I thought I’d come back and report on the X-Pro 1 as I’ve now had it for just over two months and shot nearly 8,000 images with it.  OK, a lot of those 8,000 are me just playing with and and not really shooting anything seriously, but that’s all part of the learning process with a new camera for me, to get to know how it handles and practice with it so that when it comes to those serious shots I can use it without having to think about it.

I have to admit that I get bored with cameras very quickly, something frustrates me, something doesn’t feel right, image quality isn’t quite what I hoped, the lens selection isn’t very good etc. etc.  Many cameras have come and gone over the past year, but what’s odd is that whilst the X-Pro 1 can be frustrating at times, and there are only three lenses currently available, is also the best camera I’ve ever owned!  Every time I get home and review those beautiful images on my computer I realise why I love it so much.  That affection doesn’t happen often with cameras, I can only think of my Oly E-PL1 that I really enjoyed in the same way – the rest were fun bits of tech to play with.  I honestly cannot ever see myself replacing it with anything other than a newer version from Fuji, and that’s a big deal for me!

FUJIFILM X-Pro1 (35mm, f/4, 1/640 sec, ISO200)

So why do I like it so much?  First and foremost, along with the X100, it has fundamentally changed my photographic technique and consequently made me a much better photographer.  It is far too tempting in the digital age to take as many photos as you can and hope that one of them comes off right, which it sometimes does, but more often just leaves you with hundreds of average images.  By the very nature of the X-Pro 1, it almost forces you to slow down and really think about when you should press the shutter button, and as a consequence I’m finding I’m producing many more ‘keepers’ than I ever did.

I have something else to admit too.  After a month I couldn’t resist getting a 2nd faster camera – I bought a Nikon V1!  Now, a month later I’m selling it and getting another X100 as a 2nd camera to the X-Pro 1.  The V1 is a fantastic camera, I’d recommend it to anyone, but the vast majority of my shots are taken with the X-Pro 1 whilst the V1 sits at home.  I thought that on a day to day basis the X-Pro 1 would get left at home after I bought the V1, but it is the cameras I opt to take with me – the IQ is just too tempting to leave it at home!  I still feel it’s a little too big for taking out on some occasions, which is why I am getting another X100.

Most of my shots on the X-Pro 1 have been taken with the 35mm lens, simply because it suits my shooting style better, and the fact that I’m not a very well practiced cityscape/architectural photographer so the 18mm doesn’t come out that much unless I’m in a tight spot indoors.

FUJIFILM X-Pro1 (18mm, f/14, 1/170 sec, ISO200)

I recently bought the 60mm lens, which after some initial concerns is starting to be another favourite ever lens.  It produces stunningly sharp images like the 35mm, but due to the focal length can easily produce a wonderful smooth out-of-focus background.

FUJIFILM X-Pro1 (60mm, f/4, 1/250 sec, ISO200)

There has been a lot written about the AF of the X-Pro 1.  The more I use it, the less of an issue it has become. At first it was admittedly a bit frustrating, but you learn to use it to the best of its ability.  It’s not a top-end dSLR so you can’t expect it to be that fast, but it’s certainly nothing near as slow as a cheap point-and-shoot.  I think I’ve said before that it is about on a par with the Sony NEX range of cameras, just not as fast as the new Oly M43’s, which is what everyone is really comparing it against and what people have come to expect from contrast-detection AF.  A lot depends on which lens you use, the 18mm is pretty snappy, the 35mm is good and the 60mm can be slow, but that is in-line with most any macro lens.  I’m expecting that Fuji will make firmware upgrades available to improve the AF, but I can still quite happily live with it even if they don’t.

Another Conclusion!

I still stand by what I said in my earlier review, in fact even more so.  This isn’t a camera for everyone.  If you’re used to fast paced dSLR shooting and not willing to change your style of shooting then you’re just going to end up getting frustrated and think it’s useless.  If you’re willing to stand back and think about what you’re doing before you do it, if what you really want is the absolute best image quality, a beautifully rendered image then I’m pretty sure you’ll love the X-Pro 1.  It takes time to adapt to shooting with it.  I came from the X100 so I was already half way there, I understood it and felt at home pretty much straight away, I encourage anyone to stick with the camera and get used to how it works and how to get the best out of it.

A few more recent shots from the X-Pro 1 

FUJIFILM X-Pro1 (60mm, f/4, 1/500 sec, ISO200)

FUJIFILM X-Pro1 (18mm, f/4, 1/30 sec, ISO320)

FUJIFILM X-Pro1 (35mm, f/2, 1/45 sec, ISO1600)

 

FUJIFILM X-Pro1 (60mm, f/2.4, 1/800 sec, ISO200)

FUJIFILM X-Pro1 (60mm, f/4, 1/90 sec, ISO320)

FUJIFILM X-Pro1 (60mm, f/2.4, 1/640 sec, ISO100)

FUJIFILM X-Pro1 (60mm, f/2.8, 1/4000 sec, ISO100)

 

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About The Author

Matthew Maddock is a commercial photographer based in the Lake District, UK. Specialising in the hospitality and outdoor sports industry. He is a Fujifilm X-Photographer and Getty Images contributor. His portfolio can be viewed at memaddock.co.uk

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