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Fuji XT-1 Review

I am not typically a big review person, I’ve never written one before and I’m not by any means attempting to compete with the bigger review sites out there. However, this is my travel blog and I want to write about my travel camera that I feel very passionate about!

After almost a month of owning the Fuji XT-1, I think I am ready to give my professional opinion of it. Ben has owned it since the beginning of the year so I decided to purchase it based on his, as well as many others, recommendations. In short? I’m in love. I have had a terrible habit of only bringing out my 5d Mark III when it involved work and shooting only with my iphone while out and about. Weddings and portraits are amazing but it’s nice to refresh myself with different scenes and to challenge myself with situations I’m not necessarily comfortable shooting, or at least, not as confident shooting. I am so happy to be able to travel with a camera that doesn’t say “Hey! Look at me I’m a photographer!” – so yes, size matters. It’s a great size, just perfect actually, substantial enough to fit in my small hands but unobtrusive enough as well. I have many good things to say about the XT-1 – the look and quality of photos in most situations can compete with a dSLR camera. The low light is decent, I would feel comfortable taking the camera out at night with intentions of shooting natural light but the light needs to be pretty good for a night scene to focus & not look really grainy. I have not played with the flash much at this point… yet. I set my focus to be back button, like my Canon, and it feels nice. Having had the Fuji x100s at one point as well, I can confidently say that it is light years ahead of that camera but, naturally, it’s still going to feel limiting at times. The focus is good but not great, it has trouble at night and don’t be expect to be shooting a fast paced sports game. The high speed mode is almost too fast! I can’t get a single click off when on that setting, it’s a minimum of two it seems like but the single shot mode is a bit slow for my taste. Of course it also has a few more kitschy features like double exposure & panorama, which I played with a bit as well and may explore further at my next opportunity. As far as editing is concerned, I found the x100s files to be a bit tricky to edit, I couldn’t get the tones quite right. The raw files from the XT-1 edit great though! The skin tones are more yellow/green than I am used since Canon has much more magenta in the files but as long as the exposure is spot on there is no issue. As soon as the exposure is off I found myself having to go into camera calibration to tweak things a bit more. Otherwise I use my same Canon preset in Lightroom. So what lens(es) should you get? It depends on why you’re purchasing it, however, I imagine that most of us photographers are in the same boat. dSLR is work, mirrorless is for traveling fun. I chose the 18-55mm lens with a varying 2.8-4.0 aperture, which is 28-85mm in full frame speak. Personally, I think it’s the perfect lens for what I am using it for. If you’re looking to do more portraits or are just truly that in love with primes, which I would understand, then the 23mm or 35mm may be more up your alley. I have heard really lovely things about those as well but the last thing I want to do when traveling is to have to bring a camera bag around with me. Stacy Reeves also mentioned that she really loves the 55-200mm since it provides a look that most tourists aren’t getting when they travel. I am inclined to trust Stacy a lot based on the amazing work she produces from her amazing European adventures! Feel free to message me on facebook if you have any other questions!

~Caroline

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Photos below by Ben in New Zealand :
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