FujiFilm X-T1 Revisited

[26th February 2020]

On the day of the FujiFilm X-T4 launch I am revisiting the pioneer of the Fuji X-T line, the X-T1.

Announced in January 2014 the X-T1 was the first FujiFilm interchangeable lens mirrorless camera to adopt single lens reflex (SLR) styling with a central viewfinder and a ‘faux’ pentaprism. Indeed it was somewhat reminiscent of a CONTAX RTS III in the same way that the X-Pro line of cameras are like modern digital versions of the Contax G1 and G2.

Although the 16.3 megapixel sensor was the same size as the original X-Pro 1 and X-E1 models, the X-T1 featured the second incarnation of X-Trans ‘CMOS II’ & ‘EXR Processor II’. What really set the X-T1 apart from the earlier cameras though was the autofocus, especially the Firmware Ver.4.00 that gave the camera a completely updated focusing system. Other manufacturers would have launched a ‘mark II’ camera at this stage, but not FujiFilm.

With proper marked dials for ISO, shutter speed and exposure compensation I found the X-T1 a really nice camera to use, the tilting rear LCD screen was another handy feature when the tripod was down low. The weather sealed body and being able to use UHS-II SD cards were also major plus points.

Image quality was excellent but to my eyes the X-T1 produced slightly over sharpened images similar to early Nikon digital SLRs and also did not handle highlights as well as the X-Pro 1 and X-E1 cameras, often the shadows would also look ‘blocky’.

I upgraded from the X-T1 to the 24 megapixel X-Pro 2 in January 2017.

Clearly the X-T cameras have come a long way in six years with the new X-T4 being in effect a video camera that can also capture stills, FujiFilm’s ‘Photography in Motion’ campaign says everything you need to know in that respect. It also has ‘middle-aged spread’ with extra bloat to accommodate the Digital Image Stabilisation and the new battery, the X-T4 body being almost 38% heavier than the original X-T1.

Here are a selection of images I made with the FujiFilm X-T1;

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