No More Excuses – Fuji X-T1 review

Taking photos with the X-series cameras certainly has its flavour. One of them is walking into an SLR crowd. What an adventure it is! On one of our photo trips we arrived at a popular location and met a huddle of photographers. In bulk, they usually split into two camps setting up their tripods and cameras close to each other, of course along camera-brand lines.

As everyone waits for the morning light, stirring and chatting begins. It is almost a ritual to check out your neighbour’s camera just to make sure you are in the right spot. Of course, there is not much to be excited about. Sure, some people are proudly sweating after carrying a whole backpack of cameras and lenses while others occasionally gasp with envy at the sight of the entire camera store in one bag. In general, however, the atmosphere is non-combative. After all, there are only two teams on the playing field – Nikon and Canon – and the outcome is guaranteed.

And then, this heavenly mood comes to an abrupt end. Unfortunately for me, I am the cause of this disruption or rather my camera, to be precise. First I noticed a sea of onlookers secretly scanning every inch of my photographic tools. “Is this the new Fuji everyone is talking about it?” someone whispers to his neighbour. Others, visibly agitated, start listing some Internet gossip about why this new camera is no match for an SLR, loudly enough to make sure I can hear. The guy with the full bag of gear is especially upset, as no one is paying any attention to his expensive collection any more.

Then there is a break. Some brave soul comes up to me and asks, “How do you like this new camera? How does it compare to Canon or Nikon?” In such a partisan crowd it is close to impossible to answer such a question without the risk of causing a riot. The best course of action is to turn the discussion to the scene and politely make a point about how this camera helps a photographer to see and create great imagery.

Then others join the discussion. “If Fuji cameras had a faster AF…” someone shouts in my direction. “Did you hear about problems with the RAW files conversion…?” His friend fires another round of ammunition. Then to my surprise, those that found the most reasons why this camera is inferior to an SLR ask me to hand it over for a quick evaluation. Once the camera gets into people’s hands something interesting happens. Suddenly their eyes light up as if they are holding a camera they have always wanted but never thought existed. They enjoy the lightness, touch the knobs, adjust physical controls, play with the aperture dial on the lens, dive into the viewfinder and… I know their photography world is turned upside down.

Fortunately for me, the sun is coming up. The sky turns red and everyone sticks their eyes into the viewfinders. It is completely silent now – no more rumours, no more innuendos. No more bragging. Even the guy with a ton of equipment takes a photo, packs up and heads toward his car.

Fuji X-T1 & XF 56mm F1.2, processed in Iridient Developer.

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You could be mistaken about how often I have witnessed a similar scene since I started shooting with the X-series cameras. It appears to me that after years of SLR-like cameras, many people have stopped asking for more. We all thought this was how it’s supposed to be. You go with Nikon or Canon, dive into a plethora of buttons and menus, carry a heavy bag, shut up and try to focus on photography. For me and many people I have met in the last few years, the Fuji X-series cameras changed it all.

There is a reason why so many photographers abandon their heavy, full-frame SLRs and “downsize” to the Fuji X-series cameras. From e-mails we receive, one word stands out – JOY. “My joy of photography is back.” “I never thought photography could be so engaging and fun.”

Why does shooting with the X-series series cameras connect so strongly with photographers?

I think part of the reason is that these cameras are designed to complement and work in tandem with a photographer, not to replace one. It is a tool that connects with you at a level unmatched by the SLRs.  

Have you noticed how the latest SLRs come with so many automatic modes, so many functions and high-tech gimmicks to the point that creating a photograph has become a secondary endeavour? At the same time, the most important controls are hidden behind buttons and menus. Many SLR owners ask me to set up their SLRs so they don’t have to touch any settings again. It is frustrating and confusing for them. Many of them will never have a chance to learn the basic photography skills such as adjusting the aperture or changing the shutter speed.

I remember the first time I took the Fuji X-100 in my hands, it immediately felt different. I could change the aperture on the lens, turn a compensation dial and see all the changes in the viewfinder before I took an image. How engaging and liberating it was! Fuji carried this philosophy to the X-Pro1, XE1/2 and recently to the Fuji X-T1.

This latest addition to the Fuji X-series leaves no questions unanswered. 

I have been shooting almost daily with the X-T1 for the last few weeks and in this review I am going to touch on the most significant developments purely from a photographer’s perspective. You will find plenty of technical details on other websites. All I care about is how this tool helps me to create beautiful imagery. Therefore, I will focus on aspects that, in my view, are most important in photography.    

