Fujifilm X-Pro1


    Photo Review 8.8
    User Rating: 0/10 (0 votes cast)

    Thank you for rating!

    You have already rated this item, you can only rate it once!

    Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

    Log in or create a user account to rate.

    Fujifilm X-Pro1

      In summary

      Buy this camera if:
       - You want a compact digital rangefinder camera with a full suite of adjustable controls.
       - You require high-resolution and accurate colours in JPEG files.
       - You require high resolution and low noise levels at high ISO settings.
       - You’d like the ability to shoot HD video clips.

      Don’t buy this camera if:
       - You want image stabilisation for stills and video clips.
       - You want a wide range of interchangeable lenses. (Only three are currently available.)

      Full review

      Fujifilm's X-Pro 1 was announced at CES in January, just over a year after the first 'X-series' camera, the X100 was unveiled at Photokina 2010. At a launch event in Sydney, officials from Fujifilm declared development of the X-Pro 1 had started three years ago but the company felt it should wait until this year to release the camera.

      The X-Pro 1 clearly shows its heritage in its 'retro' design and photographer-friendly interface plus its APS-C sized sensor, all of which evoke the X100. But it ups the ante with higher resolution (16 MP vs 12MP), a new X-Trans CMOS sensor design and interchangeable lenses.
       

       Angled front view of the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 with the XF 35mm f/1.4 R lens fitted. (Source: Fujifilm.)

      Now in its second-generation, the hybrid view-finder in the new camera has similar specifications to the viewfinder in the X100, retaining the  1.4 million dots of resolution.  In the new camera, the optical finder is able to adjust to the lens mounted on the body by changing the size and/or position of the bright frame guide.

      It easily accommodates the 18mm f/2 and 35mm f/1.4 lenses, showing bright frame lines to indicate the image boundaries close to the borders of the view. However, for the  60mm f/2.4 lens its zoom range is limited and instead it displays a smaller bright frame in the centre of the field of view.

      Three lenses are offered with the new camera (and are reviewed separately concurrent with this review). The XF18mm f/2 R (27mm equivalent) covers a moderately wide angle of view, the XF 35mm f/1.4 R (53mm equivalent) represents a 'standard' lens and the XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro (90mm equivalent) provides a modest telephoto with close-up capabilities.
       

       The X-Pro 1 shown with the three lenses that will be available initially. (Source: Fujifilm.)

      According to a published 'roadmap' this year will see the release of two additional lenses, a 14mm f/2.8 prime lens and the first zoom, an 18-72mm f/4 with image stabilisation built in. Next year's schedule lists the additional lenses as a 28mm f/2.8 pancake lens, a 23mm f/2 prime, a 70-200mm f/4 OIS (optically stabilised) zoom lens and a 12-24mm f/4 OIS zoom.

      The camera comes beautifully packaged in a presentation box with shaped foam cushioning and a flip-over lid with what appears to be a magnetic closure. A separate box contains the battery, charger,  power and USB cables,  clip attaching tool, printed owner's manual and software disk.

      Both boxes are contained in a larger box made from lighter cardboard and printed with details of the product. The lenses are also double-boxed, with a separate folder for the warranty paper, owner's manual and soft carrying pouch. A 'hood cap' that clips over the front of the lens hood is provided with the 18mm and 35mm lenses.

      Build and Ergonomics
       Similar in size to the Leica M9, the X-Pro 1 is one of the larger non-reflex ILC (interchangeable-lens camera) models on the market. It's very well balanced when any of the lenses are fitted and traditionalists will feel right at home with the tactile feel of the camera and its controls. However, the lack of stabilisation in either the camera body or the lenses may cause apprehension in some potential buyers.

      The body of the X-Pro 1 is a little larger than the X100 and, with a lens fitted, it's also heavier. But the difference isn't great enough to be significant; both cameras are relatively small and slightly lighter than even an entry-level DSLR with the same-sized sensor.

      Front views of the X-Pro 1 (left) and X100 showing the changes in control layout. The X-Pro 1 is also shown with the add-on grip attached. (Source: Fujifilm.)

      The table below shows the main differences between the X-Pro 1 and its X100 sibling.

