As one of the two guys running a photography website and magazine [The Inspired Eye], I have to dwell and talk about cameras. Granted, I’ll never let the website be overrun by cameras but I still need to get my hands dirty. You gotta stay on top of trends and all. But on a personal note, very few cameras actually get me exited. Enter the Fuji X-T1. I’ll probably get it for my photography business. Here’s why.
1) I trust Fujifilm
Nothing is worse than feeling like an island when you buy a camera. Unlike self containing systems like compact cameras, when you buy an interchangeable lens camera you buy a camera system. If you stay on top of the camera industry at all, when it comes to companies on top of their game, it’s always Fuji and or Olympus. You can hear the birds chirping when it comes to Sony for example. I have the Nex7, my feeling owning this camera is one of abandonment. Too many bodies, too little lenses.
Every time I turn my head around these guys always SUPPORT THEIR CAMERAS. The Xpro didn’t have focus peaking at first and then it now has. Fuji is constantly bringing new life into their cameras. It seems to me that Fuji is one of the very few camera makers that “get” photographers. They know what they want and they build it. Fuji cameras had issues, updates came and they are fixed. I trust Fuji because I feel that if I’m buying their cameras they will back it up.
Most cameras you buy is a done deal. No firmware updates, no upgrades, nada. I might not have been a Fuji fan, but their constant innovation, dedication and putting out new stuff for their cameras slowly won me over.
Kill all the bells and whistles. What do you need in a camera? ISO, Aperture, SS. Nothing is more important than these 3 factors because they are the ones that control your exposure. If there is one thing that most compact cameras get wrong, it’s the dials. Sony understood that so they gave you two top dials and one in the back. Ricoh understands that and they gave you a wheel in the front, a jog in the back and ISO is only one button away (depending on how you set it up). Lord have mercy, look at the Fuji XT1…dials, dials everywhere!!! Shutter Speed, ISO, Aperture (on the lens). No menu fiddling it’s real camera touching time! Plus it has two DSLR like dials in front and in back, and if I understand correctly these babies can control Aperture and Shutter speed.
When you are at an event, light can change suddenly so dials is what I prefer, not menus. Overall, the controls on the Fuji XT1 remind me of DSLR controls where there’s even buttons to call a waiter. It’s the first mirrorless compact camera I’ve seen that’s more DSLR like in approach to controls than other previous offerings like the XE-2. Dials to change the focusing mode, etc, etc.
3) Viewfinder
I primarily use viewfinders for work, and it looks like the XT1 is revolutionary in that sense. Large, sharp, bright, magnified viewfinder. Woot!!! For my the viewfinder helps me get in the zone, everything is black around it, it helps me focus. So I’ll take the biggest, baddest viewfinder I can find!
4) The best M adapter ever
One of the best things about the Fuji system is the M adapter accessory. Yeah. It’s pricey but your get what you pay for. My favorite thing about that adapter is that it’s smart, it will record the lens you used and it can also compensate for distortions and chromatic aberration. If you use M mount lenses, they are going to ROCK that XT1 sensor. And since everything is dial based, you can actually spend some time shooting and not fiddling with menus.
5) Hybrid predictive AF
If I seem undecided between legacy lenses (point 4) and Fuji lenses, well, it’s because I am! The hybrid AF actually has the power of magical ponies to predict where your subject is going and accurately track it. On every camera I owned I always disable it because I always find the tracking AF bad. But I’ve seen some tests and everything was clean and clear in every image. One of the reasons I use manual focus lenses elusively is because I don’t trust the AFs of cameras at all. Β If this delivers on it’s promises, Β it might make me give up on my Manual lenses only policy, we’ll see πŸ™‚
The DSLR we’ve been waiting for?
Technically, the XT1 isn’t a DSLR, there’s no mirrors, it’s a mirrorless camera. But when I look at good old SLRs, I always wondered why manufacturers can’t just take the old form factor and cram a sensor in it? I mean, today’s DSLRs are plastic chunks compared to the smaller metal SLRs of yesterday. The Nikon DF should have been the answer but it looks like Fuji had an Ace up their sleeves. This camera is very interesting as a work camera, I’m drooling over it in that sense!

