Why the Fuji X-T1 is NOT my Photoshop camera

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: August 4, 2014

Category: General

Hi Folks

Today I just wanted to touch on something about the Fuji X-T1 that I’ve had for the past 3 months.

Ok so to kick off…why did I get it?

Well there’s a few reasons for that and some of them might sound a little WHAT?!?!? to you but remember cameras are a personal thing and what may be suitable for one may not be suitable for another; again for a whole host of reasons.

In short I love my Canon 5D Mk III; the sharpness, speed of AF, colours…the whole nine yards,I love it. HOWEVER what I don’t love (and this goes for all DSLR’s) is the portability…especially when hooked up to the 70-200mm f/2.8 is II.

So I was looking for a camera that could potentially fit in with the kind of work I do AND be great for travel; a big ask I know but I had to find out.

fuji_xt1Anyway the long and short of it and after speaking with lots of friends who own one I ended up buying the Fuji X-T1 along with the 18-55mm and the 55-200mm lenses and a couple of other odds n’ sods. I loved…and still do!

The picture quality is great, I love having controls for such things as exposure compensation, shutter speeds etc all as dials, the retro look and of course the size and weight. Also things I never even considered would be useful and have grown to love is the tilt screen and the EVF (electronic view finder); sure folks love it or hate it but I for one love the EVF and ability to see on display exactly what the exposure will be is a dream.

Travelling with the XT-1 on a recent UK holiday in Devon was wonderful and in fact kick started me into taking a few landscape shots; something I’ve just not been that interested in before but here’s the crazy thing…it’s the EVF / Display that motivated me to give it a try.

Spillers Farm

So is the X-T1 the replacement for ALL I do?
Now I’m going to be writing a more through blog about this at some point and will back it up with more images BUT the long and short of it is…NO and the reason is all in the detail; oh and the inability to tether to my MacBook Pro too but that’s another story.

Those of you who have followed my work for some time will know that I do a lot of compositing work in Photoshop where as much detail as possible in the file is very important to me and it’s for this reason I feel the X-T1 won’t be my total replacement.

In an earlier post I said that the details from the X-T1 was impressive however without back-tracking, after a few months of use I’m finding it’s where there is a lot of detail that the Fuji drops short (in my opinion)fuji_zoom

Taken at f/8.0 , iso 200 the result appears almost painterly where the high detail areas seem to lack detail / sharpness

As it stands at the moment this is the main reason I can’t use the X-T1 for my compositing work and so will be sticking with the Canon 5D Mk III.

It doesn’t stop there though as I’m still on the hunt for my ultimate camera that has all that I like about the XT-1 (mirror-less, size, weight, tilt screen, EVF) plus what I love about the Canon 5D Mk III (details and sharpness) and there’s one in particular I’m looking at right now so I’ll keep you posted.

In Summary
I totally LOVE the Fuji X-T1 and I know this will sound weird but I can think of no other way to explain it but … I feel it delivers 100% as a camera for Photography but not for Photoshop.

Anyway I’ll leave it there for now but will definitely keep you posted as to what (if any) does end up being my ULTIMATE camera. Maybe we’re not at a stage technology wise where this would be possible but hey..who knows 😉

Have a good one and I’ll catch you next time,
Glyn

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26 Comments

  1. Ed Jones

    Hmmm… What software are you doing your RAW conversions in. LR and ACR as they currently stand absolutely massacre the fuji files. C1 and iridientdeveloper do a much nicer job. I know exactly how you feel though, and the irony I found was that the jpegs render much better sharpness and detail SOOC than the RAF going through adobes raw software. Don’t write the fuji off yet!

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Ed…I use Camera RAW, Lightroom and also Capture 1 and the results I get are all the same. It’s a great camera for sure but not one I can use for certain jobs but then a camera for all occasions is a big ask 🙂

      Reply
  2. lorenzo m.

    Great article Glyn, very interesting

    The issue with the paintely ‘effect’, somewhat like ‘fractalization’ on fine details is reported by many fuji users (me too), I found that the raw converter softwares nowadays, especially adobe raw engine converter, don’t support very well the xtrans raw files.
    I noticed that with C1 and NoiseNinja the fine details on fuji xtrans raws are rendered much better than ACR, but the issue stays.

    Maybe the most anticipated Fuji X-PRO2 could be the ultimate camera for you

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Lorenzo…TBH mate I notice the same in all RAW converters I’ve used so I guess that’s just how it is at the moment. Not a disaster though…it’s a GREAT camera but not suitable for me when working on images that need the fine details to be there. Being unable to tether is also an issue too if I’m honest.

