The Fuji X-Pro 1 Review
by Steve Huff
Well here we are and I have now had the Fuji X-Pro 1 in my hands for a little while and I am ready to let you all know how I feel about it!
The last time I was this excited about a camera release was with last years Fuji X100, which I adored but at the same time, found frustrating on many occasions. You can read my X100 review HERE and see how much I loved that camera. I no longer have an X100 but still have a soft spot for it. On several occasions I even had the $200 overpriced black edition in my shopping cart because even though it is NOT a Leica (In case you did not know, I love my Leica) I felt a connection to it. The image quality, the feel, the small size and the hybrid EVF/OVF…it all brought me back to the basics of photography even though it was a bit more technical than a basic Leica M. What I mean by that is that it did not have the Zen like simplicity of an M.
But we can not deny the fact that the little X100 was the big camera hit of last year and when it arrived it was sold out for months. Prices on Amazon were jacked up and people were paying $1600 for the standard X100 kit and yes, even at that price they would sell out within a day or so. One of the reasons for this was that Fuji did a super job with the marketing and hype for that camera and with the huge success of the X100 they decided to keep the X train rolling full steam ahead. Even though MANY of the X100 users were having the “sticky aperture blade” issues with the cameras, Fuji started to work on a new higher end version. Yes, Fuji started working on the “top secret” X-Pro 1 and the internet buzz was insane for months about it.
ISO 1000 – Fuji X-Pro 1
Leica Is In Trouble? Well, not really…
I sat there and thought “Uh Oh” – Leica is in trouble. There it was…Fuji was set to release a PRO version of the X100 with interchangeable FAST lenses at 1/4 the price of a 3 year old M9. They even designed it like a black Leica M with that awesome retro look and feel. If Fuji could pull off a nice solid body, fast AF and rock solid reliability…then yes, I feared Leica would lose some sales to Fuji. Why wouldn’t they? There are so many people that would LOVE a Leica M9 but refuse to pay the $7000 body cost and even more for lenses. Some refuse to pay that price and some simply can’t. But with a camera like the X-Pro 1 at 1/4 the cost, it is now possible to get a Leica look-a-like and fast primes that give superb image quality. Fuji knew this so they targeted this camera system at those people.
In my honest opinion they are not trying to beat the M9 as the X-Pro 1 simply does not, but many of us who can not buy an M9 WILL think about the X-Pro and a few M9 users will buy one as well to play with.
So now that I have been shooting with this “X-Pro 1” for a while, what do I think? Well, read on to find out my thoughts as I share my real world results about the build and feel, use, and image quality of the camera. I will say right now the main competitor to this camera is not the Leica M9 but rather the Sony NEX-7 and even the new Olympus OM-D. I will tell you all up front RIGHT NOW that this is not an M9 nor is it even remotely similar in operation. It feels nothing like an M9, shoots nothing like an M9 and the quality in not equal to an M9. The only area where this beats an M9 is in high ISO, and in this area it slaughters the M, kicks it while it’s down and stomps it before it kicks it across the street. In other areas like build, use, feel, manual focus, simplicity and image quality, the Leica wins. Period.
There, I said it. I am sure Fuji fans will call me a Leica fanboy but the fact is that there is still nothing like shooting an M. Unless you shot one, owned one and used one with great Leica glass you wouldn’t understand. Then again, do I feel the M9 is worth $7k? No, not in 2012. Do I feel the Fuji X-Pro 1 is worth $1699? No. I feel the X-Pro 1 should have come in at $1399 for the body only because as it is, this camera will cost you $3300 with all three lenses. Add the grip and extra battery and you are at about $3500. That’s a lot of cash for just about anyone.
The X-Pro 1 may just be worth the $1699 body only cost as the IQ is great for a crop sensor APS-C camera. Probably some of the best IQ I have seen from any mirrorless to date. Due to lack of AA filter, the images that come from this sensor pop with detail and sharpness. Add to that the Fuji colors and you have a fantastic camera for image quality. Again, it is much like the X100 but you gain the advantage of the faster and different focal length lenses.
The 35 1.4 at ISO 1250 at night
A Video Overview of the Fuji X-Pro 1
In case some of you missed it, below is my video showing the X-Pro 1 body, lenses, and the menu system of the camera. It is a long video but if you want to see everything about it, take a look below.
The Fuji X-Pro 1 – What is so “Pro” about it?
The Fuji X-Pro 1 is a step up from the X100 in a few ways but in reality, the image quality is VERY similar and the usability is about exactly the same. I have shot both cameras in real world use and have to say that the cameras feel the same when shooting. What I mean by that is, both are on the slower side when compared to what is out there today in this class of camera (NEX, Micro 4/3). The reason this camera is more advanced and desirable than the X100 is that you can not only use the new Fuji X lenses like the 18 f/2, the 35 1.4 and the 60 2.4 macro but you can also shoot Leica glass with an adapter. So this camera is like an X100 on steroids as it is bigger, badder, and yes, much more versatile. It is also much more expensive and has the same size sensor and the same overall IQ traits.
The X-Pro has a 16 MegaPixel sensor, a 3″ LCD, the same Hybrid Viewfinder as the X100, Dust Shaker sensor cleaning and HD video capability. So what you get over the smaller and cheaper X100 is IC lens capability, a higher MegaPixel sensor, a slightly larger LCD display (2.8″ vs 3″) and higher ISO capability (12,800 max on the X100 and 25,600 for the X-Pro).
After shooting with the X-Pro 1 for a while it felt JUST LIKE shooting an X100 but with different focal lengths. I have to say that I have found some quirks with it that I was disappointed with but at the same time, much like the X100, the image quality that comes out of this camera is amazing. The colors and the look and the feel are all very “Fuji”. Yes, Fuji has their own look which is a bit on the brighter side, very poppy colors, and very sharp (with the 35 1.4 and 60 macro). I found the camera tended to overexpose when shooting in Aperture priority mode so I ended up using some Exposure Compensation to dial it down.
The signature Fuji “Velvia” colors – Both shots below were taken with the 60 Macro at 2.4
As with the X100, this review is all about the Photos and the Usability, so let’s get to it!
This beautiful X-Pro 1 is a camera I have been waiting for, drooling over and looking forward to with HIGH expectations. I mean, Fuji had the experience from the X100 so surely they would make this one as a statement piece. The Focus would be fast, the build would be solid, the lenses would be superb and sharp with creamy bokeh and the camera would not hang up, freeze or hunt for focus…right?
Well, that is what I had HOPED FOR and on some of those the camera delivered and in other ways it did not. I will now go over the usual suspects. The AF speed, HIGH ISO, Build and Feel, etc.
BUILD AND FEEL
The X-Pro 1 is MUCH lighter than many of you think it is. When you pick it up the 1st thing you think is “Wow, that is much lighter than I thought it was going to be”. In fact, my 1st impression was “man, this feels cheap”. BUT I remember the X100 was also lightweight, as is the Leica X1 (even more so) and even the new X2. So you really can not judge a camera on it’s weight though I must admit, a camera that feels like a solid slab does give you a feeling of confidence.
When you pick up a Leica M9 you think “Wow, this feels NICE”. When you pick up a Sony NEX-7 you think “This feels about right”. When you pick up an Olympus E-P3 or upcoming OM-D you think “Wow, this is heftier than I thought”. So we have super light cameras that perform just as well as the heavy ones. Weight is not really tied together with IQ.
With that said, the X-Pro 1 is lightweight but at the same time doesn’t wear out your hand or wrist. I shot it for hours one night and had no issues. The body and lenses are very light weight. In fact, one thing I was disappointed in was the build of the 18mm f/2 lens. It is so light weight it feels like it is made of all plastic. I wish Fuji would have made the lenses a little but more substantial. At $600 a pop, it seems they should be a bit more solid.
So the body is light, the lenses are light…but how do they FEEL when you are using the camera? The good news is that when shooting in real life situations the camera feels great in the hand, ESPECIALLY with the added grip. The grip that Fuji sells is Leica M9 like and at $100 or so it makes the camera feel even better when holding it. If you buy an X-pro 1, I highly recommend the grip. With the grip added I had zero issues with the feel of this camera.
The X-Pro 1 at ISO 400 – Low light, movement, she saw the camera and gave a quick smile – this was snapped just before that smile though
Careful with your thumb!
While shooting in Las Vegas for my Vegas weekend get together I realized my thumb had been moving the Exposure Compensation button so many of my shots were underexposed a bit. Could have been my fault for not paying attention but still, it happened. The buttons on the back of the camera are a HUGE improvement over the X100. They are bigger and easier to use. I never had an issue with pressing the wrong buttons so I appreciate what Fuji did here.
The dancing “Hello Kitty” – X-Pro 1 and 35 1.4 wide open at IDO 400
The Auto Focus Speed – The “X-Slow 1”?
So while in Vegas testing the camera some of the guys I was with were talking about the speed of the camera and how slow it was with focus. One guy nicknamed it “The X-Slow 1” and we all laughed. The fact is that the auto focus of this camera is on the slower side. When in low light it can be VERY frustrating. I had MANY misses, many hunting moments and a few hits. I missed MANY shots due to the slow focus in evening light around 6-7PM when using the 35 1.4. The 18mm f/2 is faster but you do not always want to shoot with a 24mm equivalent lens. It felt like a Beta Product, at best, in regards to auto focus.
I was disappointed in the fact that Fuji could not get the AF speed to be as fast as cameras like the Olympus E-P3 or even the super fast Nikon V1. Not sure why this is but if I were the head honcho at Fuji I would sit down and test this product and say “NOT GOOD ENOUGH”! Don’t get me wrong, in good sunlight the focusing is pretty good. It’s quick. It is not lightning fast but it is more than acceptable. BUT, when the lights start getting low, and I am talking evening light or indoor light the AF hunts and sometimes misses. To be fair, the NEX-7 has also missed quite a bit for me in low light as well.
Still, why is it that Fuji can nail everything else – The design, the hype, the packaging (which is GORGEOUS, see my video above) and the whole concept but when it comes to AF it is the one thing that makes the camera feel sluggish. With the little Olympus E-P3 I had no problem raising the camera and firing away with AF, and it never missed. The high ISO suffered in low light though, so I guess it is a trade off. All I know is I look forward to the day when Fuji releases and X-Pro 3 or 4 with super fast AF 🙂
Spotted this kid in his stroller chilling out and his brother laughing. I quickly knelt down a bit and tried to AF and it missed the 1st two attempts. I did get this shot on the 3rd try, which was the best anyway due to the reaction on the face of the brother. He made that face because he knew I was taking the shot as I was down there for so long 🙂 This was shot with the 18 at f/2.
High ISO Performance and Black & White
WOWZERS! This is a high ISO street shooters dream. Yes, I said STREET SHOOTERS DREAM. How so Steve? If the AF is slow in low light, how am I supposed to capture those quick moments?
Easy! Slap this baby in to manual focus and set your distance using the distance scale (zone focus) and you will be good to go. THIS IS a great street camera IF you set to manual focus and use ZONE focusing! For example…let’s say you are walking down the street at night, and you are looking for moments to capture. You can set the camera to manual focus using the handy switch on the front, set your distance to anywhere between 6-10 feet and when you see something just lift and shoot, or shoot from the hip. I had no issues shooting at ISO 1600-6400, and if shooting black and white, ISO 6400 is NOT a problem. I also tried shooting the street with AF and it was a no go. I always missed the shots as the AF hunted way too much. So if you want to shoot this on the street effectively, use zone focusing.
Also, just an FYI, I could Manual Focus my Leica M faster than I can Auto Focus the X-Pro 1 in lower light street shooting.
Below are some higher ISO examples when shooting in Black and White. Noise is not a problem. At all.
The next three images are all ISO 6400, JPEG – you can click them for a larger version
High ISO Color – The real test of high ISO
When shooting high ISO color the X-Pro also does a great job, again, keeping in mind that the AF is slow and hunts WHEN shooting LOW LIGHT images. With that, I found the X-Pro 1 to beat just about any mirrorless right now when it comes to high ISO with the Sony NEX-5n and Pentax K-01 hot on its heels. Still, who shoots over ISO 1600 anyway? If I owned the X-Pro I guess I would do so in Black and White after seeing my results but how about with color? Not bad! Well, really…some of the best high ISO around these days of ANY Mirrorless camera. I could use 3200 in color no problem. Click any image for larger version.
ISO 3200 – one lamp in the room – shot in Vegas in the confessional room of the “Real World Suite” during the Vegas weekend. 35 1.4 – at 1.4
ISO 640 – 35 1.4 at 1.4
ISO 1000 – 35 1.4 at 1.4
ISO 2000 with the 18mm at f/2
ISO 1600 indoors – after three tries (to nail focus)
and below, ISO 1250
Quirks of the X-Pro 1 – Grrrrrr
Starting up slowwwwwwww if you use bridge and photoshop…
As with the X100, there are quirks with the X-Pro 1 and I hope that Fuji will release new Firmware as they did with the X100 to make the shooting experience better and better. One problem I had with the X100 that 90% of shooters DID NOT is the slow startup issue. My X100 and X-Pro 1 takes about 20-30 seconds to start up. If you buy one, yours probably will not so why does mine? Well, it seems this camera has the same bug that the X100 has/had.
When I shoot for my reviews I do NOT use Lightroom or Aperture. I only use those programs for my personal images so I can catalog and store them. My review images do NOT get saved as they are review images and are forever documented and placed on this website. I do not need to save the tens of thousands of RAW image files from my review samples so I go old school. I use Adobe Bridge and Photoshop with Adobe Camera Raw. THIS is a problem when shooting with an X100 or an X-Pro 1, at least when using my mac (all I use).
The problem is this: If I shoot 100 images on the X camera and then put this SD card into my iMac or Macbook Pro and grab images off of them by browsing the card with Adobe Bridge it somehow creates an issue. If I take this card and put it back in the camera, I have to wait 20-30 seconds for it to start up. The camera turns on but the display is frozen and nothing can be done until it fully boots up. When it does, I have to format immediately or else this will happen every time the camera wakes up or powers on. I have never ever experienced this with ANY other camera and this was one of the reasons I ended up getting frustrated with the X100. Sadly, the X-Pro 1 does the same thing.
Sure, I can just use Lightroom, which obviously doest have this effect on the SD card but the problem should not be there to begin with. 98% of you will never see this issue.
Random freeze ups..
Another quirk I found was that the camera froze up on me twice while shooting in Vegas. I had to remove the battery twice to get the camera to power up. Not sure what this was about but it happened twice, which was irritating. To remain fair and balanced, my $7000 Leica has done this on several occasions over the years so it is not just a Fuji problem.
I found that this camera tends to overexpose. If I shoot one image with the X-Pro and the 35 1.4 and one with the Sony NEX-7 I find the Sony UNDEREXPOSES a tad and the Fuji OVEREXPOSES. You may have seen many overly bright Fuji samples on the internet over the past few weeks. This is because many of us early X-Pro 1 users are shooting JPEGS because RAW support is not here yet. In standard JPEG mode, shooting with standard evaluative metering, the Fuji errs on the side of OVEREXPOSURE. I dialed in some negative exposure compensation to help combat this. The cool thing is that it is easy to fix with the direct EC dial on the top. Also, shooting RAW will help with this as well.
So yes, the X-Pro 1 has quirks. It is not a fast as lightning pick up and shoot effortlessly type of camera. It is a thinking mans camera that excels at one thing. Image Quality.
As with all of the images in this review, this is an OOC JPEG. Velvia mode rocks and is one reason I love these Fuji’s so much in regards to IQ. Shot out of my windshield on my way back to Phoenix from Las Vegas with the 35 1.4 at f/5.6. Click image for larger view.
Abstract Color with the 35 1.4
The X-Pro 1 Launch Lenses – Which one(s) to get?
The Fuji X-Pro 1 shipped with THREE FAST PRIMES. YES, FAST PRIMES! No Zooms. Fuji listened to the enthusiasts with this one. Unlike Sony who seems to concentrate on slow Zooms for the most part Fuji came right out of the gate with three lenses that all LOOKED great on paper. But how are they in real use? Which one is THE lens to get?
1. The Fuji 60 f/2.4 Xf Macro Lens – Buy/Order here at B&H Photo.
Fuji shipped me the camera and ALL three lenses to evaluate but a few days after they did so I received an e-mail saying I had to send the 60mm Macro back to them as it was a pre-production copy. Now, I admit I did try out the 60 and found it to have amazing image quality. Razor sharp and great color. BUT, it did miss focus MANY times. I knew I would focus on one center point and it just wouldn’t or couldn’t do it. So maybe this is why Fuji have taken this lens back. It also seems it will not be shipping for 3-4 weeks while the other two ARE shipping so I think Fuji found an issue with the 60. But IQ wise, when I did get it to lock focus, it was superb.
I posted a couple of shots near the top of this review with the 60 but here is one more. I believe I used manual focus for this one and focused on the teeny leaf. Click image for larger view. This was wide open at 2.4 and as with all images here, a JPEG. Keep in mind that Fuji told me this was a pre-production copy so do not judge this lens by what I said here (AF speed and accuracy I am sure will be much better in the final version)
2. The 18mm f/2 – Buy here at B&H Photo
The 18mm is so small and so light that it almost feels hollow. At $599 it is priced a little on the steep side I feel, but it IS a wide angle 27mm equivalent and f/2, so that is a GOOD thing. THIS is the fastest focusing AF lens of the bunch and if you are just planning on shooting this lens then the AF worries are not a big deal. I found it focused fast, locked on and gave good results. This lens is not the last word in “wow factor” but if I were to buy an X-Pro 1 system I would probably pick this lens up so I could have a wide angle that didn’t cost me nearly $4k (Leica).
I did not do any scientific tests but I found no issues with this lens. Click on the images below to see them larger and in much better quality.
3. The 35 1.4 XF Lens – Buy this lens at B&H Photo HERE
Ahhh! This, yes THIS is THE lens to get with the X-Pro system. A 35mm 1.4 lens at $599 that performs GREAT. At 1.4 the rendering is very very nice. Creamy, great look and color and a fast aperture that will get you the most from the camera in low light. The ONLY issue with this lens is the AF speed can be hit or miss depending on the light available. If you are in lower light then it is slow going. Do not expect to lift and fire away all fast and quick. If you are in full sun, then yes, but low light, no. With that said, the X-Pro 1 and ALL lenses are much quicker to AF than the old Leica X1, which is VERY VERY slow with AF. There are still people who ADORE the X1 so to some, AF speed is not that big of a deal.
Even with the slower speed, if you do buy the X-Pro 1 then this is a must own lens as you will get the best IQ from it.
I did notice this lens, much like the $5000 Leica 35 Summilux ASPH will show some CA in some situations.
Below: Example of CA
Shooting Leica Lenses on the X-Pro 1
NOTE: I will be doing the Leica lens test on the X-Pro 1 in a future update!
Yes, you can shoot Leica M glass on the X-Pro 1. All you need is an adapter and you can attach your beloved Summilux or Summicron lenses (or ANY M glass like Zeiss, Voigtlander, etc) and use Manual Focus to shoot. The big bummer here though is that Fuji did not include any kind of focus peaking like we get on the Sony NEX series and Ricoh GXR series. You can magnify the screen but that is a pain in my ass because you only see a super magnified portion of your subject and it is impossible to frame and focus at the same time. I feel Fuji should have put in focus peaking and have a feeling that shooting manual glass on this camera will be more of a pain than pleasure. On the Sony NEX-7 I LOVE shooting with the Leica glass as the EVF and Focus Peaking rocks.
I have not yet tried the Fuji with Leica glass as I still do not have an adapter (I DO NOT use Ebay or Paypal, so makes it tough). If anyone can sell me one, I would love to buy one from you or even borrow. I plan on doing a full article later and add to this review when I have had time to shoot Leica on this camera. So look for that in a future update. One thing to also note is that the X-Pro 1 does NOT have any kind of image stabilization and the upcoming Olympus OM-D will have a groundbreaking 5 Axis IS that is said to be pretty damn good.
