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DanBailey

Fuji X-T1 First Look Review and Sample Images

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DanBailey

I'm really excited about this new camera! At the end of last year, Fujifilm brought onboard to test an early version of the X-T1 firmware and produce sample images. Since it was still two months away from being announced to the public, I essentially became the first person in the US to shoot with what was to become the X-T1.

Now that it's been officially announced, I've posted my first look review along with a few photos that I shot with the pre-production firmware X-T1, and a second post with a few more sample images here. Many of these are zoomed in to show off the quality, resolution and low light performance of the camera.

What are your first impressions of the X-T1?

snow biking shot with the Fuji X-T1

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PhoTom

You must be a happy man, Dan! I expect many will be looking keenly at the EVF and AF performance including AF tracking which you report well on. This looks to be an exciting offering from Fuji. Thanks for posting here.

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K1W1_Mk2

Thanks for posting that was a really interesting read.

I note that you say that the camera has a 49 point phase detection array that covers the entire area of the frame. This seems to be very much at odds with what has been written elsewhere regarding the arrangement of the PD focus array. If what you say is correct then I fully understand how the predictive focus franking could well be up there in DSLR territory. are you able to expand on this issue?

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artuk

Just a point of note - I believe you have made a technical error in your statement about the AF. You state the camera has a 49 point PDAF AF array. What I have read elsewhere is that only the central 9 AF points have PDAF - the "outer" 40 points are stated not to have PDAF from other sources. I would also be interested to know what type of light you photographed in and with which lenses you were shooting - there is a significant difference between tracking AF in good daylight with the 18-55mm zoom and single shot AF in low domestic or restaurant lighting with the 60mm prime.

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artuk

Just read your follow up - you mention sensor technology improving, and make a comment "The Fuji engineers redesigned the arrangement of components around the X-T1 sensor in order to give it even better performance in lower light levels". Again, can you elaborate on this? With the exception of the PDAF on sensor, I wasn't aware of any substantial difference in the sensor design? Perhaps they slightly adjusted the micro-lenses on the front of each sensel?

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flysurfer

Thanks for posting that was a really interesting read.

I note that you say that the camera has a 49 point phase detection array that covers the entire area of the frame. This seems to be very much at odds with what has been written elsewhere regarding the arrangement of the PD focus array. If what you say is correct then I fully understand how the predictive focus franking could well be up there in DSLR territory. are you able to expand on this issue?

It's 9 frames, not 49.

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BrucieNRS

'Also, instead of placing the EVF out there on the side, like the’ve done with all the other X cameras, Fuji went full SLR style and stuck it right up front and center. Just like a real camera.'

Could you clarify, is the X-T1 a 'real' camera, or not?

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pcg

Thanks, Dan. Posting in this forum is a bit like walking into a firing squad. Not always, but certainly this week. Don't be discouraged!

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DanBailey

Thanks for the comments. Keep in mind that my experience with the X-T1 up to this point was with an early version of the firmware inside another body. At that time, the X-T1 camera did not yet exist. I expect to get a production model in in hand soon and will update my info as I shoot with the real thing.

Regarding the AF. True, there are only 9 phase detection points on the sensor. The camera does have an array of 49 selectable AF points that are highlighted in the EVF/LCD. Sorry for the confusion.

For lenses, i used the 14, 27, 18-55 and 55-200 in various conditions, but as I said, this was with the firmware only. I'm told by Fuji that the final version has AF features that were not available in what I used two months ago. I'll report soon on my findings with the actual production model.

Regarding low light performance on the XTrans sensor, I'm going by what is said on the Fuji website and by my experience shooting with other X camera models. My tests at ISO 3200 show remarkably improved noise and grain structure that holds up tightly when blown up. They've obviously done something new, but I don't know exactly what that is.

Regarding the "Just like a camera" comment, it was a remark about the X-T1s classic look. A tongue in cheek statement, really, about this modern era of camera evolution where designs have varied greatly in the past few years. My first camera was a Nikon FM2, and visually, the X-T1 brings me back to those days.

Thanks again and stay tuned for more details as they come...

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FJC

Outstanding shots, Dan. Great info.

Have you written about your issues with the XE-1? I'd be interested to read.

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DanBailey

Thanks FJC, I really like the X-E1, but as an outdoor, action photographer, it has significant limitations for the kinds of work I do. No AF tracking is a big one. I focuses pretty quickly, but it won't track moving subjects through multiple frames, so I'd have to rely a lot on timing and picking a prefocus mark.

