I'm considering the X-T1 a bust for sports, will try GX7 next week

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by jonbrisbincreative, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. jonbrisbincreative

    jonbrisbincreative Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 30, 2014
    I rented an X-T1 to use for a portrait shoot but since our football season started yesterday, I took it along with me to see how the autofocus performed and what this vaunted auto white balance could do with changing daylight conditions. The weather started out partly sunny but quickly moved to overcast as the sun was setting so the light was changing fairly quickly. I had my Canon 7D + 200mm f2.8 L on a monopod and the Fuji X-T1 around my neck with the 18-55mm f2.8-4. I was switching back and forth trying to get a representative sample of the Canon versus the Fuji versus my GX7 (which is going to be tested next week since I have a full game to cover for a sports website). I didn't have a chance to use the GX7 but that's okay since I'll be sending the X-T1 back on Monday and I can use my GX7 any time this season.

    It's no secret that the 7D is a good performer. Even the high ISO noise is manageable. The colors are fantastic and the L lenses are, of course, high quality glass (except they're heavy and large, etc...all the reasons we choose to add or move to mu4/3). But I thought: what the heck, let's pit the Fuji against the Canon in a sports setting to see if the autofocus is as great as it's made out to be.

    Ignore the colors in this comparative screen grab as the automatic white balance in the X-T1 was so far off from the Canon (and real life, for that matter) that I gave up trying to get them to look the same. I set the white balance temperature in both to be 6050 because that's what the Canon said was the right value and I trust it. I applied a VSCO preset and monkeyed with the image a little to try and get them nearly the same. This is the 1:1 version, not the zoomed-out, web-friendly version.


    The thing I was frustrated by was probably more the lens than the camera or sensor itself, but nothing was ever sharp. I was shooting at 1/500s on the Canon and 1/400s on the Fuji, which should have been fast enough to stop action enough to get reasonably clear results. The Fuji gave me either out-of-focus or simply fuzzy results in almost every frame. I never got a single one that I would consider acceptable. The above example is about the best of the bunch.

    I have to say that I'm completely underwhelmed by the camera and the lens in this case. I've tried it in a number of situations that are fairly demanding and I find the Fuji sensor to be fine if looked at in isolation but I'm less happy with the results when compared side-by-side with my Canon. I wanted pretty hard to like the camera because the form factor, combined with the dials and the excellent viewfinder are very, very nice. I like those aspects of the camera a lot! But the IQ doesn't come close to my expectations based on the all the gushing I've heard from lots of people and the autofocus pales in comparison to the 7D (Fuji is wanting a sports shooter in the X-T1 so I thought it was fair to put it in that scenario).

    I'm not expecting the GX7 to perform a whole lot better at autofocus in this situation (fast action) but the IQ of the mu4/3 sensor, other than the high ISO noise, has IMO exceeded that of the Fuji in the various situations I've put it in. We'll see how the portrait session goes today, as that's going to be a whole lot less demanding. I expect the X-T1 to produce acceptable results in that situation (though I'm frankly taking my other cameras along as well, in addition to the RB67 to shoot some B&W film).
  2. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Real Name:
    Try the E-M1 and the 150f2. I'm sort of annoyed I didn't get this combo last fall during lacrosse season. Really fantastic for sports.
  3. Tinderbox (UK)

    Tinderbox (UK) Mu-43 Regular

    I have seen photo`s taken with the GX7 during an ice hocky games and from what i can see they looked sharp, I am supprised at the X-T1`s performance did you have the latest firmware for the body and lens?

  4. jonbrisbincreative

    jonbrisbincreative Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 30, 2014
    The 150/2 does look like a nice option, though the Canon 200/2.8 works fine for what I need in that department. It's a great lens and the autofocus is really quick. I haven't worked myself up to the point that I'll dump the Canon stuff entirely yet.

    It may be that the E-M1 is really the only option for an all-around replacement of my 7D. But I'm also considering just dumping my 17-40/4L and replacing it with the much more usable focal length 24-105/4L. Without the battery grip and with a sling strap the 7D isn't that bad. It's a shame that I don't like the X-T1 better because it does feel really good! I'm sure the E-M1 feels even better with the extended grip.

    One thing that's holding me back so far is the familiarity I have with the Canon; I know the menus, the buttons, even the side of the body the lens release button is on. I feel lost on these other systems. My fingers just know where everything is and I'm less productive on these other cameras. It's something you get used to, I suppose.

    I'm still not convinced I wouldn't be better off doing the 5DIII thing but I haven't gotten that far gone yet! :)
  5. jonbrisbincreative

    jonbrisbincreative Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 30, 2014
    To be honest I didn't check to see what firmware was loaded on the camera. I rented it from lensrentals so I'm not going to try and monkey with it by loading other firmware.
  6. bluzcity

    bluzcity Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 17, 2012
    Memphis, TN
    Real Name:
    Fujis are not sports or action cameras. I have the XE2 and love it but for action I grab my DSLR.