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.
- 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 Canon 5D Mark III
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.
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
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.