With the dishonourable exception of the Leica M240 I suspect I have enthused lyrically about each new camera I have bought. The Fuji X-T1 was no exception. Several people I know followed me down the same route and bought one. So after six months of intensive use, how do I feel about the camera now.
Well, we are still together. Six months is a long time in photography. Not surprisingly the more I use it the more I become familiar with it. I am very comfortable with all the top dials and I really don’t understand the people who grumble about them. ISO, Shutter speed, exposure compensation are all there and easy to reach. I am slowly getting the hang of using the paddles around the Menu/OK button on the back. But they are fiddly for big hands. I have now worked out the way the exposure lock functions. You press it and it locks – simple yes? Almost. When you reframe the image the EVF shows a different exposure and only when you press the shutter do you see the effect of the exposure lock. It fools me into thinking it is not working even when it is. And if you change the zoom on a lens even a fraction the lock is lost. Completely logical but occasionally irritating.
I have used the articulated screen far more than I expected and I am happy with it. I love the wifi capability. I am less enthused with the way the metering switch works. Too fiddly for me. And I am yet to be convinced that the camera is good at focus tracking moving subjects. It has worked and it has failed. I don’t understand why sometimes it seems to function well and on other occasions I am left with a series of out of focus shots. I don’t seem to see sharp, focused images when I look through the EVF and I think it is out of focus but it isn’t. Very odd. And that EVF – I no longer think about the absence of an optical viewfinder.
I find the diopter adjuster too easy to knock accidentally. Move it or tighten it, Fuji!
I have three serious issues. Battery life is awful. And when I tripod mount the body, which I frequently do, I can’t change battery without taking off the base plate. Not good enough. And the sensor seems to be a dust magnet. I have had one professional clean but the built-in sensor clean is not nearly as good as on my Canons. I need to heal dust bunnies far too often. Finally, the wake up time is too slow. I have missed shots through the delay in reactivating. I want pretty much instantaneous reaction.
Image quality is frankly superb. OK, I hear you folks how rave about the Sonys but each to his or her own. The jpegs are as good as people say and although many people do not like the way ACR / Lightroom process the RAW/RAF files they satisfy me. This image of the Metropolis Building in Madrid was taken at night. ISO2500, no noise reduction applied. 1/100s, F4. Handheld.
What makes the Fuji special is the lenses. I bought the camera because I wanted to travel lighter. I am not putting heavy Canon/Nikon lenses on a Fuji body. The lenses are very strong performers across the board (I have six). I can carry the gear all day. One body, 2 or 3 lenses and the Fujifilm X100s as my back up. The IS seems to work extremely well and I have had usable results hand holding at 1/5s. The weight and balance are just right.
No camera is perfect. There is plenty for Fuji to work on……… hopefully some things will come through a firmware upgrade. But this is now the camera I reach for first. The M9 and almost unused M240 sit in the dry cabinet. The 5D3 and 1DX are now special use bodies. The Fuji has excelled at long exposures, timelapse, travel photography and street. Mine is not for sale.