• FU­JI­FILM X-T1 • Pana­sonic W850


Pho­tog­ra­phy is about leg­work. It is about go­ing where your sub­ject is, and get­ting the an­gle you want, but lug­ging around a bulky DSLR is not al­ways an op­tion. As the adage goes, “the best cam­era is the one that is with you.” Un­der­stand­ing that pho­tog­ra­phers are trav­el­ers and ad­ven­tur­ers, FU­JI­FILM re­leased an elec­tronic viewfinder in­ter­change­able lens cam­era that is weath­er­proof and is de­signed with the pro­fes­sional in mind.

The FU­JI­FILM X-T1 is one of the most com­fort­able EVF in­ter­change­able lens cam­era we have had the plea­sure to hold in our hands thus far. The grip is com­fort­able and rub­bery, while the shut­ter but­ton is nice and sat­is­fy­ing. The con­trol di­als on the cam­era feels sturdy and most of the con­trol but­tons are not too big or too small. How­ever, we feel that the nav­i­ga­tional but­tons and the record but­tons are too flat, mak­ing them dif­fi­cult to press.

With the looks of a 35mm SLR cam­era, we ex­pected the X-T1 to be heav­ier, but we found that its lightweight con­struc­tion is bal­anced with the avail­able lens and is a very wel­comed fea­ture on long trav­els.

Fit­ted with a tweaked ver­sion of the X-Trans CMOS II sen­sor that re­duces noise, the X-T1 boasts speed and per­for­mance, and it de­liv­ers. The cam­era is ca­pa­ble of ap­prox­i­mately eight shots per sec­ond in con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing with aut­o­fo­cus turned on. Apart from ac­tion pho­tog­ra­phy, the speed is also a boon to the other modes, such as panoramic, HDR and bracket pho­tog­ra­phy. To han­dle that much speed, the X-T1 is also the world’s first cam­era to be com­pat­i­ble with the high­speed UHS-II SD mem­ory card.

Im­age qual­ity of the X-T1 is sharp and im­pres­sive, es­pe­cially in low light, with the cam­era’s de­fault color set­tings rel­a­tively ac­cu­rate. But this is no sur­prise for a cam­era in the FU­JI­FILM’s X series. Like the other cam­eras in the series, we some­times find it nec­es­sary to tweak the ex­po­sure com­pen­sa­tion to get the right ex­po­sure, but we also find that this seems to oc­cur far less fre­quent than be­fore.

The cam­era we tested comes with a 18-55mm 1:2.8-4 kit lens and an EF-X8 shoe mount flash. Al­though the pic­tures are amaz­ing, we find that the lens doesn’t al­low us to ven­ture in close for macro pho­tog­ra­phy like most kit lenses do. Still, the pic­tures are sharp, with JPEGs look­ing good up to ISO 800 and in cer­tain con­di­tions, us­able up to ISO 6400. Ex­pect bet­ter per­for­mance with stills that are cap­tured in RAW.

Shoot­ing with the cam­era is easy, with al­most all of its con­trols as­signed to a dial or a but­ton for quick ac­cess. The X-T1 it­self is de­signed with two-handed con­trols in mind. The re­sult is a learn­ing curve that re­sults in a very in­tu­itive and tac­tile ex­pe­ri­ence once you get used to the idea. FU­JI­FILM is so con­fi­dent with its con­trol de­sign that it opt not to

in­tro­duce a touch­screen dis­play. This could also be very in­tim­i­dat­ing to be­gin­ners, but thank­fully, most of its con­trols could be set to auto.

Com­pos­ing a pic­ture and nav­i­gat­ing the X-T1 is a breeze with its bright tilt­ing LCD that works well even in di­rect sun­light. Even so, we wished it could tilt a full 180 de­grees. How­ever, if you want to do it right, you should cap­ture shots us­ing its ter­rific elec­tronic viewfinder. It is large, fast, bright, and has mul­ti­ple view­ing modes, in­clud­ing fo­cus as­sist, full view mode, and dual fo­cus­ing mode.

FU­JI­FILM also launched sev­eral ac­ces­sories along­side the X-T1. They in­clude a ver­ti­cal bat­tery grip for long pho­tog­ra­phy ses­sions, a hand grip for users with big­ger hands, and a leather case. Ac­cord­ing to FU­JI­FILM, weath­er­proof lenses are go­ing to be re­leased later in June.

To top it all off, FU­JI­FILM’s Cam­era Re­mote app is one of the bet­ter de­signed and im­ple­mented cam­era pair­ing apps out there. You can con­nect to the cam­era us­ing your iOS or An­droid de­vice eas­ily to browse pho­tos and con­trol the cam­era re­motely. We were im­pressed at how lit­tle lag there is in the com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the de­vices, along with the amount of cam­era con­trols that are avail­able through the app. Nev­er­the­less, we could see FU­JI­FILM im­ple­ment­ing NFC in fu­ture cam­eras to stream­line the pair­ing process fur­ther.

To us, the FU­JI­FILM X-T1 is the per­fect cam­era for the avid trav­eler and ad­ven­tur­ous pro­fes­sional alike. If you are look­ing for a cam­era that is small, light, tough and ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing awe-in­spir­ing pho­tos, then you should pick up an X-T1 and see for your­self!

The X-T1 han­dles col­ors and dy­namic range very well.

The app’s cam­era re­mote has lit­tle lag and of­fers full cam­era con­trols.

FU­JI­FILM’s Cam­era Re­mote app is easy to use and works well.

ISO 200

ISO 800

ISO 6400

The ISO per­for­mance is im­pres­sive, with no­tice­able loss of de­tail from ISO 6400 on­wards.

The di­als on the left con­trols the shut­ter speed, me­ter­ing type, and ex­po­sure com­pen­sa­tion.

On the left is the ISO and mode di­als.

The nav­i­ga­tional but­tons are a lit­tle too flat.

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