       

      X-Pro 1

      X100

      Sensor

      23.6 x15.6mm (APS-C) X-Trans CMOS with  primary colour filter

      23.6 x 15.8mm (APS-C) CMOS with primary colour filter

      Effective resolution

      16.3 megapixels

      12.3 megapixels

      Max. image size

      4896 x 3264 pixels

      4288 x 2848 pixels

      Storage media

      SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-I) cards

      Approx. 20MB internal plus SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-I) slot

      Lens/mount

      interchangeable/ Fujifilm X mount

      Non-interchangeable Fujinon 23mm f/2

      ISO range

      ISO 200-6400 (Standard Output Sensitivity); extension to  ISO 100 or ISO 12800 & ISO 25600 available

       ISO 200-6400 (Standard Output Sensitivity); extension to  ISO 100 or ISO 12800 available

      Shutter speeds/modes

      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

      P mode: 1/4 sec. to 1/4000 sec., All other modes: 30 sec. to 1/4000 sec., Bulb (max. 60 min.)

      Continuous shooting

      6 or 3 fps selectable for up to 6 shots

      5 or 3 fps selectable for up to 10 JPEGs, 8 RAF.RAW or RAW+JPEG

      Photography functions

      Select custom setting, Motion panorama, Colour space, Colour (Saturation), sharpness, Dynamic range, Film simulation, Gradation, Auto red-eye removal, Framing guideline, Frame No. memory, Histogram display, Preview depth of focus, Focus check, Electronic level, Multiple exposure, Date input, Fn button setting (One-touch RAW, Movie, etc)

      Select custom setting, Motion panorama, Colour space, Film simulation, Auto red-eye removal, Framing guideline, Frame No. memory, Histogram display, Preview depth of focus, Focus check, Electronic level, One-touch RAW

      Built-in flash

      No

      Yes

      Viewfinder eyepoint

      14 mm

      15mm

      LCD monitor

      3-inch RGBW LCD monitor with approx. 1,230,000 dots

      2.8-inch TFT LCD monitor with approx.  460,000 dots

      Movie recording

      1920 x 1080 pixels, 1280 x 720 pixels (24 frames/sec.) with stereo sound

      1280 x 720 pixels (24 frames/sec.) with stereo sound

      Power supply/rating

      NP-W126 rechargeable lithium-ion battery/ 300 shots/charge

      NP-95 rechargeable lithium-ion battery/ 300 shots/charge

      Dimensions

      139.5 x 81.8 x 42.5 mm (body only)

      126.5 x 74.4 x 53.9 mm

      Weight

      Approx. 400 grams (body only, without lens or battery and card)

      Approx. 405 grams (without battery and card)

      RRP (body only)

      AUD$1799, US$1700, GB £1429.95, €1600, ¥135,000

      AUD $1299, US$1200, GB £899.95, €1100

      Aside from its all-black body, the interchangeable lens mounting represents the most obvious difference between the X-Pro 1 and the X100 cameras, both in appearance and capabilities. Both cameras carry prominent 'Made in Japan' labels and are largely made from magnesium alloy with die-cast aluminium alloy top and base plates. Build quality for both camera and lenses is up to the standard set by the X100 and the entire kit is smart and stylish while nicely unobtrusive.

      The lenses lock positively into the mounting plate and feel solid and secure.  The three lenses are also relatively small and light for their large maximum apertures. Consequently, the complete camera kit, comprising body, three lenses, battery and memory card weighs less than one kilogram.
      As on the X100, the shutter speed and exposure compensation dials are precision milled from solid metal. A synthetic leather cladding gives a quality look and durability and the viewfinder eyepiece is designed to minimise light leakage when in use.

       Eye sensors on its inner side switch the camera automatically between monitor and viewfinder displays when you raise the camera to your eye. Pressing the View Mode button allows users to switch display modes manually.

      The proprietary X-Mount lens mount is designed to optimise the mirrorless design of the camera body. Its short flange back distance of 17.7 mm positions the rear elements of the lenses as close as possible to the sensor to ensure optimal edge-to-edge sharpness in images.

      Although the body moulding on the X-Pro 1 is similar to the X100's, you can add a larger grip to make the camera a little more comfortable to hold. This will be welcomed by photographers with larger hands. There's no built-in flash but three accessory flashguns (the EF-20, EF-42 and EF-X20) are offered for attaching the hot-shoe on the top panel.  
      Fujifilm has made a couple of changes to the control layout on the new camera. One of the most noticeable adjustments is to the orientation of the OVF/EVF lever on the front panel, which has been inverted so you don't have to move your finger from the shutter release to switch between OVF and EVF.

