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By Mike Joubert 29 August 2014

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Fujifilm has for the past few years been very impressive with cameras such as the X-E1 and X20. Its latest, the X-T1, feels like a culmination of lessons learned. 

It features the notable 16 megapixel X-Trans CMOS Sensor II, excellent image quality, and, just as important, a weather-sealed body that can work some magic of its own. 

Dials everywhere

The less we have to delve into a camera’s menu structure the happier we are – rather getting on with photographing. Good then that the XT-1 is as close to an old film camera as you will get, with dials in all the right places. On top you have on the right your exposure compensation, intuitively placed just next to your thumb, with your Speed just beside it. 

On the left the ISO dial sits comfortably, with both the ISO and Speed protected by a lock release in order not to adjust it accidentally. Where is the Aperture you might ask? Right on the lens, where it belongs. 

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The X-T1's body is weathersealed and can take the hard-knocks. 

Check the viewfinder

If ever the case was made for electronic viewfinders (EVF), the X-T1’s is it. It’s big, it’s bright and if you were wondering about lag, stress no more. We’ve been big proponents of EVF for two reasons – in most cases you can see adjustments made to exposure and see exactly how your pic comes out. Secondly, you can also see what you captured without having to remove your eye from the EVF. This is not to say that all EVFs are created equal- the X-T1’s 0.77x magnification is superb, while the 2.3 million-dot OLED display is dense enough to not make you think you’re missing out. We also enjoyed the fact that your information display at the bottom tilts alongside your camera when moving the camera into portrait view. 

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You do have a 3" LCD screen, but you really want to make use of the awesome electronic viewfinder.

And the bad?

Battery life on the X-T1 could have been a whole lot better, while it’s sometimes slow to get out of sleep mode. Videographers will also bemoan movie quality that cannot compete against what some DSLRs can offer.  

That’s not to say that the X-T1 is not one of this year’s hottest cameras. If you’re aiming to go mirrorless, you’re going to have a tough time deciding between Fujifilm’s offering, and the Olympus E-M1

RRP: R20 000 with 18-55mm kit lens. 

Sample Images

Photos courtesy of Flickr user Vark1. Please note, photos have been edited and are not out-of-camera results. 

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O
ut of camera result with the Toy Camera effect.

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PROS
Solid build, Great image quality, Awesome viewfinder
CONS
Poor battery life
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