Fujifilm X-T1 vs Canon 6D for wedding photography: a short review

April 07, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

         I really like the Fuji X-T1. It's got great control layout, the EVF works well and is fun to play with, and the ISO noise is almost as good as my full-frame Canon. It's just light weight enough for me to not really notice it slung over my shoulder (comfortable to take everywhere!) Just heavy enough to feel sturdy and solid. Like many other reviews have already said -It's a fun retro styled camera and a joy to capture images with. Those things have already been said though, so I won't repeat them again here.

I'm a professional wedding photographer, and I wanted to know if the Fuji X-T1 would be up to the challenge of a fast paced wedding day. Currently the full-frame Canon 6D is the primary body I do my work with. It's the best focusing camera I've ever put my hands on. I knew the X-T1 wasn't going to be as fast as the 6D, but would it be good enough?

 

I brought it to a wedding and kept the Fuji on one shoulder and the Canon on the other. I was able to take a few good images with the Fuji... but the time it took to lock focus on moving subjects in low light was simply too long for me. My compositions also suffered because I was concentrating too much on focus tracking. During the reception a couple on the dance floor asked me to take a photo and posed in front of me while I was shooting with the X-T1. They waited... and waited, while the camera tried to lock focus, eventually taking the picture. I felt like I was one of the guests taking photos with my iPhone, not the paid professional who captures moments as quickly as they unfold. Was the X-T1 good enough for me? No. Not yet at least :(

 

I will say that the manual focusing aids when using the EVF are awesome. I thought maybe I could manual focus in low light once the auto focus started losing it's edge. It worked... but not that well. I liked the "full-screen focus peak highlight" mode for low light and moving objects. This mode produces a sort of "red static" super imposed over the scene where ever the plane of focus lies. I did not trust it too much for a wedding though. In some situations the focus peak highlights are very accurate. For portraits in low light I think it would work great. On the dance floor it seemed like there was red static everywhere, and it was hard to tell exactly where the focal plane was.

 

In the X-T1's defense, I was only using the 18-55mm f2.8-4 kit lens that comes with the body, though I was careful to only use it @18mm to take advantage of the 2.8 aperture. When zooming in to 55mm the auto focusing was noticeably worse in low light, due to the f4 aperture I assume. If I was using one of the fast f1.4 primes my results may have been a bit different. Though my intended plan was to use the X-T1 with the up coming 16-55 f2.8 and 50-140 f2.8 zooms, so that I could get rid of my huge 70-200 and heavy 24-70 lenses for my Canon. So if the X-T1 had trouble focusing with an f2.8 lens attached, it was much less appealing to me.

 

I really fell in love with the X-T1 after using it for a week. If I used it everyday for a month or two I would be more confident to use it for professional work. It's not worse than my DSLR's, it's different. I took different photos with it. I felt different putting it to my eye. In good light it focuses very quickly and accurately. Do I think it can replace my DSLR? Nope, though I really wanted it to. I've grown too accustomed to the instant auto-focus of my Canon. If I had an extra $1700 I would have kept it for a travel/fun camera, but I don't have an extra $1700, so I returned the Fuji and bought another Canon 6D for my growing business. I am looking forward to the "X-T2" or whatever Fuji has up it's sleeve next. The Fuji x-mount lenses and the 16 megapixel x-trans sensor are amazing, and as soon as they can make a body that matches their lenses in performance I will sell all my Canon gear off in exchange for the smaller form factor and fun layout that reminds me of my days learning photography and shooting film :)


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JXC Photo is a Denver Colorado based wedding photographer. We love mountain weddings and downtown weddings.
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