There is nothing more important than seeing. After all, we may sometimes forget that it is what you see, how you see it and how you feel when you see it that makes you a photographer. Pushing a shutter button is the end of this process, not the beginning.

JPEGs straight from the camera, XF 10-24 F4 R OIS, Velvia film simulation.

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VIEWFINDER

One of a kind, period! Many photographers, including myself, had rough beginnings with the EVF technology, and for good reasons. Early EVFs were slow, offered poor quality and acted more like technical trickery rather than being a real help. With the X-T1 Fuji took the concept of the viewfinder into a new era. In fact this is the first electronic viewfinder that could make optical viewfinders obsolete. First of all, it is huge, bright and superbly clear. There is no delay even when moving your camera. The EVF is of such size and quality that it provides a fundamental change in the way you compose and create a photograph.

First of all, you see your final photo before you take it. That’s not all. Any changes you made (exposure compensation or film emulation, etc.) you immediately see in your viewfinder. I found that the time spent checking out the final image on the back screen of your camera is gone. Once you get used to this kind of comfort, you never want to go back to the old ways.

This is especially crucial for students of photography. You focus on composition, light and your subject, and cut out the distraction of checking your final image on the back screen.     

The design of the X-T1’s viewfinder has made headway in allowing photographers to pay attention to visual artistry.

CONTROLS

The importance of marked physical controls that can be seen and adjusted at glance is paramount in the process of creating an image. All major dials are manual and are placed at your fingertips. When I take photos, I limit the amount of information displayed in my EVF to a minimum. I want to focus my attention on the composition and my subject. Any distraction, even when I have to look at the bottom of the screen, takes away from my vision. Therefore I found having physical controls for exposure compensation, shutter speed and aperture not only useful but also obligatory. There is no excuse for hiding that crucial apparatus inside the menu.

CAPTURING LIGHT

Here is something for the techno-loving crowd. Yes, the X-Trans sensor is superb technology. On the Internet you will find tons of information about the design of this sensor. One of the advantages of this design is the ability to capture light even if there is very little of it. The ISO performance of the X-T1 is superb and exceeds many full-frame cameras in its capabilities. And yes, the detail is there.

LENSES

You may ask, “Wait a minute, but is this a camera review!?” Any camera system must be evaluated as a whole and lenses are an essential part of this equation. A camera of such high image quality requires superb glass. One of the main reasons why we have started shooting with Fuji is their first-class prime lens offering. In a very short time Fuji managed to release lenses that are not only considered among the best in the industry but they are relatively inexpensive for what they offer. Get a superb 14mm F2.8, 35mm F1.4 and the latest gem 56mm F1.2 and that’s all you need to create stunning imagery. Your friends with super heavy “pro” zooms will have a hard time understanding how you got such a sharp photograph in such low light with so little equipment.     

JPEGs

I have been a RAW shooter for a long time. I never thought I would come back to shooting JPEGs. Along with digital technology came the whole spectrum of image processing, which has advantages but it also carries a heavy burden, which for many kills the joy of photography. Recently, one gentleman introduced himself as a “Photoshop junkie” and I respected him because he was aware that he was not interested in photography per se but rather in digital alterations. Unfortunately, there are many people who are not aware of this addiction. We have moved away from observing and creating photographs to creating artificial “photo Frankensteins.” Of course, everyone needs to draw the line for him or herself.

The reason we didn’t shoot JPEGs before was they were never good enough. This changed with the Fuji X-series camera. This is especially true for photographing people. Fuji’s JPEGs not only look stunning straight from the camera but their skin tones are unmatched. On a few occasions I have tried to emulate the beautiful look of the skin in Lightroom 5 and it took me a very long time to get there. What’s the point if you can do it in-camera! Indeed, the JPEGs engine Fuji managed to design is state of the art.

JPEGs straight from the camera, XF 56mm F1.2, Provia (STD) & Astia (S) film simulations.

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WEATHER SEALING

For some people it’s important; for others unnecessary. Given Vancouver’s tendency to rain for weeks without a break, this is a desirable feature. It also gives the camera a very tough feel.

