Fuji XT-1; Not A Bed Of Roses

Most of the thoughts I've jotted down regarding the XT-1 so far might lead one to believe I just love everything about it. Wrong!. Most of the things that drive me crazy I consider nits compared to the upsides I value. If I shot differently, worked differently, or depended on a few controls more the camera might be unusable.


I'll try to be brief as I have a goal of keeping every post way under 1,000 words here. Let's say there are two categories of things that drive me nuts. The first would be stuff that may drive most normal people nuts. The second would be things most normal people wouldn't give a second thought. That second category includes things that don't affect me at all but the way I am wired they still drive me crazy.

Category One Horrors.

Ninety-nine percent of these are things that cannot be solved with firmware. If you don't have an XT-1 and are thinking about getting one these are a big deal. A lot of them you may not even notice until you work with the camera for a while.

  • The D-pad sucks. I mean it really sucks, Fuji just cannot seem to get this right ever, ever, ever. The closest they've come is the XPro-1. The XT-1 might just have the worst one yet. Yes, I have the "new version".
  • Placement of the AF-lock button. It's behind the thumb rest on the right. It's so awkward to use it's worthless to have a button there. Thank god I don't use AE-lock which is well placed so I can just switch AF-lock and AE-lock and pretend that horrid button doesn't exist. If you use both for back-button focus and whatever your exposure control method is beware. Awful.
  • The metering switch under the shutter speed dial is spiteful. It's evil. Hard to change when you want to but somehow it always seems to set it self off of the center position when you aren't looking. Too bad the center position is the one you want when you aren't looking carefully. I couldn't have designed it to be so hard to change on purpose but so easy unintentionally if I tried. WTF???
  • That brings us to how easy it is to change the drive mode dial under the ISO dial when you are changing ISO. Not a huge deal as it's very noticeable immediately. Hmmm, set ISO 400. Start shooting. WTF? What's going on. Oh... I'm in pano mode now. Fuji please take a look at your under dial dials. They suck. (Note, the Df everyone loves to bash has none of these control issues)
  • Why the hell can't I put anything I want in the Q-menu? Most of the things I can are useless to me.
  • You know how you can turn extra viewfinder info on/off with an external button on every other X camera. Well you cannot with the XT-1 you are stuck with whatever shit you want there or you have to dive into the menu. This sucks. I really want a setup where I have a clear viewfinder and can pop-up the level and histogram or whatever on demand here and there. This really blows given it's the only EVF I can use in the system.

Category Two WTF's

Category One wasn't too too bad but trust me the camera has to do a lot of things right for me to be okay with that nonsense. I shoot in manual more than 80% of the time so a lot of these aren't show stoppers. I think the biggest issue is the VF additional info. I have no idea why this cannot be on/off via external button on their highest end camera but can be on every other one. Next up are things that really don't matter but are maddening fuji-isms.

  • Most people might think it's a positive to SEE black and white when shooting black and white. Me, I'm not one of them. Oh, goodie Fuji now has a "natural view" feature that won't show you all the JPEG shit applied in the viewfinder — oh, gee it turns all the effects off EXCEPT FOR BLACK&WHITE. WTF????. Really? Really really? Is this some sort of joke just to piss me off?
  • Why the F@#K is the live histogram different from the as shot histogram? How useless is that. I can guess within a third of a stop or two. I want a histogram to be EXACT. Just FYI the live histogram seems to be a bit more conservative but it's hard to pin down. Too bad the Fuji has almost zero headroom in the highlights. Useless, you still have to check the back of the camera if you are picky about OOC exposure.
  • For gods sake, it's contrast detect AF. Why oh why can't we have points closer to the edge of the frame? While we are on that topic could you please line up one of the gillion focus points on the third intersections please???

That's really not too bad either but annoying as hell. You can probably guess that most things in the world annoy the shit out of me from the height of towel racks to off kilter lampshades. None of them are deal killers but the camera does so much else right I can sorta live with these. You can also guess what might make me buy whatever the next camera Fuji puts out is but that's a post for another day.