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First Look: Fujifilm X-Pro1

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First Look: Fujifilm X-Pro1

4:23 /

The Fujifilm X-Pro1 is a nice compromise if you can't afford a Leica but want to approximate the experience and get some stunning photo quality to boot.

Attractive to look at and startlingly built. The Fujifilm X-Pro 1 is design and operation are for the most part very well executed. . There are only a couple of face palm level annoyances. Well the camera is not particularly compact. It is a nice size for people who like a little heft , specially if you're used to shooting a DSLR. I do wish the grip were a little deeper thought. You dial in both shutter speed and aperture with a real old fashioned aperture ring on the excess lenses. Putting the ring in A and to shutter priority mode, setting the shutter speed to A, put you in aperture priority. If you've got both on a , you're in full auto. No one complaint with the scheme is the adherence to history means that you're stuck will a full stop shutter speed and shutter priority mode. I've got news to shooting its speeds like a eightieth of a second. On the other hand, the lenses aperture dial does support thirds stop which really nice feature. Over all, I found the control lay out and button design comfortable. 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. There's only a single user sign able control as well and given that there are multiple relatively unused controls. This is a bit disappointing. On the upside, the X-Pro 1 has seven custom settings slots that are easily access via the quick menu. Like the X 100, the X-Pro 1 uses a hybrid view finder that can swap between a reserve Galilean type with an electronic overlay and a straight EBS. The view mode button on the back rotates among the optical and electronic view finders and eye auto sensor and this switch on the front toggles between the optical and electronic view finders. My biggest over all problem with the design is the placement of the SD card slot and the battery compartment which just doesn't work well for advance and pro photographers who frequently take the card out, but even worst, the X-Pro 1's battery compartment is right next to the tripod mount and pretty far to the right rather than in the middle and this makes it a pain to pull the card when the camera is mounted on a tripod, plus it means you can even open the battery compartment when using one of those tiny tripod mount detachment for a sling strap. Also the battery isn't teed to a particular directions, so its really to put it in backwards and then wonder why the camera won't power on. As for features, the X-Pro 1 provides the basics and nothing more, perhaps even a little less, given the price. There's no on camera flash and its got a fixed LCD. The camera uses a new sensor, the 16 megapixel X-Trans which in combination with mostly intelligent JPEG processing delivers excellent photo quality across low and mid range ISO sensitivities and in combination with the sharp XF lenses, very good detail resolutions color and tonal range. The sensor itself has a large latitude and that I was able to shoot a couple of ISO stops down from where I might normally be in low light and still get clean images. In night shots, the high ISO sensitivity images did look more traditional with that soft grainy and hot pixel look, but the fact is with the X-Pro 1, you really don't need to shoot at those settings as often as you usually do. The camera also produces consistent and appropriate exposures and with one exception, the colors are both accurate and vibrant. The video is a mixed bag. It's very sharp, with bright colors, and in low light the noise looks pretty good. But otherwise it displays a cornucopia of aliasing, moiré and rolling shutter artifacts. While the autofocus has trouble staying locked, the lenses are nicely designed for manually focusing. Unfortunately the X-Pro1 is disappointingly slow, thanks to sluggish image processing and a finicky autofocus system. The most frustrating aspect is that the better lens, the 35mm, is much slower to focus than the 18mm lens, which simply isn't as sharp. Ironically, the continuous-shooting performance is pretty good. Stellar photo quality and a beautiful-looking, mostly streamlined design make the Fujifilm X-Pro1 a really attractive camera for deep-pocketed enthusiasts ,but poor autofocus performance and a bare-bones feature set make it harder to recommend for a general audience than it should be, and a new sensor design means raw processing support will take longer to appear than I'd like. It's a nice compromise if you can't afford a Leica but want to approximate the experience and get some stunning photo quality to boot. I'm Lori Grunin and this is the Fujifilm X-Pro 1.

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