Fuji X-T1 review: Fuji’s new compact system camera offers function and style. Should this top your photography wish list? Find out in our Fuji X-T1 review video.
Fuji’s latest compact system camera takes a slight departure from the other CSCs in its range, as, rather than the flatter design of the Fuji X-E2 and Fuji X-Pro1, the Fuji X-T1 goes all-out DSLR-like in its appearance.
The Fuji X-T1 body is covered in traditional controls and dials that will certainly appeal to many photographers, and perhaps most importantly, it shares the same 16.3-megapixel X Trans CMOS II sensor and EXR Processor as found in the Fuji X-E2 and X100S.
Here Amy Davies of our testing team puts Fuji’s latest offering to the test in her Fuji X-T1 review video.
Hello, I’m Amy Davies from Future Publishing’s Photography Portfolio and I’m here to take a look at the Fuji X-T1.
Probably the first thing you’ll notice about the XT1 is that unlike the Fuji X Pro1 and the X-E2, it features a DSLR style shape, as opposed to a flat, rangefinder style body. Instead of the flat top, there’s a pronounced lump here where the EVF sits. This fingergrip is also much more prominent.
This camera is aimed pretty firmly at enthusiast, traditional style photographers, and features more direct control dials on the top plate of the XT1 than on other X series cameras.
On the left here is a sensitivity dial, which has a lock in the middle which must be pressed before it can be rotated to prevent accidental settings changes. Directly underneath this dial, a second dial changes the drive mode between single shooting, continuous shooting, bracketing, self-timer and filter options.
It can be fairly easy to accidentally knock this dial when changing the sensitivity, but it’s something you learn to avoid after a while.
On the right there are two chunky dials. Nearest the EVF is the shutter speed dial. This also has a central lock button, but it only locks into place when the dial is rotated for A, for automatic.
Although there’s no way to directly set the shooting mode, if you set this dial to A and take control of the aperture, then you’re shooting in aperture priority mode. The aperture is generally controlled via the lens when a lens with an aperture ring is attached, but it can be done via this dial on the body when there’s no aperture ring.
Again, if you set the ring to the automatic position, but take control of the shutter speed, then you’re shooting in shutter priority mode.
Underneath the shutter speed dial is another for setting the metering mode, or what Fuji calls, photometry. This dial is slightly stiffer than the drive mode dial and is less likely to be knocked out of position.
The final dial is an exposure compensation dial. It doesn’t have a lock, but it is also fairly stiff so I find that it usually stays.
Like Fuji’s other X series cameras, pressing the Q button on the back of the X-T1 activates the Quick Menu. This provides a speedy route to key features such as the Film Simulation and white balance modes. You simply navigate to the option you want and then use this dial on the back of the camera to adjust the setting.
Fuji has used cast magnesium alloy for the body shell, which gives the X-T1 a solid – and weighty feel. The camera is also dust and moisture proof, making it weatherproof when a weatherproof lens is attached – three of which will be available soon.
On the back of the camera is a tilting 1.04 million dot LCD screen. It feels pretty sturdily built, and although it’s not as useful for portrait format images, if you’re shooting from a high or low level, the tilting helps.
The screen is joined by a 2.36 million-dot electronic viewfinder, which has a sensor here for automatically switching off the LCD when the camera is lifted to your eye. The viewfinder is large and provides a nice clear and bright view, and offers some advantages to optical finders, such as a 100% field of view, splitscreen image for manual focusing and a brief play back of the taken image to help you assess whether you’ve nailed the shot.
The X-T1 has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. After initial set-up, the camera connects swiftly and easily – you can use it to quickly transfer images across to your smartphone or tablet for sharing online, or to take control of the camera remotely, which in a way means you can have a fully articulated touchscreen.
As the X-T1 uses the same sensor as the X-E2 which we already know to be a good performer, we were pretty certain that the X-T1 would also be good. True to expectations, the X-T1 produces wonderfully detailed images, with beautifully saturated colours.
The camera’s all-purpose metering mode occasionally has the tendency to underexpose slightly, while highlights are sometimes blown out because the dynamic range of JPEGs is a bit restricted.
Automatic white balance however is very impressive, helping the camera to produce very accurate colours in a variety of lighting conditions.
At the time of its release, the X-T1 was claimed to offer the world’s fastest phase detection autofocusing speeds for cameras with an APS-C sized sensor. That accolade has since been snatched by the Sony A6000, but never the less focusing speeds are still very quick in good light.
In lower light, focusing speeds drop a little though. It’s not quite as fast as a DSLR shooting through a viewfinder, but it’s certainly much quicker than one shooting in live view, which this camera is essentially always doing.