Fuji X-Pro 1 Review
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.
Fuji Ef-X20 Flash
Fuji M Mount Adapter
The auto focus is really not as bad as some has suggested. Yes the X-Pro 1 does hunt in low light but so do other top of the cameras made by Nikon & Canon. On a well-lit subject you will have absolutely no problem with the auto focus. In macro mode the auto focus is really slow but I never really use macro mode and when I do I just manual focus.
The camera is a real joy to use is not to heavy and not to light the LCD is always easy to read. So, when checking your images even in harsh sunlight you will know if you got the shot you intended to. The menu you are easily accessible and you can customize the settings to fit your particular shooting style. With the grip attached the camera is sturdier when held this helps when shooting at slow shutter speeds and feels pretty good when held. The camera also has amazing high ISO capabilities so what ever you do have enough natural light don’t hesitate to crank up the iso you also retain a lot of details when using the camera with high iso’s.
I use flash a lot and I have used a lot of flashes and the Fuji Ef-X20 flash is simple the best hands down. There are no menus there’s nothing but a dial on the top that you turn to increase or decrease the power of the flash that’s it. I also really love the size of the flash before I bought the Fuji flash I only shot the flash off shoe because other flashes are so big that they obstruct your field of view if you are shooting portraits and they make you stand out more. The Fuji flash never gets in the way and it is convenient because it takes triple A batteries. All you need is 2 or 3 sets of rechargeable and your good to go. Also the flash come with a built in wireless transmitter so if you set the flash to N-Mode and have another flash attached to the Fuji once the flash goes off the EF-X20 automatically fires. If you shoot with flash and are looking for a good one the Fuji will not disappoint I works great on a Leica as well I use it on my M8 with no problems with the exception that you can use the flashes auto TTL.
All ways clear all ways bright and actually the imo the optical viewfinder in the X-Pro 1 is better for shooting Leica glass. It gives you accurate frame lines and your subject is always easily seen. This is also the reason I prefer the X-Pro one over the X-E1.
Fuji M Mount Adapter
The M Mount adapter is pretty cool and comes with 6 focal length settings 21mm, 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm the last 2 lens settings a programmable so you can set them to whatever focal length you like. The adapter menu is easily accessible via a button on the adapter just press and the focal length settings come up. The adapter also gives you the additional features of distortion correction, color shading correction and peripheral illumination correction. And to make using manual glass more easy the scroll wheel on the back of the camera allows for you to magnify the image to make sure you have correct focus you can magnify 5 or 10 times the size. In all honesty Fuji’s lens are pretty damn good so I hardly ever use the adapter if I use it its for extremely wide lens like the Voigtländer 15mm or longer lens like a 90mm. But I do think its worth it and if you already have the glass you can’t go wrong.
This lens is the must have for the system the lens is super sharp and only gets better when stopped down im no technical guy so I don’t know specific details and honestly I don’t care all im saying is this lens will not disappoint.
This lens is also great its not as sharp as the 35mm but its still pretty sharp and like I said about the 35mm it only gets better wen you stop it down. Actually when I’m out shooting on the streets this is the lens I use the most day or night time it doesn’t matter just set the distance on the distance scale and your good to go.
And that’s about it. If your looking for a camera that has a nice build, provides top notch image quality the X-Pro 1 maybe good for you and in all honesty aside from the camera poor auto focus in low light I have no complaints. Thank you all for reading and I hope I was able to provide you with some useful information.
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this camera. I have been interested to see what people think about this camera for a while. Nice to see you are getting a lot from it.
Nice review, I have almost the same setup but I use my flash off my camera with Canon OC-E3, I was not happy with EF-X20 after I change the batteries to Enelop the things get really better…. avoid use the normal AAA batteries.
Thanks for the review.
I also am so happy with the X-Pro 1. I have been shooting film for years and using Leicas M’s for the most part. I have found the X-Pro great for the style of shooting I do.
80% of the time I use the 18mm with ‘auto’ ISO 6400, hyper-focus to 1.5 meter (manual) and Bobs your uncle. A superb digital Street Shooter if you don’t have the cash for a digital M. With the release of the EX-1 the prices have dropped dramatically and now is a great time to grab a deal new or from someone offloading on many off the auction sites such as eBay.
I also have the XE-1 and use the cameras together, obviously the E is lighter and smaller with a few other differences (you can look them up) for some reason I like the feel of the larger X-Pro 1 more, I am not certain why one reason might also be I like the choice of the Hybrid viewfinder.
