An update to the Fuji X-T1 by Brad Husick

Quick updates on the Fuji X-T1

by Brad Husick

(see Brad’s initial thoughts at the bottom of my X-T1 review HERE)

I am still loving my new X-T1 and the results I am getting with Leica glass are fantastic. Here are three quick updates:

1) The new Fuji MHG-XT handgrip (the one without the battery) has arrived and I can say that although it’s fairly expensive for a non-electronic item, it is very well built and well thought-out. The mount screw is a hex and is fully recessed into the bottom to allow easy mounting to Arca-Swiss style heads. The left side (as viewed from the back of the camera) is nicely tapered and smoothed for a good feel in the hand. The front of the grip comes up just high enough to wrap your middle finger over the top. The box even comes with the proper hex key for mounting. I’d say this grip is a fantastic addition to the handling of the camera without making the overall package too large. I was worried about this when considering the battery grip.

handgrip

2) The light leak issue from inside the left door (as viewed from the back) is real. You can test this by turning on the camera and leaving the lens cap or body cap in place, then opening the door and shining a flashlight into the top portion of the ports. I have attached a photo to show this. The good news is that Fuji is fixing all the cameras with this issue and when I spoke with them yesterday they said they are taking names and addresses to send out mailing labels when the replacement parts get to New Jersey from Japan. It shouldn’t be long now before that happens. In the mean time, just leave the cap closed when shooting and you shouldn’t have any troubles.

lightleak

3) I re-ran my indoor sports shooting test (see Steve’s review article near the bottom for my section) this time shooting at f/4 and ISO 6400 with the camera set to “high performance” mode and JPEG only capture. The results were better but still not up to the level of full size Nikon or Canon DSLR sports performance. Frame rates were high (but not 8 fps) and the buffer allowed for 10 to 15 shots. I suspect that with one of the new Sandisk UHS-2 SDXC cards (280MB/sec) we would see that number skyrocket, but these cards aren’t shipping just yet. My conclusion on indoor sports shooting with the X-T1 remains – we need faster zooms (f/2.8) and I am not selling my D4 any time soon.

Brad

 

03/20: UPDATE:

The lacrosse photos were taken with the kit zoom, as was the restaurant photo. The photo of me was taken with the Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH lens at f/1.4. The full frames are that – full frame. The “zoomed” images are screen captures at 100% in Lightroom. Minimal processing was done.

Thanks,

Brad

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59 Comments

    • No. The flask is disabled when the electronic shutter is used.

      In spite of the high shitter speeds, the sensor actually exposes each line in pixels at the rated speed but exposes each line sequentially. It actually takes about 1/10sec to expose the entire sensor making the electronic shutter not much good for fast action shots

  1. Have a Sony NEX-7 but have been looking at the Fuji X series. I like the lenses and the aperture rings but I just can’t convince myself to drop from a 24mp sensor to an “old” 16mp sensor which in a few year may be a dinosaur. The new A6000 at almost half the cost of a X-T1 and comparable autofocus and more advanced sensor seems to make much more sense.

  2. I’m not sure any mirrorless camera is up to indoor sports just yet. The closest is probably the EM1. DSLR’s still have their place, for now.

  3. The strange thing about both of Brad’s reviews of this camera is that there are no examples of photos taken by the camera. Only of the camera.

    • I didn’t think you’d want to see my blurry sports shots or what a light leak picture looks like. πŸ™‚

          • Thanks Brad
            I don’t normally pixel peep, but did in this case to compare the results of the 50 lux 1.4 on the Fuji to my M-E. The close up shot of your eyes tells the story as how the Fuji does not compare to the detail afforded by a so called full frame sensor. With the M-E and the Lux at 1.4, the eyes would be bitingly sharp. The Fuji’s shot does not show that, but shows sharpening artifacts especially noticeable on the border of the coloured and white of your eyes.
            I guess this is the reason to get stuff like Sony A7s, Nikon 610s, Leica Ms.

            Best regards
            Huss

          • Huss,
            I did apply some LR sharpening to those areas. This was not a scientific test of the X-T1 compared to other cameras using Leica glass. If I did such a test I think it would compare nicely to other APS-C and m4/3 cameras but would be beat by the full frame cameras from Sony and certainly from Leica. If I want the ultimate quality I reach for my M240, but that doesn’t make the X-T1 any less useful for me.
            -Brad

  4. My question is if T1 is better than other DSLR for indoor sports, even if it’s not as good as top of the line, D4 nor 1D.