      Reply
  3. Lee Gorecki

    Glyn you might have seen it but the new Sony A7s is on the horizon. It promises to be what you want. Mirror less little camera that is super powerful but with a price tag that matches. One great thing about the Sony though is with the Sony to canon Metabones adapter you can use all your canon glass with full aperture and focus control. Not so great with Nikon glass (doesn’t get any control over the lenses with the adapter at the moment). But the Zeiss glass that is designed for it is a bit thin on the ground at the moment but they are getting there.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Lee…Sure thing; I’m actually looking at the Sony range at the moment (A7, A7R and A7s) so I’ll keep you posted.
      Cheers, Glyn

      Reply
  4. David

    Glyn,

    Being a Canon 5D III shooter myself, I get the good and bad especially portability, but I also understand what you are saying about the Fuji. Although I don’t personally own it, I do try to keep up with mirrorless camera technology. Mirrorless may one day be the killer of the DSLR, but the technology is not there yet when it comes to killing a 5D III.

    A side note, but relevant to your post: I like the way that you posted in advance that you were doing this post to keep the curiosity up.

    Thanks for sharing the post and all your video tutorials,

    David
    USA

    Reply
  5. Riccardo

    Thanks for your honesty Glyn, really!
    I own and love my XE-1 that has the exact same “problem”.
    Also, I noticed it is particularly with GREEN details (don’t ask me why, it’s just a lot more evident there).
    I said honesty, because I noticed many photographers just loving the file, for the sake of jumping on the “incredible Fuji quality” wagon, so to speak.
    I still think the overall quality is great and usable with ANY type of assignement but traditional RGB color matrix seems to be the way to go after all. I have seen great quality from Sony Alpha 7r although it lacks a bit on the lens selection. Thank you for your always interest videos.
    Riccardo

    Reply
  6. Roberto Palmari

    Hi Glyn,
    you got my exact same feeling, I also wanted something lighter than the 5DMkIII and its lenses to carry around and I bought the olympus EM-10 for its compromise between price and performances. I love it, definitely, but just for what concerns my street and travel needs. Its lighter, less “attractive” on the street and, when provided with the right lenses, delivers high quality images.
    The big issue I find though is that anyhow, the RAW files delivered by the 5D (or the D800) are simply much better still.
    I would like to have a medium-format-like quality but in a light and portable body. I didn’t try it myself yet but I think Leica M9 may be the answer to this hunt, but at what cost?

    Ciao,
    Roberto

    Reply
  7. Guy Aubertin

    I agree Glyn. Having a camera for all jobs is just not possible. The fuji is great when you need a lighter load. But for maximum quality and speed I look elsewhere. For landscape I look to the Canon or Large Format, possibly the new 645Z. For family days out, the XT fits the bill nicely and keeps up with a running child. Look forward to seeing your next choice 🙂

    Reply
  8. Dave Kai Piper (@DaveKaiPiper)

    I too am very much in love with the X-T1 (and pretty much all Fuji x-trans cameras). Your breakdown is very correct in many ways. Personal I use the Fuji very differently to how I use my D800. Most importantly, I use them to shoot different things. The X-T1 is not a replacement but a perfect addition to my gear that gives me more options when shooting. For the size and weight though, the Fuji does an amazing job. Maybe looking at something like the Sigma DP2 or RX1 might be the way forward for you ?

    Reply
  9. Steinar Knai

    Don’t give up on LR. It evolves all the time and I find that my Nikon files are getting better with each firmware update of LR. The same seems to be happening with Fuji files, if I judge by the comments of people like MingThein and others!
    In the meantime, I am convinced that the Sony A7s is a great alternative for landscape photogs. Check my web site for tests and articles on the Sony A7 line of cameeras.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Steiner…Giving up on LR was never a thought; I’m one of Adobe’s Influencers and on the Pre Release Program. It’s a major part of my workflow and is up to date with the Fuji profiles; the problem with the details is the Fuji 🙂

      Definitely looking at the Sony you mention too 😉
      Cheers
      Glyn

      Reply
  10. Alan

    “Giving up on LR was never a thought; I’m one of Adobe’s Influencers and on the Pre Release Program. It’s a major part of my workflow and is up to date with the Fuji profiles; the problem with the details is the Fuji 🙂

    Definitely looking at the Sony you mention too 😉
    Cheers
    Glyn”

    No. the problem is the software you’re using.

    If the problem was as you say the Fuji people wouldn’t be getting better results with other software they’d be getting the poor results you’re getting no matter what they used but that isn’t the case and they’re getting better results than you’re getting.

    If you want to stick with Adobe that’s fine and your decision and what you need to do is select a camera which together with an Adobe product gives you a result you’re happy with.

    The problem with the Fuji is that to get the best results you’d have to move away from Adobe and that seems to be something you’re not willing to do.

