Fujifilm X-Pro1 First Impression Hands-on Review

Just had a chance to play around with the new Fujifilm X-Pro1 here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Looks like a very solid camera, with a few quirks (like every other camera out there). It might be a great option for those of you who have DSLR’s and want something more compact and discrete when shooting on the streets. Check out the video of a unit (without lens or battery) with some of my impressions above!

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  • http://twitter.com/fgsemedo Fernando G. Semedo

    Eric,
    You ought to try a Hexar RF.

    • Andrew So

      He already owns a Leica M9. XD

      • http://twitter.com/fgsemedo Fernando G. Semedo

        An M9 doesn’t shoot film. :-)

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Its a solid camera, but I hate AF!

      • David K.K. Hansen

        Eric, I think he’s referring to the Hexar RF, not the Hexar AF.

        The Konica Hexar RF is an M-mount manual focus rangefinder camera, with built-in electrical film advance, while the Konica Hexar AF is an autofocusing non-rangefinder camera, with fixed 35mm lens.

        More on the RF: http://www.cameraquest.com/konicam.htm

        • http://twitter.com/fgsemedo Fernando G. Semedo

          Yes, I meant the Hexar RF and not the Hexar AF. This Fuji reminds me of the Contax G and the Hexar RF. I use a Hexar RF along with a MP and M3.

          The Hexar RF is a fantastic camera especially with a 35mm lens and a fantastic bargain for what you get; 1/4000th, AE, built-in motor, auto film-loading/rewind. I’ve never encountered an M or screwmount lens that wouldn’t work on the Hexar and all collapsible lenses can collapse into the body. I don’t use flash at all but flash sync is f/125, which is faster than any M-mount film camera from Leica. Very solid camera too – it is heavier and feels more dense than my Leicas. The materials and finish are not as nice but better than the Bessas and Zeiss Ikon.

      • Guest

        Then you’ll hate the X-pro1 too. It can do manual focus, but not well.

  • Wowfixe

    this or ricoh grd 3? cause i have the ricoh grd 3 and I wanted to upgrade my camera

    thanks

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Ricoh GRD 3 is a great camera- keep it!! :)

  • aaa

    first impressions about a camera with no lens and no battery? pretty useful indeed

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      I think its important for street photography, where camera handling and feel is very important. Another with the lens + battery to come! ;)

  • James Taylor

    2:31 – “if you on a budget”?! Not sure how much you can get it for but your looking at about £1500 for the body over here…

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Whoa- didn’t realize it was that expensive. Thought it was more $1500 USD for just the body. I take that comment back!

  • http://www.friendlyimitationofwork.com/ Tobias W.

    I wouldn’t dismiss this camera as being inferior to a M9. The M9 is really old by now and its sensor may be full frame, but I tend to believe Fuji when they claim their sensor with their innovative approach to anti-aliasing has better quality than many full frame sensors out there – probably the outdated M9′s.

    Also, the viewfinder concept is pretty neat. Auto-focus is an improvement over the M cameras [yes, don't stare at me like I'm succumbing to blasphemy. I shoot a CLE and when not using zone focussing, getting the right focus fast is really hard].

    I would probably buy this camera if I had a budget for it. Stating that this camera is inferior to the M9 might just as well be as wrong as stating that a X100 is inferior to a X1.

    • Guest

      Rangefinder focusing is part of the experience and why you buy a Leica. If you don’t like it get something like the Konica Hexar instead. I will be getting an M8 to use together with my M2, not because technically it’s a great camera (it isn’t), but because there is no substitute for a rangefinder for me.

      • http://www.friendlyimitationofwork.com/ Tobias W.

        The obvious benefit of a rangefinder viewfinder is that it covers more than 100% of the scene and it should be brighter than the viewfinder of an SLR as the lens eats some of the light. For that reason (also its compact size and the quality of the optics, the ability to shoot handheld at slower shutter speeds etc.), I got a CLE.