Cool things about the X-Pro 1 – Just like its baby brother
The X-Pro 1 has the same cool features as the X100. Things like the film stock settings (Astia, Provia, Velvia, etc) panorama shooting and HD video. I will not go into details on those two things here as I already wrote about these things in the X100 review (see it here) but I do enjoy the film presets greatly. I find the Velvia setting to be superb and is the one I like to use the most. Others like the Pro Neg or the Astia settings. All are good. Below you can see the differences in the film stock settings.
X-Pro 1 Film Simulation Samples
Pro Neg Hi
Compared to the Sony NEX-7
Another hot camera that is available now is the Sony NEX-7. The NEX was another one of those HOT and exciting cameras that arrived MONTHS late so now it is competing with these new cameras arriving on the scene. No dount about it, the NEX-7 is a great camera. It is small, it is quick, it takes GREAT video (though seems to overheat), and the Zeiss 24 1.8 lens Sony released with it is fantastic. The problems with the NEX series is that there is a lack of GREAT lenses, sort of. The Zeiss 24 1.8 is great, the Sony 50 1.8 is very very good. But other than that, the rest of the lineup is good but not great and not able to get the most from the camera sensor.
In regards to speed, usability and fun factor…for me, the NEX-7 takes the nod. The Focus Peaking with Leica glass works REALLY well and images I take with the Leica 35 Summilux rock. There is depth and detail there that is, at times, jaw dropping. So the NEX needs good glass to get the most from it and it is an absolute JOY to shoot manual focus RF lenses with it. The NEX-7 comes in at $1198 for the Body Only, about $500 less than the Fuji X-Pro 1. So what do we gain in the X-Pro 1 over the Sony? Better high ISO, more flashy color and brighter out of camera images. We also get a full size camera body and smallish lenses. The NEX gives us a small body with large lenses.
If you want to shoot Leica glass, the Sony wins just due to the peaking feature which makes MF a breeze. If you want old school charm and better out of camera JPEG image quality, the Fuji wins. But is it worth $500 more? Not really. I feel the Fuji is a bit overpriced and should have come in at around $1399. That is just my opinion though and to many the $1700 asking price is well worth it. I can manual focus a Leica lens on the NEX quicker than the Fuji can Auto Focus with it’s 35mm.
One thing to know though is that the Fuji shoots like a camera. The Sony shoots more like a computer due to it’s complex nature and menus but also has the Tri Navi controls going for it and once you set it up to your liking it is a breeze to pick up and shoot, especially with old manual glass. To some, the design and feel makes the Fuji a better choice. When it comes to speed though, the NEX wins.
Below is a full size out of camera shot from the Fuji and Sony. The Fuji had the 35 1.4 mounted and the Sony had the Leica 35 Summilux APSH II mounted. Both lenses were set at f/4. Keep in mind the Fuji setup is $2200, the Sony with Leica over $6000! The fuji IQ holds up well to the Leica/Sony combo using just the Fuji 35 1.4 lens.
Fuji X-Pro 1 with the 35 1.4 at f/4 ($2200 Combo) – click image for full out of camera file – focus was on the “644” on the camera.
The Sony NEX-7 with the Leica 35 Summilux ASPH II at f/4 ($6200 combo) – click image for full 24 Megapixel file – focus was on the “644” on the camera.
and one more comparison.. 1st the Fuji at 1.4 with the 35 (click it for larger)
and the Sony with the Leica 35mm at 1.4 – both are JPEGS out of the camera to be fair to the Fuji (NO Raw converter at the time of this writing)
Compared to the X100
The X100 is smaller, and more compact and just as beautiful and with the latest firmware, the AF is even faster than the X-Pro 1. If you do not mind being stuck with ONLY a 35mm f/2 lens (I feel this is a good thing) then the X100 is a DAMN good camera. At $1199 for a full camera and lens vs $1699 for a body only, you will have to decide if you want the interchangeable lens capability. EIther one you choose will give you the same image quality with the X-Pro 1 delivering even better high ISO. With the new firmware out for the 100, I am tempted to buy one again instead of this X-Pro 1. In black, even though it will cost an extra $200 over the same compatible silver setup. Black is just so damn sexy with these types of camera designs!
Pro’s and Con’s of the Fuji X-pro 1
- It is light and the design is retro cool
- All black, stealth
- There is a 35 1.4 available and it is VERY good.
- Keeps the same look and feel of the X100 with gorgeous Fuji colors
- Sharp detailed images that can pop when shot wide open with the 35
- HIGH ISO is amazing, especially with B&W shooting
- Zone focusing is easy to set up and use for street so makes for a great street shooter in manual focus mode.
- The packaging is awesome 🙂
- Fuji has a rep for putting out firmware updates so improvements can be made to the speed
- Some of the best JPEG’s ever to come out of a camera
- Has the good Fuji Dynamic Range just like the X100
- Has the same OVF/EVF of the X100 – and this is good.
- Again, image quality is gorgeous!
- Slow AF and overall slow performance, had many misses at dusk on the street with AF
- Slow start up bug still here (in certain circumstances)
- The 18mm lens is so light, it almost feels made of plastic
- Manual Focus is still slow and is the same as the X100 MF
- Price. $3500 for the complete system. $1700 for the body only.
- The lenses do the “rattlesnake shake” when out in daylight (noisy clicks while not using it)
- X100 now has faster AF than the X-Pro 1
- Sometimes felt like an unfinished product. A beta.
My final words on the X-Pro 1 – Who is it for and will I buy one?
So far, to this point I have written 5,744 words in this review. Pretty short for a major review but I tried to not drag it out and repeat things that I already talked about in the Fuji X100 review. Many of the features of the X100 are in the X-Pro 1 and the image quality and overall usability is about the same. If you liked the X100 you will really like the X-Pro 1. It does allow you more creativity than the X100 due to the ability to change lenses and even shoot with M glass but at the same time do not expect huge speed increases with this “pro” model. In fact, just think about it as you are shooting an X100 with different lenses and better high ISO.
The X-Pro 1 for me is a mixed bag. I LOVE AND ADORE it for what it is and the images it can pump out, but the speed and usability kind of knocks it down just a bit for me. I WANT TO LOVE this camera and I just really LIKE IT, though I like it quite a bit because like I said, the Fuji files have a way of putting out incredible results and remember, EVERY image here was shot in JPEG mode as RAW support is not available at the time of this writing. The image quality will only get better.
So who would want an X-Pro 1?
- Someone who wants to shoot JPEGS. The Out of camera JPEGS are very beautiful.
- Someone who wants to shoot Black and White – B&W even at ISO 6400 is GREAT. Rich B&W files here.
- Someone who doesn’t want to shoot FAST and doesn’t mind slow and steady photography.
- Someone who wants to shoot landscape.
- Someone who doesn’t want to spend several thousand more on a Leica M9 but wants a “Rangefinder Styled” camera.
- Someone who owns an X100 and wants to have the ability to change lenses and have even improved high ISO.
- Someone who enjoys shooting people/portraits or landscape
- Someone who wants to shoot street using Zone Focusing
So who would NOT want an X-Pro 1?
- If you own a Leica M9 and have been spoiled by the usability and file quality then you may not enjoy the slowness of the X-Pro 1
- If you are used to speedy DSLR’s and expect lightning speed
- If you don’t’ want to spend over $2k for a camera and lens
- Those who shoot sports, action or wildlife
- Video enthusiasts – other cameras in this class have better video capabilities
Basically the Fuji X-Pro 1 is a camera capable of putting out SUPERB IMAGE QUALITY. To many, this is all they need to hear. When you nail it you will be rewarded with beautiful color, depth and sharpness. The 35 1.4 lens is THE lens to get so if you do order the body, make sure you order this lens with it. JUST BE AWARE that in LOW LIGHT, as in indoors or outside even that the focus will hunt some and occasionally NOT lock on. I feel Fuji will be able to improve this with a Firmware update just as they did with the X100, which users are reporting is now MUCH faster and MUCH more accurate. In fact, I am confident Fuji will do this. You can also turn on the AF assist which helps lock focus quicker. Also, keeping the power save mode to OFF is said to increase AF speed, which I confirmed does indeed do so.
I have TWO X-Pro 1’s here that I pre-ordered and both have arrived. I have not yet decided if I should keep one or return them both before I even open them. The one I have been shooting with came from Fuji direct as a review sample. So I actually have THREE here! If it was not for the new OM-D coming in the next couple of weeks and the new Leica announcement on May 10th I would probably keep one for sure but as of today I am not 100% sure. I do love the EVF/OVF which is the same one used in the X100. These days, for me, an VF of some sort is a MUST.
I love the IQ I get from it, more so than most cameras I have shot with lately, well, really…any camera that has come out in the past year or so. It is HIGHLY capable in every area of IQ. Good light, low light, B&W and High ISO. It has an APS-C sized sensor so the IQ WILL be better than the OM-D but I have a feeling that the Olympus will kind of have it all. Speed, IQ, IS, Weather Sealing, Great video. I can not keep ALL cameras and I own the NEX-7 as well but the Fuji’s always tug at my heart a bit as they have a little bit of soul and magic. I just wish Fuji would get the quirkiness taken care of!
If you want great IQ, RF style and fast primes and have $2000-$3000 to spend, the X-Pro 1 may be the camera for you. With the 35 1.4 it is 1/4 the cost of a Leica M9 body with better high ISO capabilities. You be the judge. If you own an X-Pro 1 or have shot with one feel free to comment and let me know YOUR thoughts. One thing is for certain, this camera has image quality that will make you smile every time you view your images 🙂
UPDATE: I did shoot with the camera using “Power Save ON” and “Power ave OFF” and I did see an AF speed increase with this set to OFF. After shooting in my house at 6400 ISO with the Power Save off, I actually am more happy with the speed. Still doesn’t explain my freeze ups and other quirks but the more you use this camera the more you like it. Again, those damn beautiful Fuji files are sort of addicting 🙂
Where to Buy the Fuji X-Pro 1?
You can buy the Fuji X-Pro 1 body at B&H Photo or Amazon
You can buy the 35 1.4 at B&H Photo or Amazon
You can buy the 18 f/2 at B&H Photo or Amazon
You can buy the 60 f/2.4 at B&H Photo or Amazon
You can also RENT the X-Pro 1 at LensRentals.com HERE! They are the best rental shop, period!
I will leave you with even more images from the X-Pro 1…Enjoy!
Fuji X-Pro 1 Accessories
The strap I used on the Fuji, which is VERY comfy is the Street Strap. Very light, soft and recommended. You can see it on Amazon HERE
Also, I highly recommend the Grip if you are going to decide to buy an X-Pro 1. It dramatically helps the feel of the camera and makes it much more comfortable to shoot.
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GRET REVIEW!!! VERY INFORMATIVE, ENJOYED READ IT AND WILL USE YOUR NAME WHEN ORDERING.
Dear Steve, I have a question, if the X-Pro1 + 35mm f/1.4 combo is $1200 and the X100S is $1050, which one should I buy ? Thanks so much.
Just traded in my DMC L1 for the X-Pro 1 with the 35/1.4 this week. Excited about using it this weekend, and how it performs. For me it’s a big change in camera..like going from night to day, although the fixed Leica lens on my Panasonic was a gem.
I have “used a Leica M with good Leica glass”,and it produced photos which were good, but which the X-Pro 1 would laugh at. The X-Pro does everything an M9 does – takes blindingly sharp pictures at around 16 MP with no AA filter – at a fraction of the cost. Do a blind test with someone who hasn’t been brainwashed by Leica and I’ll bet you they won’t be able to see which is better easily.
I have a M9P, the Fuji X Pro-1 and the X100. The XP1 beats the Leica hands down to me. It’s all about usability. I XP1 is light, that’s and advantage. It’s makes a fantastic image, which of course doesn’t really matter anyway, since that’s only the final link in the chain of a good photograph. The autofocus is fine, faster than the M, under normal daytime conditions, which is where most opportunities will be. I can’t believe no one has mentioned the Thumbs Up for the XP1, it’s a requirement, and also works better than the M version. That combined with a leather half case like the Gariz I use makes it have the perfect feel. Small piece of black gaffer tape over the flashy light on the back and that’s all you need. I added a flip back and a Tri-X box flap on the back of it, which brings me to the next factor, it looks like an old film camera, just as the silver X100 does even more. I have not encountered one person who is afraid of these cameras as the they are big DSLR like my Nikon D3S, even with a small prime on it. I keep the 50mm equiv. welded onto the XP1, it never comes off, and carry the X100 for a fast access 35mm wide equivalent. I’m often torn between the two of them, but the XP1 handles so beautifully that it usually wins. Bottom line, I’m selling by M9P and 35, 50, 90 lens set, the XP1 is that good. I feel like the Fuji X 35mm (50mm) lens is as good as the 50 Sumicron and Summilux combined. It’s magnificent, but then as HCB said “sharpness is highly over rated).
All that aside, I don’t know why some photographers don’t stop crying over such things, and other camera minutia, and just go out and photograph people in photo essays, not street photography, not landscapes, not portraits or weddings, but real non setup, non posed, stories. Yet no one does that either. I just can’t help pointing this stuff out once in a while, and I admit that I occasionally fall victim to camera lust myself, but I keep fighting it. Selling the Lieca and Nikon will be a big step away from it. The Fuji X cameras are a call to get back to real photography and stop chasing the technology.
Note: I keep hearing the quote from Capa, “I had a little Leica in pocket…”, when he slipped into his first assignment. Well you can’t really put a Leica in you pocket anymore, not an M anyway, but you sure can do it with an X100. Short of sports or wildlife, it’s really all anyone needs.
Thank´s for a great test!
I´ve been looking at this camera for a long time and hoped it would kick Leica´s fancy gluteus maximus.
I now realize there is only one way to go, the biggest possible censor.
Fuji is the winner of the cropped cameras but isn´t even close to the M9.
What you pay is what you get, as allways.
I wish Contax came out of the crypt like the titan she used to be and showed the world how to make a compact again. The T4 Titan fullframe with a 1.4 Zeiss eye. Porn….
I just want to know
To my eye the X-Pro1 wins just about every comparison. Depends on post processing.
we do not have the same eyes !
Steve, thanks for your review. I read every comment here and elsewhere and couldn’t decide between the x pro1 and the Olympus OM. I finally decided on the x pro1 after looking at its stunning images on Flickr. I must say I’m very happy. As a sharpness freak from way back I love this camera. Yes, I’m still figuring things out, but the IQ is superb. Your review made me think, and in the end it’s about IQ and handling in the field, not obsession over technical specs. I learned how to focus and more importantly anticipate where the shot will be in the old days of mf, rather than blaze off 6 fps and hope, so I can’t see all the consternation on af speed- plenty fast for me. Thanks again!
I just shot a complete wedding with the X Pro 1 and the 35mm lens. I used the 5Dmk II with the 50mm 1.2L and 70-200 L 2.8 only for 20% of the whole wedding. The AF of the X pro 1 was fast enough after the firmware update for my style of shooting. Only in some very rare occasion it did misfocus. Even the diner and dance shots are sharp. I am very very surprised, how capable this camera is. No one noticed me, i could work silently and did get the shots. I will buy the other lenses as well. This weekend is another wedding…..Love the X pro 1. Not in 100 years will I buy a Leica. Not for this price tag and for an antique sensor. Fuji rocks!!!!
It’s been a very interesting read! Seems most are biased towards the OM-D E-M5, made it harder to decide which way to go!
I’m only an enthusiast, but the feature set of the Fuji X-Pro1 ultimately met what I was looking for (other than the price tag). Anyways, I ordered a Fuji X-Pro 1 and 35mm last night. I figured I would take a chance on it (good response to firmware updates). I know it is no Leica M9, but I will never be able to afford an M9 and I like the X-Pro1 range finder “styling”, menu, and manual controls.
I truly wish I could compare the 2 myself in hand! An OVF is important to me as well.
Firstly, IMHO, there is no such thing as an M9 killer. What exist is the one that can buy an M9 and the one that cannot buy an M9 trying to find a camera that could produce such a complex experience and superb IQ from the M9.(not to be offensive,I’m also in the state of not having the money to buy any camera at all, let alone buying such a luxurious thing like the M9)
If its an M9 killer by having fast AF, great IQ whatsoever, why don’t buy Hasselblad? That’s a killer for sure!
if the X-Pro1 comes with FF would it be the killer?would it give you a stunning bokeh or DOF?are photography this day just about DOF?
I saw many stunning photos(not just some photos but a “moment”) captured with some “shit camera” (one that you might not considered at all) and why aren’t people trying to find a killer for that “shit camera” instead of trying to find an M9 killer.
I got a feelin that my comment sounds ridiculous.same as trying to find an M9 killer..it is pointless and a waste of time.
again..this comment based IMHO
Good review as always…
I understand is no match for the M9….
How do you compare it with the old love of yours..The m8?
i doubt between the two of them
I’m happy http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/larsjepp/6937408930/sizes/l/
Wow what an amazing feedback/response to your review. You asked for thoughts and opinions, so here you’ll get mine:
Got the X-Pro1 appr. 3 weeks ago, and unfortunately I haven’t had much time/opportunities to shoot it in the field. Just blogged some impressions of my First day on the street with the Fujifilm X-Pro1 (I hope you’re fine with a link) and will be summing up last weekends trip to berlin within the next days…
I like the camera so far, although it definitely has its quirks and flaws. Being A (heavily invested) MFT user, I was a little spoiled by the PEN E-P3’s AF and so I was looking forward to the OM-D E-M5 – but since I also shoot a lot of film, I came to ask myself “why the hell do I lust for all these shiny blinky electronic gimmicks (5axis-IS, tiltable touchscreen, 9fps, etc…) when a film camera with nothing more than a lightmeter and exposure-compensation completely satisfies me after a whole day of shooting??”
So I went for the Fuji as the “most analog digital-camera I can afford”!
I’ll hang in there and post some more feedback within this week.
I was saving for an X-pro 1 and when I had the money I kind off stumbled on a used Leica M8 and couldn’t resist. I am glad that I did go for the M8 though. It was the X-pro 1’s slow focusing that put me off a bit.
Very nice and comprehensive review, as usual. The best X-Pro1 “on field” review so far, imo.
Just for the record: there’s some “glitches” (too many “it’s” that should’ve been “its” :D).
Thanks again for the effort, can’t say how much I appreciated it, as I’m starting to consider I need a different approach to photography, other than DSLR’s.
Why are some many people taking my review as a negative one? It is actually a very positive review and have stated this camera will give you the best IQ of ANY mirrorless camera to date. The fact is that its IS slower than most other mirrorless cameras out now. Slower than the E-P3, slower than the V1, GX1, K-01, nex-5, etc. But it is VERY usable and much faster than a Leica X1. I just feel for $1700 body only, there should not be any quirks or issues at all. The slow start up due to the file being written on the SD card is a huge issue for me. Sure I can lock the card before sliding into my iMac but why does no other camera made have this issue?
There is no IS, no audio input for video, and the aperture chatter IS indeed annoying. It also does indeed overexpose in A mode quite often so the metering is a bit on the hot side and the lack of focus peaking and/or better implementation of manual focus is a little disappointing.
So this is not a perfect camera by any means (for $1700). But, the IQ is astounding and beautiful and if this is your main concern it is well worth it.
I wrote the facts and talked about both sides of the camera, plain and simple.
Thanks to all for reading and commenting though. I am excited to see what images come from the X-Pro 1 over the next few months.
Indeed, it’s a good review. Maybe the problem is, that it’s honest! AF will be better, though. Look at X100, it’s way better now, after FW1.21.
Another good review can be seen here: http://zackarias.com/for-photographers/gear-gadgets/ummm-maybe-ummm-yes-fuji-x-pro-1-review/
In terms of comparing to the M9, which I have owned for a long period of time.
My x-pro 1 has just arrived, so I have not tested yet, however I did use the X100 extensively.
The M9 has great clarity at base ISO with the right lenses, but above 640, whilst still good, is no match for any recent APS-C or FF camera. Not only that the DR reduces rapidly from Base ISO.
Lastly the focus is slower then AF (even though I am experienced with its MF, which is the best MF ever made). At night focus can be ultra-difficult and its very hit and miss.
