The Fuji switch part I: Landscapes!


This post is a bit overdue and because of that it’s probably going to be a bit long…  In case you haven’t noticed I’ve been in the process of switching my entire kit over from a canon full frame kit to a fuji APS-C (“crop”) kit.  This has roots that go back about 5 years when I started shooting my PAD project with a panasonic GF1.  Since then I’ve always had a smaller camera of some sort for taking with me everywhere, skiing, on the boat, anywhere we go.  Last summer I bought a Fuji XE1 as that small camera option.  It was a good camera, better than I’d imagined.  It’s IQ is on par with or even beats canon’s APS-C sensors and it’s right there with the canon 5D mark II.  It’s really incredible what fuji has done with the sensor they’re putting in these cameras.  Once I’d had the XE1 for a while there were a few things it did amazingly well (image quality and portability) but a few things it wasn’t as good at (namely auto focus).  The system was also missing a few key lenses to be a complete replacement for my canons.  Fall brought us the XE2 which brought better AF but still not quite what I felt I needed to consider a full switch.  It was a nice improvement to the XE1 (which I sold to fund the XE2) but still not quite what I needed. Skip forward to winter and fuji announced all the lenses their lineup was missing for an exact swap as well as the new fuji X-T1 which promised much improved auto focus.  With the XT1 and the new lenses (23mm 1.4, 56mm 1.2 and 10-24mm f/4) this meant I could potentially switch everything over from canon to fuji…


The bodies: First up, let’s talk about the fuji bodies I’m using.  I have a fuji X-E2 and a fuji X-T1.  I’ve always felt I’ve needed a spare body and with the fuji setup I’ve opted to have to different bodies so I can have the smaller form factor when I want it but also the EVF and flip out LCD of the XT1 when that’s a benefit.  I basically use the pair with the XT1 as my main body and the XE2 as it’s backup.  The X-T1’s controls are both awesome and a bit frustrating as times as well.  I love the dials when I’m in a well lit environment.  But there are times when you can’t see the labels and you’re forced to use the screen to set the camera up.  With the 5Diii I could use the top screen to do this but it’s not all that different in using the rear screen (or EVF), it’s just something I’ve been adjusting to.  The lock on the ISO dial is a bit odd, and in adjust it I’ve noticed I’ve bumped the drive switch (which is under the ISO dial) do a different setting more than once.  Personally I’d prefer to either ditch the ISO lock or make the drive switch much stiffer so it didn’t get bumped into a new setting as often.  The same could be said for the EVF diopter adjustment.  More than once I’ve gone to look into the viewfinder only to have it be a blurry mess.  Some gaffers tape has since fixed that problem…  And next time mark that diopter guys, I don’t need to play the eye Dr game when trying to reset it!   The flip out LCD is awesome.  It’s slim enough to not make a huge difference when not in use but when needed it pops out and helps a lot.  The EVF is amazing.  At first it was a bit weird looking through an electronic viewfinder seeing the world, but now that I’ve gotten used to it I actually like it better.  I picked up a 5Diii the other day and it’s viewfinder was so dark…  Dialing in exposure compensation and seeing it’s effect through the viewfinder is just awesome.  It’s also the same exact view as the rear LCD which means you can use either w/o losing an abilities to AF.  For landscapes this means you’ll use the back LCD most of the time, but the EVF is just as good.

Auto Focus: With the X-T1 the AF is “good enough” for how I use it.  I’ve shot continuous shots of my son riding a bike towards me at 8fps and the 56mm f/1.2 (wide open) and gotten every shot in focus until he’s about ~5′ away.  Typically I don’t AF in those situations all that much anyway and for landscapes I usually MF as well.  But the short answer is the AF is finally good enough it does what I need to replace my DSLR.  Now bear in mind that I moved to a 5D from a 1Dii because I didn’t need anymore AF than the 5D offered.  The 5Diii was a large improvement to that.  The interesting thing is in super low light the X-T1 will out focus the 5Diii.  As in so dark the 5Diii gives up, the X-T1 is hardly slowed down and locks focus.  The issue here is in the AF system, the XT1 is slower to AF in low light but it can do it in practically any light with a stationary subject.  For landscapes this is great if you auto focus.


Image Quality:  The image quality from these cameras is wonderful.  It beats the old 7D I had for a while quite easily.  Fuji has gone without an AA filter in order to get the most detail possible out of the sensor and it shows.  Their lenses are also top notch sharpness wise which helps.  The Dynamic Range matches the 5Dii, beats canon’s aps-c sensored bodies and rivals the 5Diii.  It’s noise is about even with the 5Dii and a step behind the 6D/5Diii but it’s still very good for an APS-C sensor.  It’s also got noise that’s practically chroma (color) free and just luminance noise which looks much more random and filmlike.  3200 is very usable and 6400 can be used but you’ll need to make sure your exposure is spot on that high.  Above that you go into non RAW options which get ugly in a hurry.  Fuji’s known for it’s colors and the X-T1 doesn’t disappoint.  If anything I’m making less adjustments to color in post but I’m certainly not feeling I’m missing anything.  Resolution is the only issue I’ve really got here with “only” 16.3 mega pixels but that’s enough for my uses.  Some people have issues with the files in adobe LR in terms of some detail issues on greens but I’ve honestly never seen it.  I shoot enough seaweed I would have imagined I’d see it by know but maybe grass is different?