Also, even though it shoots 6 fps, the continuous shooting modes is a little clunky. It looks like the X-T1 fires bursts a lot more smoothly. No weather sealed body means that I can't bang it around like I can my D700. Finally, I can't stand the EVF and I rarely ever used it. It was improved vastly with the X-E2 and X-T1, which should make the whole shooting experience that much more user friendly and transparent.

That said, image quality is stunning on the X-E1, and for many subjects and styles, it's an extremely capable and top quality camera.

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alans

I like the bike shot, though a fat bike would fare better on that snowy trail;)

Can you share a little on how it was shot?

How are the Fuji lenses doing in the snow shooting? Thanks!

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DanBailey

alans, thanks- Actually, that is a fat bike! Fatback snow bike with 4" wide rims and tires. I shot the photo on the Anchorage trails by clamping the camera onto the top tube with a Manfrotto Super Clamp and Variable Friction Arm. XF 14mm lens and self timer. I love the 14, it's my favorite of all the Fuji lenses, and the hood seemed to work pretty well to keep the blowing snow off of the glass.

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veejaycee

alans, thanks- Actually, that is a fat bike! Fatback snow bike with 4" wide rims and tires. I shot the photo on the Anchorage trails by clamping the camera onto the top tube with a Manfrotto Super Clamp and Variable Friction Arm. XF 14mm lens and self timer. I love the 14, it's my favorite of all the Fuji lenses, and the hood seemed to work pretty well to keep the blowing snow off of the glass.

Just trying to imagine rigging up my D700 that way. :)

Thanks for the post Dan. I look forward to seeing how the XT1's AF handles more erratic movement when you get your hands on a production model with latest firmware.

Vic

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DanBailey

I have my X-T1 now and have been shooting with it all week. Here are a couple brand new images from Iceland. The EVF is so good that I find myself using it almost exclusively now, which is totally different from the way I shoot with the X-E1. It just feels like I'm using an SLR, and I just love all the creative options that the Fuji X cameras give you with different looks and film sims.

Geyser, Iceland

Downtown Rekjavik, Iceland

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artuk

Regarding low light performance on the XTrans sensor, I'm going by what is said on the Fuji website and by my experience shooting with other X camera models. My tests at ISO 3200 show remarkably improved noise and grain structure that holds up tightly when blown up. They've obviously done something new, but I don't know exactly what that is.

...

Sorry to be pedantic - can you clarify is you are talking about in camera jpegs (i.e. they have changed the in camera jpeg engine to reduce noise), or raw files (i.e. they have changed the sensor performance to reduce noise)?

Thanks

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DanBailey

@artuk, this is what it says right on the Fujifilm website. And yes, I'm shooting JPEGS right now, sometimes RAW+JPEG, but since LR doesn't support the X-T1 RAW files yet, I'm posting straight, unprocessed JPEGS.

"To combat noise at these ultra-high sensitivity settings, the arrangement of components and circuits around the sensor has been redesigned."

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artuk

@artuk, this is what it says right on the Fujifilm website. And yes, I'm shooting JPEGS right now, sometimes RAW+JPEG, but since LR doesn't support the X-T1 RAW files yet, I'm posting straight, unprocessed JPEGS.

"To combat noise at these ultra-high sensitivity settings, the arrangement of components and circuits around the sensor has been redesigned."

So the improved grain etc that you state you are seeing is in the camera jpegs. Camera makers always claim better high ISO performance because a camera has a more powerful processor - which just means the software that produces the in camera jpeg is better at reducing noise.

Since you haven't seen the camera raw files, you don't know if the hardware is actually any better or not.

edit: to be totally accurate, Fuji have't changed anything on the sensor, since they don't manufacture it, Sony do. I suspect whatever changes are present are a result of moving to the latest generation of the Sony 16Mp device, which changes slightly from time to time. It's one of the reasons Fuji "Invented" PDAF in the X-100s and X-E2 - Sony added PDAF on sensor to the chip about 6 months before, as released in one of the NEX cameras that appears several months before the Fuji models. The only thing that appears to be "different" about the Fuji sensor is the layout of the colour array that stuck on the front of the actual sensor. So if it possible that the layout of things like the circuit connections from the sensels onto the wiring of the sensor etc may have changed, since Sony twiddle with that type of thing all the time. It's one of the reasons labs like DX0 will have slightly different test results for the same sensor in different generations of product - the same sensor is used in all the 16Mp Sony cameras, and all the Pentax K series 16Mp cameras. Sony seem to be migrating to their newer 20Mp device in their latest cameras, and others have moved to versions of the 24Mp sensor first seen in the Sony A77.

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