CAMERAS Fujifilm X Pro1 Review

Fujifilm X Pro1 Review

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Fujifilm X Pro1 Review

Home CAMERAS Fujifilm X Pro1 Review

Fujifilm X Pro1 Review: Long awaited system camera Fujifilm X-Pro1 announced: Technology at its best in retro look

With the X-Pro1, Fujifilm is announcing a system camera that was already obvious when the X100 was introduced. Fujifilm announced the development of such a digital camera last autumn, but did not disclose any further details. Now it’s clear: it’s just like the X100, with a retro-look body and state-of-the-art technology such as a hybrid optical viewfinder and a revolutionary image sensor. Fujifilm is always good for surprises in this area, too. Now, thanks to a new pixel arrangement, a 16.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS will be able to dispense with the usual low-pass filter and thus deliver unimagined image sharpness.

Brief assessment

Pros

  • Very high image quality with sharp, low-noise photos
  • Good number of features
  • Bright, large, optical and electronic hybrid viewfinder
  • Excellently processed housing, solid looks and ergonomics

Cons

  • Inaccurate illuminated frame of the optical hybrid viewfinder
  • Tripod thread outside the optical axis and too close to the battery/memory card compartment
  • Slow manual focus adjustment also loses focus when switching to playback
  • Cumbersome video function without external sound connection

The Fujifilm X-Pro1 promises to be the ideal mirrorless system camera for purists and lovers of classic, beautifully finished cameras. But there is a lot of innovative technology at work inside. For example, the optical hybrid viewfinder with a large, clear image and electronic superimpositions, which can be switched to a purely electronic viewfinder. Or the sensor, which has an RGB filter but is not arranged in the conventional Bayer pattern. Fujifilm also dispenses with a low-pass filter and promises sharp, yet artifact-free photos thanks to the new pixel arrangement.

Whether it’s the SuperCCD in various versions or, most recently, the EXR image sensor, Fujifilm is always coming up with new ideas to improve image quality, taking inspiration from models such as analogue film or the human eye. This time, the basis is not hexagonal or octagonal pixels, but what appears to be an ordinary CMOS sensor with square pixels. But the secret lies in the color filter structure: six by six pixels form a unit, which in turn consists of four parts of three by three pixels. Of these, five are green and two each are red and blue. The pixels are arranged in such a way that all three basic colors appear in every row and every column and every second diagonal. The whole thing reminds a little bit of the Japanese number game Sudoku. The aim of this arrangement is to orientate the film grain, as this mixing of colours appears much more random than in the usual Bayer pattern. The green pixels are also interesting, because from a distance it looks as if large and small green pixels alternate. Fujifilm dares to dispense with the usual low-pass filter, which normally always blurs the image slightly, thus reducing moirés and aliasing effects. With its superfluous filter, the new sensor thus promises a merciless, pixel-precise sharpness of detail that, according to Fujifilm, has only been known from digital 35 mm full format cameras up to now. Fujifilm has named this new sensor “APS-C X-Trans CMOS Sensor”. It has a resolution of 16.3 megapixels (4,896 x 3,264 pixels) and measures 23.6 x 15.6 millimetres, giving a classic aspect ratio of 3:2. The sensor has a sensitivity range of ISO 200 to 6,400 as standard, but this can be extended to 100 to 25,600.

But a good sensor alone is not enough for an exceptionally good camera, another important ingredient is the high-quality lenses Fujifilm offers with the new X bayonet. For the launch of the system there are three high-quality fixed focal lengths. The new X bayonet has a flange focal length of 17.7 millimetres and is thus close to the Sony E bayonet of the NEX system, whose flange focal length is 18 millimetres. This also means that practically all analog lenses can be adapted. A Leica M adapter is already in development. The X-lenses are focused by built-in motors, the image sensor measures the focus by conventional contrast measurement. The third key ingredient is the image processor, with the combined expertise of Fujifilm engineers and programmers. The processor is called EXR Processor Pro and thus shows the leaning towards EXR technology. It should be particularly powerful and thus ensure precise and fast image data processing.

A further highlight of the X-Pro1 is the optical hybrid viewfinder, which combines a large, bright optical viewfinder with a high-resolution electronic viewfinder, just like the X100. This makes it possible to use only the optical viewfinder, to show transparent illuminated frames, recording information, grid lines, etc. or to hide the optical part and use only the electronic viewfinder with its live image. It offers a fine 1.44 million pixel resolution and 100 percent field coverage. Unlike the X100, the optical part of the viewfinder of the X-Pro1 has a moveable lens that allows the magnification to be switched to match different lens focal lengths. The standard magnification of 0.37 is used for wide angle, and 0.6 times magnification is used for viewing when using the normal focal length and telephoto lens. The magnification can also be activated manually. When using the EVF, however, the image section of the lens is always visible anyway because it is generated from the live image of the sensor.

