Mike Croshaw's reactionary treatise straddles the line between cautious and provocative. It is an enjoyable read. But his calling out of X critics and sidestepping of the X-T1's most serious problems does no one any good.
I agree that the X-T1 is a wonderful camera. My D800 is now my backup. For the simple paid event photography that I do, it suffices. That said, it many ridiculous provisos that keep it from being a camera that can hold a candle to the stability, utility, and technical proficiency of either the Canon 5D3 or the D800, let alone their APS-C siblings. Both Fujifilm's customers, and Fujifilm itself, deserve true harder hardware reviews rather than tisk tisk platitudes.
If there are problems, don't pussyfoot them. Don't gloss over build quality issues. Don't forget to address slow flash sync speed and shutter/EVF delay while talking about TTL deficiencies. Don't forget to mention the inability to manually select half or third-stop exposures. Don't praise the EVF without also acknowledging its many missteps.
Finally, don't compare it to a Canon 5D3 or D800 without first providing honest talking points. Yes, it can replace a D800 or 5D3 for the walkabout and fun picnic. It can track fast-moving subjects, it has good lenses, and it can snap flash photography. But unless arguments are reduced to abstract talking points such as camera size, and 'can you shoot a seagull?', we are comparing apples and oranges. Both are fruits, yes; but one goes better with pie, and the other with a Christmas stocking.
The X series's fastest lens, the 56/1,2, returns the equivalent image of a FF 85/1,8, not an 85/1,2. Its FF equivalent costs 500$ while it costs 1000$. And it is roughly the same size. Ditto the 35/1,4 VS its equivalent competition. The list goes on and on.
No mirrorless cameras today rivals the build quality or operational stability of similarly priced dSLRs. We don't have ultra-fast equivalent lenses on APS-C and smaller sensor mirrorless cameras. The best EVFs still suffer from amp noise, auto normalisation problems, flicker, stuttering, and so on. FF lens equivalents cost much less. And to top it off, high end mirrorless cameras cost as much or more than their equivalents in the dSLR world.
The exception to this is the Sony A7 series, which has no equivalent in its price or sensor size category. It is the best still life FF camera on the market today. Apart from the studio, however, it is riddled with the same problems that plague the mirrorless world.
Mirrorless users upgrade far more often than do dSLR users. They are on a quest to find something small and light that does what they need. Despite myriad improvements in manufacturing techniques, and the tendency for digital technologies to miniaturise over time, digital cameras are larger than their film forebears. Today's dSLRs are beasts. But then again, the X-Pro 1 is roughly the same size as a typical film SLR. Optics are not smaller. In equivalent terms, lenses for the X system are as big as dSLR lenses, and are much more expensive. m43 have it worse: fast lenses for their tiny sensors are outrageously expensive while giving the equivalent draw of economy FF lenses.
Mike: part of your conclusion is true. A good mirrorless camera is far more fun to shoot with. I also agree that mirrorless cameras can look way cooler. And Fujifilm's JPEGs and white balance are wonderful. But today's top-end mirrorless camers do not stand toe-to-toe with the likes of the D800 and 5D3.
The X system isn't even on equal footing (build, AF speed, flash reliability, or price) with APS-C dSLRs in the same price bracket. It is more expensive and its equivalent lenses are the same size as its equivalent FF counterparts.
Neither pussy-footing around these issues, nor calling out dissenting opinions helps Fujifilm, nor does it help the mirrorless camera market improve. It's like this essay: myriad grammar mistakes, tautologies, poorly worded arguments are a matter of course. If I want to be the best essayist in the camera blog world, I've failed. I won't get better by deleting dissenting comments, by pruning those mistakes after the fact, or by promising you that I am the equal of Samuel Johnson.
Rightly placed criticism is constructive, schoolboy nods and slaps on the back are not.