The End Of My X-Pro Era

Started Jan 25, 2013 | Discussions
MPA1
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The End Of My X-Pro Era
Jan 25, 2013

Today I packed up my X-Pro and 3 lenses and sent them back to the dealer I got them from around 10 months ago.

I know no one much cares about that but I thought that I would share the reasons why I did so, just in case they were of interest to anyone.

I used to shoot Leica M cameras and loved them. However the double whammy of taking photography into a professional sphere and less than perfect eye sight meant that the M was no longer a useful tool, so much as I loved it I changed it all for a Nikon system based around the D3 (now D3s).

As anyone who has lugged a bag of f2.8 glass reaching from 14mm to 200 mm plus 2 D series pro bodies around will tell you, the things are bloomin heavy! Well over 10 kg not including the weight of the bag which could be another 5kg if it has wheels.

Fine if all you do is go from home or studio to the car to the location and back. Not so good if you need to catch a bunch of flights around the world and domestically where only one carry on weighing no more than 7kg is allowed. Also the huge value of that gear makes insurance for overseas travel very expensive.

So the X-Pro was I hoped going to become my super-portable kit for travel and overseas work. Yay - hardly weighs anything and is very small. Great IQ etc. Nice!

Yet...not so. The slow AF was ironed out with firmware updates, as were the chattering aperture blades. The camera is now a useable and excellent machine in most respects.

Still for me, as a very spontaneous shooter, the AF is too slow even now. I often need a response time of less than 2 seconds between seeing the shot I want, raising the camera to my eye and shooting. The XP cannot reliably deliver speed like that (note I said 'reliably'!)

On top of that my entire workflow is built around Apple Aperture. A year after the XP came to market, Aperture still will not work with RAF files from it. That is the main clincher - as a working photographer that just makes life too hard.

So I tried the new Panasonic Lumix GH 3 with the 2 weather sealed f2.8 lenses. What a revelation. 1.2 kg for a kit that covers 24-200 equivalent at f2.8. Auto focus that is faster in most instances than my Nikon D3s with 2.8 glass on. Magnesium alloy weather sealed body. Built in wi-fi that streams the image live to my iPhone or iPad and allows me to control the camera from that.

Yes, a larger sensor would be nice as would less noise at high ISO (although up to 6400 is absolutely fine).

I have 2 months shooting in Vietnam and Cambodia this year and I am taking the full Nikon kit as well as the Lumix. I must do this as I must have the insurance of the Nikon until I know I can rely on the Lumix.

If the Lumix performs as I hope, then I will buy another body and the Nikons will stay in NZ for 90% of the time from then on.

Another advantage is cost - at NZ$1800 or so the GH3 is many times cheaper than a D800 or a D4 and the GH 4 and 5 will be too. Upgrading frequently becomes less prohibited by cost. Insurance premiums will plummet as a full kit will be $6000 to replace rather than $30,000!

That's just my perspective for what it is worth. Others will be happy with the camera and shooting JPEG etc - great for them and I have no desire to change anyone's mind.  Enjoy it!

Nikon D3 Nikon D3S Nikon D4 Nikon D800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
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Zardoz
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Re: The End Of My X-Pro Era
In reply to MPA1, Jan 25, 2013

Thanks for posting your thoughts.  I've heard similar stories from many photographers... lured to the X system by the size/weight and image quality, then driven away again by unsurmountable AF/raw/etc. problems.

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travelinbri_74
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Re: The End Of My X-Pro Era
In reply to MPA1, Jan 25, 2013

I will be very interested to hear your experiences.  The size and features of the advanced M43 cameras are extremely interesting to me (small weatherproofed bodies with sharp weatherproofed lenses), however, I am shooting with M43 right now - the EP3 - and coming from a FF camera, it is not satisfying me; although I wish it would.  Please do post photos as you get used to the set up and shoot.

All the best,

-TBri

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John Bean (UK)
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Re: The End Of My X-Pro Era
In reply to travelinbri_74, Jan 25, 2013

travelinbri_74 wrote:

I am shooting with M43 right now - the EP3 - and coming from a FF camera, it is not satisfying me; although I wish it would. Please do post photos as you get used to the set up and shoot.