On the back, the X-Pro1 has a three-inch (7.5 cm) screen with 1.23 million pixels. Four pixels (red, green, blue and white) form one pixel each, giving the screen a brighter image that is easier to read in sunlight. It has the same fine resolution as previous displays with 921,000 pixels. The processing of the metal housing, which consists of a magnesium alloy, is to be particularly high-quality, for better grip it is provided with a leather-like application. The front side is free of writing, camera and brand name are engraved in the upper plate. The X-Pro1 is mainly operated via milled, mechanical turning wheels. At the same time, the X-Pro1 also offers many electronic settings and equipment details that a modern digital camera cannot do without. These include film simulation modes, multiple exposure, Motion Panorama and the video function. It brings it to FullHD resolution and achieves 24 frames per second with stereo sound; the corresponding microphone is built in. The length of a single video clip is limited to a maximum of 29 minutes. Aperture control is also possible in video mode, allowing you to play with depth of field.

In addition to the previously announced three lenses, the accessory range also includes three system flash units, the smallest of which with a guide number of 18 is new. The X-Pro1 even has a flash sync socket, but Fujifilm has also thought of a modern HDMI interface. As befits a retro camera, there is also a matching leather case that protects the lens and camera. However, this only fits the wide angle and normal focal length lens, but not the telemacro.

Fujifilm is taking a very unique and courageous path with its X-Pro1 system camera. The camera obviously wants to build a bridge between on the one hand the “usual” system cameras, which want to address as large a target group as possible in terms of design and price, and on the other hand the hardly affordable and (due to lack of autofocus) not easy to use rangefinder cameras from Leica. The Fujifilm system is also mid-range in price (well above all other system cameras) and combines extremely high-quality workmanship with ergonomic retro design and good everyday usability thanks to autofocus and Live View as an alternative to the illuminated frame viewfinder.

Numerous useful functions are on board, such as a built-in spirit level or an automatic panorama photo function. FullHD video recording with stereo sound is not missing either. What is missing, on the other hand, because it would not fit the concept, is an all-round carefree fully automatic system with limited possibilities for intervention or the numerous to countless motif programmes that are otherwise often found. The X-Pro1 is clearly aimed at photographers who know what they are doing and want to intervene at any time. Which does not mean that the camera does not automatically take great pictures! If you set everything to automatic (aperture, exposure time, light sensitivity, white balance, autofocus), the camera will of course take correctly exposed pictures. A short exposure time for fast-moving subjects is something you have to set yourself, as well as exposure compensation for predominantly bright or predominantly dark subjects or the macro mode for focusing at close range. Those who know and like this will like the X-Pro1! Because the operation is almost optimal. It has just the right amount of buttons and switches and the on-screen menus are clear. We would have only wished for a separate video recording button and maybe some explanatory texts in the menu. But once you are familiar with the camera, at least this problem is off the table. The Quick Menu is a great success, allowing all important parameters to be set with just a few key and control wheel movements.

Although at first glance the X-Pro1 (and also its menu navigation) looks very similar to its smaller sister, the Fujifilm X100, we have to say that the usability is dramatically better! Unfortunately, the X100 doesn’t have the important quick menu at all, and so you often get tangled up in the latter when accessing frequently used functions (which in practice ends up with you simply not using certain options). Compared to the X100, the X-Pro1 is by the way much larger, as you can see on this comparison.

But we also have two suggestions for improvement for the X-Pro1 and its lenses: The aperture selector rings of the lenses have no protection against adjustment from the automatic position. So it sometimes happens that you unintentionally switch from automatic to smallest aperture (or “almost switched”: as long as the ring has not yet locked on 16, fortunately “automatic” still applies). And then the illuminated frame viewfinder: After all, there is an automatic parallax compensation. You can even set whether or not the autofocus field should move with the image (details lead too far here, it’s really a matter of taste). But in general, the (electronically faded in) illuminated frame always frames much less than one actually has in the photo later on. This may be considered a “safety margin” for fast reportage photography, and in principle this is also known from other optical viewfinders. But the “precision instrument” X-Pro1 would be well suited for a more precisely adjusted illuminated frame. However, anyone who is annoyed by this can switch to the Live View viewfinder image at any time. Then the image detail is 100 percent correct and a lot of further information is displayed (everything can be switched off, for whom this is too much!) including an artificial horizon (spirit level).

Ergonomics and Workmanship

For a mirrorless system camera, which is usually a very compact species, the Fujifilm X-Pro1 is very large, even clunky. It’s still a good bit larger than the not exactly compact FinePix X100, an Olympus OM-D or Sony NEX looks puny against the X-Pro1. The case is excellently finished and consists of solid metal, which is covered with a grained rubber over a large area. This offers good grip, but this is mainly due to the structure, because the rubber is not particularly slip-resistant. The rangefinder design of the X-Pro1 allows only a very small handle, which is a little more slip-resistant. You might find the classic design a bit getting used to, resp. you might ask yourself if it has to be a retro look again – but admittedly Fujifilm has succeeded in doing so in a very simple and noble way.