From the xpro-1 pictures I have seen, it easily exceds the DR and ISO performance of the M9 across the range.
The performance of the M9 is better for DOF control (its FF) and nothing beats a Leica 50mm f1.4 at f1.4.
But apart from this its difficult to justify the M9’s price difference on quality anymore. I expect it to get roundly spanked by the D800e and to just come out gasping due to the lens range, not the body.
Many people are retro-justifying their cost on the M9. its a beautiful piece of jewelery. And if you like the workflow its peerless. But for the body price alone you can buy a xpro-1+35mm, a D800e+50mm and a Nex7 zoom which I would argue is alot more fun!
The xpro-1 as a single camera kit ? you could do alot worse, and if you are not shooting fast action (which you could do anyway with pre-focus) the xpro-1 is far and away a stunner!
I don’t see the point of comparing an M9 to a D800E. Of course any modern DSLR can do all the things the M9 can’t. Many get an M9 kit to be able to go places with a small kit and superb IQ. My entire M9 kit is about the size and weight of a single lens such as my Canon 700-300 F4/5.6 L IS.
These are two kinds of cameras for totally different purposes.
Too bad. I was expecting better. I wonder how DXO will rate its sensor. If it is really high, it will be worth it.
If it comes higher than many FF DSLR’s and they have fixes, I may buy this camera. I now have a Nikon D200 and it is about time for a change.
Hmmm…. I’ve had my Xpro 1 for about a week now. And my experience is a bit different than Steve’s. I also own the X100 (which I Iove). However, I find the Xpro 1 to be superior in almost every way. (Fill flash would be the biggest exception.)
The images that the Xpro 1 produces are, in a word, Stunning! I think the removal of the optical low-pass filter has really made a difference here.
The 35mm f1.4 is bitingly sharp–even wide open, and even at the edges of the frame. Combine this with the camera’s *superb* high ISO performance and available light shooting becomes a dream.
The only real complaint I have with this camera is the “rattle-snake shake” from the aperature blades. This is, however, not such a big deal.
Yes, the Xpro 1 is a bit quirky. But initial impressions are that it is going to blow every other aps-c camera out of the water.
From what I have seen so far I seriously doubt that it is going to blow every other Aps-c camera out of the water except with the high price.
OK, maybe a bit overstated. However, I would urge any potential purchaser of a NEX-7 to carefully evaluate the Xpro 1. I suspect that the Xpro 1’s closest competition is the GXR–a camera that redefines the term ‘quirky’.
As for price, the Xpro 1 body is selling for close to what some of last year’s aps-c ‘stars’ (e.g. Pentax K-5) went for when new. (I suspect that the price will soon come down.) And the Fujinon lenses are, IMHO, a steal at the price.
Yes 🙂 but the output is still very good. Besides that, I would have expected that the body would be about the same price as an X100 and that the AF was on par with the J1/V1 and that it generally had no quirks at all.
I’m sure you are missing a red Dot un this camera, !! you paid 2000 u$S for a Leica X1 !!! and the Fuji Xpro 1 is 300 u$S to expensive !!! by the way the X100 its a great camera since 1.21 !!
My biggest problem is i have 5 m4/3 lenses and i’m not happy with the quality i get when i need to print big like 40×40. Sometimes i get a terrific picture and i want to put it on a gallery and is just not goof enough ! the x100 is another story !
Since I had pre-ordered this camera, I anxiously read your realistically graphic review for the first time around 10 at night shortly after you first put it up on the web knowing, as luck would have it, that my X-Pro1 with the 35mm lens was scheduled to arrive the next day. I seriously considered returning it unopened to B&H, but after re-reading your review several times, I decided to go ahead and give it a try. And, I am very glad that I did.
I want to tell you that I have been having a lot of fun with this little camera and I am quite enthusiastic about it. I am getting truly surprisingly marvelous pictures. I just wish I had access to its exceptional metering and new sensor (preferably in full frame) with its resulting outstanding color accuracy and detail many years and photos ago.
Hopefully one day Fujifilm will produce a real “pro” camera entitled to it’s name in a finished state with snappy super fast auto focus that can shoot a series on moving subjects like a real camera, real manual focus ability, no aperture chatter and devoid of easily identifiable preproduction quirks. But, who knows when that will be? Until then, I am hooked. I will be keeping, using and enjoying this X-Pro1 until, you guessed it, the next experimental Pro 2, and 3, and 4 comes out. After all, Steve, with their inventory of “X” cameras, it is easy to conclude that’s what the “X” stands for, isn’t it?
The main reason I purchased this camera is that at 68 I no longer find it sporting to travel with my heavy, big Canon equipment (5D2 & Ls), and, I am not going to keep on waiting for Canon to finally get the message. Fujifilm should be congratulated as they have boldly taken a different direction in mirrorless camera design and concepts. Ignoring the hype, I predict that sales will prove that they really did get it right in so many ways with the X-Pro 1. It is a great little camera that foremost produces “stunningly realistic” pictures. And, it is easy to carry everywhere, looks classically great, operates in many respects like a camera, and, as I said, is fun and exciting to use, despite its annoying inherent flaws.
I agree 100%. I read Steve’s review before I used the camera in anger and I seriously thought about taking it back.
I love reading reviews and Steve’s are excellent. I love the emotion and the honesty. I think the negative vibe probably comes from having expatiations set to Leica standard. I’ve never used a Leica so can’t really comment on a comparison. But one word of advice. If you were thinking about buying and have changed your mind…GO AND USE THE CAMERA.
The pictures I have from this camera in one weekend of use are without a doubt the best photos I have ever taken. I am extremely happy. I have now sold my Canon 7D and “L” lenses. I will no doubt get another DSLR in future again but for now I have better images in approx 1/3 of the kit weight.
For those of you with an X100 thinking about upgrading. I also have the X100, which I love. But I am very glad I have the X-Pro1. The pictures are a lot better in my opinion. Sharper, cleaner and better bokeh. Annoyingly my X100 pics look a bit rubbish now in comparison. I haven’t got very many since v1.21 so maybe some focus issues are causing a lack of sharpness in some of them. But even the X100 shots are still better than my Canon 7D shots. Same sharpness but better colours and less noise. Where the X100 obviously lacks compared to the Canon 7D is bokeh against a 50mm 1.4 and focal length options.
One day I would love to have a Leica. But at £10k for camera and lens that is SERIOUS money. I don’t blame Steve or any other Leica owner to say this isn’t as good as a Leica. I’m sure it’s probably not. But for me and my budget. I LOVE this camera. All my kit is now very portable and get’s the results I want within my budget. What more can you ask for.
Good grief the Pentax K-01 images seem as good if not better than the X-Pro, it looks better, has more lens options and is a fraction of the cost.
Steve, brilliant review, as ever. Very honest and balanced.
Kind of glad the IQ is similar (if not the same) as the X100 – as I can’t afford to own both and I really like my X100… although the extra stop up on the X1’s 35mm lens would be handy it’s not enough justification to go out and spend that kind of money on a non-DSLR camera (no offence intended to Leica owners).
I’d say OOC Jpegs from the X-Pro1 and processed RAW files from the X100 at iso 400 and below and f4 -8 are very similar, until we see good raw support for the X-Pro1 we really won’t know for sure just how good it is.
if the 35mm FoV is all you want and need then I’d stick with the X100, I know I’ll be keeping mine
Good review, but you’ve missed or omitted the only really bad point. The chromatic aberration on the 18mm lens.
I thought it might just be mine, but your shots show the same edge problem.
For a £500 lens this is disappointing.
I’ve had the Fuji for a few days. I have the camera not to be mentioned or compared to, too.
The Fuji gives great pictures. Autofocus is a bit noisy and slow, but not a disaster. High ISO quality seals the deal.
I tried an X100 and sent it back because although the picture quality was great, the ergonomics did not work for me. In MY normal use the exposure compensation knob was too easily moved, the display switching button was easily to inadvertently press, the feel of the buttons was poor. I had to check the compensation and display mode whenever I raised the camera for use. All of that was fixed on the X-pro. Fuji does listen and fix things; I was not alone in finding these controls a problem.
The NEX-7 for didn’t work for me for various reasons. Mainly, it just didn’t feel right in hand.
I’ve got several camera systems and they each have strengths and weaknesses. I pull out the camera that is most suitable to the mood and the type of shooting to be done.
For me the X-pro is a keeper. The optical viewfinder is great. If they come out with the 70-200 zoom on the roadmap it will make an even greater system for me because I’m not a street shooter. Meanwhile, a 135 Tele-Elmar fills in.
Get your hands on the camera, take pictures, take the time to get over the quibbling over things said in reviews. Then decide. I was ambivalent at first, but now have changed my mind. You may decide otherwise.
P.S. Check out via Google the number of patents on contrast focus variants and you will find that Olympus, Fuji, Sony,Nikon and others all have patents in this area. Avoiding even unintentional infringement could stop some companies from trying. It can be REALLY hard for a company to decide how to introduce such a feature in those conditions. That could be a reason why Fuji has no focus peaking for manual mode.
Another great and informative review. I was seriously thinking about the X pro and needed to know how it performed. You’re real world reviews have always answered the questions.
I am disappointed at essentially all Fuji did was give us an X100 with the ability to change lenses. That in itself isn’t a bad thing. Just that I wished the improved the AF and MF. If the MF performed where fast movements of the focus ring made significant changes and as you slow down, it provided fine focus adjustments, Fuji would have gotten me to bite.
There are times and places where I just don’t take the M9 out and was hoping the X pro would have filled the void. Looks like the E-P3 and micro 4/3 camp will have me around a lot longer. Can’t wait to read your review on the Oly Om-D. 🙂
Street shooters =don’t= shoot from the hip. No photographer does. There is zero control over composition and framing otherwise.
Not sure where your coming from with this comment as I do not see anyone mentioning shooting from the hip or street shooting above yours. That said I shoot from the hip 50% of the time and have done so long enough that I can frame a shot reliably without looking through the viewfinder. If you google “faceless Japan + Leica blog” you will find a entry where I shot from the hip most of the time I was in Japan. If you feel like the framing sucks please let me know. I value all feedback.
Yes, wait for May 10th. We need a smaller and more intuitive workhorse. With less menus, FF IQ, and with instant shutter response.
Thanks for this review on the XPRO-1 which I have been eagerly wating for. I’ve been following your blog for about a year now. I’m a rangefinder fan. My first camera was a Canonet 28 which I learned to shoot when I was 12. Today I shoot mainly film (on an M7 and MP). For digital, I use the X1 which frankly I have been struggling with. It takes great shots if you take with the LCD. However I dislike using LCDs on any compact camera and slapping on an optical EVF has not helped (framing and focus often miss). Best solution would be an M9 of course, but I am not convinced about paying more than 5,000 dollars for a digital body that becomes obsolete after 5 years (and with sensor cracking issues!).
Thus, I was seriously considering purchasing the XPRO-1 and actually held one in my hands in a business trip to singapore a couple of weeks ago. However I had serious doubts about the build quality, especially of the lenses which seemed to be made of cheap materials. In fact the lenses felt like the cheap EF-S lenses that come standard with lower end Canon DSLRs. Seems very disappointing given all the hype around the camera. I have a voigtlander nokton 1.1 lens which is cheaper than than the Fuji lens but definitely feels better built. I think if Fuji really wants to capture the high end enthusiast market, they need to build lenses that will outlast the camera bodies.
Your review has helped me decide not to get the XPRO-1, until at least I see usability performance with actual Leica lenses (I know there’s an adapter, but is it practical/easy to use with Fuji’s focusing system?).
Just played with the camera at my local camera store. It’s well crafted, but feels a bit “tinny” in my hands, a bit lighter than I had anticipated. However, the biggest issue to me, was AF…it’s not there yet….to me, this is where Fuji needs to raise its game. The EVF looks terrible compared to the NEX-7’s offering, and magnification was far too tight for use of M lenses in an effective way…Overall, I would say that in my brief use, the XPro-1 reminded me of the X100. I couldn’t see myself using this instead of my M9, unless the AF were a rockstar or MF implemenetation was far better than it currently is…
Great idea…not the digital CL or similar…time to wait for May 10th, on my end…that being said, I continue to love the NEX-7, nearly to the degree that I enjoyed the GXR. Better utilization of M and other glass.
Ashwin – firstly I wanted to thank you for your comments and review of the RICOH GXR M module…and based on your review I decided to buy the system… and so far I am VERY HAPPY with Ricoh GXR , which I use with the Leica lenses…The system produces SUPERB colors, and IQ (IMHO)….and its ability to focus the MF lenses is a BIG plus. Also being on the “small size”, and with its highly customized interface, it lets me shoot without too many limits. I feel that with all the hoopla about the new gear, the Ricoh does not get enough consideration (as it should), from serious shooters out there…
Hello steve,I’m Liandro from Indonesia that is very curious about this camera.
First great and objective point of view of an XP1 review from a Leica fan boy :D,you delivered it in a very good way and manner.
If you don’t mind steve, me being a beginner in photography which has a very little knowledge is very curious about the MF of this camera needs some explanation and video. in Indonesia there is no such thing as trying the camera,test shoot it whatsoever and this XP1 hasn’t arrived here also. Could you post about the MF of this camera especially when you use the hybrid viewfinder..how can I focus?OVF and EFV mode and also at the screen.
I love MF (tried several time with my friend’s camera) and you said that it was a pain using leica glass or any glass with adapter which makes it automatically MF. Could you post the video about how pain it was(in the hybrid viewfinder)? cause from several video reviews I cannot understand how it manually focus.
Sorry if this so much bothersome but it would be great if you could post some video.
Thank you very much steve. Keep up the good work.
Thanks for the review! I just got one a few days ago and I love it! The only issue that I have with the camera is when u are taking pictures with manual settings. The LCD doesn’t display the changes when you change the ISO, Aperture or Shutter speed. The picture taken is different that the display. Did you have a similar issue? I tried to find info about this in the manual, but couldn’t find it.
Ahh yes! That is also one for my “con” list as that has been bugging me as well. Quite a few cameras today are like this though.
Thanks for your review. I got an XP1 and really like it. Horses for courses, I guess. This is the review that helped me in my decision:
Best comment on the whole post, I missed the point and feel rather stupid now. Reviews are for letting us know the pros, cons and nature of the product, then we can make the decision. Glad you’re happy with your purchase.
Oh well, I was to late to cancel my order with amazon, so my new Fuji X-Pro and 35mm lens
So for the hell of it I opened the box just to take a look at the body,
I was not to impressed, seems plasticy to me, I thought it was going to have a better build.
As Steve mentioned this is no M9 killer, not even close in terms of build.
So I have already setup the return on amazon and will still with my NEX7
A tiltable screen, EVF + OVF, if possible: full frame, a small and ultra light weight body, 40 MP (at least), 17 fps, auto focus faster than we can blink… Wouldn’t it be great? No, it wouldn’t. What is happening with photography? Why not just enjoy taking good and, hopefully, great photographs? Next year, there will be 30+ new cameras for us to talk about with minor changes to the ones out now. And we’ll be going nuts over them because they’ll feature yet another thing we didn’t have before. We don’t buy a new car every six months, do we? So what’s this thing with photography we’re so obsessed about? I’m not criticizing anyone here. Especially, since I’m also always looking for the next big thing in cameras. I just sometimes realize how foolish it all is.
Fuji X-pro1 has taught us, no camera is perfect BUT the IQ this camera can achieve makes one reconsider settling for anything less. In other words Do NOT compromise when making a decision on which camera to buy. A camera that speaks to you is a part of the creative process too.
I have been following up with this great website of yours! It is absolutely wonderful.
I sold off my complete EOS5DII plus couple of L lens to get myself a complete set of Xpro1 plus 3 lenses and the EF20 (Not the EF X20) flash. Photography to me now takes me out of the SLR world after some 15 years of using such equipment.
I have been trying to familiarize, the XPRO1 is truly amazingly good for IQ. I did notice an annoying feature and not sure if this is an inherent. My camera with 35 lens, tend to make some clicking noise, it seems the blades of the aperture, kept adjusting itself to max opening and created some uncomfortable metal clicking sound, is this a common thing on this camera? I note the same on 60 Macro as well, less so on the wide angle. Hope you can help me on this.
Yup, wanting to get that grip as well, but it would not be available in Taiwan till May the earliest!
Choose a camera. Take pictures. Push it to it’s limit and then some.
Stop worrying about which camera is better because it’s endless!
The best camera in the world EVER doesn’t actually exist. And if it did. There would be a better one next week.You can pick up any old brush and still create a masterpiece. The painting is what matters.
Thank you for the review.
How would you compare the AF speed of the Xpro1 to the Ricoh GXR+A12?
I need something for an up coming trip. (28mm and 50 mm is perfect for me)
Not sure why but I’m leaning toward the Ricoh.
I’m in a bit of a dead-lock between these two systems, so any thought would be greatly appreciated.
Arash – I am VERY HAPPY Ricoh GXR user, & with Leica lenses it really ROCKS… (I do own the Fuji X100, and tried the NEX7, & X Pro 1…. all fine cameras)…but the Ricoh GXR is what I use MOST of the time when I do STREET photography. The system produces SUPERB colors, and IQ (IMHO)….and its ability to focus the MF lenses is a BIG plus. Also being on the “small size”, and with its highly customized interface lets me shoot without too many limits. I feel that with all the hoopla about the new gear, the Ricoh does not get enough consideration, as it should from serious shooters out there…
Steve – have you tried locking your card before you transfer the images to your iMac? It might prevent the software interfering with the data, if that is what is causing the slow start up?
Great review as always Steve and some great shots up there.
Not pertaining to your review, but more to the camera itself and photography in general: the more reviews I read about all these new cameras with all their “quirks” and problems, tha happier I am with my D5000 and 35 lens …about the same price as the 35 for Fuji, and it just works …no quirks, no problems, no bs …it just works, works, works. Out of the way to let me enjoy photography. I know to each his own, and no, the IQ isn’t as good probably, but why spend all this money on a new system, new camera and “un-tried” equipment when there are alternatives out there for much cheaper that work much better…
Nikon in a nutshell – great value for money that just works every time.
After reading Steve’s great review and some of the useful comments from the readers, I have to come to a couple of conclusions. The first is that Fuji spent a lot of effort to give us a sensor with a high ISO capability to use in low light, and put it in a camera that won’t focus well, or at all, in low light. The second is that, at this price point, the camera may not have to be perfect, (probably none are), but it has to be a lot closer than this. To have to spend this kind of money and deal with the issues this camera has, I think I’ll pass. It’s really a shame, I had a lot of hopes for this camera and thought it would be the one to change me over to a ‘rangefinder’ type system. (No, I won’t pay Leica prices, to me, they’re deranged).
Why is everyone crazy about this review. You really did better reviews. For me it seems a little rushed due to the late delivery of the X1Pro whereas others already did good reviews.
And please: WHY is the price tag for the whole system a con? This is crazy. Considering a M9 with ALL lenses and accessoires will just wipe out all resources of a small african state ;-). So please be fair. I like your reviews but this one was a little toothless and no point in throwing in the M9 all the time. You could have compared these two on a part 2 shoot out as you usually do.
As far as I read the manual focusing with Leica glass seems better (really good) than with the Fuji lenses. And the x1pro seems to be a very capable camera for street shooting. Other reviews do not moan that much in the AF.
Of course for most the x1Pro is a disappointment due to the high expections. It could have been that poor man’s Leica, it could have been the Contax G2 but it isn’t. It might be a M8.2 which is not bad for a starter.
For me it is too bulky considering the size of the M9 with the even bigger sensor.
Well….we were fed an awful lot of HYPE…no?
Only if you’ve read them! 😀
Well, Leica has its fair shair of hype too. Sure, I will take the bait. Steve, why is this price for the Fuji X-Pro1 a “con”, I mean, too expensive (comparatively speaking)?
I’ve just finished my second day of shooting and have cranked out and reviewed over 300 images. I used my Leica Summilux 50mm f 1:1.4 (using a cheap quality adapter) all last night. As it’s the only lens I own, I’m very used to it and manual focus is as easy in low light as the M9 so I have NO idea what the problem is???
