Fujifilm X-T1 | Initial Impressions & Comparisons | Dubai, UAE.

Yesterday, I received a SAMPLE unit of the Fujifilm X-T1 + VG-XT1 Battery Grip from Fujifilm Middle East.  This is probably the most anticipated camera in the mirrorless world.  Ever since the rumors and leaked photos came out, it created quite a buzz in the photography communities around the world.

Feature Highlights:

  • 16.3 MP X-Trans CMOS II sensor + EXR II Processor
  • 0.77x EVF magnifcation (Largest in its class) with 54 fps refresh rate
  • First camera to support the UHS-II SD Cards (240 MB/s Write , 260 MB/s Read)
  • Supports Contrast Detections AF, Phase Detection AF and motion predictive AF
  • 8 fps with Continuous AF
  • Weather resistance Body
  • Vertical Battery Grip Support (VG-XT1)
  • Interval Timer Shooting (Time Lapse)
  • Enhanced Wireless Function (WIFI) with WiFi Remote feature

Complete Technical Specifications  can be found here.

Fujifilm X-TI Size Comparison
(Kindly excuse the quality of the photos since  I only have the iPhone’s LED flash (as my lighting system) available to me at this time 🙂  )

X-T1 vs X-Pro1
DSCF6486 as Smart Object-1

X-T1 vs OM-D EM5
DSCF6514 as Smart Object-1 DSCF6516 as Smart Object-1 DSCF6523 as Smart Object-1

X-T1 vs Canon 5D Mark III

DSCF6492 as Smart Object-1 DSCF6494 as Smart Object-1 DSCF6504 as Smart Object-1 DSCF6506 as Smart Object-1

Build Quality

The first thing I noticed was the soft-touch rubbery material that wrapped the X-T1.  It really feels a premium product.  Somehow it reminds me of a brand new high-end DSLR (like 5D Mark III).  The rubber material also adds additional grip.

The built-in grip on the side makes a “perfect fit” in your hands.  It feels a lot better compared to an Olympus OM-D EM5 with no grip attached.  It also feels solid and very well made.  The only cheap bit that I found is the SD Card cover but that’s already nitpicking.

It is similarly sized to the X-E2 in terms of dimensions, although the X-T1 is a bit heavier mainly due to the weather resistant construction and the built in grip.


In terms of looks and build quality it is hands down is one of the best in the industry and I am glad to say that it also plays the part.  It delivers excellent performance that has never been seen in any X-Series Cameras before.

Although in paper, it looks like the sensor and the processor is a carry over from X-E2 but what’s different in X-T1 is the Predictive AF which in my initial testing works quite well.  It is quite effective actually; I will probably do more in-depth testing in the future regarding this feature.

Here’s my video of the X-T1 in Continuous High Mode:

It takes around 23-27 RAW + Fine JPEGs before it slows down and I was not able to count it with FINE JPEGs but it last more than 40 secs before it starts to slow down.  Really impressive, this is a bold departure form the other X-Series cameras.

Here is a video of the AF speed.  It is quite a dimly lit room although it looks quite a bit bright on the video; it is by no means scientific test but it will give you an idea on how the AF speed is like.


Here’s a video of the X-T1’s Menu:


To be honest I am quite amazed on how quick the focus of the X-T1, even with the older lens like the Fujinon XF 35mm f1.4, it is still quick.  On all my other X-Series camera reviews, I always mentioned that the AF is not an issue and it very quick but not as quick as the OM-D, but in this case, I have to say that this is fast as the  AF system of the OM-D EM-5.  In fact, I find the X-T1 to be more well built and have better ergonomics than the Olympus EM-5 which makes the X-T1 a better camera in that regards.


Electronic View Finder (EVF)

With 2.36 million dot OLED viewfinder, on paper this EVF is quite impressive, but to see it in person is something else.  I was shocked how big and how it looks like an Optical View Finder (OVF) rather than EVF, it is probably because of the .77x magnification which is the biggest in its class and the 54 fps refresh rate (even on dark environment) works really great!  I am amazed.  This is hands down the best EVF I have seen in the market right now.  Apart from that, the layout and the information is nicely placed and it doesn’t feel cluttered like everyone else’s viewfinder.

