Support my work and review- Buy the Fuji X-T1 from B&H

Fuji X-T1 Highlights:

  • 16.3MP APS-C Sensor
  • 0.5″ 2,360k-Dot 0.77x OLED Viewfinder (EVF)
  • 3.0″ 1,040k-Dot Tilting LCD Monitor
  • 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity for remote shooting, image download and geotagging
  • Weather-Resistant Body Construction
  • Continuous Shooting up to 8 fps with AF and subject tracking
  • Intelligent Hybrid AF and Focus Peaking
  • Includes EF-X8 Shoe-Mount Flash Unit

Fuji X-T1 Pro:

  • Manual controls- Smart and fully functional dials and the aperture ring on lenses makes the camera fun to use
  • Image quality – Excellent image quality – see high ISO shots in gallery below
  • Feels great in the hand, well built with a good amount of customizable options
  • The EVF or Electronic viewfinder is huge, bright and snappy – I am not typically a fan of EVFs but this one I could be happy using.
  • Some excellent lenses and enough of them- including some affordable 3rd party manual focus only lenses

Fuji X-T1 Cons:

  • Battery life – 300-400 shots, double that if you buy the battery grip
  • Controls – Yes a pro and a con-  they are lovely when you have time but I found them difficult if not impossible to use one handed
  • No in body image stabilization (like the Olympus) Some lenses, including the excellent kit lens do offer IS
  • The EVF is beautiful but the eye-cup could be better, Fuji is starting to sell a deeper one that blocks the light better
  • Wifi is finicky to connect at times. I found the remote option to work well, image transfer to usually take two tries to connect and geotagging via phone was mostly a fail
  • Video mode OK and continuous AF is not impressive in this camera – even with face tracking on.

Buy the Fuji X-T1 from  B&H or Rent from Borrowlenses.com

Buy the X-T1 Battery Grip from B&H 

 

Hands-on with the Fuji X-T1:

When I first got my hands on the Fuji X-T1 I immediately loved the look and the feel. I did have some initial confusion about mode dials(there aren’t any) when I was not shooting full manual. It retrospect it is quite simple – rotate the dial controlling ISO, shutterspeed or Aperture(on lens) to A and the camera will take care of that variable. If you want aperture priority, set ISO and shutter speed on A and rotate the aperture dial as needed.   I did spend most of the time with this camera in full manual mode and that is how it feels like it should be used, except when I wanted to use the camera one handed. I have gotten used to one handed operation with my DSLRs and the Sony a7 – the camera can be up to my eye and with a dial spin and/or button press I change what I need.  Shooting with the X-T1 was a more deliberate and often premeditated affair but at the same time I appreciate the top down view of all my settings at a glance.

The actual performance of the camera was excellent. Focus in normal to good light levels was fast and accurate. (watch my Fuji X-T1 tips for additional focus related tips) I do wish there was a dedicated button for focus point selection but with the 7 or so buttons that you can customize it does just add one click before you use the directional pad to move the point.  On high speed continuous it is easy to fire off multiple frames with focus and subject tracking .  The EVF was big, bright and beautiful- When looking through the viewfinder I felt like I was standing in the doorway or a really nice home theater room, where one whole wall is a beautiful screen.  Up till now I haven’t been a fan of EVFs and I still wouldn’t say I am a fan but I would be quite happy to use the X-T1s EVF.   (why not a fan of EVFs? The lag and the blackout when taking pics both of which the X-T1 handles nicely- the refresh rate is fast and you can turn off image review).

Image quality? Superb.  First let me say that both lenses I used Fuji 56mm f/1.2 and the 18-55 f/2.8-4 were a joy to use and are sharp lenses, even wide open.  Pixel peeping on the hundreds of images I shot and the camera/lens combos made excellent images.  There is some weirdness with Fuji’s RAW files, if you want to work on them in Lightroom they drop any of the film simulation but both JPEGS and RAWs had great detail even at very high ISOs (see samples below)

I had the opportunity to use the Fuji for a low light dance party. Light levels were really low with just flashing DJ lights and some light spilling in from outside. My 70D and 5D Mark III was still capable of focusing- The Fuji really struggled and the when it did get focus it was hard to tell from the noise in the EVF- this is certainly a downside but I need to stress that it was very dark in the room.  The actual images, when in focus, were better than the 70D and on par with 5D Mark III. Again the image quality out of this little camera was excellent.

Overall The Fuji X-T1 is an excellent little camera that produces beautiful images. If you don’t mind a slightly slower approach to shooting and some negatives when the light levels get very low. Take away my wedding work and I would love to have this as my daily camera.

 

Additional info coming soon.  Video samples and images including comparison vs 70D.

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1 COMMENT

  1. ‘d add that one of the reason bring me to the X-E2 is firmware updates. Fuji nailed it when it comes to firmware updates (today they released 2.0 software for my X-E2 with lots of goodies). The X-T1 is very nice, my impression is that it’s still unripe for what it aims for though. Sure it’s a very good start. Fuji lenses has very high IQ. I see the X-E2 as the only mature X-camera at the moment.

    If someone’s searching for a pro-mirrorless body and want 1) smaller body 2) APS-C sensor 3) great lenses..then Fuji is probably a serious take. In fact I ended up to consider Fuji as the most-balanced-solution in the mirrorless market.
    I mean:
    – OM-D: incredible camera (not cheap) with an incredible amount of lenses (and this is probably its major selling point), incredible IS, but is lacking in point 1 (very big for a mirrorless) and 2 (smaller sensor = less DOF).
    – Sony A7: great FF sensor = great DOF, small body considering that it’s a FF camera, but it’s lacking in no. 3 (lenses).
    – Fuji instead is very good in no.1, 2 and 3. Obiuvsly nothing is perfect, neither Fuji. So it’s up to our preferences. After all there will always be compromises to deal with. That’s my view 🙂 Great review Toby. I see your interest for mirrorless has growing lately. Very good ;)

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