Street testing the Fuji X-T1 with a portrait sessions / by Ferry Knijn

Last week I traded in my Fuji X-E1 with the 18-55 lens for a Fuji X-T1 body. I really like the concept of the Fuji camera's. Their compactness, weight and a good image quality. But the slowness with image writing of the X-Pro1 and X-E1 let me grab my Nikons faster for jobs then the Fuji's. So I thought to start getting rid of my Fuji gear and start to try Olympus. But after comparing the OM-D E-M5 and the X-T1, there started a feeling to give Fuji a last chance. The main reasons were that it felt more responsive then the X-pro1 and for me the biggest issue, being possible to view the pictures while it is still writing to the card. The large viewfinder is awesome! But also a great dust collector. Another reason was that I already have the Fuji 35 and 56 lenses and I really don't like the standard Olympus 12-50 lens which is the kit lens for the OM-D E-M5. Other pro's are all the controls you really need are on the body, So if you want you would never have to go into the menu's once you set up the camera. 

The portraitshoot

Due to traffic/weather Issue a big shoot was cancelled, but when the weather cleared later that morning I really wanted to go out and test the camera. So I called a musician who wanted some new portrait shots and set up the shoot on the streets in Amsterdam. 

For me the scary part was that I wanted to travel really light. But have everything I needed, so I took the X-T1 with the Fuji 56 1.2 and 35 1.4 lens and a X100 for the wide stuff. All lighting had to be done with available light. 

Once on the location I took an hour with my assistant to scout the location and we found around 5 nice spots. 

I met Efraim in the musicstore Hampe on the Spui. From there we started our session. In about 50 minutes we had all the shots we needed.

The results

Before I start discussing the results I would like to start with saying how much I was Impressed by the original X100 camera! It's still a great camera with good results!

I first started editing the photo's in Capture One Pro 8, but with these type of session somehow I feel Lightroom is faster for just basic editing and handeling the Fuji RAF files. So FYI almost all the photo's have had bass raw editing.

RAW vs. Jpeg

With the Fuji's I always shot in Raw and Jpeg mode. I liked the colours and feel of the Jpegs, but not for when I have to do some editing. In Lightroom 5 We got the possibility to add a profile to match the color/feel to the Raw files of the Fuji, But with my X-pro1 and X100 photo's these profiles where not good enough. Now with the X-T1 Raw files I must say the results are way closer. The raw files are a little bit more blueish, but the rest was pretty close! Below are a RAF file with profile and a jpeg

Dynamic Range and ISO

Something that I must give Fuji a lot of credit for is the Dynamic range. It is really great. I took some photo's staring directly into the sun and still there was enough detail left! Although I would wish Fuji could go natively to RAW ISO 100, the ISO range is great, Even add ISO3200 you get great files (which the Starbucks photos, ISO100 straight out of camera). The only thing I don't like is that the Raw images feel a little soft sometimes. But they have this Filmlike look. So when I need more sharpness I still prefer the Nikons/Olympus camera's. But I also have to say all these picture are between f1.2 and f4. So in the studio I have to really test this on higher Apertures with some flash added. 

Final Thoughts

For what I have tested now the Fuji X-T1 is a great travel camera, and fuji is started to produce some really great camera's! I heaven't fully tested it yet but I think I will like this camera. Somehow I am still waiting and hoping for the Fuji X-pro2 to come out to decide if I will stay with Fuji. I love the Rangefinder style and the OVF, I was really missing that on the street and even made me a little longing back to the Leica M type 240 I tested some months ago (read the review HERE). So to be continued.....