In saying this, I shot this morning using both cameras, same subject, same lens, IQ goes to Fuji.
I think the build quality is great, not to the standard of Leica but unless the “M10” comes out with an upgradeable image sensor (there’s an idea) for 1/4 of the cost, Fuji blows Leica out of the water for value and as it stands, is equal to the M9.
Anyone who can recommend a site to upload full jpegs??? And I’ll let you be the judge.
One major gripe about the review is if you’re going to compare camera to camera, Leica is not autofocus, so how does slow—ish autofocus let down the Fuji compared to the M9 🙂
Send me some, Id love to see them as I have not been able to shoot with ANY Leica glass just yet with the X-Pro. As for AF speed vs Leica, I can focus my M9 faster than the X-Pro can focus during low light or night street shooting. Daytime, the AF is fast enough. Low light or night, the AF suffers. That is what I said all along. When I was in vegas, the X-Pro missed TONS of shots due to the AF, the M would have missed none. But I would love to see your 50 Lux shots on the X-Pro so if you want to email me a couple that would be fantastic. Thanks!
Will send them as soon as I get back from the evil inlaws easter nightmare.
Good point with the auto-focus, I guess me like others have had enough of shelling out chunks of cash for anything Leica so we deserve to beat them up a bit!!!
FYI the adapter I got off ebay ($70) is flimsy, I actually held the lens when I was shooting but if you want it to do your comparisons I’m happy to post it to you as long as you don’t send it back 🙂
…could you do some dark portraits of the evil in-laws for us?
Practically every camera here is compared to the Leica m9… and now it’s the Fuji x1 pro. Do people here realize that the Leica m9 is a 7 thousand dollar manual focus rangefinder and the Fuji is an auto focus 1700 dollar CSC ? Nobody makes a 7 thousand dollar digital manual focus rangefinder except Leica….and no one wants to or ever will, except Leica. How and why would anyone want to make comparisons on two totally different things? The fair comparison would be if Fuji made a 7 thousand dollar manual focus digital rangefinder.Now I’m not a Fuji fanboy but even I can see the folly in such comparisons.The Leica is the Best at being a 7 thousand dollar manual focus digital rangefinder and the Fuji is the best at being a 1700 dollar Af CSC. They are 5 thousand dollars apart and in two different markets..as tiny as it both of the are..Leica’s being ultra tiny niche one.It’s less silly to compare an apple to an orange.
Lol, I do this because like I said, there are sooo many M9 users who visit this site – tens of thousands of them. They all want to know how the latest and greatest compare to the M as the 9 is now 3 years old. Like I said, IQ still goes to the M9 without question .It is MUCH richer with more depth. High ISO goes to the Fuji easily though. Everything else, the Leica. BUT it should! The Leica is $7k!! 🙂 I mention the M as this site is known as a “Leica” site to many and I get e-mails asking me about these comparisons all the time.
Fair enough Steve. I keep forgetting how many Leica fanboys visit your site. I’m sure you must get tired of having to compare the m9 to everything. I pray that the Leica fanatics don’t ask you to compare the m9 to a nice juicy sirloin steak someday..and if you did, I’m sure the m9 would have to win out. Rest assured Steve, I will NOT ask you to compare the m9 to a juicy steak.
Therein lies the problem. The M9 would eat a sirloin for dinner any day, any time! Now, if you put up the M9 against a ribeye, that would be a closer fight!! 🙂
Coming soon – M9 vs Ribeye vs Sirloin vs Filet Mignon!
It’s much more about the lenses than the bodies anyway, isn’t it. One body is the best m-mount, FF mechanical RF focus camera money can buy. The best digital camera by miles for the many outstanding m-lenses of various makes made over decades. Lenses which have proven over generations to keep or increase in value.
The other is the new cropped sensor, new lens mount, AF kit on the block. Its lenses will have paper weight value the day Fuji discontinues developing and selling cameras with the new mount or announce a FF X-Pro. The two camera bodies and systems do not compete with one another, they play in completely different market segments.
O.K. guys. Why isn’t anyone calling Fuji out on this hasty move? We all know that, with Fuji’s sucess with the X100, they rushed the X-Pro1 as an attempt to capitalize on the X100’s coattails. Being an X100 owner, I am very disappointed with this release. I thought that Fuji would at least take a couple years to breathe and then focus on a true M9 killer. Instead, we got just another M9 wannabe.
I suggest one spend the $9000 for a M9 + lens. That’s when the real suffering will begin.
If any other company came out with a M9 today — with the ridiculously expensive lenses, poor high ISO performance, ultra-slow AF-performance, and poor lens selection — no one would consider it.
Sigh…I’d still consider it for the strength of IQ that it puts out at base to modest (800) ISO. IQ is like no other with that sensor/M lens combination….And the M9 has no AF, but has a brilliant (rangefinder) focussing mechanism….
The M9 is no less a camera today as it was on its release nearly 3 years ago for $7000…and you can get a high performing lens (either vintage Leica or CV or Zeiss, for comparable prices to the Fujinon lenses available for the XPro-1)
I do feel that if Fuji could figure out AF, this could be “The Camera”…especially if a MF lens focusing option could be designed for it, be it focus peaking or some other version therein…
You would not consider it. But, statistically no one would. Or at leas not more than the folks who bought the Sigma SD SLRs. Let’s be real about the Leica love cult. Its unique. Yes. Every camera is unique. But to hold it up as a bastion of perfection is beyond silly.
If Fuji would put some time and effort into their nonsensical AF this camera would be a Leica M9 killer for those who are not in love with a Leica. Why? Because the Leica AF is horrible 🙂
The obsession on finding a M9 killer is ridiculous. Leica’s Rangefinders aren’t stealing anybody’s bread as they are in very small market niche of their own (Leica has 0.15% market share which includes X1, S2 and Film bodies!) A cropped sensor camera system with a new lens mount and limited lenses available will never compete with a FF m-mount camera. Any dedicated m-system is about the unique lenses of which there were, are and will be so many great choices around for generations to come.
In contrast, Fuji’s Pro lenses will only be in demand as long as camera bodies with their native mount are being developed and sold and as long as Fuji will not release a FF model. Thereafter, they’ll have paperweight value.
So, you walk into your favorite camera store and the guy at the counter offers you…for free… either the V1 or the x-pro1. Both complete kits. What do you do Steve?
Well, that is a good question. The V1 is much more fun to shoot – more enjoyable for me. The IQ of the Fuji wins by a mile though. Fuji is clunkier and larger, V1 is sleeker and fast. Fuji has fast lenses, Nikon slow. I REALLY enjoy the Nikon experience more than any other mirrorless (experience of shooting, not IQ). Tough one…but would have to take the Fuji. Then I could sell it and buy two V1’s 🙂 Lol. Actually, I would take the X-Pro if that was my situation, and use it.
Really interesting, Steve, that you seriously doubt between those two, the Fuji having the much better IQ and the fast lenses (which I know you’re so fond of). Remarkable! It tells me that you too validate the ease of use very highly, not only for the fun, but also because it allows you to make better pictures. And that’s exactly why I prefer the NEX-7 above the X-Pro 1 right now. Adding focus peaking to the X-Pro 1 would make me doubt seriously. Most likely I’d prefer the Fuji. I guess you wouldn’t hesiate for a second to prefer the X-Pro 1 above the V1, if only it had FP…
I do validate the ease of use highly as if a camera is a pain to use or frustrating then it makes you not want to use it or shoot. IN my hotel room in vegas I tried snapping a few shots of the guys and half were out of focus due to the dim lighting. I had to retake some shots 3 times just to get it to lock. Frustrating. Now, that was indoor light in a hotel suite but one guys E-P3 focused instantly, another guys Nikon was focuses without fail, and the NEX-7 did misfocus a few times but overall was faster when it did lock. No camera is perfect and the Fuji has the IQ going for it big time but when you can’t use it in some situations due to AF issues, then it becomes frustrating. I am still debating on wether or not to own this camera as I do enjoy its IQ but still not getting M9 quality from it, at least with the Fuji lenses. Being a crop sensor it would take away that full frame look anyway, and we would be using only part of the lens. So if you own an M9, the only reason to own the Fuji (or a Sony) is if you want better high ISO, which the M9 is now lacking in (though May 10th is coming up fast).
I quite understand what you’re saying. When I try to empathyze with your situation, I wouldn’t go for the Q-Pro 1. IMO it’ll bring you nothing new, nothing extra, because it’s IQ, being the main reason why to buy it, is still clearly beaten by the M9 and you’re still stuck with the crop factor. It doesn’t have the M9’s IQ, it doesn’t have the NEX-7’s features. I guess on May 10, you’ll have to choose for the M10 (what a coincidence!), with high ISO and EVF. 🙂
I think I’ll go for a NEX-10 with FF format. Or maybe an X-Pro 2 with focus peaking, fully responsive LCD and of course also FF. (Keep on dreaming, Dirk!) Anyway, I’m so happy with my NEX-7 right now, knowing that I absolutely made the right choice.
By the way, I’m so happy to always focus manually, never having to be frustrated in lower light circumstances.
When Nikon introduces a fast-ish “normal” prime, as they have promised to do, the choice will be harder. I have a V1 and like a lot of things about it, but the zooms are slow and the one prime is a focal length I don’t use much.
I had really hoped that the new Fuji would resolve my love/hate relationship with my X100, but no dice. At $2300 for body and one lens, I would expect the X Pro 1 to be at least as reliable, smooth and fast as, for instance, a Canon Rebel, but apparently that’s too much to ask.
Great review (as usual). Biased? Hardly. You stated things as you saw them and, more importantly, USED them.
To me the great irony is with X Pro 1 you have a solidly built and designed camera with an innovative sensor that yields stellar almost moire-free jpgs, and fantastic high ISO performance along with a bevy of incredibly fast extremely sharp optics (well maybe the 18mm is a little weak in the sharpness dept). So it seems it would make a fantastic low light camera, right? Wrong.
When the eV drops so does its AF. What a pity.
In the price comparisons with the NEX 7, I agree the Fuji may have overstepped itself. For $300 less you get a camera with higher resolution (24mp vs 16mp), from what i can tell respectable ISO performance (although not as good as the Fuji at the higher ISO’s), one equally matched (if not better and 7/8 of another decent lenses: the Zeiss 24mm f1.8 and 50mm E f1.8 OSS), a doubly sharp, multi-color tearing resistant EVF which while it doesn’t have an OVF you don’t have to worry about framing accuracy when shooting without the EVF, faster starting up and almost nonexistent shutter lag.
Images I’ve seen from both cameras here, Flickr and other places demonstrate, deficiencies in both designs not-withstanding, that with measured and patient framing and focusing both are highly capable of producing amazing shots. Jpgs out of the Fuji may be better due to Fuji’s film know-how and taste but my guess is once tweaked in a good RAW developer the NEX-7 will match it and with higher resolution.
I agree with Steve. Fuji is nice in quite a few situations. But the NEX 7 may be the better bet.
NEX7 + Zeiss24 = $2200, and Zeiss price increase coming this month
Fuji + 35/1.8 = $2300
Pretty close all around.
Oopst. Meant 35/1.4.
True. Good point.
Well, even with the same price, I’m without a doubt going for the NEX-7, with GREAT IQ in combination with my Zeiss ZMs, for its much better handling and manual focussing. IMO it’s a much better deal. Fuji needs to bring on focus peaking, to maybe make me change my mind.
Perhaps Fuji will implement focus speaking (assuming it’s possible to do it later) when Fuji releases its own version of the M adapter. Maybe focus peaking is already somewhere in there, but Fuji won’t activate it until its M adapter is released. I suppose if I am Fuji, I want people to buy my lenses first. On the other hand, Fuji could be attracting many more M lens user right now if it already had peaking.
As for handling, I like the substantive feel of the XP1 better than the NEX7. Too small sometimes gets in the way for me. I love the NEX7’s EVF, which is nothing short of awesome. The Tri-Nav is awesome too. Hopefully, Sony will allow people to assign their own functions to the control wheels in the future. I’d like to assign ISO to one of the upper wheels.
It’s so nice that people can have different opinions! Concerning the size, to me the NEX-7 is simply PERFECT, it has the ideal size. I think the smaller the better, up to a certain point, and that’s the NEX-7’s size. I found the NEX-5 to be just to small. The 7 feels just right in my hand, with the extra advantage that it’s even more modest and less obtrusive to the surroundings than the M9’s or X-Pro1’s size, which is an advantage IMO. By the way, with it’s size, I can put the NEX-7 together with three lenses, two spare batteries and some other stuff in a bag, small enough to have it hanging at my belt, without ever bothering me. To me that’s a dream come through! 🙂
Concerning the Tri Navi, I agree that it would be yet even better to be able to program it in whatever way we want.
Oh, I think I’d also miss the tiltable screen of the 7 on the X-Pro 1, don’t you? It sometimes allows really discrete shooting from the hip or overhead shooting in crowded places, which helps me when I’m shooting for my job on trade shows…
Yes, I totally forgot about the NEX7’s tilt screen. Maybe Sony will also implement a touch shutter function like the EP3 on the next iteration of the NEX7. That would be sweet!!
Concerning focus peaking, I don’t expect them to have it in it already, without activating it, because that wouldn’t be a successful strategy IMO. Think about it (and I guess the Fuji guys make the same reflections), those who are really into manual focussing will only buy a camera that operates well in that way. So Fuji misses those sales right now. Many (or even most) of these customers will prefer typical MF lenses anyway, which they probably already possess. Even though their own lenses allow MF, Fuji misses this clientele, because the MF really doesn’t work fluently. IMO the only way to expand their market share to the MF customer, is to implement FP, so that more bodies will be sold. As far as I’m concerned (and I believe I’m a typical MF customer), I’m only interested in the body, like I use only the NEX-7 body right now (with the ZeissZM lenses).
I even believe it’s of no use to come with an M-mount adapter, without offering FP. So I’m pretty sure that Fuji works on it, or at least has thought of it. I’m not a technical guy, but I can see no reason why implementing FP wouldn’t be possible in the near future. If it’s not, they’ll just miss the MF market share. Being a really small share, maybe they just don’t care. But if they add MF, it’s a completely different story for me. I’m surely gonna look into this camera then! With the 16MP sensor (really, I don’t need the 24MP of the NEX-7) I guess there will be no magenta shift with large angle glass. Although I’m not having too much trouble with it (only very rarely with my Biogon), still it remains an argument. If Sony comes with a software update that resolves the magenta issue, or if I can manage it well in Lightroom (I’m gonna look into that in the near future), then I will stick with the NEX-7 for sure. If Fuji comes with FP, I just might trade my 7 for an XP1…
Steve, I just wanted to thank and commend you on a great review. When I read your stuff, it’s like talking to a buddy about the new camera he has just bought (except you don’t gloss over the flaws). I have a Leica X1 and Nex 5N (with a bunch of old lenses, including my fav – Takumar 50 1.4) that I use nearly everyday and I was seriously thinking of selling the Nex towards purchasing the Fuji. I waited for your review though and now think I might put this purchase off until I see what Leica has in store for us on May 10 (and I really hope you go to that event Steve, because I trust your reviews more than any others for giving the straight goods!). I can go to DPReview if I want all the technical details, but I go to Steve Huff when I want an honest, user review. Thanks again.
Thanks Johnny, and to ALL who have read the review. Thanks!
I guess Johnny speaks out the thoughts of many of us – certainly mine. This site has become my “home” regarding camera reviews.
And another thing that may be said: there are some great guys between the site visitors here, that make for a nice discussion, and, on a regular basis, bring on some interesting ideas. And also the guest contributions make it extra worthwhile. I think we need to thank Steve for offering us this concept, because it triggers great people to respond.
Thanks a million for the excellent review Steve.
Your reviews are quickly becoming my favorite ones on the internet. You strike a very good balance between providing information and providing a personal take on camera. Other sites just seem to go to the opposite extremes.
And about the X Pro 1, all I can say is WOW even an amateur like me is blown away with the results.
I had expected more from this system. I dont see anything special in the shots shown here or anywhere else. The 35/1.4 as a “normal” lens has pretty “average” bokeh (putting it mildly) and specular highlights turn to harsh white blobs (which might be a problem of the camera, not the lens).
All in all, at that price, I dont find the X-Pro attractive. I´d rather get a used 5D and a EF 50/1.8 – much smoother results in a “standard” focal length that will kick the sh… out of the Xpro.
Its pretty sad that Fuji did not went full frame with their system to set it apart from anyone else.
I find that to help my X100 in lowlight I switch to AF-C. Works well but is a bit busy all the time and would not help battery life. Maybe for street shooting you could have it on manual and use the AF-L/AE-L button instead of relying on auto focus. It is basically a forced auto focus mode.
You should try the X100 with the 1.20 update. Focusing is quicker plus RAW is now programable and auto ISO more accessible.
Look forward to seeing how the X pro-1 is after a few firmwares and with a zoom.
You say the X pro-1 overexposes a bit but have you changed the camera settings?
I took Ken Rockwell’s advice re the X100 and basically let the camera do the work (auto ISO and auto DR) and it usually nails it. Mind you I am used to having any digital camera (with the exception of SIgmas foveon sensored cameras) set to slightly under expose due to most sensors clipping the highlights.
Thanks for the review but could I suggest the use of a spell checker. And a decent proof read? : )
Very good in depth review!
I’d never buy one of course, nice as it is, lovely as the pictures are, why bother when a year down the line or even sooner there’ll be an Xpro II which’ll be even better?
I gave up on digital a while back.
Why buy anything then? Why have a camera?
To repeat what other have said “the camera you have with you is the best camera”.
I have taken great shots with all sorts from Canon A550 to G11 P&S 60D to 5D, Sony a350, Sigma SD14 DSLRs etc
Favourites were /are Fuji S2Pro (great allrounder and best early DSLR),
SIgma SD14 (stunning image quality in good light),
Canon 5D (still has knockout IQ and nice feel -shame about the woeful LCD)
and X100 (still in love after 12 months – thanks to FW 1.20 and Fuji fixing the stick aperture problem that manifested after about 9 months).
Why buy anything?
I do buy cameras, and try different ones, but Film ones.
I don’t really shoot digital anymore, apart from my Olympus XZ-1.
I just don’t want to jump on the digital gadget bandwagon where I’d be obliged to upgrade every year just to keep up with IQ. After spending thousands.
Great review, as usual. But, it seems like this camera has the same problems most of these, including the M9 do. Work-arounds, constant work-arounds. My EOS 40D focusses faster than my eye can, in almost any light, every time, and if I feel like manual focus, I pop on my old Zuiko 50mm, f1.8, which works beautifully with the split image and fresnel ring screen I installed. The amazing thing is, the pictures from the X Pro 1 look almost exactly like the ones taken with the $75 Zuiko.
Am I missing something?
Had a similar experience with the nifty fifty (50mm f1.8) on my 5D.
Had tried it before but wasn’t impressed but the shots from the other day were wow!
And from a $200 lens! I tried similar shots at 50mm with my 24-105 L and they were not better!
Great review again BUT… I’ve been shooting with the camera for only 1 day and compared to my M9, if I had a gun to my head, I’d say the IQ is better from the X-1 Pro. Agreed with manual focus but if you’re comparing camera to camera regards to Leica, the only 2 REAL advantages that Leica has is slightly easier manual focus and better build quality, which in my opinion is over rated as technology will make any digital obsolete.
So for $1,600 you get a camera which is slower to focus than the M9, well built but not to the standard of the M9, better IQ marginally, killer ISO, better viewfinder.
Lenses are a different matter but all the Leica glass will work, so at very least I’d say camera v camera, even disregarding price, Fuji sneaks through.
What is the point of great high ISO performance if you can’t focus in low light?
You can always try MF and focus range.
I would have to agree with you Stefan. I have had my X-Pro 1 for a week now and consider the IQ as good if not better than my M9, from an APS sensor too! (but the Leica is 3 years old now). I agree on the other points too and using the AF-L button for manual focusing definitely helps. Especially considering price, the Leica doesn’t really cut it for me.