Here’s a more detailed look of the X-T1’s EVF.

Camera Remote App (WiFi)

There is a first among other X-Series cameras.  Unlike the other WiFi  equipped X-Series Cameras, X-T1 supports the Camera Remote App which basically enables you to change camera settings in your Phone or Tablet;  It also supports the “tap-to-focus” feature which is quite handy.  I hope the other X-Series cameras will have the same feature via firmware upgrade.

Here is how the app interface looks like in the iPad :
photo 1 as Smart Object-1

My take on the Fujifilm X-T1

I have been an X-Series user since X100 and I have been lucky enough to have used pretty much the entire X-Series cameras and lenses; looking at the X-T1 I can say that Fuji made a big leap with this camera.  They made a new category with probably the best usable features that you need in a camera.

There’s a lot of photographers and photo enthusiast waiting for a new camera that will define a new category for the X-Series cameras, since the previous cameras that was released are more of updates of the existing models.  The X-T1 a bold statement from Fujifilm that they can compete among the best in the mirrorless industry.

I currently have 3 camera system that I personally use.  A DSLR which is my Canon 5D Mark III and 2 mirrorless systems; namely Olympus OM-D EM-5 and my X-Series cameras.  I mainly shoot with the X-Series cameras right now but I am still holding on with my OM-D EM-5 since I feel that I still need it and it comes with useful features that is not on the X-Series cameras yet, but if I’m being honest right now, after 2 days with the X-T1, I’m starting to think that I might have no use for my OM-D anymore.

There are still some features that I haven’t discuss here which I will in the future.  Like the external dials and the dual screen mode when Manual Focusing.  There’s just so much to cover with this camera!

I you noticed, I haven’t said any negative thing about this camera.  Well, I don’t really have any.  Maybe a few wishes for the X-T2; additional features  like a touch screen LCD or a Live Bulb feature; but apart from that, the X-T1 is simply the best X-Series camera yet.

I will really feel sad returning this camera to Fujifilm Middle East as I really enjoy using this camera and I feel that this might be the camera I have been waiting for.  I think, I know what I want for my Birthday 🙂

Here are some of the sample photos taken with Fujifilm X-T1

XT1_2 as Smart Object-1 XT1_5_full as Smart Object-1 XT1_7 as Smart Object-1

XT1_9 as Smart Object-1

Everything written above are my own opinion.  I have voluntarily tested this camera and I have not in anyway been paid to do this.  I love photography and I am a self-confessed gadget/tech geek.


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14 Responses

    • I spent a lot of money with my 5D3 and that is the only reason why I’m holding on to it. I’ll probably sell them… Somehow, I can’t find any use for them since the X-E2 and X-T1 can hold it own in terms of image quality and usability.

  1. Hey, finally I see a little more feedback on this camera. Great job!
    Im currently a DSLR shooter, but not for too long. I have decided to had a mirrorless camera to my “collection”, but I don’t know what to go with and I need youre help.
    I see people saying the Olympus OM-D E-M1is great. I have seen some reviews and I gotta admit that im impressed with the camera! In body stabilization, live bulb mode, hi sync speed, fast AF, etc really get me going… but I just find hard to believe that such a small sensor can deliver good high ISO/low noise results. I currently own a D7000, a D600, and a Samsung NX300. Im pretty happy with high iso performance of the D600, but on my D7000 I try not to go higher than 1600. Since the Fuji is an APS-C sensor, I expect it to perform at least as good as the D7000… but I just cant believe a M 4/3 sensor can keep up with it.
    Whats your opinion on noise on the Olympus vs the X-pro1? Im shoot mainly weddings and most fo the times the indoor lighting is not the greatest. Do you think the X-T1 outperforms the X-pro1 in many aspects?
    I would love to get your opinion

    Thank you and keep up the good work!