The Lenses:  For my landscape kit I have three lenses.  They’re all fuji lenses.  The 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 OIS is fuji’s “kit” lens but it’s an amazing lens for it’s size.  It’s tiny, yet optically it matches or even beats canon’s 24-105mm L.  I didn’t have a mid range zoom with my canon kit but for the money in a kit this lens is worth it and you won’t feel the weight in the bag at all (it’s <12oz).  I have the fuji 10-24mm f/4 OIS as my new wide angle lens replacing my beloved canon 16-35mm II.  Even though I didn’t buy the 16-35mm for it’s constant 2.8 aperture I learned to love it for wedding reception work as well as stars so I do miss it a bit here with the constant f/4 of the fuji.  The fuji has OIS but honestly, at least for me, OIS is worthless on a wide angle zoom.  I’ve taped the switch to the off position to avoid it accidentally getting switched on and ruining shots taken from the tripod.  Optically the 10-24mm is at least as good as the canon if not better.  The corners are bright and sharp.  It’s also a nice small UWA zoom.  While it big -vs- the other fuji lenses it’s much smaller than the canon it replaced and it weights 2/3 the canon.  Finally I have the fuji 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 OIS.  This replaces my tamron 70-300 VC which I’ve always loved.  The fuji version is again smaller and lighter but not by making any sacrifices in IQ.  If anything it hangs with the canon 70-300L I had for a while.   In short the fuji lenses are all amazingly sharp optics.  Their OIS works quite well as well when needed (generally not for landscapes but it’s great on the 18-55 and 55-200 whenever you’re handholding).  One negative with ALL the fuji lenses is they put text on the front of the lens.  This text is bright white and reflects off my circular polarizer (a lee panel CP) leaving obnoxious lettering across images at times…  I’ve since used gaffer’s tape to cover it but they should just not mark the front of the lens.  I’ve seen people online do the same with a grease pencil.

Here are some samples with the 55-200mm:

Here are some samples with the 18-55mm:

Here are some samples from the 10-24mm:

WiFi:  This is one of those features I never thought much of in the past but I LOVE now that I have it.  In the world of social media it’s wonderful to be able to share a shot I’ve taken with my “real” camera instantly through my phone.  I’m an apple user and it basically works like this: make sure you have a JPEG ready to send to your phone/tablet.  If you shoot RAW only process the RAW file in camera into a JPEG.  Fire up the camera WiFi option via the dedicated button.  This will turn on the WiFi in camera. Go into your settings in your phone and connect to your camera’s WiFi network.  Once connected open the WiFi app on your device.  On the camera click “ok” to send the image across.  It will appear on the phone basically immediately.  It’s ready to be used wherever you want!  I use this all the time to instagram shots in the morning when I’m landscaping along with a setup shot while taking the image.

Portability:  The entire system is smaller -vs- the canon option I had previously.  Even if I’d had an canon DSLR with the smaller sensor this would still be the case, but it’d be a smaller step.  There are two reasons for this.  Stepping to a smaller sensor means the glass has to cover a smaller area which means it can be smaller.  But the lack of a mirror means they can design lenses to be shorter as well as well as shrink the body itself.  This means my entire kit weighs less than it did before (even though I’m carrying 3 lenses now instead of 2) which makes a big difference when you’re hiking around with your kit all day.  When out with the family I can easily pocket the XE2 with either the 18mm or 27mm and use it like a point and shoot as well.


Batteries:  Fuji’s batteries are terrible.  There, I said it.  Why?  A few reasons.  With a smaller body comes a smaller battery, we all get that.  And with mirrorless cameras comes the camera’s reliance on using the LCD’s (EVF or the rear screen) to show you what you’re aiming at.  I also get that.  But why, oh why, must the fuji’s batteries be “unchipped” or “dumb”?  That’s my complaint.  Use a sony NEX-5 (or any of their NEX bodies, they all use the same battery) and you’ll know exactly how much battery you have left (with an accurate bar system or % should you choose).  And it drops in a way that makes sense, if you’re at 75% you’ve got a lot of power left…  With the fuji’s you’re looking at bars only and you’ll be shooting along with a full battery one minute and the next you’ll be down a bar then BAM!  All of a sudden it’s blinking red and then it’s dead (but for the last 5~10 seconds it flashes the red battery at you using the screen and power BUT WON’T LET YOU SNEAK IN ONE LAST SHOT!).  Yeah yeah, I’m sure that would corrupt the card….  But it’s not just the rapid demise from “good to go” to “stone cold dead” with a side of “laugh in your face” that gets me.  Let a fuji battery sit on the shelf for a few weeks, go to use it and guess what you get?  Fully charged for about 5 minutes of use, maybe another 5 with it yelling at you, then dead.  Yep, fuji’s don’t sit.  So you’re constantly playing the charge game.  If you use your batteries enough and get a system going where you always charge them when you come home it’s not as bad.  But yeah, chip the batteries and give them the technology to sit on the shelf for a month PLEASE!  Now, that’s not all that’s wrong with the power system either!  As with all my other fuji reviews, I’ll say it again, the charger sucks!  It comes with a cord instead of wall plugs.  Yes, by now we all know you can replace the cord with an apple bit by why should I have to?  The other thing I’ve picked up recently is a watson double charger.  Yes this goes against my complaints about fuji’s crappy corded charger in that the watson also uses a cord….  but the watson charges two batteries at once and does a better job!  I’ve shot the same battery for three days straight now after charging it on the watson and it’s lasted through a sunrise and two architecture shoots!  I’m not sure if this is a honeymoon stage effect as I just got the watson this week but it seems to put a better charge onto the batteries!  I now have 10 batteries for my fujis.  Granted I have 3 bodies that use them, 3 spare fuji batteries, 2 wasabi (great knock offs) and 2 no branded options from amazon.  For landscapes 4 seems to be enough, maybe less especially if it’s not all day or overnight.  For weddings the most I’ve used is 6 but 2 weren’t fully charged before I left the house.

