Fujifilm X-T1 Review
The X-T1 is beautiful and sexy, but above all else it’s functional! With its three beautifully machined aluminum dials on the top plate and an aperture ring on its prime lenses, the X-T1 does not interfere with the shooting process while letting the photographer blend in unobtrusively. It’s a very capable photographic tool that can be used almost blindingly. But let’s see in detail what features really set it apart from the rest.
Unfortunately for many photographers, the fact that it’s not an optical VF but an electronic one means that they won’t even try it. All I can say is that the X-T1’s EVF is large, bright, customizable and advanced like no other. You'll immediately see any changes to your composition and exposure, keeping you in touch with whatever you're shooting. I’m sure if you give the X-T1 a try with a fresh mind, your traditional perceptions of EVF’s will change forever!
The EVF is fully customizable and comes in four different flavors depending on your menu settings and shooting conditions: Full, Normal, Vertical and Dual mode.
- In Full view, the scene fills the viewfinder from edge to edge and is an experience like no other camera can offer.
- In Normal view the scene is squeezed a little into a tighter area of the EVF enabling eye glass wearers to see the whole scene easier but still retaining a large view.
- Switching the camera from horizontal to vertical position can also switch the info in the EVF to vertical mode allowing all information on the screen to stay in their initial positions.
- Switching from AF to manual focus puts the viewfinder into Dual mode offering a full view of the screen on the left and a smaller magnified view on the right for easier focusing confirmation.
Let me point out here that the Fuji trumps any DSLR when it comes to accuracy and this is because the mirrorless format has the advantage of more precision due to the absence of the mirror box assembly. But what really stands out is something Fujifilm never really promoted and is hidden away as an option deep in the menu system. I’m talking about “Face detection”, you point the camera towards your subject and a green box appears that tracks your subjects face as you compose the shot. Face detection works fast enough leaving you to compose freely. You can read more on my AF post here
New to the X-T1 (thanks to next month’s firmware release – December 2014) will be a top shutter speed of 1/32,000 sec which trumps any camera before it by leaps and bounds. A silent electrical shutter for all speeds up to 1/32,000 sec and a mechanical shutter all the way up to 1/4000 sec. Apart from the Mechanical or Electrical options, the X-T1 also offers a hybrid mode option where the electrical shutter will jump in only when higher shutter speeds more than 1/4000sec are required. The choice for just an electrical shutter will be handy for those times when silence is of the up-most importance. What other camera offers such choices?
Dials and menu
Overall the dials, button layout and the GUI on the X-T1 are quite easy to understand even for those coming to the Fuji camp for the first time. There is no program mode such as those found on DSLR’s. You have an A setting on the aperture ring and on the shutter speed dial. When both are set to A you are in “Program mode”. If you move the Shutter Speed dial from A you are then in Shutter Priority mode. If instead you move the Aperture dial from the A position you then are in Aperture Priority mode. If you move both from the A position, you are then in Manual Exposure mode. Most of the buttons on the back of the camera including the D-pad buttons are not easy to discern by the touch and are at times hard to find and use but overall, the experience of photographing with the X-T1 is like no other camera.
Not so great - flash & ISO
ISO: Unfortunately for some, the ISO range for RAW is only 200-6400. Personally I don’t find this limiting for my shooting but I’m sure it will affect others. It can be expanded to ISO 12,800, 25,600 and 51,200 at the high end and ISO 100 at the low end, however images at these settings are recorded only as JPEG’s.