BUILD, DESIGN AND QUALITY

I have to admit, I pay a lot of attention to design and quality. I think there is no excuse for any manufacturer to produce plasticy cheap products. If you think you bought something cheap, think twice. When you hold the Fuji X-T1 in your hands, it exudes superb quality and excellent materials. I am also glad to see a camera carrying the “Made in Japan” sign. For some reason it is always reassuring.

JPEGs straight from the camera (minor adjustments in Lightroom 5), XF 56mm F1.2, Provia (STD) film simulation.

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CARE ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHERS

When working with Fuji cameras and following industry developments you have a sense that Fuji actually cares about real photographers. I have always believed that great customer service is the best advertisement.

Fuji is the only camera company I know that provides major improvements for discontinued cameras through software updates. Also, by following the history of those updates, it is clear to me that this company is all ears when it comes to photographers’ feedback. I trust that Fuji will maintain this care, even if their camera unit grows much bigger. For me as a photographer and a consumer, a great product always comes with a helpful live person along with it (not a machine).

Like any other camera on the market, the Fuji X-T1 has its shortcomings. But keep in mind this is my own grumbling; in fact for others some of those things could be positives.

I am a proponent of simple cameras. I wish Fuji would simplify X-T1 even more. There’s no need for video (sorry videographers). I wish menus were simpler too. For example, wouldn’t it be nice if when you choose to shoot in the RAW format only, all JPEG settings conveniently disappear? Also, double card slots would certainly ease my obsession with file security. Some buttons are quite small and operate a little bit stiffly for my taste but it could be the side effect of weather sealing. Finally, I wish the battery life were better and at least on par with many professional SLRs (an available battery grip solves the problem pretty well and is highly recommended).

JPEG straight from the camera, XF 56mm F1.2, Velvia (V) film simulation.

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JPEG straight from the camera, XF 10-24 F4 R OIS, Velvia film simulation.

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SUMMARY

I have met many photographers who would like to transition from SLRs to the X-series cameras but somehow they are afraid to do so. Part of the reason could be gossip going around the Internet about certain issues such as the AF speed or file processing. Yes, with early Fuji cameras those who wanted to shoot hummingbirds playing hide and seek may well be better off with an SLR. Fortunately, the X-T1 addressed those issues. Another reason could be the unfamiliar look of the Fuji X-Pro1 and X-E1/2 for photographers who are used to shooting with SLR-like cameras. For them, the X-T1 offers a familiar look, superb handling and the best EVF on the market.    

Most importantly, the “engaging and fun” factor has already far surpassed a traditional SLR. I am confident that if you give the Fuji X-T1 enough time, you will never go back to a traditional SLR.     

Looking around, there are many photographers who once again find joy in photography by returning to the basics. Fuji proved that a modern camera doesn’t have to be a high-tech mess with a list of functions that have nothing to do with the art of seeing. The appeal of the X-T1 comes from a fusion of classic-style but proved-to-work controls with cutting-edge technology, which complements your photography process rather than complicates it.

Try it. After all, there are no more excuses.

 

JPEG straight from the camera, XF 10-24 F4 R OIS, B&W+R film simulation.

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2014 © Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.

64 thoughts on “No More Excuses – Fuji X-T1 review

  1. I love the way that Fujifilm have combined traditional tactile controls that appeal to muscle memory with advanced viewfinder technology that lets you see the picture you are about to shoot. This way you can concentrate on the picture almost as if you only need to blink to capture the shot! One drawback, however, that I am struggling with is the number of buttons on the back of my X-Pro that I can nudge accidentally. The new X100T is better that way and I love the single lens solution. Above all, thank you, Olaf, for your excellent pictures and tips of other sites to visit for Fujifilm pictures & know-how. All much appreciated!

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  3. Hi Olaf , I have just bought the x-t1 and read your review again. Many thanks for your wonderful photos, fabulous!
    Thanks too for your settings, I am looking forward to using them🙂
    I would just like to say how much I enjoy following your blog.
    Kind regards
    Rosie Coles
    UK

  4. It’s been a week now that I’m struggling with my Gear Acquisition Syndrome… that I didn’t have before. Maybe it’s just a Fuji thing. Thank you very much for helping me decide on buying the X-T1. I’m not a pro, more like an advanced amateur with a Nikon D7000 and only 3 lenses (Nikon 18-105 and 35 and Sigma 70-200). I have lost a little bit of the excitement of taking photos even of my little daughter, who is 5. Don’t get me wrong, I bought the Nikon 4 years ago because I loved the ergonomics and the 100% viewfinder. It was my first DSLR because I’m also a travel blogger part time and don’t like to be slowed down by gear. I have never taken the big 70-200 on a trip because… it’s heavy on my back. So, once again, thank you for this post (I’ve read dozens before). I’m getting it tomorrow. Great pictures, by the way. It’s not just the camera.