Tripod and Accessories: The other bonus with shrinking your entire system down is you also get to do the same to all your accessories.  I’ve replaced my induro CT-313 with a sirui n-1204X which is <18″ when folded up.  The key is the legs invert to go around the center column and head.  It also weighs ~2lbs and fits inside two of my camera bags!  Bag wise I’ve either shrunken my small hip/shoulder bags or I’ve actually increased the size of my backpacks as they now have a ton of room for other stuff and I’m using a more hiking styled backpack.  For instance I swapped my f-stop loka which basically held my camera and a few other tiny things to the f-stop satori which has a smaller ICU now but a TON of space for other stuff and I can now do a proper weekend out of it.  I will say the 10-24mm is a large enough lens I’ve had to stick with my larger Lee 4×6 panel filters.  I was hoping to downsize to their seven5 setup but it won’t work with the 10-24mm.



  • Great IQ
  • small size
  • AF is finally good enough
  • WiFi!
  • weather sealed body
  • amazing lenses
  • tilt out LCD
  • EVF!  It’s actually better than an OVF now that I’m used to it…
  • uses the new SDHC UHS-II cards which while expensive are CRAZY FAST!!!


  • Battery life
  • the rear 4-way isn’t as good as the X-E2
  • the memory card door is a bit cheap feeling, but it’s holding up fine…
  • no dual cards, the prototypes had it, there’s a dummy slot in there for it, why’d it get removed?
  • price?  For the IQ it’s amazing but for an APS-C system you’re well outside the into DSLR price level and most of the lenses are ~$1k each (but all amazing!).
  • White text on the front of the lenses reflects on filters leaving text in the images…  fixed with gaffer’s tape but why is this needed?
  • The viewfinder, while amazing, isn’t 100%?  Neither is the back screen.

Suggestions to Fix (via firmware or in the next version):

  • The rear buttons need to be the buttons from the XE2 and X pro series
  • the 10-24mm aperture ring should stop at A at one end and f/4 on the other since it’s not variable.
  • because the ring doesn’t stop, you should have the option to use one of the two dials on the body itself.
  • give us a “hyperfocal” focus option when in manual focus.  Basically we press a button, the camera calculates the hyperfocal distance for the set aperture and focal length, and then the camera focuses to that distance…  I’m doing this now on screen with the digital DOF scales but why not let the camera do it for us, it’d be an amazing feature and “easy” to implement I’d guess…
  • When in T mode you should be able to choose ANY shutter speed in the range, not just the ones they couldn’t fit on the dial.  It’s very annoying to have to switch out of T into normal shutter speeds at that time of the morning when you’re going between 1s and 2s…
  • Bracketing REALLY needs to have more options.  They give you +/- 1/3, 2/3 and 1 stop.  That’d be fine if they also let you shoot more than 3 frames.  But because they don’t they either need to allow you to take more than 3 frames (5 frames 1 EV apart or even 7) or they need to allow you to have +/-2 and +/-3 EV as options as well.  I know the DR of this camera is quite good, but there’s times shooting houses where I need what’s outside the window as well as inside and a quick bracket is the easiest way to make sure I get all the data I need.
  • In camera HDR processing.  I know I know I know, HDR is the devil.  But again, I shoot architecture with clients looking at pics on the screen a lot.  With my canon’s I’d shoot HDRs in camera with it set to save the RAW files as well.  This meant I could show the client the in camera HDR and they’d see the details (with toned down colors of course, “realistic”) but I’d have the files I’d need to get a better result in post later…
  • The camera forgets the 2s delay once it goes to sleep or is turned off.  I know for some people it can be tricky when you turn the camera on again a month after that last selfy and wonder why it’s not shooting as you’d expect….  so yeah, make it an optional thing.  But for us landscapers who don’t have fancy fuji remotes yet, let the camera remember it when I switch the camera off to save power….
  • Timer delay should be on the mode dial.
  • Allow me to customize the Q menu.  Yeah yeah yeah, those JPEG settings sure are great.  I don’t shoot JPEGs though so there goes half my menu out the window….
  • AF-L and AE-L should at least be customizable but ideally they should be Fn buttons I can assign ANYTHING to.  I use AF-L but I’d prefer it to be the inner button.  I never use AE-L except via the shutter button so that’s wasted on me.
  • The video record button should also be a Fn button.
  • I should be able to reverse the direction of the dials via the menu so + is – and vice versa.
  • Allow me to set the AF point when face detect AF is turned on.  I use face detect when I can but when it’s not working I have to turn it OFF before I can pick a point other than the center point…
  • add 60s, 90s and 120s to the T menu, then I’d never need a remote….
  • the sensor for the EVF (to know when to switch) glows red even when the camera is asleep.  This probably hints it’s wasting power?
  • The rear buttons really are that bad.  I can’t change AF points with the camera to my face like I can with the XE2 simply because I can’t tell what my fingers are touching…
  • Per the last con, the viewfinder and rear screen aren’t 100%?  Why not, it’s all digital so this should be easy no?


Conclusion:  Since switching to fuji I haven’t had a single moment where I’ve regretted the switch.  In fact as I sit here and look at my images from recent months (since the 10-24mm arrived) I find myself thinking my work is better if anything -vs- when I have my full frame canon setup.  Now I’m the first to admit it’s the photographer, not the camera but the point here is the fuji system isn’t holding me back one bit.  I’ve noticed I have less issues with “dragging” my gear places to get interesting shots and I’m shooting more often.  When I travel for work a camera comes with me with the new smaller tripod as well because it takes up so little space.  The cameras do what I need them to do.  Don’t let the huge list of suggestions above fool you into thinking I don’t love the system.  That list is there because fuji constantly pushes out updates for their bodies (even after they’ve replaced them with a newer version!) and if we’re all lucky they’ll read that list and implement a few of them!  The camera work well as is but nothing is every perfect.  That list would get it darn close though!  Hopefully this review has helped some of you who are on the fence decide one way or another.  This is part I, part II will focus more on the wedding aspect of what/how I shoot so look for that before the end of next week (I’ll add links once it’s up).

Here’s a gallery of images with the new fuji camera and lens combo -vs- what they replaced with my canon system.  The size difference is quite a lot!