But not in this forum please

FYI I also use micro 4/3 and will quickly say with that the sensor of the Panasonic GH3 (and of the Olympus E-M5/E-PM2/E-PL5) is a whole different ball game compared with E-P3 and older models. But discussion of that system belongs in another place, not here.

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"Note: If pictures and physical have access, please in kind prevail, thank you for understand." - quotation from an ebay listing.

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travelinbri_74
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Re: The End Of My X-Pro Era
In reply to John Bean (UK), Jan 25, 2013

John Bean (UK) wrote:

travelinbri_74 wrote:

I am shooting with M43 right now - the EP3 - and coming from a FF camera, it is not satisfying me; although I wish it would. Please do post photos as you get used to the set up and shoot.

But not in this forum please

FYI I also use micro 4/3 and will quickly say with that the sensor of the Panasonic GH3 (and of the Olympus E-M5/E-PM2/E-PL5) is a whole different ball game compared with E-P3 and older models. But discussion of that system belongs in another place, not here.

-- hide signature --

John Bean [GMT]
"Note: If pictures and physical have access, please in kind prevail, thank you for understand." - quotation from an ebay listing.

Noted, although - and not to go off topic (this was at the heart of the OP anyway) - even going through a number of M4/3 threads dedicated to the OM, I find the files do not show as much "depth" (not depth of field, but "3D like qualities") as those of FF.  Anyway, would love to see those pics as you experiment (and yes, in the M43 section )

-TBri

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Tom Ames
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Re: The End Of My X-Pro Era
In reply to MPA1, Jan 25, 2013

I see the difference myself in AF performance between my D800 and my X-E1.

I have ended up selling of the expensive 2.8 Nikon zooms and invested the money in the Z system. But have kept some of the Nikon system until I see where the X system goes with future camera releases. The lenses seems very good and I'm about the get the 14mm in addition to the 18-55 and 35.

For low light, macro and fast AF I have the D800 + 85mmG1-8 + 50mmAFS1.4 and will add 105 2.8VR Macro (am still debating if I should try the 60mm Fuji)

For convenience, travel, wideangle (when I get the 14mm) I have the X-E1 with 18-55, 35mm1.4 and soon the 14mm. Will most likely add the 50-200 tele that is coming this spring.

With this setup I will be covered until I see where Fuji is within 1or 2 years from now. It will enable me to switch back to Nikon FF or sell of all Nikon and get the complete Fuji X range of lenses + the Zeiss 12mm I yearn for

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BillyInya
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Re: The End Of My X-Pro Era
In reply to MPA1, Jan 25, 2013

An X-Pro1 and 3 lenses, that's a great kit.

What is the name of the dealer?

Cheers

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Sutto
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I concur
In reply to BillyInya, Jan 25, 2013

My sentiments exactly.  I have just come back to Australia after shooting for five weeks in Vietnam.   For exactly the same reason as you (weight), I left my D700 and 80-200 AFD 2.8 behind.   I just brought two lenses with the Pro1 and the X100.   The X100 was magic as usual - but the Pro1 was so damned frustrating I wanted to wrap it around a post.  I mostly used the 60mm 2.4 for sharpness and narrow depth of field.   However, in the low lit temples I was working in, it would often miss focus then have to travel back and forth for the full length of its long travel - of course by then my shot was long gone.  It was so infuriating and I missed so many shots because of that.

The image quality is ok, but I cannot get the beautiful colors I can from my NEF files.   Coupled with lots of little things like - no diopter, no min shutter for auto ISO, can't move focus point with one finger, etc etc - it was a miserable experience.   I worked out you can't bring a boy along to do a man's job.

I went straight to Camera Electronics in Perth upon my return and traded it all in on a mint D3x.   The difference is out of this world.   I have decided to cut down on weight by just using two small primes on the D700 (50mm) and D3x (85mm).  I will never again be tempted to cut corners and think that a dinky system like that could replace a pro's DSLR.

