Fujifilm X-T1. / by Othman Kammah

It's here.

After weeks of anticipation and numerous leaks, on Tuesday January 28th, Fujifilm officially announced and revealed the newest member of the X-Series family, the weather-sealed X-T1.

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Leading up to yesterday’s announcement, I had seen the various photos and spec lists that were being throw around on the web and creating such an incredible buzz.

Everyone wanted Fuji to succeed where Nikon failed. Bringing not only a “retro-styled” DSLR to market but really taking advantage of all of today’s Mirrorless technologies to make it a substantial release. 
Here’s a sneak peak: they passed with flying colors!

While I am always excited about Fuji's announcements and releases, this seemed like it wouldn't be for me.
I love rangefinder bodies and this looked like a DSLR. It seemed like it would be bigger than my X-E2. I couldn't really wrap my head around why I’d be interested in another body when the X-E2 was just right.

Yesterday, I was lucky enough (Thanks Jerry and the FujiGuys) to get my hands on a review sample of this hotly anticipated new camera… color me impressed.

Handling.

The second I picked up this camera, my hands fell in love. The button placement, ergonomics, the materials, everything felt just right.
Not only that but it also looks absolutely gorgeous! Take a look for yourself:

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And as others have said before me, the new Fuji X-T1 looks and feels like everything the Nikon Df is trying to be.
The new dials Fuji added are fantastic (with just the right amount of stiffness) and are really going to please those out there who want as many physical ways to change options as possible.

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Oh and by the way… the X-T1 has 6, yes 6, programable FN buttons. You can really customize it to be your camera and handle it the way you want.

Speaking of handling, Fuji is also releasing two grips along with the X-T1; a Hand Grip (MHG-XT) and a Vertical battery Grip (VG-XT1). Let’s touch on those quickly.


The Hand Grip feel great. It improves on some already fantastic ergonomics and really compliments the camera by providing a centered tripod mount (for those landscape shooters out   there) while still allowing access to the battery.

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Huge improvements on the previous X-Pro 1 and X-E1/2 grips! 
Please note that at the time of writing, the new grips for X-Pro 1 and X-E1/2 are not yet available on the market (coming really soon!) but I’ve been assured that they are just as great as this X-T1 version.

The Vertical Battery Grip is wonderful. Not only does it allow you to access commonly used functions and - of course - a shutter release, it also continues the flow of perfect ergonomics.
Every button falls right underneath your fingers, just where you’d expect them.

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Pair it with the new Fuji XF56/1.2 (first impressions coming soon) and you have yourself an amazing portrait setup. For studio and portrait shooters, this is a must!

In Canada, the Vertical battery Grip (VG-XT1) will be included as a pre-order bonus for any X-T1 orders placed before March 31st! Source

Real Time Viewfinder.

Holy Sh*t. Those were the words that came out of my mouth when I first looked through this new EVF. I was absolutely floored. Actually… I still am. Yes, it's that good.

I’m a strong believer in the fact that EVFs will replace OVFs. I’ve used many mirrorless cameras and the amount of information you can get along with things like live exposure preview just make it a joy to use. This one is no exception.

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Refresh rate, magnification, and resolution however were always considered the downsides of electronic viewfinders.
NOT ANYMORE.
The X-T1 EVF sports a 2.36m dot, 54 fps refresh rate (even in low light!),  0.77x EVF magnification. Yes that is the world’s highest magnification (0.77x) for a digital camera.*
But not only that, it has a lag-time of 0.005 seconds (less than 1/10 of existing models) and it is definitely noticeable when in use!

It also allows for a great new Manual Focus mode. Fuji refers to it as Dual mode.
This adds a small second screen for checking focus point with Focus Peak Highlight or Digital Split Image. You can watch Fuji's demonstration video below for more details.

It works like a treat and allows for an even better MF experience for those adapting legacy lenses on Fuji cameras.

Fuji also listened to those who complained about the lack of proper “EVF + Eye Sensor” mode on the X-E2. You now get LCD playback while using that mode on the X-T1.
Just another proof that Fuji is only there to please their users and carefully listens to the community.
I’ve been told that this is also making its way to the X-E2 and that makes me very happy!

Extras.

The Wifi experience on Fuji cameras is nothing short of magical. I’ve tried many other cameras that include Wifi transfer but none of them connect and transfer as fast and seamlessly as the Fuji ones.
This remains the case with the X-T1 but to top it all off, you can now control your camera via your SmartPhone or Tablet and even have a live view with touch to focus!

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The X-T1 also includes a built-in intervalometer function which I cannot wait to test out this weekend! Star Trails anyone? ;)
I'll be sure to update this post with sample images as I get more hands on time with this camera and the new 10-24mm and 56mm Fujinon XF lenses.

Conclusion

You would have noticed by now that I haven't commented on Image Quality, the X-T1 uses the wonderful Fuji X-Trans CMOS II sensor found on the X-E2 and simply does not disappoint.

I have only been shooting with this camera for a few hours but already I am in love and can definitely see a place in my bag for it along with my X-E2.
The bigger and better EVF, weather-sealing, and just overall handling of this camera make it one that I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone.

Especially those DSLR users out there that have been waiting for a mirrorless camera to win their hearts over. The wait is over… this is it. This is the one.

Image Samples (more to come...)

Update:

Here are two sets I have taken with the X-T1 since this review was posted:
Jack. http://www.kammah.ca/xseriesblog/2014/2/7/jack
Ese. http://www.kammah.ca/xseriesblog/2014/2/8/ese

Relax.

Relax.

Once.

Once.


And if you cant get enough of the X-T1, be sure to check out the FujiGuys' first look video below:

Official Promo Video:

See you around at the next FujiTuesday Event

All images courtesy of Fujifilm.