Fuji X-T1

"Sir the rebel ships are so small they evade our lasers" at Club EXILE - 35mm lens, f/1.4 at 1/30, iso 5000

“Sir the rebel ships are so small they evade our lasers” at Club EXILE – 35mm lens, f/1.4 at 1/30, iso 5000

There’s a new camera in my bag. First I had a loaner from Fuji for a few weeks for testing. Then, this past Saturday, Charlene and I co-hosted and ran a workshop at a great FUJI ambassadors event in Copenhagen (more info and pictures coming). Arriving a bit tired and frozen in the morning, the Fuji Nordic guys welcomed me with an amazing present – the Fuji XT1.

The Fuji XT1 is my 3rd FUJI camera, in addition to my 3 year old X100 and 2 year old X-pro1. The Xpro1 and I have traveled around the world together and I love it to bits, the XT1 has some tough shoes to fill.

I immediately took the XT1 to a tech rave with bone rattling sub-bass, set in a night club in a large industrial basement, lit only by strobe lights and a projector. Settings called for f/1.4 on the 23mm and 35mm lenses and iso 5000 at 1/30 of a second. Dark and loud. My favourite environment. I also took the XT1 to Copenhagen’s ‘Hipster’ bridge and I used it for an artist shoot for Red Bull Studios Copenhagen – and I got to use it with the 56mm lens for a week.

"Oops, that was the fire extinguisher button" at Club EXILE - 35mm lens, f/1.6 at 1/30, iso 5000

“Oops, that was the fire extinguisher button” at Club EXILE – 35mm lens, f/1.6 at 1/30, iso 5000

Totally Awesome! Charlene captured with 56mm lens, f/1.2 at 1/80

Totally Awesome! Charlene captured with 56mm lens, f/1.2 at 1/80

"Prepare to fire the ion cannon!" at Club EXILE - 35mm lens, f/1.4 at 1/30, iso 5000

“Prepare to fire the ion cannon!” at Club EXILE – 35mm lens, f/1.4 at 1/30, iso 5000

It is early days in our relationship, I have only used the XT1 for two weeks, but here are some of my thoughts and a few early snapshots. I am not a reviewer, just a photographer who has used the X-series cameras professionally for 3 years. I am an official Fuji X-photographer, but these thoughts are purely my own sillyness!

What I like about the Fuji XT1

  • The viewfinder. Holy time vortex timey-wimey all kinds of magic in a big blue box. There is nothing like this, it is absolutely stunning. A massive, huge, bright EVF with no lag. And this is coming from yours truly, the grumpy old man who loves the optical viewfinders of the X100 and X-pro1s and proclaimed I would never use an EVF. Well this grumpy old skool camera user reserves the right to be silly and say one thing and do another! (One massive advantage of the optical viewfinder though, it does not go dark in-between shots)
  • The viewfinder. Seriously. So. Awesome.
  • Did I mention the viewfinder? In a nightclub, pitch black, looking through the viewfinder is having night googles. Unbelievable. I can see in the dark.
  • The viewfi…, ok there are other great features. XT1 is very fast and responsive, I am sure it does the Kessel Run in close to 12 parsecs, this camera just flies when you operate it.
  • The sensor is the same as the XE2 producing wonderful detailed high quality images with extremely low noise at high iso.
  • Screen is rather fantastic, hi res and it can be tilted. A nice feature, although I am also worried I will break it.
  • View mode button. Nice to see this back after the mysterious disappearance on the XE2. It is indispensable Fuji!
  • Autofocus, I have not used it enough to really comment on it, but it is fast! I will leave it up to other much more competent reviewers to talk about it and the tracking as I never use that.
  • I like the iso dial, it is really good addition although the locking mechanism bothers me.

