As I mentioned in an earlier blog entry, I decided to pick up a Fujifilm X-Pro1 (and 35mm f/1.4) as a Christmas present to myself. The recent price drop and lens promotion finally got it down to something I could justify (only mildly more than the Fujifilm X-E1). Took it out yesterday for several hours and then woke up ridiculously early this morning to join a photowalk with it. A good way to get used to it in somewhat realistic shooting conditions. The one thing I have yet to do is to shoot with posed subjects, where I often use off-camera flash. Hopefully will get a chance to do that soon and see how it performs.
My initial impressions of the camera, just shooting random objects around the home, were very good. I tried various ISOs and Apertures out. I tried using the OVF and the EVF. I tried using single shot, continuous and manual focusing modes. There are tons of reviews and articles going into great detail about using the camera, so I won’t repeat boring technical details. Like other reviews note, the continuous focus mode leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, I found it almost unusable on first attempt. I’ll try to research and pick up some pointers online, but I’m not optimistic in that regard.
As to Single shot mode, I found the focus to be faster than I had feared. However, sometimes in low light, even with the assist lamp, the camera struggles to lock focus. But if it can lock focus, I found it extremely reliable. Manual mode was much better than I expected. Being able to use the AE/AF Lock buttom as an AF-ON button (I’m coming from Nikon’s D700, so excuse me if the terminology is different elsewhere) to set initial focus, then being able to get a magnified view to fine tune, was very powerful and accurate. I may end up using manual focus mode a great deal. I do hope Fuji adds focus peaking like so many have asked for, as it would make it much faster.
Ergonomics in a camera is really critical, at least in my experience. My D700 is very well thought out, and I can change anything I’m likely to need to on the fly quickly. The X-Pro1 has a great many things that are as well thought out, or even better, than my Nikon. I appreciate the Aperture ring, Exposure Comp button, and Shutter Speed ring. But there are some downsides. Having ISO available by default on the Fn button is pretty good. The problem being, that then means you can’t use it for other functions. With ISO as important as shutter speed and aperture, it is a shame that, like on many cameras, it is relegated to being a second class citizen. The Quick Menu design is promising, although I don’t see some items I’d like to. I do need to explore more, though. Perhaps some of that is customizable? (doubt it). I do find that having the wheel so far from the Q mode and AE-L/AF-L buttons makes things a little odd when trying to use Q mode or Manual focusing when you have your eye to the viewfinder.
One big complaint is that the self-timer function is buried a bit too far in menus. And apparently it resets to off after awhile(?). (I need to bring a cable release next time, but still, would be nice to be able to access this in a better way when needed).
The other ergonomic complaint is with the focus points. On my Nikon, moving the focus points is always available. On the X-Pro1, I have to hit a button to activate the ability to then let me control the focal point. It really slows things down in my use.
I’m not ready to complain about some other things, because perhaps I’ll get the hang of things and it won’t impact me. But, I will at least mention that the overloading of buttons in the various view modes was a bit maddening this weekend. I was out shooting and I could not get anything to appear on the rear screen for awhile. I finally figured out that I had hit the view mode and gotten into a mode where it wasn’t active.
Anyway, on to using the camera out and about. After getting the hang of things around the house, we ventured out yesterday and my camera stayed around my neck (where I barely noticed it). We walked around downtown on a very bright day, then headed indoors to lunch. The shadow abstract shot was from downtown, with the bokeh and the older man in the bar shot were from lunch. With the bokeh shot, I had a little trouble focusing on the “tree”, but once it locked on, I was good. I framed it very loosely, so cropped a good portion out, which explains why it may look a tad noisy. Still, well controlled noise. And beautiful bokeh.
I found the older gentlemen interesting, especially with the way the laptop screen was illuminated his face. Nailing focus with autofocus proved troublesome, so I decided to try out manual focusing. It worked great in this situation, allowing me to get his face crisply in focus. Good thing he was still. If this had been, say, a performer on stage singing or playing guitar, it most likely would not have been doable.
