X-T1 vs. X-E1 for long exposure photography

One thing I love about where Fujifilm are with their cameras, and where I really hope they continue to take them,1 is that almost their entire line of X Series cameras have the same 16 MP X-Trans sensor. All we have to do is choose the body that’s right for us. Want a super compact street shooter? Grab an X100S. Need to change lenses? The X-E2 is probably right for you. Shooting in poor weather or need continuous AF? X-T1. As you move up or down the line, there is no improvement or, more importantly, compromise in image quality. I love that. Even crazier, the same image quality reaches back to cameras that have already been replaced.

Fuji Fujifilm X-T1 vs X-E1 long exposure.jpg

Case in point, I made the images in this post just this morning. Three are made with an X-E1, one with the new X-T1. If you can tell which is which without looking at EXIF data, you’re lying.

Being able to just grab the right camera and go, without any regard for the kind of image quality you’re going to get is awesome. This makes switching between bodies trivial as well.2 You can have two bodies with different styles and capabilities, but the same image quality. Got your 35mm f/1.4 on your other body? No problem. Grab that body and shoot.3

Fuji Fujifilm X-T1 vs X-E1 long exposure.jpg

Now, this doesn’t mean I wasn’t able to tell the difference between the two bodies while shooting. The X-T1 comes with features and niceties that can’t be had on the X-E1 (or X-E2 for that matter).

Here are just a few ways I noticed how the X-T1 is a little nicer to use for long exposure work:

  1. The tilt screen: This is actually my first camera with a tilt screen. It is so nice to have my tripod almost at ground level with the screen tilted up and easily viewable. If you do a lot of low shooting, the tilt screen might be reason enough to go with an X-T1. No hyperbole. Your back will thank you.
  2. The dials: When I have my shutter speed set to Time (“T”), being able to change the shutter speed with the dial is great and easier than multiple presses of the D-pad. I couldn’t imagine having to use the X-T1’s D-pad for that.
  3. More dials: Switching from ”T” or ”B” directly to “A” without having to go all the way round the dial is nice too.
  4. Dual screen mode: I said in my review that I like this mode more the more I use it and that hasn’t changed. I love focusing manually with this camera.

That’s just what I can remember consciously noting while I was out there today. I’m sure there are more, but one way the X-E1 still tops the X-T1 is the threaded hole in the shutter release. I really wish the X-T1 had one of these. We’d probably be hearing a lot less about the light leak issue if it did too.4

Fuji Fujifilm X-T1 vs X-E1 long exposure.jpg

The most important take-away from this post is, no matter what Fujifilm camera you own, you have the potential to make as good images as anyone with any other Fujifilm camera.5 That’s really what it’s all about.

Fuji Fujifilm X-T1 vs X-E1 long exposure.jpg
  1. The obvious implication here is that if the X-Pro2 arrives with a better sensor as it’s rumoured to, Fujifilm should refresh the rest of the line as quickly as possible. There has to be serious economies to fab’ing the same sensor of every camera in their lineup.
  2. Strictly from an image quality perspective. There are odd inconsistencies between the bodies, but hopefully they will be brought more inline with one another with firmware updates.
  3. I also realize not everyone has the luxury of owning more than one body, but as more and more pro photogs switch over, this is an important thing to consider.
  4. Sadly, I am a recipient of an X-T1 that leaks. I’ll have more on that soon.
  5. I am intentionally avoiding the fact that a few MP one way or the other makes little discernible difference in final image quality.

Buy a Fujifilm X-T1

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