resolution than this camera has. Lot’s more.

It’s best to avoid the Fujifilm X-E1, even though you can find it sometimes for super cheap. You get what you pay for, so it’s better to spend as much money as possible on your gear. The more you spend, the more successful you’ll be, or at least the more successful other people will assume you are. Remember, perception is reality.

Barn by the Tetons – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E1
Snake River Fog – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E1

#4 – Fujifilm X-A3

“…the autofocus system is way too slow….”

PCMag

Fujifilm X-A cameras are essentially cheap X-E copycats. You can buy Lucky Charms or you can buy Marshmallow Mateys; they might look similar, but do they taste the same? No. The X-A3 might resemble an X-E3, but don’t be tricked! X-E is X-Trans, yet X-A is Bayer, which might as well be Sony, and Sony isn’t Fujifilm.

When you judge books by their covers you are usually right. The X-A3 has a lot of plastic on it, and plastic cameras are basically toy cameras. No serious photographer would ever use a toy camera, because toys are for kids. The X-A3 might as well be a Holga or Diana; unfortunately, the Fujifilm model doesn’t have any of that lo-fi sugary goodness that attracts lomographers. This camera sits in a weird spot: too cheap on the outside to be loved by real photographers, too good on the inside to be loved by hipsters.

Feeling Blue – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3
La Sal Through Mesa Arch – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

#3 – Fujifilm X-M1

“…it just feels wrong….”

Photography Blog

The X-M1 is an X-E1 trapped inside the body of an X-A1.

What happens when you combine the worst parts of an X-E1 with the worst parts of an X-A1? You get this Frankenstein camera. Fujifilm took all of the bad points of #4 and #5 on this list and mixed them together in what can best be described as a mistake. There’s a reason why Fujifilm never made an X-M2.

Trust me, you’ll regret putting a charged battery inside this camera to bring it to life.

Vibrant Autumn – Fruit Heights, UT – Fujifilm X-M1
Lit Autumn Leaves – Fruit Heights, UT – Fujifilm X-M1

#2 – Fujifilm XQ1

“…it has a number of problems.”

PhotographyLife

The XQ1 is a pocket zoom. Remember those? They were all the rage eight years ago. Were is the keyword. Nobody uses cameras like this anymore. It was trendy for a time (not necessarily this particular model), but they’re just not cool anymore.

Besides, it has a 2/3″ sensor. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s X-Trans II, and produces results similar to the much larger and heavier and more expensive X-T1, but the sensor is so itty bitty. A postage stamp looks large in comparison! Nobody will suspect you’re a photographer if you use it—they’ll just ignore you as an out-of-town tourist or an out-of-date amateur. What’s the point in being a photographer if nobody knows it just by looking at you?

Reaching Leaves – Mirror Lake, UT – Fujifilm XQ1
Logs in the Lake – Mirror Lake, UT – Fujifilm XQ1

#1 – Fujifilm AX350

 “Changing the film simulation is pretty much all you can do….”

Fuji X Weekly

The AX-what?! This pocket point-and-shoot is a camera you likely don’t remember, because it’s entirely forgettable. Intended for the tenderfoot, the AX350 was made obsolete by the cellphone. You might find one at a thrift store for the same price as a cup of coffee. Maybe a friend or relative has one in the back of some junk drawer or at the bottom of a storage box in the attic. If you find one, just leave it be. If someone offers to give you theirs for free, politely decline. Not even those who it was made for want it, and neither should you.

If you had to choose between this camera and your cellphone camera, you wouldn’t choose this one. I mean, what kind of image quality could you possibly get from such a cheap, amateurish, old, obsolete piece-of-junk? It’s best that the AX350 remains a forgotten relic of a time long past, the good ol’ days when only expensive DSLRs were capable of capturing good pictures, and you knew who was a pro (and who wasn’t) by the gear they carried.

