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The Fuji X-Pro1 is the first interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera from Fuji. Using their widely successful X100 as a basis, the X-Pro1 offers a solid, highly-advanced semi-pro camera. Rather than following the rest of the pack, Fuji designed an all-new 16MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor that takes a different approach to digital camera sensors. Instead of the traditional Bayer-array filter, X-Pro1 uses a 6×6 random color filter array, which Fuji claims gives results closer to that of film. This also allows for the removal of the sharpness-robbing Anti-Aliasing filter. It has an ISO range of 200-6400 (expandable to 100-25600), making low-light shooting quite possible.
With the X-Pro1, Fuji took the groundbreaking hybrid viewfinder from the X100 and tweaked it. It now has the ability to recognize what lens is mounted and adjust the magnification and frame lines accordingly. If the user requires a more accurate display, the electronic viewfinder is just a quick switch away. The X-Pro1 features a very welcomed 3" 1230K rear LCD for image review, as well as composing shots as needed.
To optimize image quality, Fuji created the new X-mount electronic lens mount. By using the shortest rear-flange distance to date, the X-Pro1 has a reduced backfocus distance and prevents loss of light. It’s native lenses, while offering autofocus, are built with a classic metal housing with a traditional manual aperture ring. The camera body itself is made of magnesium alloy, with a high-quality leather grip for comfortable handling. With easy access to controls via the manual dials, as well as the new Quick Menu, the X-Pro1 serves as a solid contender for the mirrorless top spot.
As with many new cameras, your RAW converter may not be able to decode the RAW images from this camera. Please double check your software. Copyright laws prevent us sending the software with the camera.
I was waiting for this camera, thinking it might be The One for me. But like every other offering this time around, it has some, but not all of the things I wanted. What’s great? There are 3 really decent prime lenses available, it does amazingly well at high ISO (6400 is very good), has excellent image quality, and I’m a big fan of the Fuji optical / electrical hybrid viewfinder. I’m never an ‘image mode’ fan, but the film settings on this are fun, especially Velvia.
It’s larger than most of the compact cameras in volume (although not in weight) and you definitely get the impression Fuji worked very, very hard to make it about the same size as the Leica M9. Some people will like the larger size, others want something more pocketable. I would suggest getting the grip, though: the one thing it has in common with the M9 is it can be a bit hard to hold, especially if your hands are sweaty.
What does it not do? Well, it’s autofocus works fine on still objects but struggles mightily to focus on anything moving faster than a plant grows, especially when the light isn’t great. You’ll do no action shooting with this (barring that firmware upgrade). Shooting raw is, at the moment at least, a waste of time. Fuji’s SicklyPix (spelling error intended) software is fairly awful and the images don’t seem any better from raw than from the camera’s jpgs in most peoples hands. I suspect the new sensor layout makes raw conversion software struggle somehow.
I’m really hopeful, though, that some firmware and software upgrades will make this camera really great within the next few months. I love the concept and I think the worst case scenario for Fuji (who does seem to correct their mistakes well) is that the X-Pro 2 will be a great camera. This one, at least right now, is merely good.
Update: With the newer Firmware updates, most of these issues have been resolved or much improved. While AF can still be tricky at times, it is much improved.
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