    Stick to something Adobe processes well.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Alan…Nope I disagree having worked the same files in capture one and seeing the same results. The Fuji is a great camera but NOT for what I do. The Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony I have used in the past all look and process great in both Adobe and Capture one…but not the Fuji.

      Bottom line is I use what I use because it is ‘fit for purpose’ and if Adobe didn’t do what I wanted / needed or Capture One then I wouldn’t be sticking there; the same goes for camera brands.

      So…I’ll stick with a camera that gives the results ‘I’ need and that is what this post is all about…what ‘I’ want and need…no one else and I was explaining why because some people won’t ‘get it’.

      Reply
    • Glyn

      Thanks for sharing this Martin

      Reply
  11. Martin Vitek

    …eh :-O Iridient …of course 🙂

    Reply
  12. palinode

    It makes sense. Fujifilm makes marvellous cameras, but I’d be surprised if any crop sensor device at a fraction of the price of the 5DIII could deliver the same level of detail. I love my X100s but I don’t pull it out to shoot anything with lots of background foliage (although sometimes it does a fine job – say around 5.6 with a lowish ISO). On the other hand, it’s great for capturing absurd levels of detail in street scenes and studio settings. I don’t expect it to deliver the same kinds of pictures as a 5D or D810, but I’m consistently pleased with the results I get.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Palinode…Yeah I agree…the Fuji is a great camera but a ‘go to for all’ … but then … is any camera? 🙂

      Reply
  13. Bradley

    I have Iridient, C1, Aperture, and LR. Although I have the longest relationship with LR I am quite used to all of them. With non-foliage shots I see the biggest difference is not detail on RAF files, but rather acutance which is something they can all adjust to an almost common output. I have seen the green-beast on rare occasion and I shoot a lot of landscapes, but I don’t print really large nor do I spend a lot of time pixel peeping. I love the Fuji rendering, which I understand is a combination of all factors, sensor, glass, and me 🙂

    FWIW, I hate Adobe’s new licensing (subscription) model and it may drive me to C1 exclusively as the differences otherwise are largely academic in my view.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences in an impartial and informative way Glyn!

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Bradley
      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and share your findings / thoughts.
      As for being impartial..it’s the only way and like I’ve said before…what suits one may not suit another and that doesn’t make ‘it’ be it a camera, a light etc bad..it just means it’s not suitable for that person.

      Cheers, and thanks again
      Glyn

      Reply
  14. HF

    I used LR before, but got the water-colour effect. Using C1 or PhotoNinja (or Irident) I don’t get the problem. Made a few tests comparing shots with foliage to the OMD EM1 and could not see differences in rendering fine detail using C1 (although LR clearly showed it). Using C1 and downsampling to 12MP, wouldn’t the detail be at least as good as that of the A7s (of course this camera has other benefits)?

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Thanks for your comment. FYI I was getting the same water colour effect with C1.

      Reply
  15. Karen

    Thanks so much for your post! I’ve just started working a lot more in the composite world after a long run shooting weddings and portraits. I have the 5Diii, 6D, plus all the lenses I could ever need, but I too am looking for that more portable camera. I had a lot of photographer friends recommend the Fuji XT100 but I haven’t been convinced yet, and I’m glad I haven’t purchased yet. My main use was to carry around for background scenes and objects etc that I may later want to use in my composites, without having to cart the big camera with me everywhere.

    I was hesitant with the fuji anyway as my other concern was the size would be smaller and not match in when using 5Diii files for compositing. The Fuji is only 16mp

    I’m interested in which direction you go and what you choose.

    Also wanted to mention, I just found your tutorials on youtube and I’m blown away by the gems that you’ve shared. I’ve learnt so many more tips in your short videos than hours of tutorials from some other trainers. I love that each one your present focuses on a specific area. It’s such a good way for me to learn and solve particular compositing problems I have. Thankyou!

    Reply
  16. Stealthy Ninja

    This is why I retain my Canon 1Ds mark III. I don’t miss anything from my 1Dx I sold off to switch to Fuji, but when it comes to low ISO fine detail shots, nothing beats the beautiful gradients and details my 1DsIII (a really old camera now) can pull off. It’s a beautiful sensor.

    The Xpro2 (and thusly the X-T2) do a lot better than the older 16MP sensors in my opinion, especially in Lightroom. Less issues with odd colours, the dreaded watercolour effect is no where to be seen (by me at least) and I only get “worms” when I mess something up. Still, when I do some studio/product/highly controlled “photoshop” work, I think I prefer the 1DsIII to the Xpro2.

    For everything else, Fuji all the way. Looking forward to getting a X-T2 soon too.

    Reply

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