The large optical viewfinder fits well into the housing. It offers a very bright viewfinder image so that the eye does not have to adapt even in the brightest environments. A digitally superimposed illuminated frame shows which area is being recorded – at least theoretically. In practice, the image section is clearly larger, something Fujifilm could have done better. The optical viewfinder on a camera with interchangeable lenses also has a system-related problem: It has a fixed angle of view, whereas the angle of view of the lenses changes with the focal length. On the one hand, this limits the wide-angle coverage of the viewfinder, on the other hand the illuminated frame becomes smaller and smaller with increasing focal length. It is therefore less suitable for long telephoto focal lengths, as the subject is then only a small point in the center of the viewfinder. At least Fujifilm has an optical magnifying glass built in, which at least for light telephoto lenses mitigates the problem somewhat. However, the possibility of being able to insert electronic displays into the optical viewfinder is fantastic.

Alternatively, the optical viewfinder can be darkened and only an electronic image displayed. Compared to the optical viewfinder, this is considerably darker depending on the ambient light, but sometimes brighter in dim light. In the electronic viewfinder you have perfect field coverage, focus control, manual focusing with magnifying glass, white balance preview, image review function, can operate the menu, etc. The electronic viewfinder provides a good and, with its 800 x 600 pixels, also quite finely resolved image, but still, of course, you notice looking at an electronic screen.

There are big differences in battery life depending on the viewfinder usage. If you use the rear screen, there are only about 300 photos. If you use the optical viewfinder, the battery can last for 1,000 pictures, according to Fujifilm. Logical, because no screen needs to be illuminated and no live image needs to be constantly read and processed by the sensor. Fujifilm has also accommodated the memory card shaft in the battery compartment on the underside of the camera. Cards of the type SD, SDHC and SDXC can be inserted here. The tripod thread was placed very unluckily. The bottom of the camera offers a lot of space, but it is right beside the battery compartment, so that neither the battery nor the memory card can be accessed if a removable plate is screwed on or the camera is mounted on a tripod. Logically, the thread is not in the optical axis, where it should be in a sophisticated camera. An optionally available dummy with a cable led out on the side for mains operation can also be inserted into the battery compartment.

A USB and a mini HDMI interface are concealed behind the flap on the handle. On the other side of the housing, an inconspicuous plug conceals a flash sync socket. There is no cable remote release connection, instead the release has a screw thread for connecting a mechanical cable release – Fujifilm is once again serious about the retro design. With a diagonal of 7.5 centimeters, the rear screen doesn’t seem as dominant as in many other cameras, which is of course due to the X-Pro1’s massive size. The monitor has 1.23 million light points, four of which form one pixel each: Red, green, blue and white. This means that the resolution is approximately 640 x 480 pixels as with conventional 921,000 pixel monitors. The white luminous dots are supposed to provide better brightness, which also works well: The screen is easy to read even in bright surroundings. Another practical feature is the proximity sensor (which can be switched off) on the back of the camera, which enables automatic switching between the viewfinder and the screen.

The operation of the X-Pro1 is very classic. The aperture is adjusted on the lens, the exposure time and the exposure correction each via a high-quality wheel on the camera body. Automatic settings decide whether a parameter is set manually or automatically, making a program selector wheel superfluous. However, the photographer is not bound to the time and aperture settings of the control wheels; if desired, he can reach the intermediate stages via buttons that allow him to make finer exposure adjustments. Other settings such as white balance or ISO sensitivity, both of which are also automatic, are made via buttons, a quick menu and the main menu. The Quick Menu is the main benefit of the operation, which is now less menu-heavy than on the X100. The Click thumbwheel on the back is also used to adjust the selected parameters easily. User memory and a programmable key further improve the ease of use.

 

Equipment

If you are looking for scene modes and simply want to start shooting, the X-Pro1 is the wrong choice. Although it can also expose photos automatically, this is a waste of the camera’s greatest potential. The X-Pro1 is built for photography enthusiasts who like to set everything themselves.

Fujifilm certainly offers a large repertoire of functions. For example, there are film simulation modes that mimic various Fujifilm analog films, including a sepia and black and white mode. The dynamic range can also be electronically adjusted to give shadows and highlights more definition. Numerous bracketing functions allow continuous shooting that can vary by exposure, film simulation mode, dynamic range or ISO setting. ISO sensitivity can be set in one-third increments in the standard range of 200 to 6,400, while the extended sensitivities of ISO 100, 12,800, and 25,600 can only be set in full EV increments. The ISO automatic can be limited to a maximum of ISO 400, 800, 1,600 or 3,200.

