Fuji X-T1 First Impressions

In Gear, Photography by Chris FoleyLeave a Comment

I’ve had the Fuji X-T1 now for a few weeks and here’s my first impression of working with this camera:

Holy Shit — Holy Shit — Holy Shit!

Okay, thanks for listening. I do realize that this isn’t tremendously insightful (have I mentioned that I’m a really terrible product reviewer?) so I’ll share my second impressions as well:

Fuji X-T1 Second Impressions

  • The Fuji X-T1 is a manual shooter’s dream.
  • Everything in the right places.
  • Form factor is perfect, I don’t feel the need for additional handgrip, thumbrest or a soft release, which was necessary for me to feel confident and safe holding an X-E2 or X100.
  • If the X-Pro1 is Fuji’s answer to the classic Rangefinder camera, the X-T1 is definitely their answer to the classic SLR before they got all bloated. It reminds me a lot of a Canon F-1 but better. And Digital.

An Interesting Aside:

canon7D-May2011Tonight I have been reunited with my old friend, the original Canon 7D. My little brother (now in his mid twenties — sheesh) borrowed my X-T1 to try it out and test it against an old FD lens with an adapter, and he lent me my old 7D, which I sold to him in 2013. It’s really very much the same form factor as the Full Frame Canon 6D that I shot for a year and dragged all over Europe with me. I should be used to it, right?

Well, I guess I’m not. I shot with a Fuji X-E2 for 4 months, and I’ve shot the X-T1 for a few weeks. Now, I’m holding that old 7D and I’m shocked to realize how stupid it feels. It’s big, and heavy, and bulky and weird in the hand. The shutter is crazy loud, and it’s not focusing well in low light even with a fast 50mm f/1.4 EF lens on it.

When I first got into the Fuji X System I felt like it was a toy, and I was extremely skeptical that I could get great images out of a toy system. Now as I hold this 7D, I feel like it’s a kid’s toy. You know how kid’s toys are really big? Like a child’s toy cell phone is going to be all big and plastic and bulky and it’s not going to feel precise. That’s how this 7D feels in my hands right now, enough so that I felt I had to write about it.

playskoolThe Fuji X-T1 just feels like a precision instrument. Perfect in the hand, well-balanced, razor sharp; a surgeon’s tool. This Canon really does feel like Playskool.

 

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