Green Summer Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm AX350
Red Trike – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm AX350

This, of course, is satire. You probably figured that out awhile ago. I’m poking fun at negative articles and videos with titles like: The Absolute Worst Camera, Cameras You Should Never Own, Top Cameras To Avoid, The Most Hated Camera, Things I Hate About This Camera, Why I’m Disappointed With My Camera, Why I’m Selling My Gear, etc., etc.. Negativity is popular, and titles like those get views.

Any camera in the hands of a skilled photographer is a capable photographic tool. As Chase Jarvis coined, “The best camera is the one that’s with you.” Do the best you can with what you have, and you’ll be surprised at the results. It’s more important to have photographic vision than expensive gear. It’s better to invest in experiences than new things.

All five of the cameras mentioned above—the X-E1, X-A3, X-M1, XQ1 and AX350—are fully capable artistic tools. Even the AX350 can produce beautiful results. There’s nothing wrong with using any of them. No matter what your camera is, it’s plenty good enough. Spend less time worrying about the gear you own, and spend more time considering what you can create with it.

37 comments

  1. Marc Beebe · February 10

    Actually they do all have one flaw: the “you-can-buy-a-better-new-camera-for-that-much” asking prices of these ol’ Fujis is daunting. Hmm. Maybe there’s a reason for that, eh?
    I just took some nice snowflake pictures with my FX80.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 10

      Sometimes the asking price can seem high. I’ve seen #5, #3, and #2 for under $250; actually, I’ve seen #5 and #3 for under $200, although I don’t believe that’s common. Of course #1 you might find for under $10.
      The larger point, however, is to use what you already have, whatever it is.

      Like

      • Bo Belvedere Christensen · February 19

        I bought an XQ2 for less than 100$ – I don’t know why they changed the name from XQ1, as there seems to be no changes. And it is one of my favorite go-everywhere cameras, I took it to the summit of several high mountains including som 8 thousand meter peaks, and the results are amazing. Although I have much newer Fuji cameras, I often bring this one with me for the quality to size+weight ratio that is hard to beat.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · February 21

        Yeah, the XQ cameras were really under appreciated. It’s a great companion camera for when caring something bigger isn’t practical. Less than $100 is such a great bargain!

        Like

  2. Andrew · February 10

    You had me worried for a moment Ritchie!! I’m saving up for a used XE2 so I can have Classic Chrome as a base for your superb recipes. I’ve got a cherished X-Pro1 and I’m enjoying the ones that you’ve produced for that sensor too. Thanks for all the work you put in – all the best Andrew

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 10

      I appreciate it! The X-E2 will be an excellent camera for you.
      I hope you figured out the satire before you got too far into the article….

      Like

  3. stuartshafran · February 10

    Brilliant! Great photos by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Michael · February 10

    I have an X-E1 it is everything you say but it is very simple to use, it is sluggish. For action photos forget it, but I use mine mainly for street photography and general walking around localy . It can take some really great photos with its 16 megapixels sensor which is not a concern to me. For all its faults I like the camera I bought S/H cheap and fits in nicely with my other Fuji camera the X-T 20 and the X-T 3.

    Liked by 1 person

    • JM · February 10

      The X-E1 sensor is superb. I now use an X-E3 but I have never been able to get over the “smudgy” skin tones of later sensors.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · February 10

        I’ve never noticed “smudgy” skin tones. But I keep the Noise Reduction low, so maybe that’s why? The X-E1 is indeed superb.

        Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 10

      The X-E1 was my gateway into Fujifilm. Very lovely camera. Some of my favorite pictures were captured with it. Not a bad camera at all, despite its “shortcomings”. Thanks for the comment!

      Like

    • georgesimpsonart · February 11

      I cant say i noticed sluggishness.
      With autofocus? Ive never owned autofocus lens, so no comment ;). But the easiest response is manual is always faster for that type of thing, thats why i havent owned one.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ritchie Roesch · February 14

        Nothing is faster than a pre-focussed manual lens. I appreciate the comment!

