Fujifilm X-T1 Conclusion
Fuji X-T1 Review -- Conclusion
With the Fuji X-T1, Fujifilm has a clear goal in mind. The company wants to persuade DSLR shooters to move to a more compact mirrorless camera, and it's put forth a very strong reason for doing so. Unlike some of its retro rivals, the X-T1 manages to blend old and new very successfully, putting an extremely intuitive control system into a body that's much more compact than the typical enthusiast or professional DSLR. The lenses, too, are less bulky than their mirror-oriented rivals.
Once you pick up the X-T1, you can't help but smile -- almost everything about its physical design simply screams "high-quality photographic device". This doesn't feel like a modern, plasticky camera or a computer with a lens. It feels like something you want your hands on, want to shoot photos with, and just don't want to put down. But perhaps the biggest argument for the Fuji X-T1 is its viewfinder, which has incredibly minimal lag. Bring it to your eye, and you're not faced with the delay that you would with most EVFs. You feel at one with your subject, and that's how a great camera should make you feel.
But that's not to say that the Fuji X-T1 is perfect. While it's great for framing single stills, the viewfinder has quite significant lag when shooting high-speed bursts. It seems, as some cameras do, to simply be showing a slideshow of the photo just taken, and not to be showing the real live view. That's a bit disconcerting and makes it harder to frame, although with subjects that move predictably you can account for it. Tracking autofocus is not quite as responsive and accurate as in a high-end DSLR, either. There are also a couple of quirks to the physical controls: an exposure compensation dial that's too easily bumped, and a four-way controller whose tiny buttons have little feel, and are hard to press with your thumb.
But be that as it may, this is a camera that's just plain fun to shoot with, and it takes some really great photos as well. And perhaps more importantly, since it's less bulky than your DSLR, you're more likely to have it with you when you need it most. At least, if it isn't cold or raining: it's a bit of a shame that while the camera itself is weather-sealed and freezeproof, its lenses aren't. That will, thankfully, change very soon, with the introduction of the first weather-sealed X-series lens in July 2014. Two more sealed optics are already on the roadmap for the following 18 months or so, as well.
If you're the kind of photographer who likes to take on the elements, you may want to pause a little while, or purchase in the knowledge that your options may be limited until Fuji can bring more glass to the table. And sports shooters might want to rent or borrow an X-T1 before putting the money down, so they can see if the autofocus and viewfinder performance will work with their particular sport. For everyone else, though, this deliciously-styled retro camera is an enthusiast's dream, and a clear Dave's Pick! Just remember to check that exposure compensation dial frequently...
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