Let’s make sure we don’t list our Leica’s on Ebay at the same time 🙂
tengo la impresion , que en cuanto a la calidad de imagen , fuji es superior a leica , significa que fuji retrata mas fielmente lo que el lente capta.
Great review and great pictures. For me some of the best i have seen from you. I think its you and not the camera that is faszinating me. The M9 is teaching you how to see an make pictures and thats the main thing you want to say. I have the X100 but main camera I use is the Ricoh GXR with the m-module without af. For me I find the GXR to much underrated here.
Hi Steve, thanks for the most useful review I’ve yet read on this camera. I’m now feeling more comfortable waiting for the OMD-5, which will hopefully have a few things that I really value, eg state of the art autofocus and in-body stabilization, together with very good IQ and color that probably won’t be as good as the Fuji’s, but should be quite nice. This was kind of a no-brainer for me since I have a full set of Pany and Oly 4/3 lenses, but I did have an urge to get the Fuji before I read your review. Now I realize that the Oly is likely to be a better choice overall for me, thanks again for helping me clarify this decision. BTW, do you know if the Oly will have film bracketing, like the Fuji and my GF-1? I really loved that feature on the GF-1.
Good review, Steve. Your review gives a good sense of the camera, to me. I may have to try one out.
p.s. I wasn’t sure if you’re aware of this, but make sure you turn off the AF assist lamp on the NEX-7. Counterintuitively, it actually negatively affects lowlight AF in most situations.
Great review….confirming my decision to stay with my FF Canon Kit and my MFT Kit. (both kits primes from fisheye to 300mm), and avoid all the hype. I lIke the “idea” of the Fuji….but its just not robust enough for my needs…too limiting in the lens dept…too slow, and for what it offers, too expensive. Would love to have that sensor quality in my MFT kit…but hey..with the speed and all the great primes..give me my MFT any day. I am amazed at some of the images I get from those little cameras.
I know the Fuji is very right for some shooters, though!!!!! We have soooooo many choices for tools to make images right now…its GREAT!
Very nice review !
Concerning the X100 power-up issue, I also had it each time after I was putting the SD card into an Ipad.
It was mandatory to format the card if I wanted to have reasonable power-up time again.
I found that by setting the SD card as ”write protected” using the switch prior to inserting the card into the Ipad reader, I could put back the card into the X100 and there were no more power-up issue. Of course, write protection had then to be disable to store pictures again.
I haven’t try this trick with Adobe bridge
Steve, We know you love Small cameras. But we also know you love cameras which do very good in Low Light and High ISO.
Please do a complete review your way, straight out of the camera – no technical bull on most talked about camera for Low light – Canon 5D Mark 3 . Talk about Sharpness, 3D pop, accuracy of WB, accuracy of colors and it’s most talked about AutoFocus points, there accuracy and it’s speed of AF. If possiable compare it with D800 and Low light performance with D3s.
I just received the XP1 with the 35/1.4 and 18/2.
My first thoughts:
(1) The aperture blade chattering (or rattlesnaking) bothers the heck out of me. It’s pretty much the same thing that happens when using the Pana-Leica 25/1.4 on Olympus Pen bodies. The camera is adjusting the exposure by opening and closing the aperture blades. At least, that’s what I think it is. It’s annoying. It was one of the reasons why I picked up a GF2 just use with the PL25, and returned the Oly EP3. However, unlike in the EP3, setting the XP1 on manual exposure does not reduce the chatter. The chatter lessens when indoors.
(2) Build quality is nice, but does not feel as solid as the X100. Buttons are easier to press than the X100, but the buttons feels cheap.
(3) I need a bigger grip. I didn’t get the optional grip, which some people like. I should have.
(4) The auto focus using the EVF is more reliable than the OVF in terms of accuracy and speed. I’ve had a couple of false focus confirmations with the OVF. With the EVF, focus is spot on.
(5) The parallax using the OVF with the 35/1.4 at closer distances makes the camera harder to use, because it requires focus and adjust composition, which can result in off-focus photos when shooting wide open with a shallow DOF.
(6) The AF speed is on par with the X100, and the low light AF speed isn’t as bad as it’s been made out to be. It’s no speed demon, but it’s definitely better than the EP1/2, EPL1, and on par with the GF1. It’s also about the same as the NEX7, or maybe just a tad bit slower. I’m not timing the AF speed, so this is just my subjective observation.
(7) Using the focus assist lamp does not seem any different than not using it. I was able to lock on in low light without the AF assist lamp.
(8) The IQ is excellent and there’s no question that Fuji has a winner sensor in its hands.
As of right now, my first instinct is to return the camera, because of the rattlesnaking. I’m not sure if that’s something that can be corrected with a firmware upgrade (otherwise Panasonic and/or Olympus would have likely done something about it … or perhaps not). To me, it’s annoying. But I suppose if I was in a noiser environment, it would probably not bother me as much. But alas, I’m in my office now.
I’ll try it out a little bit more, but I’m inclined to return it, and will wait until Fuji resolves the rattlesnaking noise. I’m disappointed that Fuji’s testing folks and quality control didn’t do something about the rattlesnaking before allowing the camera to hit the market. Or perhaps they knew about it, but couldn’t do anything about it. Either way, it bothers me …
I concur with your assessment. I’ve had one for about a day (I know, in fairness, you could/should give these things more time), but it’s packed up and ready to be returned to the dealer. It just doesn’t feel right, ergonomically, in my particular hands-even with the grip accessory. Also, the noise the lens makes and the rear position of the manual aperture ring get in the way, unlike Leicas’ lenses, which are positioned just right towards the front of the lens barrel and don’t intrude upon the process. The complexity of the menus, are, to my mind, not worth the initial learning curve unless you’re really happy with the camera overall. The IQ on Steves’ pictures look pretty good, but there are too many good systems out there now that are cheaper and may deliver similar results. Looks like Fuji have the M9 in their sights as a competitor, but they have long way to go to catch up to Leica. I’m sure there are some who will like the camera, but for me, a camera has to more or less hit the ground running in today’s highly competitive market.
Yes, I agree. Because of the success with the X100, Fuji rushed the research and development of the X-Pro 1. Disappointing.
Ok, issue (5) resolved. I forgot to turn on the frame adjust function.
As for the aperture chattering, clicking and rattlesnaking, the user can “lock” the aperture blades in place by assigning DOF preview to the FN button, and pressing it. However, as soon as the user touches the shutter button, it’s back to the chatter and another FN button press is needed. Also, if the user is using the OVF, a press of the FN button (assigned as DOF preview) will immediately switch the OVF to EVF. Crappy workaround that should have never been needed, but lessens the annoyance by about 20%.
Aperture chatter can be stopped! Use OVF only and turn on the energy saving mode.
As always, a very honest review, that doesn’t hide the flaws! Even though you clearly have a soft spot for the Fuji’s. But then, I guess the X-Pro 1 will appeal to most camera lovers.
Although I like the X-Pro 1’s look and IQ really VERY much and even have a warm feeling for it, that made me consider for a while to maybe sell my NEX-7, your review convinced me more than ever that I have no reason at all to do so. The only thing where The X-Pro 1 may beat the NEX-7 is in its IQ, and then only in a “close finish” IMO. And if I compare the pictures of “Spy camera #2” (in your X-PRO 1/NEX-7 comparison), I have to say that the one taken with the NEX-7/Leica Summilux combination clearly pleases me more than the one taken with the X-Pro 1/35mm combination. This makes me think that also a NEX/ZeissZM combination can wipe out the proclaimed IQ difference, if not beat the X-Pro 1. By the way, this NEX-7/ZeissZM combination would only cost around $2200, with an IQ VERY close to the Leica’s. This is about the same cost as the Fuji combination, where the NEX/Leica combination costs $6200. I guess it makes a lot more sense to compare the Fuji combo with the NEX/ZeissZM combo.
So I will by all means hang on to my NEX-7 for quite a while. 🙂 The more since it beats the X-Pro 1 very clearly in the handling and manual focussing department. If we realize that it’s the photographer that makes the picture with the camera, and not the other way round, the big difference in handling weighs much more heavily than the difference in IQ IMO. And we only compare JPG files here, where the NEX’s RAWs are A LOT better than it’s JPGs! IMO better handling quite clearly results in better pictures, where a small difference in IQ doesn’t really make that much difference. That’s my experience anyway, when I look at the pictures I’ve taken with the different camera’s I’ve ever possessed.
Strange that the more traditional looking camera is not to be used in the traditional way (with manual glass) and that the NEX-7 is perfect for it, once you’ve set up the Tri Navi system well. Also strange that you say that the X-Pro 1 shoots like a camera and the NEX-7 like a computer, while the latter is MUCH better in manual focussing. You write that the NEX “has the Tri Navi controls going for it and once you set it up to your liking it is a breeze to pick up and shoot, especially with old manual glass” (as far as I’m concerned, this also counts for new manual glass). I’m pretty sure that the Tri Navi controls (together with the viewfinder with it’s focus peaking mode) is exactly why anyone would consider buying the NEX-7. So it’s nothing less than obvious to set up this systems to your liking, and for me that is manual shooting. It seems to me that, once setup right, it’s much closer to the traditional style of shooting, but then in an improved, say modernized way. IMO all the “computer features” are an extra for those who are really into it. Personally I’m not into that, but it doesn’t bother me in the slightest way that they’re present. It’s another way of looking at it, but it works perfectly for me.
Just a thought. When manual focussing is a no go with the X-Pro 1, this means that you’ll often need to go for AF. But than the X-Pro 1 is really slow. Doesn’t that really limit it’s usability a lot? I couldn’t tell, because AF doesn’t interest me…
And another strange thing to me is the fact that one keeps complaining about the limited offer of lenses for the NEX, where I can easily mount (AND USE!) an enormous amount of excellent manual lenses of so many brands. But of course that only counts for those who love manual focussing. You write “I can manual focus a Leica lens on the NEX quicker than the Fuji can Auto Focus with it’s 35mm”. That says it all, doesn’t it?
Still it’s nice to see that so many have their hart banging for the X-Pro 1. IT IS after all a wonderful and very beautiful camera, that deserves to become a great success. And the fact that some prefer the X-Pro 1 and others the NEX-7 is only a good thing. If only I could afford them both… But then, I’d already possess an M9, because I really find this one’s IQ really to be in another league. Between the NEX-7 and the X-Pro 1 the difference in IQ is too small (certainly with manual lenses like the ZM’s on the NEX) to really matter. And then, the Fuji suddenly becomes REALLY too expensive.
Dirk, I used the NEX7 + Biogon ZM 28/2.8 and 35/2 and the image quality was EXCELLENT. Got some extremely detailed results with a great 3D pop. The ZM lenses IMO perform better than the Sony Zeiss 24.
That’s exactly why I’m sticking to the NEX-7, Armanius, what I believe to be the one that by far offers the best quality for the money. And, VERY important to me, offers “by even further” the most joy of shooting of all. By the way, like you, I have the impression that the ZM’s perform outstandingly on the NEX, better than the Sony Zeiss.
Oh, I forgot to mention. I use 3 ZMs: 28mm Biogon, 50mm Planar and 85mm Tessar.
Armanius & Dirk: Would you have any useful insight on compatible use of the Zeiss 21mm & 28 Biogons for Contax G on any of the NEX-5N & 7 or X-Pro 1 bodies with regard to IQ quirks? I currently own the 28mm, 45mm, 90mm set and would consider picking up the 21mm, too, given confidence in a happy hybrid marriage. Having some m4/3 gear, I’m very interested in how the Olympus OM-D will shake out as well. Thanks.
Sorry Fred. I don’t own any Contax G lens or a G1/2 body. Although I’ve been dying as of recent to try out a G2. I read that the AF is actually pretty snappy. But I should probably sell my M7 first given that I never use it anyway.
On December 06, Jae Yoon wrote an interesting user report on this very website: “Using the Sony NEX-5n with Contax G lenses by Jae Yoon”. Really interesting with some very beautiful pictures. Maybe you get some answers there. Here’s the url:
Yep, I saw that one. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere here, from my research the NEX-5N DOES just seem to work with the Contax glass: the sum of the evidence remains on the scant side, so I keep asking. But I did find the 28mm Biogon on NEX-5/5N pretty well represented at ‘flickr’, although only from a few shooters. I wish I had a higher rez & fidelity screen available (maybe iPad 2012 for the rez?) so I could make critical judgments directly, but due to some underhanded dealing by a certain highly profitable computer company, I’m presently stuck just getting by with a netbook and a cranky Color Nook until some just resolution can be effected.
Also at ‘flickr’ are some NEX-5 landscape photos made with the 21mm Biogon — this seemed to work, taking account of all the qualifications I cite above. I have no idea what kind of post processing may have produced those results, so I’m still flying blind to a large degree if I’m just drawing inferences. But do I want a NEX-5N at this juncture… over a dice-ier 7, let’s say? Maybe if a 5N body can be picked up (just for the Zeiss goodies) at a good price at a certain auction site, hmm… and then see what NEX-next has in store. And that’s not necessarily to displace m4/3. If the OM-D turns out out to offer competition without much need for sensor-related apologies and can do the 5N compatibility thing, well ,great! Except for that 2x crop factor… Thanks for the assist, guys.
Dirk, I agree with you that the NEX-7 has a unique IQ and I’m not selling mine anytime soon. I think the Xpro1 is better for my general use but I took a picture last week of my son with the NEX-7 and the 24mm Zeiss that blew me away. The DOF capability of the Xpro1 seems beyond that of an APS-C camera (likely down to the AA filter lack), so the Xpro1 is preferable for portrait shots and any kind of shot where subject isolation is required. I do have a F1.2 Nokton turning up soon that I plan to mount on my NEX-7 so perhaps I will change my mind after that!
Please god let FW 1.1 for the NEX-7 allow locking of the video button though… It gets knocked every time I use the camera (yes I’m clumsy).
I’m clumsy too, from time to time. So I delete those films. Doesn’t help to be bothered. I think it’s really not the end of the world. But when they fix it, I give them a small round of applause.
thanks for your great and honest review… yes the AF.. I will try with the Fujifilm lenses, if this does not work I will go for M-mount / Leica lens!
Have a nice Easter Weekend,
Why does everyone keep thanking Steve for his “honest” review. What makes it honest? When has he ever been dishonest?
Indeed, this latest in the latest list of ever onward new fangled (even better than the last model guaranteed!!!) cameras might be retro rangefinder *styled* but rangefinder it is not and certainly cannot replace the shooting style of an RF camera. As you rightly IMHO question –
“I don’t really see where this camera fits compared to other modern offerings that are easy to use and faster.” Nor do I ?!?
After all, the best way for anyone to improve your photography is to take MORE photographs – NOT buy more cameras. It ain’t the camera after all it’s what’s between the ears. If people put more emphasis on that simple yet obvious fact instead of continually weeing their money up the wall in a fruitless, misguided aim to improve their photographs with the latest & greatest gear they would be far better off both financially and photographically guaranteed.
Agreed. I have actually gone the opposite direction of cameras with the bells and whistles. I wanted less and less because it just gets in the way. I still stayed with digital but bought an M8 with all its M simplicity. Totally changed my photography life and I LOVE shooting with it. I wish they made a Fuji digital rangefinder in the price point of the X100 or X1 Pro, but with all the menus and stuff it’s just too much for me. I havent seen the X1P but the X100 I used was just too complicated for my tastes.
I also have the X100 and I think that if you set the ISO to a fixed value, the focus to manual, use the lens to fix the aperture and also select the speed manually, following sunny 16 or using the internal meter adjusted to the metering mode of your preference, switching off the LCD and staying just with the OVF, you can forget about the menus and all the other stuff you say make it “too complicated” to your tastes.
If you stay with sunny 16 and you don’t use the compensation dial you will almost get the simplicity of an old manual camera, but with all the new stuff at your hand just in case you decide to “complicate”.
If what you really want is a digital rangefinder then I think I would just buy a used M8 and get used to using the M system. Then when the M9’s come down in price you would already have the lenses and experience to use the M9 and could use the M8 as a backup or just sell it. I guess for the price I don’t really see where this camera fits compared to other modern offerings that are easy to use and faster.
Great review, matches my own experience.
I bought the entire set, 3 lens, grip, case etc and sold it a week later. Just glad that a friend was more than happy to buy it off me.
AF focus is really slow, zone focusing in manual works but manual focus is really slow. It also has no feel, no feedback, kinda dead feeling. Lost count of the number of rotations it takes from infinity to min distance. Focusing a M lens with a Kipon adapter is alot better but it requires eyeball mark 1.
The sensor is amazing and the IQ is great but if it is not better than what I already have, there is no reason to buy it.
It’s a pity with didn’t have the time to get a more effective use of the Fuji MF.
I have the X100 not this camera but I think MF works just the same way.
If you press the AFL/AEL button you get focus as fast as AF can do and the only thing you have to do is to use the lens ring to perform micro focus adjustments or to move the focus range within the scale.
I could never understand this kind of complains together with the reference to the too many turns of the focusing ring, something you only need to do if you want to complicate.
Sorry for typo, please read prior post first paragraph as:
It’s a pity you didn’t have the time to get a more effective use of the Fuji MF.
I have the X100. They both work the way you describe.
But the auto focus is slow to begin with, that is why I try to manual focus. To resort to using the auto focus and then switching to manual for micro adjustments just makes it take twice the amount of time.
I want to like this camera because it has an amazing sensor but it’s hard to because it is also quirky.
Not comparing Apples to Oranges and no pun intended but if I already own an Apple farm (M9 and a suite of lenses), there is really no need for an orange to keep the doctor away.
Great review – thanks! I do wonder why you bother comparing a $2200 camera system with the $10,000+ Leica M9 FF though. What is the point of that? I have owned and used the Leica M8.2 and I think that’s a more fair comparison. With the M8.2 still selling for almost $3,000 on the USED market, the XPRO trounces it with better IQ at all ISO values and for the much cheaper price of $2,200 with a great f/1.4 lens! The M8.2 would still cost over $6,000 with a 50mm f/1.4!
As for comparing to the NEX-7? All I can say is that “in real life” with “real lenses” the XPRO-1 trounces it. Again, I’ve owned and used both.
As I already stated, I get emails telling me that the X-pro 1 is better than an M9, emails asking if it is an M9 replacement, etc. NOt just one e-mail, but 50+. So I was making that clear for all of those who felt it was an M9 competitor.
This one I am with Steve, they (XP1 and M9) are totally different species. M9 is the only FF digital rangefinder available on the market, aiming for you to enjoy the excitement of full manual control. XP1 is a kind of its own (equipped with OVF and EVF at the same time), that just looks like a rangefinder. Having said that, one still requires basic rangefinder camera knowledge if one wants to shoot XP1 primarily using the OVF.
Talking about prices–> no contest. Yet, you pay what you get. Leica (or Made in Germany) has its own reputation. State-of-art. No doubt about it.
IQ wise–let Steve complete his review when he has the M adapter in hand, then we will know.
Hi Stan. I wouldn’t really call Leica “state of the art.” Unparalalled quality for sure. State of the art … no. But that’s what sets Leica apart — history, allure, nostalgia, simplicity, and quality.
This one I am with Steve, they (XP1 and M9) are totally different species.
Yes they are, which is why a comparison is useless. The M9 is a fine, but obscenely overpriced camera. The same can be said for Leica lenses.
As far as the AF speed is concerned, I don’t have an issue with it either. It’s much improved over the X100. Like the X100, this is not a sports camera…neither is the M9.
Please don’t let this report about the XP1 make your decision for you. Try it yourself.
Well, if Leica is NOT piling up the hefty profits — which is the way it seems to be reported here — and nobody else is doing what Leica does, how can the M9 be “obscenely overpriced”?
Don’t that say a lot about you as a serious reviewer? This was really not your best work.
I would say the Fuji is so much better than the M8 s why do a comparison?
Will buy body only if and when someone releases an adapter for Rokkor lenses, hopefully the price will have dropped a bit, until then OM-D will do just fine… Nice review as usual Steve!
Great review as usual Steve. I am still holding out for the OM-D. Can’t wait for your review of the Olympus.
