Fujifilm X-Pro1

Back To The Future


Fujifilm’s new X-Pro1 certainly looks like a very interesting camera. Very much looking forward to seeing what this camera can produce. I applaud Fujifilm on bringing out a large sensor, interchangeable lens camera with an optical finder; this is something I have been begging for from other manufacturers, way before Micro 4/3 or the Leica M9 were even announced.

As photographers we are now beginning to get what we want. There is a misconception amongst most camera manufacturers that pro photographers and serious enthusiasts want large, heavy, professional looking equipment with huge lenses-not true camera designers, please take note! Another issue I personally have is with mega complex menu systems that get in the way of photography; pro photographers we may be, but camera engineers we are not. It’s all about the photography, so please take a leaf out of Leica’s book and create simple, elegant menus which don’t need a manual and an entire day to try and understand.

It’s wonderful to see these small new cameras going back in time for their inspiration; Leica first came up with the 35mm format and designed small, mirror less cameras going back to the original  Ur-Leica, the screw mount interchangeable lens Leicas that followed and all the way to the current Leica M9. What’s wonderful is to hear that Fujifilm is producing a Leica M lens adapter for the X-Pro1 and the acknowledgement of just how good Leica lenses are. It remains to be seen how good the sensor is though, but the X-Pro1 may perform well as a second or third camera, or backup, to a Leica M9. Naturally as it has a cropped sensor, it will magnify the focal length of any lens attached.

What also made me smile was the way the short distance between the rear element on the lens and the sensor was described as producing better quality; it is naturally all true, but again, goes back in time to the original Leica. This is all great news for the photographer though. Image quality and performance is yet to be seen, but judging by their achievements on the X100, I’m sure Fujifilm have done a good job with the X-Pro1.

Addendum:

Dpreview have published their preview on the X-Pro1.

10 responses to “Fujifilm X-Pro1

  1. It certainly looks interesting and I agree entirely about the menu systems. I love my X100 but it still remains my goto camera and a backup to my main bodies. The reason I love the X100 is because of the fixed lens. I don’t think I want the complexities of interchangeable lenses on a system that is really the backup so to speak. I love the fact the X100 makes me think – more so than my DSLRs. The X1 looks interesting but the interchangeable lenses are a hindrance for me (unless of course, it became my primary camera, which I don’t think it could at the moment).

    • I guess time will tell how capable this camera is. As you say, a backup can’t have a whole array of lenses with it. I think we need to see how capable the Fujinon lenses are and how well they perform with the sensor. All the low ISO samples on Fuji’s site look fine, but why they don’t have any low light, high ISO images is a little bizarre. For me, my Leica M9 and M9-P are now my main system, with my Canon DSLRs being used for long or specialist lens applications, and of course for video work. The Fuji isn’t in the same category and the cropped sensor definitely is a huge detraction, but it will serve a niche I’m sure.

  2. This thing could work well with Nikon primes though may get bulky with converter attached. Possibility of sweet video with Nikon glass on.

  3. I thought the main problem with getting good images out of the digital Leica’s was all to do with the reduced distance between the rear element and the sensor and that the M9 had to have micro lenses on the sensor to bend the light enough to produce a decent file.

    So presumably there is some serious conversion going on in the software? Or they’ve got a lens design which takes that into account, which probably means that ‘non-X mount’ lenses may be less than perfect. Or perhaps the adaptor will add enough distance so as to not be a problem or bloody hell, I really don’t know what I’m talking about!! 😉

    • So many questions and alas, without actually seeing the camera and running some tests, no solid answers from me on this! With the Leica M9, the micro lenses on the sensor are designed to work with the protruding rear elements on the lenses. The software in camera, then takes note of the lens that’s being used (via 6-bit coding on each lens) and computes any vignetting adjustment that’s needed (on the RAW file). This is especially needed on the older ultra wides which were designed for film, which unlike CCDs or CMOS chips has a huge angle of acceptance.
      Optically, the wide lenses work much better and have less distortion with these designs, so one gets a much better image than say with an SLR using an equal focal lengthen lens.
      How Fuji are dealing with this, is unknown. At the moment their widest lens doesn’t appear to protrude that much, so maybe the sensor doesn’t have any micro lenses, so it may not work well with ultra wide Leica optics. On the other hand, unlike the M9 it’s a x1.5 crop sensor, so it won’t need too many micro lenses so it may work!! We shall just have to wait and see!

  4. 20 minutes and not a word about the autofocus?

  5. Interesting ideas behind the viewfinder. The internal magnification lens and the hybrid LCD/look through is a neat feature. I hope Leica take a good look at this and have a think for the M11, it’s too late for the M10, unless of course you know different 😉

    Certainly as a back up to a Leica M and using the M’s lenses, could be a possibility. As you say let’s wait to see the camera in the real world.

    • It does all look good, but we do need to see it for real 🙂 The X100’s viewfinder is fab, but I’ve found in real world use, the optical finder isn’t great and the camera can easily miss focus. The electronic finder is what I use more on it as a result. Let’s wait and see how the finder in the X-Pro1 is. It definitely is an interesting camera and bravo to Fuji for bringing it out.

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