Fujifilm X-Pro1 review
Review Date : Fri, 9 Mar 2012
Author : Mike Lowe
- Sample Photos: Fujifilm X-Pro1 review sample images gallery
Fujifilm's X-Pro1 - the company's first Compact System Camera - looks to be an impressive rangefinder-style camera. Does it deliver on its superior image quality claims? What Digital Camera's Fuji X-Pro1 review investigates...
|Pros:||Astounding image quality; hybrid viewfinder is great to use; superb lens quality; excellent LCD screen; expansive 49-point AF array|
|Cons:||Autofocus a little slow; battery life should be better; only three launch lenses; black paint not hardy enough; loose fitting lens caps; no built-in flash|
The Fujifilm X-Pro1, which WDC first saw at the end of 2011, is a rangefinder-meets-Compact-System-Camera built in a retro style. It features an adapted hybrid viewfinder as found in the X100 model and - and this is the big claim - a brand new sensor technology said to out-perform full-frame DSLR sensors.
The X-Pro1 has been through the WDC reviews mill, so does it live up to its big claims? The What Digital Camera Fujifilm X-Pro1 review investigates...
Fujifilm X-Pro1: Key specs:1. 16MP X-Trans CMOS sensor
2. Unique colour filter array
3. No anti-aliasing filter for optimum sharpness
4. Fujifilm X-mount lenses
5. Hybrid Multi Viewfinder: optical & electronic viewfinder
6. 1,230k-dot, 3in LCD screen
7. Premium design; magnesium alloy body
8. Film Simulation modes
Fujifilm X-Pro1 review - Features
First and foremost is the X-Pro1's brand new 16MP, APS-C size sensor. It uses a clever new colour array to remove the need for an anti-aliasing filter, which in turn should deliver far sharper results than conventional sensors can offer. For in-depth details about the X-Trans CMOS and how it works take a look at page two of this review - 'What Is X-Trans CMOS And How Does It Work'?
Add the brand new Fujifilm X-mount for the latest XF lenses and the sensor is paired up with some excellent quality glass. At launch there are three prime lenses available - an 18mm (27mm equiv) f/2, a 35mm (53mm equiv.) f/1.4, and a 60mm (91mm equiv.) f/2.4 macro. The initial lack of a zoom lens shows that Fujifilm's approach here is more traditional, but also that the quality of the lenses is more measured and fitting to a specific style and shooting method. For rangefinder fans, this will be just what the doctor ordered. However, Fujifilm has declared that there will be more lenses in the not too distant future, including am 18-72mm f/4.0 zoom that's due before the end of 2012.
Those familiar with the Fujifilm X100 will be aware of the impressive hybrid viewfinder technology. This marries together the best of optical and electronic technologies in a way that no other manufacturer has managed. This includes a larger-than-100% optical viewfinder, with an electronic viewfinder overlay to present crop marks and other shooting information, or an electronic-only display can be used with an exact 100% field of view instead. All this is served through the single viewfinder, described as a Reverse Galilean viewfinder with electronic bright frame display. The X-Pro1 adapts this technology by introducing a 0.6x magnifier that comes into effect when longer focal length lenses are added - this ensures a larger-to-eye preview.
On the rear of the camera there's a 3in LCD screen with a huge 1,230k-dot resolution. When pared down to actual pixels this is a 3:2 ratio, 1280x960 pixel screen - but consider that this is more resolute than a 720p HD screen, making the Fujifilm screen the most resolute on any consumer camera to date (more so than the latest Canon 5D Mk III).
Able to shoot from ISO 200-6400 as standard (100-25,600 extended), or capture 1080p movie clips at 24fps, the X-Pro1 has plenty of premium features. Add film simulation modes to mimic classic Fujifilm negative and slide film, traditional aperture, shutter and exposure compensation dials and this is a classy-looking bit of kit. It won't suit everyone for a number of reasons that we'll address later in this review, but for knowledgeable rangefinder users there's really not a lot missing from the features list.