Further adjustment options are available for image processing: sharpness, highlights, shadows, noise reduction and noise reduction for long exposures can be individually adjusted. Even multiple exposures are possible. According to the manufacturer’s specifications, the continuous shooting function achieves either three or six frames per second. However, we measured a maximum of 5.2 frames per second in JPEG, after the 19th frame the rate then collapses to 1.4 frames per second, faster the image data of a good 6.5 MByte per frame can’t be written to the SDHC card. In RAW, the buffer is already full after eleven frames, the continuous shooting rate then drops to a meagre 0.3 frames per second – a RAW image is, however, also a proud 25 megabytes large. After all, as long as the buffer is not full, it is possible to continue shooting at any time, which allows for fluid shooting.

In addition to the continuous-advance drive mode, the drive menu also includes the continuous-advance drive mode, a panning panorama function, and the video function. This is thus quite well hidden. There is no separate video recording button, so the shutter release has to take over this task. Fast switching between photos and videos is therefore not possible. Although videos are recorded in FullHD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels with modern MPEG-4 compression in MOV format, but only at 24 frames per second, which can be unpleasantly jerky when panning or moving fast. The sound is recorded in stereo via the internal microphone, unfortunately there is no external sound connection possibility. After all, the aperture on the lens can also be manually adjusted when filming, which increases the creative scope. Exposure time and sensitivity are automatically controlled, exposure compensation is available. The focus is gently and quietly adjusted while filming.

Unfortunately, the X-Pro1 does not have an integrated flash unit. But it offers a TTL system hot shoe, and there is also a very nice matching small flash, in case you don’t want to take a big one. Various standard flash settings and a flash exposure correction are then available. Even studio flash systems can be operated via the flash sync socket.

Lens

Fujifilm uses its own lens bayonet for the X-Pro1, but currently only offers three suitable lenses. However, these are all of very high quality, but also cost a good 600 euros each. The most compact is the 18-millimetre wide-angle, whose angle of view on the APS-C sensor of the X-Pro1 corresponds to a 27-millimetre small-image lens. It offers a high luminous intensity with F2.0. With a focal length of 53 millimetres in relation to 35 mm, the 35 mm is the standard lens and, with a maximum aperture of F1.4, is particularly fast. The trio is rounded off by the 60 millimetre macro. It is not only suitable for macro photography, but also for portraits and conventional telephoto photography. With F2.4 it is the weakest of the three lenses, at the same time it is the largest.

The autofocus of the X-Pro1 is quite fast, but also very audible. In bright environments, it has no problem finding the point of focus precisely and accurately, which always takes less than half a second. The situation is different indoors, even in daylight. Especially the macro lens needs higher contrasts, focusing on faces can be difficult. The autofocus becomes slower and when the subject is moving, such as children playing, it has even greater problems. Switching to manual focus is unfortunately not a good way out, because the electronic focusing ring has an extremely long gear ratio, which means that if you shoot for a long time, you can focus precisely, but not quickly. As an added annoyance, the aperture of the lens works independently of the aperture selected on the lens ring, depending on the ambient light in LiveView. The brighter it is, the further the aperture closes and the more difficult it is to focus precisely when shooting with the aperture open. This is because, in the actual photo, the targeted point, which still appeared sharp in LiveView, can be out of focus because the depth of field is not sufficient. Unfortunately, it also does not help to control the sharpness in the image by a magnifying glass in the playback function, as incomprehensibly, when pressing the playback button, the sharpness at the lens is automatically adjusted by the camera. It remains to be hoped that Fujifilm will fix both problems with a new firmware (update 2020. See links to the firmware to solve these and other small issues) and, best of all, also make the focus ring ratio adjustable or extend it to two speed levels.

Another annoyance of the lenses is the aperture ring, which lacks a lock in automatic position. The grid is not very tight, and so the aperture can shift when you take it out on the photo bag. The exposure time wheel, on the other hand, has a lock in automatic position. By the way, all three lenses can be switched to macro mode with a button on the camera to focus on objects at short distances.

The closure used is an ordinary slotted shutter, which is open as standard. The X-Pro1 also produces an audible, natural shutter release sound, but this is not too obtrusive. The APS-C sensor has an automatic cleaning function that is activated every time the camera is turned off. In addition, the sensor can also be cleaned by menu command.

Image quality

The CMOS sensor of the X-Pro1 has a new color filter system (see screenshot below), which is clearly different from the classic Bayer pattern (see also the pattern below). The new arrangement should be more similar to the randomly scattering film grain – and thus less susceptible to artifacts and moiré patterns. That’s why Fujifilm even dispenses with a low-pass filter, which normally makes the image artificially slightly blurred in order to suppress moiré. In fact, in practice the camera is hardly susceptible to moiré and shows a very good pixel sharpness. But we also tested the camera in our lab with all three lenses in order to gather more accurate data about the image quality.

