The X-Pro1: The Mirrorless Camera of my Dreams?

The morning I picked up the X-Pro1 we went on a family outing to a bird and waterfowl sanctuary, and having no clue how to work the X-Pro1, I updated to the latest FW, set the VF to EVF mode, stuck on the XC50-230 and went out with the camera in aperture priority mode.

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One of my very first X-Pro1 shots. X-Pro1/XC50-230 @230mm ISO 400 F7.1 1/420 & Pro Neg Std Film simulation. SOOC Edited in PhotoScape. Initial results were highly pleasing. The pleasure didn’t last…

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X-Pro1/XC50-230 @143mm ISO 200 F7.1 1/450 & Pro Neg Std Film simulation. SOOC Edited in PhotoScape. Luckily the waterfowl didn’t move about much.

So here’s where I tell you about the sheer unadulterated joy of the X-Pro1 right? The part where I dust off, and wheel out the old adage about methodical shooting, taking a slow and metered approach to getting the shot, the part about focus traps, and anticipation, right? This is my turn to add to the widely used narrative about how the X-Pro1 was like a spiritual return to my film days?

No, sadly not. This is the part where I moan, complain and moan some more about the laggy EVF, the woefully inaccurate OVF experience, the glacier slow AF, the seemingly bizarre firmware (camera OS) that behaved differently at different times. The seemingly ridiculous Q menu that always over wrote the BASE setting.

Pretty much all of the stuff that all of the reviewers had been saying…. Except rather worryingly they were saying that in 2012, it was now 2014; and popular wisdom was that Fujifilm had fixed all the “quirks” in various firmware updates that had been released since then. Updates that I had installed….

My biggest complaint with the camera, was that our daughter was now 2 moving about a lot, and getting shots of her with the X-Pro1 was –to me- a lottery.

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Rocking the Horse!! X-Pro1/XF35 ISO640 F1.4 1/40 & Pro Neg Std Film simulation. SOOC Edited in PhotoScape. Of course if I knew how to set auto ISO correctly, this might have turned out a little better…

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A Business Trip to Cork. X-Pro1/XF18-55 @18 ISO800 F8 1/1200 & Pro Neg Std Film SOOC simulation. SOOC Edited in PhotoScape. No drama when things are still and calm, the only mood is in the shot!

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X-Pro1/XF60 ISO400 F2.4 1/420 & Provia Film simulation. SOOC Edited in PhotoScape. Of course if things were static, the magic came quite easily

My most used lens was the 18-55, which has decent AF performance, and this was a superb walk about, reactionary lens, good for a variety of subjects.

In isolation, the X-Pro1 and the 18-55 was a great combo, unless I needed to shoot something moving, in which case I struggled.

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X-Pro1/XF18-55 @18 ISO3200 F8 1/125 & Provia Film simulation. SOOC Edited in PhotoScape. Looks like I’d figured out the auto-ISO at this stage…

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X-Pro1/XF18-55 @18 ISO400 F9 1/600 & Provia Film simulation. Edited in PhotoScape. When all was still, all was well. The 18-55 was proving to be a very versatile walk about lens

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X-Pro1/XF60 ISO6400 F2.8 1/100 RAW Edited in PhotoNinja. 100% crop! From RAW, the high ISO performance is incredible. Way better than my previous Nikon.

I was disappointed with the camera, it just didn’t seem to fit my needs. By then Fujifilm had released the X-T1, but I was wary about the performance claims… and I’d didn’t need to take another £bath like I had on the X-E1.

4 months of X-Pro1 ownership went by. I was increasingly happy with the shots I got, but I was unhappy with the user experience. By then the X-T1 had got a bit cheaper, and I was able to get a fair price for my X-Pro1, bundled with the OEM flash and XF18 on eBay, so I said goodbye to the X-Pro1 and the X-T1 entered my life.

The day I got the X-T1 I took my daughter to the park, popped her in a swing. Set the camera to tracking AF, and CL, swung her back and forth and held down the shutter.

I got about 20 of 22 shots in perfect focus, which equated to about 3 or 4 where she had a lovely smile on her face. I’d never once managed that on the X-Pro1, in focus on a swing? Sure. In focus on a swing AND smiling? Never.

I was happy. Finally. But just with a different camera than the one I’d craved for so many months.

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5 thoughts on “The X-Pro1: The Mirrorless Camera of my Dreams?”

  1. Hi…I have an XPro1 and love the feel,heft,looks of it but miss being able to take action pics….Would X T1 be the answer for me?…Gonna keep the X pro and looking for the best deal for XT1 and possibly a zoom…
    Regards
    Alex Lees

    Like

    1. Hi Alex,
      The XT1 has a lot faster AF than the Pro1, but from what I’ve read on the internet, many users still have a few reservations about its performance…

      I think a lot of it boils down to expectations and experience gained using other cameras, also what it is exactly that we’re trying to focus track!

      My personal view is that for outright focusing speed a quality DSLR will still outperform any mirrorless body.

      My XT1 can deal with what I’d call moderate tracking focus… For example it’s easier to get a lock on a child than a cat or a dog!

      So I think you need to be sure about what usage you’ll expect from a XT1, and see if it can deliver rather than just assume it can…

      Like

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