Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

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Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby Matt. K on Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:38 pm

Well, it was always going to happen….it was just a matter of time. I had been watching the forums and following the Fuji XPRO posts for quite a while. The camera definitely had me interested but had a number of odd quirks that kept me at bay. It was the release of the version 2 firmware that solved the ridiculous ‘chattering’ aperture blades and improved the autofocus that finally saw me cave in and buy the camera and a 35mm F1.4 lens. For the past 3 weeks I have been putting the camera through its paces and getting familiar with its capabilities. So, what’s to like and what’s to dislike? Let’s start with the bad stuff first:
1. On a few occasions I have accidently bumped the focus selector lever from auto single to manual focus and lost quite a few images. Fuji technicians must have noticed this was a possibility when beta testing the camera and should have increased the détente or put a lock button on it. However, now that I am aware of the possibility of bumping the lever I take more care and occasionally check its position. So, user familiarity and caution should solve the problem.
2. On a couple of occasions I have accidently bumped the EV compensation knob and under/over exposed a few images. Solution is same as above and with practice I should have no further problems with it. But…Fuji should have considered a different position or a lock on the control.
3. This one’s an interesting one; I wear prescription dark glasses that are polarised. The electronic viewfinder and the electronic overlay on the optical viewfinder are also polarised! But cross polarised to my specs….so I can’t see anything at all when using the EV and have to lift or change my glasses. And I can’t see the info overlay when using the OV…Bugger! Eventually I will get a new pair of glasses and forego the polarisation. That will solve that one.
4. The camera offers far too many options. I don’t need em and they clutter up the menu. Just give me the essentials.
5. There is still no capable RAW file convertor but it’s not an issue for me. I’ve been shooting JPEGs and they are excellent. If a RAW convertor, (when it comes), can extract even more quality out of the file then that will be a bonus.
Now for the good stuff:
6. The camera handles beautifully. In aperture mode the F/stop is changed on the lens, just like a real film camera. I can change it fast and it’s intuitive, (for me anyway).
7. Picture quality blows me away and that is what it’s all about. Fuji claims it is as good as full frame DSLR. It is, (with the 35mm lens at least).
8. The optical viewfinder has taken a little getting used to but is a delight. It’s bright and fast and if I turn the camera to portrait mode I can even see the overlay! (Polarisation now in synch with my specs!).
9. Low light and high ISO performance is wonderful.
10. I can buy a Nikon lens adaptor and use all of my Nikon lenses with the camera. Also buy adaptors for Leica, Zeiss and Voigtlander, (there’s this incredible little 15mm Voigtlander lens they are all talking about).
11. The camera is easy to carry. Fuji is about to release an 18mm-55mm zoom and if the reviews are favourable then I might add one to my arsenal.
12. The quick menu button is a wonder! Nikon should have thought of it long ago. Hit the Q button and there are all your most needed adjustments. Fast and efficient. I love it.

So, in conclusion, a very expensive but capable camera and one that will take me into some new photographic experiences. Hopefully it will reward me with some interesting imagery. It’s a take everywhere and push the low light type camera and I’m looking forward to gaining some expertise with it. In my opinion it’s the finest mirrorless camera currently available and it delivers imagery as fine as any camera regardless of price.
The following examples are all hand held and shot in aperture mode. The camera or lenses have no inbuilt stabilisation.

