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Fujifilm X-Pro1 Digital Camera Review

fujifilm20120522aa.jpgDigital Camera Review by: Keith Parsons 


The X100, released early in 2011, kicked off Fuji's forays into higher end digital cameras and due to its incredible success and sales fuji extended the X range to include three new models. The Fuji X Pro 1 sits right at the pinnacle of the very exciting and trend defying Fuji premium X range and I would be hard pressed to think of a camera that has been subjected to as much internet hype.

Coupling a 16.3 megapixel APS-C sized sensor with interchangeable quality lenses is always going to provide a worthy camera though a major selling point of the camera is its traditional styling and quality finishing.


Appearance and Functionality

Traditional retro styling is in at the moment and when you pick the X Pro up you can see why, it feels like a camera! Well it feels like a camera used to feel like. There is hardly a piece of plastic to be found on the body or lens and its size gives the user a feeling of confidence when first grasped. The boxes the camera and lenses come in speak immediately of a higher class with their velour finish. Further styling touches included a quality black and white paint job and sturdy leather neck strap.

fujifilm20120522ac.jpgThe casing is solid and as mentioned feels weighty in your paws (450 grams without lens) though thanks to the moulded grip for your right hand, holding on to the camera in a natural way is actually effortless and fatigue would not be common. The electronic viewfinder has a comfortable rubber buffer around it so resting your eye on the finder is quite comfortable also.

The button configuration of the X Pro 1 may feel odd to those more practised with other manufacturers although after playing with the camera for a day it became simple quite quickly. The speed in which you can access functions on a rangefinder can be incredibly important as their primary uses are in the field rather than more set up studio work and the X Pro 1 allows you to configure most settings easily without removing your eye from the camera.

Interestingly the X Pro 1 uses an even more traditional set up when it comes to function buttons. The aperture is controlled by a ring on the lens which again feels incredibly naturally and speedy to change without removing your eye from the viewfinder. The shutter speed is controlled on a dial on top of the body as well as another dial controlling exposure compensation (+/- 2 stops range).

fujifilm20120522ab.jpgA thread has also been included in the middle of the shutter release for an older style cable release. Also enclosed is a flash sync output located on the side of the camera body that allows for cabled flash sync as well as a flash hot shoe located in its usual position above the lens. Fuji has added an Auto Exposure (AE) and Auto Focus (AF) locking button around where your right thumb would sit allowing you to conveniently lock either of these settings.

The menus on the  X Pro 1 are easily accessible via the menu button and surrounding navigational pad found in the middle of the cameras rear panel. The menus are logically set out and separated by primary shooting functions and secondary operational functions.

Shooting is available in a number of modes including Auto, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority and of course Manual. Though a number of other modes like a motion panorama or burst mode are accessible also.

Fujifilm was as the name suggests originally a film manufacturing company and they have integrated a number of film simulation looks into the entire X range. The films on offer include Provia,Velvia, Astia, Pro Neg Hi, Pro Neg Std and a number of black and white simulations also.

fujifilm20120522ad.jpgAlongside Fuji's latest sensor technology comes a range of bracketing functions other than the expected exposure bracketing. The X Pro 1 allows for 3 image bracketing of ISO, Film Simulation and Dynamic Range. The film simulation bracketing lets you actually select three different types of film whereas the ISO bracketing selects the ISOs based upon what you are currently set to and the Dynamic Range bracketing does likewise..


Image Quality

The X Pro 1 utilises an APS-C sized X-trans CMOS sensor punching out 16.3 megapixels. Whilst the sensor title may be impressive in itself its what it claims to do that is impressive.

Digital cameras have long suffered from a phenomena known as moire; basically when excessive pattern occurs that outweighs a cameras resolution capability (e.g. striped top), an unpleasant wavy pattern falls across the image. Traditionally combatted by adding an anti moire glass filter, Fuji has gone one step further and re arranged the colour filter array on its sensor instead. This is all highly technical talk that would take a few lab coats and whiteboards to explain although the basic outcome is that images are actually sharper than traditional APS-C sensors.

fujifilm20120522af.jpgThe Fuji offers images at a full resolution of 4896x3264 pixels although this can be easily dialled down in the menu for smaller resolutions more suited to smaller printing options or web output.

