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...
Fujifilm X-Pro1 review – Performance
In use the X-Pro1 is decent, though the autofocus system isn’t quite as good as we’d have liked. There are ups and downs: the 49-point array has a wide spread that covers the majority of the frame; a single AF-point can be adjusted between five different sizes and located to anywhere within this array; plus accessing the AF modes and making adjustments is quick and easy thanks to the AF and Q buttons.
However it’s the speed that lacks. As the X-Pro1 will be compared to many interchangeable lens cameras, such as recent Compact System Camera releases, so too will focus speed come into question. With the likes of Panasonic and Olympus making significant progress in focus speed for contrast-detection AF systems, and Nikon creating hybrid contrast- and phase-detect systems, the X-Pro1’s AF just can’t compare. It isn’t slow, just not as fast as those three companies.
On occasion the camera also claims to acquire focus, showing the AF point as green, even if the camera has not found focus – as can be seen quite clearly by eye in the preview.
The combination of these two factors mean the X-Pro1 isn’t going to suit all. Fast-moving action isn’t the camera’s forte, and the slow-paced AF-C (continuous focus) mode utilises a centre-only cross point that cannot be moved. However, we never anticipated the X-Pro1 would be tailored for these kinds of users. Designed with traditional shooting in mind, the camera is more aimed at street photographers, portrait shooters and the like.
If close-up focusing is your thing then you’ll need to pay close attention to the X-Pro1’s macro mode. Activated by pressing the upward d-pad key, macro is available as an EVF- or LCD-only view. When activated it will allow the 18mm lens to focus at up to 18cms from subject, the 35mm up to 28cm and the 60mm macro up to 26.7cm.
Each lens also uses live aperture adjustment to control the amount of light entering the camera, which results in a clicking sounds in preview or during focusing. This, in combination with the focal plane shutter in the camera’s body, mean the X-Pro1 is not nearly as quiet as the near-silent X100 model.
Those keen to use manual focus will find the X-Pro1’s system proficient. Set into motion by selecting M from the S/C/M switch on the front of the camera, the camera can still quick autofocus using the AE-L/AF-L button (if desired) with manual focus ring adjustment also permitted. The display shows a focus distance indicator from 0.1m-infinty (or equivalent feet) that slides along the range as the lens’s manual focus ring is adjusted, plus a depth of field indicator displays in white based on the lens, aperture and focus distance selection. This is also visible in the OVF with EVF overlay or EVF-only viewfinder options, though the OVF is of less use and the 0.6x magnifier does not engage irrespective of the lens attached. For finer focus the rear thumbwheel can be pressed for an actual size preview at the selected focus point. At the closer focus distances the lens’ manual focus rings will require more rotation for finer focusing – the 60mm macro, for example, requires two full rotations to adjust the focus distance from 0.1m to 0.5m, whereas half a rotation will adjust from infinity to 3m.
One qualm we had with the X100 model was its relative slow startup time. This isn’t so with the X-Pro1: select the Quick Start Mode in the menu and the camera is activated from off to on in a near instant.
The X-Pro1’s movie mode is tucked away in the drive menu. We don’t anticipate that most users will find this a prime reason to purchase the camera, though it’s a capable option to have. 1080p HD clips are recorded at 24fps, though no aperture or shutter control is permitted over the exposure. Continuous autofocus or manual focus are the two AF types available – selecting single autofocus on the front switch does not have any impact in movie mode.
Battery life lasts out for around 300 shots per charge – similar to that of other Compact System Cameras on the market, and nowhere near many pro-spec DSLR cameras. This is quite the shame as it doesn’t sit in line with the X-Pro1’s ‘Pro’ name.