TALKING IMAGES 22 – THE FUJIFILM X-T1: FIRST IMPRESSIONS ( #X-T2 )

 

 

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Sunlight on oak leaves, in our back garden; X-T1 with Fujinon 55-200 at 300mm (equivalent); 800 ISO; Lightroom.

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Having had the X-T1 camera for a short while now, but NOT having yet taken it out for some “serious” photography, here are some first impressions.

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POSITIVES

The X-T1 is certainly smaller and lighter than my full frame Nikons and, while this is not too much of an issue at the moment, it may become one as I get (ever!) older.  And if I ever need lighter gear to go somewhere, this is what I’ll take. 

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If I need something even lighter and more compact, its the Canon G11 PowerShot.  But I’m not sure that I’d like the X-T1 to be any smaller than it is – someone said that the smaller X-T10 is too small, at least for anyone with big hands (which I don’t have), and I go along with that.

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The X-T1 has a wonderfully large and bright electronic viewfinder (EVF), which I think is best used at Full size rather than Normal.  This viewfinder has (customisable) shooting info all around it, and a live view histogram, and a very simple but effective virtual horizon too – all of which make the camera a joy to use.  But, unlike an optical viewfinder, this EVF will of course use up battery power, and I’ve yet to see how the battery lasts on a long trip.

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NEGATIVES

The auto focus is not bad, but it not up there with the Nikons – but then maybe I would have been surprised if it was.  Most of my pictures don’t need blisteringly fast auto focus, but for those that do, like the one below (Somerset Levels 268) in which the car was haring away from me at great speed, my confidence in the X-T1 would not be rock solid.  However, that said, I’d put money on an X-T2 appearing soon, and I bet that it will have considerably improved auto focus – and this week’s Amateur Photographer  (4 June 2016) thinks that what the X-T1 needs is the much improved AF speed of its recently updated stable mate, the X-Pro2 >>> and I bet that’s what’s coming!

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The X-T1 does have a handgrip on the front and a thumb rest on the back but, while being better than nothing, they’re not quite big enough for even my medium-sized hands.  But, as an example of the thought and foresight that Fujifilm are putting into their cameras, they have also provided an extra handgrip, and a vertical battery grip too (for shooting in portrait format), both of which can be purchased separately.  But I tried out the handgrip and found it unsuitable for my hands – my index finger just wouldn’t rest comfortably on the shutter release.  And adding the vertical battery grip just adds more bulk and weight to what is supposed to be a lighter camera, so I’m not going down that road either.

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I much prefer the Nikons’ deeper, chunkier grips – OK, these are bigger and heavier cameras and lenses, but those no-nonsense grips make holding them securely, even with only one hand, much easier.

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LAST THINGS, INCL SOFTWARE

The X-T1 gets to me more and more, the more I learn about it and play with it.  And its going with me down to the Somerset Levels early tomorrow morning – so we shall see!

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Oh yes, and to handle the X-T1’s RAW files I’ve signed up to Lightroom, via Adobe’s Creative Cloud.  Reading about Lightroom for sometime, I received the impression that its vast and complex, but now I can see that it doesn’t have to be that way at all, so that’s fine.  In particular, I’ll probably keep my Lightroom Catalogue file quite small in size – I’m glad to see that material can be removed from this file, as well as added.

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My Nikon RAW files may continue being processed in Capture NX2.  And I hope that the software I treasure most – Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2 and Color Efex Pro 4 – will go on forever!

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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

13 Responses to TALKING IMAGES 22 – THE FUJIFILM X-T1: FIRST IMPRESSIONS ( #X-T2 )

  1. wonderful translucence and light!

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  2. Lenswork99 says:

    My back has never felt better since I ditched all my Nikon DSLR kit. And fond memories of the halcyon days shooting Velvia and Provia etc…..well that’s just the icing on the cake!

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Oh yes, Velvia and Provia! I’ve been photographing for over 50 years, and when my mother bought me my first camera that was “anything like a real camera”, when I was 16 – exactly 50 years ago! – I used the films then available, I recall Ilford HP3 and Agfa CT18. Then I was in Kenya for some years, where the slightly brown caste of CT18 really came into its own for landscapes etc. And then I didn’t really get seriously back onto photography until 2003 – when I was absolutely stunned by the advances that had been made in colour slide films – and Fuji’s slide films were the best of the best! I used Velvia 50 but got more engaged with Velvia 100, which I used to have push processed by a stop. But I was absolutely in love with Provia 400X, which was a true go anywhere, do anything film – excellent colour and quality at 400 ISO, but also wonderful when pushed at anything up to 3200 ISO or more. Yes, I agree, the icing on the cake! Adrian

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  3. bluebrightly says:

    It sounds like you’re having fun with your new toys! 😉 Grip is important, isn’t it? I’ve switched around a lot in the last four years and find I want something in between – I don’t want too much weight and bulk, but I want my hands to feel like they are holding SOMETHING! A little substance, please. And the bright viewfinder would certainly be a huge plus. Glad you jumped for LR. It’s hard to change systems, or add a new one. Hopefully, it’s flexibility will allow you to dip in and out to your liking. Some of the things I enjoy about processing in LR are the simplicity of the basic sliders – recovery, clarity, contrast, blacks, etc. And adding or subtracting luminosity to individual colors is fun. I find if you add a little to one color and subtract from an adjacent color, it often adds a subtle depth to images. I have an older version so I assume it’s still the same on yours. Anyway, enjoy!

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, I very much understand your desire for substance, Lynn. Of course, with many types of material objects, we tend to value heavier ones over lighter ones – they feel more substantial, well made and valuable. The days of all-metal cameras are gone in many cases, but one of reviewers’ points about the X-T1 us that its very well made and solid. Yes, and I agree too – tho I’ve yet to use them a lot – LR’s recovery, contrast, clarity, vibrance etc sliders do look useful – I might get onto them later today! And your comment about subtle depth sounds just the thing – thanks! Thanks too for your thoughts, my friend! Adrian 🙂

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  4. Looking forward to seeing more! 😀

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Lisa, thank you! Yesterday out on the Levels was good – more on that in due course. The new Bristol Mayor has started reversing some of his predecessor’s policies – thank goodness! Eg now, those with disabled persons parking badges are no longer fined if they park in Residents Parking Zones – now there’s a small piece of decent, basic humanity!!! >>> a small step forward for Bristol!!! Adrian

      Liked by 1 person

  5. paula graham says:

    Adrian. I shall follow this saga with great interest, before I leap into the dark!!

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I’m so glad that you find these ramblings of interest, Paula. I have to confess to a nerdy side (as well as to a Forbidden Fruits side … of course …), and part of the attraction of getting this new camera is to see how I get on tackling something quite new, the instruction manual (thankfully a paper copy, which I can write all over is supplied), and the camera’s plethora of controls. And, a sign both of the times and Fujifilm’s pursuit of excellence, Fujifilm have made so many firmware updates to the X-T1 since it first appeared, that a SECOND (paper) instruction manual is also included, to update what they have done to the camera’s functionality – now that’s impressive! A

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  6. Helen Cherry says:

    Enjoying watching your learning process 🙂

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