24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
A unique photographer's camera,
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This review is from: Fujifilm X-Pro1 16 MP Digital Camera with APS-C X-Trans CMOS Sensor (Body Only) (Camera)
The X-pro 1 is the camera I've been waiting for for around 5 years- a large-sensor interchangeable lens camera that looks and operates like a 'old fashioned' film camera, has excellent IQ and doesn't cost the earth like a certain well-known German camera make.
The XP1 has what I'd call 'proper' exposure controls. If you grew up on film SLR or rangefinder cameras like me, you'll feel at home with the look and the operation of the XP1. It is solid and functional looking, not like a lump of melted plastic like most D-SLRs. It feels nicely balanced with controls falling nicely to hand, except the buttons on the left of the LCD where you end up with your finger up your nose if using the OVF/EVF.
You get dedicated aperture rings and shutter speed dial, along with a exposure compensation dial. There is manual focus too with a nicely damped lens focusing ring, though this is electronic 'focus by wire'. People have been moaning about this and although I'd prefer a traditional type focus ring with markings I find it works fine through the EVF and LCD. I've also found the AF to be perfectly usable, again I don't know what people are moaning about.
The camera has a high level of customisation available, as most digital cameras do now, but also will take good pics with the minimum amount of set up. If you know photography basics you can be shooting straight-away without having to go through 8 zillion menus or learning how x-command dial works with x-button and x-mode just to change something simple. With the aperture and ss dials plus clear displays you've got quick confirmation of how the camera is set up and at least for me, a much prefered way of working.
The OVF is nice to use though the EVF is better in bright light and of course has no parralax error. The 3" LCD has good resolution, it is not touch screen though.
A lot of people seemed to have written off the XP1 on first release, complaining of slow AF and chattering lenses etc, I think Fuji shot themselves in the foot a little with early firmware as with recent firmware updates the camera is much improved. I can only see it getting better as Fuji respond to feedback, and it's good to know they support a product and system long-term instead of just bringing out a new camera every few months which leaves your model obsolete.
The IQ from the XP1 is excellent, the jpgs straight out of the camera need very little or no tweaking. I have not tried raw yet as the jpgs are so good. Full HD video recording is provided, and though it's 'hidden' in the Drive Mode menu, it can be assigned to the 'Fn' button to make it quickly accessable.
Menus are clear and easy to navigate and there is also the 'Q' menu, which brings up the most important main menu items in one 'super menu' to quickly check and change settings.
In terms of downsides, the lens line up is limited at present but should be nicely expanded by next year, there is no built-in flash which would have been nice for fill-in duties, there is only one assignable 'function' button (though the Q menu is easy to use), the tripod mount is off-centre and right next to the battery/memory card slot (this should really be at the side). The XF lenses are nicely packaged but the body box feels a little anti-climatic, with a generic looking Fuji strap, cheap-looking battery charger and no HDMI cable included, you do get a short USB one though. I also seem to be the only person who thinks the front panel is too plain, it's calling out for an XP1/Fuji logo on it's large blank expanse.
I think this camera is definately for you if you come from a film camera background, value full control and/or don't like the ugly lumps of plastic that are most D-SLRs but want a very high quality system to build up. Like I suspect a lot of people, I was undecided between the XP1 and the Olympus OM-D, after handling both I'm glad I chose the XP1 as though the OM-D produces good phtos it looks like a toy compared to the XP1 and has tiny controls. The XP1 also is the only camera of this price/type design since the Panasonic/Leica LC1/D-lux 2 to produce what are for me 'film-like' images, I'm guessing this is down to the new fuji sensor.
If you just like to set everything to auto, and/or shoot action, are more interested specs/features over image quality this isn't the camera for you. As said before it operates like a film SLR/rangefinder camera, with the same kind of working procedures. It isn't lightning fast, but it is beautifully made, takes fantastic pictures and makes you feel like you're in control of the camera, rather than just a picture-taking gadget. It is quite an expensive and new system to buy into but one that should serve you well for a long time and once more lenses are available very versatile and satisfying to use.