Join the conversation


  1. Oh oh, Olivier, you’re getting carried away πŸ˜‰ I too want one. BUT. I still prefer the TriNavi of the N7. It’s the best direct exposure controls implementation I have ever seen for any camera, and the XT is actually a step back from that (locked ISO dial and two step control for shutter speed). I’m also uncertain as to the X Trans IQ vs. the N7 below 1600… However, that giant and revolutionary EVF does its appeal magic on me just as well, as does the promising improved AF (which remains to be tested, though). Let’s let a few reviewers get their hands dirty with it first πŸ˜‰

    1. Well….in a turn of events, looks like my wife’s dentist is going to end up with that Xt1…..I might change the Nex7 for the Xpro though, or the X100s, they surpass the Nex7 in low light…we’ll see πŸ™‚
      All of this is of course for paid work πŸ™‚ For everything else, it’s the GRD IV πŸ™‚

  2. Well, the X Pro will do great for low light… still life. Muhahahhaha πŸ˜‰ I wouldn’t be in any hurry to ditch the N7 yet !

  3. Good reflections, Oliver. It is an attractive camera in many ways. I would be jumping right on it if I was not so content with the Nikon Df.

  4. My thoughts exactly. Minus Leica M mount adapter. I just don’t have those lenses unfortunately. I think I will end up with X-T1 also.

  5. Olivier, I have been using the xpro1 for awhile now and you can’t go wrong with fuji. You can’t shoot the Olympics with it but for thoughtful shots you can’t go wrong. Plus once it is in your hands you will be in love. I have tried and gotten rid of many cameras because the whole time I wish I had my xpro.
    For your work get the fuji and gr. Perfect small compliment

  6. My respectful but strong advise is to try it before buying: some behaviours of the Fuji cameras are quite different from other brands you could be used to, and some are badly implemented. If they are things you are not going to use/need, it could be the perfect camera. Otherways they can be really annoying.

      1. The interface is really great, and I agree you are not going to have problems with it. Nor with the rest, but I meant that some details are not discussed or frequently published, but are part of the package. One for all: Fuji doesn’t allow to detach focusing from metering using the shutter button as we are used with so many brands (of course AEL and AFL buttons are there to do it). And, in case of autofocusing, keeping the shutter button half pressed won’t maintain focus; press fully again and it will refocus. Ok, you’re smart and you’re going to use manual lenses, nonetheless someone (me) could find this non-standard behaviour irritating in certain circumstances. I am used to cameras that can do that and couldn’t get used to the difference. Now that you’ve had my confession about my vice to focus and recompose without pushing other buttons, I feel better. πŸ™‚

    1. Yeah I agree with that for sure. Truth is I don’t care if the XP1 ever gets another update, it’s that good right now!

  7. Pingback: 5 reasons to get Fuji X-T1 « Eh Namour
  8. My Fuji S-2 was my favorite DSLR. It was an N80 with a digital back. No pictograms & everything where it belonged. Menus were only two deep. Great Fuji tech support!

    1. If only fuji would release the products with the features they should have had from the start-like acceptable autofocus- they wouldn’t have to constantly come back to fix it.
      When car companies have to constantly issue recalls, we question the quality control, and if the model was released too soon.
      I say this as an X100 owner, who thought the original product very sub-par with state of the art, and with the upgrade almost on a par.

  9. can i use my olympus omd lenses on this camera? i was tempted to buy the xt1 but i have already bought many omd lenses

    1. Don’t worry about your lenses. Keep them and keep your Olympus camera! There really is not that much difference in image quality between your OM-D and the Fuji XT-1. Just look at the test photos online. Download the RAW files and experiment with them. Many people are convinced that the Fuji X-Trans sensor is so much better, but in reality it just isn’t. An APSC sensor is slightly bigger and will produce maybe about a half to one stop less noise than a micro four thirds sensor. The Fuji has good controls, but so does your OM-D. Is there any setting you can’t change quick enough with your Olympus? Who needs silly locks on all of the control dials anyway? Your OM-D probably focusses a little faster and better too.
      Every time I look at the RAW result from a Fuji X-Trans sensor, I see a seriously processed file. It has almost no noise, but unfortunately it also lacks detail. I once compared the output from a Fuji X-E1 to that of a E-PM2 and you know what I found? I could easily make the files from both cameras look almost the same. The Fuji files lacked detail and the files from the E-PM2 had more noise. Sharpening the Fuji files introduced noise and noise reduction on the Olympus files destroyed detail. In the end, both looked practically the same, there really isn’t much of a difference at all.
      Ask yourself, do you really need a Fuji XT-1 or are you just suffering from G.A.S. The grass is always greener… But is it?