[img]Well, it was always going to happen….it was just a matter of time. I had been watching the forums and following the Fuji XPRO posts for quite a while. The camera definitely had me interested but had a number of odd quirks that kept me at bay. It was the release of the version 2 firmware that solved the ridiculous ‘chattering’ aperture blades and improved the autofocus that finally saw me cave in and buy the camera and a 35mm F1.4 lens. For the past 3 weeks I have been putting the camera through its paces and getting familiar with its capabilities. So, what’s to like and what’s to dislike? Let’s start with the bad stuff first:
1. On a few occasions I have accidently bumped the focus selector lever from auto single to manual focus and lost quite a few images. Fuji technicians must have noticed this was a possibility when beta testing the camera and should have increased the détente or put a lock button on it. However, now that I am aware of the possibility of bumping the lever I take more care and occasionally check its position. So, user familiarity and caution should solve the problem.
2. On a couple of occasions I have accidently bumped the EV compensation knob and under/over exposed a few images. Solution is same as above and with practice I should have no further problems with it. But…Fuji should have considered a different position or a lock on the control.
3. This one’s an interesting one; I wear prescription dark glasses that are polarised. The electronic viewfinder and the electronic overlay on the optical viewfinder are also polarised! But cross polarised to my specs….so I can’t see anything at all when using the EV and have to lift or change my glasses. And I can’t see the info overlay when using the OV…Bugger! Eventually I will get a new pair of glasses and forego the polarisation. That will solve that one.
4. The camera offers far too many options. I don’t need em and they clutter up the menu. Just give me the essentials.
5. There is still no capable RAW file convertor but it’s not an issue for me. I’ve been shooting JPEGs and they are excellent. If a RAW convertor, (when it comes), can extract even more quality out of the file then that will be a bonus.
Now for the good stuff:
6. The camera handles beautifully. In aperture mode the F/stop is changed on the lens, just like a real film camera. I can change it fast and it’s intuitive, (for me anyway).
7. Picture quality blows me away and that is what it’s all about. Fuji claims it is as good as full frame DSLR. It is, (with the 35mm lens at least).
8. The optical viewfinder has taken a little getting used to but is a delight. It’s bright and fast and if I turn the camera to portrait mode I can even see the overlay! (Polarisation now in synch with my specs!).
9. Low light and high ISO performance is wonderful.
10. I can buy a Nikon lens adaptor and use all of my Nikon lenses with the camera. Also buy adaptors for Leica, Zeiss and Voigtlander, (there’s this incredible little 15mm Voigtlander lens they are all talking about).
11. The camera is easy to carry. Fuji is about to release an 18mm-55mm zoom and if the reviews are favourable then I might add one to my arsenal.
12. The quick menu button is a wonder! Nikon should have thought of it long ago. Hit the Q button and there are all your most needed adjustments. Fast and efficient. I love it.

So, in conclusion, a very expensive but capable camera and one that will take me into some new photographic experiences. Hopefully it will reward me with some interesting imagery. It’s a take everywhere and push the low light type camera and I’m looking forward to gaining some expertise with it. In my opinion it’s the finest mirrorless camera currently available and it delivers imagery as fine as any camera regardless of price.
The examples are all hand held and shot in aperture mode. The camera or lenses have no inbuilt stabilisation.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Regards

Matt. K
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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby Murray Foote on Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:11 am

Looks very good ....
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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby aim54x on Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:23 am

I figured it was only a matter of time before you bit the bullet on this one. Sounds like you are really enjoying this camera, and for the most part it will suit your photographic style quite well.
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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby Reschsmooth on Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:36 am

Good review Matt and looks very interesting. That second photo with the crop really shows its capabilities. The last looks a little soft.

I have been thinking about a more portable camera (you know, the best camera is the one you have and all that) as I am finding the 4x5 is a little awkward to put in my pocket.
Regards, Patrick

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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby sirhc55 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:19 am

Great review Matt, but seriously, what filum does it use?
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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby photohiker on Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:41 am

Hi Matt, welcome to the club! :)

1. Agree. I carry mine on local hikes in a lowe slingshot 100 bag, and I have had this issue. You will notice if it is in AFS-C the focus indicator becomes a crosshair so I just watch for that. Most times it ok.
2. Not had this problem. I think I have heard that this camera is an improvement on the X100 in this regard.
3. Weird. Will have to remember this, I have a pair of polarised sunnies, but I generally flip glasses up or look over the top of them when framing through the vf. (I've put a dioptre on the vf)
4. Yea, welcome to the 21st century. Once set up how you like it, not much digging required in menus though, apart from the format buried in there.
5. Agree. I use the jpegs and only look at the RAWs if there is an issue.
6. Agree. Love it.
7. Agree.
8. I use the OVF 90% of the time.
9. Agree.
10. I bought the 3 lens kit. Haven't really been tempted to go with an adapted lens yet. Hanging out for the 14mm though.
11. Agree. The camera has basically pushed my 5D into the back of the cupboard. Not hanging out for a zoom but will probably get interested if they do an UWA zoom.
12. Yes. I think this was a reaction to the complaints about the menus on the X100.