    • am sorry to say – the X-T1 should not be used for sports – period. indoor or outdoor. focusing is too slow. the OMD E-M1 is blazing fast. IF the X-T1 could be used for sports, I would have sold my OMD system, and used the X-T1 for sports and the X Pro for travel. but it just couldn’t handle sports. plus – they don’t have any telephotos with wide aperture (yet). 2.8’s are on the way, but until then, the 53 is as good as it gets.

        • My hopes were high – but it is not in the ballpark. the hit rate on in focus shots (vs blurry, searching, etc.) was unacceptable…. the e-m1 was solid. fyi – I WANTED the x-t1 to compete – i love the fuji iq. i like the company and the way they listen to photographers. i was …. disappointed with the x-t1 for sports. am sure it is fine for other things, but just not sports…

      • I’ve not personally tested the X-T1, but I’ve practically watched all the videos and read nearly all the reviews it’s like I’ve had it and used it myself… still, I don’t think any mirrorless system will match a DSLR for fast action or sports.. yet .. they’re pretty good and getting better, but not all the way yet. That being said, I was able to capture some race cars at Sonoma Raceway with my E-M5 & the 75-300mm version 2. It wasn’t 100% keepers of course, but it is possible to get fast action and sports with a mirrorless. You just have to practice and know how to use it and it’ll come together more times than not… and I’m still practicing and learning when I can.

        With all the rave around the X-T1, and a lot of it is the same, there’s some important points that people never (or very rarely) point out. This comment is not limited to the X-T1, as many reviews do the same thing, imho, but since we’re on the X-T1, I’ll use it as my main case in point.

        … not to bash any user/reviewers, I understand it’s near impossible to fully use every single feature of every new camera that passes by his/her hands, but I think flash use and capabilities is an important factor that many seem to dismiss of skim by with hardly a deeper thought.

        Basically, using and testing new cameras and writing reviews about them is all good, but they seem to often revolve around a relatively short amount of time, and even then it’s not truly fully tested. I’d like to point out shutter speeds and flash sync in particular. Does nobody use flash anymore? Sure, it’s well recognized that the X-T1 (& other X cameras, save that of the X100/100S) have very shabby flash sync speed of only 1/180. It’s accepted, take it or leave it, and just use the camera for what it is overly raved about is it’s great IQ & low light high ISO capabilities and retro design. S.O.S. (same old sh!t, we who really follow Fuji already know this).

        There’s a lot to like about the X-T1, I almost was about to sell my E-M1 kit and go for one, but a lot of the money I make from photography and jobs I do revolve around outdoor portraits in the daytime.. bright backgrounds and sunlight and often very limited shade, not ideal shooting conditions for a camera to take photos in as is. You really need a good flash to balance out the exposure and make your subjects pop out against the background. It’s nothing fancy, but I’m surprise nobody bothers to make a photo in this situation, either for personal use or professional, that requires flash to make the image look good. You can’t settle for shade in the daytime cause the backgrounds will always be blown out.. or you make your subjects look too dark.

        That being said, the low and limited 1/180 flash sync speed of the X-T1 (& I believe with nearly all other X camera sans X100/S) is completely unusable. And there is no ability nor a suitable flash that can save the fact that the X-T1 (and nearly all other X cameras) cannot take photos in bright daylight.. when you have to balance the bright background and darker subject and compete with sunlight.

        Even if we’re not talking strictly about outdoor portraits in daylight, the low 1/180 flash sync would probably be hardly enough to do some fast action freeze motion shots.

        The only hope appears to be a really strong ND filter, but you’d be lucky to be able to efficiently see and work with those shades over your lens and confidently lock composition and focus… plus, bumping up whatever available flash you might have really high.

        I’m glad I asked around and did some more thorough research.. I thought surely there must be some respectable work around regarding the slow shutter speed and flash sync, but there isn’t?! If I had sold my kit and committed to the X-T1, I would not be able to continue my work and make money, plain and simple. That’s kind of sad since the X-T1 (and the other Fuji X cameras) are really nice in IQ and design and features overall, but the fact it cannot battle what i feel is not that extraordinary a photographic situation such as outdoor portraits, is unfortunately a crippling failure for the X cameras.

        Sure, I know a lot of people just use the camera as is and prefer natural or available light, but a solid professional use of higher shutter speeds and flash sync is missing from an otherwise fairly excellent camera system. How many generations of X cameras has there been?… and still no progress in this area whatsoever?

