Apr 252012
 

Great Fuji X-Pro 1 Review by a street shooter…

and some ramblings.

By Steve Huff

Hey guys! Check this out…I stumbled upon this review today from Rinzi Ruiz on the X-Pro 1. I met Rinzi at my LA Workshop and was drawn to his style of shooting. At the workshop he was shooting with a Fuji X100 and even while I had my Leica M9 he out shot me on the streets with his little X100, which goes to show once again, it’s not the camera, it’s the photographer. I do not claim to be a street shooting pro so I learned a bit from watching him that weekend. He waited for the right light. He calculated all of the details in his head before firing the shutter. I loved the way he used light to get his shots..which in fact created a style for him. Like I said, he has shot the X100 for a while and still owns it but now he seems to be loving his X-Pro 1. if you want another take on it besides mine, check out his real world shooter review of the camera HERE on his blog. He seemed to find the same issues I did with the lens chatter and slow AF but it didn’t stop him from loving the camera. Nice read and just how I like my reviews…non technical. 

I’m still shooting the X-Pro 1, and yes, I like the camera

It seems the last couple of Olympus articles i posted stirred up some controversy from one or two Fuji shooters who said I was  being unfair to the X-Pro 1 by comparing video to the Olympus. When I do these things I do not think of “fair or unfair” – I think “Hey, both cameras shoot video, let’s see how it goes in the same situations” and then I post my findings here for all of you to read! It not only entertains myself, but many of you as well and the best part is…it’s all free! Lol.

No need to get mad if I prefer camera A to camera B. These ramblings are just my thoughts after all and a camera is a personal choice. I am like a movie reviewer. You may not like what I like, period. Even though I say that, I do like the X-Pro 1 and have considered buying one on a few occasions just because of the IQ. The Fuji does have some soul and it is a unique kind of soul. Which is good. I just wish it was a little less expensive. I am happy Fuji has released the FW update though as it shows they are serious about getting these little quirks ironed out.

The rendering and color of the OOC JPEGS are so nice…this is with the 35 1.4 wide open

With the X-Pro 1, it is all about the IQ and great sensor.  If you can look past the sluggish AF in lower light or for fast action then you are good to go. To be clear, I have zero complaints with the IQ of  the X-Pro 1 and am happy Fuji fixed the lens chatter issue with the last FW update.

The Olympus OM-D review is coming!

The OM-D. Yes, I have really been enjoying using this camera. Why? Because I have yet to find any flaws besides the small cheap-ish buttons on the back. You can not get the same look IQ wise that you can get with the Fuji but like I mentioned in a previous article, choosing a camera and sensor is like choosing film stock. The little Olympus seems to have a lot going for it. Build, speed, lenses, feel, and IQ. It even does fantastic in low light and high ISO, more than I could ever need. SO what would hold someone back from the OM-D? Well, the fact that cameras like the NEX-7 exists for about the same cost. Which do I prefer? I won’t say here but you will see a comparison of the two in my review. The Zeiss 24 and NEX-7 against the OM-D and 12mm f/2. Not the same focal lengths of course but closest I can come to it. The sensor in the new E-M5 is so good for M4/3 but even so you will not get that overall “richness’ that you get from full frame or good APS-C’s. With that said, this is the best feeling mirrorless camera to date for me when it comes to actual use and usability. Review will be soon as I am taking a week-long vacation next week to visit family in Illinois and will be taking it along with me :) So far, so good.

an edited JPEG converted to B&W using Alien Skin Exposure – 45 1.8 at 2.8 – OM-D – click for larger

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Dramatic Art Filter in B&W – OOC JPEG

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OOC JPEG Color

  48 Responses to “Great Fuji X-Pro 1 Review by a street shooter and some ramblings…”

  1. Well, I still dig it… I am growing old, though, waiting for Amazon to ship! I can’t stand it…C’mon Amazon… paah-leeeze! :O

  2. I’ll be waiting for it steve.. :)

    Please cover DOF control and bokeh.. Also, won’t it also be good to cover 50 f/1.8 versus olympus 45 f/1.8?

