Fujifilm X100T or X-T1?

My Fujifilm X100T arrives tomorrow (ordered from Adorama). Fabulous photos like this make me regret not choosing the manufacturer’s X-T1, which in all the samples viewed during my buying research produces sharper images. Then there is the benefit of all-weather use, as you can see.

Juan Gonzalez posted the photo last night on Google+ and gave permission this morning to use it here. The view is Times Square, f/4, 1/125 sec, ISO 800. There’s a 3-D quality and sharpness that really appeals to my photographic senses. The X100T samples produced by professional photographic reviewers all look a little soft to me, by comparison. 

If you are considering the Fuji X100T, for which there aren’t yet many complete reviews, look at these:

The DigitalRev video review is by far the most compelling, because of its historical significance shot during Hong Kong’s Occupy Central protests.

Hard Decision
My heart pulls me to the X-T1, but my head pushes towards the X100T. The X-T1 is an interchangeable lens, mirrorless camera, which major benefit, for me, would be image IQ and dedicated analog controls. The manual ISO dial is a huge benefit. I almost exclusively shoot Aperture Priority. The other dial that matters more to me—and being an amateur, maybe that’s not typical—is ISO.

By contrast, the X100T is fixed lens, f/2 at 23mm, and doesn’t offer the same degree of manual control. I chose the X100T because of:

  • Budget
  • Planned use for street photography
  • Positive experience using the original X100
  • My preference for prime lenses, and the X100T packs a good one

Words won’t express how much I want the X-T1, but the X100T is more practical. I shot my best photos ever using Canon 20D with prime lens—the manufacturer’s 135mm f/2. My National Cherry Blossom Festival 2007 album is example of the kit in action and demonstrates my past street photography habit of shooting long and cropping in.

But as I grow older and plan to create more storytelling content (more info on the project soon), closer-in makes more sense. Appealing: Photographer Steve Huff’s philosophy of getting up close, getting to know subjects, and getting their permission to take their photos. Besides, I want to tell their stories, which is damn hard to do from a distance.

I almost certainly will use a prime lens, even on the X-T1, and the X100T’s 23mm (35mm film equivalent) is good enough for me. For now, given financial resources. The revamped electronic/optical viewfinder, which presents finer manual focusing controls, fits my street photography plans, too.

Additionally, I live in bright, nearly-always-sunny San Diego, where the new electronic shutter matched with built-in ND filter should solve many problems presented by sunlight.

What you want isn’t always what you get. Besides, no gear is better than the person handling it. Juan produced an iconic, night shot of Times Square—a moment marked by a passing shoe and Hunger Games Mocking Jay opening on September 21; just three days away. I’m not nearly as skilled, but trying.

Photo Credit: Juan Gonzalez