Fuji X-Pro1 Six Week Update

 

I had a LOT of traffic to my blog entry about my Fujifilm X-Pro1 First Impressions. ¬†It seems that there is a ton of interest in the Fuji cameras, which is a good thing. There should be. I thought I’d offer an update now that I’ve had the camera for 6 weeks.

Since the earlier post, I’ve used the X-Pro1 for 2 model shoots (for portions of the shoots, anyway), Christmas snapshots, a foggy day landscape shoot, as a second body for a concert at a local club, a photowalk around the NC State University campus, and carried it with me on various family outings (“just in case”). I would have shot more, but I spent a big chunk of the last month dealing with the flu and its aftermath. But, all in all, a good cross section of the sort of shooting I like to do.

One thing I noticed (when I wasn’t sick), something about having this small camera makes me want to get out and walk around and shoot. I can’t wait to take a trip to NYC with this thing. I always felt so conspicuous with a big camera.

I thought it best to divide my comments up in terms of the specific type of shoot. Photos from each (except my holiday snapshots) are included in the gallery.

Model Shoots

My Nikon D700 has some advantages that came into play over the Fuji for these. The sync speed limitation of the Nikon is 1/250, so easily beats out the Fuji. For some weird reason, on the Fuji I get an ISO 100 in jpeg mode, but not in RAW. The combination of those is not good for outdoor shooting with flash. I also really don’t like the ergonomics of the X-Pro1 for changing the focal point. With the Nikon, I can quickly move it around without taking the camera from my eye. Focus and recompose doesn’t work well when you deal with shallow DOF, so this is kinda important to me .

The Fuji had one big advantage that came into play on one of the shoots. The in-camera double exposure mode is all kinds of awesome. Why? When shooting with the EVF, you get the first image superimposed in the display when framing the second shot. This means no more guesswork. Maybe a DSLR can do this in live-view mode, but I that is not how I use a DSLR 99% of the time.

All-in-all, though, the Fuji is really close to the D700 here. I really hope Fuji addresses the some of the shortcomings going forward, either via firmware or in an X-Pro2. If so, I could see leaving the DSLR at home (once I grow my glass collection).

Photowalks and Street Photography

This camera was made for this sort of thing. Faster autofocus for street photography is the only wish list item, and I’m sure the phase detect AF is coming to the X-Pro2.

Landscape

I absolutely loved the fog pictures I got. I liked the earlier Neuse River walk pictures (I posted one of these I’d not post-processed for the first impressions entry). Only having the 35mm limits me, but I plan to fix that. On long hikes, not hauling a heavy camera (and needing a heavy tripod), will certainly be appreciated. ¬†Whether I take the D700 or this camera becomes a very situational thing, with some tradeoffs involved.

Snapshots

Nice having a small camera I can take anywhere. The E-1′s bounce flash would certainly come in handy sometimes. But other than that, loving the X-Pro1 for this.

Concerts

I shot a going-away bash for my friend Greg Humphreys, a long-time NC musician who fronted two great bands, Dillon Fence and Hobex, before embarking on a solo career. Greg is moving to New York City to be with his love, and had a lot of love that night as a plethora of guests showed up to play with him and send him off. I was mainly shooting the D700, alternating between my 85mm 1.4 and my 28mm 1.8 lenses. I probably used my 50mm 1.4 as well, but when I needed that focal length I instead usually would switch to the X-Pro1 with 35mm 1.4. I got a handful of really nice shots with Fuji. If the subject is stationary and you can lock focus, the resulting images can be great.

The DSLR is clearly the better tool for this stuff, however. I’m sure with better technique, I could start to narrow that gap with the Fuji. As it was, there was a lot of missing the moments I would see developing as I was waiting for focus. And then a pretty good delay until the EVF was back ready for me to frame the next shot. The focus point issue with the AF also came into play some. Focus and reframe was really the only way to go efficiently.

I’m optimistic that the system, going forward, will really start to improve in this regard. The x100s announcement really gives me hope.

 

Final Words

I know I had a few gripes, and most of them were things I knew going into this, but none of them are show-stoppers. None of them make me regret my purchase. At all. In fact, I absolutely love this camera and I want to use it as much as possible. It just makes me long for the day when these short comings don’t exist any longer and I can seriously consider delegating the DSLR for niche stuff (like shooting my kid’s soccer game, something I don’t think a mirrorless is going to handle for a long time).

Over these last 6 weeks I’ve gotten images that I just love with this camera. I can’t wait to get more. I probably won’t blog specifically about it again (although if I get any new glass, maybe I’ll post about it), but I’ll continue to post images from it at my site and on Facebook, so keep checking back.

What lenses do I want next? Some sort of wide option, I haven’t decided which. I’d like some sort of moderate telephoto (a big fan of my 85 on full frame and also on a crop where it is more like a 135).