The new and much hyped Fujifilm X-T1 has landed in Denmark, and I went straight to the local camera pusher Goecker in Copenhagen to try it out. I just had 10 minutes of play time with the camera and thought I would give you my very first and spontaneous feedback.
Let me start by saying, that today I shoot with the X-Pro1 and before that I have have also owned both the X100s and X10. So I am quite familiar with the X-series from Fujifilm and as many others I have also been excited to follow both rumors and the actual launch.
I am not going to waste time on all the specs, but just want to focus on the actual shooting experience and the ergonomics.
The shooting experience / performance
When it comes to shooting this camera, the initial impression is that this camera is real power house. Coming from the X-Pro1 I naturally expected major improvements in both start-up time and AF speed, and I must say that the X-T1 really deliver. I was only shooting the camera inside the shop and there was a lot of sun coming from the windows, but overall the AF speed is more than satisfactory. I did not experience any lack and the focus tracking shooting on one of the employees walking through the shop also nailed it 100%.
As I am sure you have heard or read in almost every other review, the EVF is simply fantastic. It is huge and very detailed and the refresh rate makes the EVF of the X-Pro1 look like………well let’s just say outdated.
So all in all the performance of the X-T1 (mind after only 10 minutes of play time) is absolutely great. It’s fast and responsive and with very accurate AF (both single shot and tracking). Since using the same X-Trans II sensor I guess image quality is on par or above the X-E2 and X100s.
Ergonomics and design
So enough about the performance of the camera. What I really was most eager to find out was what the X-T1 felt like when holding and shooting it. I have quite big hands and one of the things I love the most about the X-Pro1 is the size and weight that is just perfect for me. Before today I have seen a lot of people getting a bit surprised about the small size of the camera, and I was afraid that this would also be a show-stopper for me. Generally I must also say that I much prefer the rangefinder design of the X-Pro1 over the X-T1. I was actually a bit disappointed when I first saw the design of the X-T1, thinking it looked a bit to much like an Olympus OM-D and did not understand why the designers of Fujifilm wanted to go down that road.
Anyway, back to the actual handling. Even though the X-T1 comes out only 1,5 cm shorter (width) than the X-Pro1, to me this actually feels like a lot when holding the camera. It is like the whole camera has been squeezed a bit to make room for the large tilting LCD screen and buttons on the back. The 4-way navigation buttons has also been reduced in size – and are just a bit too small for my liking. On top the dials seems to work really well and they are well placed. On the X-T1 Fujifilm has made the exposure compensation dial a two-finger system, meaning that you can no longer operate this by just using your thumb (as you can on the X-Pro1, X-E2 etc.). I am not quite sure if this is a pro or con for me. On one hand I have gotten used to just use my thumb for this, but on the other hand there has also been several times where I accidently have pushed the dial to a wrong setting. It will probably just be matter of adapting to the new dial.
As you can see from the pictures below I tried shooting the camera both with and without the battery grip. Without the battery grip I must say that the X-T1 is just a little smaller than I would have prefered. Adding the Fujifilm VG-Xt1 battery grip I got a much better grip on the camera, but by doing so you also end up with a camera that in weight and size suddenly is much more like a traditional bulky DSLR and you throw away much of the compactness that I really like. Unfortunately I did not have the chance to shoot the camera with the additional Fujifilm MHG-XT hand grip you can buy, and that might end up being a more ideal set-up for me. I will surely pay a second visit to the shop to try that combo.
To conclude my little 10 minute first thoughts on the X-T1 I must say, that I am really impressed with everything relating to the performance of the X-T1. I still prefer the X-Pro1 design over the X-T1.
I guess the question for me will be if it is worth to sacrifice the great design and ergonomics of the X-Pro1 to get the superior perfomance of the X-T1……that one I am still thinking about.
If nothing else, I look forward to a rangefinder styled X-Pro2 with the performance of the X-T1 (…..and some).
UPDATE (March 10th 2014)
Well could not resist…….and here it is. More to come.