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Fuji X-Pro 1 first impression

Strawberry Hill, Chesnee, SC FujiFilm X-Pro1 w18mm (iso 400, 1/60 @ f4.5)

I began evaluating a FujiFilm X-Pro 1 last week and have been playing with it over the weekend. If you look around the Internet, you will find there are people who love it and those that are lukewarm or just don’t like it. I personally believe it is a great camera and am excited about using it for assignments over the next several months.

However, it’s not the camera for everyone. It won’t be a sports camera (although, check out my baseball images) or a camera for a new photographer to pick up and use. Because of the features, it will be for those that take time and are willing to learn the ins and outs of it and then use it the way it’s designed – a modern day rangefinder style camera. Notice I said a rangefinder style camera. That term, as far as I can tell was coined by Nick Devlin in Part 2 of his review of the X-Pro1 on Luminous Landscape.

GWU v. Coastal Carolina FujiFilm X-Pro1 w/35mm (iso 200, 1/1000 @ f4) cropped image

It is in fact a great description of the X-Pro1. It has the feel of a rangefinder  and the differences that will set it apart from a DSLR. Having owned a couple of Leica rangefinders, there is a different style of shooting that many people do not understand or are willing to take the time to learn those differences. The same can be said of the X-Pro1.

Here are some things I’ve discovered in the last couple of days of shooting with the X-Pro1.

You may see posts on the Internet about the AF being slow. I have not found that to be the case with either the 18 or the 35. I guess I’m not expecting it to be as fast as a DSLR, and I’m using this camera from a documentary point of view. I’m not chasing a lot of fast action, but I do believe that you can capture movement with the camera with practice. I remember my frustration with trying to follow action and focus when I first bought my Leica M4-P. I had a similar feeling with the X-Pro1, but just like not riding a bike for a year or so, it came back to me.

I have noticed that the type of SD card you use will make a difference in the time the camera takes to write to the card. I’ve been using a 16GB Patriot LX SDHC Class 10 card. Writing jpegs isn’t bad, but it slows down for Raw+jpeg. Fuji recommends using a UHS-1 card. Patriot has just released a UHS-1 card and I’m waiting for one so that I can test the write speed with the faster card.

I will be evaluating the X-Pro1 more over the week and will post more impressions. As I’ve said, this isn’t a camera for everyone. It has a unique style and there has to be a fit. Check out some of the reviews and examine how the reviewer uses his/her camera. See if their style of photography matches yours for a better idea if this is the camera for you.