Fuji X-T1 (fw 4.0) vs Canon 7D – Cross Country

After shooting a season of middle school cross country, it is with great dismay that I must conclude that my beloved Fuji X-T1 (with firmware 4.0), although takes perfectly good cross country photos, is not as well suited for shooting cross country as my ginormous Canon 7D.

  20150923 164344 IMG_0037 7D_Crop_facepixelizer_DCE 20150923 161311 DSCF7346 XT1_Crop_facepixelizer_DCE

Although the X-T1’s pictures are sharper and the colors are more pleasant,

It was much, much easier to keep the runners in frame on my Canon 7D.

HOWEVER, if I only had an X-T1, I could shoot perfectly good cross country photos and be none the wiser as long as I either:

  • didn’t try to shoot back-to-back runners
  • or got a UHS-II card

20150923 160331 IMG_9997 7D_Crop_facepixelizer_DCE 20150923 161146 DSCF7311 XT1_Crop_facepixelizer_DCE

The Achilles Heel: EVF lag while taking photos

The X-T1’s EVF is excellent with very little lag BEFORE you take a photo, but the EVF starts lagging significantly AFTER you take a photo — especially in continuous focus + continuous high mode.

  • which is not a problem in 1-2 second bursts in kid’s soccer with gaps between bursts
  • but becomes a big problem with tracking runners for 3+ seconds in cross country with no gaps between bursts

EVF brightness

  • The X-T1’s EVF also struggled in bright sunlight. I could raise the EVF brightness
    • but from past experience, the photos then look incorrectly exposed when they are fine
    • and that doesn’t solve the larger problem of EVF lag while shooting at high speed

Doesn’t focus while zooming?

  • I haven’t tested this thoroughly with both cameras, but the X-T1 appears to stop focusing while you are zooming.

Other lost advantages:

  • The X-T1 seems to slightly lean toward higher ISOs in the same lighting conditions than my Canon bodies. Although the Fuji images are better at high ISOs than my Canons, it still degrades the quality of the images down a little thus potentially removing an advantage of using the Fuji camera.
  • Also, both have the same not-so-perfect focus accuracy rate

Misc

  • The firm zoom ring on the Fuji XC 50-230mm was not a problem in cross country as the runners don’t suddenly change directions like they do in soccer.
  • The 95mb/sec SD card that worked well enough for kid’s soccer (JPEG+RAW), doesn’t work well enough for the longer burst demand of cross country.
    • Shooting continuously at the start line, the buffer filled and wouldn’t clear fast enough.
    • When I shot back to back runners, the buffer again filled up
    • I can probably remedy this by either:
      • Shooting only JPEGs (which I am tempted to do since I rarely have to touch the X-T1’s RAW files)
      • or getting a Lexar 2000x UHS-II (about $60 for a 32GB card)

So to recap:

  • If you only have a Fuji X-T1, you can shoot very good cross country (see above for limitations and options)
  • But a Canon 7D would be easier
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