A weekend with the Fujifilm X-T1

SR-71 Blackbird, Museum of Flight
SR-71 Blackbird, Museum of Flight. Fujifilm X-T1 with 14mm f/2.8 lens.

Spring break is upon us, and that often means family vacations. I took my son to Seattle for a short weekend adventure, and I brought the Fujifilm X-T1 and two lenses; the 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 and 14mm f/2.8. Yes, a very small kit. Because I was with my son, I knew I’d be mostly taking snapshots, so I figured this very small kit would do. The first thing I noticed was how easy it was to put everything underneath the seat in front of me on the plane, which was a CR-J regional jet.

Walking around Seattle with such a small camera was very easy. I never felt encumbered by it, and nobody really cared that I had a camera. The small form-factor of the X-T1 was useful in the crowded museums and Pike Place Market. I also took advantage of the Fuji’s WiFi hotspot and mobile app to quickly download images to my phone and iPad, where I was able to tweak them with Snapseed and quickly send them to friends and relatives. This one feature alone makes traveling with the Fuji very nice, as I’m not worrying about bringing a laptop along.

I found that both lenses performed very well, and the autofocus system handled moving subjects nicely. One thing I’ve discovered is that when using continuous AF, the camera never feels like it’s locking focus. However, when I reviewed my shots, I found them to be in-focus the majority of the time. I used the X-T1 indoors in dark museums, outdoors, and on moving subjects like aircraft and the sea otters at the Seattle Aquarium. In just about every instance, I got images that I’m very happy with. From an image quality standpoint, I was very pleased, indeed. The quality of the Fuji sensor is such that I did not miss my Nikon DSLR.

From a usability standpoint, I’m still just getting used to the control dial ergonomics. That’s something you need to do with any new camera so that you can quickly change modes or apply exposure compensation without having to think too hard on it. Now that I’ve had a chance to go through my images, I’m really happy with what I got. And my neck and shoulders are very happy to not have had to carry a heavy camera kit around!

Here are a few things I would suggest for new Fuji users traveling with the X-T1 (or similar).

  • Consider shooting RAW+JPEG (normal). This allows you to zoom in on your images to 100% on the camera LCD. The RAW files themselves only embed a small JPEG preview.
  • A 32GB SD card is ideal. I captured over 500 RAW+JPEG images and had plenty of room to spare.
  • Learn to use Manual Focus. In certain situations, it’s actually easier to focus manually and then recompose the shot. This is especially true in dark or dim conditions.
  • Use the tilt-LCD to help get low-angle shots that would be difficult with a normal DSLR. It can be really useful for capturing images from a different perspective.

7 thoughts on “A weekend with the Fujifilm X-T1”

  1. Thanks for posting this. I’m an old-time Nikon guy who now adores his x100s and thinking about an XT-1. Still love my D800 but my D3 is showing it’s age and I will replace at some point.

    Can you describe the raw converter you are using (I’m assuming ACR/Lightroom) and whether you are happy with that. I’ve messed with Aperture, Capture One Pro and LR with my x100s and now find they all do a good job; though the in-camera JPGs are really quite nice.

    Also, could you comment on “living with an EVF” vs your Nikon gear? Are you now used to it, do you notice a lag or is it not an issue?

    Anyway, keep up the XT-1 updates!

  2. Peter-
    I’m currently processing the Fuji RAW (raf) files using ACR 8.4 (release candidate beta) via Photoshop CC. I’m still waiting for the Lightroom support. So far, I really haven’t had any issues with the EVF other than a minor lag when you first power it up. It’s honestly a great viewfinder.

  3. Don- I have checked Adobe Labs multiple times. Where did you find it? I only found ACR 8.4 for Photoshop (which I am using).

  4. Jason –

    Regarding Fuji RAW. I convert all of my Fuji RAW to DNG. Simply amazing. I keep only NEF files as non-DNG.

    Cheers, Frank

  5. Jason:
    In your email today I see The Neon Boneyard was shot with an X-T1 with 10-24mm f/4, my preferred kit. Wondered if you got a chance if you could do a more extensive review of your experience with this camera given you’ve had 4 more months to play? Wondered if it has displaced your DSLR’s in any shooting you do.
    Regards, Fred

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