This post is a bit overdue and because of that it’s probably going to be a bit long… In case you haven’t noticed I’ve been in the process of switching my entire kit over from a canon full frame kit to a fuji APS-C (“crop”) kit. This has roots that go back about 5 years when I started shooting my PAD project with a panasonic GF1. Since then I’ve always had a smaller camera of some sort for taking with me everywhere, skiing, on the boat, anywhere we go. Last summer I bought a Fuji XE1 as that small camera option. It was a good camera, better than I’d imagined. It’s IQ is on par with or even beats canon’s APS-C sensors and it’s right there with the canon 5D mark II. It’s really incredible what fuji has done with the sensor they’re putting in these cameras. Once I’d had the XE1 for a while there were a few things it did amazingly well (image quality and portability) but a few things it wasn’t as good at (namely auto focus). The system was also missing a few key lenses to be a complete replacement for my canons. Fall brought us the XE2 which brought better AF but still not quite what I felt I needed to consider a full switch. It was a nice improvement to the XE1 (which I sold to fund the XE2) but still not quite what I needed. Skip forward to winter and fuji announced all the lenses their lineup was missing for an exact swap as well as the new fuji X-T1 which promised much improved auto focus……
A little while ago, I spent some quality time comparing the Fuji X-E1 to the newer X-E2. I tried to give an honest appraisal of both cameras, pointing out where the X-E2 had leapt forward, and where it still fell short. In that comparison, I praised the X-E1 for its excellent value, image quality, and overall ability next to its younger sibling, even as I declared the X-E2 the overall better camera. That was back in January, and things didn’t change much until early May, when I picked up a second X-E2 for wedding work, and thought about putting the X-E1 out to pasture. Since the X-E1 vs. X-E2 comparison has been one of my most-searched and most read blogs, I figured it was worth talking about what changed between now and then… and maybe I’ll talk a little bit about why I don’t have Fuji’s newest darling, the X-T1…….
I have so much to write about how Fujifilm cameras have changed the way I shoot and how DSLRs are starting to feel like strangers to me; indeed it’s no surprise that many people on the Internet are starting to call it the new Leica or Leica for those who are on a budget(or not as rich as Leica owners) :) The interesting(and hateful too!) part about Internet is that as soon as a new gear is released you would see a lot of technical reviews, charts, and performance tests all over the place. Sometimes they do get in the way of our creative minds, so that urge to try new cameras will always kick that mental and emotional areas in your skull and you will keep telling yourself “I want it, I want it, I want it and so on, hahaha”…….
I have had the X-T1 for a while now since my first impressions went up about it, it is time to sit down and write-up a proper full review of how I’ve used it over the past few months. Over that time I’ve played with it, I’ve travelled with it and I’ve used it for professional work and shot everything that I’d normally shoot with it from casual family time to professional interior room shoots with full lighting. That all gives me a fairly broad view to judge the X-T1 on its performance as an all-rounder. This is my Fujifilm X-T1 review from the real-world as I’ve used it. Let me be honest here up front. I didn’t want to like the X-T1 right from the start. I love the Fujifilm cameras because of the look of them as much as anything else, the design of the X-Pro1 is just perfect for me, a perfect size to get hold of and use. A classic camera, minimal, but with great technology on the inside. It’s not the quickest camera around, but I don’t want or need it to be. The whole design makes you want to slow down and think about what you’re doing before pressing the shutter button. That in turn helps improve your skills as it makes you think first, that’s what made me fall in love with the Fujifilm X-Series in the first place……..
Fujifilm’s X-Series of cameras have set new standards for mirrorless camera systems. Combining a retro look and feel with cutting edge technology in an attempt to marry the old and new schools, Fuji’s latest entry, the Fujifilm X-T1 adds weather sealing, an industry leading EVF, truly outstanding lenses and pro level accessories packed in a small retro SLR package. Has the mirrorless camera finally gone pro? To be honest, the idea for the retro styled mirrorless camera really goes to Olympus with the OM-D series. I have owned and tested both the OM-D EM-5 and EM-1 and both are very well built, but Fuji came along and ate their lunch with the X-series of cameras starting with the X100, the X-Pro1, X-E1 & 2, and now the X-T1. My review will not cover the technical features of the camera. There are plenty of those already out on the web. My review will be on real-world usage of the camera both in studio, out in the field and while traveling……..
Photography is obviously important to us here at Adventure Seekers. Our content heavily relies on the talent and creativity of our contributors who all share a varied background in writing and photography and not only are our contributors based in different parts of the world, they all have different needs and their previous experience dictates what kind of cameras they currently use. Because of the nature of our goals here, travel photography is a common theme and the issues of lugging around heavy DSLR cameras and their accompanying lenses is quite cumbersome and quite honestly, a bit embarrassing. You never want to be “that guy” on your adventures and I always argue against lugging all that camera gear along with you for fear that it removes one from the experience – Girlfriends and wives only have so much patience and the fact of the matter is, I’d rather share an adventure with people I care about and live in the moment, rather than review it later and prefer to take a quick snap of the moment and tuck the camera away again, continuing on……
When I tested this camera on a specific area, live music photography, it didn’t disappointed me, and as a general purpose camera it’s perfect. Again, it’s not a camera for every type of photography, it’s a camera made for street photographers and it works well in other fields, but if you are a sport photographer for example, just look somewhere else. The look and feel is great, the dials on the top plate are handy as hell and the image quality – apart a few glitches – is amazing. DSLRs are still the king of the castle, but mirrorless cameras like the Fujifilm X-T1 are getting very close, and if Fuji will ever make a camera with this body and a full frame sensor, they’ll definitely get the crown. But for the moment, if you are looking for a lightweight alternative to a DSLR, this camera is a killer one, and definitely worth any cent you spend on it……
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……