  5. Hi Olaf,

    I’ve really enjoyed your blog and I have to say that you proposed something in your review that I’ve always wanted to see in a camera: When set to RAW all JPEG-related menus go away. That would be a great feature!

    I do take issue with your opening comments, humorous though they may be. There is nothing wrong with DSLRs. They offer options and flexibility. The problem is with users who don’t understand how to use their tools. My 5D3 will mop the floor with my X-T1 when it comes to photographing my son’s basketball games or shooting birds in flight. It seems like a matter of choosing the right tool for the job. I guess the larger point is that DSLRs don’t have to be bad for the X-T1 to be good or offer advantages to certain users.

    • Arnold,
      I have a Canon 5D Mark iii as well. I purchased the Fuji X-T1, along with the 35mm and 56mm, three months ago and can’t seem to put it down. I am in love with the camera and it’s files. I haven’t even touched the RAW settings because the jpegs are so phenomenal, especially on skin tones. My poor 5Dm3 has been gathering dust, however, my son plays on his high school varsity basketball team and will be a senior this year. I have shared my photos with all the boys and have become the official team photographer. I will continue to use my 5DM3 for his basketball games this school year but am leaning heavily towards selling my 5Dm3 and nine L lenses once he graduates next summer. I never thought I would abandon Canon after 20 years with them but each day I am happier to be shooting with my X-T1 (and not having to process RAW files in Lightroom has become a surprise blessing). I have tried shooting action/sports with Fuji’s 55-200/3.5 variable aperture lens and the results have not been great but they haven’t been horrible either. An average of 50% of the files have been sharp. This December Fuji will release a 50-140mm/2.8 with image stabilization and weather sealing and I believe that will be a major game changer for a lot of DSLR shooters. If it can handle sports as well as expected, I may be selling my Canon gear sooner than expected.

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  7. Great X-T1 review Olaf. Thanks. One of the best viewfinders in my opinionated experience is an empty 35mm slide mount drawn from a shirt pocket. Point of view is everything so when your heart says, “Wow,” if you’re a photographer the next heart beat is, “I’ll show it.”
    I started carrying the slide mount again after an implant on my left eye allowed me to see, finally. As a former Pro with Pentax 645, 6X7, and Mamiya 6X6 range finder developing E6 and printing my own CibaChrome I’d read everything available concerning digital cameras then took a chance on the X-Pro 1 which fortunately turned out to be a lucky guess. Now 4 lenses, 2 X-E1s, and the X-Pro 1 latter I still find myself gawking through the empty 35mm slide mount to envision the edit.
    A camera is a recording tool for the light funnel lens gathering the reflected light that makes me WOW in the first place. Fuji X system displayed on a monitor is very close to a projected slide and a close approximation of a CibaChrome print. Period.
    The slide mount is just like a Zoom lens: hold close to the eye for wide angle, further away for normal, much further away for tele-photo, grin then camera, action, and expose. Very simple exercise to know why we’re making an exposure.
    Fuji X system has distilled their tools down to the least between me and what I want to say.
    If when I need the X-T1 to further refine my communicative wow-s I’ll certainly get it. From what I’ve seen it’s elegance hits the mark for simple communication. Thanks again for the review and your terrific blog site.

  8. Hello Andrew, I´m new to X system, i came from Nikon Full Frame, I have to choose what lens is the best for my needs but if you have to choose one (14mm vs 10-24mm f4) witch one do you choose and why?

    I´m thinking about
    10-24 + 56
    14 + 23 + 56
    14, 35 , 56

    Mostly I shot people (kids), portraits, street photography (in love with) and lanscapes

    Thanks in advance for your answer.

    • If I may give you my opinion….

      I have both, the prime is a no-brainer. Sharpest lens in my bag, no distortion and edge to edge sharpness. The 10-24 is beautifull as well, also very sharp and from f/8 onwards compatible with the 14mm prime. They both have their advantages, the prime is f/2.8, the zoom is wider (10mm), so different tools.