The shot of the fence looked like a good opportunity to see how the out-of-focus areas would render in a daylight situation without all the pinpoint light bokeh of the earlier shot. I really like how creamy the bokeh is here.
I also managed to get my son to sit still how long enough for me to focus on him and snap a shot, so I could see how a person’s face and skin tone are rendered using the in-camera film simulation jpeg modes (using Pro Neg Std here). Unless I can get continuous focus working, I doubt I’m going to be getting a lot of candid pictures of my son, though, and that is unfortunate. Still, I like the skin tones.
Returning home from being out all day, we stopped a lake that we drive by near our home. We had a very nice sunset, and I probably should have switched to Velvia mode instead of sticking to my Pro Neg Standard jpeg setting. I still like the photo I got, though. I also really appreciated the horizon level on the display since I was shooting handheld.
I got up before dawn and walked along a river greenway trail for a few hours this morning. Where I’d been mainly shooting near wide open and only shooting handheld yesterday, today I was stopped down to f/11 and using a tripod for everything (as well as shooting raw). That brings up another complaint. I have to remove my tripod plate to get the battery and memory card out of the camera. That is a huge flaw.
The other guys I was shooting with had long lenses and ultra wides. I was having to work a little harder to find good shots with a normal range prime. I got a handful of shots I was happy with. Although I do think it is ironic that my favorite shot today from my $1700 setup looks like it came from my $20 Holga. Jokes aside, I was able to get some really nice, filmlike looks out of the raw files using Lightroom. I know there are a lot of complaints right now about the raw support in Lightroom, but luckily it wasn’t an issue for me with these files (Although, really, everything was pretty gray, so I converted many to b&w. We’ll see about color smearing once I shoot a model with a colorful outfit).
All in all, I’m impressed. I’m pretty sure I’ll get used to the quirks and come to really love this camera. It has only been two days, and like I said, I haven’t used strobes with it or really shot much in the way of people yet. I’m sure the sync speed slowness with frustrate me, once I do. It will be interesting to see how much, if any, this can replace my D700 for that sort of work. That isn’t why I got it, but it is the cherry on top if it works out.
Hopefully I’ll get to try that soon and report back here.
See original article and more pictures on rodneyboles.com
The Fujifilm X (APS-C) “trinity” is complete! Within a couple of weeks I went from having no camera at all (I had just sold my Sony Nex-7 and was waiting for the Fujifilm X-E1) to having the complete set of Fujifilm X cameras with APS-C sensor. Just a quick look back, why this happened:
The Sony Nex-7 was a nice and very capable camera, but it somehow just felt bit more like a computer than a camera and it wasn’t that great at high ISO. It seemed to have just a bit too many pixels for the size of the sensor.
Then I read about the Fujifilm X-E1 and felt that this would be a great camera for my needs. At the same time I had also considered an X100 as a camera to have always with me. However, I couldn’t justify the cost (knowing that the X-E1 was on order). Just one week after I had received my Fujifilm X-E1, I happened to see a great offer for an almost brand new X100 on ebay for something like 500 USD. So I made up my mind and bought the X100 and – as I wrote in another post – fell in love with this camera (more so than with the X-E1). Despite some small quirks, the X100 (with the latest firmware) feels like an extremely well thought-out camera. And in my opinion the X100 is surprisingly responsive. Actually, it feels more responsive than my X-E1 with the Fujinon 35mm – probably due to heavier glass that has to be moved in the 35mm lens. One of the reasons why I fell in love with the X100 was the great optical viewfinder which brought back fond memories of shooting with rangefinder film cameras some 15 years ago. This made me think if the X-Pro1 wouldn’t a better choice for me, because it shares the nice optical viewfinder (OVF) with the X100…..
See full review on www.fujifilm-x-opinions.net
Deandre Scott is a a friend and photographer in Tokyo, whom I often bump into in the street. He shoots both digital and film. For a while now he has been shooting the X-Pro 1 and I wanted to get his thoughts on the camera. And here they are. Thanks Deandre
The Fuji X-Pro is a camera that you must cater to your particular style shooting. It can frustrate you at times but this frustration mainly is due to the focus by wire auto focus system. Imo that is truly the only down side of the camera. If you are thinking of purchasing the X-Pro 1 one and expecting fast auto focus this might not be the camera for you. But, if you are a person who likes to take your time and compose your image through the view finder you will feel right at home with the X-Pro.