        I don’t hate or dislike Fuji, quite the opposite, but it’s because I actually really like the brand and feel cheated in a very important area I would thrive in… it just makes me more than a little bit frustrated with Fuji at the same time for not getting the X cameras on par with the IQ it is capable of.

        I suppose I could focus on what the camera is good at which is apparently low light and high ISO,but I don’t take that many shots in such dark conditions. It’s pretty much the opposite of what I normally do, but it escapes my comprehension why Fuji can’t make better shutter and flash sync speeds.

        I use to fear flash, feeling that natural/available is well… more natural, but now I embrace using flash more. There really is so many great applications and a lot of images you simply cannot take without a smart flash setup. Sure natural lighting is good, but if you want to really sculpt and create some drama and depth in your images without compromise, take and/or make your light setup, having a fully functional flash compatible system in a camera is a must.

        … and there are some obvious quality issues recently, and a number of things which if you start working with the camera will start to see the X-T1 is like the X-Pro 1, somewhat new and fresh and exciting for the time, but once you get past the hype, it seems more like a beta product… somethings are missing or doesn’t make sense and anxiously awaiting the next generation that will hopefully make it one hell of a completely satisfying camera end of discussion… will have to wait and see…

        Once again, not to knit pick, but it’s because I really like a lot about Fuji X cameras and wish for them to have everything I need and want that I tend to comment with a passion. So close, but still not quite there for me.

        I am glad I still have my E-M1 working for both pleasure and business. It can do everything I need and then some. It is at least capable of high speed sync (HSS) so I can do my outdoor portraits… still baffled and dismayed by Fuji’s lack of such service in their X cameras… even if they’re limited to 1/180, it still can’t go an alternate route with HSS. Sure, I wish my E-M1 had a larger sensor, I recognize the advantages and IQ differences, and there are some imaging differences from what Fuji files produce… that Fuji look (which I like a lot actually as well), but it does a hell of a job being still a bit of an underdog in the camera world constantly competing and comparing itself to larger sensor cameras. I can do my job effectively and the fee for a premium product is not actually so high as some people may bicker about. You pay for what you get and you can get a lot out of the E-M1 (and other OM-D’s).

  5. What is the point of sticking tape on the camera logos? Is it to fool thieves? The camera looks worth nicking with or without gaffer tape. Wouldn’t they spot the Leica name on the lens cap?

    • Zeb, firstly, (black) tape looks very professional. Secondly, using lens cpas is very unprofessonial. It must be avoided at all cost.

    • It may be straight (an achievement of immense proportions in itself) but it’s not symmetrical. That would bother me a lot. Looking at my D800 sitting across me at the table I can say that it’s gaffer tape is nearly perfectly symmetrical. I’ve stopped worrying about the “nearly”, but that took effort and time.

  6. Well – i’ve owned both the oly em5 and em1, and have still loved my x-pro1 for street shooting and travel. when the xt1 was announced, I placed my order and waited. I spent the past weekend shooting the em1 and xt1 extensively – about 3000 shots with each. I was shooting indoor girls volleyball, inside a convention center that was reasonably lit. I was shooting the oly 45 and 75 lenses, and the fuji 23, 35 and the new 53. for focus speed – the fuji couldn’t compete. i was truly hoping that the 53 on the xt1 would be good enough to commit to fuji – but it wasn’t. sigh… for lesser demands – street shooting, weddings, travel, am sure its fine. certainly faster than the xpro1. and the evf on the fuji is fantastic – like all the reviews have said. but….. no optical! i kept trying to find the love with the xt1 and just didn’t. If what I wanted was a digital slr, with an evf finder, incredible lenses, especially the primes, then I wouldn’t hesitate to buy/recommend the xt1 over any of the nikons i have owned (nearly all pro lines thru the d3). but i wouldn’t use the xt1 for sports – focus is just too slow (unlike the oly). and I don’t want to carry a dslr for travel or street shooting. it is too bulky, and that includes the xt1 and its primes. I may be a bit odd – i do 3 kinds of shooting: street, travel, sports. there is no 1 tool that does all 3 well. the em1 is truly great at all, but i just don’t like the evf during the day outside – much prefer optical. the xpro1 fills that void, and I love it for street and travel. if the xt1 could handle sports, i’d be sold, and have 1 set of lenses and 2 different bodies depending on the shooting. But alas…..

    • You stepped on some toes there Jim. An X-T1 is not an slr, it just looks like one for some reason… πŸ˜‰

      Nice camera though, with some well documented quirks.