And here’s a gallery of the fuji in use in the field:

37 thoughts on “The Fuji switch part I: Landscapes!

  1. Without any doubt, your pictures are amazing. That’s Fuji – as such the system and X-trans sensor can surprise in quite a bit of circumstances. But of course, a landscape full of rocks doesn’t run away. Neither is the combination of dynamics and low light present or is your battery life being tested against the limits. It was precisely in that context I started revisiting my serious attempt to go over to a 100% Fuji gear solution. Btw, I have been a first wave Fuji user but about 6 months ago – after some project disasters – I decided to go back to Nikon DSLRs for my main work and to be honest, that was a major relief. I’m using Fuji X only as back-up or street/travel solution now. Yes, I recognize the competences, there is a fair bit to like because this is also design wise such a nice looking solution, but I was completely missing the stability and reliability, really started hating the issues with shutter lag, the low light behavior, AF and most of all the missing of true professional flash solutions were killing me. A lot of people just judge on emotions, but a good FF camera still delivers me + 1 stop and even possibly +2 stops if you really start comparing the noise levels, a far better color and exposure management (yes, I suffered quite a bit with the Fuji algorithms under more extreme contrast situations, while in low light, everything turns red), dynamics (easily 1-2 stops difference) plus more shallow depth… On top of it, I had a very bad experience with Fuji themselves – able to sell stuff but not to service them. About 3 months for a lens repair under guarantee – finally they wanted to exchange it with a second hands copy used by one of their salesmen. Neither does the finishing and quality of the Fuji components convince me, the plastic and rubber is not of the most resistent grade and the black paint of the X-Pro1 proofed to be extremely delicate to get damaged. The front of my 60mm once got disassembled in my bag (I still can’t explain it because I’m very careful). Things like that don’t buy trust, never experience anything similar with Nikon stuff – you can say it’s all plastic but it is a lot more solid and capable.

    • Seems like you’ve had a bit of bad luck with your fuji. This is my landscape portion of my fuji review, weddings etc is to come so I’ll comment on AF there. Noise wise the X-T1 is on par with the canon 5Dii and a step behind the canon 5Diii but it still puts it at or above every APS-C sensored canon available. Landscapes might not be demanding on noise in some cases but they push the dynamic range limits on any camera. Canon cameras can also have issues when you open up the shadows in post which the fuji’s don’t do. I know the D800e is on a pretty high pedestal right now in terms of the best FF landscape camera and I have no arguments there. I’m just trying to show how well the fuji’s do, especially for a pint sized travel setup. I’m not saying they’re for everyone but they’re a great option for a lot of people, especially if you don’t want to deal with the cost or size of a FF option.

    • I’ve tried a grease pencil but it won’t stick to the metal/letter. Sharpies do work but it’s messy. My point is why should I have to draw on a lens in order to take a good landscape photo with it? I guess canon and the others do it as well but for some reason it’s a much bigger issue with both the 14mm (which I sold once the 10-24mm arrived) and now the 10-24mm. Maybe because the optics are smaller so this lettering is closer to the portion of the filter that the image is coming through? Not sure but either way, whatever is causing this didn’t happen with my 5Diii and 16-35II but it happens a lot with the fuji.

  2. Great review and beautiful pictures – Thanks! I have the X-T1 and the X-E1 (switched from Canon). I’m curious if you’ve miss the 14mm?

    • Don’t miss the 14mm as the 16-35mm was my money maker with canon so I “need” a UWA zoom. The 14mm was a great lens and a lot smaller but it just wasn’t the right lens for me versus a
      Zoom. Thanks for the compliments!

  3. Six months ago I switched from Nikon D800 (been shooting Nikon for 8 years) to Fujifilm X-E2, loved it but Im now going over to Sony A7 to keep the size down but still go full frame.. dont ask me why, might regret it later. I just wanted to say you have some really valid points and I hope that Fuji will see this and listen. Your landscape shots are really good and those last equipment shots are pure camera porn! Keep up the good work

    • Olle,
      Thanks for the kind words. I totally understand the A7 lust! My issue with that system is the lenses. I refuse to adapt FF lenses from other systems as those lenses are bigger than you’d need for a mirrorless design and the added adapter makes the savings on the body negligible. Once they roll out a full lineup of lenses I’ll be very tempted as well, at least for landscapes. My other issue with the A7 is it’s AF speed. I’ve heard it’s pretty slow. Because of the lack of lenses I haven’t even tried one yet beyond on the floor at photo expo last fall. This year I plan on spending a lot more time with it. I will say the newly announced lenses look promising but they’re not small! The new 35mm 1.4 (a lens I’d own to shoot weddings) is MASSIVE compared to fuji’s 23mm. It’s basically the same size as the canon version it seems? I also hope to check it out at expo.

      My other consideration for landscapes is the NEX/a6000 with sony’s 10-18mm. It’s got more MP on it -vs- fuji so if you’re doing this just for a gain in resolution it’s a bit of a help, but that package is actually smaller than the XE2 with 10-24mm. I tried this last fall (bought one) with the NEX7 and 10-18mm before fuji finally released the 10-24mm. I LOVED the setup but the NEX7 had the purple fringing issue on the edges of the frame while landscaping. Yes there’s a fix for it in post but that’s not what I’m after. That sensor also had weird sunstar patterns where they’d repeat slightly offset, like flare on top of sunstars which was really distracting on any sort of urban landscapes. It did it with both the 10-18mm and the 18-55mm so I’m fairly sure it’s the sensor. I’m looking at trying the a6000 at some point to see if it’s fixed on that sensor. Sony’s AF looks to be quite good in that body, and they finally do have the lenses I’d want on their APS-C EVILs.

      Good Luck!