    • The X-T1 outpefors the XPro1 in all aspects. It is faster focusing, better ergonomics, with the new EVF I doubt you will miss the OVF:) and the writing speed is so quick. The X-Pro1 is a good camera, but its showing its age especially next to the X-T1; heck even with the X-E2.

  2. Excellent review. Did you shot those photos with or without grip? I just wonder the iso, f settings on those night photos. Thanks. Please also post the night video, just wonder can we compare camera to the BMPCC camera.

  3. Michael, thanks for the article.
    Do you think this brand new X-T1 could be a replacer to a reflex system?
    I’ve got two camera systems (5DII and X-Pro1), use them mainly for weddings and the Fuji for every needs.
    The only thing I wanted from my Fuji was a snappier writing performance (and a slightly faster AF).
    Do you feel that the latest X-T1 does better the job? (Like shooting many frames in single shot, without lags between each shot)


    PS: I’m a step from selling my loved 35L

    • Then the X-T1 is the one you are waiting for. The writing speed is insane, esp. with the high-speed 240MB/s card 🙂 Focusing is not an issue with this camera; so I guess, this camera is the one 🙂

  4. Nice write up Mike. One of the more balanced, and informed opinions I have heard thus far in regards to the X-T1. I had the X100, and while I loved the “idea” of the camera, from day one it was a struggle. I sold the camera, and after much deliberation picked up a X100s. Fuji seemed to have remedied many of the problems, yet so many remained. I like manual controls, but have limited myself to Olympus cameras in the mirrorless world. The X-T1 intrigues me. One thing prevents me from looking at it seriously:

    From what I can tell, exactly like other Fuji cameras, the EVF/LCD stutters/jumps after a half push of the shutter. It is, as if, the camera freezes for a moment and has to catch back up. Now, I have not used the camera, but this video seems to exhibit this behavior:


    I am wondering if this seems to be your experience as well?

    • Hi Jonathan,

      Sorry for the late reply… There is not jump or stutter in Fuji EVF anymore, this has been an issue when the X-Pro1 and X-E1 came out but it is not an issue anymore. I didn’t have that issue with the X-T1 as well, it could be that the video used in recording might have caused it but as per my experience, there’s none.

  5. I have used a lot of different brands and types of cameras and found the following.

    The Olympus OM-D series are very responsive little cameras. I like the E-M10 (with the ECG-1 grip) the best, because it doesn’t suffer from shutter shock. I had the E-M1 but returned it because I had too many ruined shots with the 12-40mm f/2.8 zoom and my Panasonic 25mm f/1.4. All because of unwanted shutter vibrations. If a tool doesn’t give me reliable results, I can’t use it. The Micro Four Thirds sensor is small, but up to ISO800 files look reasonably clean. No match for APSC though. There are a lot of excellent native MFT zoom and prime lenses. Autofocus is a dream.

    The Fuji X-T1 is a good looking camera and the lenses are very good. The APSC sensor delivers a lot of detail and low noise. Unfortunately a lot of detail is lost by the in-camera RAW processing. Noise is removed and in the process so is detail. The result are slightly soft RAW files. I don’t like soft files. I’d rather have a sharp file with some noise in it. The X-Trans sensor is not as special as Fuji wants us to believe. There’s just some clever in-camera noise processing going on and that’s it.

    Micro Four Thirds nor APSC can come close to the output of a full frame sensor. It’s simply superior. I had a D600 and now a D610 and at high ISO’s I see about two stops difference with a Fuji APSC sensor. Obviously full frame leaves MFT in the dust. Files look cleaner and have a much better dynamic range. So if you really want the best image quality and flexibility, full frame is the best option. Don’t expect a smaller sensor to deliver that kind of quality.

    I also tried the Sony A series and the RX1. The NIkon D610 is superior at higher ISO’s. From ISO1600 Sony files start to look rough and the A series cameras exhibit strange colour banding and halos. There are almost no native lenses for the A series and the ones they do have are extremely expensive.

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