  7. I have a light leak….must mean the weather sealing certainly isn’t up to par as compared to the EM1. I will be sending mine in to be fixed.

      • Well done for having a brain Brad. Now… Greg better send his camera promptly off because he obviously shoots long exposures with the Fuji remote… in the rain.

  8. Brad

    Can you be more specific about your results with Leica glass? I have a few Leica lenses, and am interested in the Xt1. I tried my lux 1.4 with the Xt-1 at the dealer, and it handled and focused great, but I was not able to get any shots.
    It’s just that I’ve read so many tests where people claim the glass works brilliantly with adapters, then I look at the images and see smearing in the corners etc..
    The results I have seen w Leica glass on the Xe1/Xe2 have not been encouraging, and that has essentially the same sensor as the Xt-1. I am not sure if they used the official Fuji M adapter (that is coded), or they used other types.

    Thank you
    Huss

    • I’m also wanting to try this with my Lux 1.4, because it renders beautifully on the E-M5. The example at the bottom images are not encouraging to use with the X-T1….

  9. I’ve been very impressed with the W-T1. While I don’t own one myself, my second shooter and right hand photographer at weddings recently bought one and I’ve had a chance to use it both casually and professionally (albeit briefly) at a wedding this last weekend. In fact, I’ve been so impressed since her purchase that I’ve bought a Fuji myself (although I personally went with the X-E2 for the rangefinder-esque bodystyle).

    My overall impression is that the AF is pretty fast. Fast enough for 95% of the wedding scenes I tried, but there’s still a bit of a lag in low light when compared to a hulking DSLR. The image quality is better than my Nikons or my shooting partner’s Canons primarily because I feel you can get a better out of camera exposure in light that would otherwise fool the meter thanks to the EVF. I also prefer the skintones that I was seeing. Admittedly, it’s all subjective and fairly subtle as I’m generally happy with the results from the D3/D800 that I’ve been getting. The Fuji just has a bit of an edge (in my opinion) straight from the camera.

    I agree 100% that we need fast f/2.8 zooms, which are rumored to arrive this year. I’d also like to see a 135mm equivalent f/2 prime. But I feel these are on the way. While I like the ISO dial in theory, I feel the lock has reduced its usefulness in fast situations a bit.

    In the end, I’m just waiting for the lenses that I need for weddings to get here and then I anticipate my kit will get significantly lighter with two Fuji bodies instead of two massive FF Nikons.

      • I’m not talking about a Rebel with a kit lens. Stick a 24-70mm f/2.8 on a D3 and put it next to an X-T1 with just about any lens you want.

        “Hulking” is a fairly apt description.

  10. I am using the 280mb/s SD card (from BH). The camera seems faster to me but I may be imagining it. Agreed, the X-T1 is fantastic.

  11. The fujifilm x-t1 is amazing. The IQ IS BETTER THAN THE OLYMPUS EM1.THE COLOURS ARE FANTASTIC. πŸ˜‰

    • Bloody hell, the first reply to this article and of course it has to be an idiotic comment claiming one camera being better than another. Is it not enough to be content with your choice and leave it at that.
      I quite like the XT-1 but not enough to ditch my OM-D kit.
      I don’t agree with your comment in any case. Taking every aspect of each camera, I would argue that the OM-D is a more rounded and competent system, regardless of image quality.
      Taking account of image quality though, I did take the time to carry out an unscientific test comparing photographs shot on the same day using the OM-D and a Rolleiflex TLR using Fuji Provia 100 at 80 i.s.o. The Rolleiflex shots are superbly sharp and detailed with beautiful colour tonality virtually indistinguishable from the digital OM-D files. Now that was a pleasing surprise.

      • He didn’t say the Fuji is a better camera than the Olympus. He said the Fuji’s IQ is better than that of the Olympus. This is a fact. Though I agree that it is a silly comment to make.

        I’d say in 2014 we are very fortunate to have an amazing M4/3 body and an amazing Fuji X body, both for under $1300. Users of both systems should be rejoicing.

    • I tried hard to love the Fuji`s and burned a ton of money by doing so. Has any of you Fuji-holics ever tried to sell a used X-pro1 or X-E1? I`m close to donate my X-pro1 and X-e1 to an art school or art student because of lack of demand in the market. But I`m concerned not even they will want it. And no, I`m not a mft fan either as I believe in sensor size and foveon, the bigger the better.