As already mentioned at the beginning, ISO 100, 12,800 and 25,600 are not part of the normal range. This is shown, among other things, by the fact that some measurements could not be evaluated at ISO 25.600 and that deviations from ISO 200 at ISO 100 sometimes show up as worse values. For example, the input dynamics, which reaches its best values in the range of ISO 200 to 1,600 with over eleven aperture stops. However, it is also good at ISO 100, 3,200 and 6,400 with almost ten aperture stops, and at ISO 12,800 there is already a clear drop to just nine aperture stops. The signal-to-noise ratio, on the other hand, reaches its best value of 45 dB at ISO 100, and up to ISO 800 the camera remains at a good more than 40 dB. The signal-to-noise ratio becomes bad from ISO 6.400. The almost linear drop suggests that Fujifilm is using a rather restrained noise reduction. This is also evident in the brightness noise, which is barely visible up to ISO 3.200, but increases more and more noticeably afterwards. Color noise, on the other hand, is well suppressed.

The measured value of detail reproduction is almost astonishingly good across all ISO sensitivities. Up to ISO 1.600, the X-Pro1 is on a very good level, there is no loss of detail to be seen. Even at ISO 3.200 and 6.400 the loss is low and therefore the sharpness of detail can be described as good. Only at the extreme values of 12,800 and 25,600 do the details become visibly less. At ISO 100, the tonal value curve shows a rather neutral reproduction, but from ISO 200 on, it is steeper and reproduces medium brightness levels with more contrast. Up to ISO 400 the X-Pro1 differentiates almost 256 gray value levels and is thus almost at the ideal value, up to ISO 3.200 it remains at a good over 160 gradations. Color differentiation shows even better values: Up to ISO 800 it is over 23 of the maximum possible 24 bits, up to ISO 6,400 it remains at a good over 22 bits – which still corresponds to over four million colors. The deviation of the recorded colors from the actual colors is also small on average, but shows somewhat stronger deviations, especially for blue, red and violet, which can be confidently recorded under “Manufacturer Characteristics”. Compared to many a competitor’s camera, the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 is one of the best in all aspects considered so far.

The lenses also play a major role in image quality. The XF 35 mm F1.4 R has an extremely good resolution in the image center even at open aperture, with a value of over 50 line pairs per millimeter (lp/mm), an excellent value for a 16 megapixel camera. The resolution does not increase with further fading, but also hardly decreases, so that even at F16, almost 50 lp/mm is still reached in the image center. However, the edge resolution with open aperture is only slightly more than 30 lp/mm. The 40 lp/mm are only exceeded at the edge of the image by four stops down to F5.6, the most uniform and highest performance is only achieved at aperture F11. In practice, however, this should not be a problem, because when cropping, the sharpness is seldom placed at the edges of the image, and if a high level of sharpness is required over the entire image field, the image is dimmed anyway and then aperture F8 or F11 is selected in order to achieve a large depth of field. Neither chromatic aberrations nor distortion play a major role. The lens has a minimal (about 0.3 percent) barrel shape, which is hardly visible in the images. The edge dimming is also very low, at F1.4 it reaches almost half an aperture stop, from F2.8 it is less than a third of an aperture stop, which is practically negligible. So the 35 is convincing as a normal lens, only the blur at the edges at open aperture is a problem.

The XF 18 mm F2 R should always be used when wide landscapes, architecture, narrow rooms or groups of people are to be photographed. Distortion and vignetting are well corrected, so that the 18 is not naked here. Chromatic aberrations, on the other hand, are more pronounced than in the 35. Although they are hardly visible on average, they can be disturbing on strong contrasting edges, especially towards the edge of the image. Here, the color fringes become more pronounced the more you fade out, which is a bit unsightly. The sharpness of the lens is not quite as high as on the 35. Only at F2.8 is a value of almost 50 lp/mm reached in the image center. More problematic is the edge resolution, which cannot even remotely match the image center at any aperture. A possible cause could be the assumed electronic correction of the distortion, so here the devil with the Beelzebub was driven out. Again, the best aperture is F11, where 49 lp/mm is achieved at the center of the image and 34 lp/mm at the edges.

The XF 60 mm F2.4 R Macro, on the other hand, convinces all along the line! There are no significant chromatic aberrations, edge darkening, distortion or edge loss of resolution. At each aperture, the resolution in the center and at the edge of the image is almost identical, but with about 45 lp/mm, the 60’s does not quite reach the resolution of the 35’s.

Conclusion

For a mirrorless system camera, the Fujifilm X-Pro1 turns out to be very clunky, but it convinces with an excellent workmanship. The optical part of the viewfinder is compromising because of its only two-stage magnification, the electronic part on the other hand is convincing, as is the extra bright display. The operating concept, which is based on that of classic cameras, works excellently for the basic functions, even if, for example, there is no locking device for the automatic position at the aperture on the lens. The video function, on the other hand, is well hidden, and those who are looking for motif programmes are logically completely wrong with the X-Pro1. But the system camera is most convincing in terms of image quality. This is also due to the excellent fixed focal lengths, of which especially the 35 and 60 are optically outstanding. Even if Fujifilm does not expand its lens program contrary to plans, you will have fun with this timeless camera for a long time.

