Monday, 16 April 2012

Fuji X-Pro1 first impressions


We've had a Fuji X-Pro1 in for review for a few days now, in preparation for a review, and thought we would share some initial impressions. Fuji has supplied the camera with all three lenses, the 18mm f/2, 35mm f/1.4 and 60mm f/2.4 (each lens comes supplied with a hood, the 18 and 35mm come with squared hoods and caps, while the 60mm has huge (deep) circular vented affair - which I don't like but is likely very effective). Don't expect the build quality of the camera or lenses to match what the company is doing for Hasselblad right now. Fuji manufacture the lenses and viewfinder optics for the Hasselblad H4-D models, but the X-Pro1 is in a different league, in terms of build.

The body is made from magnesium alloy, but it doesn't feel particularly durable in part because it feels so light. Each of the lenses are light in weight as well; there are no weighty brass helicoids, and the lens mounts are made from aluminum further adding to the impression of fragility. However, the camera's ergonomics are good for the best part, although there's no in-built diopter adjustment, meaning you'll have to source diopter correction lenses (I've asked Fuji if they intend to offer them, and I'm awaiting a reply).

UPDATE: I've since heard back that they aren't going to offer this as an option, saying third-party options exist. I don't know of any, though it should be easy to do, after all it was common practice with film cameras. I've suggested Fuji should seriously reconsider - this will be a showstopper for middle aged users and easy enough for Fuji to rectify.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for Fuji told me the Voigtlander range of diopter adjustment lenses with 19mm thread (for the R2a, R2m, R3a, R3m, R4a, R4m and Bessa III) can be used instead, please see here (in the UK) for further details. The price each is just £15 plus VAT (£18) each. Please check with the retailer first, as we can not be held responsible (UPDATE: I've heard back from the retailer, Robert White, and the diopter lenses fit perfectly).

The sensor appears to be excellent though the outright resolution doesn't appear to be a match for 21/22MP sensors with a AA filter - though more work needs to be done on testing before I can say with complete authority (it's unlikely the lenses can't resolve more so any limit on resolution will be down to the sensor). If you have any questions please ask below, and I'll try answer them, time permitting.



Fuji X-Pro1, 18mm f/2.0 (28mm equivalent) at f/4, ISO400; in-camera JPEG with some colour adjustment in Lightroom 4 (please view in a colour-aware browser, such as Apple's Safari).

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  1. The comparison with NEX-7 is of high interest to me. Looking for better tonal range and exposure accuracy than current m43 16 mpix has. The X-pro1 and the NEX-7 are the natural contenders. My thought is if I go for the Sony, I have to rely on the 24mm Zeiss and on 3rd party manual lenses for IQ. Fuji has lenses that seems very good to excellent + they have a sensible lens roadmap. The Sony lens road map is not encouraging at all....

  2. The NEX-7 is a strong contender in every area, and not just stills but video too where the E-mount is flexible enough to be used with various mounts including PL. But you are right concerning lenses for stills. The issue I see though with the X-Pro1 is that AF is slow and noisy - there is no internal focusing (IF) in the current three lenses. Though optically they appear to be very good (only an impression at this stage - I've not fully tested them). For£3,600 (inc VAT) you can have a very nice system from Fuji that fits in a Domke F6 with room to spare.

  3. You have a 23mm f/2?

  4. Nice catch - I've amended that. Thanks.


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