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Fuji XT-1…. a quick 1st impression

March 6th, 2014


camera

 Now, first off, there have been reviews of this floating around by Fuji professionals who have had the camera for a period of time before the official release. But, being one of a mildly disturbed group of childishly obsessive adults, I was lucky to be in the first wave of purchases. 

I actually picked up the XT1 from Service Photo in Baltimore on the way to NYC for a presentation. So, I took it out of the box and started shooting immediately.

So, on a more visceral level, let’s have look at what the camera feels like and how it operates in the field, as well as specific features that I like and what may need improvement. 

Ok, to get started…..I LOVE this thing!

When you first pick up the camera, it has a solid feel and sits well in hands. People with larger hands may want to add the vertical grip for about $250 to have more to grab on to. Also, there is no L-bracket made for the XT 1 as of yet, and the earliest ETA for Really Right Stuff is a few weeks.

Well, I understand, but that’s just not going to work.

I found that the XE 1 L-bracket can work and is almost a fit. Because it works but is NOT a perfect fit, snug the bracket but don’t ratchet it down as it may mark the bottom corner.

For my taste, there needs to be a beefier grip. Hopefully, RRS will make a similar bracket as it has for the X Pro 1. 

Grip aside, the view through the eye piece is vast. It feels like a full frame view, even though it is APS-C.

The shutter has a great, solid feel.

Camera controls are all on the body, not unlike the dials and controls on a Nikon DSLR, easily accessible and well laid-out. Fuji does a great job of packing a lot of control buttons and dials on the camera without feeling cramped.

With the added Vertical grip, an additional battery fits in the grip, doubling battery time, but you will have to remove the grip to add two fresh batteries. A non issue.

This is the first camera where I’ve used AutoISO and Auto White Balance, and I gotta tell ya….no complaints, yet.

Because I was hand holding the camera, I routinely shot at ISO800 and higher.
We shot at night in Lincoln Center @ ISO6400.  

The autofocus is a quantum leap from the Xpro 1 and the XE-2, which is to be expected as the technology advances.

The camera WIFI creates a private connection with my iPhone, allowing me to import pics to the phone, where I could email, FB, Twit, etc. The app is also a remote control. I can also Geotag and browse images on the camera.

The focus assist button is almost where the right thumb naturally falls and is in bold, white letters. When in Single Servo (S) mode, the image magnifies on the back of the camera. When in Manual (M) mode, a really nice feature is MF assist > split. This shows two windows in the eye piece: full image and a smaller magnified window with split screen focusing. 

A 16bit file size weighs in at about 91MB, just like the XPro 1 and XE2.

Feature Requests:

1. up to 10 multiple exposures rather than just 2, and

2. TWO stop auto brackets

But, in general, everything feels streamline and faster. Nice.

Fuji also includes a small but mighty  EF-F8 flash!

Here’s a few images from NYC, all hand held or braced against something:

The weight slog is over for me and it frees me up, inspiring me to shoot more….a lot more!

Good stuff!

More to come!!

See ya online!

Tony

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32 Responses

  1. Tony Sweet says:

    I know, Matt. Same here. We’re working on them.

  2. Matt Mikulla says:

    If they changed the multiple exposure ability from 2 to 5+ I would sell all my Canon gear.

  3. Tony Sweet says:

    You’re certainly welcome, Michael! Enjoy, man!!

  4. Michael says:

    Tony thanks for the write up!

    I just got the Fujifilm XT1 with a 18mm f2, 35mm f1.4 and 55-200mm lens.

    So far I really like the camera! I am going on a trip next week so I am looking forward to taking photos.

  5. Tony Sweet says:

    Thx much Howard! We’re on Fuji, as much as possible, through direct reps. They are aware of the need for 2 stop auto bracket and +/-5 EV exposure compensation.

  6. Howard Sherer says:

    Tony, thanks for a good review. I have enjoyed your workshops here with the Lehigh Valley club. I currently use the D800 along with an X100s. Looking for an alternative lighter kit for travel. the XT1 looks super along with some of the new lenses to follow. How long do you think it will take Fuji to upgrade the firmware to allow for bracketing of +/- 2EV to allow for a 5EV bkt for HDR work. to me this appears to be a simple firmware patch.

  7. Tony Sweet says:

    ok, maybe not a quantum leap, but better, as in, faster AF.

  8. Klaus says:

    autofocus a quantum leap compared to the X E2??? Really?
    Not my experience

  9. Tony Sweet says:

    It’s good, man. Glad you like it!!

  10. Jason Odell says:

    Between you and John Barclay, you sold me on the Fuji system. I have to say that the X-T1, while not perfect, is very comfortable to use coming from a DSLR. The lenses are very good and this camera rivals my Nikon DSLRs for sharpness (D800e aside). I agree with you on the features; a couple of firmware tweaks and this would be all anyone with an eye for creativity might need for 95% of situations.