  4. Hi Ben and thanks for that review.
    I’m pretty new to the Fuji X-system and have only had my X-T1 (my first Fuji) for about a month now. I really like it, even if the handling and autofocus is no where close to my 5D MkIII, the same goes for the batteries and for exposure bracketing for example. And so far I’ve actually only used it for street photography, but I will try it for landscape. The image quality (at least in good light) is great, but I tried it at night with high ISO settings and that was a bit of a let down, I’d have to say. Since this was hand held in the city that is one thing, using it on a tripod with no regards to shutterspeeds and being able to keep the ISO at 200, I can’t see why it shouldn’t handle night shots well though, since I’ve heard people speak well of it in regards to astroscaping for example.

    And when it comes to lenses, I guess you’re pleased with the 10-24mm. I’ve got the 14mm (+ the 35mm and 56mm) and I’ve seen comparisons between the 10-24mm and the 14mm, where the zoom was left way behind when it comes to all over sharpness and especially corner sharpness. As a landscape photographer I would like to get something wider than the 14mm (since I’ve got the Canon 17-40mm f/4 L for my 5D MkIII) and would be interested to hear if you have compared them yourself? The 10-24mm is obviously more allround, being a zoom but the lack of sharpness in the comparisons I’ve seen put me off a little bit. I bought the Fuji kit not as a replacement for my Canon gear, but more for a smaller and lighter setup for street/architecture/cityscapes, but I am intrigued by the thought of maybe letting it be my companion in the outdoors also, when I’m doing landscapes (would make more room in my Loka and be way lighter). And while looking at some of your shots, it seems like it can do the job, since they look very nice. 🙂

    • Peter,
      Thanks for the comment! As for the 5Diii -vs- XT1, there’s a lot to go over. Yes the handling is weird, especially at first. It’s a camera you have to use for a while to really “learn”. I’ve also added sugru to the buttons on the back so they’re easier to hit as needed. The new firmware should also help with them allowing us to select the AF point on the fly -vs- hitting down first… In terms of batteries, get a good charger! I’ve gone with the watson ~$70 option from B&H. Not sure if you can get that in the UK, but I’ve learned that if you always top off your batteries before a day out they last MUCH longer. I’m now shooting weddings using only 3 total batteries -vs- 6~8 before. With Fuji’s chargers I’d try to top them off the night before but it’d suggest they were full. With the Watson it says 80% and you let it charge to 100% then you get a ton more life out of them. EC/EV is easy enough to learn, but the auto bracketing is a PITA in comparison. I just shoot in M when I need that and DIY it. Noise wise it’s noisier -vs- the 5Diii for sure, but at least it doesn’t get any patterns to the noise. This was a much bigger problem with the 5Dii which is about where I’d rank the XT1 noise wise (which is to say a stop behind the 5Diii). 3200 is good, 6400 is a stretch with the XT1. 200 is awesome.

      Lens wise, I’m loving the 10-24mm. I had the 14mm before it which is a great lens and ever so slightly sharper IMHO. But for what I shoot I “need” wider so the 10-24mm came w/o question. I’d say it beats the 17-40L pretty easily as is about as good as the 16-35mm II (I’ve owned both on my 5Dii and 5Diii)? The XT1 sensor is a bit behind for two reasons, the obvious being MP but secondly the processing. Adobe leaves the files lacking details a bit. You can tweak your processing a bit in LR under details (25~45/default/100/10). Yes the third one is 100 which is completely opposite how I’d process a canon file (defaults in LR and slight sharpening in PS). I’ve heard some other processing options are better as well but I’m an LR/adobe guy at this point.

      Your last point is what landed me with Fuji. I wanted to downsize my kit. I’ve always had small cameras for shooting family shots but they were never up to replacing my canon kit. MFT doesn’t have wides that take filters and I just don’t like going to a sensor that small to be honest. Fuji and Sony were the two logical solutions in terms of getting a small package with the biggest sensor. The a7r is still on my radar now that the 16-35mm is almost out. But that lens is the size of your 17-40 so I’m not saving all that much in terms of size and weight -vs- my canon since the lenses add up to the same weight and size (16-35 f/4, 24-70 f/4, 70-200 f/4). The sony APS-C options are good but as of the NEX7 their sensors had purple fringing and a weird double sunburst effect. I’m very curious to try their a6000 though as it’s supposed to have a new sensor and is smaller than the XE2 with better AF… Their 10-18mm is a great lens as well. But after trying the NEX7 the fuji sensor was the next best and their lens lineup fills in all the blanks I need (and then some). So it wins. Yes there are some things that aren’t as good but in prints on the wall I can’t see a difference so I’m happy.

      Hope that helps!

  5. Hi Ben and thank you for a helpful and extended answer. 🙂

    One of the things that makes me think about making a permanent switch in the future is if 1. Fujifilm will keep on making these great cameras (and lenses) and improving on them and 2. if Canon keeps letting me (us) down with not bringing something good to the table. If they won’t beef up the specs for a future 5D MkIV (or whatever it’ll be called) with especially higher resolution and dynamic range. I don’t care about video, which unfortunately they seem to concentrate on depending on some of the rumours that I’ve heard. As it is now, they are being left behind by companies like Nikon and Sony (not counting in Fujifilm, since I’m talking about full frame DSLRs) for example, and more people will switch to another brand. And sure, that Sony A7r is tempting in a way for a landscape photographer, especially if one’s got a good range of lenses already, but like you point out, the kit won’t be that much smaller because of the lenses.

    And I might be checking out the 10-24mm more seriously, especially IF I would get rid of my Canon gear, since I would like to be able to go wider than the 14mm allows me to. If the 10-24 is at least as sharp as the 17-40mm or even better, then it’s all good, since that one has served me well for about 10 years (even if it’s not the sharpest lens in the world, it’s a work horse). I’ve only seen comparisons between the 10-24mm and the 14mm, and that made me chose the way I did, and also the smaller size of the 14mm since I wanted a small kit for use in the city. But like I said, that might change and it might be my system for landscapes also and then it’s a very interesting lens to add to the kit (as would be a 24-70mm equivalent that I’ve heard of might come to the Fuji line).
    And thanks for the tip about Lightroom tweaking. I can’t say that I think they lack that much detail as it is, but they might turn out even better if I try and process the Fuji files that way instead.

