Cutting-edge digital outfitted in vintage rangefinder style
Autofocus speed is midpack by ILC standards—slower than a typical DSLR, yet not sluggish. It tends to hunt, particularly when moving from far to near subjects or vice versa. You can engage an AF assist lamp, which will dazzle (or annoy) portrait subjects. In bright light, continuous AF tracked moving subjects pretty well, but in video mode it was dicey.
Manual focusing was less than satisfying. While the lenses’ electronic focusing rings have lovely smoothness and damping, they have way too much travel from near to far focus.
With either viewfinder, an inward press on the command wheel enlarges the center portion of the frame to aid focusing. A scale readout below the frame shows distance as well as the zone of depth of field; we would happily trade this for focus confirmation.
Among the many shooting features are panorama mode (via a single slow pan), double exposure, photobook assist, and—truly useful—dynamic-range adjustment, which lets you expand the contrast range captured.
Operation is so straightforward that its few quirks stand out. Selecting viewfinder mode (you have five choices) can be a puzzle, involving both a selector button on the back and an unmarked lever on the front. And the camera captures only JPEGs (no RAW files) at ISO 100, 12,800, or 25,600.
The Bottom Line
The Fujifilm X-Pro1 will appeal chiefly to enthusiastic (and affluent) amateurs, as well as to pros seeking an alternative shooting experience—people for whom pride of ownership is a factor.
This may help mitigate its shortcomings: slower autofocus than a DSLR, clunky manual focusing more like a compact’s than a true rangefinder’s, and an EVF that can’t keep up with fast action. The limited lens selection is also a drawback, though Fujifilm will surely fill out the line.
The X-Pro1’s main rival is the Sony NEX-7, offering higher imaging performance for $500 less (body only) with a bigger lens line, a lighter and smaller body, and a more responsive EVF. Your choice may come down to control style: Fujifilm’s traditional dial-and-ring design versus Sony’s innovative triple command wheels.
The X-Pro1 is further evidence that the ILC concept is gaining critical mass. And it’s good to see Fujifilm once again making high-quality cameras with interchangeable optics.
IMAGING: 16.3MP effective APS-C-sized X-Trans CMOS sensor captures images at 4896x3624 pixels each, with 12 bits/color in RAW capture.
STORAGE: SD, SDHC, or SDXC stores JPEG, RAF RAW, RAW + JPEG, or H.264 MOV files.
VIDEO: Up to 1920x1080p24; built-in stereo mic; continuous contrast AF.
BURST RATE: Up to 21 full-sized JPEGs at 6 frames per sec or to card capacity at 3 fps; RAW up to 14 frames at 6 fps or 3 fps (tested).
AF SYSTEM: TTL contrast detection with 49-area autoselect or user selectable; manual focus.
SHUTTER SPEEDS: 1/4,000 to 30 sec, plus B (1/3-EV increments).
METERING: TTL metering with 256-area evaluative, centerweighted average, and spot (approximately 2% of screen).
ISO RANGE: ISO 200–6400 (in 1/3-EV increments); ISO 100, 12,800 and 25,600 with JPEG capture only.
FLASH: No built-in unit. Hotshoe supports TTL autoflash with Fujifilm EF-20, EF-X20, or EF42 accessory flashes. Flash sync to 1/180 sec. PC terminal.
VIEWFINDER: Hybrid finder switchable between 0.47-inch, 1.44-million dot LCD electronic viewfinder and reverse Galilean optical viewfinder with parallax-compensating electronic bright frame overlay and variable magnification according to lens mounted.
MONITOR: Fixed 3-inch 1.23-million-dot LCD.
OUTPUT:Hi-speed USB 2.0; mini-HDMI video.
BATTERY: Rechargeable NP-W126 Li-ion, CIPA rating 300 shots.
SIZE/WEIGHT: 5.5x3.2x1.7 in.; 1.0 lb with card and battery.
STREET PRICE: $1,699, body only.