Fujifilm X-T1 - First Impressions

Fujifilm X-T1 In April 2012 I took my last photograph using a DSLR. That photograph was of my newly arrived Fujifilm X-Pro1 and my journey into digital "mirrorless" photography began. Nearly two years later I am fully invested in the Fujifilm X ecosystem and have recently procured Fujifilm's latest top of line camera, the X-T1.

This post will be a brief "first impressions" post. I won't got into the specs - you can easily find those online but I will talk about my initial thoughts after spending about 1 day with the camera.

All of the photos were taken in standard JPG mode since Lightroom hasn't been updated to decode the X-T1 RAW files yet.

1/750 sec at f/4, ISO 200

The X-T1 feels smaller than the X-Pro1 but the grip on the body makes it easier to handle compared to its older sibling. One of the great design features on this camera is that many functions have their own dials on the top plate. It is now possible to access shutter speed, exposure compensation, mode (M, P, Av, Tv), ISO, metering type, and single frame/burst/etc all without entering any menu. As a manual film camera shooter, I love this. The exposure compensation dial is a little stiffer than the X-Pro1 but is still perfectly placed between your thumb and trigger finger.

Other external controls include two dials, one under the forefinger and one under the thumb and 6 programmable buttons including the buttons on the 4 way controller. For now I have left them at the defaults but will probably change the one of the front which is currently set to bracketing and filters.

One thing I prefer on the X-Pro1 is the size of the 4 way controller. Even though my hands are not big, I find the buttons on the X-T1 a little small. I understand there is a compromise here when you have a huge LCD on the back of a small camera but the buttons will take a little getting used to.

The EVF is bright and responsive and is really, really huge. I will not miss the hybrid OVF/EVF that the X-Pro1 uses. You can also make the image in the EVF a little smaller which could be useful if you wear glasses. As before, the EVF has a lot of heads-up data on display like exposure compensation, virtual horizon, exposure parameters and a live histogram. One change I'd like to see in a firmware update would be for the menus to appear on the LCD even when in EVF mode. When in this mode, having to look in the EVF makes it difficult to check or change the menu items when walking.

1/320sec at f/4, ISO 200

When the X-Pro1 came out, its focus was pretty lethargic. This improved over time with firmware updates but the X-T1 is very responsive right out of the gate. On a quick walk around town in the rain this morning, I didn't detect any lag or focus hunting using the XF 23mm f/1.4 lens. This makes me very happy indeed.

1/60 sec at f/8, ISO 400

Fujifilm is famous for the low noise performance on their cameras. I regularly shoot at 3200 indoors with the X-Pro1 without any hesitation. Even in standard JPG mode, the high ISO shots straight out of the camera are pretty clean. Here is an example JPG taken in my kitchen at ISO 6400.

ISO 6400.

There are a lot of other gizmos and features I haven't played with yet. The camera supports face detection, filters (toy camera, miniature, etc) and has a built in intervalometer for time lapse photography. One thing I did play with a little is the remote control feature where you can use a smart phone or tablet to control the camera. The phone and camera connect via the built in WiFi and you can see a live view of the shot. You can then control any of the shooting parameters from the phone. In addition to this, you can also browse photos from your phone, upload shots to your phone for posting online and even download geotag data from your phone's GPS.

Remote app controlling the camera

So after 1 day with this camera I am very impressed. This looks like it is going to be an awesome camera. Once the rain stops I will be heading outside to take more shots so stay tuned for more impressions over the coming weeks.

If you have any specific XT-1 questions, ask them in the comments and I will try to answer.