    And yes, I look forward to the firmware update in December. On of the things is the electronic shutter. 1/4000s is too slow, since I like to shoot wide open. I mean, since I have a 56mm f/1.2, why wouldn’t I always want to shoot wide open? Haha. 🙂
    Well, I’m not all serious about that, but still, I do like to shoot at 1.2 or 1.4 (with my 35mm since they’re both really sharp) and the new firmware will be good, since I don’t want to fiddle with an ND filter while doing street photography. It’ll be interesting with the update, that’s for sure. And I haven’t heard about or seen the Watson charger here in Sweden, but I’ll look into it. I’ve ordered things from B&H before, so I might do it again if it comes down to that. 🙂


  6. Hey, thanks for writing this up. It really helped a lot for me to convert to X-T1.
    One question though. How is the stability on this setup? With the Sirui TX1204 and Sunwayfoto FB28? Would it work well in windy conditions? Or say places where the ground is uneven…

    • Ian,
      The tripod has been surprisingly good. I bought it to go on a family vacation knowing my big induro would be a hassle and wanting something that would fit inside my bag. It has been good enough its all I’ve been using unless I need my geared head (for arch work). Longer lenses in wind are always tricky but I find I can block the wind with my body usually. The biggest complaint is the feet can’t be changed to spikes which I’d prefer on wet rocks. The 3lt brian can do that but has more sections which I don’t like and their Eric is just too long to fit in my bag.

  7. Hey Ben,

    They do come with spikes but that’s from Series 2 onwards. Meaning the TX2204, N2204, R2204 etc . .
    But of course, that comes in an increase in weight and size as well.

  8. Ben,

    Great summary of the XT-1. I’m pairing the XT-1 with the D800 and almost ready to sell the Nikon. One question… What L bracket set up are your using in the photos posted here?

    • Travis,
      Thanks for the kind words. If you’re switching from a D800 have you considered the sony a7 series? That decision will depend on the lenses you need but you’d get to keep the same sensor you have now if that’s important. As for the L-bracket I’m a HUGE fan of fuji’s grips on the XT1 and XE2. I love the little rubber bit on the front. The problem is it’s only a bottom plate, not an L. So I picket up a Hejnar universal L-bracket and put a clamp on it. That way I can add it to the XT1 quickly and I can just leave it in my landscape bag. Works pretty well.
      Good Luck!

  9. Hi Ben,

    Great review and thank you for covering things systematically. Makes them easy to follow and relate to.

    I’ve been a Nikon user for about 8 years and recently switched to X-T1 with 18-55mm kit lens. I shoot landscapes and architecture mainly and now travel with this light camera. I love the handling of it so far, but I’m not able to produce fairly good quality images with it as I can with Nikon D7100 and D800e. So I wanted to ask you a few questions if you don’t mind answering. It will go a long way in improving my images with X-T1. Otherwise I was thinking of selling it since I wasn’t able to produce good images.

    1. Tripod: I’ve been using a MeFoto tripod, which is very compact and lightweight. But I suspect that it is very sensitive to shake even in moderately windy conditions. My Benro triped seems a lot stable, which is my main workhorse. I see that you have switched to Sirui now. Can you elaborate if you had to handle X-T1 differently on a tripod, as opposed to your Canon?

    2. Shooting Technique: If I understood correctly from your writeup and Q&A, you turn off OIS and use 2-sec timer on a tripod?

    3. Have you tried shooting with the phone app? Would you prefer it over 2-sec timer instead?

    4. Post Processing: This is where majority of my issues are. I use LR for post and Fuji RAWs do not show up sharp at 100% zoom. I’ve read a lot on this and also saw you reference the different LR technique. I don’t really want to switch away from LR as I have my workflow fully automated on it. Can you give specific advise on how to process RAF files using LR (+ PS) so that they show the sharpness properly?

    5. Any other advice for post that will make RAFs give the results one would expect? LR handles Nikon’s NEFs quite elegantly and never had complaints.

    6. Noise Reduction: What setting do you use for NR in X-T1?

    7. Some shots, esp lit windows in buildings at night give a plasticy look. I dont get that with D7100 and D800e in LR. Have you noticed it? How do you overcome this?

    8. I currently use B+W polarizers and NDs with step up rings. Got them for quality glass. The problem is interop. I’m a big fan of Lee filters’ ease of use. How’d you compare the results of Lee vs Schott glass?

    Btw, there is a 72mm adapter ring for LEE Seven5 series. Can’t you use it on your 10-24mm? I was planning to buy it, but you mentioned that you can’t use it on 10-24, so I’ve paused right now.

    Appreciate your answers and keep writing.

