2015 July Stenying – Backyard Flowers and Fuji XT-1 review

GSB_England_DSCF3381_150728_StenyingSpent another nice day in Stenying and decided to take a few shots of the flowers growing in D&J’s backyard (click here to see)– I didn’t have a true macro lens with me, so I used the 18-135mm zoom for my Fuji XT-1. I’ve used this camera exclusively on the trip (along with a 23 mm F1.4 lens), and really enjoyed its portability and lightness compared for my full-frame Nikon gear. I’ve also switched to Adobe Creative Cloud (just Lightroom and Photoshop) and find the products work well on the road with my Mac laptop and external HDD. Internet connectivity was an issue throughout the UK – I had better luck through my phone (local SIM card) when G4 service was available than through WiFi in most hotels and public spaces. I also found the gorilla tripod got more use than my carbon fibre, manfrotto travel tripod – it was lighter, more portable and easy to setup inside buildings, in town/city centres etc. I also really like having a Thinktank Retrospective 10 bag (or something similar) – the Fuji gear was small and light enough that I could throw in a note book, maps, a windbreaker etc. and still have space to spare – the big flap was also handy during rainy weather when I could quickly take the camera out, take a shot and put it back in a few seconds. My main criticisms of the Fuji XT-1 are:

  1. Battery life – quite short and I strongly recommend bringing a second battery if you have a full day of shooting planned.
  2. I’ve been spoiled by the higher resolution of my D800 – if Fuji could bump the next models resolution to around 24 Mega pixels it would be an ideal compromise.
  3. Focus and tracking speeds (even with the firmware update) could both be improved.
  4. A fast, longer lens would be great (in the pipeline).
  5. I don’t like the feel of the selection dial on the back of the camera, compared to the build quality of the rest of the camera (which is excellent), it feels cheap and flimsy (as does the battery cover).

However, for me, the benefits of the Fuji outweigh its negatives for certain types of photography where portability and weight are an issue – I’ve really enjoyed using it and will no doubt be using it a lot more in the future.