Copyright © 2014 Gareth Byrd | All rights reserved.

The Fuji XT1 Review

Cameras are tools.  No more, no less.   Photographers fetishize over them.  They slaver over pixels and gawk at charts of performance.   If you’re one ‘those’ photographers, please turn away now.   You won’t like this.

Give me a canon, give me a nikon.  Hell, give me a pentax.  I’ll give you a pictures that won’t be that different from one another.   Camera companies share sensors and ultimately they’re all working off 18% grey.  So it all comes down to what you can do with it and what feels right in your hand and looks good to your eye.

I used to be a canon man (5D mark II).    As a camera, it took excellent photographs.  The Auto-Focus could be slow in low light.  But over all, it was very solid and reliable.   And I hated it.  It looked hideous and it weighed a tonne with a 70-200mm attached to it.  It screamed – I AM A PHOTOGRAPHER.    So I traded it in for the X-Pro1.

Now the X-Pro1 is a very pretty camera.  It’s light, yet it feels substantial.  Plus the initial fuji lens were so sharp.  I was greatly enamoured with it.  But the tool had it’s faults – slow auto-focus and initially risible 3rd party support for RAW shots.   I didn’t jump for the XE1 or the XE2.  But when the XT1 was announced – I knew it would be the step up for the mirrorless  brigade.

So why the XT1 and why not the wait it out for the XPro2?  Well I didn’t choose the XT1 one for it’s looks.  It’s a pig compared to the Xpro1. I wasn’t concerned about the lack of full-frame (remember I moved from FF to Crop).  It certainly wasn’t for any gain in pixels (there weren’t any!).  No, I picked it because it was the right tool.

Fuji got it spot on with the XT1.

It’s light. It’s small.  It has a useful handgrip (it’s important, ask anyone who’s used an xpro1 for over 2 hours).  It has a moire free filter sensor.  A  faster sync speed than the xpro1.  And the best bit – it has proper dials so you don’t have to wade through menus.  I can turn up at a shoot, give the top plate a glance and go.   Everything is at your fingertips.  Someone, somewhere is listening to what customers want. The auto focus is fast, certainly faster than a 5D mark II and the xpro1.  The much talked about viewfinder seems lag free.  But I usually use the rear screen anyway (heathen, I know, but it saves my back).

Image wise, I’m not seeing a huge difference from the Xpro1, but I knew that before I got it.  What I did get is a faster, more comfortable, uglier camera.  Overall, it’s a better tool.  A tool that suits me and at the end of the day – thats all that counts.  What suits you?


Here’s a selection of shots taken with the XT1:


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