      1. I understand your points, but I’m not a big fan of the OMD. The interface turns me off. I tried 3 times to get into mu43 and I’m not going back.
        I personally find the difference that great between mu43 and APSC. I also like the Fuji’s higher ISO rendering.
        I’m very much familiar with GAS, and I can tell you that no, in this case it isn’t πŸ™‚ Cheers!

        1. Do you know if the stellar noise performance of the sensor in X-T1 has something to do with on chip noise reduction? Thanks

          1. I think it has. Just try both cameras and carefully compare the RAW results. The Fuji has less color noise, but the results look slightly soft to me.

      2. Are you sure of your opinion on this one? I think you maybe stating opinions based on assumptions and general statements about sensor size. I am still researching this, but for you, I would begin with comparing noise results for X-T1 on Dpreview or similar (with NR turned off of course). I have my opinion on what I see… but how abou this, you take a look AND let me know here what you think πŸ™‚
        I have no personal attachment to Fuji. I am currently a Pentax K5IIs user and am looking for a smaller camera I could use without a tripod running around streets etc. Initially I thought the Olympus E-M1 will be it, but then I looked at its noise levels… and while the 5-axis stabilisation sounds wonderful, it is not so great if the sensor pulls it down. The Fuji X-T1 comes close to what I want… and if it had 5-axis in body stabilisation, I would get it immediately… as it is, I may wait a year or two for the next generation and see if Fuji adds 5-axis IBIS to the X-T1 successor. For now I will keep on playing with my W3 3D πŸ˜€ … and keep dreaming they will make a successor to it with a 1.8 or 1 inch sensor LOL

        1. I already compared the RAW results from both cameras (and of the previous Fuji and Olympus cameras) and there’s nothing I have to add to my earlier post. I don’t understand all the hype about the Fuji output. There’s clearly some on-chip noise reduction going on. With it, some detail is destroyed. So, Olympus has a little more noise and Fuji a little less detail. Open both files in your software and both files look the same in no time.
          The in body image stabilization really is a big advantage of the Olympus. You can make sharp photos while standing on one hand on the deck of a small boat on a rough sea in moonlight. It works with every lens there is for the system, including the fast primes. In practice this means that when you’re photographing (semi) static objects, you can keep the ISO down and you hardly ever need a tripod.
          Lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system are smaller and lighter. This really makes it a super compact camera system that you can carry all day without any pain or strain. I think the Olympus is a nicer all round camera to work with. It’s more responsive, more compact and lightweight and there are more lenses available.

  10. Pingback: Mise au point au sujet du "switch" Nikon/Fujifilm | le blog de K-pture
  11. The picture quality strikes me as really good, but all the video samples I have seen just suck from the X-T1. So that’s a bit of a deal-breaker for me.

  12. Bought the X-T1 and love it.First few weeks gotten bad image but once managed to control the camera it gives you fantastic IQ,
    Give up Canon completely because of the size and weight. No regrets as I’m a more relax type of shooter.
    Those external dials do make me learn better about photography…creativity.

  13. hi Oliver. your article really makes me think twice of disposing my Canon 5D mark III and lenses over this XT-1. Can you enlighten me a bit if i should stick with my DSLR or do you recommend i dispose all of it over XT-1 and its lenses? im a hobbyist and focus on people and at times motorsports. i hear a lot of photographers asking me to stick with the 5D as it is a very good camera while a few of my hobbyis friends would ask me to just dump my DSLR over this XT-1 as it is lighter and can give the same output images also. likewise, they would say that it being a lighter gadget to use, then i can easily bring it anywhere anytime thus giving me more time to shoot.

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