The London Blues Festival had a mini 2 day event in Reading at the Purple Turtle, and I took this opportunity to test out the X-T1.
I do a lot of event photography, especially bands, in low/bad oddly coloured light, and often cramped venues. Which is actually a lot of fun. My kit has been a DSLR with a fast prime for many years now, and it has been working just fine. But recently I discovered the Fujifilm X series, and was excited to try out the X-T1 Compact System Camera.
I was armed with my X-T1 camera, XF35mm & XF18-135mm lenses.
The first hurdle I got over very quickly was the switch from an optical ‘through the lens’ Viewfinder, to an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF). I was initially concerned about the EVF as I’ve used a very old camera with an EVF before and it was slow and laggy. This is certainly not the case with the X-T1, super quick, VERY high resolution, and I really appreciated the option to preview exposure and white balance in the viewfinder. The same goes for the autofocus, it is on par with my 7D. Also the focus mode switch on the body lets you easily switch to manual or continuous auto without taking your eye away from the viewfinder, and in manual focus you can do ‘back button’ auto focus.
The main feature on the X-T1 that I instantly adored is having access to all the settings as physical dials, this really makes a difference when shooting in full manual, it also makes shooting in full manual fun, and easier as you look at the top of the camera and there are all your settings. ISO, shutter speed, exposure compensation, and aperture dial around the lens. On my 7D I would normally have at least one of these setting on auto, most normally ISO. Now I have all of these controls right at my fingertips.
Recently I’ve been the tweeting pictures live from events. Using my Surface Pro 3 I can download photos from my 7D, quick edit in Adobe Lightroom, and up online. The X-T1 has fantastic film simulation shooting in jpeg, and an iOS app to browse and download these JPEGs, so I set the camera to shoot in RAW + JPEG. The JPEGs I could use the iPad mini to quickly pick out what I wanted to share on the day, maybe a quick edit in Lightroom mobile, then up on twitter. The RAW versions for me to edit as usual in Lightroom, with Lightroom CC 6 offering the same Fujifilm simulation settings as you get in camera. This all fits in with my current workflow so well.
Overall I have been more than impressed with the X-T1 as a workhouse of a camera. Lenses that rival or outperform top DSLR versions for a fraction of the price, and a camera body that is designed for a photographer, again for a fraction of the price.