I bought a Fuji XT-1 mirror-less camera about a year ago after seeing it at the Photography Show 2014 in Birmingham. A number of things appealed to me about the camera – size, weight, the accessibility of the controls – to be honest, I did fall for the “feel” of the camera. Its also possible that I could not resist the idea of yet another gadget…
To pair with the body, I had a 18mm f/2.0 lens and bought a 14mm f/2.8, a 23mm f/1.4 and a 56mm f/1.4 over the course of the year and have being playing around with them ever since. So the big question is whether or not the Fuji could ever replace my beloved canons…..
Obviously, the X-Mount lenses are still being released and I do not have cover for all of the focal lengths I have available the Canon EF mount, but my photography has changed over the years so I do not necessarily use all of the lenses I own.
My annual trip this year was to Sri Lanka. Originally, we had planned to go to Nepal but the big earthquake hit Nepal 4 days before we were due to leave – a particular thanks to Etihad for their flexibility and the painless ease with which we were able to change flights 3 days before the departure date. Anyway, we ended up in Sri Lanka with a camera back full of 2 camera systems.
My intention was to use the trip to see if I could live without the Canon gear so I headed out with the Fuji in my hand and the 5D in the bag. I like shooting fairly wide so my choice of lens was the 23mm 1.4 – field of view on this lens roughly equivalent to a 35mm lens on a full frame camera.
Basic operation of the camera is very straightforward, I do like having knobs and buttons to change settings rather than have them buried in menus somewhere. All the common settings – aperture, shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, and metering are available at the top of the camera.
My favorite bits…
- The view finder: Having a viewfinder that shows exposure and depth of field real-time is a joy to use.
- Rear tilting screen: I don’t take many “discreet” shots – people usually know that I am taking a photo, but for those occasions, its fantastic
- ISO performance – its twice as good as the Canon 5D MK III.
- Colours and tone – this is very subjective, but to my eye, they are more pleasing than the results I previously had gotten with Canon
- Lens quality – On this, I would mark this as a draw with Canon.
- Size and weight – This is a biggie. The camera is incredibly light and Fuji’s X-Mount lenses are typically 50% of the size weight of their canon equivalents.
No camera is perfect and the XT-1 is no exception. There were a few things that drove me nuts.
- Battery life – oh boy…. Typically I get around 350 to 400 shots from a battery. And worse! The battery indicator sits at 100% till near the end when it falls of a cliff. I guess it depends on what you are used to, I was getting circa 2500 shots out of a battery on the 5D MK III
- Metering, Shooting mode and Exposure compensation dials – I keep changing these by accident and it can become annoying at times. I must admit that I am getting used to checking in the viewfinder, but still – something I would suggest Fuji change for MKII
- Card read/write speed – I need to play a little more with this, but it “feels” slower than I am used to on the Canon.
Thats my opinion on the camera and its performance. Its a joy to use and paired with some of Fuji’s prime lenses it is a formidable performer.