  11. Tony Sweet says:

    Thanks a lot for taking time to comment, Marcy, and thanks for following my blog! I have most of the fuji lenses and they all fit along with 3 Fuji bodies in my Uinta bag from GuraGear (discount on my discounts page). But, my most used lenses are the 14mmn, 18-55mm, and 55-200. There will most certainly be more Fuji blogs as I get out and use the camera!

    For long exposure filters, I use all Singh Ray: 5, 10, and 15 stop MorSlo. The most used one is the 10 stop MorSlo. If interested, call Singh Ray directly: 1-800-486-5501

  12. Marcy says:

    Tony, I love your work and have followed your blog for awhile now. Also, recently purchased a Fuji XT1 and a Fuji x100s and am in the process of selling DSLR and lenses. I’m wondering what lenses you use and if you use another bag to carry your Fuji gear? Did you purchase new filters as well? I love your long exposures and am not sure what filter or filter system to look into.

    Thanks for the review. If you have the time I’m sure a follow up post on settings, accessories and lenses would be well received

  13. Tony Sweet says:

    Sounds like it’s starting to get a bit more manageable, Steve.

  14. Steve says:

    Okay Tony,

    I spent a bit of time this morning tweaking the camera and hopefully that will address the major issues. The biggest problem for me was the focus and now that I’ve cranked the diopter correction to the max (yeah really bad eyes) I can finally see well through the EVF. I’ve also switched to jpegs vs RAW and toned down the film simulation so hopefully it won’t be overkill.

    Thanks!

  15. Tony Sweet says:

    Thx, Roger! You may want to have a look at a mirror less system, man.

  16. Roger says:

    As expected, the images are fabulous no matter the equipment. I particularly like “Lincoln Center”.

  17. Tony Sweet says:

    Give it a few days, Steve. You may have to make some adjustments, but
    It’s worth it.

  18. Steve says:

    Got mine today and am very glad it is a rental. I cannot abide with the over-the-top blues. Every shot that has sky looks like I cranked a polarizer on full bore. I guess my eyes are too feeble for the EVF as I cannot tell if my subject is in focus or not. I have to wait until I view the image in the computer to tell.

    Plus, Fuji cameras must be designed for Japanese hands. I also tried the X100S and found both that and the X-T1 far too uncomfortable to hold well. I probably looked like John Kerry holding a Philly cheesesteak.

    I would very much like something smaller and lighter than my beloved D800E.

  19. Tony Sweet says:

    Sounds great, Dave! Have fun, man!

  20. Dave Burns says:

    Had mine for about two weeks now and leaving for a week in France tomorrow. Really looking forward to more discreet street photography than my Canon’s let me do. :-)

  21. Tony Sweet says:

    You’re certainly welcome, Ron.

  22. Thanks Tony for an honest opinion.

  23. Kim Ross says:

    I have the Sony Nex-7 and it’s great, especially paired with a Zeiss lens or two. I especially like the fact that it’s light and easy to haul around. It was heaven flying with it, as opposed to dragging my much loved, but heavy Canon 5D Markiii on board. The only thing I don’t like is that there is not a remote shutter release available. At least, I couldn’t find one. So, I’m sold on the mirror-less cameras, especially for travel, but I won’t be getting rid of my DSLR!

  24. Tony Sweet says:

    It’s certainly worth a look, Lin!

  25. Lin Layton says:

    Thanks, Tony. I want to lighten my load also and this seems like the way to go.

  26. Tony Sweet says:

    Leading……that’s LEADING in the childish vein, John.

  27. JB says:

    I think I had mine a day before yours… neener neener neener… :) Just following in the childish vein…

  28. Tony Sweet says:

    That reminds me, Scott, we may see each other in the Smokies this spring!

  29. Scott Oberle says:

    Thanks for this Tony…not the fanboy write up usually seen! Makes me more anxious to get mine tomorrow. RRS will have a hand-hold built into their L bracket, I guess that will make it a U bracket!

  30. Tony Sweet says:

    Really nice work, John. If you can swing it, you may want to keep the XE2 as a second body.

  31. Bill Tongue says:

    I’ve had mine for a month and love it. The x-E2 is the backup body in the bag. Your comments are spot on. I made the same comments re Increasing the multiple exposures and bracket numbers. thanks for the tip on the L bracket.

  32. John Franco says:

    Tony, it sounds like it really rocks. Even thought I love my X-E2, I will be trading it in for an X-T1 very soon. I took my X-E2 to my portrait lighting class tonight and the instructor was blown away by the image quality and overall goodness of the camera. Fuji gets it right. See pics from the class here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=662628860459889&set=a.662628840459891.1073741829.134469656609148&type=1&theater

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