Two months ago, I purchased my Fujifilm X-T1. I actually held off buying it as I had fallen in love with the rangefinder style camera body, which is why I already owned an X10, X100s, two X-E2’s and an X-Pro1. I didn’t want to go back to a body that resembled a DSLR with the hump in the middle. I had been using Nikon and Leica cameras for a while. During that time I really enjoyed shooting with the rangefinder camera. I wrote about this more in-depth in a post on my blog called, “Migration to Mirrorless.”
After reading all of the positive reviews, which included raves about the EVF and external controls, I purchased an X-T1 from my local camera store, Ace Photo. At first I really struggled with having my nose up against the LCD screen but now I don’t even notice it. I tend to take a while to get used to new things, be it a car or a camera, which is why I haven’t written about the X-T1 until now. This won’t be in-depth and certainly won’t be technical as many writers better than myself have done great jobs producing articles about this camera.
The logical question is, “What do I think?” To be completely honest I think I am in love, if you know what I mean. As I am writing this I have a second X-T1 body sitting next to me that I just purchased. I guess that gives a clue as to what I think about this camera.
The X-T1 is well-built, weather resistant, light, easy to hold and well designed. I love the way it is laid out. The manual controls make it so much easier to use and the EVF is beyond clear. It fits my small hands perfectly. I have added the Fuji handgrip, mainly because of the built-in Arca Swiss mount, but honestly don’t think I will need a thumb grip. Fuji has built-in a nice hump for my thumb, just below the AF-L button, on the back of the camera. The hump combined with the handgrip really makes this camera a joy to handle.
The magnesium body makes this camera solid but light. One of my favorite combinations is the X-T1 and the 35 1.4 lens. I could carry that set-up all day with just a wrist strap!
Here is one of my favorite pics taken with the X-T1/35 1.4 combination.
Knowing that the X-T1 is weather resistant sets me at ease about taking it outside during the winter here in Virginia. I don’t have to worry about it getting wet or cold. I don’t baby my equipment but I do take good care of all my cameras and lenses. It is good to know that this camera will be okay in that kind of environment. Now I just need to get a weather proof lens, like the 18-135, and I am good to go.
The menus are standard Fuji. If you have a Fuji camera it won’t take any time to adjust. It does have a tilting screen which I really like and often use to hold the camera over my head or put on the ground to take a shot. The external controls allow me to quickly adjust the metering or frames per second as well as the ISO, shutter speed and Exposure Value. Having the aperture ring on the Fujinon lenses, right next to the body, allows me to adjust them quickly using the pinky on my left had. I can adjust my settings and take the next shot almost instantly. Good job Fuji.
As of now, I have sold all of my Nikon and Leica gear. I wanted money in the bank to purchase the new X-Pro2, when it is released in 2015, but now I am not sure what I am going to do. If it does not have external controls I may hold off. The reason I went ahead and bought the second X-T1 body is because I can’t get away from the fact that the controls make this camera not only easier to use, but a joy to use!
Can you believe that this camera will shoot in continuous high at 8 frames per second? That is what my Nikon D300s shot at. I absolutely love this! I find this option really useful for shooting action or wildlife. I spent quite a bit of time taking pics of a tree swallow feeding his young in a bird house about a month ago. I never would have got the pics I did without this ability. Great job Fujifilm!
Shooting the X-T1 at ISO 3200 is not an issue. When I took it to the Air and Space Museum, to try out my new Fuji 10-24 f/4 lens, I set the camera at ISO 3200 and shot for three hours without touching the setting when in the museum. What a blessing to know your camera has the ability to produce a clean file at that high of an ISO. I didn’t do any noise reduction to get the following pic.
I think one of my biggest frustrations with the X-E2 is getting the wireless to work properly. Not so with the X-T1. Once you download the “Camera Remote” app it is very easy to not only connect to your iPhone or iPad but also to control the X-T1 remotely. This is a great feature that I look forward to using more often in the future.
With the X-T1 I also have the ability to program multiple function buttons. Fujifilm has done a great job putting together a “pro level” camera. Portrait and wedding photographers are switching to the X-T1 after using a DSLR system. It is smaller and lighter, has a sync port for flash and is built like a tank.
Are there any negatives? As of now I can only think of two small ones: the tilting screen is more difficult to swing out if you use the optional hand grip and every time I open the plastic door to take out my SD card I wonder how long it will last. It seems thin and flimsy.
All in all, those two issues are minor. No camera is perfect but the X-T1 comes close. I highly recommend you at least hold one in your hand at the local camera store. They have been difficult if not impossible to find but when I went to my local camera store to buy my second body yesterday they had six in stock.
I also wanted to mention that the X-T1 uses the SDXC (UHS-II) memory card. This card writes at 250 megabytes per second. I haven’t had any problem with the buffer getting full even when using the continuous high setting at 8 frames per second.
If you have a problem finding this faster card, you can order it at B&H photo. It is not inexpensive but worth every penny. Personally, I use a SanDisk 16GB card which works fine for me.
All in all, this camera combined with the current Fuji lens lineup is a great combination. I am really enjoying shooting this camera and trying different lenses on it. It doesn’t matter which lens it is. The files are beautiful, sharp and colorful.
Fujifilm, you are doing a great job not only producing tremendous cameras and lenses, but you listen to your customers. Speaking for me, because I am one of those customers, I really appreciate it. Please keep up the good work!