      The Hybrid Viewfinder is similar to the one in the X100. The optical mode provides brightest viewing image with the briefest shutter lag, while the electronic viewfinder provides a 'Live View' of shot composition with focus confirmation, exposure information, white balance information and depth of field indicators visible as overlays. The illustration below shows the information displayed in the OVF and EFV modes.

       
       Differing views with the OVF (left) and EVF (right) modes. Key: 1 = Exposure Compensation, 2 = Depth of Field Indicator, 3 = Shutter Speed, 4 = Exposure Mode, 5 = Image Quality and Size, 6 = Number of Available Frames, 7 = AF Target Mark, 8 = Distance Indicator, 9 = ISO Sensitivity, 10 = Lens Aperture, 11 = Shooting Frame (OVF only). (Source: Fujifilm.)
       

      The magnification changes to 0.37x for the 18mm lens, and to 0.60x when the 35mm or 60mm lens is mounted. For the 60mm, the size of the bright frame is reduced to cover the field of view of the lens. Holding the lever switch down for a little longer that two seconds enables users to set a focal distance and switch between viewfinder magnifications manually.
       

       The magnifying system in the X-Pro 1's viewfinder. (Source: Fujifilm.)

      Unfortunately, the viewfinder is non-adjustable so if your vision is sufficiently imperfect you'll probably need dioptre adjustment lens to compensate. (Cosina adjustment lenses are recommended.) This is a significant deficiency in a camera that would otherwise have great appeal to well-heeled older buyers.

      The focus mode switch has been moved to the front panel, where it's less likely to be re-set inadvertently. The standard modes are provided: AF-S, AF-C and M. However, the AF system in the X-Pro 1 has been revved up to be faster and more effective. Manual focusing has also been improved and now requires fewer turns of the focusing rings on the lenses.

      When you use the LCD monitor or EVF for composing shots you have access to a 7 x 7 array of AF sensor points. This is reduced to a 5 x 5 point array with the OVF.  Setting Area for the AF mode and S for the focus mode allows you to select any sensor point in either array. If you swap between the OVF and the EVF or monitor, the camera will use the closest frame  to your original selection.

      The size of the AF frame is adjustable when shooting with the LCD monitor or EVF. It can be reduced to 50% or enlarged up to 150% by rotating the command dial. A distance scale is displayed in the viewfinder, along with a depth-of field scale and aperture value. Users can preview manual focusing in Live View and use the one-touch Focus Point Zoom to confirm focus.
       The viewfinder window appears slightly smaller in the new camera but the AF-assist/self-timer LED, which is located close to the OVF/EVF lever seems slightly larger and brighter. Microphone holes are located on either side of this lamp. The stereo separation isn't great but not untypical of a compact camera.
       

       The top panel of the X-Pro 1, shown  without a lens. (Source: Fujifilm.)

      Changes to the top panel are relatively minor. The curve from the hot-shoe to the control dials is a gentler slope than the abrupt step in the X100. This allows the shutter speed dial to be partially recessed into the top panel. A button has been added to the centre of this dial for locking the camera in aperture priority mode.

      The customisable Function (Fn) button on the top of the camera is physically larger than the X100's but performs the same tasks. The EV compensation dial is also recessed into the body and has more definite click-stops to prevent accidental re-setting. 
       

       The rear panel of the X-Pro 1. (Source: Fujifilm.)

      On the rear panel, an arrow pad replaces the rotating dial, although the central Menu/OK button remains. The horizontal buttons access the program shift settings and toggle between settings within selected modes, while the vertical button accesses the macro mode and toggles between frame rates in the continuous shooting mode.

      Drive functions have been re-allocated to a button to the left of the monitor screen, which sits above the AE and AF mode buttons. The drive settings toggle from  single frame to multiple frames recording and include panorama, video and bracketing modes.

       
       Pressing the Drive button accesses eight modes, including the movie mode.

      The Playback button now sits just above the arrow pad and a new View Mode button for switching between monitor and viewfinder is located a little to the right of the viewfinder eyepiece. To the right of the View Mode button is an indicator lamp that glows green when focus is locked, blinks green for focus or exposure warnings, blinks green and orange which images are being recorded and blinks red to indicate lens or memory error.

      Further right is the main command dial, which can be used to navigate the menus, view the last shot and select the options in the quick menu display (see below). You can also press the centre of the command dial to zoom in on the area selected for manual focus or to view the active focus point during playback.

