Product snapshot: Fujifilm X-T1 camera

Fujifilm's X-T1 is a mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera for serious photographers

Fujifilm today launched the X-T1, a mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera that it hopes will appeal to professional photographers in addition to enthusiasts. The new camera makes use of a 16-megapixel X-Trans, CMOS sensor that has an APS-C size, and it sits behind an X Mount that can accommodate Fujinon lenses of many persuasions.

Importantly, the X-Trans sensor uses the company's random pixel array technology to counter moire patterning, and as a consequence it does away with an optical low-pass filter that could otherwise blur a picture in order to remove such patterning. Fujifilm claims that its method of randomness allows the camera to capture clearer, more vibrant images that are on par with what a full-frame camera can accomplish.

An EXR Processor II is in the camera's engine room, and it gives it the ability to capture frames at up to eight per second, even while continuing to focus. This makes the X-T1 not just a shooter for landscapes and portraits, but also for sporting events and other occasions that require a rapid-fire response. Additionally, the X-T1 supports Ultra High Speed II SD cards, which are currently the fastest on the market and can allow photos to be played back even while data is still being written to the card.

The body of the camera is not for the faint of heart. It is dazzling with dials and numbers that line the top of the body, and the learning might be a little steep if you are coming from a more simple digital SLR or compact camera. Primarily, the X-T1 is designed to appeal to the sensibilities of a professional who is used to having so much information at their fingertips. Drive, sensitivity, exposure compensation, and an actual shutter speed dial with numbers on it, are all in your face, and there are also front and rear command dials, and up to six function buttons that can be assigned the job of your choice.

It's a highly customisible camera, which is great if you are into that sort of thing, and it also includes many film simulation modes that are designed to replicate the look of Fujifilm's traditional analogue output. But even without these filters, it's a camera that is designed to produce a vibrant output. Professional photographer, Megan Lewis, was present at the launch of the X-T1 in Sydney, and said one of the primary reasons for using the X-T1 is that its output does not look like it's digital output. She said she uses many of the photos straight out of the camera, spending very little time in front of a computer.

Another drawcard to this camera is its size, which is more compact than a traditional digital SLR, and its weather-proof body, which allows it to be used in all sorts of situations without worrying whether it will be damaged from dust, moisture or temperature. Fujifilm said that it identified and sealed 86 points of possible intrusion, and that weather-sealed zoom lenses will also be available soon to complement the body. These are the XF18-135mm F3.5-4.5 R OIS WR, XF16-55mm F2.8 OIR WR, and the XF50-140mm F2.8 OIS WR.

But perhaps the biggest drawcard is the built-in electronic viewfinder. To frame photos, you can look through the 3in LCD screen on the back, which sits on a hinge that allows it to tilt, but if you do so, you will be missing out on a large electronic viewfinder that has a 2.36-million dot OLED display that shows 100 per cent of the capturing area, and has a wide field of view (31 degree horizontal). You can see all the pertinent information about your shot through this EVF, and the menus even rotate with you if you are shooting in portrait mode. Nifty tricks such as Dual Split Image can be used, too, which is a feature that splits the screen to show a close up of the focus point of your photo, just so you can make sure it's actually in focus.

Other features of the new camera include the addition of white balance bracketing, interval shooting, a lens modulation optimiser (which can reduce defraction from small aperture values and identify and only correct errors rather than the whole image), faster phase-detection auto-focus, and there is also a higher ISO sensitivity than before (up to 51200). You also get Wi-Fi, which is becoming customary on modern cameras, and a mobile app can be used to control the camera settings in addition to snapping pictures.

Sample images

All taken with the XF55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens.
All taken with the XF55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens.

The price of the X-T1 has not yet been set, but Fujifilm said availability in Australia with be from early March.

Optional accessories for the X-T1 include:

• Vertical battery grip
• Flashes (EF-X8, EF-X20, EF-20, EF-42)
• Leather case
• Hand grip
• M Mount lens adapter
• Protector filters
• Remote release
• Stereo microphone
• DC coupler
• AC coupler

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Elias Plastiras
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