Fujifilm X-T1 IR: Is infrared the new black?

Fujifilm's the latest manufacturer to turn one of its flagship cameras into one capable of infrared vision.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin

The camera looks identical to the X-T1, but here's the logo. Fujifilm

Following Nikon's lead with the D810a , Fujifilm turns out its own version of a flagship camera modified for technical professionals who need beyond-the-visible-spectrum shooting. While the X-T1 IR doesn't seem to be optimized for astrophotography the way the D810a is, instead allowing the sensor to pick up energy outside of the the 400nm to 700nm wavelengths of the visible spectrum; Fujifilm says its application lies in fields like crime-scene investigation, fine-art photography and health care diagnostics and observation.

Most sensors have an IR cut filter to prevent invisible light from interfering with capturing visible light and to minimize heat buildup; removing the filter, as Fujifilm and Nikon have done, allows those wavelengths to hit the sensor. The company says the range now extends down to 380nm in the ultraviolet range up to 1,000nm in the infrared range. Fujifilm has also applied an antireflective coating to the sensor to minimize stray light.

According to the company, the camera is otherwise identical to the X-T1, both physically and in features, though I'd be surprised if it hasn't at least modified the firmware to improve processing of the new image data.

It's slated to ship in October 2015 for $1,700. I don't have UK and Australian pricing and availability yet, but that price directly converts to £1,090, AU$1,330.