Fujifilm X-T1 Review

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2014 is barely 5 weeks old, yet we’ve already seen a flood of Pro level mirrorless camera systems hit the market over the last few months.  For instance, the full frame Sony A7, Sony A7R, Panasonic Lumix GX7 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1.  Now, Fujifilm are stepping up to the plate with their latest and possibly best X-series offering to date, the Fujifilm X-T1.  But have Fuji hit a home run with the newest X-cam?  Judging by the schlew of 5-Star reviews that have been steadily popping up across the photoverse, the answer seems to be an emphatic yes!  (video above from What Digital Camera)

Highlights of some X-T1 5 Star Reviews…

PocketLint says that “When it comes to retro with a modern twist has Fujifilm landed its biggest X-series success yet with the X-T1,” and they go on to rave about the X-T1’s EVF, which is one of the largest to be found on a digital camera.  “The X-T1’s viewfinder is an OLED panel with 2.36m-dot resolution, so its not only big to the eye but it looks crisp too. We’ve used it in a variety of conditions and have to say it’s one of the best that we’ve yet come to use.” says PocketLint, who also point to the camera’s retro design, stellar image quality and pro performance.

ePhotozine states that the X-T1 “offers good value for the money” and that it “is a stylish mix of new and old styling. The compact size, available thanks to the mirrorless sensor and lens mount design, makes it an appealing camera, and with the ever growing choice of high quality lenses, Fujifilm has a winning formula on their hands. More so now that this camera introduces a weather sealed body, and an impressively large and high resolution electronic viewfinder.”  They go on to say that “The X-T1 is introduced at a competitive price point, and with a number of offers at the moment on the lenses available, it could be very hard to resist purchasing this camera, particularly if you are yet to venture into the mirrorless camera market.”

PhotographyBlog call the Fujifilm X-T1 “the best X-series camera to date, and one of the best interchangeable lens cameras, mirrorless or otherwise, that we’ve ever had the pleasure of reviewing.”  They go on to say that “Image quality is very similar to the X-E2 that we recently reviewed, that is to say, outstanding. Noise is noticeable only by its almost complete absence throughout the ISO range for both JPEGs and RAW files (with the exception of the new headline-grabbing 51200 setting), with the removal of the optical low pass filter producing slightly more detail in the image. The excellent 18-55mm kit lens is also worthy of mention, with the fast maximum apertures making it easy to creatively throw the background out of focus, and delivering sharp results throughout the focal range – we’d go so far as recommending this option rather than buying the X-T1 body-only for would-be owners.”

My 2 Cents

The Fujifilm X-T1 is impressive, indeed.  Built around the same guts as the Fujifilm X-E2 – it’s 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS Sensor and EXR Processor II technology are the same as in the X-E2 – the X-T1 also includes phase detection AF in sensor, a 3inch tilting screen (1040k dots), a 2.36m dot OLED EVF with eye-detection and 0.77x magnification, 8fps with continuous AF (up to 47 shots), ISO increased up to ISO 51200, Lens modulation Optimizer technology, Wi-Fi, Full HD video at up to 60fps, Mic Input/Remote socket (same socket used for either function), Mic level adjustments, Included EF-X8 flash, interval timer shooting up to 999 frames, and a weather sealed magnesium alloy body.  With an X-Trans Sensor on board, you can also count on stunning image quality that’s hard to beat.  In fact, RAW shooters might even be surprised by the delicious JPEGs that come out of the X-T1.

It’s not all wine and roses with the X-T1 though.  Reviewers point to it’s battery life, which many say could be better, but there is an optional external battery grip available which would alleviate this issue.  Also, although the X-T1 has a weather resistant magnesium alloy body, matching weather sealed lenses are only beginning to emerge at the time of this writing.  There are more promised for later in the year though, and the quality of existing X-Series lenses is generally outstanding.  Many reviewers also point out the X-T1’s video performance, which is not quite up to par with it’s competition.  This reviewer is also surprised by the lack of a touch screen, which I would think would be standard on a camera that sells for north of $1,000 USD.

On the whole, the Fujifilm X-T1 will have a broad appeal for pro photographers who demand the very best in image quality, especially in still photos.  Fuji have made great strides in improving the autofocus performance on their X-series cameras, and although the X-T1 is not quite on par with say, a micro 4/3 system, the X-T1 should be plenty quick enough for most photographers, save for maybe fast action sports.

It’s facing stiff competition from the other Pro Level systems now on the market, including the aforementioned Sony A7, Sony A7R, Panasonic Lumix GX7, Olympus OM-D E-M1 as well as the Panasonic Lumix GH3 and Olympus OM-D E-M5, but Fuji have been bringing it with image quality that’s in a class all by itself while constantly innovating and improving their products, so we feel that the X-T1 will hold it’s own just fine.

This is a great camera that will perform with the best of them, and we’re giving it Editor’s Choice status.

Buy the Fujifilm X-T1 and Battery Grip on Amazon Here

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