      A new panel with two vertical buttons is located close to the right side of the rear panel, ending just above the arrow pad. It contains a dual-purpose AE-L/AF-L control and a new Q button, which replaces the RAW button on the X100.

      The battery and memory card share a compartment in the base of the camera, which has a latched cover. A metal-lined tripod socket  sits close to it, slightly off the lens axis.

      The USB and HDMI connectors are located under a lift-up cover on the right hand side panel. A speaker grille and flash sync terminal can be found near the lower edge of the left hand side panel.

      Controls
       Although many of the controls carry over from the X100 (and other X-series cameras), the menu system in the X-Pro 1 has been rationalised to make frequently-used controls easier to find than they were previously. However, we suspect the majority of users will resort to the Q button for changing most camera settings.

      Pressing the Q button calls up an array of commonly used settings (16 in all), as shown below. The arrow pad buttons are used to select which function to adjust, while rotating the command dial scrolls through the settings within the selected function. It's a great time-saver to have all the adjustments you use available via a single screen.
       

       
      The Quick menu screen, which is displayed by pressing the Q button.

      In the main menu, tabs ranged down the left hand side of the monitor allow you to access different 'pages' of grouped adjustable settings so you no longer need to scroll endlessly to locate the setting you need to change. Items on the first page of the shooting modes include ISO, image size, image quality, dynamic range, film simulation, film simulation bracketing and self-timer, to provide an example.
       

       The X-Pro 1's revised menu structure.

      The following pages contain white balance, colour, sharpness, highlight and shadow tone, noise reduction, long exposure noise reduction, select/save and edit custom settings and AF mode adjustments. Multiple exposures, display settings, framing guides and flash settings are also selected here, along with movie resolution.
       

       White balance can be fine-tuned  via the Kelvin settings in the menu or by pressing the right horizontal arrow pad button, which opens an adjustment palette, shown above.

      Two additional film types, Pro-Neg High (for higher contrast and saturation) and Pro-Neg Standard (lower contrast and gentler skin tones) have been added to the Film Simulation options. Film simulation bracketing enables users to create three JPEG files from one shot using different film characteristics.

      Film Simulation modes for colour: top row - Provia/Standard, Velvia/Vivid; middle row - Astia/Soft, Pro Neg. Hi; bottom row - Pro Neg. Std.

      Monochrome shooters can benefit from additional settings that replicate the effects of colour filters on B&W films. In addition to the standard sepia filter, there are yellow, red and green filters  for darkening blue skies to emphasise clouds and brightening green vegetation. 

       
       Options available for monochrome shots: top row - Monochrome, Monochrome + Ye Filter; middle row - Monochrome + R Filter, Monochrome + G Filter; bottom row - Sepia.

      The Multiple Exposure mode is new and allows users to superimpose a second shot over the last shot taken. The first image is displayed on the monitor or in the EVF to aid shot composition, although the second (overlaid) image often appeared very faint when we tried this mode out, making it difficult to see whether it was in focus.

      Exposures are adjusted automatically as the two shots are combined. If you don't like what you see, pressing the Disp/Back button saves the first shot and exits multiple exposure mode.

      The setup pages in the menu contain all the regular options, including frame numbering, date/time configuration, LCD brightness, power saving, sensor cleaning and camera start-up and image display times.  You can choose the direction for turning the focusing ring on the lens, set the camera to fire the shutter when no lens is attached and configure the function for the Fn button.

      The colour space choices (sRGB and Adobe RGB) are also found here, along with the Format control. You can also find settings for displaying guidance tips and choosing the background colour scheme for the menu in the setup pages.

      Sensor and Image Processing
       The X-Pro 1 introduces a new X-Trans CMOS sensor, developed and manufactured by Fujifilm to provide high resolution. The company claims it can match or exceed the resolution of  full frame sensor with the same megapixel count.

      Extracting an effective resolution of 16.3 megapixels from the photosite array it features a new colour filter pattern that eliminates the need for an optical low-pass filter. Because low-pass filters tend to soften images slightly, the full resolution potential of the sensor can be realised. 

      A new colour filter array has been developed based on the random structure of film grain to replace the standard Bayer pattern of regular red, green and blue filters. Unlike the Bayer array it arranges the RGB  filters in 6 x 6 pixel sets with a high degree of randomness, as shown in the diagrams below.