      • I agree with you retow! In a previous post here about the X-T 1 I mentioned that I sold my
        X-E 1 with 18-55mm lens for $950 after paying over $1,500 for it just a few months earlier. That was apparently in my dreams, because I found the sales agreement I signed with the buyer – and I got just $650 for the X-E 1 + lens. The camera was worth about one third of what I paid for it within four months of buying it, thanks to the introduction of …. the X-E 2!

        Others have argued here that all camera makers do that. Well, I guess you’re right. Leica blindsided me and introduced a replacement to my Leica M9 (2009), four years later in 2013. And Nikon had the audacity to make my D700 (2008) obsolete four years later in 2012!

        Fuji is churning out a new & improved X-model attached to a different number and the occasional hypen – every 3-6 months!

        If you’re okay with that, go big and drop the cash on an X-T 1 … just don’t be suprised when the X-E 2 is released this summer. Or the X-T FX1 when Fuji goes full frame in time for next Christmas.

        You heard it here first πŸ™‚

        • Your way of seeing this is interesting Glen. You are indeed right that the hurried release cycle of the most recent five bodies [XE1 (Sept 12) –> XM1 (June 13) –> XA1 (Sept 13) –> XE2 (Nov 13) –> XT1 (Jan 14)] is ridiculous compared to the Canikon release cycle standard but I think now users are generally content with the XT1’s feature set and general performance that cycle will slow.

          I have been the very happy owner of an X-E2 since February of this year and I have no intention to immediately upgrade. The ONLY thing that annoys me about this camera is it’s lack of a flip screen but I can work around it.

          I have already received a free firmware to my camera bringing it in line with the X-T1 and rumour has it there is about to be another.

      • Well at this point, with the XE2, XT1 and X100s available, and reasonably priced, I can well imagine the the xe1 and xpro1 would be hard to sell at a reasonable price….I’d imagine the same is true for a Nikon D90 and D300…. Digital bodies lose value like used comdoms… This is not a new phenomina .

        • Crinosil, your condom analogy is spot on … because purchasing a Fuji camera means you’ll blow your load (of cash), and regret it later. (Buh-doom-bah!)

          I’m sorry to bash Fuji, I was actually a huge fan of what they were doing at first – owned an X100 and X-E 1 – and took a bath when I sold them.

          But when I look at what Fuji is doing now, it seems like they are jumping up and down screaming “Look at us! We’re groundbreaking and on the cutting edge of camera technology!” And releasing three or four camera bodies a year.

          The X-E 2 and XT-1 are NOT groundbreaking technology that warranted two new models that would replace and devalue the X-E 1. The ‘improvements’ were merely qualities the X-E 1 should have had in the first place (decent auto focus and weather sealing) and warranted nothing more than a firmware update. And maybe some duct tape for sealing πŸ™‚

          Even the XT-1 is flawed with its “x-tra tough” sealing … it leaks light badly.

          As Steve Huff pointed out in a previous post, it’s like Fujifilm has been practicing making cameras – and anyone whose bought one has been their guinea pig.

          • I bought a new car a year and a half ago. It was $28,000USD, but the very moment I drove it off the dealer’s lot, it lost THOUSANDS of dollars in resale value. I didn’t mind though, because I didn’t buy it to resell it; I bought it to keep it and use it – for YEARS.

            A while back, I bought an X100S for $1300. As soon as I opened the box, the resale value was 80% of what I’d paid for it. A few thousand kmages later, the resale value is probably even lower. I don’t mind though, because I didn’t buy it to resell it; I bought it to keep it and use it – for years.

    • With statements and exchanges like these this apparently (for some) “gear oriented” site, at the expense of seeing and discussing images made with the “gear”, is turning rapidly into a playground for the immature and unfulfilled, where discussions uncontrollably escalate into fisticuffs and tears (Mummy, that boy hit me when I said I have better toys than he does!).

      Fascinating stuff.

      • Yes, and most of the comments are from people that usually have the latest flag ship cameras from multiple formats with $5.000 spent on this years cameras and lenses. Next year, they will have already sold those off and will be back on here making the same statements about the next crop of cameras and lenses. I love gear but I love art more. I like Steve’s site but there should be more of an emphasis on stories and photo essays rather than gear. nothing ever usually ends well in a gear focused discussion.

        • Agreed.. however to your last point: “nothing ever usually ends well in a gear focused discussion”, I would ask… Have you read the comments that insue any time someone posts their images πŸ™‚ “Too much PP” is usually where it starts and then just goes downhill from there. People will be people.

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