The X-T1 is yet another winner camera from Fuji. Armed with the same sensor technology as previous generation X-series cameras, it adds quite a bit more to the table, with its fully weather-sealed construction, fast continuous autofocus (which actually works for capturing moving subjects), a large and beautiful electronic viewfinder, a long list of customization and ergonomic improvements, as well as brand new features never before seen on other Fuji X cameras. Thanks to the amazing lens line-up featuring such superb performers as the XF 23mm f/1.4, XF 35mm f/1.4 and XF 56mm f/1.2, the Fuji X system has matured into one of the most attractive mirrorless systems on the market today, with the X-T1 leading the camera line-up in performance, image quality and features. It is pretty clear that Fuji has been listening to its customers and taking care of all the bugs and problems one by one. In just two years, Fuji transformed its product line from quirky to fantastic, with a total of five different camera lines, from entry level to professional……
As I write this, there are a few cameras dotting the landscape of my desk, sitting idly, waiting to be used and tested. I know their makers, their stats, and each is a fine piece of engineering in its own right. I can see the numbers written on them denoting their names, but frankly, they could be a host of other cameras in their indifference. I won’t name them, but for the most part, they’ve got about as much character as the wine I’m drinking. Actually, scratch that, the wine is developed enough to star in its own novella. Their lacking, however, has reason; like Pacific Rim cars are tools created to prop up economies of developing countries, as a rival for the moped and mule, these were produced to be tools. They are very utilitarian, function over form, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s another camera which I’ve just recently parted with, that’s very, very different though……
These days I use my Fuji X-series cameras almost exclusively and it was with this in mind that I took the decision to sell my Nikon 16-35mm f4 VR lens and replace it with Fuji’s new XF10-24mm lens. Both lenses are f4 and both include image stabilisation plus the angle of view on the smaller sensor is roughly the same. My first impression on opening the box was that the Fuji is quite large as an XF series lens but is still only around half the size of the Nikon lens it replaced. The lens feels well built and this is reflected in the weight but it feels ok attached to my x-pro1 and I think this is a lens that I will be using a lot. My other favourite lens is the 55-200mm and I can see myself using these two lenses for most of my general day-to-day shooting. These shots here are some of my first pictures with this lens. I’ll post a few more when I’ve given it a bit more of a work out………
First things first; this is not a technical user review. Anyone can look up facts about the nuts and bolts of this (or any) camera, therefore I’m not going to waste time with that. I’m concerned with the user experience, which happens to be unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I’ve wanted to review the Leica M Monochrom since the second I found out it even existed. Being a B&W fanatic, the thought of using a camera that doesn’t record a shred of color info made me drool. Additionally (being a wedding photographer) the thought of an entirely b&w wedding made my little photo heart flutter with joy! I’ve thought about an entirely b&w wedding for a long time, but knew that it wasn’t a practical reality for my clients, so I asked around with some fellow photographers to see if I could come along as a “bonus feature” to someone else’s wedding. It’d be great because I’d get to play and their client would get some bonus footage. Thankfully, I was able to tag along on an adorable courthouse wedding with a sweet & chill backyard reception. I thought it fitting that this unassuming looking Leica was being used for such a low key & relaxed event…….
Most mirrorless cameras are happy being smaller, beginner-friendly, somewhat less-capable alternatives to DSLRs. But the Fujifilm X-T1 has a different goal in mind: It’s built to replace a DSLR camera entirely. Indeed, it’s hard to think of a camera that’s come closer. While there is perhaps no perfect size for any type of camera, the X-T1 feels just about right for what it can do. It’s big enough for a sizeable hand grip with textured rubber and all the knobs necessary for manual adjustments, but small enough to be more portable than a DSLR. Keep in mind that the X-T1 is closer in size to a DSLR, though. Forget about putting it in your pocket. Along with satisfying proportions, the X-T1 is built to withstand the elements with a weather-sealed body that operates down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. It’ll keep out dust and sand, and shoot in the rain. Like many recent Fujifilm cameras, the X-T1 will appeal to photographers who like taking control. Almost everything is up front and easy to access. There are dials up top for ISO, shutter speed, and exposure compensation. Levers under those dials and on the front of the camera let you toggle shooting, metering, and focus modes. There are buttons all over the camera to lock focus and exposure, enable focus-assist features, and adjust the camera’s display settings. Six—six!—buttons are customizable, and the excellent Function Setting menu ensures you don’t get lost: It provides a map of each button’s setting and lets you change each function on the fly…….
Should you buy it?Our overall experience with this camera was a positive one and we think it’s a great piece of kit. We’re happy to recommend it to anyone who favours tactile, labelled controls over screens and menu systems (though you can still use the screen and menu on this if you wish), but the cost is the main issue. Equivalent pricing ($2000) can get you a fairly substantial Canon EOS digital SLR kit, such as an EOS 70D with a couple of lenses. But that sort of camera might not give you the same level of satisfaction as the X-T1. The X-T1 is more interesting due to its body size, excellent image performance, and in-your-face features. It’s an elegant camera that people will look at and then proceed to ask you questions about it. It definitely stands out in such a crowded marketplace and, to us at least, this means that Fujifilm is onto a good thing…..
The Fujifilm WCL-X100 wide angle converter, designed to give a wider angle of view to the fixed lens X100 and X100S model cameras, has been available for a few years now. But for whatever reason we were never able to procure a sample model for review when it was first released. We finally got one into our lab, and it comes on the heels of our review of the recently released TCL-X100, which provides an effective 1.4x magnification factor and transforms the camera from a fixed 35mm eq. focal length to the more portrait-friendly 50mm eq. range. Due to the popularity of that review on our site, we were excited to finally be getting our hands on its wide angle cousin, so let’s dive right in. The WCL-X100 lends a magnification factor to the 23mm (35mm eq.) fixed lens of 0.8x, thereby providing an equivalent focal length of 28mm. This is certainly not as wide as the more common wide angle of 24mm, but does open up the available shooting field to some degree, and there are certainly times when the greater field of view is welcome………….
The X-T1 is an impressive camera and while not 100% perfect it demonstrates how far Compact System Cameras have come in a few short years. For me they are the perfect tools for my work. CSCs are not ideal for every type of photography (professional sports photography for example) but I have proven on this blog that the X-T1 is capable of getting usable images even in these situations. For anyone contemplating a mirrorless Compact System Camera I can highly recommend the Fujifilm X-Series because the positives I have listed above far outweigh the problems I have found. No camera system is perfect for all types of photography, you choose the camera that suits the type of photography you want to specialise in. At the end of the day the X-T1 is my chosen tool of my trade and I certainly don’t regret my choice two months and 10000 frames in……
I was lucky enough to be contacted by Fujifilm UK to use one of the prototypes of the XF18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R OIS WR lens to obtain some wildlife shots. Being a part of the Fujifilm X-Photographers is a real honour, and to be asked to try out a prototype lens is an opportunity I am extremely grateful for. Within two hours of the first email being sent I had thought up some ideas on how I could get some wildlife shots. The equivalent focal length of the lens, 28-200mm, is not necessarily ideal for all forms of wildlife. This especially applies to bird photography, however I wanted to prove that this system was capable. In the UK there are two places that immediately stand out for this – Bass Rock, an Island off Scotland’s East coast that has one of the largest northern gannet breeding populations in the world. Then there are the Farne Islands, home to thousands of guillemots, razorbills, shags, kittiwakes and the wonderful puffin……..