Much has been written about the Fujifilms ability to handle noise and even that it outperforms a number of full frame DSLR cameras. I found this to be incredibly accurate actually as at the lowest ISO of 200 there is no visible noise and really the camera produces fantastic quality images right up until you begin hitting serious ISO numbers like 3200 does an image become overly compromised by noise.

Still the real plus for the Fujis image quality is its dynamic range and when computer software becomes more easily available to handle its RAF Raw files other manufacturers will need to update this feature in their lines as the Fuji puts out around 10 stops of range at 200 ISO. 


Lens Quality


By far the biggest step up from the X100 besides the superior sensor is the ability to change lenses. Fuji has developed a brand new line of lenses specifically for the X pro 1 with a new X mount featuring a 2.5mm adapter ring that keeps the weight down despite all metal construction (including lens hoods/shades). The development of a new lens line shows the confidence Fuji has in the system and its future prospects and I would expect that we will see more bodies added to the X range in the future.

fujifilm20120522ah.jpgThere are currently three lenses available for the X Pro 1, the 18mm f/2.0, 35mm f/1.4 and the 60mm f/2.4 macro. Though excitingly fuji has apparently announced a rollout plan for six new X mount lenses with a 14mm f/2.8 prime and 18-74 f/4.0 zoom lens expected in 2012. I have to say that the three lenses we had on test with the X Pro 1 were all incredibly well built and also came in individual velour boxes!

The only drawback on the lenses is the focussing. When using the AF I found it to be slightly slow when trying to shoot quickly moving subjects although realisticly that is not what this camera is designed to do. Also I found the manual focus can be harder to get 100% pin sharp on large apertures when using the viewfinder. 


LCD / Viewfinder

The Fuji gives the user options with both an LCD an OVF (Optical Viewfinder) and an EVF (electronic view finder) to use and all have their positives.

fujifilm20120522ag.jpgThe 3” LCD has an incredible 1, 230, 000 dot resolution and I can say is one of the best LCD's to use in direct sunlight as it can still display an image in a usable fashion. Though I personally prefer to use a viewfinder for actual shooting and leave menu functions and playback for the LCD.

The EVF gives a maximum of 90% coverage of the scene and this is quite adequate to compose images. Activated by a sensor that switches the LCD off when you move close to the camera the EVF has around 1.4 million dot resolution although as mentioned before I found close up focussing a slight annoyance in the EVF. Though if electronic options are not you thing then just use the viewfinder as an OVF which gives you 90% coverage similar tot he EVF..



Video is expected on all digital cameras these days and the fuji delivers quite decent 1920x1080P FULL HD video in H.264 compression, including stereo sound. Though the primary function of the  X Pro 1 is its still image capabilities it is a great bonus to be able to switch on the video and record HD video.









It really excites me to see that traditional camera bodies are coming back into the marketplace and at affordable prices. Whilst the  X Pro 1 is more expensive than other options it is certainly not overpriced when you consider the sensor, image quality and the ability to choose from a range of sharp lenses soon to be expanded. It really seems Fuji are investing heavily in the X range and this premium rangefinder would be a wise investment for those not looking for the bulk of an SLR but would like a system that holds on to quality.

I cant speak highly enough of the rangefinder set up for documentary, portraiture and travel usage although obviously this will not appeal to a studio or sports photographer. The build quality is incredibly high and the X Pro 1 warrants more than serious consideration alongside other premium line cameras.


Accessories Used During Testing:

Tamrac Aero 36 / 3336 Camera Bag  

SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s SD Card 


Recommended Retailer:

View / Buy The Fuji Finepix X-S1  



Appearance rating 5 stars
Functionality rating 4.5 stars
Image quality
4.5 stars
Video quality
4 stars
Lens quality
4.5 stars
View finder (EVF)
4.5 stars
LCD screen (Rear)
4.5 stars
Value for money 4 star
Street Price - Body Only $1799.00
Street Price - Body + XF 35mm Lens $2399.00
Effective Pixels 16.3 million pixels
Sensor Type
23.6 mm x 15.6 mm (APS-C) X-Trans CMOS with primary color filter, with Ultra Sonic Vibration cleaning system
Image Sizes 3 Sizes / 3 ratios/ 4 motion panoramas
Lens Mount
Resolution Settings: Stills L : (3:2) 4896 x 3264
L : (16:9) 4896 x 2760
L : (1:1) 3264 x 3264
M : (3:2) 3456 x 2304
M : (16:9) 3456 x 1944
M : (1:1) 2304 x 2304
S : (3:2) 2496 x 1664
S : (16:9) 2496 x 1408
S : (1:1) 1664 x 1664

