More On The Fuji XT-1

A quick follow up to my last post on my findings after shooting the Fuji XT-1 quite a lot. In summary it’s sufficient — specifically the EVF is not throwing me off as much as I thought it would and definitely not as much as previous EVF equipped cameras have in the past. I guess that’s good news. There is some bad news as well and for the most part that’s what this post is about.

First up is the EVF. While it’s not throwing me off from a timing perspective there are a few things that are not all roses. Some of them personal that may just take a bit more time behind the wheel, others are possibly more universal.

  • Repeating myself for the thousandth time. It absolutely sucks that there’s no quick way without menu diving to change up the display options on the XT-1 in the EVF. Yep you can do it for the back screen, just like every other Fuji-cam. The XT-1 is unique in the lack of ability to have an easily accessible way to turn display options on/off without messing around in the menus. Sucks, sucks, sucks, sucks, sucks. Got Firmware 4.00, doesn’t seem to change anything. Sucks. And why oh why cannot I not assign anything to a function button or Q-menu? Why do I have to choose from a curated group? WTF?
  • Shooting outside in bright light blows. Very hard to sort the wheat from the chaff.
  • The new option of full/normal you get instead of optional display crap when pushing the disp/back button while looking thru the EVF I sorta get now. I still don’t really use normal but when I’m shooting vertical pictures I have a tendency to leave too much room at the bottom of the frame due to the finder info overlay that’s displayed when rotated. I guess most people might so that’s the reason for full/normal???? I’ll probably get used to that after I concentrate on it for a while longer.
  • The eyepiece is a little wonky compared to most OVF’s I like. If you’re a little misaligned it gets real blurry real quick. Strange for such a large eyepiece.
  • The finer gridlines are certainly a lot better with firmware 4.00. I might be able to just leave those one and not have a big distraction as a way to mitigate the lack of quick on/off display options for now. We’ll see.

Moving on to ergonomics — hate that word. Anything you’ve ever read regarding a comparison on camera handling between the Fuji XT-1 and the Nikon Df where the Fuji somehow wins is pure and utter bullshit. Let’s count the ways…

  • Overall the buttons are little, fiddly, and not well placed. I’m talking every single one as compared to the Df.
  • The D-pad is a nightmare relatively speaking.
  • The button above the rear thumb rest is so awkward to use that I’ve written it off. Thank goodness somewhere along the way in a firmware update you can switch AF-on/AE-lock between those buttons. I never really use AE-lock so I just switched and now the AF-on is actually useful for back-button focus.
  • The trashcan button and playback button should be reversed. Why the hell would you want to reach over the trash button every time you hit playback????? Stupid decision and worse is that it puts the playback button so so close to the viewfinder you sort of poke yourself in the face to use the much lauded feature of viewing playback in the EVF. Stupid. While poking yourself in the face there’s a 50/50 chance you’ll actually hit the trash button as a bonus.
  • Changing ISO using the wonderful analog inspired dial… this one really is super funny considering how many times I’ve read how awful the Df ISO dial is because of the lock and the lack of auto on the dial. Ha, fucking ha. Armchair quarterbacking at it’s best. Guess what… the top lock button on the Fuji combined with the super slim dial stacked on drive mode is a nightmare. Far harder to turn quickly with one hand eye at the viewfinder and also results in changing drive mode to some random setting about half the time. Nikon Df way way way way better and easier to change on the fly — thumb release lock, index finger spin the nice big dial. Oh yeah and you can setup a custom settings bank for auto iso that you can change up along with every other custom setting in a setup that’s about 100x better and more flexible than the wondrous mostly JPEG setttings Q-menu. At least they put all the new AF options in the Q-menu instead of yet another stupid JPEG thing… Woudling it be cool if you could shift all that shit around with say a dedicated control and button? Oh shit, you can on the Df…
  • I’ve yet to use the flippy-screen. Obviously useless for verticals but hey, they’re all the rage.
  • Ever hear all the vitriol about the Df battery door being not up to snuff? Honestly I have no idea what anyone’s talking about it’s no more flimsy than just about any other DSLR that’s not a D4 but let’s talk about flimsy and clumsy… the Fuji battery doors. I’m not worried about it but it’s certainly not on par with the Df that has the nice big key thingy for unlock/lock vs a little flush switch.

That all sounds pretty bad. Not really it’s fine and not going to stop me dead in my tracks. I mean really what is??? It’s just a level set on the level of refinement as compared to say a real DSLR — even a retro DSLR like the Df.

Moving on. I do have one finding that’s probably more a personal thing that I need to concentrate on so that my muscle memory kicks in at some point and I don’t have to think about it so much. This may sound strange but I have a far more difficult time shooting the XT-1 at comparable shutter speed/focal length combos than I do the Nikon Df, D600, D700, etc, etc. I seem to introduce more camera shake at higher speeds with the Fuji XT-1. Before you all start writing in about APS-C vs FF or whatever and I gotta use 2x the shutter speed for the same focal length. Yea, no shit. When I say comparable I do mean comparable with all that taken into account.

Example; I can use 1/30 with no issue whatsoever with a 35-ish lens on a Nikon Df, etc. When I shoot at 1/30th with the 23mm/1.4 and don’t really really pay attention I get at least 20% of my shots with a hint of camera shake. I think it’s a matter of concentrating until I’m used to the way it feels. The surprise is I don’t seem to have this issue with the X100 cameras.

More updates soon.

RB

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