This is not really a review, just some experiences with my new, but second hand camera. After deciding to give my Fiancee my Fuji X-Pro1 I was faced with having to replace it. I knew I would be buying used this time, as my Fuji was only ever used as a travel camera when I don’t want to lug around all my heavy Nikon gear, so it was between an X-Pro2 and the cheaper option of an X-T1. A few things made the decision for me, not least the massive price difference even against a used X-Pro2, but also not having used the X-T# form factor yet and wanting to try it out for when X-Pro2 vs X-T2 becomes a reality at the next change time. I went to London Camera Exchange in Worcester to have a look at a cheap black X-T1 with every intention of getting it and this one was there looking barely used and for only £100 more than the black and properly soiled version. It was just gorgeous and I simply had to have it. Take a look at some pictures from my studio below.
If you haven’t had a chance to handle one of these with the Graphite Silver you really must. It’s just a joy to hold and now they have released the X-T2 with the same finish just go out, find one and have a play for a while. Another selling point was to try out the viewfinder. I had never been much of a fan of electronic viewfinders due to how poor they have always been and using a full frame Nikon D810 for work with its lovely optical viewfinder, I just couldn’t get on with them. It was what drew me to the X-Pro1 in the first place as it had its hybrid version which seemed to be very useable. However, its fair to say the viewfinder on this thing is even better than my D810. It must be bigger and with so much information able to be displayed that couldn’t in an optical one, it really is great to use. I can only assume the one on the X-T2 will be even better, so is the nature of these things and that being the case its these leaps in screen technology that really will kill DSLR’s. We all prefer the smaller size, lower weight and hugely attractive appearance of these mirrorless cameras, but they have never been true replacements for a DSLR for a pro. I think the time may be here when they are.
Then there is the autofocus. Mirrorless cameras have always had very accurate, but quite slow contrast detect AF. Quite a different thing to the phase detect AF on a DSLR and another obstacle to using mirrorless on a job. This camera though has a hybrid system using the same contrast detect points you’d expect mated to a central section of phase detect points. This has brought the AF right up to date and has in some ways surpassed a DSLR as the accuracy is far higher. I was able to take some pictures of moving objects, which was not sensible with the X-Pro1 and I would never attempt it, but I did with this X-T1 and managed to get some pictures of squirrels, which is a genuine surprise to me. Its still not as telepathic as I find the system in the D810 and D4/4s/5 to be, but its as good as any other DSLR and again its fair to imagine the X-T2 has moved it closer still.
I do feel, although this camera doesn’t have enough resolution for my professional work, its great to use in every way and it’s a generation old at this point. I wouldn’t be surprised if when it come time to change my D810, I’ll be looking for a high resolution mirrorless camera to replace it. I’ve included a few pictures from a recent trip to London to show what it can do. I have particularly been enjoying the tilting rear display and the fully silent electronic shutter. As a DSLR user primarily, I’ve never been able to take truly silent pictures and being able to drop the camera down to waist level and shoot away with no one the wiser is a useful trick. When working I am often faced with taking pictures of a quiet meeting or during a speech and although I’m polite with my technique, there is still some noise and I can see this camera will be used on some jobs for that alone.
I’m sure it seems pretty odd to you for me to write up an old camera like this, but it is a really wonderful one. It’s just a joy to behold and use, and with the X-T2 driving the prices down it has become the perfect hobbyists tool and well worth looking in to. Mine will possibly never be sold and just end up on a shelf once its useable life is over. It is the sexiest camera I’ve ever owned. Of course the X-T2 in the same colour can only be better and frankly if it wasn’t for it not being fully supported in Capture One, my full time RAW editor, I’d likely already have one. If you look at this as a review for the appearance of the X-T2, its bloody great, now go and buy one. Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures.