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03-Jul-2015
Fujifilm XT-1 Review
Fujifilm’s latest addition to its popular mirrorless cameras, the Fujifi lm XT-1 is aimed at professional photographers who like to carry light and still get striking photographs. With this launch, Fujifilm looks to strengthen its X-series of cameras which include the X-E2, X-M1 etc. The camera features 16 megapixel 23.6mm x 15.6mm (APS-C) X-Trans CMOS II sensor and boasts of fast focussing. Let’s see how it performs.

Look, Body and Feel


At first glance, the Fujifilm XT-1 looks strikingly similar to older analogue SLR cameras but then the eyes instantly go to the big 3-inch LCD screen at the back and the big circular electronic viewfinder. The traditional X-E2 design has been modified and perfected and looks nothing like its predecessor now. The 2.6M dots OLED electronic viewfinder is large and crystal clear. When you have your eye to the viewfinder it feels like an LCD in itself. It has three large circular dials at the top of the camera body which controls the ISO, shutter speed and exposure control from left to right respectively. The design is sleek and the weather resistant body looks well built. There are a lot of buttons spread throughout the tiny body of the camera which is to provide easy access to the user without having to look at the LCD too many times. The3:2 tilting LCD is also a good touch, and the joints feel strong and quite sturdy. The view mode button that was replaced in the X-E2 has been added back again in this model, and you can switch on the viewfinder proximity sensor with the touch of a button. The camera is compact and packs a lot of physical features in terms of buttons, dials and switches. The grip is also quite good due to the leather finish on top of the magnesium alloy body but the small size of the camera might pose a problem to some.

Performance


The Fujifilm XT-1 was tested with the standard Fujinon 18-55 2.8-4 lens for our review. The camera performed excellently and the images were sharp, the colours were crisp and overall gave excellent quality images. The autofocus performed quite well, as promised by Fujifilm as we used it to take photographs of static objects with moving foreground and background objects. The 16 megapixel APS-C "X-TransCMOS II” sensor delivers to its reputation and the camera has seen considerable improvements in terms of faster autofocus compared to other mirrorless cameras from Fuji. The exposure dial came in handy to selectively expose a part of the frame and the results were quite good. The Fujifilm XT-1 also produced some vibrant colours. The camera which reportedly boasts of having the "world’s fastest AF of 0.08 seconds” also has a staggering burst mode of 8 fps with subject tracking features. As already stated this camera is all about buttons and dials, which Fujifilm has taken to new heights. There are six programmable buttons on the camera and the user can change the settings according to their needs.


The ISO performance of the camera is also quite good. It handles low-light very well till ISO 3200. Artifacts and grains start to appear from ISO 6400 but the photograph still remains sharp and quite usable. They start showing extreme grains at ISO 12800, which is the H1 or High1ISO. H1 and H2 should be avoided as much as possible and should only be used if extremely necessary when using this camera. A welcome feature that comes in handy for most modern photographers these days is the video capability of a camera. The camera allows the user to shoot full HD videos and HD videos at both 30 and60 fps. The videos recorded in the FujiXT-1 were crisp and the focussing was amazingly smooth. Another feature that Fujifilm has been constantly providing with its upper end mirrorless cameras is the Wi-Fi connectivity. This feature allows the user to instantaneously share JPEG images from the camera to different locations and social media sites over the Wi-Fi. One important thing missing from the camera is a built-in flash, which comes in handy in many situations. But Fujifilm has aptly added a small lightweight external flash as an accessory which has a guide number of eight meters at ISO 100. The flash attaches directly to the hot shoe. Another accessory that is compatible with this camera is an external battery pack, which is a very good feature to have during long shoots and is a welcome change to the mirrorless camera.

Conclusion
If you are looking to buy a high-end mirrorless camera not just for still photography but also for video recording this camera is highly recommended. Priced at around `119000 with fast and smooth focussing, a large tilt-swivel LCD, 2.36M doodled electronic viewfinder,8fps continuous shooting and good ISO performance this is a documentary photographer’s dream. Fujinon lenses another accessories from Fuji for this camera are trustworthy and have a very good built quality. Even though the number of buttons and dials in the camera and the small size can be problem for few, the Fuji XT-1is a good purchase for its price.

Look, body and feel rating - 3*
Beautifully designed, but too many dials can be confusing to some.
Amazing colour output, fast focussing, good video quality.

Performance rating - 5*
Amazing colour output, fast focussing, good video quality.

Overall rating - 4 1/2*
The Fujifilm XT-1 is a powerhouse of features, and the future of mirrorless cameras.

 
 
 
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