      The diagrams above show the conventional Bayer colour filter pattern (top) and the new Fujifilm-developed filter array used in the X-Pro 1 (below). Key: 1= camera lens, 2 = sensor, 3 = optical low pass filter, 4 =simulated film grain structure. (Source: Fujifilm.)

      By increasing the randomness of the colour filters the new filter eliminates the moiré patterns produced by regular arrays. At the same time, having an R, G and B pixel in every vertical and horizontal pixel series minimises the chances of generating false colours. The end result is sharper images with more accurate colour reproduction.

      Coupled to the sensor is a new EXR Processor Pro, which has been designed to be better able to process the image signal data. By maximising the full potential of the X-Trans CMOS sensor,  Fujifilm claims it ensures fast and precise  image processing. 

      The X-Pro 1's native sensitivity range spans from ISO 200 to ISO 6400 but users can extend it downwards to ISO 100 or push it up to ISO 12800 and ISO 25600 through settings in the shooting menu. (The extensions are only possible for JPEGs.) High ISO and long exposure noise reduction are available as discrete settings.

      Five levels of noise reduction processing are provided, selectable by balancing image sharpness against noise suppression. Users can also fine-tune the noise in high-sensitivity modes by selecting any of five levels: 0 (the default), +1 or +2 High settings or -1 or -2 Low settings. (Some noise reduction processing appears to be applied automatically above a certain ISO level.)

      By default, image files are recorded in JPEG format, although users can opt for RAF.RAW or RAW+JPEG pairs. For JPEGs, three aspect ratios are available:  3:2, 16:9 and a 1:1 setting to bring it in line with the X10 and X-S1 models.  All raw files are recorded with a 3:2 aspect ratio, regardless of the settings selected in the camera. 

      Typical file sizes are shown in the table below. Note: these file sizes are approximate because file size will vary according to the complexity of the subject recorded. Detailed subjects will produce significantly larger files than those containing large areas of clear blue sky.

      Aspect ratio

      Image Size

      Resolution

      Fine

      Normal

      3:2

      RAW

      4896 x 3264

      25.0MB

      RAW+JPEG

      4896 x 3264

      23.5MB

      L

      4896 x 3264

      6.45MB

      4.04MB

      M

      3456 x 2304

      4.04MB

      2.07MB

      S

      2496 x 1664

      2.16MB

      1.13MB

      16:9

      L

      4896 x 2760

      5.48MB

      3.45MB

      M

      3456 x 1994

      3.45MB

      1.75MB

      S

      2496 x 1408

      1.84MB

      0.97MB

      1:1

      L

      3264 x 3264

      4.31MB

      2.76MB

      M

      2304 x 2304

      2.72MB

      1.43MB

      S

      1664 x 1664

      1.45MB

      1.00MB

      The 'Motion Panorama' modes in the X-Pro 1 are the same as the X100's and selected via the drive settings. They are distinguished by their angle of view (either 180 or 120 degrees, selected by toggling the left horizontal arrow pad button) and their direction (selected with the right arrow pad button). The table below shows the number of panoramas you can fit on an 8GB card in both modes.

      Angle & direction

      Resolution

      Capacity of 8GB card

      Fine

      Normal

      180 degrees vertical

      7680 x 2160

      970 images

      1910 images

      180 degrees horizontal

      7680 x 1440

      1440 images

      2820 images

      120 degrees vertical

      5120 x 2160

      1440 images

      2820 images

      120 degrees horizontal

      5120 x 1440

      2140 images

      4210 images

      Continuous shooting is also accessed via the Drive modes and the X-Pro 1 supports two frame rates: six frames/second and three frames/second. Frame rates are selected with the up/down buttons on the arrow pad, while the horizontal buttons and used to set the number of shots per burst.

      Focus and exposure are locked on the first frame in each burst and the capture speed slows gradually as the buffer memory fills. Interestingly, it's easy to identify files captured with the burst mode; unlike single-shot files, which have 'DSCFxxxx' prefixes, the burst files are labelled  'S001xxxx'.

      Video
      The X-Pro 1 supports both Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) and HD modes (1280 x 720 pixels) using progressive scanning and supporting a frame rate of 24 frames/second. Soundtracks are recorded in stereo using the built-in microphones astride the AF-assist/self-timer lamp.

      No connection is provided for an external microphone and the menu provides no facilities for adjusting sound levels – or monitoring them in playback. There's also no wind cut filter available and the microphones are quite susceptible to wind noise.

