X-Pro1 in Montreal: I walked away :-(

Started Mar 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Peter Vaktor
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X-Pro1 in Montreal: I walked away :-(
Mar 25, 2012

After looking forward to this camera with great anticipation, having read all the reviews, I rushed down to my camera dealer yesterday when he called to say that that the X-Pro1 had arrived. After an hour of playing with it, trying to convince myself that I can live with its shortcomings, I walked away without it.

First of all, it is big, but not overly so. It is also light. For its size, one would expect a heavier camera and that is why some reviewers were saying that it feels somewhat plasticky. Don't get me wrong, it is by no means flimsy. It feels very well built and solid but the semi-gloss black paint covering the magnesium body has a warm, non-metal like feel that creates the "plastic impression. The problem is the size to weight ratio which makes the camera feel "hollow". The X-100, which is about the same weight but smaller, feels a lot more compact and solid.The lenses are also very light but with well damped focus movements. All the control buttons and wheels had a good solid reassuring feel.

However, the first and biggest disappointment for me unfortunately was the viewfinder. Having used an X-100 previously, I was expecting the same big bright OVF. Alas, that is not the case! It is surprising that very few people have mentioned this but the OVF of the X-Pro1 is SMALLER and DARKER than the one in the X-100. It was to say the least, underwhelming! I can understand why it may have a smaller view (in order to accommodate longer lenses) but why dimmer? The difference between it and that of the X-100 was clearly obvious. The other problem is that it is not a very high eye-point OVF which means that eye-glass wearers (like myself) will have somewhat of a difficult time seeing the entire frame. With the 35mm lens attached I was just able to see the outside of the frame lines slightly. With the 18mm, I was not able to see outside of the frame lines. With the X-100, I was able to see the frame lines as well as all around the full frame. Its eye relief was much better for eye-glass wearers. With glasses on (I have variable bifocals) the OVF was in focus but the EVF was not quite. I could have used a slight diopter adjustment but this is not provided by the camera. Sure, I can go out and buy a corrective lens and attach it to the viewfinder so I would use the camera without glasses but really . . . . that's not going to happen. I can't imagine having to take off my glasses each time I want to take a picture. So for me that was a real deal breaker.

I had no problems with the AF but then I was in a brightly lit shop with lots of contrasty objects around onto which I could focus. It locked on fast enough (maybe just slightly faster than the X-100). MF was also somewhat improved from the X-100 but still sluggish with a very long throw. I would probably never use it!

I cannot comment on the IQ because I did not take any images. I have seen plenty of examples from this camera to know that its IQ is superb, which was the reason I was so looking forward to buying it. Unfortunately, for me at least, its viewfinder ergonomics does not work and this is something that no software upgrade can correct.

Fujifilm X-Pro1
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