See on japancamerahunter.com
After having read thread on Fuji X forum asking advice of an 85-90mm for the X Pro 1. As usual there were a number of opinions expressed. This inspired me to do a little comparison of what I had to see the differences. Nothing technical here just one set up. With a minimum focus distance for each lens and a shot at between 1 meter fifty and one meter eighty. The three lenses are A Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 AF-D, Zeiss / Contax G 90mm f/2.8 and a Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5. All were shot wide open with the exception of an additional series at f/2.8 for the Nikkor. ISO was at 2500. Handheld focused using the 3X magnifier, focused on the aperture setting. Straight out of camera jpeg, no sharpening, no adjustments of any kind, just size reduction. A pity I did not have the one lens that was brought in the thread, an Leica 90mm Elmarit, oh well maybe next time.
See on gambofoto.blogspot.nl
Samyang announced that they were going to produce some lenses for the Fuji X-Mount and that was good news to me, they have made quality lenses for DSLRS so I was interested to take a look at what they had to offer for the X-Pro 1. The first in a line of X-Mount lenses,the 8mm f2.8 fisheye is a smaller version of the lens used on DSLRS. The original DSLR lens is designed for an APS sized sensor, but I found it also worked quite well on a full frame camera if you removed the lens shade. I searched on the internet and did not see a lot of examples with the X-Pro 1, so I decided to rent one to give it a test drive. I have been using Lensrentals.com as my main provider for rental gear, they have been great to deal with and I recommend them highly. When I saw they had the Samyang 8mm fisheye in stock, I placed my order. I usually like to rent something before buying, especially if I am not sure I am going to really want it, also to test performance and quality. Sometimes I am just curious. Below are some images of the lens on my X-Pro 1. Lensrentals.com had in stock one of the rebranded lenses. Samyang sells under their name, as well as being rebranded by Rokinon and other lens brands. The quality is the same. Samyang is a Korean based manufacturer that has some excellent optical quality lenses available for affordable prices. I have their 14mm f2.8 and 8mm f3.5 lens for Canon EOS and have been really pleased with the build and optical quality, the images have been really great from these two lenses. My only real issue with them is they lack the chip to transfer the information about the lens to the camera, so the camera does not know what lens you have on, or what the focal length, or what aperture is currently set. They do offer that for some Nikon lenses, I sure wish they would offer it for Canon! The Fuji X-Pro 1 is no exception, there is no communication with the camera. Luckily the X-Pro 1 allows you to set a focal length from the menu but you still do not get the aperture information. Bummer! ….
See full review on www.aps-photo.com
In my previous post, I highlighted some of my thoughts about how I got on spending a week with the X Pro-1. I want to continue now with the rest of my findings, this is not meant to be an in depth technical review, there are loads of great ones already out there, but a more real world “what it’s like” to use the camera and what the images are like type review…if you get me….??
OVF and EVF.
There is lots of discussion about the merits of the optical viewfinder and how useful it is and how its omission on the XE-1 is somewhat of a disaster. I am old enough to remember nothing but an OVF…!
It did take a bit of getting re-used to as you can see the lens body through it and also your fingers, depending on how you hold the camera. The quality of the EVF is stunning, as has been well documented. In my opinion, it had little effect on my shooting and I did probably use the OVF more, not becaue it was better, just because it was there and I didn’t really think about it. There is some motion blur with the EVF but nothing that should be too much of an issue. I also shot a lot using the display on the back as the ‘finder and that was good too. I’m pretty much neutral about this issue and it certainly wouldn’t be deal maker or breaker for me either way. To be honest, It didn’t restrict or inhibit my shooting, whichever way I chose to use it…..
