by Anura Guruge
Click to ENLARGE. The Fuji X-T1 I rented. It is brand new. No clicks. This picture taken with my Fujifilm X-E2s.
Renting a Fuji X-T1 ahead of the X-T2 announcement so that I can get a feel of a Fuji X-Tx (as opposed to the Fuji X-E2s I own) has to be the best decision I have made when it comes to my long and tortuous sojourn with cameras (for the last 2 years).
This is one of the problems of living in the sticks. There is no local camera store that I can go to that stocks ‘high end’ cameras, especially if they are not Canon or Nikon. I rented the X-T1 for a week, from Lumoid, and at the same time rented a Lytro ILLUM 40 for Devanee who thinks that this is the camera for her! So far, so good with the rental experience from Lumoid. Very friendly, very helpful and everything came as promised bar a missing SD card reader — which was no big deal since I have plenty (and they did send one with the Lytro).
Wow, I can’t get over how SMALL the X-T1 one is. I had just assumed that given its DSLR-like styling it would be bigger. This is quite the testament to mirrorless cameras. It is just fractionally bigger than the X-E2s or for that matter (just in terms of the body) to the Panasonic Lumix LX100. I never realized that the X-T1 was that small. That is good and bad. Great for travel and street photography BUT to be honest I like cameras with a bit more heft; the X-E2s supposed to be my ‘compact’. As such, that the X-T2 will be slightly bigger is good news.
The X-T1 is a joy to use in terms of the controls. Everything is there. You don’t really have to ever use the menus or look at the LCD for reading prior to shooting. This is exactly what I had been hoping. Everything is basically one-touch and all the dials and buttons appear to be just where you would want them to. Yes, having to unlock the ISO and shutter-speed dial is a pain — and I gather this will not be the case with the X-T2. So that is also good.
Took good pictures BUT in terms of image quality I would have to say it is on par with my X-E2s — which is to be expected since they share very similar specs. Well, the X-T2 changes that.
Wow! It gets HOT. I can appreciate why they want to FIX overheating issues on the X-T2. I didn’t shoot any videos and neither did I use ‘burst mode’. Just shot 110 still images, fairly leisurely. But after about 70 shots I could feel the HEAT emanating from the camera! I have never experienced that. Towards the end it was noticeably HOT. Yikes.
Now that I have used a X-T1 I am more convinced than ever that I will love the X-T2. In terms of direct-control the X-T2 will continue to be the camera of my dreams.
Right now I only have one reservation and it is major. Autofocus performance. Though direct-control is important my overriding criteria is image quality (IQ) and for me IQ starts, most of the time, with razor sharp focus. Soft images just leave me cold. And that is an issue. The X-E2s has not impressed me overly in terms of autofocus. From what I can see the X-T2, though it will be better, is not going to be stellar. And I am NOT willing to compromise on the next camera I buy — did that a few times already. So I will be reading the reviews real carefully to see what they have to say about the X-T2 autofocus. In the meantime I am going to try and rent a Nikon D500 for a week or two. Looks like that is doable though the rental prices are not as attractive as they were for the X-T1 (given, of course, the price difference).
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The Lytro ILLUM 40 MP Rental.
This is a BIG, heavy camera. Actually it is huge and cumbersome. It is all lens and funny angles (including the battery). It has no appeal to I. The polar opposite of what I am looking for in terms of direct-control. And I don’t have the patience or time to do all the mandatory post-processing. Devanee, last I saw, was still struggling with the software. I will let you know what she found.
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by Anura Guruge