new Fuji X-T1 camera with best in class viewfinder and weather sealing

Fuji X-T1 camera view from front
Fuji X-T1 camera view from front, showing external controls (including the new ISO dial) and the large EVF.

Celebrating the 80th anniversary this year, Fuji announced the new Fuji X-T1 camera. The new body has a distinct classic SLR look (similar with the Nikon Df). Previous Fuji X cameras (like the X-Pro1, X-E1, X-M1 and so on) had a clear resemblance with classic rangefinders. This change should make professional shooters happy, as it makes the new Fuji X-T1 to look and feel like a DSLR.

The Fuji X-T1 official micro-site has a lot of information and a list of full camera specifications.

main features of the new Fuji X-T1

  • Fuji X-T1 front and back views
    Fuji X-T1 front and back views

    weather resistant body
    water and dust resistant and operation down to -10 degrees C
    in adverse conditions the Fuji X-T1 needs a weather resistant lens, with two announced: the 18-135 f4-5.6 and the one I am most enthusiastic about Fuji XF 16-55 f2.8

  • new tilt LCD (3 inch and 1 million dots)
    useful for shooting from waist-level, when doing close-up work or when trying to photograph over the head of a crowd
  • new 0.77x EVF with 2.36 million dots
    the 0.77x magnification is a very strong feature, and Fuji presents the new EVF as the first feature of the new camera
    with a lag of just 0.005s, and combined with the improved AF, the Fuji X-T1 should do a very good job in capturing action shots
    although I like the viewfinder on my X-E1, I cannot wait to try an X-T1.
  • more physical controls with a better layout
    ISO dial with A mode for auto, and a very useful locking mechanism (a small button in the center of the dial). The X-T1 can shoot up to ISO 51200, which means that at least up to 6400 and 12800 the camera will deliver great detailed results.
    the shutter dial, such as my X-E1, also has a locking mechanism. I wonder why there is no such lock for the exposure compensation? I often manage to bump the dial from the 0 setting and notice only afterward.
  • external flash included in the package
    the Fuji X-T1 has no internal flash, however it comes in the box with an EF-X8 unit that plugs in the hot-shoe.
Fuji X-T1 camera top view with new EVF "hump", tilt LCD and ISO dial
Fuji X-T1 camera top view: the most visible change is the EVF housing (like the hump of a traditional SLR design), the ISO dial, locking mechanisms for the controls, Wi-Fi/Fn and the drive mode surrounding the ISO dial

inside the Fuji X-T1: sensor and autofocus

Although not new, the Fuji X-T1 uses the acclaimed APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor found in the Fuji X100s and the X-E2. With 16mp, no anti-alias filter (which helps a lot with preserving micro-contrast) and phase-detection AF the X-T1 will be able to capture beautiful detailed images at very high autofocus speeds.

In the past Fuji X cameras were berated for sluggish autofocus speed and non-standard sensors. Even my (already old) Fuji X-E1 was greatly improved speed wise by several firmware iterations and the newer bodies (like the X-E2) have autofocus speeds in the same ballpark as top mirrorless cameras. The one area where the Fuji X-T1 still has to convince is sport / action shooting. The X-T1 promises 8fps shooting with continuous AF and this should make everyone happy.

Fuji X-T1 front view showing the sensor
Fuji X-T1 front view showing the lens mount and sensor

A non-standard sensor design (compared to most other cameras conventional Bayer pattern) means less support when processing RAW images. As Fuji designed the X-Trans sensor (and they have a history with non-standard yet very capable sensors like the EXR in the old Fuji X10) the jpeg files look already gorgeous. But until the main raw converters – Lightroom and Aperture – had good support for Fuji raw files this was a problem.

While I do not have Aperture, I use Lightroom every day and I have to say that in the last year the support for Fuji raw files increased to a level where I feel this is no longer a problem.

pricing and packages

The Fuji X-T1 body only will retail for 1300 usd, and as kit with the wonderful XF 18-55 F2.8-4 it will cost 1700 usd.

It will be interesting to see the pricing for the announced 18-125 and 16-55 lenses, as both will offer weather sealing.


Fuji X system has very quickly evolved from a new entrant with no lens choice and a quirky body to a pretty mature system. It has 5 current camera bodies – X-A1, X-M1, X-E2, the venerable X-PRO1 and the just announced X-T1.

The lens road map shows the two professional lens workhorses – 24-80 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 equivalent – for second half 2014. Fuji has quality hi-speed fixed lenses and good zooms. What do you feel is lacking from the Fuji X system to call it a full-fledged one?


If you liked this article, please consider subscribing to my RSS feed and to my weekly newsletter.
You will receive all the news, photo galleries and gear reviews!

What do you think about this post?