Fujifilm's dial-filled X-T1 is a manual shooter's dream (hands-on)

Updated ·2 min read

On paper, the most significant addition to Fujifilm's X-T1 is its weather-resistant housing. But you'll need one of three as-of-yet-unreleased weather-sealed lenses in order to take advantage -- the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit optic isn't up to snuff when it comes to keeping out water, sand and snow, so if you opt for the $1,700 bundle, you'll be out of luck. Instead, we're quite taken with the camera's comprehensive control layout, which includes dedicated dials for exposure compensation, shutter speed and ISO (!) mounted up top. Some lenses also include an integrated exposure dial, so you can set the full exposure manually without any need to dig through menus. There's also a 16.3-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor and an EXR Processor II, along with a 3-inch, 1.04M-dot tilting LCD and a really nice 2.36M-dot OLED viewfinder for framing shots.

We spent a few minutes shooting with the X-T1 at CP+ just outside Tokyo this week, and the camera performed phenomenally. The focusing system was speedy and accurate, and the optional extended grip and vertical grip accessory made shooting in either orientation quite comfortable. The UI also felt like an improvement -- even reviewing images on the built-in LCD, a process which can often be unnecessarily cumbersome, was a breeze. The X-T1 is one of the only current models to be compatible with the new SDXC UHS-II format (SanDisk announced its first U3 card just this week), so images you shoot in the 8 fps burst mode should make their way off the camera's buffer very quickly.

Overall, we're smitten with the X-T1, and depending on where pricing falls for the weather-resistant 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6, 16-55mm f/2.8 and 50-140mm f/2.8 lenses, this may turn out to be one of the most attractive mirrorless combos on the market. Those optics may be a few months out, but if you're willing to stick with dry conditions for the time being, you should be able to pick this camera up within a week or two for $1,300 body only or $1,700 with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit lens.