Profile

Profile
Manufacturer Fujifilm
Model X-Pro1
Price approx. 2.200** at market launch
Sensor Resolution 16.3 megapixels
Max. Image resolution 4.896 x 3.264
(aspect ratio) (3:2)
Lens XF 35 mm F1.4 R
Filter thread 52 mm
Viewfinder Hybrid
Field of view 100 % (electronic)
Resolution 1.44 million
Dioptre compensation yes
LCD monitor 3″
Resolution 1.23 million
rotatable
swiveling
as viewfinder yes
Video output HDMI
as viewfinder
Automatic programming yes
Automatic aperture control yes
Automatic timer yes
manual exposure yes
BULB long time exposure yes (B and T mode
Scene modes
Portrait
Children/baby
Landscape
Macro
Sports/action
Additional scene modes
Exposure metering Multi-field, centre-weighted Integral, Spot
Flash
Guide number
Flash connection System hot shoe and sync socket
Remote release Wire
Interval recording
Storage medium SD/SDHC/SDXC
Video mode
Format MOV
Codec H.264/AVC
Resolution (max.) 1.920 x 1.080
at frame rate 24
Sensitivity
automatically ISO 200-3.200 (upper limit adjustable)
manually ISO 100-25,600
White balance
Automatic yes
Sun yes
Clouds yes
Fluorescent lamp yes
Incandescent lamp yes
Miscellaneous Underwater, manual colour temperature selection
Manually yes
Autofocus
Number of measurement fields 1
AF auxiliary light white
Speed approx. 0,4 s
Languages English
further 34 additional languages
Switch-on time approx. 0,7 s
One-hand operation
(zoom and shutter release)
Weight
(Ready for operation)
approx. 440 g (body only
)approx. 640 g (with lens**)
Continuous shooting function*
Number of serial images 19 (JPEG
)11(RAW)
Frequency
(frames/s
)
5.2 (JPEG
)5.3 (RAW)
Continuous run
(images/s)
1.4 (JPEG
)0.3 (RAW)
with flash
Zoom
Zoom adjustment
Zoom levels
Time WW to Tele
Memory speeds*
JPEG 2.0 s (6.6 MByte)
RAW 4.5 s (24.9 MByte)
Trip during
.Saving possible.
yes
Battery life about 300 pictures (according to CIPA)
– = “not applicable
“* with Panasonic 4 GByte Class 10 Gold SDHC memory card**
with Fujifilm XF 35 mm F1.4 R lens

Brief assessment

Pros

  • Very high image quality with sharp, low-noise photos
  • Good performance and good user experience
  • Bright, large, optical and electronic hybrid viewfinder
  • Excellently processed housing, looks and feels solid in the hands

Cons

  • Imprecise illuminated frame of the optical hybrid viewfinder
  • Tripod thread outside the optical axis and too close to the battery/memory card compartment
  • Slow manual focus adjustment also loses focus when switching to playback
  • Cumbersome video function without external sound connection

Firmware updates for X-Pro1, X-Pro2 and twelve lenses: Numerous improvements

Füjifilm releases new firmware for the two mirrorless system cameras X-Pro1 and X-Pro2 as well as for twelve lenses. While the firmware 3.70 for the X-Pro1 brings only a small improvement in the AF-field insertion in the optical viewfinder (parallax correction), there are 20 improvements for the X-Pro2. Among other things, the autofocus is brought up to the level of the newer X-T2, underlining Fujifilm’s two-flagship strategy. With this update, the lenses all receive improved parallax correction values for the X-Pro1 and X-Pro2.

Three Lenses Available For The Fujifilm X-Pro1

With the X-Pro1 and three matching lenses – XF 18 mm F2 R, XF 35 mm F1.4 R and XF 60 mm F2.4 R Macro – Fujifilm recently launched its own mirrorless camera system. When it comes to looks and feel, the manufacturer took clear inspiration from the retro look of the FinePix X100, which celebrated unexpectedly great success. Everyone wondered when she would come with interchangeable lens bayonet. In addition, Fujifilm once again breaks with the classic Bayer color filter in the X-Pro1 and wants to be able to do without a low-pass filter with its new color filter arrangement, which should benefit the image sharpness in particular.

With ISO 100 to 25,600, the X-Pro1 covers a wide sensitivity range, although ISO 100, 12,800, and 25,600 are not included in the “normal range. This is shown, among other things, by the fact that some measurements could not be evaluated at ISO 25.600 and that deviations to poorer values are sometimes seen at ISO 100. For example, the input dynamics, which reaches its best values in the range of ISO 200 to 1,600 with over eleven aperture stops. However, it is also good at ISO 100, 3,200 and 6,400 with almost ten aperture stops, and at ISO 12,800 there is already a clear drop to just nine aperture stops (see diagram below). The signal-to-noise ratio, on the other hand, reaches its best value of 45 dB at ISO 100, and up to ISO 800 the camera remains at a good over 40 dB. The signal-to-noise ratio becomes bad from ISO 6.400. The almost linear drop suggests that Fujifilm is using a rather restrained noise reduction. This is also evident in the brightness noise, which is barely visible up to ISO 3.200, but increases more and more noticeably afterwards. Color noise on the other hand is well suppressed.

