My 2 weeks with X-T1 Locked

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KimJongHealthy Forum Member • Posts: 59
My 2 weeks with X-T1

This is not a hate post, I'm just sharing some observations with people who are like me considering moving from a DSLR to the Fuji X system. Sadly reviews and forums are only praising positives while completely ignoring some things you'll definitely miss on the Fuji mirrorless camera. I'm comparing it with my Canon 6D.

I'm not going to talk about the IQ which is quite impressive for APS-C sensor, but small things that make a difference between enjoying shooting and a chore.

1. Ergonomics is not better with dedicated dials, contrary to what sales brochures say. Let's say you want to change from Aperture priority to Shutter speed priority. On a DSLR you flick the dial by one notch with your thumb (that's already near it as you're holding it) and that's it - you can now adjust SS or Aperture with one finger. It takes me 0.3 of a second and it's intuitive.

On the X you take your eyes off the subject, rotate Aperture ring on the lens to A (which is often on the opposite end than wide open, where I shoot most often). Then with your other hand you press the lock button and rotate the SS dial (again likely by around half the turn). Then make sure you haven't accidentally moved the metering dial (which I do a lot) and voila - after mere 5 seconds you're ready to shoot again. Oh, right, your kid is gone now.

Want to set ISO manually on a Canon DSLR? Press a button with your index finger (right next to the shutter) and voila - adjust with the wheel without taking your eye or hands off where you had them. On X-T1 you press a stiff lock button and rotate the dial - again likely at least by 180'. Then check if you haven't bumped the drive mode dial (which again I do 50% of the time), correct it, and 5 seconds later you're ready to shoot. Oh, wait, your kid has moved away again.

2. Manual focusing with AF lenses is a chore. There's no mechanical connection between the ring and internals so all you do is wait for the motor to slooooowly move the elements. Not smoothly but in little steps. And each time you move it the focus peaking zooms in, even if you've just pressed the FOCUS ASSIST button to leave that mode. Forget it, just use AF.

3. While you're at it don't forget to disable the face detection. It's great when it works, but finds a face only 2/3 of the time when there's a face in front of the lens. And if there isn't one, it'll find it in a cloud, wall or bushes. It's a gimmick, it doesn't work, forget it. Also the AF-L button doesn't work in that mode EVEN if it doesn't detect the face and focuses on the selected AF point. Yes, it's that bad. Not to mention that praised phase-detection AF is still miles behind any 8yr old DLSR you'll find on ebay for a bag of chocolate coins.

4. Luckily you can adjust the thumb buttons to directly quickly change the AF point. It works great but you lose those 4 buttons so there aren't many left for other functions.

5. Menu. To begin with it doesn't remember where you left it after waking up from power saving sleep mode.

6. Quick menu is useless. Half of the options are only for jpg shooters. Saving your custom settings is cumbersome and requires clicking through the menu. I wish you could just select the Cx bank, then change option and save, but that's not an option. You can't add useful things like bracketing, which by the way only offers -1/+1 on X-T1 (fixed on X-T2 I believe).

When one of the 4-way buttons is assigned to film simulation, it gives you a preview of what it will look like on the LCD and EVF. When you assign front or top FN button to this function - it doesn't. And since you're likely to assign all 4-way buttons to quickly changing the AF point, that's a necessity. What were they thinking?!

7. Reviewing photos isn't well thought through. You can pick a 0.5s, 1.5s or continuous auto preview after taking a shoot. But you can't quickly zoom in 1:1 with 0.5s and 1.5s option using FOCUS ASSIST button. You can in Continuous, but that slows everything down between taking shots, so if you use a manual lens and want to quickly check if the subject is in focus - forget it. You need to press PLAY, then zoom in, check, exit playback mode. It takes 3-4 seconds, it's cumbersome, it's a needs redesign.

8. There's no warning for missing SD card until you actually shoot.

9. It's not comfortable when shooting with one hand, the grip is simply too small so you have to tighten your grip. My wrist hurts after a minute while I had no problems using 6D with heavy lenses with just one hand.

10. Buttons are simply too small. My 10yr old kid likes them, I don't.

11. Lenses. They're expensive, especially second-hand on ebay. 50mm 1.8 equivalent costs FIVE as much as for the leading brand FF DSLR systems. You can have FOUR 85 1.8 for the price of 56 1.2 offering identical results in terms of focal length, total light gathered and DOF. Of course you can use old soviet manual lenses instead, that's why you bought a £££ body for. Oh, wait, read again point 7. On the positive note, there's no 24-xxx FF equivalent cheap kit zoom, 16-50 is crap, 16-55 is again more expensive than Nikon 24-70, 24-120 or Canon 24-105L.

Apparently Fujis are great for "street photography", which is really just a nice term for Name Surname Photography blogs full of dull, meaningless, bland and random snaps of wheelie bins and old men sitting on a bench with b&w in high contrast. That's when they're not busy attacking people who dare to criticise the system on internet forums...

Don't get me wrong, I still like the camera. It's light, offers decent IQ and really usable high ISOs, it's well put together. But it's a carry around with you holiday camera, not a pro DSLR replacement as it's often portrayed. It is not, period.

So do like me - don't sell your gear and spend it all on a brand new X-T2 with lenses. Get a second-hand XT-1 with some glass and see if it will work as your main camera. It doesn't for me.

Canon EOS 6D Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8R LM WR Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm X-T2
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