The unbelievable thing though (and it seems to defy logic), is that as miserable an experience as the Pro1 was, the X100 is the antithesis of that.   It is an absolute amazing little camera.   I never miss a shot with this and the images have a beautiful dream like appeal that I can never get on the Pro1.  I see no reason at all to waste any money getting the X100s - the images will look the same as those from the Pro1 -  no thanks.

Sutto

philipsuttonphotography.com

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drent
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Re: The End Of My X-Pro Era
In reply to MPA1, Jan 25, 2013

I am considering to do the same for exactly the same reasons......

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rockygag
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Re: The End Of My X-Pro Era
In reply to drent, Jan 25, 2013

I'm in a different boat ...

Sold the Nikon body ( Kept the 2.8 lenses just in case )

Moved to an OM-D, could not be more thrilled.  Except with some IQ/dynamic range issues in the studio.

Have my first real shoots with X-Pro + 35/18/60 coming up in a while, as I shot fine art figure, and can just control the pace, the "slow" AF should not be an issue.

We shall see

Dave

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Toccata47
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Best of luck with the new setup! /nt
In reply to MPA1, Jan 25, 2013

no text

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geraldPP
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Re: I have to disagree...
In reply to Sutto, Jan 25, 2013

Hi Sutto,

Seems to me your problem is with the 60mm lens and not so much the X-Pro 1.

I agree that the 60mm is tricky in low-light which is why I never use it unless I have a gameplan for it.

Same with the 35mm so I really mainly use the 18mm which is plenty fast and accurate.

Will I throw my X-Pro 1 now when my 14mm is coming this weekend? Not likely, and when the other lenses start to arrive I think the X-Pro 1 system would be the best travel kit out there. Until the XP2.

Here is an album of low-light XP1 shots with the 18mm (2 are OMD and 1 is 5DM2) -

500px / Gerald Gay / Prayers for King Sihanouk

-gerald

Sutto wrote:

My sentiments exactly. I have just come back to Australia after shooting for five weeks in Vietnam. For exactly the same reason as you (weight), I left my D700 and 80-200 AFD 2.8 behind. I just brought two lenses with the Pro1 and the X100. The X100 was magic as usual - but the Pro1 was so damned frustrating I wanted to wrap it around a post. I mostly used the 60mm 2.4 for sharpness and narrow depth of field. However, in the low lit temples I was working in, it would often miss focus then have to travel back and forth for the full length of its long travel - of course by then my shot was long gone. It was so infuriating and I missed so many shots because of that.

The image quality is ok, but I cannot get the beautiful colors I can from my NEF files. Coupled with lots of little things like - no diopter, no min shutter for auto ISO, can't move focus point with one finger, etc etc - it was a miserable experience. I worked out you can't bring a boy along to do a man's job.

I went straight to Camera Electronics in Perth upon my return and traded it all in on a mint D3x. The difference is out of this world. I have decided to cut down on weight by just using two small primes on the D700 (50mm) and D3x (85mm). I will never again be tempted to cut corners and think that a dinky system like that could replace a pro's DSLR.

The unbelievable thing though (and it seems to defy logic), is that as miserable an experience as the Pro1 was, the X100 is the antithesis of that. It is an absolute amazing little camera. I never miss a shot with this and the images have a beautiful dream like appeal that I can never get on the Pro1. I see no reason at all to waste any money getting the X100s - the images will look the same as those from the Pro1 - no thanks.

Sutto

philipsuttonphotography.com

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seukel
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Re: The End Of My X-Pro Era
In reply to MPA1, Jan 25, 2013

MPA1 wrote:

Today I packed up my X-Pro and 3 lenses and sent them back to the dealer I got them from around 10 months ago.

If a passenger and non-stop! Bye, bye!

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unknown member
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Re: The End Of My X-Pro Era
In reply to MPA1, Jan 25, 2013

I'd suppose it ultimately depends on whcih market Fujifilm sees as the home for this camera.

IF they want to be considered a truly professional grade instrument the one/two punch of

1) the just hit+miss enough nature of the AF (good enough to buy it, NOT good enough to keep it  after repeatedly losing the money shots in front of you)

. . . . and . . . .

2) no adoption of Lightroom, Photoshop, or anything else as a standard workflow product

. . . .had better get fixed, soon, or the market will move on.

