I just picked up a new Fujifilm X-T1. It’s about the most-reviewed camera in recent history and there’s very little I can add to that tsunami of words; so this is short.

The pictures here were taken at a high-school-student written/directed/performed musical that my son was mixed up in. He can be spotted if you know what he looks like (hint: Not like me at all). I used the advanced technique of slapping the 35mm F/1.4 on the camera, setting everything on automatic, and pressing the shutter button.

The Ordifairy, featuring students of Eric Hamber high school

The X-T1 is great for this kind of thing; you can turn off the back screen and shoot with the eyepiece exclusively, so no glow-in-the-dark, and the shutter noise is silky, hardly audible.

First off, everything I said about the Fujifilm X-E1 here and here still applies. That’s an awfully good camera and this one’s better.

Gripes · No, it’s not perfect. I called the X-E1 controls perfect because everything you need is on a dial. So the X-T1 added another dial for ISO; but it’s a waste of space for me, because the auto-ISO is smarter than I am. And in general the X-T1 looks a little cluttered and busy after the sleek rangefinder-esque minimalism of the X-E1. Whatever; it’s still absurdly small and light compared to any SLR.

The Ordifairy, featuring students of Eric Hamber high school

The essential thing · All modern cameras can take excellent pictures. Purists have opinions about this sensor vs that, and how many megapixels you really need (although a lot of really good cameras have recently converged on 16); I myself see something special in images produced by the Fuji “X-Trans” sensor but confirmation bias is probably at work. Whatever; image quality is excellent wherever you go.

So what matters is how well the camera maximizes your chances of getting a good shot when you point it at something worthwhile. Which means good lenses, good fast autofocus, and a good viewfinder. The X-cameras in general have great lenses and the X-T1 in particular has about-as-good-as-it-gets autofocus and maybe the best viewfinder in the world at any price.

The Ordifairy, featuring students of Eric Hamber high school
· · ·
The Ordifairy, featuring students of Eric Hamber high school

Note that I could have captured that kid in mid-air by cranking the shutter up to 250 or so; at 60 it was only ISO 200. Still, amusing.


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April 27, 2014
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