I have been thinking about picking up this camera for quite some time and I think your review may have made me change my mind. Its such a shame that the camera has such great ISO performance but such bad AF in low light. Its like the 2 cancel each other out. I love to shoot in low light situations such as gigs/shows in dimly lit bars and clubs and I thought that this camera would do a fantastic job, but if its going to have trouble locking focus and there is no decent MF option maybe I should go for something like the NEX7 but I just dont like the size/shape of the camera with lenses attached. The fuji is so nice and compact! I hope fuji can address some of these complaints in a firmware update.
Hands-on one before you make your final decision. Trust no one but your own experiences. After all, it is a camera that you are likely to use everyday.
Awesome review as usual Steve! Although, I have to say I’m really disappointed you didn’t have a Leica adaptor on hand. Being a Leiica guy, I would’ve thought you’d have the adapter before you had the camera.
I can’t imagine Kipon not sending you one for the review had you asked them.
dont use a mac 🙂
Unless it’s raining! 😉
thanks for the detailed report. Which camera would you pick for B&W landscape?
The X-Pro 1 for B&W Landscape.
I’ve read someone’s field report of X-Pro1 and there was interesting comment related to Fuji’s M mount adapter. The person has chatted to Fuji employee about this and they also plan major FW update when they release their M adapter – so I’d say fingers crossed for focus peaking!!!!!
I’ll try to find that article and will reply to this post with link to it.
found it, here’s quotation and link:
“Now treat this as you will, but when I was talking to the Fuji rep. at the Focus on Imaging show, in answer to my question about whether the MF system was the same as the X100 and whether there would be a better system for MF, he told me that when Fuji release their own m-mount adapter they will be re-writing the firmware in the camera to allow a better functionality. Hopefully that will be true and if so it might mean that focusing the Fuji lenses manually will become easier. ”
link to article
I’ve read someone’s field report of X-Pro1 and there was interesting comment related to Fuji’s M mount adapter. The person has chatted to Fuji employee about this and they also plan major FW update when they release their M adapter – so I’d say fingers crossed for focus peaking!!!!!
Thank you for this honest and thorough review – as always. I have been waiting for your valued opinion on the camera as I was interested in getting one to complement my M9 and possibly use my Leica lenses with it. I am now putting these thoughts aside and waiting to hear what Leica will soon announce. I have recently been wondering if sticking to “the devil we know” (and love) is often not a better option than jumping on the next best thing that so many manufacturers seem to be spewing on us GAS addicts 🙂 I often envy you as you get to play with all these wonderful cameras and get rid of some GAS – a question : does it cure some of the GAS syndrome having these cameras to test?
Be cool and stay safe
I’ve had mine for a whopping 24 hours now, so I can’t say anything for certain, but my first impression is I think I’ve finally found the digital camera I’ve been searching for. I’m no action shooter, but the autofocus has been fine to me so far. It’s a bit sluggish in low light, but so are most cameras, even DSLR’s. However, in good light (where I do the bulk of my photography), the AF leaves little to be desired. I’ve even managed to snap sharp photos of 4lb Yorkshire Terrier, which is no easy feat.
As far as the image quality goes, all I can say is wow. My jaw dropped when I looked at the first few portraits I made. The detail is unreal. I simply can’t fathom why I need better IQ then this camera produces…and I haven’t even processed RAW’s yet! It will only get better.
The bottom line so far, I am very pleased. It was a tough call to chose the Fuji over the OM-D, but I think I made the right call. Now, bring on that 14mm/2.8 and 28mm pancake lens. I can’t wait to add those two lenses to my kit.
Hi Steve, thanks for your thorough review!!!!! I have been checking your blog daily just because I knew you have the camera and also you like NEX-7…
Despite your criticism I am going to buy this camera for these reasons:
1. For me the most important on photographs is their quality. As an Oly user I know what I am talking about. It is nothing so frustrating than have a really nice picture without possibility to print it larger.
2. For me taking pictures is a form or relax and I like the Fuji’s “old” approach in making photographs more than the high tech computer like shooting with the NEX-7, a camera I have been considering as well.
3. Lenses: as you said the 35 mm is awesome. I doubt that even better than the Zeiss for Nex , which is also more expensive and bulky! The NEX-7 price with the Zeiss glass is almost the same as the pro1 with 35mm. Hope that the upcoming lenses will be also as good.
But I absolutely understand that this camera is not for people who have to take pictures in one second after spotting object. And I also hope that engineers in Fuji have hard time now and are improving the AF as I am convinced that it is possible, no doubts.
..and sorry for my English, not native speaker.
You are doing great job!!!
Another approach is to use this app, BlueHarvest, which keeps a few more files from being written out. But is it not free.
Your lock-ups when using the SD card on a Mac are probably due to various “invisible” files that Macs write, paralleling the main files. These can be avoided by the following instructions (using the Terminal app found in the Utility folder). However, the _AppleDouble files are not removed, so there still may be issues with Fuji cameras.
To prevent OS X from creating new .DS_Store files when opening folders on remote volumes mounted using SMB/CIFS, AFP, NFS, and WebDAV. The creation of .DS_Store files is frequently the source of complaints against Mac users, who often leave a trail of these files scattered throughout the filesystem when “visiting” a Windows computer. Even with this hint in place, the .DS_Store files will continue to be created on local volumes (which is a good thing).
To prevent the creation of these files, open the Terminal and type:
defaults write com.apple.desktopservices DSDontWriteNetworkStores true
It may be necessary to log out and back in, or even to restart the computer (which is what the article states), for the change to take effect.
What is odd is I have an X100, a Mac and use a SD card reader to transfer files and have yet to experience this problem.
Because you are not asking Bridge (or whatever) to read off the card. You are only transferring the files.
interesting review Steve. I expected you to be more effusive.
I think I’ll stick with m4/3.
I can get a 3 lens m4/3 kit Oly 12f2 PanLeica 25 f1.4 and Oly 45 f1.8 with an Ep3 or GX1 and get change for the price of an XPro1 and a lens. The Fuji will give better image quality but I suspect for my shooting I’ll be fine.
Still it’s nice that there is a lot of choice for us these days!
How many times are you going to write “I fee its over-priced”, “it should be $1399”, etc?
What is even funnier is that this is coming from a guy who buys a $7000 camera!!!
Compared to the Leica – Its no Leica.
Compared to the Sony – it should be $300 less. Hilarious!!!
I also saw the irony in complaining about a camera being overpriced by $300 while championing a $7,000 camera with $3,000+ manual focus lenses (red dot or not, $3k+ is just silly for a 50mm prime), but that said, I do agree, I think $1400 would be a better price for the Fuji. I still bought it anyway at $1700, but that sticker shock gave me pause for sure.
As far as comparing price to the NEX-7; I noticed something real quick, the Sony body is indeed cheaper, but after you pair it with Zeiss 24mm then you’re right back in the same price ballpark as the Fuji + 35mm/1.4.
Make that $3995 for a 50 Lux. But agreed with you about the pricing: NEX7 + Zeiss 24 = $2200; XP1 + 35/1.4 = $2300. Either way, the prices on the NEX7 and XP1 will eventually come down as the hype and novelty wears off.
It is definitely over-priced. The body should not have been more than an x100. Period.
I haven’t had much time with mine, but planning 3 days straight this weekend. So far, so (very) good. No issue with AF (its quick and hits even in dim / low light), operation is smooth and fast. Don’t use MF, but tempted to try Leica glass. IQ is off the chart IMO, and ISO performance best in biz. Should have had body IS, although I think it is actually quite heavy (come from X1, which I love BTW).
Q: Is it me or is the EV dial not working when you shoot M or AP modes?
P.s.: funny, I have the same A&A strap (via PopFlash.com) as well as black soft release. I also added the leather half case (part of the leather case set) and looks very sexy and stealthy… if you’re into that 🙂
I own an X-Pro1, purchased in Japan, and have had it for about a month.
I think you nailed it, Steve, when you said that the X-Pro1 is like the x100 but with interchangeable lenses. So, for the many people who loved the x100 but wished for more lens flexibility, here it is.
For me & my way of working, while the X-Pro1 is isn’t perfect, it’s the closest thing I’ve found in any camera I’ve tried. With the exception of AF, I’ve found it to be very fast and have excellent handling in every way.
I have the 35mm Fuji lens, plus Leica adapter for use with my wide angle Voigtlander lens.
I think you nailed it in saying that focussing is where Fuji needs to focus (no pun intended) with their X series of cameras. I’d like to see:
1.) more accurate AF in darker conditions (in the dark sometimes it focuses perfectly, sometimes it hunts)
2.) quieter AF
3.) MF aid like focus peaking or a magnified central area. The main thing is an aid that lets you focus and frame at the same time.
And just to clarify, I should say that the AF works well and is very accurate almost all the time in my experience. It’s just that it’s the one area that I feel could be improved. But no matter how good the AF is, I’d still prefer to focus manually, which is why a better manual focus aid would be great.
Also, regarding price, this is the way I think people should look at it: ask yourself two questions. 1. How much are you willing to spend on a camera, and 2. is this the right camera for you. If this is the right camera for you, and it’s within your price range, then buy it. If not, then don’t.
Please please please Fuji fix the chattering/clicking aperture noise on this camera, it is driving me nuts!
At the moment I have a love/hate relationship with the X-Pro1, I love the way it looks, I love the IQ, I love the way it feels in my hand, I love the Fuji colours. But.. I hate the chattering noise from the aperture as you move about with the camera.
You can see what I think of the X-Pro1 for documentary wedding photographers on my website – http://www.weddingphotojournalist.co.uk/blog/?p=4533
That is a bit of an irritation and I can see why it might be a show stopper for wedding photography… That being said, I’m looking forward to testing the XPRO1 with M lenses once my KIPON adapter turns up (the bad man on eBay pretended it was in the UK when it was shipping from HK, ho hum…) as presumably this is another issue confined to the Fuji lenses in variable light (that’s when its come up for me).
Dude, calm down after all! You seem too like a fuji fanboy 😉
Can’t help it – on a 2 hour conf call and need to keep awake. You try and find anything else interesting on the Thursday before easter…
Seriously, I’m not a Fuji fanboy (I’ve been driven slowly mad by my X100), but this one does seem like a keeper to me (but then I said that about the NEX-7 2 weeks in…)
The dude is in the same modus operandus on other photography blogs, owning an X100 (likely downstream comparison) and NEX7 (likely upstream comparison) is a bit too obvious, as are his comments and references, probably on the social media ‘influencer’ pay role of Fuji. Just my two cents.
CDAF cameras all open the aperture to focus. Large apertures in small lenses will be loud. You may be able to work around this by opening the aperture, focusing, and then closing it down to take the shot. The other option is to shoot wide open.
How does the x pro with the 35mm lens compare in AF speed with something like an ep1 with the 17mm pancake which was known for its slow AF speed.
From memory, the E-P1 was slow. It was the 1st PEN and with the 17 hunted as well. Low light was average. X-Pro 1 may be a but better than the E-P1, but can’t say for sure as I do not have one here.
You could try this.
In Bridge, Go into the Camera Raw Preferences and change the “save image settings in:” setting from “Sidecar *.XMP files” to “Camera Raw Database” and I think that you might be able to avoid the 30 second startup problem.
I can’t test this myself but i think that bridge is probably writing additional files to the card that the camera cant cope with.
Well, it is the only camera besides the X100 that has ever done this. I will try your suggestion and see if that works. Thanks!
I always copy X100 images to a folder on the desktop (or within another folder) and then have Bridge read that folder. Never any card issues.
Note that Bridge will struggle to a stop if you ask it to “look” at more than 1GB of information so if you have more you need to split the images into multiple folders. This is the only annoyance I find with Bridge otherwise I much prefer it over faffing about in Lightroom, which I would only consider if I had a lot of cataloging to do. Bridge is simple and efficient and really good at grading and displaying exactly what you want to see.
did you try it?
did it resolve the slow start up issue?
Locking the card before putting into the mac will resolve the issue, but the fact is that this problem should not exist, period. The X100 and X-Pro have the issue but not one other camera out today does. Seems like Fuji could fix this via firmware but have not yet done so.
Should say I’m not trying to suggest the AF on the XPRO1 is better than a DSLR… It palpably isn’t (but then neither is the NEX-7).
It’s (in my use) comparable to (or better than) other similar CDAF equipped cameras (I don’t really use M4/3s or 1 though).
Well balanced review. Have been waiting for this camera, but will wait until I have the chance to hold it in my hands. The ultimate test: I need to feel a certain “complicity” with the camera. I want an OVF, so no Sony, no Oly. I would definitely not oppose X-Pro1 and M9. Would love a Leica but cannot justify the expense (my personal choice being to invest the budget into plane tickets, improving my pictures far more than any glass) I consider buying the X-Pro1, but at the same time, the Manual Focus issue iraises a lot of doubts. Why invest in an interchangeable system if you’re limited by the MF poor compromise, anyway? Paradoxically, the main competitor of the X-Pro1 (in my case) is the… X100. A X200 with improved reliability, better menus, updated sensor and a true – radical – MF would be perfect. I can perfectly live without AF and video.
I’m surprised at your experience Steve, I have the XPRO1, X100, NEX-7 (used to own the NEX-5N, need to sell one of these 3 as well). The only time I’ve experienced AF issues with the Xpro1 is in quite low light indeed (say, in my house, in the evening with the lights off). In my experience, the AF on the Xpro1 is faster than the NEX 7 in general use and about the same in low light (though that’s with the 18 and 35 – AF with the 60 isn’t as good). I don’t find a speed of camera issue and the AF is a lot faster than my X100 (1.20 FW). I do like the NEX-7, but I don’t think it’s as much fun as the XPRO1 to shoot (the IQ is “different” though, so I still do pick it up). I do think there are MF issues, similar to the X100 though.
I thought the build quality was better than the NEX-7, which can “sound” a little cheap when the shutter goes off. I don’t experience your issues with the SD Card speed (but I use Aperture etc), which for me is fine. The NEX-7 drives me mad in shifting between A, S and M (Sony, not all physical controls are bad…), knocking the video button and the tri navi controls not being instantly responsive (camera FW fells like it was designed by microsoft…).
In any event, the XPRO1 IQ is stellar as is the 35mm lens. I’m a little lucky in that I nibbled at an inaccurately low price for the body and the lenses and saved myself about 10%. For me, this is the best option available right now as it doesn’t (in my experience) have the quirks of the X100 or the NEX-7.
Hi Simon, much thanks for the usage comparison for these 3 great cams.
I had a question though. I heard that in X-Pro1 one can not set the miminum shutter speed (in the Auto ISO menu) unlike in X100 and the cam magically chooses a shutter speed when working with Auto ISO. Is it true? Doesn’t it bother you compared to working with X100. This might be a big quirk at the moment with X-Pro1?
You are correct that this setting is missing. I’ll be honest and admit it doesn’t bother me because I never used it on the X100 (if I want to tweak shutter speed I set it manually). If that setting is important to you in your use of the x100 I can see that you would miss it.
The X100 is a great, but maddening, camera. Apart from the “strange” AF I now think the sensor is its weakest point though, but that’s based on spending too much time processing the RAW files to get equivalent results to the JPEGs… I should point out that means the X100 is also a pretty amazing camera in some ways (I still cannot believe it’s the same sensor as my old A700).
Having the minimum shutter speed limited is very handy feature otherwise you need to shift to manual or shutter priority and by then the shot may have gone. Very disappointing that it is not on the X Pro-1.
Sensor weakest point????
“…spending too much time processing the RAW files to get equivalent results to the JPEGs…” The camera’s jpg output is so good that there is no need to shoot RAW. Fuji have made RAW virtually obsolete. I always shoot RAW on my 5D MK1 as the jpgs are pretty average and I get so much from RAW in Photoshop but with the X 100 RAW is pointless due to the stunning jpgs.
Sorry, not very clear statement from me about the X100 sensor. Having owned a Sony A700 which shares the same sensor and looking at the RAW output of both cameras I can see how much work fuji did on the jpeg engine of the x100; to me the sensor is relatively weak (compared to a NEX 5 or 5N) but the jpeg output is not.
Re: the lack of min shutter speed setting. I believe that Fuji have an auto min shutter speed which (I think) is the focal length of the lens attached plus 50% eg for 18mm 1/30the sec, for 35mm 1/50th sec, for 60mm 1/90th sec. No doubt this correlates with the accepted wisdom to not handhold lower that the focal length to avoid camera shake.
I share the same experience with you regarding XP1. No problem with AF at all. Yet if one intends to shoot a basketball game or F1 race, then that’s another story…
I think the problem of manual focusing a Leica’s lense has somehow made Steve a little biased in terms of the AF performance.
Indeed, if one is intending to use an M mount (or any third party manual lenses) on XP1, my best advice is to try out the combination by yourself to see whether you can tolerate the magnified view, or wait until Fuji introduces focus peaking for manual lenses with FW update (I wonder is it can be done with FW update????)
It is funny that every time I do not like something 100% I am “biased”. I tell it just as it is. I have used every camera made in the past few years. As I said, the IQ from the Fuji is the best of any mirrorless to date but the usability is NOT. It is slow and quirky and operates exactly like the X100, which is also known to be slow and quirky. IQ wise, it is gorgeous.
Steve, I don’t think you are biased and I suspect Stan’s note was tongue in cheek given his reference to Leica lenses… I do think your views are interesting given my own personal (partially contradictory) experiences around AF. Am starting to wonder about QC or (given your experiences with the 60mm) that someone in Fujifilm NA marketing needs to be shot at dawn for handing out a duff review example. No idea what’s going on with the SD cards though!
Stan, no doubt that focus peaking could be implemented through FW given that’s what Sony did with the NEX-5 (another camera I may have owned for a bit…).
X100 not so slow now with 1.20FW
Sure, but it isn’t as fast as the X-pro1 or NEX-7 for that matter; it’s still a “weak” aspect of the X100 in my view. In particular the low light performance is still abominable (I get hunting but eventual lock from the Nex and xpro1, whereas I sometimes get no lock at all from the x100 even with FW 1.20).
Hi Steve, great review. The 20 to 30 sec dead time after using the card in a card reader is the same problem that I have with the X100. It is a pain in the a..
I’m travelling a lot with the X100 and the Ipad, if someone wat to see the latest pictures from dubai and paris: http://www.eike-loge.com/category/blog/
And everytime when I want to downlad a few pictures on the Ipad to poast them on the web I have this dead time until I reset teh memory card, what I don’t want to do during travelling. So I have two options, work with the delay or have lots of memory cards with me. Both not the best way to go.
And the slow AF is also something that makes me crazy more and more. I like this litte camera for travelling a lot, but I will sell it as soon as my OM-D is here.
And it is a pitty to hear that the new fuji has exactly the same issues like the X100.
Good, balanced, review. As I suspected and feared, the AF would be the Achille’s heel of this camera. Which would not be a problem if the MF ring refocused quickly as you twisted it, but it sounds like that’s also much like how the X100 counterpart worked.
As an X100 owner and fairly frequent user, I’m happy to experience the improvements made in firmwares 1.20 and recently 1.21. It’s now pretty accurate and when it’s accurate, I don’t find the speed an issue either. Accurate as long as you remember to enable macro mode even if shooting about 1 meter away for e.g. a portrait, especially if it’s a low light / indoor situation. But I can live with that. It’s just one focus situation I have to keep in mind, unlike the brat-like X100 I had to work with earlier.
I thought the X-Pro 1 already had those improvements since it’s a new camrea and the X100 was “lifted up” to compete better with its performance, given Fujifilm still markets both, but sure, it’s possible that the X-Pro 1 just barely missed to incorporate the latest AF algorithm improvements that X100 users are experiencing today.
Helpful review, you walked us through many of the kinds of things we’d run into using the Xpro1. It’s down-to-earth tone is such a relief from techno-hype! From browsing flickr, it seems to me that the images from the x100 are much better. I’m not sure it’s because the x100’s been out for a while and people are more fluent with the controls; dynamic range looks better, bw, especially. Your thoughts on this appreciated.
