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Fuji X-T1 Impressions

Story by Oren Teich August 18th, 2014

I recently realized just how much camera gear I had accumulated. I had a full Canon 5DMKII + Lenses, Olympus OM-D E-M5 + Lenses and the Sony RX1 all taking up space. For the past 6 months I haven’t even taken the Canon or Oly out of the cabinet. When I realized just how neglected the rest of my stuff was, and how much money I had sank into it, I put it all up for sale. After a few weeks of craigslist and ebay, I’m mostly all done, with just 3 Canon lenses left.

Of course, once I made space, physically and mentally, the GAS sets in. And thus I find myself with a Fuji X-T1, 15-55 kit lens, and the 56mm F1.2.

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As if you haven’t noticed, most of my photos these days are of the kid. And damn. The 56mm in particular is all kinds of amazing. I’d been holding on to my canon gear because the 5D + 100mm 2.8L was such an incredible combination. Pretty much all of my favorite shots came from that combination. So freaking heavy though. As great as it was to shoot, I just never used it unless I was being ‘serious’.

The Fuji with the 56mm is running close so far. The 1.2 vs 2.8 is awesome. the 85mm equivalent vs 100mm is close enough to not matter to how I shoot him. Focus speed is definitely slower. On the other hand, face recognition means that there’s no more focus/recompose dance, so I can actually get a shot off faster overall most of the time.

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The 18-55 is better than any kit lens I’ve used before. F2.8 - F4 is fully decent. Metal construction feels great. It’s a really pleasant combination, feels great in hand, and seems to handle a range of photography well.

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I’m not street photographer, but it’s fun to pretend somehow. The 18-55, the tilting screen, and the quiet operation really make it a pleasure. Combine with face detection for focus and chances are something good will be in focus.

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Low light is pretty impressive so far as well. Here are two sequential shots in the dark. It was outside, after dusk. ISO 6400 @ F2.8 for both. On the first one I applied a fair bit of lightroom noise reduction to get rid of the grain, and the second is untouched.

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After a few days with this camera, it’s a keeper. It’s 50% heavier than the RX1 (~750g vs 500g), so still ‘light enough’. It’s bigger than the RX1 as well, but again close enough. Image quality is also good enough. Having the interchangeable lenses lets me replace so many other things it’s a compelling package. Combined with awesome physical controls all over and I’m really impressed. Anyone want to buy a RX1?

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Menlo Park, CA, United States