Enough of my rambling, thanks again
All the reviews say more or less the same things about this camera: slow autofocus and great files and lenses.
Personally I am zeroing in on the smaller x-e1 to use on the streets. Haven’t made up my mind yet and perhaps I will wait for the 23mm (35mm in FF) to come out. Meanwhile I will look for comparative reviews since it is not yet clear to me what are the most important features that differentiate the two.
Thanks for the review!
The only difference i know of between the XE1 and the X-Pro 1 is that the XE1 lacks the optical view finder other than that there pretty much the same camera. I just like the optical view finder better when im shooting Leica glass makes it easier i think. Thanks for reading.
Some other differences between the two is the allmetal (magnesium alloy) build XPro1 vs semi-plastic XE1 (metal in top/bottom) – buld-in pc synch port on XPro1 – The XPro1 has a brighter 3″ RGBW LCD/1,230,000 dots, XE1 has a 2.8″ RGB LCD/460,000 dots – XPro1 has a slightly bigger body (could be important if you have bigger hands?) – XE1 has a microphone input + accepts an electronic shutter release cable through the USB port – XPro1 has a locking shutter speed dial – XPro1 has a 1.44 million LED viewfinder whereas XE1 has a (much clearer/better!) 2.3 million pixels OLED ditto – XE1 supposedly has a little better battery life (guess it depends to a large extent how you use the power features + if you ‘chimp’;o) – XE1 has a built-in flash + diopter correction (with XPro1 you can buy screw-in correction eyepieces)…. Theres probably a few more things to take into consideration but this is what i have come up with so far. Personally I use the XPro1 but have equally access to the XE1; I just couldnt make do with the electronic-only viewfinder of the XE1; just a personal preference…
This correlates with my experiences (except your photos are much nicer).
Great camera, nice and light. I’ve found that recent firmware updates have vastly improved the auto-focus, though, and I prefer using the rear LCD/zone focussing when using the Leica adapter because it’s very hard for me to see when something’s in acceptable focus quickly on that screen. In decent light, though, f8 set at infinity on the MS Optical Perar hasn’t seen me waste a shot on bad focus yet, so I must be lucky.
My only complaint, really, is the battery. If you’re using AF, it drains incredibly quickly. Using MF/Leica adapter, it lasts very well.
Totally agree with you Jasper on the Leica adapter it is pretty hard to focus just looking through the viewfinder. I don’t really use the LCD that much i just zone focus it like you said set it to F8 and your good to go. Thanks for your compliment and thanks for reading.
Great review! Are your B&W in camera or post production?
post production using alien skin and silver efex pro
Great photos. Not very interested in this camera, but the sample photos are amazing. Thanks for sharing!
Hey, if someone could please clarify for me that would be great. But he mentions that the OVF is good for the Leica glass. I am looking for a cheaper body to take my Leica glass but feel like the X-E1 could be the better option of the two because I would actually be able to see my focus through the viewfinder.
As far as I know, there is no rangefinder coupling or ways of seeing focus through the OVF on the X pro?
So other than for street photography (zone focusing), the X-E1 would be the better option for an M mount body?
The Fuji X PRO 1 is amazing. It will take most people time to figure it out and some won’t want to go through the learning curve. Once done however it is a dream machine. I have put Leica Glass 75 MM on and with the Fuji Glass this thing just makes photography a lot of fun. There is an appreciation for the outcome not found with the general gaggle of cameras out there. Something in the colors unmatchable.
Any thoughts about the 18-55 zoom compared to the primes for this body?
I actually sold the 18mm and bought the 18-55mm and i’d agree with Franco it great. It’s defiantly the fast of the group when it comes to focusing. I’m not a tech guy so all i can say is when i use it it takes great pictures. I think if your starting out this is a good len to start with.
@ John Kobeck – hi John. The 18-55 is probably the best ‘kit lens’ money can buy right now. I am reliably informed that it is actually sharper than the 18mm prime, although with a little more distortion.
I’m now stuck in to a ‘prime only’ set-up, but if the 18-55 was available when I bought my X-Pro, I think that would have been my first choice. All the images I have seen taken with it are astonishing, and OIS is a definate bonus too.
Having said all that, I do love my 18mm F2. Its small, light, snappy, and I love using it for street photography. Try them both and see what you think…..