Fujifilm X-T1: mirrorless dream

Fujifilm X-T1: mirrorless dream

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The X-T1 is the new flagship of Fujifilm in the field of mirrorless interchangeable lens: a machine designed to convince all photographers, professionals or enthusiasts, that there is no more need to carry bulky and heavy DSLR to get the most out of photographic image quality and performance.

The price of this camera is as ambitious as its mission: € 1,299 for the camera body only and € 1,649 for the kit with the valid 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 zoom lens. This figure is challenging, but it is absolutely justified by a stellar quality.

Data sheet

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The Fujifilm X-T1 mans innovative, high-performance CMOS sensor of the Fujifilm X-Trans II (already seen in the cousin X-E2 ), with 16 effective megapixels and with the inclusion of pixels dedicated to the AF phase. Thanks to its unique design, this sensor does not suffer from moiré and can do without the low-pass filter: the result is a higher than average sharpness.

As regards the rest of the specification, there are an image processor EXR II, one Fullscreen articulated LCD 3 “and 1 million points, an electronic viewfinder by 2.64 million of points (and with magnification factor of .77 x, the most highest currently on the market), a burst of 8 frames per second with continuous autofocus, the inclusion of an antenna Wi – Fi (for connecting the mobile app dedicated) and a video mode that allows you to capture video up to 1080p at 60fps.

The only notable absence in the Fujifilm X-T1 is that of an internal stabilizer (image stabilization is then delegated to the objectives that offer this feature). Also, the flash is not integrated, but a small outdoor unit is provided in the package.

Construction, ergonomics and controls

The body of the Fujifilm X-T1 is one of the best made ​​in its price range. First, the entire unit is tropical conditions and therefore resistant to rain, dust and atmospheric effects. The size, then, are quite contained for a camera APS-C: only 129x90x47 mm and 440g weight (for reference, a reflex of comparable quality as the Canon 70D measuring 139x104x79 mm and weighs 755g).

The ‘general ergonomics is quite good, with a feeling of solidity and absolute grip can offer the right grip. A literally shine, however, is the design of the controls: Fujifilm has decided to continue on the path so retro that is so popular among photographers more passionate, and in fact the X-T1 comes with a large amount of dials, buttons, and physical controls. In addition to the ring of the times and that of diaphragms (located on the lens barrel), in fact, the Fujifilm X-T1 offers a ring dedicated to the management of the ISO, a compensation for the (up to + or-3 stop), a selector physical shooting mode (single, continuous, bracketing, etc..), one for the exposure mode, the two rings of conventional control gear (front and rear) and the inevitable switch to the cross.

The result is that this machine offers an exceptional level of control: beyond the initial configuration, virtually every action can be performed without having to dig into the electronic menu, allowing an immediacy and speed of use extraordinary. Even the menus, however, are rational and well accessible, thanks to the inclusion of the now traditional “Q” key, which gives you quick access to a brief but useful quick menu.

Strangely, in a picture so positive, Fujifilm has walked into a small error in design: just the switch to the cross, including the central button “menu / ok ‘, it is rather difficult to press, too small and unable to return a tactile feel sufficient . It’s just a detail that certainly does not affect the overall quality of this camera body, but it can be annoying.

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Overall, however, the Fujifilm X-T1 is one of the best-designed cameras in recent years, and with its many rings provides a physical control system, while both immediate and depth, suitable for both most experienced photographers (especially those coming from the pre-digital) that the simple hobbyists.

Performance and image quality

The department’s performance Fujifilm X-T1 is excellent. First, the electronic viewfinder is really the best on the market: it offers extremely wide image, bright, smooth and well-defined, which makes it simple and enjoyable to compose your images.

The image quality is truly extraordinary: the pictures produced by this machine are detailed, generally very well exposed and with saturated colors but realistic character with a really well-defined. The absence of the low-pass filter do you really notice: examining the file size to 100% you can appreciate a razor-sharp detail (provided you use the right amount of sharpening in-camera, as the basic setting is a bit ‘ conservative).

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The performance in low light is really stunning: up to ISO 6,400 images are virtually clean, unless you shoot in almost complete darkness. Fujifilm states for this machine an image quality comparable to that of a full-frame sensor, and from this test such ambitious definition seems deserved.

Another point in favor of this camera is its speed. Shooting procedures Fujifilm X-T1 are extremely fast: the single focus, with the objectives faster, it really is comparable to that of SLR in this price range, and the barrage of 8 fps allows you to freeze the movements more rapid and unpredictable with great satisfaction. The ‘continuous autofocus is traditionally one of the toughest courses in the category of mirrorless, but even here the X-T1 behaves quite well: the accuracy is still not comparable to that of the best SLR sports, but overall it is sufficient to trace the moderately fast moving subjects.

The only real reserve goes to the maximum shutter speed, which stops at 1/4000 of a second, a value that is not enough for shooting with aperture fully open in full sunlight: it is a pity because, in conjuncture with a value ISO base 200, does not allow to employ targets such as the excellent Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 without the aid of a neutral density filter.

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Similarly, a maximum flash sync 1/180s very limits of the possibility to employ creative solutions of flash light. However, these are details that will be a small obstacle, and certainly not insurmountable, only for photographers really demanding and experienced in the management of light.

Finally, the video mode, as is traditional for Fujifilm, it is not finished and can offer only discrete results. It should not be considered as a defect, however, worthy of particular note: the Fujifilm X-T1, simply, was born to do anything else.

Verdict

The Fujifilm X-T1 is definitely one of the best cameras on the market today, and not only in the category of mirrorless. The machine body well made and the exceptional layout commands make it a pleasure to use, the image quality is literally extraordinary (in many fields is comparable to that of a full frame) and the speed of autofocus, the burst and general operations is excellent.

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Among the few flaws we can cite a few buttons too hard to press (error when Fujifilm seems to fall a bit ‘too frequently), or a shutter speed that is limited to 1/4000s in normal shooting conditions and 1/180s in flash sync. These last two features disappoint a bit ‘in a car of this quality and ambition, but overall are overruled by the pros.

Obviously, euro 1,300 for the body only a few are not, but are well proportioned for a car that expresses the highest of quality photographic and joins in size considerably more compact than a traditional SLR.

In conjunction with the excellent park objectives achieved so far by Fujifilm for its X-mount system, the X-T1 is thus, an instrument capable of giving great satisfaction to both the amateur to the most demanding audience of professionals. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 , hitherto undisputed queen in the field of mirrorless, has finally found a worthy opponent.