I went for the RRS LPlate and grip. It's great, but does add to the heft of the camera. It comes as three parts and you can remove those parts you are not using if you want. Also found the alloy surface on the grip section too cold and smooth so added some leatherette to it: image

Re Aperture Chatter, that was removed in FW1.1 - FW2.0 fixed the focus speed and the manual focus which is quite usable now (useless before)

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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby aim54x on Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:03 am

Matt. K wrote:12. The quick menu button is a wonder! Nikon should have thought of it long ago. Hit the Q button and there are all your most needed adjustments. Fast and efficient. I love it.


Funnily enough this has been in Nikon's entry level camera from as far back as the D40 (maybe even longer) you hit the <i> button and you can access all the most needed adjustments. On my D300/D700 I use the "My Menu" for anything that doesnt have an external control and the camera goes straight there when I hit Menu.

PhotoHiker...is that a Gordy strap I see? Nice work on that Leatherette! (mine are here)
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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby Matt. K on Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:27 am

Patrick
Here's a crop of the last shot. Remember 2000 ISO!
Image
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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby photohiker on Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:10 pm

aim54x wrote:PhotoHiker...is that a Gordy strap I see? Nice work on that Leatherette! (mine are here)


Yes it is, I was trying to hide it but Gordy aficionados would identify a Gordy strap from 100 metres hidden under a pile of rubble... :) Nice straps you have there!

Don't really have a good shot of it (these are just phone pics) but this one shows more of the strap and you can see the rest of the L Bracket.

Matt, if you go down the RRS Grip path and want leatherette for it, let me know, I have plenty spare.
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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby Reschsmooth on Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:59 pm

Matt. K wrote:Patrick
Here's a crop of the last shot. Remember 2000 ISO!


Yeah, but I can't read the license plate on the "bike". :D
Regards, Patrick

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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby Matt. K on Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:55 pm

Patrick
I've blurred it out for privacy reasons. :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:
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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby Mj on Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:59 pm

So... as I am working myself up to buy something portable for heading o/s next year I have some interest in a CSC.

At this point I'm shortlisting the Oly om-d5 and the Fuji x-e1.

Question for Matt... why not wait a tic for the e1? something with the pro that you couldn't live without? or just impatient!

Thoughts on Fuji vs Oly would be interesting to hear also.

My current thinking is that the Oly has the benefit of weather sealing, a flip touch screen, fast AF, and very configurable.
But a smaller sensor.

The Fuji has the benefit of APS-C sensor, higher-res EVF a nice retro look and maybe a higher quality lense lineup? (although fewer I'm not interested in duplicating my nikon collection anyway !).
But, AF has not been a Fuji strong point, the e1 has no OVF (not sure yet how critical that will be) and the panel on the back is fixed not adjustable. oh and not weather sealed (as far as I'm aware).

My key requirements really are... portable, not too expensive, not wishing to duplicate another lens shelf, BUT still get a quality shot.
P&S types like the X10 I suspect I would find wanting in fairly short order and the nikon 1 has never quite taken my fancy and seem to be better suited to creative video work tha quality stills.
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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby Matt. K on Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:09 pm

MJ
Optical viewfinder and pro image quality were my priorities. However, if you are happy to limit print size to A4 then the X10 is just a brilliant little performer. E1 with 18mm - 55mm will also be pro level image quality and if you can live with an electronic viewfinder then I would certainly put that on your list to look at.
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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby Mj on Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:32 pm

Whilst OVF would also be preferable for me I'm hoping that the $$$ savings are worth more to me... not planning to make this my primary cam.
Thinking I'll wait to get some hands-on a e1 first to see how it feels. The X10 is tempting at the price but I suspect would have too short a life for me. I have yet some time before I need it so who know's... I might end up with a X-Pro2 in the end !!!
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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby Murray Foote on Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:38 pm

One thing that may interest you Matt - The XPro1 has no anti-aliasing filter and the EVF gives a very bright image. This makes it more viable for infrared. You can use an R72 filter and still compose and (perhaps) focus.
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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby photohiker on Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:11 pm

Also worth noting that the new lenses on the way will have linear focus motors in them, so focus will be snappier than with the current 18/35/60mm options.