What I do not like about the Fuji XT1

Design and ergonomics. This is subjective, and in part due to me having big hands and fingers, let me explain:

  • I much prefer the rangefinder design of the X-pro1, black rectangle with a viewfinder on the left side. Just my preference. X-pro1 feels better in my hands and to my eye and face. Give the X-pro1s the X-pro1 body and buttons etc. and XT1 viewfinder, sensor and screen and speed and it will be the X-series masterpiece! (for me).
  • Buttons. Overall, the buttons on the X-pro1 are much easier to operate for me. I find the menu buttons on the XT1 to be near impossible to use, far too recessed.
  • Movie record button, I want to chop this button off. Why is this placed where the iso button is on EVERY other Fuji camera? Please make it customizable.
  • Dials for scene mode and metering. I change these so rarely I do not need dials for this. Especially not buttons that I tend to accidentally change (big fingers) every time I turn the ISO and exposure dials.
  • I use back button focus 80% of the time, manual focus the other 20% and there is a rubber grip thing preventing easy thumb access to the AF-L button (actually the AE-L button would be a lot more suitable for this).
  • I still feel Fuji do not really understand the use of back button focus, the X-pro1 is not optimal for this either, none of the Fuji cameras are (at least with my hands).
  • I really do not like the lock on the iso dial, I want to easily be able to rotate this without taking my eye out of the viewfinder.
Hip camera at Hipster Bridge, Copenhagen - 23mm lens at f/5.6, 1/500, iso200

Hip camera at Hipster Bridge, Copenhagen – 23mm lens at f/5.6, 1/500, iso200

In conclusion, there is no conclusion. It is an amazing camera with a truly outstanding viewfinder – and some other pros and cons. I shall be traveling the world and working the upcoming Copenhagen Summer festivals with both my X-pro1 and XT1 and post much more. Stay tuned.

Thank you so much to the great team at Fuji Nordic.

One very happy time-traveler with his new camera, co-hosting at the Fujifilm Denmark event in Copenhagen. Picture by Charlene Winfred

One very happy time-traveler with his new camera, co-hosting at the Fujifilm Denmark event in Copenhagen. Picture by Charlene Winfred (no my legs have not been Photoshop liquified. They really do bend in weird ways!)

24 Comments on “Fuji X-T1”

  1. Flemming

    Thank your for your review…..I too have a 2 year old XPro1 and recently an X100s.

    I was seduced by the XT1, the weather sealing, the tilting screen dynes that magic viewfinder. With reluctance I ordered it with a view to trading in my faithful XPro1.

    The day arrived and I (with sadness) brought the XPro1 to the shop with a request that I be given adequate time to play with the XT1 in order to review it.

    I just could not think of put in such a succinct manner your first three ‘don’t likes’. In the end my XPro1 and I legged it out of the shop.

    On the XPro2 give me that rangefinder design, that viewfinder, and buttons I can use easily (and with gloves?) without taking my eye away from the camera.

    What is that video button doing there on prime camera real estate. Fuji please omit it altogether or bury it deep deep within a menu somewhere.

    Someone else mentioned that you can make a camera too small………I don’t have particularly big hands but I love the feel of the XPro1, the XT1 felt at best cramped. It will not suit someone with larger hands.

    Bells and whistles do not a camera make.

    Great review.


    1. Thanks Aidan. I like that Fuji is expanding, there are now X cameras for people who like rangefinder styles, and X cameras for people that like DSLR style. The XT1 is amazing but different from the Xpro1. I hope you get much more enjoyment out of the fantastic good old X-pro1, still the most perfect X camera so far – and I just know that the followup to the X-pro1 will be quite magical!

  2. Hey Flemming
    Congratulation to your new x-family member. I also got one and beside of the multi controller buttons and the ISO lock button, I like the camera a lot. I’m sure that you, as a x-pro 1 nerd, will get used to the x-t1 rather quick. Sadly I got an example which suffers from the light leak but I have not decided yet if I will send it in. I might, but only after a few months of using it 🙂
    Happy shooting!

    Cheers Bruno

  3. Yes Flemming…go and shoot some real pictures and whilst you are doing that may I request a picture of your “huge” hands next to the X-T1 just so I know whether they are as big, or bigger than mine.
    I feel the symptoms of GAS coming on……and I need to know about those hands 🙂

  4. somewhere, I think on Fuji rumors website a couple of weeks ago, there was the possibility of someone making a dial that would fit over the ISO dial and hold that button permanently down.

  5. Great review. Regarding the ISO dial there’s a solution already on the market -check out isounlocker.com

    Thanks again,

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