        Those advantages are present with the X-Pro1 without much compromise. Also, it has none of the disadvantages a classic rangefinder viewfinder has: difficult to focus fast and disadvantage of parallax errors (just switch it to EVF mode for the Fuji). When attaching native lenses, viewfinder real-estate is not lost as compared to a classical M rangefinder where only certain frame lines area available and longer focal lengths tend to use only a fraction of the viewfinder real-estate.

        Stating that the manual process of centering a subject in the viewfinder, aligning two images on top of each other until they match perfectly is an advantage over cameras that can do this automatically, does not make sense for me. Your goal is to focus precisely and fast. From my rangefinder experience, I’d rather try the XPro1 to achieve that goal.

        Just the fact that someone as Eric, who doesn’t miss a single opportunity on video to show how Leica M9 spoiled he is (sorry Eric, but it’s true) uses his M cameras mostly zone focussing (according to Eric’s videos and Twitter), shows that the manual focus process on the M cameras (with probably the best rangefinder viewfinders) is still too tedious to be used consistently in a real workflow. To zone focus, all you need is a high ISO image sensor (digital or film) in any cheap camera and the ability to stop down your lens. Any $40 analog rangefinder on Ebay can keep up with a $4000 Leica when you set it to f/11 at 3m distance. That’s certainly not a rangefinder advantage.

        • Guest

          I’m not saying you have to like manual focusing, and I agree that an important benefit rangefinders have over slr-s is that you see more than what’s in the frame. The x-pro1 will offer this. However, an important aspect of shooting with a Leica (or any rangefinder) is for many the involvement it requires (it is for me at least). It’s an experience, and the manual focus is a part of it for me (plus it gives you pretty accurate focusing in low light situations). I’m not saying it’s wrong to prefer auto-focus. Which is why I mentioned the Hexar that gives a rangefinder feel without the manual focusing (and so will the x-pro).

          I am myself intrigued by the x-pro, but I am really not sure about it because I would want to use it for manual focus which (as far as I know) involves using the evf. I haven’t tried this particular evf, but so far I haven’t tried one I like, and more importantly you can’t see outside the framelines.

          • Guest

            BTW, I see me initial comment might be seen critical to your. I didn’t mean it like such.. I guess some of us like the quirkiness of a (slightly out of date) manual focus camera and sometimes defend this view a bit to eagerly ;)

          • http://www.friendlyimitationofwork.com/ Tobias W.

            Hi there,

            yes, I’m with you on the manual focussing issue with the Fuji camera. If it’s anything like the X100, then you need to use the EVF. The advantage of this however is that you probably can magnify the image and also the image is also visible in a near dark environment.

            As to manual focussing a rangefinder versus a classic split-screen viewfinder of a analog SLR I still prefer the SLR if it has a fast lens attached. The split screen is working better for me that the rangefinder approach in low light. I might change my opinion if I ever tried a Leica viewfinder, I just know the Minolta CLE viewfinder which might not be up to par with Leica.

          • Guest

            The split screen of my F2 is something I always miss when manual focusing my D7000. It’s such a great system.. yet as I’m getting more and more used to the rangefinder way of doing things I like it even more, and I especially like how everything is focus regardless of whether the lens is focused or not.

            (same guest as above btw, should perhaps register or adopt a nick at least)

        • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

          Great feedback and thoughts Tobias. Yes you are right- you don’t need an expensive Leica to get great shots. Any old film rangefinder will do – it just depends on what camera you are comfortable with!

          And will try to tone down the M9 talk!

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  • http://twitter.com/DigMo David (DigMo!)

    Have you seen the review of the X-Pro1 on http://www.flixelpix.com I love this camera and really didn’t expect it to cope with long exposures as well as it did. The camera is considerably more affordable than the M9 which lets face it, not many enthusiasts can afford. The image quality and user experience of the X-Pro1 means I won’t be looking beyond it for some time to come.

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