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Fuji X-T1 Reviewed and Purchased

Fuji X-T1 | 16-55 f2.8 - 1/200th @ f8 ISO 200

Fuji X-T1 | 16-55 f2.8 - 1/200th @ f8 ISO 200

I’ve been a massive fan of Canon since becoming a professional photographer around ten years ago.  Photography is in my blood, passing down through family generations, and I currently shoot around 60 to 70 weddings a year in Staffordshire, Cheshire and throughout the UK. 

I had been reading some excellent reviews about the new Fuji X-T1 cameras and lenses.  Lightweight, portable, compact and an incredible (EVF) electronic viewfinder which enabled the user to see live changes including white balance, exposure and so on. 

And yet, was I really ready to move from my trustworthy Canon 5D MKIII's and 1DX to the lightweight Fuji X-T1?

I contacted Fuji regarding loan units but all the loan units were out with other photographers.  And here’s the brave bit.  I jumped straight in and traded my tried, tested and trustworthy Canon 1DX there and then for the new Fuji X-T1, together with the 56mm f1.2 and 23mm F1.4 lenses.

And the results?  Incredible. Fuji had also gone on to loan me the 16-55 F2.8 and a 50-140 F2.8 lenses to use with the X-T1, and although I was reluctant at first to start using this new Fuji equipment I eventually found myself over the past month or so using it at more and more weddings, here’s why I was so blown away with the results:

Fuji X-T1 | 56mm f1.2 - 1/500th @ f1.2 ISO 400

Fuji X-T1 | 56mm f1.2 - 1/500th @ f1.2 ISO 400

  • The lightweight and compact Fuji X-T1 camera has revolutionised my working day – more portable, increased manoevrability, and less back-ache!
     
  • The EVF is amazing – One massive advantage and top tip. When shooting manual focus or 'back button focusing' I get a split screen image in the EVF which contains a 100% preview of the focus point and a overall framed image.

    I am also able to adjust and see live results of exposure changes giving me a full knowledge of exactly what the finalised image will look like.  In fact, I’ve found myself shooting fully manual most of the day as opposed to 60-80% Aperture priority on the Canon's
     
  • The nifty folding screen helps me to reach those awkward high-up shots and low-down shots much more easily, albeit reaching high above the bride during bridal preparation or shooting low, such as ground or water level.
     
  • The 56mm F1.2 lens is amazing – it’s one of the sharpest lenses I have ever worked with.
     
  • And the 50-135 F2.8 lens is really good too, in fact, seriously good - the lens is pin sharp throughout the whole focal range.
     
  • Amazing natural light images are captured, the colour warmth and depth to the images is stunning. If you process in Lightroom like myself I would strongly advise changing the 'Camera Calibration Profile' back to Fuji's own profile as Lightroom as a tendancy of applying 'Adobe Standard' to all imported images. The photographs seem to show a 'film look' using Fuji's profile and can be a little bland when using Adobe Standard.
Fuji X-T1 | 56mm f1.2 - 1/2500th @ f1.2 ISO 200 (LCD screen used, camera lowered down to water level)

Fuji X-T1 | 56mm f1.2 - 1/2500th @ f1.2 ISO 200 (LCD screen used, camera lowered down to water level)

Any negatives?  Not many. I need three or four batteries to get me through the day (more than usual).  And, with only one SD card, I feel deprived of an automatic back-up through out the day.  Plus, the Fuji focus tracking falls short of Canon’s.  And I still prefer to work with raw images, despite Fuji’s track-record on JPG quality.

Fuji X-T1 | 23mm f1.4 - 1/640th @ f16 ISO 400

Fuji X-T1 | 23mm f1.4 - 1/640th @ f16 ISO 400

Fuji X-T1 | 56mm f1.2 - 1/4400th @f1.2 ISO200 (The first image out of the X-T1, natural light, no adjusts, images direct out of camera)

Fuji X-T1 | 56mm f1.2 - 1/4400th @f1.2 ISO200 (The first image out of the X-T1, natural light, no adjusts, images direct out of camera)

Fuji X-T1 | 23mm f1.4 - 1/30th @ f2.8 ISO 200

Fuji X-T1 | 23mm f1.4 - 1/30th @ f2.8 ISO 200

Fuji X-T1 | 50-140mm f12.8 - 1/640th @ f2.8 ISO 400

Fuji X-T1 | 50-140mm f12.8 - 1/640th @ f2.8 ISO 400

Fuji X-T1 | 23mm f1.4 - 1/80th @ f1.4 ISO 1600

Fuji X-T1 | 23mm f1.4 - 1/80th @ f1.4 ISO 1600

Fuji X-T1 | 23mm f1.4 - 1/160th @ f1.4 ISO 800 (Read LCD screen used, camera raised into a light fitting)

Fuji X-T1 | 23mm f1.4 - 1/160th @ f1.4 ISO 800 (Read LCD screen used, camera raised into a light fitting)

Fuji X-T1 | 23mm f1.4 - 1/2500th @ f1.4 ISO 400

Fuji X-T1 | 23mm f1.4 - 1/2500th @ f1.4 ISO 400

Fuji X-T1 | 56mm f1.2 - 1/950th @ f2.2 ISO 400

Fuji X-T1 | 56mm f1.2 - 1/950th @ f2.2 ISO 400

And finally, the million-dollar question.  Would I recommend the Fuji X-T1 and the above mentioned lenses to other wedding photographers?  Most definitely, yes. The 16-55 f2.8 is a direct competitor for the Canon 24-70 f2.8 and the 50-140 f2.8 for the Canon 70-200, pretty bold statements I know as these lenses have such a proven track record and any wedding photographer will tell you these are the 'must have' lenses.