        Like

  5. Jerry Wade · February 10

    Great article…and excellent points made. I’m really tired of new cameras coming out every 6 months. No wonder the market is going to hell…cameras are deemed obsolete before you can find your shutter count!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 10

      I agree. Camera makers are cycling through model upgrades much too quickly. I think three years between model updates should be the minimum. I appreciate the comment!

      Like

  6. yuri rasin · February 10

    Nice one Ritchie. You could have let it without the explanation in the end. Now that would have been fun and you’d see how well people know/understand you haha. Keep em coming, we need some humour these days!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jazz110 · February 10

    OMG, I put my XH-1 and XPro-3 in the trash compacter as I was half-way through your article. It made sense to me to do so, because the XH-1 clearly is outdated, and the XPro-3 can’t be far behind! Whaaaat, the article was “tongue n’ cheek”???? Where is the trash compacter’s off button!!!

    Seriously, you had me there for a moment! Thank you for making my week, and perhaps making me more wary about lusting after the next big thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. walker · February 10

    I love Snake River Fog pic so much. Period.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 10

      Thank you! I had this one hanging in the house for a few years. Now it’s in my brother’s home. One of my favorite pictures.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. thedullchannel · February 11

    The blog title seems like right out of one of the many wordpress SEO plugins….the images are worth it though.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 14

      Thanks! I was trying to make it realistic while simultaneously over-the-top, as a tongue-in-cheek take on these type of articles.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thedullchannel · February 14

        Yeah.. a number, a power word, a list…all good SEO advice…;-)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · February 15

        I think if an SEO expert ever visited this website, they’d likely tell me I’m doing most everything all wrong. Lol

        Like

  10. georgesimpsonart · February 11

    General offended reaction until realised inherent satire!
    Then again i probably would say before Fuji made x-series there were many to be put on an unironic list, such as the s3200 i still have as its unsellable. Massive 30x zoom and makes every picture look like a painting with harsh noise reduction! It only has zoom!

    Generally with anything, cameras, guitars, whatever. Price vs quality is exponential.
    Pay double and get a few percent better product, whatever it means, then there is always double, quadruple, above it. An ex1, basically would anyone tell the difference with sensors? For sure there is a baseline though- dont get their old gear from pre-2010 like S series expecting any of the quality of the X series. Thats pretty obvious though. The fact the X series could save their image from that says something! They were basically bottom of the pile for digital for a while.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 14

      Great points! I think, if you print 18″ x 24″ or smaller, it’s difficult to tell the difference in image quality between an X-E1 and (say) X-T30. The newer cameras have more options and improved features, but image quality is only improved by a fairly small amount, which is a testament to how good X-Trans has been since the beginning. There’s definitely diminishing return to camera technology advancements over the last decade, which means you can keep your digital camera for longer than you could 20 years ago or 15 years ago, just as long as it keeps clicking.

      Like

  11. Francis.R. · February 18

    Something I learned was to not focus much in technical specifications and go outside to take photos and discover if I bond with a camera to take my time and have a nice time. I set my X100S with one of your recipes and then I change to the ovf knowing the exposure and all will be fine, somehow similar to my film cameras. I loved the X-E1 with the 35mm f1.4, thanks for the smile : )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 19

      It’s more about creating photographs than collecting gear. The X100S is still just as capable as the day it was released (actually, probably more so now).

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Johan Otterdahl Edfeldt · February 27

    I am doing one camera, one lens one year challenge with the XE1 at the moment, started only 2 weeks ago. The vibe in the the way it shots and brings out photos feels and looks almost analogue. It’s the most fun I have had with a digital camera. I use an old 40mmF1.8 hexanon as a lens.
    Follow the journey here: @xftales

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 27

      Nice pictures! Thanks for sharing! I’ll have to look into that Konica 40mm F/1.8 lens, looks beautiful!

      Like

  13. Tooty Nolan · March 11

    I knew where your tongue was planted, the moment I saw your first pic. All excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

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