After a year spent expanding the X-series with enthusiast models, Fujifilm has returned to the premium arena by launching the X-T1. Is it the best X-series model to date? Read the Fujifilm X-T1 review...
Fujifilm X-T1 review – Build and handling
Fujifilm’s X-series of cameras has gained an excellent reputation for being robust and well made, and the X-T1 is no exception. From the moment the X-T1 is picked up, you instantly realise there’s something very special about the way it feels in the hand. Significantly less cumbersome than the Nikon Df, the size of the body feels refreshingly smaller than a DSLR, but not so small that you can’t wrap your hand around it for a solid grasp.
The size of the X-T1 is not too dissimilar to the Sony Alpha 7 and 7R, and its robust build quality is in part thanks to the magnesium-alloy body that is complemented by beautifully machined aluminium dials on the top-plate. These adjust ISO, shutter speed and exposure compensation, with the latter offering just the right amount of resistance to prevent it being knocked out of place. Added to this is a fairly chunky but comfortable handgrip, which, combined with a sizeable thumb rest at the rear, gives a first-class, premium feel. When you handle the X-T1, the sense that Fujifilm has paid great attention to detail really is apparent.
It gets better too, knowing there are more than 75 weather seals in the construction to keep dust, dirt and moisture at bay. Perhaps more impressive, though, is the fact that the X-T1 can operate in temperatures as low as -10°C. However, while the build quality of the body can’t be faulted and the handling is mightily impressive, it’s a shame that the XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS kit lens doesn’t feature the same weather-sealing. That said, neither do any of the optics in the current XF lens range, although looking forward we can expect no fewer than three weather-resistant (WR) lenses to arrive by July, based on Fujifilm’s lens roadmap.
The dials, button layout and interface on the X-T1 can take a little getting used to for those coming to an X-series model for the first time. For example, to use aperture priority you are first required to set the shutter speed dial to ‘A’ before controlling the aperture via the lens aperture ring. Similarly, the lens must be set to its ‘A’ setting before shutter priority mode can be used, whereas if both are set to ‘A’ the camera operates in its auto mode.
The large rubber eyepiece around the viewfinder helps to cushion the camera against the eye during composition, and the Q-menu button is positioned a millimetre away from where your thumb rests, so crucial settings such as white balance, film simulation, dynamic range and AF mode can be instantly pulled up. Although it’s instinctive to use the menu/OK button to access these, it’s actually the front and rear control dials that are used to adjust them.
The four-way controller at the rear lacks icons, but this is because they’re all customisable. Set to default, they control film simulation, macro, white balance and the position of the AF point, but it’s possible to set them so they access image size, image quality, Wi-Fi, face detection, self-timer or depth-of-field preview. As well as these customisable function buttons, an additional two are found on the front and the top-plate.