      Like the X100, the X-Pro 1 lacks a direct movie start/stop button. Instead, movies are recorded by pressing the Drive button and toggling down to the movie mode. Pressing the shutter button starts and stops recording. There's an upper limit of 29 minutes per movie.

      Focus, exposure and white balance are adjusted automatically while clips are recorded. You can zoom in by up to 3x by pressing the magnify (Drive /+) button, although not while a clips is being recorded. Recording will stop automatically after 10 minutes or when the available memory runs out.

      Playback and Software
       Recorded images and video clips can be played back on the LCD monitor or viewed in the EVF and the X-Pro 1 supports the usual suite of playback modes. Pressing the Play button displays the last image recorded and users can increase the number of frames displayed by pressing the AE/- button or reduce the number by pressing the Drive /+ button. Up to 100 thumbnails can be displayed at  a time.

      Four formats are available for viewing photo information: basic data, details (2 pages) and active focus point and you can zoom in on the active focus point with the command control wheel. Pressing the + and - buttons lets you zoom in on displayed shots, the magnification depending on the image's resolution.

      Other playback functions include rotate, erase (selected frames or all), protect, crop and slide show play. In-camera red-eye correction is also supported.

      You can also Rate images by pressing the Disp/Back button and mark them for upload or protection or tag them as 'favourites'.  Image searching options include by date, by face, by rating, by type of data (JPEG, AW or movie) and by upload mark. If you've assigned RAW to the Fn button, pressing it in playback mode saves a copy of the shot in JPEG format. Adjustments available in this mode include push and pull processing, dynamic range controls, film simulation and white balance fine-tuning.
       

       In-camera conversion options for producing JPEG copies of RAF.RAW images. 

      The Photobook assist function enables users to select images for assembly into photo books. The first image selected becomes the cover with subsequent selections on sequential pages. Up to 300 pictures can be tagged. Photobooks created in the camera can be copied to a computer for viewing or printing via the supplied MyFinePix Studio software.

      Nothing much has changed in MyFinePix Studio, which combines image viewing with basic editing (2D and 3D) and uploading to social networking sites. It also supports cameras with built-in GPS data loggers. The version supplied with the X-Pro 1 includes an uninspiring raw file converter based on Silkypix technology.

      Performance
       Traditionalists will find the X-Pro 1 a pleasure to use as most controls are logically arranged and easy to access. The camera was a pleasure to use and delivered excellent results. Colour reproduction was true-to-life in with the default Provia/Standard setting and the other Film Simulation modes provided relatively subtle adjustments.

      Autofocusing was noticeably faster than the X100's but not quite fast enough to cover sports shooting or similar fast-moving subjects. For stationary and slow-moving subjects, the three lenses locked onto subjects with acceptable speed and accuracy under most conditions.

      Unfortunately, the 60mm Macro lens was prone to hunting  with close-up shots, regardless of how well the subject was lit. Lower light levels dramatically increased the focus lag as well as the number of blurred shots.

      Exposure metering was consistently reliable with all three metering patterns, provided they were used appropriately. The default settings appeared to handle backlit subjects and scenes with a wide brightness range very well and blown-out highlights or blocked-up shadows were seldom found. When they occurred, it was only in extreme situations.

      We've reviewed each of the three current lenses separately but have used the middle-of-the-range XF 35mm f/1.4 R lens (which yielded the highest resolutions) for the Imatest results reported upon in this section.

      Because the X-Pro 1 only supports the proprietary Fujifilm RAF.RAW raw file format and Adobe Camera Raw 6.6 (the latest version) didn't support the X-Pro 1 when this review was prepared, we were forced to use the supplied software to process the raw files we shot. On the basis of our Imatest results (see below), we feel it's a pity Fujifilm didn't add the DNG format to its raw file options.

      Our Imatest tests produced a surprising outcome: for the first time ever, the resolution figures for raw files converted with the supplied software (Silkypix) were LOWER than for JPEGs straight out of the camera. We'd like to stress that we make no adjustments to files when they are converted from the camera's raw format into editable 16-bit TIFF files.

      Going on the amount of data alone, it's reasonable to expect (and until now we have found) that the Imatest results for JPEGs (which are 8-bit files) show lower resolution than for converted raw files captured at the same time. However, although the differences between JPEG and raw files weren't great, the fact that JPEG files yielded higher resolution says a lot for the camera's internal processing system – and is a strong argument against the supplied raw converter.

