Fujifilm X-T1 Review
The X-T1 has no built-in flash, but does come with a neat little slide-on unit (the EF-X8) that draws power from the camera's battery via a couple of additional contacts on the hot shoe. The camera also features both a standard hotshoe, and a sync socket for use with external flashguns. Fujifilm offers a range of accessory flashes, ranging from the compact fixed-head EF-X20, to the the large, fully-featured EF-42 unit which offers a fully articulated head for more-creative lighting options.
The X-T1 provides a range of color 'looks' that Fujifilm calls 'Film Simulation' modes. These consist of five color modes which are named after the company's professional films - Standard / Provia, Vivid / Velvia, Soft / Astia, Pro Neg Hi and Pro Neg Std. The camera also has a number of monochrome modes that aim to simulate the effects of using colored filters with black-and-white film (yellow, red, green or no filter), plus a 'retro' Sepia-toned mode. Interestingly the film modes don't behave quite the same compared to previous cameras like the X-Pro1.
|Standard/Provia||Vivid/Velvia||Soft/Astia||Pro Neg High||Pro Neg Standard|
|Monochrome||Mono (Yellow Filter)||Mono (Red Filter)||Mono (Green Filter)||Sepia|
On the X-T1 the Standard/Provia and Astia/Soft modes are very similar in contrast, but differ noticeably in color rendition, with Astia being somewhat 'softer' (for want of a better word). This is a change compared to older models like the X-Pro1, on which Standard offered less punchy, more 'open' shadows. Of the two we perhaps slightly prefer Astia for everyday shooting, but this is entirely a matter of individual taste.
The Vivid / Velvia mode certainly lives up to its name - we're not convinced that it provides exactly the same look as the iconic film it's named after, but it's certainly very vivid and saturated. Of the mono modes, we'd be most inclined to use the red filter mode for landscapes, and green filter for portraits.
The Pro Neg Standard mode uses a more 'open' shadow tone curve, which reduces perceived saturation and 'punch'. Arguably the X-T1's most 'neutral' color mode, we think it's an excellent choice for natural-looking portraits. Meanwhile Pro Neg High is a little contrastier and more saturated.
The X-T1 offers a great deal of control over its JPEG processing; you can adjust the color saturation, sharpening and noise reduction, and set the shadow and highlight tone (contrast) independently. However, the Film Simulation modes can't be tweaked individually to suit your tastes; instead any changes you make to the processing settings are applied universally across all of them. On the other hand if you shoot raw, you have free control over all of these processing parameters when using the in-camera raw developer in playback.
The X-T1 offers a range 'Advanced Filters' that apply stronger image processing looks, and are accessed via the 'ADV' position on the drive mode switch. They include familiar-sounding options such as 'Toy Camera', 'Miniature', and 'Dynamic Tones'. Fujifilm also includes an unusually wide range of selective color modes, where the image is converted to monochrome aside from any objects of the specified hue.
|'Toy Camera' Filter||'Dynamic Tones' filter|
The Advanced Filters can be fun to play with at times, and because they're accessed as a drive mode, you retain full control over all of the exposure settings, which not all cameras allow. But - and it's a big 'but' - you can't save a Raw file alongside the processed JPEG. This puzzling omission immediately makes Fujifilm's implementation far less useful than Olympus's Art Filters.
The X-T1's panorama mode is also accessed using the drive mode switch. Like many other mirrorless cameras, it'll shoot continuously as you pan across a scene, then stitch the resultant frames together to give a wide-angle panorama. You can easily choose the angle of view (120° or 180°) before you start, along with the direction of camera movement. Press the shutter button once and the camera starts shooting; there's no need to keep it held down.
Panorama mode - 120°, panning left to right
The X-T1's version is capable of reasonable results, but look closely and you'll likely spot stitching errors pretty easily. In this example there's a very odd-looking doorway (essentially the camera has got confused by the repeating architectural pattern), and not unusually, ghosting of a moving subject. This isn't a terrible effort by any means, but Sony cameras in particular do a much better job of this.