Is The Fujifilm X-T1 Still Good In 2021?

Fujifilm X-T1 Graphite Silver Edition with Fujifilm XF 35mm f.20

Is the X-T1 in still good in 2021? If you browse YouTube enough you’ll find a ton of videos based on that kind of question. Since I recently picked up an X-T1 on the used market I decided to make my own version of that kind of video, with my own little spin on it. Here’s the short of version of it. Of course it’s still good in 2021 and will still be that way years from now. It’s difficult not compare the gear you have or the gear you can afford with the newest more expensive piece of equipment that’s out of reach for whatever reason. Comparisons like that do little good. I decided to concentrate my video on the general reasons on why I love the Fujifilm X-T1. Check out that video here:

And/or keep reading to get my thoughts and feelings about this camera.

I like to include at least a small list of Pros and Cons of any piece of equipment I’m reviewing. In this case I’ll start with the ‘cons’ first.

CONS

This list is in no specific order.

  • No Acros film simulation
  • Missing the third tilt angle on the LCD Screen: Compared to the X-T2
  • The ISO dial is locked by default: The button needs to be pushed to turn it
  • No joystick
  • No Dual Card Slot
  • No treaded shutter release button
  • No 1/8000 shutter speed option
  • Limited video capabilities

I didn’t include anything about autofocus speed or tracking speed in the negatives or positives since this is never really a big consideration for me with the stuff I shoot.

Let’s get to the good stuff about this camera.

PROS

  • Price (I paid $300 for mine but I’ve seen some listed for $250 in great shape)
  • The design: Although not exclusive this model, the design is awesome. Modern and timeless at the same time.
  • Small size: Not as small as the X-T20 or X-E3 but still small and with a small lens can fit in spaces DSLRs would have trouble fitting into.
  • The viewfinder: Without getting into specs about it I’ll just say it works great. I had modest expectations for this aspect but it delivered.
  • The tilt-able LCD screen. The main angle I want on a screen like this is tilting up so I can have the camera at my waist and look down to shoot. This has that.
  • The dials: The design isn’t just for looks. The ISO, shutter dial and exposure compensation dial are extremely useful.
  • ISO performance: I don’t ask for much in this regard but if a camera can’t shoot clean images at ISO 3200 in multiple lighting scenarios I probably won’t keep it for long. No problems here. It works great at 3200 and solid at 6400.
  • Image quality: I’ve owned enough digital cameras to know that megapixel count is only one facet of image quality. The Fujifilm X-Trans ‘magic’ has hypnotized me. If there are major flaws, I’m not seeing it yet. Between the X-Trans sensor, lack of anti-aliasing filter, color rendition and dynamic range the images that come out of this camera are beautiful.

Here are just a few samples (straight out of camera using some of the built in film simulations)

Before I give you my overall thoughts on the Fujifilm X-T1 let me give you a little context and back story with my journey to becoming a series X-Series camera user.

My Fuji Journey So Far

I first tested the waters of the Fuji system with the X-T100 when it was first released. It was a cool camera but because it didn’t have the X-Trans sensor I felt like I wasn’t getting all the system had to offer. I sold it and replaced it with a used Fujifilm X-T2. It didn’t take me long after using the X-T2 before I was completely hooked on these cameras. I noticed I was rarely picking up my other cameras, which at that time were the Canon 6D and 70D. I used that X-T2 extensively until I started seeing the Fujifilm X-H1 on sale for $999 with the battery grip and 3 batteries. I sold my X-T2 and my 70D and picked up the X-H1. I knew if I had to choose just one camera, it would be the X-H1. The advanced video capabilities with IBIS and the fact that it would deliver the same amazing stills I was getting out my X-T2 made this a no-brainer for me. I was now an X-H1 owner.

Fast forward about 8 months later and I still love my X-H1 just as much now as the day I bought it but I wanted to give it a sibling. I wanted a second body to carry around every day to shoot city and street photography as well as family candids. I thought about the X-T2 again and probably would have re-invested in it but my budget was only about $300-500. Not long after I started searching I found this X-T1 Graphite Silver Edition. I’ve always wanted one of the silver models so I couldn’t pass this up.

