Just like everyone else in the industry I was very excited about the new X-T1 which launched a few weeks ago. Fuji had really upped the ante with this camera. It boasted a lot of new features and instead of the full retro look it looks a tad more like a mini DSLR that happened to have dials. Being a gear guy I needed to learn more about it and see what it was all about. I checked out a ton of reviews and forums and saw that it was a little different to everything else Fuji offered and could very well be a big step forward. They were in short supply so as soon as I found out it was available at my local Best Buy I had to pick it up and test it out.
In the past, with Nikon, I had been pretty quick about accumulating lenses and trying to figure out which cameras to buy next. This time around I'm trying to be a little smarter and more practical with my purchases. What is it that I need and are there any gaping holes in my kit. This camera looked amazing online, and there were lots of great reviews on it. So I waited patiently for the shipment to arrive.
First things I noticed:
- Much larger viewfinder! Playing around indoors with it I was not very impressed, but when I went outside wow! The detail, clarity and refresh rate on the EVF was phenomenal. The viewfinder is now in the middle of the camera which is an easy move as that's what it was with my Nikons.
- It feels more solid and a little heavier, but there is a better grip area and thumb rest area as well which really helps.
- There is an ISO wheel on the left side which is nice although I generally keep that in AUTO as I trust the high iso limits of the camera.
- The lcd screen is now articulated. I used to have a camera like that in the past and although fun, I always shoot with the viewfinder and will rarely tilt the screen. This also means no buttons on the left side of the camera where I was used to going to on the X-E2. (Buttons are all different yet again.)
- View mode reappears on this model, but its in an awkward place, and the focus assist button is more prominent.
- I prefer this larger exposure control dial as its raised and large. Good job with that Fuji.
- The directional pad on the back is very small, which for some is too small. To me they were ok.
- The viewfinder shows more information like side by side images, the information rotates with you and the refresh rate is fantastic in low light.
- Memory card slot is on the side vs on the bottom. Makes sense as its easier to access and allows for the option for a battery grip as an accessory. People are really pleased with that one.
Why I picked up the camera.
Currently I own the x-e2 camera which I really like. It was a rangefinder (old manual camera) look and feel to it and works really well. But, I always work with two cameras for weddings and events and I was looking for a good second camera to work in tandem with this one. The options were a second x-e2, an x 100s and this X-T1. Given my style of shooting and how the camera saw things I passed on the x100s. It is a super camera don't get me wrong, but the focal length and metering was so different to the X-e2 and what I'm used to. I will purchase one of them in the future as it makes for the perfect travel, walking companion when you want to be discrete and pack light. Then there is the X-T1 with all its new features, better build and weather sealing. Actually the x100s and the X-t1 are currently the same price while the X-E2 is about $400 cheaper as its on sale.
What I decided:
Although the X-T1 is very impressive and boasts a lot of new features the image quality and general autofocus system is exactly the same. I decided I didn't need the titling screen, different button layout, the ISO dial, or the size difference. I am super content with the rangefinder look of the X-E2. So I have decided to pick up a second X-E2 save about $400 and have two cameras with the same buttons, and that work exactly the same. This way if one goes down I have a backup that works exactly the same.
- The one thing that I will miss from the X-T1 is that gorgeous viewfinder. I can see that making a big difference in everyday shooting. Luckily the speed of the viewfinder is something that the X-E2 will be matching shortly with a firmware update.
- I will most likely wait for the X-E3 to come out as it should keep the same retro look and also cost a little less.
- IF this is your first camera into the FUJI series I would highly recommend picking up the X-T1 as it will resemble your DSLR a little more and in some ways is snappier to the X-E2. Its a serious camera for demanding photographers I just can't justify it at this time as I also have my eye on the new 56mm 1.2 lens. Going to need a lot of pocket change to pick that one up.