    • Zeekay,
      Thanks for all the kind words and questions. Let me try to answer everything!
      1) My sirui is slightly better than a mefoto from what I’ve seen but still not 100% rock solid. If I know it’s going to be windy or if I need a critical shot I’ll drag my old induro ct-313 with me which is WAY overkill for the XT1 but I know it won’t budge… I don’t do anything differently DSLR -vs- mirrorless, the lighter setup has just allowed me to get a lighter tripod for most of what I do. I always keep the tripod as low as the composition will allow and my tripod has 4 sections and 3 locks (-vs- 5/4 on most travel setups) as I feel each lock/section makes things more likely to move. I also shoot with the center column down whenever possible as it makes things shaky as well. I returned the first sirui I ordered because it was a 5/4 section/lock and had a center column that was always up…
      2) OIS from a tripod will introduce shake. Basically it moves a few lens elements inside the lens to counter any camera shake. From a tripod this actually adds shake and blurs the image. I taped the switch on my 10-24 because it’s a lens I’d never want OS for. But on the 18-55, 55-200 and 18-135 I have it untaped and have to double check every time. And yes, always a 2s delay. That came from using mirror lockup on my DSLR which we obviously don’t need with a mirrorless camera but it means my finger can’t introduce any movement. A remote would also work but it’s another thing to carry and keep a battery in so I go without unless I’m shooting stars.
      3) no I haven’t, not more than in the house at least. It’s a personal thing but I like interacting with cameras to take pictures I guess? The phone is just so impersonal with a flat glass screen. It’s also something else to charge. It’s also something else I could drop and break… I do use the phone to instagram shots and tell my wife when I’ll be home though!
      4) Fuji files are weird in adobe products. The PP I’ve sorted out came from here:
      basically push the detail slider to 100 where something like 10 is the default. Works quite well. Then in PS tweak to suit. In prints I haven’t seen a problem if I’ve done the LR step and then an unsharp mask step as my last step in PS. That’s always to suit the image but something along 100 and 1.0 works for the first two boxes leaving the third alone. I always keep the first two numbers at something from 55-120 then the second being 1% of the first.
      5)With fuji files you get the best colors around but the details can be a bit soft… Try the steps in #4 and hopefully that helps, but it’s a smaller file AND it’s got their unique array so you’ll never match a 24mp aps-c or a 36mp FF sensor…
      6)I turn it all off and only shoot RAW.
      7) haven’t seen it but would love to see samples. And not saying it’s not there but always be sure to shoot something like this that you’re curious about with both cameras if you can. It’s a major PITA but for the longest time I thought the XT1’s AF was slow in low light… but side by side the 5Diii it’d lock on things the canon couldn’t. Felt slower but wasn’t when put head to head…
      8) Lee for ease of use. It’s not as good because it’s not glass (except for the CP but that’s 2 layers of glass). I screw a lee adapter onto my lens (or a xume adapter with the fujis) ONCE and never deal with that drama again. I shoot too often and too early to be dealing with threading rings onto a lens…

      as for the lee seven5, it doesn’t work on the 10-24mm. It’s too small. They’ve got that in their literature somewhere but I’ve seen it myself.


  10. Thank you for your answers Ben. That clarified a lot for me.

    I’m using the 10-24mm Fuji lens now for landscapes mostly. It’s an amazing lens I must say.

    I wanted to ask you about getting both foreground and background in focus in landscapes. Do you have any preset focal lengths and f-stops that you use?

    Also, do you always use hyper focal distance to focus for a given focal length?

    How would you photograph a landscape say if you have to get a rock formation about 3-4 ft and some trees / hills about several hundred feet all in focus at the same time?

    The safest approach I can think of is focus stacking


  11. Hi Ben,

    Thank you for the lucid presentation. I’m currently looking for a L-plate for the X-T1 with the battery grip. I know that RRS has a model-specific L-plate but I’m more interested in an universal setup. I noticed that you have the Hejnar L-plate and the Fuji base plate but cannot identify the clamp in between. Can you let me know its make and model? Also, do you think the Hejnar L-plate by itself would be secure enough (without twisting since it doesn’t have the form-fitting lip) when attached directly to the Fuji battery grip?

    Thank you.

    • David,
      The clamp is a universal lever clamp from amazon. The base looks like an x with a lot of material removed. Loc tite the little but. As for the hejnar its got 4 set screws on the bottom to tighten against the camera or grip. They work well with the lighter cameras. I can’t guarantee it’ll work on an xt1 with grip but it should.
      Good luck!

    • Yes I’ve tried it. They’re helpful for not needing ND filters anymore. The true viewfinder is also great as it’s showing me what the RAW files will actually look like when I get home. Gotta love fuji and the way they’re always improving their cameras via firmware!

  12. What gorgeous landscape shots – I can hardly say it’s all the camera’s doing and attribute their gorgeousness to the camera’s capabilities alone… very talented! Absolutely stunning images!

    This has been a very convincing article indeed, complimenting some other good ones I’ve read up on over the last few days. Unlike most people making the switch I’m still using very basic stuff since I’m still a student – almost embarrassing I suppose after reading so many comments from people with epic gear – Canon EOS 600d, 40mm pancake and 100mm macro which I use most, and the kit 18-55 which I really wish to replace but have no alternative for landscapes. I had (until a few days ago) been dreaming of buying a 5d for as long as photography became a part of my life, and for the first time ever this X-T1 has really got me thinking otherwise. I had no idea I could get a smaller, lighter, externally better looking camera with some neat functionality (like control via WI-FI and an EVF), that costs so much less. The lens selection in particular looks simply gorgeous – from their sharpness to their weight! And the price compared to Canon’s greatest lenses almost makes you wonder where the compromises were made – awesome to think I could own a 35mm f/1.4 and a 23mm f/1.4, which from reviews I’ve seen are very very impressive, for less than the cost of canon’s 35mm L!

    But I’ve seen SO many pictures taken with the 5d range and Canon’s decent lenses that I’d been entirely convinced that a 5d Mk III was what I was going to buy as soon as I started working next year. This X-T1 looks like a total game-changer though – it will certainly be a step up from what I currently use, but I guess I will always wonder what it would have been like to use a 5d Mk III, and all that full frames like it can give (such as the shallower depths of field). I’m definitely going to be enjoying those wide aperture primes which I may not have afforded if I went for the Canon purchase… all those f/1.4s (AND sharp at those apertures) make Fuji’s X system extremely tempting!

    Even the little things like dials on the top and the lens’ aperture rings – they aren’t things that I’ve yet experienced, but they have got to be nicer to use than fiddling through the menu on the display. And regarding the battery, I suppose it won’t be much of a change from my current camera – I guess my 600d gives me about 300 shots per charge too.

