10 First Impressions on the Fuji X-T1

Quick thoughts on the Fuji X-T1

Notice: Geek-Zone Ahead!

You may know of my involvement in the photography educational industry – I have taught hundreds of photographers, I regularly host private one-on-one mentoring and I have co-authored a book for photographers. As such, in addition to the current, past and future clients who read my blog, I do have a large part of my audience consisting of photographers.

I try to keep everyone happy and so this particular blog post is geared towards photographers. It may be highly technical and so if you’re not overly interested in the creative or tech side of photography, you may wish to skip through to the next or previous blog post. Otherwise, enjoy and read on!

I blogged here about my sponsorship by Fuji as a Fuji X-Photographer, and so full disclosure here is in order: Fuji does not pay me to review their equipment nor am I required to write a certain way about their cameras. I am expected to provide honest and real feedback to help them as a company and a camera manufacturer. 

If you have been paying attention to the mirrorless market, you undoubtedly have heard about the Fuji X-T1. It has been making some serious noise in the industry. Photographers around the world who have been given early access and pre-production “review” models are raving about it.


Well … I received my Fuji X-T1 yesterday and although I haven’t had a chance to put it through the paces on a full session, I did play with it around the house. The image above is one of my daughter, Ava, and the first picture I took with the X-T1. It is completely unprocessed and directly out of the camera. Only thing I did was add my logo in Photoshop.

I am used to the Fuji X-E2, and so my comments below will be in relation to that camera. The X-T1 has the same sensor as the X-E2, so I won’t comment specifically on image quality because it produces the same beautiful files that we are used to with the Fuji X-Series.

Here are my 10 first impressions about the Fuji X-T1 after a very limited time experimenting with it:

  1. I love that the viewfinder (and eye sensor) is in the middle of the camera. Often when I am taking pictures around the house, I will put the camera all the way to the ground to get a different perspective and use the LCD screen to compose. Putting the X-E2 against the ground would often trick the eye sensor into thinking that my eye was up to the camera. This would shut off the LCD screen and therefore make it tough to take a picture. The X-T1 with the viewfinder (and eye sensor) in the middle of the camera doesn’t have this issue. Love it!
  2. The tiling LCD screen is great!
  3. The buttons feel solid, but they are a bit small.
  4. The depressed buttons on the directional pad will take a bit of getting used to. They aren’t as easy to press as with the X-E2 and other models.
  5. I love that the X-T1 takes the same batteries as the X-E2 and X-E1. Makes the transition much easier.
  6. The position of the SD card slot is more convenient on the side (X-T1) vs on the bottom (X-E2).
  7. There is no dedicated movie mode on the X-T1, instead you just press the “movie record” button  while in “picture” mode and it starts recording a video. Much more convenient than having to switch modes like you did on the X-E2.
  8. Speaking of movie mode, there is still not full manual control in movie mode (shutter speed) which is annoying. Hopefully this can be fixed in a firmware update in the future.
  9. Face detection can be applied to a “function” button which is very convenient. When I hand off my camera to a family member or friend to take a picture with me in it, it is nice to have face detection easily turned on so that they don’t have to worry about focus. With the X-E2, I would have to dig into a menu which was inconvenient and took up extra unnecessary time. With the X-T1, it’s the push of a button! Voila!
  10. Talking again about the “function” buttons, I love that you can assign the “Auto ISO” controls to a “function” button – it’s very convenient for quick changes to the minimum shutter speed.

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That’s it for now – 10 quick first impressions about the X-T1. Check back later for a more in-depth review as I put it through the paces for an actual session!

If you are a photographer, reading this first impression blog post about the X-T1, you may find interest in a new educational website that I recently launched, called Sprouting Photographer. You can check us out online here:


Sprouting Photographer is an online educational resource where we focus exclusively on the business of photography through articles, tools, podcasts and more. I would love it if you would join us over there as well as on our Facebook Page.

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