So I bought a second XQ2. I intended to replace the first one with a different small camera but I did not like it and sent it back. I missed the compactness of the XQ2 and found another used one for a decent price. But it is still not a good camera, and I became frustrated with it soon enough. I bought something different and let my daughter have this camera.
The Fujifilm XQ2 is certainly a nice camera. It is tiny and light. The startup time and autofocus are pretty fast and definitely usable for what I had intended. It looks good and feels good in my hand. But. But there are several issues.
The ergonomics are terrible. The buttons are fiddly and the back dial really uncomfortable to use. It allows barely any precision. The unclicked control dial around the lens is nearly useless. There is no feedback between the turn and the action except a small icon on the display. I ended up setting the exposure compensation via the d-pad which always necessitated an extra button press. For the same reason setting the aperture was impractical with either dial so I used automatic mode most of the time.
The second big problem for me was the zoom. The motorized mechanism itself was alright and reasonably fast, but the camera always reverted to 25 mm (equivalent) after shutdown. This focal length is quite wide for street photography, and motor zooming to maybe 50 mm would take too long. Sure I could just keep the camera on but then I was out of battery pretty quickly.
The third negative was that despite the image stabilizer, the camera had to raise the ISO level quite a bit in anything other than bright conditions, especially at the longer end. The images from this small 2/3" sensors became unattractively noisy, especially with color images. I wanted to use this camera for discreet shots in malls, subway stations or generally indoors and it did not deliver. I might have known this before buying but I guess I needed to see it for myself (a second time).
And finally, the image quality simply was not there. Noise was distracting from ISO 400 upwards, cropping was very limited and dynamic range did not match up with what I was used to. I think the Fujifilm XQ2 can still be an interesting camera even today, with its film simulations and classic look. But then it does not really bring anything to the table to what a modern smartphone can do. Especially as the ergonomics are poor on this camera. For daylight shots with non-critical depth of field and maybe used for snapshots, it would be a great camera. The colors were really nice.
I kept it as my daughter's play camera until 2023 when for some reason people were paying insane prices on eBay for it. So I sold the camera for profit and gave my daughter an old DSLR, which is much more fun with its viewfinder and clacking sound.
This camera came in at 319 photos between me and my daughter.