The measured value of detail reproduction is almost astonishingly good across all ISO sensitivities. Up to ISO 1.600, the X-Pro1 is on a very good level, there is no loss of detail to be seen. Even at ISO 3,200 and 6,400, the loss is low and therefore the sharpness of detail can be described as good. Only at the extreme values of 12,800 and 25,600 do the details become visibly less. At ISO 100, the tonal value curve shows a rather neutral reproduction, but from ISO 200 on, it is steeper and reproduces medium brightness levels with more contrast. Up to ISO 400 the X-Pro1 differentiates almost 256 gray value levels and is thus almost at the ideal value, up to ISO 3.200 it remains at a good over 160 gradations. Color differentiation shows even better values: Up to ISO 800 it is over 23 of the maximum possible 24 bits, up to ISO 6,400 it remains at a good over 22 bits – which still corresponds to over four million colors. The deviation of the recorded colors from the actual colors is also small on average, but shows somewhat stronger deviations, especially for blue, red and violet, which can be confidently recorded under “Manufacturer Characteristics”. Compared to many a competitor’s camera, the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 is one of the best in all aspects considered so far.

But the lenses also play a major role in the image quality, of which there are currently only three, all of which we were able to test in the laboratory. These are exclusively fixed focal lengths, which are sold for around 600 euros each – which raises high expectations for us. The XF 35 mm F1.4 R corresponds to a 53 mm lens on a 35 mm camera and is comparable to a classic, fast standard lens. In the center of the image, it already resolves extremely well at open aperture, with a value of over 50 line pairs per millimeter (lp/mm). The resolution does not increase with further fading, but also hardly decreases, so that even at F16 almost 50 lp/mm is still reached in the center of the image. However, the edge resolution with open aperture is only slightly more than 30 lp/mm. The 40 lp/mm are only exceeded at the edge of the image by four stops down to F5.6, the most uniform and highest performance is only achieved at aperture F11. In practice, however, this should not be a problem, because when cropping, the sharpness is seldom placed at the edges of the image, and if a high level of sharpness is required over the entire image field, the image is dimmed anyway and then aperture F8 or F11 is selected in order to achieve a large depth of field. Neither chromatic aberrations nor distortion play a major role. The lens has a minimal (about 0.3 percent) barrel shape, which is hardly visible in the images. The edge dimming is also very low, at F1.4 it reaches almost half an aperture stop, from F2.8 it is less than a third of an aperture stop, which is practically negligible. So the 35 is convincing as a normal lens, only the blur at the edges at open aperture is a problem.

The XF 18 mm F2 R is equivalent to a 27 mm 35 mm lens and should therefore always be used when wide landscapes, architecture, narrow rooms or groups of people are to be photographed. Distortion and vignetting are well corrected, so that the 18 is not naked here. Chromatic aberrations, on the other hand, are more pronounced than in the 35. Although they are hardly visible on average, they can be disturbing on strong contrasting edges, especially towards the edge of the image. Here, the color fringes become more pronounced the more you fade out, which is a bit unsightly. The sharpness of the lens is not quite as high as on the 35. Only at F2.8 is a value of almost 50 lp/mm reached in the image center. More problematic is the edge resolution, which cannot even remotely match the image center at any aperture. A possible cause could be the assumed electronic correction of the distortion. Again, the best aperture is F11, where 49 lp/mm is achieved at the center of the image and 34 lp/mm at the edges.

The XF 60 mm F2.4 R Macro is also exciting, as its small-frame equivalent focal length of 90 millimetres should make it equally suitable for macros and portraits. The lens convinces all along the line! There are no significant chromatic aberrations, edge darkening, distortion or edge loss of resolution. At each aperture, the resolution in the center and at the edge of the image is almost identical, but with about 45 lp/mm, the 60’s does not quite reach the resolution of the 35’s. The ’60s only has one Achilles’ heel: The autofocus. It is a bit slow with this lens and needs strong contrasts to find its target reliably at all. This does not make portrait shots easy, as the lens can focus well on the shirt collar in daylight, but not on the eyes, hairline or nose. Especially moving scene like running children are no fun. Even with manual focusing you hardly have a chance, because the adjustment range on the focus ring is much too large.

With the 35mm standard lens, the autofocus was sufficiently fast at least in the test lab with less than 0.4 seconds, the shutter release delay of only 0.05 seconds is very good.

