• 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.
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.