      For landscape and architecture the 10-24 comes in handy. With the OIS you can leave your tripod home most of the time. The 14mm prime is a nice classical wide angle and f/2.8 is great for nightscapes, aurora’s etc.

      So it all depends on your needs.
      Do you have to shoot al lot in low lights situations? Choose your second option in the list.
      When not and doing a lot of wide angles and landscapes? Choose de first option.
      When you decide for the primes, i’d rather opt for the 23mm than the 35mm. It’s more versitile, the 35mm is a bit too narrow sometimes and the 23mm has better sharpness and bokeh. (own them both).

      • Arnold,

        Well-said. The only thing I would like to add is that primes force you to be more creative, which results in better compositions.

        All the best,

        Olaf

    • I agree with Arnold. I shoot only primes on my M9 and for the X-T1 I already have the 23mm and today I picked up the 56mm prime. The 14mm will be next on my list. I think this range will serve you well for what you do. Nothing wrong with the zooms though – the 18-55mm kit lens really surprised me but of course they are slower. Just my opinion of course.

  9. I bought the X-T1 about 2 weeks ago and immediately took it to Barcelona. I also took an M9. The M9 hardly got a look in. I shot jpegs only for about 75% of the time and RAW +jpeg the rest. I absolutely love the IQ of this camera – I also have an X100s so I guessed it was going to be good. I also love the weight. I took a 5D3 and 4 lenses to Korea. Never again. I only had the 18-55mm kit lens and the 23mm f1.4 but they served me well. I have the 56mm f1.2 on order now. I also liked the flash, which worked well set to -1 most of the time. Gripes? Well yes there are some. The battery life is dreadful even with the LCD turned off. I find my big hands are moving some of the buttons inadvertently and perhaps I need a battery grip to bulk it up a little. I hit the option buttons around the menu/ok button by accident too often. I agree that the colour rendition in jpeg mode is extremely good. I had agonised for ages over the Sony or the Oly and finally bought neither. For travel and street photography this is a really good package and the high ISO is astonishing. A very happy owner. Final thought: I’d like to try my M lenses on this body and see how they work together.

  10. Nice review of the X-T1. Makes me want to sell my X-E2 to get the X-T1. The bigger EVF on the X-T1 would be worth it to me. I’m wondering how that EVF performs in bright outdoor light. My X-E2 is difficult to see in bright light. But I suppose most EVF’s have that problem.

    • Jacob,

      The Olympus O-MD E-M1 is a superb camera and I am sure it works great for some people. We choose Fuji because of its high ISO capabilities, overall feel and excellent film emulations. However, it is a very personal choice. The best way is to try both and decide.

      Thank you for visiting.

      All the best,

      Olaf

  11. Best non-tech X-T1 review i’ve seen so far.
    Big smile at the start of your review, so recognizable🙂
    Sold my 5D3 + 3 L lenses last month and glad I did, the X-T1 is so much more fun to use.
    I haven’t missed the dSLR for one moment, neither do I mis the quality, ’cause there’s hardly any difference.

  12. Hey Olaf,
    liked your review from a user leaving out the stats😉 For me the only reason not to go for it yet, is the info that it lacks a dedicated flash system for fast work like events, weddings etc. Did you try this out or would you like to try it out and add your comments to your article? I would be very interested, it’s info I didn’t find anywhere..
    Thanks, Harold

  13. I love my X-T1 and have had both X100, X100S (x2) and a X-E1. Also several DSLRs (and still have) and various m4/3 (gone). I agree with most of what you said here, but I haven’t really felt the gap between DSLR users and mirrorless, but rather between m4/3 and “everything else”. Their users have been the ones most often blame Fuji for poor AF etc. Canon and Nikon users may be divided but not competing about having the best. Most people that start looking for mirrorless (at least in Europe) I feel are coming from DSLR wanting smaller. THen you have the m4/3 users that say m4/3 is the only real choice. Not everybody, but there are plenty of them. I feel that more Fuji users state why they went for Fuji, rather than others that state why they don’t go for Fuji (poor AF, larger glass and quirky operation).

    I’m not a big fan of EVF either, but the X-T1 is closing the gap by much. What it is lacking is dynamic range, but we are getting there. I just went for a photo walk with my X-T1 yesterday and did struggle some in the bright light and snow. Harsh contrasts and difficult to see details. But I’m not complaining. With my X.E1 I even missed my dog sometimes… Just read Sean Reids review and he was very positive and seemed spot on. If you read Steve Huff you got the feeling that he just want to tell why Leica and Olympus are so great.