So the ultimate question is, not is this a great camera, or even a good camera…because it is an excellent camera with fantastic lenses, brilliant handling, stunning image quality and amazing low light performance. It is, like everything else, not without weaknesses, but the biggest limitation will be the person using it, not the instrument. A poor paint brush wouldn’t make Da Vinci a poor painter any more than the best paint brushes in the world would make me a modern day Da Vinci! My photography is not defined by my cameras, but by my vision and creativity. The question I am interested in is…will this camera allow me to achieve my vision with more efficiency, will it add value to my images and therefore my business and will it allow me to expand my vision and shooting style. My answer, after this week is yes, I think it will. I will be ordering one with a couple of lenses to get going. Some photographers are talking about replacing their DSLR set ups and moving completely to X Pro-1 systems. I’m not sure I feel confident enough to do this at the moment, however, I would have no concern using this on a commercial shoot or at a wedding. I would feel completely confident using it and in the results that can be achieved. I am sure some clients will raise an eyebrow or two when you pull out an X Pro-1 on a shoot rather than a pro DSLR set up. However, when they see the images, the frowns will change to smiles, hopefully!!! I realise I was fortunate to get a week to use it and make my decision, big thanks to Fuji and Calumet. Not all of you reading this will be able to do so….to you I would say, in my opinion, as long as you are careful and confident with your technique, you will be rewarded with great images you, and your clients, will love.
See full article and more pictures on ianmacmichaelphotography.blogspot.fr
Jean-François: Now that I have been using the Fuji X-Pro 1 for 6 months, I’m jotting down my conclusions. I’m really fond of the philosophy that this camera carries, and even more so of the picture quality that can rival that of my previous Canon 5D Mk II DSLR!
Voici maintenant près de 6 mois que j’ai fait le grand saut: fini le Canon 5D Mk II, place au Fuji X-Pro 1 pour lequel j’ai eu “le coup de foudre”, à tel point que je l’ai acheté avant même de l’avoir testé – cf “Le grand switch”. Après 5 ans de « full frame », ai-je des regrets d’être repassé sur un capteur plus petit? J’ai longtemps hésité avant de faire mon compte-rendu du Fuji X-Pro 1 (même si j’ai publié un premier test en septembre chez nos amis de Focus Numérique). Non pas que j’en sois déçu – bien au contraire! – ni que sa prise en main soit compliquée – là encore bien au contraire! Simplement, alors que les articles élogieux pleuvaient, que d’autres se lamentaient de certaines limitations, j’ai pris plaisir de mon côté à voyager avec ce boîtier… tout simplement!
Google Translater (ENG):
See on www.digitlife.fr
The XPro-1 has not failed to amaze me every time I pick up the camera. From unbelievable low light capability to those gorgeous Fuji colors straight out of the camera, I simply couldn’t recommend any other small camera system till date. So when Fuji generously gave me the 60mm Macro to test, I prepared myself to get wowed once more.. Full disclosure, Fujifilm isn’t paying me a dime (or fils) to put these words down about their products. I’ve paid the (ridiculously high in this region) price out of my own pocket. Even after my beloved X100 was stolen. Thats testament to one fact. I’m a believer in Fuji and love a great comeback. Its true that Fujifilm Middle East has featured me a couple of times on their social media but thats been with no strings attached. So with that out of the way, I’m going to give you my two cents on the only XF lens I didn’t buy along with my camera during its initial launch. Why you ask ? Why didn’t I just complete the set and get all three ?
Absolutely…. I’m going to get this lens. The optical quality to me is stunning. It makes my small bag of the body plus three lenses a complete work-horse kit for when I shoot cars, the streets or absolutely anything else. My D800 only comes out once in a while these days and I’m pretty sure this is going to be great for portraiture as well – (awaiting my next willing subject to explore that genre). Fuji have made sure they keep the trend of improving their existing products with each successive firmware update and I’m yet to see them neglect any of the bugs reported either directly or through any from of media. If you’re considering the X-Series and want to get in close, make sure that this is on your shopping list. I know its on mine.
