Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Fujifilm X-T1 - My First Outing

I love taking pictures with my X-Pro1. When I went out with the XT1 today I had a twinge of a feeling that I was being unfaithful. As I walked around New York this afternoon I began to understand that this is a totally different camera, and I need a lot of practice to get a handle on it. I guess I'll have to spend many dedicated hours on the street learning to use the XT1. Poor me! While there are many similarities between the XP1 and the XT1, there are some very basic differences.

Firstly, the viewfinder. One of the things that really lit my fire with the XP1 was using the optical viewfinder - so reminiscent of shooting with my Leica M6 rangefinder. I like seeing the frame lines and what's happening outside of them. Using the OVF was so refreshing after my initial years using Nikon DSLRs. I thought using the electronic viewfinder would be similar to the through-the-lens image of the D700. Not so. Seeing the actual live scene, whether through the OVF or through the lens and reflected by the internal mirror of the DSLR is just not the same as digital electronic image rendered from the sensor. It's actually like watching a miniature television inside the camera. And there is a tiny lag time. The experience is not bad, it's just something I have to get used to and learn to work with.

Secondly, the size. The XT1 is considerably smaller than the XP1. I like that a lot. As I was out shooting this afternoon I used a wrist strap and held the camera at my side with the tips of my fingers.  And when I wanted a shot, bringing the camera up to my eye and firing off with one hand (using autofocus) felt natural and smooth. And very fast. Which brings me to .....

Thirdly, the focussing. The response is very different from the XP1. The XT1 feels zippy, and very quiet.

Fourthly, all the new options provided by the advanced technology. I have much to learn: face recognition, wifi connectivity with the iPhone app, the tiltable LCD, phase detection focussing, and on and on ...... More than playing music, more than shooting images, I love learning new stuff. This camera is challenging me to get out of my comfort zone and experiment .... and to learn to accept failure when I goof up a new function or technique.

Here's some images right out of the camera with little or no processing. Speaking of which: Lightroom 5.3 will not recognize the RAW format of this camera, however the new Adobe DNG converter will. It's necessary to first put the XT1's RAF files through the DNG converter before importing them into Lightroom, at least until Adobe releases Lightroom 5.4.

I stopped into B&H Photo before taking my walk, I needed another camera bag (to add to my current collection) so I could carry my three workhorse Fuji lenses, the XT1 and the XP1. And I wanted to let David Brommer and Gabriel Biederman fondle and drool over the XT1 (which they were kind enough to do) David took this shot of Gabe and yours truly:

Then it was out onto Fifth Avenue. I tried to experiment with face detection, and that proved to be an abysmal failure (got some learning to do there) so I just switched back to my standard settings and played around with shooting through the electronic viewfinder:

The one experiment that was successful: I set the camera to fire on 'continuous-high' and set the focus mode on 'continuous'. As the E train rolled into the station at full speed I started firing to test the XT1's predictive focus functionality, with the aperture set at f1.4 to keep the depth of field at a minimum. I was aiming at the red E on the top of the car. The camera's response was quite impressive: