Fujifilm X-Pro1 (Body Only) review: Fujifilm X-Pro1 (Body Only)

And the battery life in this entire class of cameras is sad.

Design and features
Attractive to look at and sturdily built, the X-Pro1's design and operation are mostly very well executed with only a couple of facepalm-level annoyances. While the camera isn't particularly compact, it's a nice size for people who like a little heft. I do wish the grip were a little deeper, though.

On top of the camera are a couple of dials, one for shutter speed and one for exposure compensation, and the shutter button has a cable-release connector. You dial in both shutter speed and aperture, with a real old-fashioned aperture ring on the XF lenses. Putting the ring in A enters shutter-priority mode; setting the shutter speed to A puts you in aperture-priority. If you put both on A, you've got full auto. My one complaint with this scheme is the slavish adherence to history means that you're stuck with full-stop shutter speeds in shutter-priority mode: I've gotten used to shooting at speeds like 1/80 sec. On the other hand, the lens' aperture dial does support third stops, which is a nice feature.

There's also a Fn button next to the shutter button, which is the single user-assignable control. Given that there are multiple relatively unused controls -- like three of the navigation buttons -- this is a bit disappointing, and I suspect could be changed in a later firmware update. Not only does the camera lack a dedicated movie record button, you have to be in movie mode to record (unlike the rest of the world, Fujifilm considers movies a drive mode), so I ended up wasting the Fn button by mapping it to movie mode. On the plus side, the X-Pro1 has seven custom settings slots that are easily accessed via the quick menu.

Overall, I found the control layout and button design comfortable, though the learning curve will be a little steeper if you're not used to Fujifilm's mindset. Down the left side of the LCD are the drive mode, metering, and AF-area selection buttons. On the right, the AE/AF lock button and quick menu button sit on a plastic protrusion that provides a little extra stability when you're gripping the camera. Of the four navigation buttons, only one is hardwired -- to macro, which I used a lot because of the odd minimum focus distances of the lenses (7 inches for the 18mm lens and 11 inches for the 35mm lens). It's kind of annoying that when you hit the macro button you then have to arrow over to macro mode; it should just toggle.


The X-Pro1's quick menu is easy to access and navigate.

Like the X100, the X-Pro1 uses a hybrid viewfinder that can swap between a reverse-Galilean type with an electronic overlay, and a straightforward EVF. To accommodate the different angle of view of the various lenses, a magnifying element with lens-specific framing and parallax compensation shifts in. Getting the right viewfinder display can be a little confusing. The View Mode button on the back rotates among the optical and electronic viewfinders and auto eye sensor, and this switch on the front toggles between the optical and electronic viewfinders. Ultimately, I found the EVF a lot more useful than the OVF, even with the adjusted framing. But overall the viewfinder is very nice -- big, bright, and comfortable.