Sometimes the best reviews are the ones that convince you to not buy a product rather then purchase one. This one definitely falls under that category and I want to thank you for doing such a great job. I really appreciate your honest candor which you will not find in many other camera sites. I was really looking forward to this camera and I thoght it might be the one to replace my M8 but since I only would use M mount glass it seems like it would just be an exercise in futility. Until I can move up to an M9 I think I should just enjoy what I have and instead invest in lenses.
Speaking of which I just stumbled upon a 35mm Perar which I did not even know existed! I have a fetish for low profile lenses and up until now the 40 summicron has been my everyday lens. You should review the Perar if you get the chance, it looks like an amazing little lens.
I’m reliably informed that the MF issues with the XPRO1 are confined to the Fuji lenses and it doesn’t suffer from the NEX-7 and M8 CA issues, so I wouldn’t discount it until you’ve tried one…
It’s ok you do not have to defend the camera to any naysayer on here. I know the camera is excellent in many ways but in reality spending that much money for a camera that does not natively use M mount lens is not my bag of tea. I was hoping the focusing would be like a SLR but I’m realizing that will never be possible for a mirrorless camera. Using the EVF to focus seems to go against everything manual focus and more specifically rangefinder focusing is all about. Sorry not for me, I’ll stick to my outdated M8.
great review Steve.
what card and write speed were you using? we have found the Lexar 16gb 400X works the best….the 600X had no benefits, nor the Extreme Pro (with the extreme pro we found a lot of users had the “frozen” issue.
the lexar gives me a second start up time..
personally after using the XPro for half a day, it did not do it for me….60mm…had no interest at that focal length, 18mm IQ was ho-hum, 35mm was brilliant..but i got the Black X100 for that 🙂
Yes but X100 is actually 23mm (35mm @35mm/Ful Frame equivalent)
Hi Vinny… Does that Lexar 400X handle all the usual HD video requirements with equal efficiency? I’m in the market for this (photo & video from ‘mirrorless’) right now. Thanks.
great review! totally validates my purchase and my concerns! 🙂 had mine for about a week now and it has locked up on me thrice already……not a good start for a new camera. i noticed in some instances, the focus will lock on faster if i’m using the evf than if i’m using the ovf. have you noticed this? evf freezes momentarily when you achieve focus, and by the time you press the shutter, the moment is gone. also, the ovf/evf sometimes wont work after i switch on the camera, and i have to switch it off again.
looking past all of the above, images ooc are amazing! great high iso shots as well. great camera and great images for people who has the patience for it.
thanks again Steve!
The camera manual states that AF is faster in EVF mode. There are fewer AF points available when using the OVF.
Sorry…i haven’t read the manual just yet….thanks!
Nice thorough “real” review, many thanks Steve!
Result = Money firmly in pocket as I thought it might be. Still using a Leica M8, still more than happy with this for my digital needs.
how can I put a picture on a profile. Tx for the answer.
Nice review. So basically – very nice body (better than NEX 7) and very bad lens (sluggish/slow AF and terrible MF etc). 🙂
Harder to focus with M lenses, than NEX7 (still to be confirmed in follow up review), but output most probably would be way better, than NEX7 in sense of IQ and Image Quality. Right?
I LOVE the IQ of the X-Pro 1 – it is gorgeous. I do prefer it to the NEX as the NEX (with Sony lenses) is much flatter in its output. I prefer the Fuji look and color.
Thank you Steve,
great and honest review as I expected from you. To be honest, from time to time I didn’t feel comfortable reading it since there was so much comparing with M9, and how not so good X-Pro 1 passed that “test”. But since I am an ex 5DMkII with great lens user, this review meant maybe even more for me then for many reading it. I know what to expect and what not to, with all pros and cons from your side.
For me it works, and this is kind of camera I really was hoping for to come. The main reason to buy piece of beauty like this, is shooting with it. I may miss a few shoots, but with my 5D I have missed them way to much. Not because of any problem with it, that was impossible, but because most of the time, and I mean really most of the time lately, it had stayed in my bag and was not with me.
Image quality is what I need and the quality is great. I will get used to AF speed because at the moment (for these past few months) I shoot with G11 and iPhone 🙂 and I feel comfortable enough, so it might be only better. I wondered so much about how 18mm2.0 will act in real world, and I am surprised on a positive side with it, as I don’t see distortion that I have expected. I might buy it too with 35mm1.4.
Thank you again. As a final conclusion it didn’t disappoint me at all. The best camera is one that you use, I have learned it so far, and this camera is one that I already fell in love with 🙂 Take care.
You will not regret over the decision of replacing your Canon 5D MK2 with XP1. Because I have done so and am really enjoying shooting with XP1. You are d*mn right about the DLSR being staying in the bag but not there when a wonderful scene pops up all the time. XP1 stays with me everywhere I go.
As for the review, big thanks to Steve for having written up a honest review. Though, if I may speak, you have wronged XP1’s AF a big time and quite misled the readers. It’s not lightening or EP3-like fast, but it’s more than usable. I believe all the XP1 users would agree on this. According to my experience with 5D MK2, whatever XP1’s AF would miss, 5D MK2 would likely miss as well.
As for the low light focusing, actually it is quite good as long as you select on the focusing assist light. With the help of the bright LED, at least 90% of the focusing are accurate, though again–not lightening fast.
I have had the chance to use an EP3. There are chances when a shot was confirmed in-focus by the camera, yet you find it’s actually out of focus when you exam the results after the shot. Quick focus and accurate focus are different subjects. As for my experience with XP1 (I have acquired it for more than 3 weeks and have shot more than a thousand shots), the AF did not cause me any trouble so far. Those confirmed shots are sharp and beautifully rendered. Above all, the IQ is what really matters.
I am not trying to defend XP1 because I am one of the owners. I am just sharing my experience from another perspective. At least Sean Reid of Reid Review did not complain about the AF in his lengthy and still rolling review. He even shot a taekwondo event with XP1 using high ISO under dim indoor lights. I too have no problem shooting my baby son with XP1 under indoor lights.
Again, XP1’s AF is obviously not the best in its class and I do hope Fuji will do something to improve it in the near future. I just want to say if you also agree that IQ is the most important element of a camera, then the AF part of XP1 is definitely not your concern!
Whene did I say the AF was not usable? It obviously is usable as I have shown MANy images here using AF. It is not usable for street photography, no. But it is usable for portraits, landscape, and more static subjects. What I was saying is it is not an “action” camera. It is the slowest camera for AF in the mirrorless market but it is not unusable.
When did I say the AF was not usable? It obviously is usable as I have shown MANy images here using AF. It is not usable for street photography, no. But it is usable for portraits, landscape, and more static subjects. What I was saying is it is not an “action” camera. It is the slowest camera for AF in the mirrorless market but it is not unusable.
Hopefully you didn’t have it on power save mode that doubles the auto focus time. I don’t find it slower then the nex7 in low light situasions.And I don’t understand the price issue at all. Nex 7 with the only usable lens made for it cost 100$ less, not really that big a difference. Other wise a pretty good review.
I did not have power save on, still set to off. You mean the AF gets worse when power save is ON? I was not aware of that. I have used slower cameras, in the past, but against todays cameras it feels a bit “slow” to me. After shooting with the smaller and cheaper (and not as good quality of course) E-P3 and Nikon V1, the Fuji seems slow. The NEX-7 seems slow in comparison to those as well. I just has higher hopes for the X-pro 1 in the AF area but in my experience, it is the same as the X100 in regards to AF. I am confident though that Fuji will release FW updates and improve on it as they did with the 100.
looks like many of readers here would like that you have done two homeworks, one Fuji X-Pro 1 review, and one Fuji X-Pro 1 vs. Leica M9 😉
However, I got the point and thanks for it.
Hi, Steve, thanks for your review.
I’m looking for a POCKETABLE camera and are still torn between Fuji X100 which is great package overall but with some operational quirks and Sony Nex-7 which is supposedly better but is NOT POCKETABLE at all.
Than there are 4/3 and others, but they don’t offer the IQ of APS-C sensor.
So it’s really hard for me to find something suitable.
Why did Sony forget about the lenses when they launched the NEx series, and when do they realise that general public doesn’t really want the mini-DSLR, they’ve been fantasizing about DSLR quality in their pocket and not in dedicated bag for years , because then what’s the difference?
So please Sony, design a pancake prime.
The X-Pro looks nice, but is too bulky for me, and not much improvement over X100 in usability department (except the “Q” button which works great), but much more comfortable in handling (this comes from a dslr using guy).
And of course not pocketable 😉
Olympus OMD-E5 another unpocketable mini-dlsr with really boring design.
I guess I’m gonna buy X100 then…
The X100 is sweet, and with the new FW supposedly is MUCH faster. I want to try one again just to test the new FW.
Thanks for the review! I’ve had the X100 for almost a year now and was initially interested in the XPro1. I handled it in a store and it felt very good. However, I came to the conclusion that I would only want it with the 35mm and in that package the X100 is smaller and a little wider. For me it is a DSLR companion, not replacement, when traveling. I do not shoot street life and strangers, but still like a descrete and somewhat quiet camera.
Also, the aperture noises in bright daylight weren’t to my liking. I wonder why this is starting to become a problem. My Panasonic-Leica 25mm f/1.4 also does the same (on a GX1). It’s a funny thing, but I have a hard time finding a morrorless companion to my DSLR… There are so many dislikes about every camera/model… Some are handling, and some are results. Just got the GX1 for some faster AF but (like you wrote about the EV comp. wheel on the XPro1) I constantly have to check my settings, as I’m changing WB, ISO shooting mode without knowing it. Actually the Nikon J1/V1 is the only mirrorless camera I haven’t had this problem with…
Agree on the X100 being best suited as a companion! This is why I found an honest review like this one so important, as the X-Pro 1 does open an opportunity for an enthusiastic photographer to jump ship from Nikon or Canon DSLR’s. I think I will continue using my X100 together with my DSLR. Getting an X-Pro 1 to replace a DSLR and not use anything else sounds risky. The X100 seems to work fine for daily photography, more than fine even, but for the special events where there’s action and tough environments for a camera, I don’t want to feel like I have no other option than to struggle.
Yes, I’m quite happy with my X100, and plan on keeping it a little longer!
When I do research for a camera I often search for the negative in reviews, and try to see if it will matter for me or is something to ignore (like some reviewers put a fixed LCD as a con, while I think of it as a pro). I have seen other real world reviews of the X Pro 1 from people owning the camera, that have been both positive and just as honest. I don’t really care if they are positive, but they should be honest. After following Steves site for some years, I sort of know what to expect. His reviews are honest enough to me, but I sort of know what to expect when a camera is stepping into Leica territory. The only surprise recently was his review of the Nikon V1, but that was no threat to Leica cameras.
I’ve be following you for years now but this will be my first comment 🙂
I had the X100 and absolutely loved the photos it took but in the end couldn’t live with its oddities and quirks as well as the 35mm only (I’m predominantly a 50mm kind of guy). I have the X10 and think its sufficiently fast, with great IQ for what it is but in the end it’s still a small sensor camera. So I was so looking forward to this camera, hoping it would be a perfect combination of the X100’s IQ and the X10’s speed and that I finally would find a worthy and smaller replacement for my large DSLR but apparently no. Fuji seems to have dropped the ball on this one and I now put my hope on the upcoming OM-D.
In the meantime I guess I’ll have to rely on my trusty old Zeiss Icon from 1939, it has no AF, no light metering, a fixed 45mm lens, a wind-up shutter and the smallest viewfinder ever existing but the photos…damn what photos!
Regards from Sweden
The X10 is the tastes Fuji X available. Sensors size does make a difference in AF speed so the smaller the sensor the faster the AF it seems.
Great review Steve, I’ve played with this camera on and off for the best part of a week and agree with everything you’ve said. I was planning on replacing my Black X1 with one of these but at the risk of sounding controversial or mentally impaired, I personally dont think it is as nice a camera to use. Its too gadgety, and the focusing is only slightly better than my X1 which is practically vintage. I would be afraid to spend £2000 on a camera which will be replaced in a year and also with all the extra lenses Fuji plan to pump out I think Fuji must have plans for more bodies quick. A Fuji X-standard-1? No hybrid viewfinder , 12mp for half the price?
PS by slightly better focusing i meant faster, the focusing is actually worse coz it misses so often, in situations the X1 has never had an issue, e.g. Indoors in normal tungsten lighting.
Thanks Steve – you just saved me €2,150. I owe you a drink.
As usual, another great real world review with some nice pictures! It really gives me the in-depth details which I would like to know before buying a new camera (based on my GAS addiction). Keep up the good work!!
If I consider that my Leica M9 and all the accompanying lenses represent the ultimate (at least for me) in image rendering, I would place the Fuji XPro1 and lenses a not-to-distant second for the kind of camera it represents. It is a superb system, a joy to use and while my testing continues, my anxiety remains quite satisfied. Surely, though, my major concern being AF in low light, as you indicated in your review.
Great review as usual. I’d be interested to hear whether there is any shutter lag on the Fuji. One thing that perpetually annoys me on my GH2 is the slightly ‘mushy’ shutter release, giving me the feeling that I’m always in danger of missing the moment. There’s also a delay before the camera’s ready to shoot again. For me that’s one of the biggest downsides of mirrorless compared to SLRs which just have a crisper, instant release. Since that is something that you have to deal with on every single shot, it’s a big issue as far as I am concerned. So I’m curious as to whether the Fuji falls into the camp of a mirrorless or SLR-like shutter release.
I have not noticed any shutter lag with my X-Pro1. The only delay is with locking focus.
Good honest review Steve,
Maybe I’m lucky or just easily pleased but my 18mm seems every bit as good as my 35mm, shot street for a straight 12 hours last Saturday and only had one or two miss-AF hits, the exposure meter didn’t let me down once although I did have to dial-in -EV when using Zeiss and CV lenses.
I used the CV21mm quite a bit on the Xpro as the FoV works well for me and the on-lens focus scale makes it possible to pre-focus without the need to look at the VF or LCD, only strange issue I’m found so far is that the CV21mm seems to easily flare on the Xpro where is didn’t on either the NEX-5n or 7.
The NEX-7 was a big let-down for me, the Tri-Navi dials tell you nothing unless you look at the LCD or VF, I shoot SP so having the LCD enabled is a total no-go, if I needed to change the EV or F-stop I had to look through the VF, if I was review a photo I’d have to look though the VF go in to the menu and enable the LCD, peak focusing is great but the EVF sensor is way too sensitive, I wear glass and sometime the EVF would switch on and off like a disco light.
as far as shooting SP goes the XPro works better for me over the NEX-7, it handles better and 3rd party lenses feel better on it (no colour shift with wide M mount lenses), the VF is better, the only downside is the XPro’s lack of focus peaking and which to be honest is a big negative if you’re using 3rd party lenses.
I had the NEX-7 for 2 weeks before is broke and was returned, the shop had no more stock so I took a refund and waited for the XPro which I’ve had now for a couple of weeks, reviewing shots take with the NEX-7 and the XPro I’d say that I prefer the XPro quite a bit, the NEX-7 IQ seems a bit too “muddy” where as the XPro shots offer a more cleaner image.
Hi Will… I have newly acquired Zeiss/Kyocera lenses for Contax G1 (28mm, 45mm, 90mm). I know that the Zeiss ZM lenses are not quite the same designs optically as mine; but I’m very anxious to get all three of the Contax lenses working in broadly compatible fashion with a mirrorless digital body and would appreciate seeing your thoughts on this matter from your experience with adapters. Having Olympus m4/3 equipment, I am eager to get Steve’s verdict on the OM-D with respect to IQ — I’m pretty much convinced from initial reports that this camera will essentially deliver on the manufacturer’s claims for useability, as well as for substantially better high ISO performance. Meanwhile, NEX-5N alone seems to have few compatibility issues with the Contax glass; even the 21mm Biogon looks O.K., from some shots up on ‘flickr’ — I’d love to be able to count on that one, given the crop factors. Any thoughts on the 15mm f.4.0 CV in this regard, BTW? I have adapters for both m4/3 and NEX now, so I’m prepared to go either way (or both). Maybe the Fuji… that would depend on some price relief and X100 type firmware improvements, I suppose. Thanks.
Thanks Steve very good review I’ve had my camera for almost two weeks and would completely agree with your review. I think the biggest problem is Fuji released this to early and it would have benefitted from a little more time being fine tuned as many of these issues could or should have been dealt with prior to release.
I had a look at the X-Pro 1 a couple of weeks ago, for me it fell a little short of my expectations, additionally I felt the camera was lightweight and as such felt a little cheap. That said I accept what Steve has said in that light weight does not necessarily equal poor quality…..for me it’s still a no though. I am seriously considering the NEX-7 though!!
Thanks for another thoughtful review. I really appreciate the personal nature of your posts and the comparative discussions regarding performance vs. other cameras because it places the cameras in a context I can understand–wheth I agree with you on a point or not. Keep up the great work!
I own an Leica M9-P, Leica MP and now a Fuji X Pro1. I shot several hundred high ISO shots with the X Pro over the weekend and converted them to B&W in Lightroom. The results are staggering and more closely represent the images the MP produces than any other digital camera I have tried, including the M9-P with Summilux glass. So, if you are prepared to invest a little time and patience into learning how to use this beauty you will be rewarded with sensational results. If you occasionally miss perfect focus then rejoice because you may just have created an image which tells a story. Cartier Bresson didn’t fuss about sharpness…neither should we. The X Pro is a story telling piece of kit that I’m glad I purchased and it complements the two Leicas wonderfully!
“..more closely represent the images the MP produces than any other digital camera I have tried..”
But the Leica MP is just a box with a knob on it for selecting a shutter speed. Isn’t it the FILM inside the MP which, with the lens on the front, produces the image ..along with the chemicals you use to develop the images..?
You’ve missed out an essential part of your info, pjnorton: which film do you use in your MP? Tri-X, HP4, XP2, Pan F ..Orwo, Adox, or what?
Gotta go with XP2!
hi Steve just a word , I too have went back to film contax g2 , I really think the Nikon V1 would be a better street shooter , than any of these latest Cameras but hey that’s just my opinion . mcquitty1 flikr
Mark I think the Nikon V1 is a better street shooter, very compact, super fast and accurate AF and a EVF viewfinder! You can see what I’v been capturing on the street here: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyqHNTi
Conclusion: still the perfect camera has not been released. I’m waiting for the perfect camera with:
– IQ, film simulations and in-camera-RAW-editing of Fuji
– usability, responsiveness, AF speed of Olympus
– focus peaking solution of Sony NEX-7
– realy good prime (35 mm equiv.) for nice price (with Macro mode)
When do you think, this will arrive? Then I can swap my X100!
May 10. X2. Has to be. Hope it is. Want it to be.
Or an X1 that has been revamped with a new leather look and sapphire LCD-glass?
Add broad compatibility with film/RF-type third party lenses to your list for me (and some others here, it appears), and you’ve pretty much got it down succinctly. Qualification: some reports have the NEX focus peaking being a bit dodgy in some circumstances; the macro part might be a stretch without a dedicated macro lens.
You can spend your whole life waiting for the “Perfect Camera” while people are enjoying shooting with cameras that fit their needs.
Thx for your efforts Steve!
Seems that all my “fears” about the X-Pro 1 are correct in real-life use – so I am glad I did not buy one and saved my money for the upcoming products.
for the slow start up time, try to format the SD card with the camera format option. It happens to me on my X100. I transferred photos using iPhoto, after that, it took me a good 30 sec or so to start up my camera. Then I format the SD card, and i have no problem now.
Yes I formatted it every time but it still takes 30 seconds that 1st time you put the card in.
Lock the write-protect tab on the SD card before you use it on your Mac. Lots of Mac software tend to create these invisible folders which some camera’s try to read or index.
You can also use Blacktree Secrets (an extra settings pane for Mac) that enables you to see hidden folders on your SD card. If you remove the hidden folders and empty the trash, you shoudn’t have slow start-up times anymore.
Not sure if this applies to or not but I find that hidden files are sometimes left after popping a memory card into a particular SD card reader (I have several): What I found is that hidden files are created. I suspect that this is the case with the Mac and what you should do is pop the card into a system (Linux or Windows) where the prefereces are set to show hidden files…hopefully this takes.