Not sure if the imminent 14mm/2.8 will have a linear motor (they don't say, so probably not I guess), but it does have an on-lens distance/aperture scale so here's hoping for a more usable AF/MF/Hyperfocal along the lines of the Oly 12mm:

Image

Some hands on images of the upcoming lenses at ephotozine
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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby aim54x on Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:30 am

Matt. K wrote:MJ
Optical viewfinder and pro image quality were my priorities. However, if you are happy to limit print size to A4 then the X10 is just a brilliant little performer. E1 with 18mm - 55mm will also be pro level image quality and if you can live with an electronic viewfinder then I would certainly put that on your list to look at.

:agree:

I do have a soft spot for the OM-D EM-5 though (for the same reasons you have listed). My EDC changes between my Nikon J1 + 10mm and my Olympus E-P3 + 14-42, I have been very happy with the image quality, but they are limited by the ISO ceiling (avoid 800 and above if possible) and i am yet to test the large print capabilities of these cameras.

I personally found the EVF in the X-Pro-1 to have an annoyingly slow refresh rate as well as what appears to be a wasted resolution, it just doesn't seem as crisp as that of the Olympus and Sony units. Try to get a hands on play with the XE-1 and compare, but it is meant to have a much better finder again.
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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby ozimax on Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:59 pm

Matt. K wrote:MJ
Optical viewfinder and pro image quality were my priorities. However, if you are happy to limit print size to A4 then the X10 is just a brilliant little performer. E1 with 18mm - 55mm will also be pro level image quality and if you can live with an electronic viewfinder then I would certainly put that on your list to look at.


I'll second Matt's view here. Earlier this year I took both the X10 and E-PL2 to Europe for a month. The wall of my study is plastered with prints from the X10. (Having said this, I sold the X10 to help fund an EM-5 purchase, but the camera is sensational.) It's built like the proverbial brick dunny. The focus is good and the Fuji colours are the best there are, anywhere. I used the panorama mode extensively.

The only thing I didn't like about the X10 was the optical viewfinder. I'm now sold on the EVF instead.

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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby aim54x on Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:04 am

I have to agree that there are some awesome features in EVF cameras....shame you cant get all of them in the same one......

The Fuji colours are sensational (love my S5 Pro!!) and the low light ability of the Fuji X-Pro-1 is hard to beat. Now if only that camera had the focus peaking of the Sony EVF....and the clarity/refresh rate of the Olympus.....
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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby ozimax on Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:23 am

aim54x wrote:I have to agree that there are some awesome features in EVF cameras....shame you cant get all of them in the same one......

The Fuji colours are sensational (love my S5 Pro!!) and the low light ability of the Fuji X-Pro-1 is hard to beat. Now if only that camera had the focus peaking of the Sony EVF....and the clarity/refresh rate of the Olympus.....


Cameron, to me the best all round package at present, (including available and affordable lens choice) is the EM-5. It has uber fast autofocus, 9fps machine gun speed, weather sealing and amazing jpg's SOOC. Fuji though leads the pack in ultra high ISO performance and, well, image quality. Happy days indeed for photographers.
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Re: Some comments on the Fuji X-PRO

Postby aim54x on Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:23 pm

ozimax wrote:Cameron, to me the best all round package at present, (including available and affordable lens choice) is the EM-5. It has uber fast autofocus, 9fps machine gun speed, weather sealing and amazing jpg's SOOC. Fuji though leads the pack in ultra high ISO performance and, well, image quality. Happy days indeed for photographers.


I would have to agree with you on the EM-5 being the best all-rounder, but at present the ultra-high ISO performance of the Fuji still leaves detail to be desired....even in RAW we have noticed that there seems to be some loss of detail. Maybe the new sensor will be tweaked and eventually better RAW processing will be available to make the most out of the resolution.
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