Final Thoughts

Fujifilm creates a well rounded user experience that is rarely duplicated with any camera or tech company. Their take on camera design isn’t for everyone but the users who love it, really love it. Count me in that group. Maybe it’s because I love using old mechanical film cameras but using the X-T1 (or X-T2, XH-1, etc) is like driving a luxury sports car for me. Any car will get you from A to B but why not have a car that has style and quality that you can feel and see in every detail.

The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts. This old saying applies perfectly to the Fujifilm cameras. You can stare a spec sheets and watch reviews all day but until you spend time with an X-Series camera it’s difficult to completely understand why Fuji users love their gear so much.

Where To Buy

If you’re looking for your entry into this amazing system, the Fujifilm X-T1 might be the best value at the moment.

The 2 sites I check constantly for used gear are:
KEH and Used Photo Pro

The link to Used Photo Pro is an affiliate link but both sites are awesome. Fujifilm gear usually sells quick so if you’re in the market for a Fuji camera or lens, check everyday. You never know the deal you’ll find.

I think I’m going to go out and shoot some more photos with my X-T1. Take care and I’ll talk to you soon.

If you enjoy my blog and YouTube content please consider donating (with the PayPal link at the bottom of the page) to my content creation adventure. Thank you!

4 thoughts on “Is The Fujifilm X-T1 Still Good In 2021?

Add yours

  1. Fuji X-T1 user here. I have the X-T20 at home always to document my little daughter (stills and video) and the x-t1 is always in my daily bag and in morning walks around towns (specially when it rains with the 35f2 or the 16f2.8).
    Great camera. 3 things i (kind of) miss the most or don’t link:
    – Vertical tilt screen
    – Acros
    – Those button locks get a bit in the way

    I would like to have an X-T2 to match the x-t20 files, and if i’m covering some friends party or family gathering (well, not since march 2020…) i will use the x-t20, apart from that, what a great camera.
    Got it for 280 EUR in mid 2019.

    I think i will skip the X-T2 (unless a really grat deal comes up) and wait for the X-T3 to be in the used market bellow 500 EUR.

    1. I’ve been thinking the same thing about skipping the X-T2 and waiting for the prices to drop on the X-T3 a bit. I think over the next few months that will start to happen as more cameras are announced. Plus I have an X-H1 so I have a camera with the same sensor and processor as the X-T2. So I might as well wait to get something with the X-Trans 4 sensor.

  2. Hi Craig,

    many thanks for your very personal reflections. I own an Fuji X100 and a XT-1 both for some years and love them both. Having used Nikon analog and then full frame DSLR for some years I was simply tired of carrying all that weight. That led to a situation of using it less and less not earning my money with photography.

    Once I bought a used X100 in 2014 I so much enjoyed a camera of decent size, good build quality, “old fashioned dials” and great image quality – so I only used the X100 and the Nikon gear “started collecting dust”. And I again went out for a photo shoot much more often.

    In 2017 I then bought a used XT-1 which I still love and use today. As both X100 series as well as XT-series had some evolution I am now and then asking myself “shall I upgrade” to newer gear? Up to now the conscious decision was NO – because I am happy with what I get using my X100 and XT-1. Both are sufficient for my needs. As I mainly do travel (at times it was till possible …) and landscape photography aspects like slow AF, or poor video capabilities are not relevant for me.

    That said, it was inspiring to read and watch your article / video.

    What I also really enjoy is than one can travel light and compact: using the XT-1 + 18-55 + 55-200 + Samyang 12mm your are well equipped and all fits in a small bag.

    Thanks to your XT-1 recipes (1979 or Toned Carbon) I well compensate for the missing ACROS film simulation.

    I have equipped my XT-1 with the grip MHG-XT which – for me – increased the handling a lot.

    Again – thanks for your great reflections which confirm my decision: stay with XT-1 for the time being.

    Kind regards from Germany
    Wolfgang

    1. Thank you so much for commenting Wolfgang. I’m happy you connected with my blog and video. I’m very happy I found the X-T1. I just love the images that come out of that camera. Thank you again for commenting! Feel free to check and say hi from time to time and we’ll swap Fuji stories.

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