    As for DSLRs – I don’t really compare them with mirrorless. What I like about DSLRs are (usually) bigger buttons and better ergonomic. Even on the smaller DSLRs. They are not too big or heavy to carry, but are more often too obtrusive in social settings (even my X100S gets complaints). It’s like comparing SUVs and compact cars.

    • I stopped paying attention to Steve Huff quite a while ago. His ego is a serious impediment to any useful information on the web site. His biases are so out of control that it is quite comical to read along and then out pops one of his over the top statements of preference that have no basis in reality. He openly states that he believes that he single handedly saved Leica from extinction by extolling the virtues of his Leica use to readers of his blog.

      • Delphititan,

        Thank you for stopping by. However, I don’t quite understand your point. This article is about Fuji camera, not about Steve Huff. Steve runs an excellent website and allows many talented photographers to share their work. I complement him for this. Steve may have a different opinion about Fuji X-Trans sensor but he always state it in a very respectful way. I would appreciate if you stay away from personal attacks.

        Regards,

        Olaf

  14. In relative to colours, personally, I find the old SuperCCD excellent. Couldn’t bring myself to like this CMOS X-Trans no matter how hard I tried. I really wish Fuji could make a SuperCCD 16 or 20MP camera in X-Trans config, I’ll be jumping over the moon!!! 🙂

  15. Thanks for this awesome review. I must say that I start to consider dumping my Nikon gears.🙂 BTW, I had a difficult time choosing from X-Pro1 and X-T1. I’m wondering if the EVF is good enough to make me forget the OVF on X-Pro1? 🙂

  16. The only thing in your review that I’ve experienced differently is the use of a different approach in shooting with DSLRs. I’ve just sold off the last of my Nikon’s (my last D700, grip and 70-200vrii), but I never found them distracting to use due to their layout or menu structure. Certainly this is partly because I used them often and as a result knew the menu system well. What I have found in my journey into Fujiland is that the camera is simpler, yet still as competent. I began with the X-E1 and still have it. I do find the slow evf refresh distracting at times, but I fell in love with the image files and the Fuji glass. My camera came to me with the 35/1.4 (how nice it was to get a camera again with a standard lens the way Nikon used to sell them with the 50/1.8). A short time later I picked up the 14/2.8 and the Samyang 8. Once I got the X-T1 I knew my Nikon days were over. I picked up the 55-200 to hold me over until the 50-140 ships, but as everyone else is reporting, the only thing that “cheaper” zoom is missing is a wider aperture. The quality certainly isn’t lacking! I’ll still get the 2.8 zoom for the extra speed, but I won’t be letting go of the 55-200 when I do.

    I’m Nikonless for the first time since I was fifteen – I’m 46. The only thing I miss is the occasional need for Nikon’s well implemented CLS for difficult lighting. What I’m not missing is the fifteen or so pounds my camera bag has lost. Or the image quality – the Fuji glass equals or exceeds my heavier, more expensive fast Nikon glass.

    I admit that I waited out Nikon’s teaser campaign for the Df body thinking it would be the equivalent to the Sony A7 or the yet-to-be X-T1 before commiting to the Fuji system. Once I saw the monstrosity that was the Df (and don’t get me wrong, it’s a great body; it’s just NOT what Nikon hinted at throughout the ad campaign, nor what I was looking for), I knew I was about to embark on a likely system change. So far, Fuji has reinforced my confidence in the decision and with my receipt of the 56/1.2 today cemented my commitment to their system for the long haul. That lens is everything that has been reported. Yes, it’s a grand. By Nikon or Canon standards, that’s a freaking steal!

    In short, Fuji has made me, too, a happy photographer again. I’ll be happy to carry my body and a few lenses backpacking instead of dreading the additional weight and loss of so much valuable space. My trusty, but light Feisol tripod is no longer a little anemic for holding my setup. And, perhaps most importantly, I feel connected to my images again – for intangible reasons. Again, I didn’t find shooting Nikon to be distracting, but Fuji really has done (in my opinion) everything right in body design with the T1. Sure, there are a very few minor annoyances. As stated, the battery life isn’t awesome. The buttons on the directional pad are too small and too inset to be intuitive (though eventually muscle memory will begin to correct my hamfisted attempts at pressing them without looking).

