Fujifilm X-T1 ILC is ready for cold, action

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/ Updated: 29 January 2014, 4:06 am AEDT

Fujifilm

It's taken a while, but camera manufacturers finally seem to be following Olympus' lead to produce higher-end, fast, weather-resistant, interchangeable-lens cameras. Of course, no one can yet beat Nikon's submersible AW1, but splash-, cold- and dust-resistant still rank pretty high among nice-to-have features. Fujifilm's next in line with its latest X series entry, the X-T1, a more performance-oriented, weather-sealed redesign of the X-E2 with a beautiful new EVF, and built from die-cast magnesium. It's cold-resistant down to -14 14 degrees, compared to 10 degrees for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 -- well, insert current weather joke here. (Editor's note: the press release said "-14 degrees" but it's actually only 14 above.)

Fujifilm's new dual-mode EVF display. Fujifilm

But the standout feature of the camera is the huge, bright EVF; its 0.77x effective magnification is higher than any 35mm or smaller-sensored camera I can find, optical or electronic. Fujifilm puts the extra area to good use with a new dual display; during manual focus, you can see the full scene plus a magnified detail. It also supports the digital split image and peaking views of the X-E2, and Fujifilm claims a much faster refresh rate than that model as well.

Though the innards are similar to the X-E2, there are some differences. New, lower-noise circuitry has allowed Fujifilm to bump the maximum sensitivity to ISO 51200 up from ISO 25600. In practice that usually means you'll get another stop of usability in the midrange and better results at all settings below that; in this case, it probably means more latitude for using ISO 6400. The X-T1 also incorporates supports for UHS-II SDXC cards for longer continuous-shooting runs (currently, it looks like only Toshiba and Panasonic are shipping UHS-II cards), although I'm curious as to whether it actually requires the newer cards to attain the rated 8fps burst rate. That claimed rate is with continous AF tracking, which makes a nice change. Another indication that Fujifilm's going after the power crowd: it will be offering a new vertical grip that holds a second battery rather than just a better handhold.

The company had previously announced 3 lenses on its 2014 roadmap -- the XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R OIS WR, XF16-55mmF2.8 R OIS WR and the XF50-140mmF2.8 R OIS WR -- which it now officially updates to weather-resistant; the 18-135mm lens is slated to ship in May. Keep in mind that the 18-55mm kit lens is not sealed.