    Thank you once again for your contribution to the internet in helping those who like me scavenge the interwebs for all the information they can get before taking the plunge. I think going for this camera would be a much better move than going for the 5d Mk III, especially since I’m not a working professional photographer and I hope to be travelling much more soon. I just really hope, though from all these articles I’m being convinced otherwise, that I won’t miss the experience of one of Canon’s best cameras.

    It will be a while till I afford to move on to Fuji’s camera. and only God knows what kind of progress they will make with their new bodies within the next 18 months – with the kind of progress they’ve made in two years we could probably expect some jaw-dropping quality sensors that not only match current full frame beasts, but beat them!

    • Thanks for the kind words Sarah. As you know I used to shoot canon and have nothing against them. They’re just big and heavy which meant I, personally, used them less and less. As you pointed out they also cost a lot more. I will say canon has fallen behind on their dynamic range a bit. The new 5s might have fixed that but only time will tell there… But sony (who makes nikon’s sensors) and fuji are well ahead there for now.

      Good Luck!

    • Chris,
      I just it to add a loop of spectra when I want a wrist strap. It allows me to add/remove it quickly and it doesn’t make any noise or scratch anything.

  13. Hi Ben

    Amazing Images! Enjoyed your piece on your switch to Fuji. As you are photographing interiors and architecture as well (same as myself), I would like to ask you if you are also using your Fuji system for it?

    I am actually a long time Sony user (A65, A77 then A99) now also or especially shooting assignments with the A7R II and if necessary using rented, adapted Canon TS lenses. Works a treat and is great.

    For my personal and landscape photos I am kind of on the fence. After using my Sony DSLT rig I’ve been using an X-T10 for a personal project exclusively with one lens for half a year now and I love the simplicity. The files have amazing color and the camera handles great (as does the X100(T) and other x series cameras).

    However, I would love to have just one system for everything (personal, landscape, architecture jobs and corporate construction / documentation timelapses).

    Using the Fuji system extensively the past few months I’ve noticed the following:
    1. X-trans files import slower to Lightroom than Sony A7R II files, by a big margin
    2. X-trans files processing (library, develop, previews, zoom 100%, export jpgs, etc) is a lot slower than the much bigger Sony A7R II files
    3. X-trans files have much better color than any other file I’ve seen from any camera
    4. X-trans files do tend to smear fine detail (water color effect, well-documented) especially in landscapes.
    5. Timelapse, interval shooting, Lightroom and LRtimpleapse processing Sony files is faster than Fuji files

    From your perspective, are you noticing the same issues / challenges?

    How does the Fuji system handle your architectural work?

    Do you use any shift lenses (adapted)? Wide Angle? widest to my knowledge would be the 17mm from Canon which equates roughly 25mm aps-c… not ultra-wide 🙁

    Any slowness importing and processing Fuji files compared to Canon 5DIII? BTW I am using a 4-core I7 6700k rig, custom built with 32GB Ram and GTX 970 STRIX

    Thanks a lot for your time and advice and opinion!

    • Adrian,
      Great comment with a ton of good info! I’ve actually switched to a sony system myself with the a7rii and a6300. I agree that the fuji files have better colors (and I have an X70 now for an every day carry and have compared it to my sonys) but all the other issues have pushed me to sony. I need more resolution for my paid work. I’m printing to 48″ wide pretty routinely and the sony files hold up much better with the increased resolution. As you’ve pointed out processing is also a bottleneck with fuji files. The a7rii files are faster even though they’ve got over twice the resolution? And an a7rii with the FE 16-35 is the same size as the X-T1 with the 10-24mm? As you said, the smearing of details was also an issue for me. And the sonys also happen to AF faster. It wasn’t an easy choice thanks to the amazing fuji colors but in the end the sony system fits me better.
      Thanks & Good Luck!

  14. Hi Ben
    Thanks for your quick feedback!
    So are you now using your fe 16-35mm f4 for all your wide landscapes/architectural shots? Are you happy with it?
    Thanks again.

  15. Great blog! I have bought an oly end 10ii, a fuji x100s and xe2 and a Sony a6000 to compare them. But there is no clear winner. Maybe Sony is the best overall. But thinking to ditch two or three. My question is what is the difference in IQ between xe2 and xt1? Many say none, but I think xt1 is slightly nicer and better. That said. Anyone experience with Oly emd 1. Many pros prefer this camera.
    What camera would you pick and why?

    • I’ve actually moved to a sony setup myself now. Between the XE2 and XT1 there’s not much if any difference in the IQ. Maybe slightly better high ISO on the XT but not much. The fuji system is a great system as is the sony. It depends on what you want really. I’m getting into video and fuji’s NOT very good there. They also have the problem with green details at times (I never really saw it but I’ve been shown samples) and their files processes slower in LR. Sony’s got worse colors and their lens lineup isn’t quite as good but the a6000 is an amazing body for the $$$ and it’s a lot smaller than the fuji. I’m now shooting with an a6000, a6300 and a7rii. As for the olympus I haven’t shot MFT in a long time. I always felt that sensor was a step too small for me for landscape work. They’re great cameras and very capable AND have amazing lens options but until the newest sensors I just felt I was giving up too much to use them for landscape work where details and DR are crucial.
      Good Luck!

  16. Hi Ben,

    I happen to come across your website. Amazing blog and spectacular photos. I just got a x-t2, looking forwRd to using it.

    BTW, what is the bag that hangs on the tripod in your pics. It looks like it holds your filters. I am curious if you have a list of all of your accessories/camera equipment.

  17. Thank you for this awesome, comprehensive review. I am stuck between two worlds – I have a Fuji X100t that I use all the time when taking photos in the city or when traveling, but I also have a Canon DSLR with various lenses I use in nature and wildlife. I’d like to get rid of everything and go with an X-T2 and a couple of lenses. It is a big change, like changing political party or religion!

    This review is a few years old now. Do you have any regrets?

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