So, after much leaking and Fujifilm’s own teaser, we finally have the X-T1 officially announced!
Let’s have a quick summary of what this camera is and where it fits and have a look at all those “Worlds firsts/fastest/most/best” that seem to accompany every camera release these days!
So it’s an SLR ‘style’ body, which is a departure for Fujifilm with the X-Series. Personally I’m more a fan of their rangefinder styling, but I know people do like the viewfinder up high in the middle, and for a lot of long time SLR users that will feel more natural. The EVF is apparently larger than even that in the Canon 1DX! Should be quite impressive! It is claimed to have a refresh rate of 0.005 seconds – sounds mighty impressive! In what is sure to be a “duh” moment for many other camera manufacturers, the information in the EVF rotates to appear in the correct orientation when you switch to holding the camera in portrait – the little details are always the most important.
A fully weather and dust sealed magnesium body, capable of operating down to -10C. This is something a lot of people have been waiting for from an X-Series for a long time and may just persuade many of those to make the move. With none of the existing lenses weather sealed, this is a bit of a moot point right now. Weather sealing will come to three zooms available later in the year though.
Side-loading SD card – yes! That’s all I have to say!
UHS-II SD card support. Whilst it is nice to see that the camera will support the latest standard, you can’t actually buy the cards right now and I feel that a lot of users will be disappointed that the dual SD card idea wasn’t used instead. The camera looks like it was designed with dual SD card capability and they blanked the second card off at the last minute, which kind of makes sense as I believe that the UHS-II standard requires a second set of pins and presumably the second bus from the ‘other’ card that would have been there. Many pro shooters are very weary of not having a backup of their images in-camera. I’ve yet to loose any images on an SD card, but if you have thousands invested in a shoot that is ruined by a £50 card then I totally get that a backup card is pretty important to have.
ISO dial and additional mode dials are great, less time in the menu changing settings is more time shooting!
Faster AF (apparently) – well, I’ll have to get my hands on one to pass judgement on that one. I’d be surprised if it was a whole generation ahead of the X-E2 as that didn’t launch all that long ago. Any improvement is always welcome though of course.
Battery grip – nice! That will satisfy a lot of dSLR / OM-D / Sony A7, portrait shooters. The extra battery life will be useful for out in the field too. Not sure if the battery grip is for me, I can see it being useful in certain situations, but I got into the Fujifilm X-Series to downsize. Admittedly it’s not as big as a D800 + grip though!
Intervalometer – at last! I’m a big fan of time-lapse. My Nikon V1 had an intervalometer, and I miss it! The ability to do it all in-camera is great and combined with the weather-sealed body would mean I could climb up the hills, set it up on a tripod and leave it running even if the weather turned showery.
Enhanced WiFi – this is one of the reasons I was so interested in the Sony A7. Using it tethered to an iPhone (or iPad more usefully) is great in the studio to keep hands off the camera. The Fuji App looks like it has the added advantage of being able to chance the camera settings from the App too – a one up on the electronics wiz kid Sony!
Bundled flash. My goodness it’s ugly, but at least Fujifilm aren’t being tight like Sony and are actually including it in the box.
Whilst I feel that the X-Series range is starting to get a little crowded, and perhaps confusing (how many people have I had ask me if this is the X-Pro1 replacement?!) the X-T1 does seem to carve a niche for itself as more of an outdoor/action camera, and will be sure to attract a lot of customers who will probably be seriously considering the OM-D. It might also be enough to persuade a number of potential Sony A7 customers its way too. Certainly if the AF can live up to the hype then Fujifilm will have another winner on its hands.