In my case, I find that some of these files make the card unreadable in the camera. Cheers, Steve.
See my comments (No.2) above re. HFS+ files – PC don’t read them, don’t expect a camera to do it either. Even if it only sees the hidden trash database – but does not recognise it, a non-Mac device will more than likely only reformat ‘remaining’ file space.
Each time it is re-used, the camera goes through a ‘re-learning’ process. Good practise is to totally wipe (partition) as ‘free-space’ or FAT16 on the Mac and re-format ONLY in camera if you have suspicions of hidden files.
I’ve just had to re-format a 320GB SATA disk (formerly used on a Mac) with weapons grade unix partition tools just to stop it’s new ‘home’ – a Win 7 PC – continually spotting an (erased) HFS+ boot sector as an unrecognised alien system start-up file …. that continually kicked in Windows Boot Manager on every start-up, halting boot up completely!
If a big bad Intel i7 2700k powered PC has trouble – what hope for a simple camera?
I’ve been experiencing the same problem on my X100, after I format it in camera and switch it off and on, the start is instant (I’m using 45MB/s card)
I normally shoot my work with Nikon D3s bodies and 2.8 glass.
Sick of carrying that around on personal shoots, I was looking for an alternative that was very portable, fitted in with my style and was more like the M film cameras I used to shoot before my eyesight got too bad to make it a reliable option.
I’ve had the camera and all 3 lenses for about 2 weeks and love it. Sure, it has quirks and I hope many will be ironed out in the firmware updates, but overall it is a fabulous little camera I think.
I like that strap you recommended, btw – but sadly, as with so many things these days, Amazon will not ship it outside the USA. Not sure when they started that BS but it’s getting worse and worse.
Fantastic Steve. I am going to hold off buying this for now, given the AF performance, which really dials it down for me, as well as the chattering sound of focussing with the EVF. I have and adore the NEX-7, and forsee myself using this with adapted Leica and other lenses, along with my Zeiss 24. IQ is quite high for the NEX, and I don’t really see Fuji topping it by enough to matter for my purposes….
If Fuji could perfect this and turn it into a fast IQ machine, that’d be an immediate sale…but slow AF in low light, without great MF options, just doesn’t do it….a loud camera built discretely isn’t yet discrete, as any photographer shooting a wedding, music recording, or like, would say…
Thanks for the earnest and in depth review. Many will buy this, and in a few months, it will be $1300, as you have suggested…it may be worth re-visiting then….
The chattering sound is there regardless of which VF you use!
In the XPro1 vs. NEX7 series, to my eyes, the NEX7 + 35 Lux was the clear winner when stopped down to F4. Wide open, the XPro1 looked better. Look forward to seeing the 35 Lux on the XPro1.
Thanks for another great review Steve, you just saved me $2,800, because I was very interested in the
X-Pro 1 – even tempted to part with my M9, if the X-Pro 1 lived up to the hype. As your review suggests it sounds like a good camera, just not the ‘great’ camera Fuji should have introduced as their encore to the X100.
I’m still a Fuji fan, but I will wait patiently for their first venture into full frame. Unless I win the lottery and can afford the M10 when its announced in May.
Please do a comparison of the 35mm xp1 and the x100. Would like to see which one to buy since x100 would be cheaper.
That won’t be a good comparison as on has the crop factor of 35mm and the other of 52mm! To have a good comparison you’ll have to wait until the 24mm for the X-Pro is released!
I cancelled my X Pro-1 order some time ago on early reports that the wide lens was not so great and autofocus speed was still lagging. After much soul searching, I recently ordered a Nikon D800 which I won’t be getting any time soon (oh well). My D7000 works fine for now.
I’ve kept my X100 because I can stick it in my coat or vest pocket walk out the door and get great images (sometimes using zone focus) , and the 35mm equiv. is just right for this kind of camera. It’s fun to shoot. I also got great images from my X10 in recent hikes in Zion and Bryce. For me, the X Pro-1 doesn’t quite fit the convenience camera (stealth quality) slot and I don’t want to put up with a lot of compromises on my next camera system.
Thanks so much for the review. Love this site and the inspirational photos.
Nice review. I wonder to me the main problem is the lack of focus peaking with manual focus lenses. just curious if we can find out if this is something fuji will ad in a firmware update. I would also be interested in how infrared photography looks and if you get good exposure times due to the lack of a low pass filter with a dark infrared filter. also curious how the new technology sensor stacks up at 16 megapixels vs 24 megapixels… you have photos to look at, but i would appreciate just reading about it. thanks for any updates. i am having a hard time choosing between this and the nex 7. wish the nex 7 had the optical view finder like the fuji, and a hot shoe or pc port for radio slaves.
As it has been noted by most reviews, including Steve’s, the NEX-7’s EVF is terrific in most conditions. It is by no means a substitute to a good ol’ optical, but I don’t feel like this is something to stop someone from getting the Sony.
Can you perform initial exposure and WB adjustments on the RAW file with the software provided by Fuji, export to a 16-bit per channel TIFF and then finish processing it with Lightroom?
I’m a complete photography novice (but a huge fan of your site, Steve!), so excuse my ignorance if the following comment/question is completely off base. I wonder if the AF performance differences between the V1, E-P3, NEX series, and X-Pro 1 are simply a function of sensor size. If larger sensors create a more shallow depth of field, doesn’t that require any AF system to hunt a lot more to find focus? It seems that among the current available mirrorless cameras, the smaller the sensor, the faster the autofocus. So, is this an inherent trade-off, or should Sony and Fuji simply go back to the drawing board until they get fast AF down?
Actually yes it is. The smaller the sensor, the faster the AF.
No. The D700 or other high end FF cameras have blazing fast auto focus.
True my lethargic 5D mk2 focuses super fast compared to contrast focus based cameras. d700 smokes all of them. It just difference between contrast detection AF and phase detection. Dslr use phase detection and mirror less except v1 contrast detection. Even v1 in low light uses contrast detection AF so it is slower than dslr in low light.
As others have said, AF is not based on the sensor size.
It is how AF is implemented.
Put an LE-EA2 on the NEX7 and attach an Alpha lens on it and you’ll get blazing fast AF due to the Phase Detect AF of the adapter. It will even give you focus points.
X-Pro1 and NEX7(body) on the other hand uses Contrast Detect AF which is technically slower.
Steve, thanks for an excellent review! Lots of information including helpful comparisons with “competing” cameras and conclusions based on real life shooting. I think this is the best review so far and very useful for people to decide whether the new Fuji system might be for them or not. As far as I’m concerned, it looks as the wait for the perfect compact mirror less large sensor camera will continue as all new offerings still require considerable compromises in one way or the other.
Great review Steve. Very honest with wonderful pics. For now, my Nex-7 with Zeiss 24mm is enough for me until the E-M5 comes out. There’s a chance I might keep them both though since I doubt the E-M5 will have better video than the Sony and it’s nice having 24mp in case I need that much detail. Especially since the body of the E-M5 and Nex-7 together cost just a bit more than the X-Pro 1.
Thanks for the review, you do an awesome job reviewing new cams. I don’t even bother with other reviews anymore. They are all bland with chats and figures that matter to me. I want real worth samples along with with a honest personal touch. Also can you comment on the video capabilities? Again thanks for the real world review!
Thanks for the review, you do an awesome job reviewing new cams. I don’t even bother with other reviews anymore. They are all bland with chats and figures that matter to me. I want real worth samples along with with a honest personal touch. Also can you comment on the video
Great review as always! Thanks! That dancing Hello Kitty is creepy as hell.
Interesting review thanks.. Question , the shots of the x pro you took showing the camera on this article , where they taken with the M9..? there seems to be a lot of purple issue in the black of the body and the white lettering on the lens print.
Mainly on the first image of the camera on the floor .
I was excited for this camera the X pro but was very disappointed in the manual focus and the amount of computer babble . After picking up a m9 I found the operation of the Leica to be superior and clean
But was curious to the purple i was seeing in the shots..
No those were shot with the NEX-7 and Leica 35 Lux ASPH, which has CA on the M9 and NEX.
Played with one today at Precision Camera and as a former X100 user, my initial thoughts very much mirror Steve’s in terms of general performance and the Fuji “quirks”. I didn’t have an SD card on me so no files to examine but it seems pretty apparent from this report and many others that the IQ is outstanding. Some will love this camera for what it offers in styling, control and IQ but it is frustrating that Fuji has not stepped up with their software engineering. It is clear that they have nailed the hardware, now we just need a fast, bulletproof UI.
Meh. Got frustrated by the lethargic X100 and initially excited by this, and after seeing videos in action and the non-existent MF I decided to go with a Nex7. No regrets and focus peaking is brilliant with my Rokkors. You can get the color is post while Fuji shooters are still out trying to get the shot.
Nicely done review that really captures what its like to actually shoot with the camera, yet still managed to also express the tech bits such as its high ISO performance for those who care about that sort of performance as well.
I know you’ve always said thats the overall impression you want your “reviews” to have, but I think you really nailed it on this one.
I think this review can really help those choosing to buy or not but this camera out quite a bit.
Keep up the good work!
It’s nice to hear your thoughts on the camera. Gives me an idea of what to expect. I am curious to see how I will like the camera once it arrives.
I believe the 18mm/f2.0 should be equivalent to 27mm/f2.0 full frame in Fuji’s APS-C format, not the 24mm equivalent you mentioned in the review.
Enjoy reading your write-up even some are rather subjective. After all, we are only human,..
The crop factor is making the 18mm a 27mm, but the angle is wider and this can make the image look more wider then the crop factor. So thinking of it like a 24mm isn’t a bad thing.
Love your reviews Steve, but i think i’ll pass on this camera as i like my X100 and for a system camera i like my Nikon D700/F100/F3 and don’t want to have to think crop factor when getting lenses.
All your Leica love has me on the brink of getting a M like camera with the Zeiss Sonnar 50mm 1.5 and possibly the Voigtlander Classic 35mm 1.4 as i like the classic look of separation between subject and background! So maybe a Voigtlander, Zeiss Ikon or M6 teaming up with my Nikon Coolscan!
Just a thought Steve, ever though about using italics versus caps-locking phrases of emphasis? It almost feels like you’re yelling at us. 🙂
You list the 18mm as a 24mm equivalent, when afaik, it is a 28mm~e.
This camera made me buy a Contax G2. A camera which, as far as I know, you have not reviewed yet!
Bring on the FILM man!
Contact G2 is above, by me. I have had 2-3 others do reviews/write up on it as well.
Hahaha what do I know…not much
As always, GREAT review Steve !! And awesome accompanying photographs too.
Perhaps the only tiny thing I would prefer your write up to do without is the over-comparison with M9 !! We all know that both X-pro and M are different cameras altogether.
Nonetheless, everything else is just wonderfully written. I am hoping to try one out myself soon !!
Well I HAVE To do this comparison with the M9 as I get emails daily from those who seem to think this will be or is an M9 killer.
I take it you have to do the obligatory comparison to some Leica cameras, but what about other mirrorless (including the X100)? Maybe the NEX7 is what mostly compares to the X-Pro1, but I’d also like to hear about M4/3 cameras.
I would actually have liked a lot more comparison to M9. Side by side images of size etc. as well. It feels like the Fuji is on the heftier side?
Great review as always!
If you’re going to go on and on about how it compares to the Leica, you should actually compare it to the Leica. You’ve had the camera for a week or so and you’ve had the Leica for more than a week or so. Saying things like “the Leica is better” is sort of useless. Why? Because with all due respect your extensive experience colors your perspective. That’s all fine but when you have all the “Leica this, Fuji that, Sony the other” text… it really let’s the reporting down.
I suggest posting images as you’ve done in the past. Let’s see the wonderful Leica images, such that we can decide what we will do with our extra $6,000.
What’s wrong with him? I didn’t use both Fuji and Leica and I can confirm (based on sample shots) leica (M9 at first, but M8 too) is better camera for still photo, with the exception of dim places.
Any chance comparing the k-01 at the same time you do NEX-7? I would really like to see that after ordering one based on your review.
Well, I do not have a K-01 here so not possible. I only had one for 2-3 weeks.
You’re a genius.
I find the fuji 35mm 1.4 EASILY the equal of my summicron F2. All the way out to the edges of my 50mm summicron. The build quality is obviously not as robust as the M9. But in photo quality they ARE indistinguishable.
Great review Steve!!! I enjoyed reading through it a lot, and looking at the larger version of EVERY single photo on the review! I tend to agree with Robin that there was just a little bit too much M9 comparison there. Like you wrote in the beginning of the review, the XPro1 is not a M9-killer and will never be one. Anyone thinking otherwise is deranged. Not because the XPro1 doesn’t produce outstanding photos, but simply because it is truly comparing apples and oranges.
Those XPro1 photos look razor sharp. My favorite photo, which really demonstrates how sharp the Xpro1’s photos can be, is the first photo under the which lens to buy subheading, and under the 18/2 lens section. Super sharp photo. Loved it. Oh, and the pink bikini helps too! I am totally looking forward to putting the XPro1 through its paces when mine arrives tomorrow.
Thanks again for a great review Steve. Well done!
Hi Robin… You seem to be the man with the OM-D/E-M5 scoop for now, by way of a basis for comparison with the Fuji (Great job, BTW, on your multi-part, hands-on review of the OM-D!). I and others here are VERY interested in the use of film/RF-type lenses on these mirrorless bodies. Steve will have some information coming on this topic covering the X-Pro 1 with Leica glass… Have you formed any opinion yet, through direct experience or feedback you’ve received, regarding how well the Olympus takes to these lenses IQ-wise — Leica, CV, Contax G — particularly with respect to the apparently trickier wider angle examples? There are a number of Contax users here… including me, so that’s where my personal bias lies.
Went back and forth between the Nex 7 and X-pro1 and chose the Sony. Personally I don’t like the retro feel of Fuji’s. It feels like they pretend something they are not. Its like a lightweight Lexus tries to copy an old Aston Martin. I love the boldness of design of the Nex7. It’s modern and functional and has its own original personality. Love the camera.
Can’t wait to see how the OMD from olympus will turn out. And what about Canon to make something mirrorless?
Re: “…. what about Canon to make (sic) something mirrorless”
It would be a great idea – wonder if anyone at Canon has ever thought about it ….. (Cynically LOL)
Canon announced their mirrorless already (the G1X), and it was a bit of a cop-out since it doesn’t have interchangeable lenses. It’s more of a big-sensor compact.
G1X is not a mirrorless camera …. simply a big-sensor compact – not having a mirror does not make it a mirrorless camera.
Mirrorless means an interchangeable lens camera without a ‘flappy’ DSLR mirror.
If it didn’t – then Canon (and everyone else) would actually have been making them for years (film or digital) but it doesn’t – we call them ‘compact cameras’.
Fuji X100 is a compact – Fuji XPro1, as well as Nex, Pen, etc. (i.e. interchangable lenses) is mirrorless. QED
Thanks for the review, Steve. It’s always a pleasure to read your thoughts after having used a new camera. I wanted to buy the X-PRO1, but I think I’ll stick with my “ancient” M8 with Leica glass. Especially, after having seen the photos you took with the Fuji. I just don’t like the colors. Too bright (“poppy”) for me. But I can understand this camera will do very well with a lot of people who don’t want to or can’t afford an M9. My Pentax K-01 serves me well and the IQ is outstanding. O.k., no VF, but nothing’s perfect.
You can choose a less ‘poppy’ colour from the Fuji or shoot RAW. Steve is using Velvia mode which is too much for my taste too. I prefer Provia (standard ) mode from my X100.
I have been using an X-Pro1 for a week now and I love it but I noticed something interesting about it: I get a lot more motion blur than with any of my other cameras (including the M9.) I find the X-Pro1 a little difficult to hold on the right side and given how light the camera is, I must be a lot more careful about my exposure times. I’ve experienced slight motion blur even at 1/120s!
Focusing with M lenses is also sometimes difficult with the EVF in low light because of the lag. The rear display makes it a lot easier.
I suspect that what you are getting is actually camera shake. This is more likely with a lighter bodied camera. I have no such trouble with my X100 but am pretty steady handed.
That’s what I meant, I couldn’t recall the proper term 🙂
I just received my X-Pro 1 today and agree with what you wrote. The lenses are a bit chintzy and the focus is a bit slow. ( the photographs however are great!) I originally wanted this camera because at my advanced age and mediocre vision, focussing with my M9 is becoming a bit difficult—especially with my 75mm and 90 Summitar. I thought the X-Pro 1 might offer a solution when they release their zooms later this year. I have a Kipon adaptor for my Leica lenses and so far have tried it out on my 75mm Summicron but the results were disappointing at wide open in early evening light (which I like to shoot). One half hour of twilight is not a true test so I will be patient. It definitely is not an M9 but since I like to shoot at twilight and evening, it will have to do for now. The true test of a camera though are the images it takes and so fat I like what I see. Now if only Adobe will update Lightroom to process their RAW files…
I’ve had great results with the Leica Summilux-M 50mm ƒ/1.4 but I was disappointed with the Summicron 35mm ƒ/2.
My XPro1 arrives tomorrow (actually later today). But if it’s anything like the X100 and X10, go ahead and try shooting RAW. Then use the in-camera processing to tailor the file to your liking. With the X100, I actually found minimal advantage doing PP in Lightroom over the camera’s JPG engine and the camera’s RAW to JPG conversion.
As always, a great review and great images.
One thing. You can avoid the startup delay on the X100 and (I assume) The X-Pro1 if you turn on the write protect switch on the SD card before you put it into the computer. Otherwise, Windows and Mac computers will write some hidden files to the card and that causes the Fujis to lock up.
I always format SD the cards after downloading pics to my mac. This helps avoiding the slow start up times with the X100. So I assume it’s the same with the Pro.
I just insert the SD card into the iMac and copy and paste the files from the card onto a folder. Then I open LR and import the photos into the LR catalog. When I reinsert the card into the X100, there is no slow down.
Same producedure, software, and experience here, except that I do photo work on a Windows 7 PC.
I have to wonder what’s causing it. Adobe Bridge?
My X100 is a snappy near-instant start-up bunny and is exclusively used with iMac and MacBook. Not sure about the need to actually engage write-protect status like Michael suggests, but there is a kernel of truth in the hidden files scenario.
I only ever use in camera methods to format or ‘edit’ files on the card – only ever straight file copy onto computer, nothing more. Any deletion or alterations will create either a (hidden) trash folder on Mac and/or a couple of desktop database files on Windows.
Same goes for all card, USB or other flash media – edits/deletions on PC/Mac create PC/Mac files that ALL OTHER devices – camera or otherwise – attempt to read, delaying start-up read times. Mac HFS+ file structures can confuse a big, grown-up PC (as in ‘can’t read them natively’) much less a humble camera, most of whom use only simple FAT format variants and in-house file structures.
If that ‘aint causing the problem then you must be the unluckiest Fuji buyer/user in the world! Steve, you didn’t rush out and buy the special edition Fuji Lemon models did you?
This topic is rumbling on many posts below, so in an attempt to head it off at the pass, I’ll repeat my answer to comment no.29 …..
OK – re. HFS+ files – PC don’t read them, don’t expect a camera to do it either. Even if it only sees the hidden trash database – but does not recognise it, a non-Mac device will more than likely only reformat ‘remaining’ file space.
Each time it is re-used, the camera goes through a file database ‘re-learning’ process. Good practise is to totally wipe (partition) as ‘free-space’ or FAT16 on the Mac and then re-format ONLY in camera if you have suspicions of hidden files.
I’ve just had to re-format a 320GB SATA disk (formerly used on a Mac/no external SATA link to Mac) with ‘weapons grade’ unix partition tools just to stop it’s new ‘home’ – a Win 7 PC – continually spotting an (erased) HFS+ boot sector as an unrecognised alien system start-up file …. that continually kicked in Windows Boot Manager on every start-up, halting boot up completely! N.B. Erased is not the same as removed in disk formatting parlance!
If a big bad Intel i7 2700k powered PC has trouble – what hope for a simple camera?
Wonderful review for the x-pro 1 as usual , thanks Steve