For them to birth a whole system so quickly, I can certainly understand they're behind the curve to other makes in some features.  But to stay in the game, ya got to pony up, meet 'em, and raise 'em.  And for a lot of guys, wonky AF and SilkyPix is just not enough chips to play the next hand.

All the Best,

JW

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sgoldswo
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I'm going the other way
In reply to MPA1, Jan 25, 2013

MPA1 wrote:

Today I packed up my X-Pro and 3 lenses and sent them back to the dealer I got them from around 10 months ago.

I own both cameras (GH3 and X-Pro1) and I'm kind of going the other way at the minute. I shot a charity event last night with my X-Pro1 (because I wanted the extra IQ over M43s) and achieved a far higher keeper rate than I expected to.

Oddly, over time I'm getting far, far better at managing the X-Pro1 AF such that its no longer an impediment to spontaneous shots. The GH3 is very fast and is effectively a smaller DSLR with a 43 sensor. It's great but there are times when I want a little bit more in IQ than it can give me (that's not to say its a bad camera, it's very good, particularly as an all in one DSLR replacement).

My biggest issue with the X-Pro1 was the lack of RAW support and (for me) that was addressed in its entirety by my purchase of Capture 1. It may not be to everyone's taste and if you like a particular RAW converter that may not work for you, but I have come to realise that different RAW converters aren't the be all and end all, having moved from Aperture, to LR to C1 in the last 18 months.

The acquisition of capture one has had me considering whether to let my M9 go on the basis the results from the X-Pro1 are so close to the M9 when processed in C1. Not a decision to make quickly though.

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deednets
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Re: The End Of My X-Pro Era
In reply to Gaijin Tourist, Jan 25, 2013

Gaijin Tourist wrote:

I'd suppose it ultimately depends on whcih market Fujifilm sees as the home for this camera.

IF they want to be considered a truly professional grade instrument the one/two punch of

1) the just hit+miss enough nature of the AF (good enough to buy it, NOT good enough to keep it after repeatedly losing the money shots in front of you)

. . . . and . . . .

2) no adoption of Lightroom, Photoshop, or anything else as a standard workflow product

. . . .had better get fixed, soon, or the market will move on.

For them to birth a whole system so quickly, I can certainly understand they're behind the curve to other makes in some features. But to stay in the game, ya got to pony up, meet 'em, and raise 'em. And for a lot of guys, wonky AF and SilkyPix is just not enough chips to play the next hand.

All the Best,

JW

You realise that both LR and Phase One's Capture One 7 support Fuji X-Pro1 & X-E1?

Cheers

Deed

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deednets
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Re: I'm going the other way
In reply to sgoldswo, Jan 25, 2013

sgoldswo wrote:

MPA1 wrote:

Today I packed up my X-Pro and 3 lenses and sent them back to the dealer I got them from around 10 months ago.

I own both cameras (GH3 and X-Pro1) and I'm kind of going the other way at the minute. I shot a charity event last night with my X-Pro1 (because I wanted the extra IQ over M43s) and achieved a far higher keeper rate than I expected to.

Oddly, over time I'm getting far, far better at managing the X-Pro1 AF such that its no longer an impediment to spontaneous shots. The GH3 is very fast and is effectively a smaller DSLR with a 43 sensor. It's great but there are times when I want a little bit more in IQ than it can give me (that's not to say its a bad camera, it's very good, particularly as an all in one DSLR replacement).

My biggest issue with the X-Pro1 was the lack of RAW support and (for me) that was addressed in its entirety by my purchase of Capture 1. It may not be to everyone's taste and if you like a particular RAW converter that may not work for you, but I have come to realise that different RAW converters aren't the be all and end all, having moved from Aperture, to LR to C1 in the last 18 months.

The acquisition of capture one has had me considering whether to let my M9 go on the basis the results from the X-Pro1 are so close to the M9 when processed in C1. Not a decision to make quickly though.

I have used Capture One 3.7 then 4, then moved on to LR1, then 2, 3 ... and then with C1 6 back to Capture One ... always liked the rendering of C1 better than LR. Version 4 better than 3 but for my intrained eye, C1 the far more appealing RAW converter. In particular the selective colour editor I like ...