    Just mark me another Fuji convert and call it a day.

  17. Olaf, I’ve been following your posts about the x-t1 and I agree with most of the points you make regarding the camera, however, the images I take with my x-t1 lack the sharpness and pop of your images. The images you’ve posted are OOC JPEGS but do you have any of the JPEG settings in the camera set different from the defaults or do you perform any adjustments to sharpen or give them more pop? Maybe I have a bad copy of the camera? Thank you for taking the time to review the camera and post your thoughts. Also, your images are superb!

    Dennis

  18. Great article. Thanks for putting into words what how I’ve been feeling about my experiences with the X100s and now X-T1.

    I think you really nailed it when you pointed out: JOY. “My joy of photography is back.” “I never thought photography could be so engaging and fun.”

    That’s exactly how I feel.

    In my case, I’ll still use my full frame DSLR setup for where my DSLR setup is better than the Fuji, but, those will be those few special occasions where it’s still worth using all of that heavy gear. Of course, let us see how things stand after a few more years of body/sensor upgrades.

  19. Great Article!! I too love my X-T1. I have kept my X-E1 though, as well as my Nikon D800 and D700 though they now sit in my dry safe at home. I agree 100% about removing the video function. I don’t use video, and that stupid video button — I must hit it two/three times whenever I’m shooting the X-T1. On my X-E1, that corner was reserved for my FN button to control the focus points. I have let Fuji know that in the next firmware upgrade they need to give us the ability to disable the video button, or make it a FN button.
    As always I enjoy reading.
    J

  20. Olaf is the oracle of photography. He explains simply and cleverly what photography is about, and how having a tool that ditches the superfluous, frees the eye, has a nice sensor and beautiful lenses ends up in nice photos. It turns out that Fuji gave us such a tool. And the description of the photographers checking each other’s equipment is priceless. Thank you for nicely putting up in words and images what many of us feel.
    Best,
    Guillaume

  21. I couldn’t agree more Olaf. I learnt photography from my dad with old analogue film cameras in the 70’s. In recent years I found I kept leaving my Nickon SLR at home because it was simply so cumbersome and inconvenient. I got an X10 and found I used it way more, then an X-E2 with and suddenly I’m like a kid again with eyes a new. I checked out an X-T1, just to be sure…. Sold! Gear lust satiated… and joy!

  22. Great review……..honest and practical…..and a great camera with lots of great innovations…….I agree with your comment on that video button, it is not needed (I assume) by the majority of X Series shooters. OK leave it but why oh why is it taking prime real estate on the camera? On my XPro1 this is the function button that I use to select my focus point. Fuji should remove it or at least have it programmable.

    Rear buttons………mushy, small, not responsive……why oh why………OK perhaps weather sealing……when taking portraits once I call up my focus point I need quickly to pick the nearest eye……..on my XPro1 it is no problem scrolling through the points using the rear buttons without taking the camera from my eye…..not so on the XT1. Such a pity.

    Yes I may be negative but both issues are critical for my own personal use of the camera.

    Thanks again for your review.

  23. Pingback: No More Excuses – Fuji X-T1 review | Olaf Sztaba › By TOMEN

  24. “There is nothing more important than seeing. After all, we may sometimes forget that it is what you see, how you see it and how you feel when you see it that makes you a photographer. Pushing a shutter button is the end of this process, not the beginning.”

    A classic Olaf statement, and a remarkably important reminder.

    My X cameras make me want to see and capture. They are indeed fun.

    Another useful review. Love that shot of the trees too. It feels like I am in the frame.

  25. Thanks for the review, helps me deal with my “omg I just sold all my SLR gear, what have I done” syndrome. Eagerly awaiting for Henry’s to ship my X-T1 and lenses.

  26. In addition the the X-T1 (which I have had for three weeks) The 10-24 looks to be a worthwhile addition as well. Great report and pictures, thank you

  27. Great post and lovely images. In almost every family function I meet friend, relatives and even professionals who do not understand why I am shooting with out a flash until they see the images.

  28. Lovely picture and writing ,, i am very pleased to read and see your work , very honest and truthful.
    It is very interested me , that one camera can change all the aspect of i learned long ago , truly happy to know the other photographer like yourself already achieved that .
    Thanks and in hope to meet you personally,one day

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