    I think their equivalent focal lengths are nearer 90 versus 75 against 24 versus 36, in terms of ratio.. Oh well, it will really be hard to compare it.. Have fun! :)

  3. X PRO 1 – Incredible Images I have seen from That camera. OMD just seems to have nailed all the key points and IMO, I feel, it has to be the best package overall for the money…Small and light, great looks, blazing Fast AF, Weathersealed, Great lens selection, EVF, quick operation. Just so many points this camera hits, and Olympus has done OH SO very well. I applause you OLY, now just deliver mine please…Take my money and even some more when I spring for the 12 F/2 as well…..

    • For those who are waiting and haven’t heard much about shipping dates for the OM-D… I just received an email from Amazon… they say mine is expected to be delivered in southern Utah on May 4. WooHoo! I can’t wait. I don’t know if that’s a good date for others’ cams or not… I placed my order within two hours of the OM-D being released. So, who knows?

  4. ummmm….. i dont see anything special about its jpeg performance, as a matter of fact the above images look almost identical to any of the nikon d 3000,3100,5000,5100 cameras in factory default mode ….,still dont see whats so special about the fuji x-pro 1 ! except its over priced tag both for body & lenses ….,
    steve will you be doing a review on the nikon d 3200 thats about to come out ? :

    • I totally agree with Boris. These x-pro1 jpegs are ugly and bland. “Any” cheap digital camera can take bland, colorless antiseptic pics like these. By comparison the OMD jpeg samples have life.

      • I find it hard to believe you drew these opinions by looking at the pictures above. You have no idea the film settings he had, maybe he was using Astria film stock. My main point being is that a camera is is only limited by two things: it’s sensor or film and then lens that’s mounted on it, everything else is the onus of the photographer. There is no way that the OLY sensor can out perform the Fuji in the way you are referring to, it is just your preconceived opinion on what you want to see from the image. I know the OMD is an awesome camera but lets not trash the Fuji to make that point.

      • I agree with you John these are the kind of statement are the flashpoint that started all this hoopla.

      • The Fuji xpro-1 jpgs blow me away
        After using a M9 and a 5Dii

        4/3s jpgs are colourful but 2D and bland
        I used the GX1 extensively (same sensor as the EM5) and its great, but compact camera great, not DSLR great

        The xpro-1 is a landmark camera with 100% accurate focus and amazing handling, for those ready to learn it

  5. Really want to love the OMD (I also wanted to love the XP1) but I think the limited DOF and crop factor are just too much considering I have no interest investing in anything other then M mount glass. I’d really like to hear about the experience of using M lenses on the XP1 and how the lack of focus peaking affects the experience. I’m going to wait a few months to see a wide swath of images from both before making a decision.

  6. something about the fuji approach to imaging that leaves me unsatisfied. the images are too light and airy, and don’t have the depth in color that the other cameras have.

  7. I love the Fuji x-Pro1 colours. They are just what I like. Many photos today just seem like an over saturated TV show. A trend I cannot stand, it loses balance and often gives strange colour casts.
    I just wish that Fuji would use my 43 and m43 glass. I am not going to change because of that.

    • Can you give me an example of the kind of images you are talking about and are you referring to out of camera images?

      • Yes ooc and adjusted in this or that colour enhancer. Just look at the pix posted on almost any site by people from all over the place. If the Red is not RED and the blue is not BLUE it is not good they say. By over doing the saturation the sharpness is often lost and things become big blobs of colour.
        Once upon a time children used coloured pencils in school, they were taught colour and the shading that could be done with that colour, depending on the pressure used and the angle of the tip.
        Some time ago waterbased colour pens were introduced. It is impossible to make a colour other than a single saturated showing of that colour with these, shade, shadow, texture and depth cannot be made with such pens. These people now often have little concept of colour and depth of colour. TV backs up this colour saturation and density by using the maximum saturation possible, almost everybody has a sun tan that is deep and dangerous often bordering on a red face.
        When these people see photographs, many want to see saturated blobs, they want enhancement in their lives, they simply do not understand anything else.
        Samples, just look around the web, on your TV (particularly commercials), but look around keeping in mind what I have just said you will start to see it quite clearly.