See full review on bdonphoto.com
Courtesy to Gulf Photo Plus (GPP) in Dubai, I got to take the FujiFilm X-1 PRO for a three day test run earlier this week…
They give the camera on loan, for a nominal fee of 150AED. A no brainer if you are on the fence of buying, especially since they provide a full refund if buying a unit through them! I’ve been on the lookout for a lighter travel/street photography camera for the last 12 months. It was the renown Atlanta based photographer Zach Arias which I first heard talking about this camera at a GPP event earlier this year. The post is by no means a full camera review but rather a collection of some thoughts are having used the camera over a three day period. I suggest you check out the dpreview X-1 PRO review for a full multi page review.
Even though the size of this camera compared to a full frame body like my Nikon D800, is relatively small; it is by no means an ordinary point a shoot! The X-1Pro is a mirror-less camera with interchangeable lenses, that has a large size APS-C CMOS sensor. I got to test all three prime Fuji lenses, 18mm f2, 35mm f1.4 and the 60mm 2.4 Macro/Portrait lens. This allows for a real shallow, DSLR like, depth of field like in the image above! If properly exposed it shows no signs of noise up to ISO1600 and with just a tiny bit of noise reduction images up to ISO6400 are more than useable! Because the camera is that much smaller, one can almost be invisible like in the images above shot at the Dubai Fishmarket and in the Dubai Metro. Most of the images have all been shot in the RAW format. Even though Lightroom does not have the different camera profiles like what is available for the Nikon and Canon DSLR’s the RAW image quality and colour accuracy is extremely good! What surprised me even more is the quality of the in-camera jpeg rendering. Especially the Black and White Film simulation modes… Fuji is known for its Black and White Film and this clearly shows in this digital camera! Even though the auto-focusing is a bit slower than most DSLR’s, it is more than adequate and once focus is achieved, it is right on!
Will I be buying this camera? No, but I do have a the newer FujiFilm X-E1 with the 18-55 f2.8/f4 zoom lens on order. This camera has exactly the same sensor as the X-1Pro and is even a bit smaller and lighter, due to the lack of the Optical viewfinder (OVF). By the way, on the X-1Pro, I did hardly use the OVF and really like how the Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) works. Will it replace my full frame Nikon D800? No of course not. For the moment there is clearly room for both. The X-E1 will go on my travels whenever I need to go light. I do however believe that the D800 might be the last DSLR body I bought. The future of the mirror-less is surely exciting and I sincerely believe they will eventually replace most if not all DSLR bodies.
More images from the three days can be found here.
See full review and pictures on bjornmoerman.blogspot.fr
The camera is easy to hold and feels good in the hand. It has a good weight, without feeling too heavy but does feel solid and well made. The controls were fairly easy to figure out and after a couple of hours I was pretty much familiar with the controls and their functions. I’ve never used Fuji before so I had no previous experience to help/hinder me. the buttons and dials all feel positive and are well placed, they just “feel” like they are in the right place…after only a few minutes, it felt natural, as if I had been using one for ages…this has got to be good, right? Around 60% of my business is weddings and I could easily use this camera for a whole day and not end up with a sore back as I usually do! Another big benefit is that fact that it doesn’t scream “pro camera!” It’s size and styling make it less obtrusive and obvious and people really don’t take much notice of it. We often do pre wedding shoots, and shots on a wedding day, in public places, and big cameras usually mean some attention from the public. The X-Pro 1 doesn’t have this issue, even the people I photographed, friends and family, felt is was easier and more comfortable for them, and they are used to me and my cameras! You’ll see from some of the images that I went to a cafe bar with my little boy (who is a legend by the way and really puts up with my constantly taking photos of him!). It was really quite dark, I’ll come to ISO performance later… the issue was that it was really busy, with people on the tables all around us and I was taking lots of shots. I can’t remember a single person even taking any notice of me and the little camera. Not sure this would have been the case f I has been using my D800 and 24-70 2.8! My point is this: we specialise in documentary wedding photography, and at a wedding, I think this camera will allow us to get closer to people and capture images without the intrusion a pro DSLR camera/lens combo can often bring. This means more natural images and a less obvious presence of the photographer, this is good!…..
See full review on ianmacmichaelphotography.blogspot.de