Fujifilm X-E2 Fujifilm X-T1 Nikon 1 AW1 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
Sensor (effective resolution) 16.3MP X-Trans CMOS II 16.3MP X-Trans CMOS II 14.2MP CMOS
12-bit
16.3MP Live MOS
12 bits
16.1MP Live MOS
12 bits
16.1mp Live MOS
12 bits
23.6mm x 15.8mm 23.6mm x 15.8mm 13.2mm x 8.8mm 17.3mm x 13mm 17.3mm x 13mm 17.3mm x 13mm
Focal- length multiplier 1.5x 1.5x 2.7x 2.0x 2.0x 2.0x
Sensitivity range ISO 100 (exp)/200 - ISO 6400/25600 (exp) ISO 100 (exp)/200 - ISO 6400/51200 (exp) ISO 160 - ISO 6400 ISO 100 (exp)/200 - ISO 25600 ISO 200 - ISO 25600 ISO 180 (exp)/ 200 - ISO 3200/ 12800 (exp)
Burst shooting 3fps
unlimited JPEG/
8 raw
(7fps with fixed AF)
8fps
unlimited
47 JPEG/
n/a raw
15fps
n/a
(60fps with fixed focus)
6.5fps (with IS off)
unlimited JPEG/
60 raw
(10fps with fixed focus and exposure, IS off)
9fps
17 JPEG/
11 raw
6fps
29 raw + JPEG
Viewfinder EVF
0.5-inch
2.4 million dots
100% coverage
n/a
EVF
0.5-inch
2.4 million dots
100% coverage
1.2x/0.77x
None OLED EVF
n/a-inch
2.36m dots
100% coverage
1.3x - 1.48x/ 0.65x- 0.74x
EVF
n/a-inch
1.44m dots
100% coverage
1.15x/0.58x
OLED EVF
n/a-inch
1.7 million dots
100% coverage
1.42x/0.71x
Autofocus 49-area contrast AF; phase-detection AF 49-area contrast AF; phase-detection AF 73-point phase detection, 135-area Contrast AF 27-point phase detection,
81-point contrast
35-area contrast AF 23-area contrast AF
AF sensitivity range n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Shutter speed 30-1/4,000 sec.; bulb to 60 min; 1/180 x-sync 30-1/4,000 sec.; bulb to 60 min; 1/180 x-sync 30 - 1/16,000 sec; bulb; 1/160 x-sync 60 - 1/8000 sec; bulb to 30 minutes; 1/320 sec x-sync (Super FP to 1/8000) 60 - 1/4,000 sec.; bulb to 8 minutes; 1/250 sec x-sync (flash-dependent) 60-1/4,000 sec.; bulb
Metering 256 zones 256 zones n/a 324 area 324 area 144 zone
Metering range n/a n/a n/a -2 to 20 EV 0 to 20 EV n/a
Flash Yes Included add-on Yes Included add-on Included add-on Yes
Wireless flash No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Image stabilization Optical Optical Optical Sensor shift Sensor shift Optical
Best video 1080/60p H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/60p H.264 QuickTime MOV
(14 minutes)
1080/30p H.264; up to 1200fps slow motion at 320x120 1080/30p QuickTime MOV @ 24 Mbps 1080/60i QuickTime MOV @ 20, 17Mbps H.264 QuickTime MOV
1080/60p/ 50p @ 50Mbps; 1080/30p/ 25p/24p @ 80, 50Mbps
AVCHD
1080/60p/ 50p @ 28Mbps; 1080/24p @ 24Mbps
Audio Stereo; mic input Stereo; mic input Stereo Stereo; mic input Stereo; mic input Stereo; mic input; headphone jack
LCD size 3-inch fixed LCD
1.04 million dots
3-inch fixed LCD
1.04 million dots
3-inch fixed
920,000 dots
3-inch tilting touch-screen
1.04m dots
3-inch tilting touch-screen OLED
614,000 dots
3-inch tilting touch-screen OLED
610,000 dots
Wireless Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Optional WU-1b
($59.95)
Wi-Fi None Wi-Fi
Battery life (CIPA rating) 350 shots 350 shots 220 shots (est) 350 shots 330 shots 500 shots (est)
Dimensions (inches, WHD) 5.1 x 2.9 x 1.5 5.0 x 3.5 x 1.8 4.0 x 2.4 x 1.1 5.1 x 3.7 x 2.5 4.8 x 3.5 x 1.7 5.2 x 3.7 x 3.2
Body operating weight (ounces) 12.7 15.4 (est) 7.5 (est) 17.5 (est) 15.1 19.4 (est)
Mfr. price $999.95 (body only) $1,299.95 (body only) n/a $1,399 (body only) $949.99 (body only) $1,299.99 (body only)
$1,399.95 (with 18-55mm XF lens) $1,699.95 (with 18-55mm f2.8-4 lens) $749.95 (with 11-27.5mm lens) n/a $1,199.99 (with 12-50mm lens) n/a
n/a n/a $949.95 (with 11-27.5mm and 10mm lenses) n/a $1,099.99 (with 14-42mm lens) n/a
Ship date November 2013 February 2014 October 2013 October 2013 April 2012 September 2012

With its larger grip, increased number of physical controls, tilting LCD, and better viewfinder, the camera's design seems much more attractive than previous X-series models. Most of the dials lock; my only concern is the exposure-compensation dial, which doesn't. I foresee lots of accidental exposure changes from fumbling gloved hands in my future. That is, if I'm lucky enough to get to test the camera during this frigid winter.

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