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Gear Reviews

Fuji X-T1 – Unboxing and Initial Thoughts

By Anthony Thurston on June 6th 2014

The Fuji X-T1 has been one of the hottest camera releases so far of 2014. Everyone is ranting and raving about this little slr styled mirrorless camera. Not one to miss out on cool new toys, I just got the X-T1 in for review and today, I am here to share my initial thoughts on Fuji‘s latest X-Series camera.

As is always the case with these initial thoughts posts, this is not meant to be any sort of comprehensive review. A full Fuji X-T1 review will of course be coming within the next month or so.

Fuji X-T1 Unboxing & Initial Thoughts Video

My Full Initial Thoughts

As I mentioned in the video, the first thing that really struck me about this camera was the weight. The X-T1 has got to be one of the lightest interchangeable lens cameras that I have ever held in my hand. I could be wrong here, but my impression is that it feels lighter than both my EOS-M and Nikon J1. The weight is deceptive, gives you the impression that the X-T1 is made of low quality materials, and could easily break or fall apart on you. But, fear not, that is about as far from the truth as you can get.

Moving on from the weight, the next thing that struck me was how this camera felt in my hands. It felt very good. I was comfortable with it my hands – not something that can be said of my EOS-M or Nikon J1 (Not that those are in any way benchmarks for mirrorless cameras). In addition to that, the dials feel solid, and I really like having the physical dials on the top of the camera. I sort of feel like this is what the Nikon Df *should* have been…


Anyways, since I literally just opened this and have not had a chance to shoot extensively with it I will refrain from commenting too much on the actual image quality and other photo/video related aspects of this camera . All I will say is that from the limited use that I have given it, I have been happy with what I was able to produce. That said, there is a bit of a learning curve to navigating this camera coming from Canon/Nikon background.

[REWIND: Latest Fuji Rumors]

Finally, the EVF on this camera is huge and very responsive. I have been very happy with it, more so even than I was with the Sony RX10‘s EVF. I am still a fan of, and definitely prefer when possible, an OVF. But this is one of the nicest EVFs that I have had the pleasure of using.

Initial Thoughts Recap

  • Light but high quality construction
  • Physical dials and buttons feel well made
  • Feels good in the hands, largely thanks to the “slr style” design
  • Large Viewfinder (EVF) is very responsive, one of the best I have used to date.

Overall my initial impressions of this Fuji X-T1 are very positive. I am excited to continue to playing with it for the next couple weeks and can’t wait to share my results in my final review.


What are you curious about with the Fuji X-T1? Leave a comment below and I will make an effort to answer your questions in my full review.


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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Branko Sreckovic

    My next buy too I believe. Had just short and quick chance to have it in my hands on Edinburgh airport in kit with 35mm. My heavy bag loaded with an DSLR body, F3 (soul food) body, 5 lenses was on the floor and I was rubbing my bruised shoulder…then what a beauty on the shelf…tough, solid…familiar dials and buttons NOT MENUS for all vital adjustments. I was not allowed to shoot with it but that was THE moment when you know something is special. At home i browsed the Net. I know what have I seen and what to believe.
    Unfortunately it is virtually impossible to buy it in Serbia. Must wait for the new trip…

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  2. Jacob Jexmark

    My next buy. I love this little camera :) Going to do a fair bit of travelling in the coming 24 months and I don’t want to lug my 5D Mark III around.

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  3. Jason

    Sorry for all of the typos. My fat fingers don’t play well with an iPhone keyboard.

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  4. Jason

    I shoot exclusively with Canon full-frame bodies and “L” glass because I love the shallow depth if field that full-frame + fast glass can provide. That being said, carrying around a DSLR and several zooms or heavy primes can weigh me down considerably. I’ve been toying with the idea of jumping aboard the mirrorless ship due to the light weight if the bodies and lenses. The Olympus OM-D system has revived great reviews, bug you can’t really achieve very shallow depth if field unless you use the voigtlander lenses, which are expensive and heavy (for mirrorless equipment). The Fuji bodies and lenses have received great reviews as well, but I’ve also heard that the Fuji bodies dong focus all that well (no phase dectdction except for the XT1, and even then, only in a few of the af points). When you write your review, can you please include the following info:

    1. What lenses you used and how will they performed compared to your DSLR glass,
    2. How does the auto focus compare to that if your DSLR, and
    3. How is the real world battery life? Can you make if a should day without switching batteries?

    Thanks and I look forward to you’d review.

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    • Rainstone

      After a few years now working first with the X100 then the X-Pro1, I still have a lot of mixed feelings and if I go on a demanding mission, I pick with no hesitation my pro-Nikon DSLR gear over the quirky and much less predictable Fuji X-series. The X-T1 – I don’t own – is likely quite a bit better, but some of the basic Fuji concepts remain disturbing. First I don’t like the cumbersome user interface and less flexible than a DSLR, battery life is poor and and an empty battery blocks you frequently very unexpected in your work. Live with an EVF and a lot of stuff all the time covering your LCD-display… while in a DSLR, your mirror shows the full picture and data is only being displayed in the side areas. I never get used to that, frequently discover stuff in my pictures I didn’t notice while shooting. Flash solutions are very basic, totally out of range if you’re used to Canon or Nikon. The shallow depth capability are for the XF35mm still fair but in the XF23mm it’s almost in existing you’re very close. I like a 35mm F1.4 prime very much on my Nikon for street-photography, but in Fuji world the 23mm full open behaves… just like you’ve expect from a 23mm – if you can’t live with this, don’t step in the APS/C realm. At the end of the day, I find all the mirrorless stuff a bit overhyped, the only advantage I see is indeed that ‘lightweight’ (a few 100 grams at most, depending on camera, lenses) and the fact you’re a bit less visible as a photographer. On the other hand, your FF cameras deliver the most perfect IQ you can imagine, a fast AF and the best access to any accessory in the world – never change a winning team and don’t let all those fan-forums fool you that Fujis are delivering a better quality, it’s just not true and particular in the case of Fuji, there are artifacts in RAW-conversions… not always just at pixel level, I had with some pictures serious color deviations in complex areas due to this. I can accept that mirror-less will one day replace DSLRs, but…? If the X-Pro2 will deliver a significant change, a better X-trans sensor & CFA, possibly be FF, the temptation might be there again, but now, no, no new Fuji’s for me.

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