Why I sold my Fuji X-Pro 1... Sadly.

Started Sep 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Theohyho
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Why I sold my Fuji X-Pro 1... Sadly.
Sep 23, 2013

Hi!

Here we go. I had to sell my X-Pro 1. There are a few reasons for that i will details below. I am a semi-pro photographer, so i have other incomes, but part of my work is included in some publishing for travel guides and such things. Before the X-Pro 1, i owned a Nikon D300 + 17-55mm 2.8, but i got tired of lugging it around, so i ended up not taking it with me anymore, so i sold it for a smaller camera system.

I think Fuji X Pro 1 concept could be the best all around camera, if not by the slow general responsiveness (AF speed is now fine, i think), AF accuracy (which i think is the MAJOR drawback), lack of environmental sealing and jpeg compression issues in low light.

The general responsiveness is too slow. Just measure the time it takes for the menu to show up when you actually press the menu button, and i twill give a good idea. It just freezes sometimes, and those moments can be very frustrating at time. The problem is, per me, not in the focus speed anymore. But, if you pass by some street scene you want to grab, turning the camera on, composing, focusing, pressing and acquiring the picture takes too much time, and the scene is long gone most of the time. A good example of that is when I was in Cuba this summer. On the streets, when i saw an old car passing by, not even fast, by the time the camera took the picture, the car passed by and the got the trunk of it! Annoying.

Focusing in the dark is also difficult, and since it is a camera that is good at low light, focus inabilities in this situation defeats the purpose of it being good and taking pictures in the dark. And it is an autofocus camera, so i want it to work. Don’t talk me into manual focusing. I don’t think we are there anymore, except for special work like macro.

More that a few times, i got frustrated by this camera, seeing on the back screen some pictures i toughs were winners, but back to the computer screen and the focus was actually done at the back of the scene in low light, and not on the actual focus spot i chose! I don’t understand… This accuracy problem is the most annoying for me, and it did not get corrected after firmware updates also, or at least not on my side. I even serviced the lens at some point, thinking it could have been this, but returning without any problems discerned.

Sometimes, it also takes weird choices of metering when it is set at times into P mode… 3200 auto ISO set, but still leaves it to 1/30 at f4 at the long end at, say, 1250 ISO and the picture is blurry… Why? I don’t use auto ISO anymore.

On my old D300, jpeg files were at roughly 7-8Mb on a 12 megapixels camera. Now at 16 megapixels, they are at a maximum of 5 Mb, which is fine most of the time. But in low light, on pale hair, the camera tends to blotch the hair into one big color patch, which i think is a compression issue. I think 1:4 or 1:5 is too much compression at the very top of the jpeg output range for this camera.

But other then that, as most reviewers already mentioned, jpeg engine is pretty good outside or in bright light. And the choices of color with the old films from Fuji is great, since i used to shoot Fuji back in film time… So i loved this.

And if you call your top of the line camera a pro camera, you have to put some kind of environmental sealing. I though at first I would be able to get pass by this, but i am not able to. I remember shooting in the high altitude deserts of Bolivia or in the heat of the deep Grand Canyon, in the damp, November rainy days of Istanbul, week long treks in the Rockies or the Andes, or on the Pacific coast and Vancouver islands, not needing to pay much attention to the weather. And now, i find myself paying too much attention to this. This is a feature Fuji must put in the X-Pro 2 or at some point…

But apart of that, it is a fine and a beautiful camera (it is actually important: those objects are to be eye pleasing. They are precise machining, like watches, and an eye-soothing camera is a big plus). It takes beautiful pictures in optimal conditions, but i definitely need something more versatile. I will likely go for Olympus EM-1 with the constant 2.8 zoom, but it is still to be considered.

For Olympus, sensor size is not a problem for me (i think by now, sensor technology have been going big leaps, and full frame does not mean much to me… it is based on the 35mm film era, which is long gone by now. So why bother? Yep, you may use ISO 25 000, but i remember when i shoot film, i was excited when using ISO 1000. Anyways. An non-issue for me.

I also feel bad since i felt committed with this little camera. But bottom line, it needs to deliver, and even with space and time it was given, it did not for me. And don’t get me wrong. I think it is a super camera, but it is not for me anymore.

I don’t exclude going back to Fuji at some point in the future, when considerable amount of work will have been done to up the game, since i think they are building right now the most exciting and innovative camera system there is, along with Olympus in the innovation and risk taking area. (Canon and Nikon are very boring cameras as it goes… They need to think a bit more and innovate. Nikon should do something like a Digital FM, and they would steal the game…)

Voilà. I wanted to share my experience with the camera. I am sure there will be plenty of people stating that i was not using it correctly, and… They can be right for some time, but not for one full year!

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