        • Jim, don’t put up real examples you have seen it might offend the people concerned, and you would no want to do that would you. No. Jim I would not.

        • In one regard I understand what your saying, blindly pushing over the saturation and level sliders until the image seems so fake it looks like it was taken with a desktop computer with lens taped onto the back of it. On the other hand vivid saturation is a hallmark of color photography if done correctly.

          People like Stephen Shore, Guy Bourdin and an early Ellen Von Unwerth are masters of this craft. I know my work would be defined as saturated but I go to great lengths to make sure its done correctly as I use the same algorithms that micmic Kodak Ultra Color or VS if the actual films themselves.

          • The use of high saturation is very effective when used carefully, it can enhance a shot to give it some additional ‘feel’. I am not against its use I have enhanced colour quite often, though my preference is for softer colours.
            I think some do more than push the sliders over, I think some have overdrive on or enhance a shot that has already been enhanced.
            But that’s life, if we were all the same ‘twould be very boring.

  8. Re ramblings, you can’t get it right for everybody all the time. There will always be a few who want to stir the pot or simply have a bad day. The internet makes it too easy these days to post statements lacking style and respect for others and their work. I enjoy your reviews since they are a mix of facts, comparisons and personal opinions you base your conclusions on. I might not always agree with all of your findings, but enjoy your reports for what they are. Real life based experiences and opinions about tools of a passionate photographer. Keep them coming, Steve, I and many others will be grateful!

  9. With your review of the OMD, will you be doing any tests with the Panasonic 25 1.4 lens.

    • I feel the Panasonic 25mm f 1.4 is hands down the best m43 lens out there! I also would like to see a review with that set up!

  10. Yes, please, i’d like to hear that the noice of this atomic duet is bearable! :)

  11. ” The AF speed is slower than most cameras out there but really it’s not a camera for sports or spray and pray type shooting. There are other cameras out there for that type of shooting preference.”

    Too late. Too many negative comments. Trying to save it now for political correctness.

  12. AF speed on the XPro isn’t that slow, the problem is that most people use it as they would an SLR/DSLR for focusing, i.e half press the shutter and wait for AF confirmation then press the shutter all the way, in most cases with the XPro and the X100 you don’t need to do this.

    Make sure you have the “Corrected AF Frame” set to ON and understand how it works, then point at your subject and do a full shutter press not a half press.

    I’ve been shooting street using the X100 for almost a year using the above and now I do the same with the XPro, in fact the X100 focuses faster than the XPro1.

    • you wish more people would understand this…….i think Steve may have possibly not known this.

    • Exactly! Thank you!

      • WoW!

        Thank you for this info…This is an awesome piece of information! You are soooo cool! Thanks!!

    • Wow, yes this works on my X-100! Could you please explain exactly how this works? I didn’t find mention of this method in the Fuji manual or Ken Rockwell’s online guide. White’s guide to the X-100 only seems to mention this method as a means of parallax correction when using OVF, not as an aid to rapid focusing. Thanksabunch!

  13. I’m interested to see the reaction from ken Rockwells fuji review.

    According to him it’s the best camera ever…yet I find it troubling he doent mention much of anything regarding focus issues, lens chatter except for ” (The stepper motor for the lens’ diaphragm sometimes may be heard clicking as it runs.)” and essentially says its better than any Leica or other camera in existence. I’m not a brand loyalist by any stretch and unfortunate up this point can not afford a Leica but this review goes heavily against almost everything I’ve heard and read so far about the x pro 1 except image quality, which I don’t believe has ever really been in question.

    • Is’t this the same guy that said he would not touch or review an M8 because it had a crop sensor? May not be black and white hypocrisy but it’s definitely shades of grey.

    • I lost all respect for Ken when I read his review. Complete and utter hyperbole. Makes me question his objectivity and motivations. I will no longer read his site.