  Fujifilm X100 Fujifilm X-Pro1 Olympus E-P3 Sony Alpha NEX-7
Sensor (effective resolution) 12.3-megapixel CMOS 16.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS 12.3-megapixel Live MOS 24.3-megapixel Exmor HD CMOS
23.6mm x 15.8mm 23.6mm x 15.6mm 17.3mm x 13mm 23.5mm x 15.6mm
Focal-length multiplier 1.5x 1.5x 2x 1.5x
Sensitivity range ISO 100 (expanded)/200 - ISO 6400/12800 (expanded) ISO 100 (expanded)/200 - ISO 6,400/ 25600 (expanded) ISO 200 - ISO 12800 ISO 100 - ISO 16000
Continuous shooting 5fps
10 JPEG/8 raw
6ps
approx 15
3fps
unlimited (LN) JPEG/17 raw
3fps
unlimited 10 JPEG/6 raw
(10fps with fixed exposure)
Viewfinder
magnification/ effective magnification
Optical
90 percent coverage/
EVF
1,440,000 dots 0.47x
Optical
90 percent coverage/
EVF
1,440,000 dots variable
Optional EVF
0.5-inch
2.4-million dots
100% coverage
1.09x/.73x
Autofocus 49-area
Contrast AF
49-area
Contrast AF
35-area contrast AF 25-area contrast AF
Shutter speed 30-1/4,000 sec; bulb to 60 min 30-1/4,000 sec; bulb to 60 min; 1/180 x-sync 60-1/4,000 sec; bulb to 30 minutes; 1/4,000 FP sync 30-1/4,000 sec; bulb; 1/160 sec x-sync
Metering 256 zones 256 zones 324 area 1,200 zones
Flash Yes No Yes Yes
Image stabilization None Optical Sensor shift Optical
Video 720/24p H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/24p H.264 1080/60i AVCHD @ 20, 17Mbps; 720/60p @ 13Mbps AVCHD 1080/60p @ 28, 24Mbps, 1080/24p @ 24, 17Mbps, 1080/60i @ 17Mbps; H.264 MPEG-4 1,440x1,080/30p @ 12Mbps
Audio Stereo Stereo Stereo; mic input Stereo; mic input
LCD size 2.8-inch fixed
460,000 dots
3-inch fixed
1,230,000 dots
3-inch fixed OLED
614,000 dots
3-inch tilting
921,600 dots
Battery life (CIPA rating) 300 shots 300 shots 330 shots 350 shots
Dimensions (inches, WHD) 5.0 x 2.9 x 2.1 5.5 x 3.2 x 1.7 4.8 x 2.7 x 1.4 4.8 x 2.8 x 1.7
Body operating weight (ounces) 15.8 15.7 13 12.4
Mfr. price n/a $1,700 (body only) n/a $1,199.99 (body only)
$1,195.95 (built-in 35mm lens) n/a $899.99 (with 14-42mm lens) $1,349 (with 18-55mm lens)
n/a n/a $899.99 (with 17mm f2.8 lens) n/a
Ship date March 2011 February 2012 August 2011 November 2011

My biggest problem with the design is the placement of the SD card slot in the battery compartment. While this is a standard location on consumer cameras, it just doesn't work well for advanced and pro photographers who frequently take the card out. But even worse, the X-Pro1's battery compartment is right next to the tripod mount (and some users may take issue with the mount being so far to the right rather than in the middle), which not only makes it a huge pain to pull the card when the camera is mounted on a tripod, it means you can't even open the battery compartment when using a tiny tripod-mount attachment for a sling strap (which looks like this). I know -- this seems trivial. Until you're in the middle of shooting and realize you have to disconnect your strap to change cards. Also, the battery isn't keyed to a particular direction, so it's easy to put it in backward and then wonder why the camera won't power on.

As for features, the X-Pro1 provides the basics and nothing more; perhaps even a little less, given the price. There's no on-camera flash, and it's got a fixed LCD. Compare that with the cheaper Sony Alpha NEX-7. Do a lot of people at this level use features like in-camera HDR or special-effects filters? Probably not. But the feature set still seems pretty stripped-down.

Conclusion
All of this raises the question, Who is this camera for? Though the X-Pro1 delivers pro-level photo quality that should appeal to wedding and portrait photographers, if you have to process large volumes of images on a regular basis, the lack of widespread raw support may really impede your work flow. Not to mention its battery would need frequent changing over the course of a wedding.

Ultimately, I keeping coming back to it as a poor man's Leica. That's not necessarily a bad thing to be -- and when Fujifilm ultimately comes out with its Leica mount adapter it should be even better -- but there's also a lot of competition for that deep-pocketed enthusiast.

Shooting time (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Time to first shot  
Raw shot-to-shot time  
JPEG shot-to-shot time  
Shutter lag (dim light)  
Shutter lag (typical)  
Sony Alpha NEX-7
0.9 
0.9 
0.6 
0.5 
0.2 
Canon EOS 60D
0.2 
0.6 
0.5 
0.5 
0.3 
Sony Alpha SLT-A77V
0.5 
0.6 
0.6 
0.6 
0.3 
Olympus PEN E-P3
0.6 
0.8 
0.7 
0.6 
0.3 
Sony Alpha NEX-5N
1.2 
1.1 
1 
0.6 
0.3 
Fujifilm X-Pro1
1 
1.5 
1.4 
0.8 
0.5 

Typical continuous-shooting speed (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

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Fujifilm X-Pro1 (Body Only)

Part Number: CNETCNET57357291 Released: Apr 15, 2012
Low Price: $899.00 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Apr 15, 2012
  • Optical Sensor Type X-Trans CMOS
  • Sensor Resolution 16.3 Megapixel
  • Optical Sensor Size 15.6 x 23.6mm