Capture One more expensive than Lightroom, but then, I spend money on other gear, lenses so the RAW converter a not to be neglected factor!

Photo here taken with 60/2.4 X-E1 behind our house last night ...

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drent
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Re: I'm going the other way
In reply to deednets, Jan 25, 2013

I notice a bug or two. But not to worry, this time it is not Fuji's fault.

Nice pic btw.

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deednets
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Re: I have to disagree...
In reply to geraldPP, Jan 25, 2013

geraldPP wrote:

Hi Sutto,

Seems to me your problem is with the 60mm lens and not so much the X-Pro 1.

I agree that the 60mm is tricky in low-light which is why I never use it unless I have a gameplan for it.

Same with the 35mm so I really mainly use the 18mm which is plenty fast and accurate.

Will I throw my X-Pro 1 now when my 14mm is coming this weekend? Not likely, and when the other lenses start to arrive I think the X-Pro 1 system would be the best travel kit out there. Until the XP2.

Here is an album of low-light XP1 shots with the 18mm (2 are OMD and 1 is 5DM2) -

500px / Gerald Gay / Prayers for King Sihanouk

-gerald

Sutto wrote:

My sentiments exactly. I have just come back to Australia after shooting for five weeks in Vietnam. For exactly the same reason as you (weight), I left my D700 and 80-200 AFD 2.8 behind. I just brought two lenses with the Pro1 and the X100. The X100 was magic as usual - but the Pro1 was so damned frustrating I wanted to wrap it around a post. I mostly used the 60mm 2.4 for sharpness and narrow depth of field. However, in the low lit temples I was working in, it would often miss focus then have to travel back and forth for the full length of its long travel - of course by then my shot was long gone. It was so infuriating and I missed so many shots because of that.

The image quality is ok, but I cannot get the beautiful colors I can from my NEF files. Coupled with lots of little things like - no diopter, no min shutter for auto ISO, can't move focus point with one finger, etc etc - it was a miserable experience. I worked out you can't bring a boy along to do a man's job.

I went straight to Camera Electronics in Perth upon my return and traded it all in on a mint D3x. The difference is out of this world. I have decided to cut down on weight by just using two small primes on the D700 (50mm) and D3x (85mm). I will never again be tempted to cut corners and think that a dinky system like that could replace a pro's DSLR.

The unbelievable thing though (and it seems to defy logic), is that as miserable an experience as the Pro1 was, the X100 is the antithesis of that. It is an absolute amazing little camera. I never miss a shot with this and the images have a beautiful dream like appeal that I can never get on the Pro1. I see no reason at all to waste any money getting the X100s - the images will look the same as those from the Pro1 - no thanks.

Sutto

philipsuttonphotography.com

Had a look at your phantastic collection of travel shots!! Can I suggest you start a separate thread to link to your series?? I think that a lot of people here would be interested to see what can be done with that camera! Would be a shame if it got snowed under in this thread?

Just a thought! I will send a link of your photos to a freind who has just bought X-E1 with 18-55, 60 and 14 ...

Thanks for sharing!! Fantastic!

Cheers

Deed

 deednets's gear list:deednets's gear list
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jonnie burtoft
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Re: The End Of My X-Pro Era
In reply to MPA1, Jan 25, 2013

There are different tools for different jobs. The x-pro is no spray and pray machine, it's a slow thoughtful camera which takes time to get accustomed to.

It's not for everyone mind. If I relied on a camera for business I would have a dslr purely for the efficient workflow.

I have a m43 set up still, I have used it once in 6 months, the iq is really inferior to the x-pro. The af is faster, but I also find it to be not as accurate, I can nail sharp eyes at 1.4 very easily with the x-pro, even when using the ovf, the panny gf2 and 25 1.4 is no where near as good and I get lots more mis focussed shots, sharp nose, soft eyes.

The gh3 is a good camera and will serve you well, It is far superior to my gf2 in every way, however the things which are important to me are image quality and fast lenses, in this regard the xpro is my
preferred option.
Cheers Jon

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