      The graph below shows the comparison between JPEG  and converted RAF.RAW files across the review camera's ISO range. (Note: Raw files cannot be recorded at ISO 100 or the two top sensitivity settings.)
       

       
       Shots taken at high ISO settings were consistently clean and noise-free up to ISO 6400. Long exposures at higher ISO settings showed signs of progressive softening as sensitivity was increased, largely as a result of noise-reduction processing. However, even shots taken at ISO 25600 made good-looking prints at 15 x 10 cm size –and slightly larger.

      The auto white balance setting produced close-to-neutral colours under fluorescent lighting but, as expected, failed to eliminate the orange cast that characterises incandescent illumination. The tungsten and fluorescent pre-sets corrected both colour casts without overdoing the adjustment.

      Manual measurement produced neutral colours under both types of lighting and, in the field, the camera handled mixed lighting situations remarkably well. Plenty of in-camera adjustability is available to fine-tune colour balance.

      Video quality was a slight improvement on the X100's but not a stand-out feature in this camera. (We suspect most buyers will use it mainly for shooting stills.)  Clips shot with the camera hand-held were often quite shaky because the camera and lenses lack stabilisation. Consequently, a tripod is recommended for shooting movies, even though it's not always convenient.

      Unfortunately, the AF system had problems keeping track of moving subjects, and also with panned shots containing subject at varying distances from the camera. However, the in-focus sections of clips were sharp, with vibrant colours that weren't over-saturated, although highlights were sometimes blown-out. Soundtracks tended to include a fair amount of ambient noise (including wind) and had little stereo presence.

      Our timing tests were carried out with a 32GB SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-1 SDHC card, one of the fastest available. Although faster than the X100, the review camera wasn't particularly sprightly, largely because its shutter mechanism is fully mechanical, rather than electronic.

      We measured an average start-up time of 1.25 seconds and shot-to-shot times averaged 0.35 seconds. It took just over one second to process each Large/Fine JPEG file and 3.1 seconds for each RAF.RAW file. RAW+JPEG pairs were processed within 3.4 seconds.

      The continuous shooting modes performed to specifications and we were easily able to record bursts in excess of 20 JPEG frames at 6 fps with no noticeable slowing. It took roughly four seconds to process a burst of 10 Large/Fine JPEGs but just over 23 seconds to process a burst of 10 RAF.RAW files and 28 seconds for 10 RAW+JPEG pairs.

      Buy this camera if:
       - You want a compact digital rangefinder camera with a full suite of adjustable controls.
       - You require high-resolution and accurate colours in JPEG files.
       - You require high resolution and low noise levels at high ISO settings.
       - You’d like the ability to shoot HD video clips.

      Don’t buy this camera if:
       - You want image stabilisation for stills and video clips.
       - You want a wide range of interchangeable lenses. (Only three are currently available.)
       