    • By the way, for an unbiased, honest review, see Lloyd Chamber’s blog: http://diglloyd.com/. He is terminating his coverage of the XPro-1 because of all the problems he has experienced. “at present it is simply too frustrating to work with its images, not one of which has anything approaching the sharpness of what should be there with a 16MP camera” and “I think it’s fair to say that the Fuji X-Pro1 is no Leica M alternative. Not even close.” And Lloyd minces no words about his M9 criticisms in previous reviews.

      • Apparently you have to pay to read Lloyd’s musings on cameras. Pay-Per-Blog. Is this what the net is coming to?

      • Apparently you have to pay to read Lloyd’s musings on the X-Pro 1. Pay-Per-Blog. Is this what the net is coming to?

      • Why aren’t the positive reviews “unbiased” and “honest”?

        • I did not mean to suggest that they cannot be. It’s just that Ken Rockwell’s is so completely over the top, laden with one absurd statement after another, it’s suspect.

          • Well, not everyone has the same tastes. Ken may very well indeed love the X-Pro. He seems to and he loved the X100 as well. I prefer the X100 to the X-Pro personally due to quirks I had with the X-Pro (that I will not go into here as I will get attacked). I am sending the Fuji back today as requested by Fuji so there will be no more talk of it here. No RAW testing or Leica lens testing as I will not be buying one to do so. Still, Ken’s raves of the camera are a bit odd but when you truly love something you can overlook quirks. I do that with the M9 as it has quirks as well (though different kinds of quirks). So it comes down to personal pref. Me, I do not like to fight a camera to get results or to enjoy it. I like cameras that “just work”, which is one reason why I love the Nikon V1 so much. Another review I did where I was attacked, but for loving it instead of saying it had flaws.

          • Steve do you think they asked for it back prematurely or is this the normal time frame they would give you? If so do you think it is due to the less then perfect rating you gave it?

            I was really looking forward to seeing the camera with M glass as that is how I was planning on using it. Same goes for OM if you get the chance.

            Thanks!

  14. can someone tell me if there ‘s any adapter available in the market to attach sony alpha mount lenses to olympus omd? I’ve been searching over the internet but i cant find one. Thanks!

    • sony alpha mount lenses don’t have aperture rings so even if you had an adapter you wouldn’t be able to control aperture on olympus (or any other non-sony) camera. You can use alpha lenses on nex bodies via LA-EA1 adapter in which case focus is quite slow or LA-EA2 adapter where focus is equally fast like in sony a77

  15. Review by a street shooter…waiting for the street photos?!?

  16. Interesting evaluation, where as the same guy also said that at ISO 200 the pixel quality is superior to the full frame canon 5d mark 3 and deemed that silky pix might be the problem as it cannot process the raw file properly.

  17. A year from now people will be chattering about the XP1’s lens chatter yet today it doesn’t exist anymore. Go figure.

  18. Steve, thanks for the link; that guy seems to have a good grasp on how to shoot street with the X100 and X-Pro 1. Moreover, his blog has a link to yet more sites and blogs with information on these Fuji cameras. I am still considering a wide range of mirror-less cameras, with no brand loyalty at this point. An X-Pro 1 that I handled at a local dealer felt very good in my hands, with the relevant controls well-placed for me, so I am paying close attention to everything I can find on the X-Pro 1. The interface between hand and tool is so very important, which is a major reason I decided not to try an X100; it just did not feel quite right. Favorable ergonomics can compensate for quite a bit of quirkiness.

  19. I have been using The xpro-1 for 2 wks now with both the lenses and i have always used M bodies right upto the current m9 which is now for repairs in wetzlar after the sensor got dirty with extensive use.
    The Xpro-1 is brilliant imho the image quality is astounding .But one needs to use truly harness the camera well and not just toy around with it ! Ultimately the photographer makes the image ! So all these reviews mean absolutely Zilch !
    Use it and its either for you or not i think !
    i love it and will use it with my m9 as a proper working camera !

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