Manufacturer Fujifilm Fujifilm Fujifilm
Model XF 18 mm F2 R XF 35 mm F1.4 R XF 60 mm F2.4 R Macro
Price (EIA) 579,00 EUR 579,00 EUR 629,00 EUR
Bayonet connection Fujifilm XF Fujifilm XF Fujifilm XF
Focal length 18.0 mm 35.0 mm 60.0 mm
Luminous intensity (maximum aperture) F2 F1,4 F2,4
Smallest aperture F16 F16 F22
KB full format irrelevant irrelevant irrelevant
Lens system 8 lenses in 7 groups incl.
aspherical lens(es
)
8 lenses in 6 groups incl.
aspherical lens(es
)
10 lenses in 8 group incl.
ED and aspherical lenses
Number of aperture blades 7 7 9
Close-up limit 180 mm 280 mm 267 mm
Image stabilizer available no no no
Autofocus available yes yes yes
Water/dust protection no no no
Filter thread 52 mm 52 mm 39mm
Dimensions (diameter x length) 65 x 41 mm 65 x 55 mm 64 x 71 mm
Lens weight 116 g 187 g 215 g

Fujifilm X-Pro1 Data Sheet

Electronics

Sensor CMOS sensor APS-C 23.6 x 15.8 mm (crop factor 1.5
)16.3 megapixels (effective)
Pixelpitch 4.8 µm
Photo resolution
4.896 x 2.760 pixels (16:9)
4.896 x 2.752 pixels (16:9)
3.456 x 1.944 pixels (16:9)
3.264 x 3.264 pixels (1:1)
2.592 x 2.592 pixels (1:1)
2.496 x 1.664 pixels (3:2)
2.496 x 1.408 pixels (16:9)
2.304 x 2.304 pixels (1:1)
1.664 x 1.664 pixels (1:1)
Image formats JPG, RAW
Metadata Exif (version 2.3), DCF standard
Video resolution
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 24 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 24 p
Maximum recording time 29 min
Video format
MPG4 (Codec H.264)

Lens

Lens mount
Fujifilm XF

Focus

Autofocus functions Single AF, Continuous AF, Manual, AF Assist Light

Viewfinder and monitor

Viewfinder Optical viewfinder
Monitor 3.0″ TFT LCD monitor with 1,230,000 pixels

Exposure

Exposure metering Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement, spot measurement
Exposure times 1/4,000 to 1 s (Automatic
)1/4,000 to 30 s (Manual)
Bulb function
Exposure control Programmed automatic, Shutter priority, Aperture priority, Manual
Exposure bracketing function Bracketing function with a maximum of 3 shots, 1/3 to 1 EV increments
Exposure Compensation -2.0 to +2.0 EV with step size of 1/3 EV
Photosensitivity ISO 200 to ISO 6,400 (automatic
)ISO 100 to ISO 25,600 (manual)
Remote access Remote control via smartphone/tablet
Scene modes 0 further motif programs
Picture effects Dynamic Range (100%, 200% and 400%), film simulation (Provia, Velvia, Astia, Pro Neg)
White balance Automatic, Sun, Shadow, Underwater, Fluorescent lamp with 3 presets, Incandescent light, Manual
Continuous shooting 6.0 frames/s at highest resolution
Self-timer Self-timer with 2 s interval, special features: or 10 s (optional)
Recording functions AEL function, live histogram

Flashgun

Flash no built-in flash availableShoe
: Fujifilm, standard center contact
Flash range Flash sync speed 1/180 s
Flash functions Auto, fill-in flash, flash on, flash off, slow sync, red-eye reduction

Equipment

Image stabilizer no optical image stabilizer
Memory
SD
Internal memory yes
GPS function GPS external
Power supply unit Power supply connection
Power supply 1 x Fujifilm NP-W126 (Lithium Ion (Li-Ion)
)300 images according to CIPA standard
Playback functions Red eye retouching, image rotation, image index, slide show function
Special functions Orientation sensor, Live View
Connections Data interfaces: USBUSB type
:USB 2.0 High Speed
AV Connections AV output: HDMI output mini (type C)
Supported direct printing methods Exif Print, PictBridge
Tripod thread 1/4″
Special features and miscellaneous Ultrasonic Sensor Cleaning SystemFilm simulation bracket
(3 shots)
Dynamic range bracket (100%, 200% and 400%)
ISO sensitivity bracket ( 1/3, 2/3 and 1 EV)
Depth-of-field indicatorMulti-exposurebracket

Size and weight

Dimensions W x H x D 139 x 82 x 42 mm
Weight 450 g (ready for operation)

Miscellaneous

standard accessory Fujifilm BC-W126 Special Battery ChargerFujifilm
NP-W126 Special Battery ChargerBayonet LidLoopLoop StrapImage Editing SoftwareFinePix-Viewer for Windows and for Macintosh
additional accessories Fujifilm NP-W126 Special Battery Camera Case

 

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Peter Dench
Peter Dench
I am Peter Dench. Digital Photographer, born in London 1972, currently living in Deerfield, near Chicago. I have numerous photography expositions and also working in model photography. In this website, PhotoPoint, I usually review cameras provided by local dealers in Illinois and by the manufacturers. Sometimes I, Peter Dench, review lenses too, but only when I have a suitable camera for them. Please let me know in the comments if I can improve any of these articles.

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