Motion Panorama
L  Vertical: 7680 x 2160 Horizontal: 7680 x 1440
M  Vertical: 5120 x 2160 Horizontal: 5120 x 1440
Resolution Settings: Video 1920 x 1080 pixels
1280 x 720 pixels
(24 frames/sec.) with stereo sound
Individual movies can not exceed 29 minutes in length
Face Detection Yes
Focus Mode: Single AF / Continuous AF / MF Distance Indicator
Type: TTL contrast AF, AF assist illuminator available
AF frame selection: Area (EVF / LCD: 49 areas with 7 x 7, OVF: 25 areas with 5 x 5) / Multi * changeable size of AF frame: among 5 type
Auto Focus Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Shutter Speeds (P mode) 1/4 sec. to 1/4000 sec.,
(All other modes) 30 sec. to 1/4000 sec.
Bulb (max. 60 min.)
Time 2 to 30 sec.
Synchronized Shutter speed for flash :
1/180 sec or slower (P mode or A mode)
1/160 sec or sowler (S mode or M mode)
* 1/180 sec can be automatically set at some shooting conditions on P mode or A mode.
Shutter Priority Yes
ISO AEquivalent to ISO 200 - 6400 (Standard Output Sensitivity) AUTO mode : AUTO (400) / AUTO (800) / AUTO (1600) / AUTO (3200) Extended output sensitivity equivalent ISO 100, 12800 and 25600
LCD Monitor 3.0-inch RGBW (White) LCD monitor, approx. 1,230,000 dots, (Approx. 100% coverage)
Viewfinder Hybrid Multi Viewfinder
Optical viewfinder: Reverse Galilean viewfinder with electronic bright frame display, Magnifications: 0.37x / 0.6x, Coverage of frame area v.s. capturing area: approx. 90%
Electronic viewfinder: 0.47-in., approx. 1,440,000-dots color LCD viewfinder, Coverage of viewing area v.s capturing area: approx. 100%
Eye sensor installed
Eye point: approx. 14 mm
Flash Hot shoe with TTL contacts; sync terminal
Red-eye removal OFF: Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro, Rear-curtain Synchro.
Red-eye removal ON: Red-eye Reduction Auto, Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro, Red-eye Reduction & Rear-curtain Synchro.
Hot Shoe Yes
White Balance Automatic scene recognition
Custom, Color temperature selection (K)
Preset: Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm White), Fluorescent light (Cool White), Incandescent light, underwater
Self Timer Approx. 10 sec. / 2 sec. Delay
Stills Format/s
JPEG (Exif Ver 2.3), RAW (RAF format), RAW+JPEG
(Design rule for Camera File system compliant / DPOF-compatible)
Video Format/s H.264 (MOV) with Stereo sound
Video Recording Time/s -
Storage Type - External SD memory card / SDHC memory card / SDXC (UHS-I) memory card
Storage Type - Internal
Connectivity Digital interface: USB 2.0 High-Speed
HDMI output: HDMI mini connector
Power Source Li-ion battery NP-W126
Battery Options NP-W126 Li-ion battery
Battery Life Approx 300 frames
Dimensions 139.5 mm (W) x 81.8mm (H) x 42.5mm
Weight Approx. 450g (inc battery & memory card)
Approx. 400g (exc battery & memory card)



















About Fujifilm


FUJIFILM brings continuous innovation and leading-edge products to a broad spectrum of industries, including electronic imaging, photofinishing equipment, medical systems, life sciences, graphic arts, flat panel display materials, and office products, based on a vast portfolio of digital, optical, fine chemical and thin film coating technologies. The company was ranked number 15 for U.S. patents granted in 2006. Fujifilm is committed to environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship.

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