      SPECS

      Image sensor: 23.6 x15.6mm (APS-C)X-Trans CMOS with  primary colour filter; 16.3 megapixels effective
       Image processor: EXR Processor Pro + co-processor
       A/D processing: unknown
       Lens mount: Fujifilm X mount
       Focal length crop factor: 1.5x
       Image formats: Stills – RAF.RAW, JPEG (Exif 2.3), RAW+JPEG; Movies – H.264 (MOV with Stereo sound
       Image Sizes: Stills – 3:2 aspect ratio: 4896 x 3264, 3456 x 2304, 2496 x 1664; 16:9 aspect ratio: 4896 x 2760, 3456 x 1994, 2496 x 1408; 1:1 aspect ratio: 3264 x 3264, 2304 x 2304, 1664 x 1664; Motion panorama: 7680 x 2160, 7680 x 1440, 5120 x 2160, 5120 x 1440; Movies: 1920x1080 pixels, 1280 x 720 pixels  (24frames / sec.) with stereo sound; Individual movies cannot exceed 29 minutes in length
       Image Stabilisation: No
       Dust removal: Ultrasonic vibration of low pass filter
       Shutter: Focal plane shutter; shutter speed range 30 to 1/4000 second (min. 1/4 sec. in P mode) plus Bulb to 60 minutes; flash synch at 1/180 second or slower
       Exposure Compensation: +/- 2EV in 1/3EV steps
       Bracketing: AE and ISO bracketing of +/- 1EV in 1/3 EV steps; Film Simulation bracketing (3 types), ISO  bracketing (3 frames in 1/3, 1/2 and 1 EV steps) and Dynamic Range bracketing (100%, 200%, 400%)
       Self-timer: 2 or 10 seconds delay
       Focus system: TTL contrast AF with AF  frame selection for EVF/LCD; 49 areas with 7x7; OVF; 25 areas with 5x5; Multi (adjustable AF frame with 5 sizes)
       Focus modes: Single & Continuous AF plus manual focus; distance indicator and AF assist illuminator available
       Exposure metering: TTL 256-zones metering with Multi, Spot and Average modes
       Shooting modes: Programmed AE, Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual exposure
       Film Simulation modes: 10 types: Provia/Standard, Velvia/Vivid, Astia/Soft, PRO Neg Hi, PRO Neg. Std, Monochrome, Monochrome+Ye Filter, Monochrome+R Filter, Monochrome+G Filter, Sepia
       Photographic functions: Select custom setting,  Motion panorama, Color space, Color (Saturation), sharpness, Dynamic range, Film simulation, Gradation, Auto red-eye removal, Framing guideline, Frame No. memory, Histogram display, Preview depth of focus, Focus check, Electronic level, Multiple exposure, Date input, Fn button setting (RAW, Movie, etc)
       Colour space options: sRGB, Adobe RGB
       ISO range: Auto, ISO 200-6400, extendible to ISO 100, ISO 12800  and ISO 25600 for JPEGs only
       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
       Flash: Hot-shoe for dedicated TTL flash plus X-terminal
       Flash modes: 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
       Sequence shooting: 3 frames/second for up to 6 shots
       Storage Media: SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards; UHS-1 compatible
       Viewfinder:  Hybrid multi viewfinder comprising reverse Galilean finder with electronic bright frame display, 90% FOV coverage and 0.37x/0.6x magnifications and 0.47-inch colour EVF with 1,440,000 dots with 100% FOV coverage. Eye sensor installed. approx. 14 mm eye point
       LCD monitor: 3-inch RGBW LCD monitor with approx. 1,230,000 dots; approx. 100% FOV coverage
       Playback functions: RAW conversion (to JPEG), Image rotate, Red-eye reduction, Photobook assist, Erase selected frames, image search, Multi-frame playback (with micro thumbnail), Slide show, Mark for upload, Protect, Crop, Resize, Panorama, Favourites
       Interface terminals: USO 2.0, HDMI (Type C Mini)
       Power supply: NP-W126 rechargeable lithium-ion battery; CIPA rated for approx. 300 frames/charge
       Dimensions (wxhxd): 139.5 x 81.8 x 42.5 mm
       Weight: Approx. 400 grams (without accessories, battery and memory card)

      TESTS

      For JPEG files.

       

      For RAF.RAW files processed with the Silkypix software supplied with the X-Pro 1.

      SAMPLES

      Auto white balance with incandescent lighting.

      Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.

      35mm focal length, ISO 100, 30-second exposure at f/2.0.
       

       35mm focal length, ISO 200, 30-second exposure at f/2.2.
       

        
       35mm focal length, ISO 800, 13-second exposure at f/3.2.
       
       

       35mm focal length, ISO 6400, 8-second exposure at f/5.6.
       

        
       35mm focal length, ISO 12800, 8-second exposure at f/8.
       

      35mm focal length, ISO 25600, 8-second exposure at f/11.

       
       

       Mixed lighting; 60mm focal length, ISO 25600, 1/1500 second at f/5.6.
       

      Skin tones; 60mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/85 second at f/2.8.

       Sample images from a high-speed continuous burst of shots, showing motion capture.
       

      A double-exposure created with the multiple-exposure drive mode. 35mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/850 second at f/5.6,

       
       Sample images comparing the coverage of the three currently-available lenses.

      Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R lens.

      Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R lens.

      Fujinon XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro lens.

       
       Additional image samples can be found with the reviews of the Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R, XF 35mm f/1.4 R and XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro lenses.

      Rating

      RRP: AUD$1799 (body only); AUD$2499 with 35mm lens: US $1700

      • Build: 9.0
      • Ease of use: 8.8
      • Autofocusing: 8.5
      • Still image quality JPEG: 9.0
      • Still image quality RAW: 8.0
      • Video quality: 8.5

      BUY