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Photographic features

The X-Pro1's Drive Menu gives access to an array of additional features, including several bracketing modes and an automated panorama option. A number of them are aimed solely at JPEG shooters, and as usual with these things, some are more useful than others. Oddly, though, the camera's clever multiple-exposure mode has to be accessed from the menu or be assigned to the Fn button - we think it would make much more sense as a drive mode.

Motion Panorama

As it's name might suggest, this mode allows you to create wide-angle panoramas, by pressing the shutter button and rotating the camera (rather like Sony's sweep panorama). The camera shoots continuously as you sweep, and stitches sections of multiple frames together produce a panoramic view. The camera makes it easy to choose your angle of view (120 or 180 degrees) and sweep direction (left-right, right-left, up-down, or down-up) before you start. This gives four image sizes dependant upon angle and sweep direction:

Angle
Direction
Dimensions
Size
180°
Vertical
7680 x 2160
15.8 MP
180°
Horizontal
7680 x 1440
10.5 MP
120°
Vertical
5120 x 2160
10.5 MP
120°
Horizontal
5120 x 1440
7.0 MP

Motion Panorama is somewhat sensitive to how fast you move the camera, and occasionally you'll get error messages saying you're moving the camera too fast and need to start again. You can use either the EVF or LCD for viewing, but not the optical finder. The camera displays a recently-taken frame while you're shooting, but this lags disconcertingly behind what it's pointing at right now, so you have to train yourself to ignore this and keep sweeping the camera 'blind'.

120 degree angle of view, left-right sweep, 35mm lens (1/350s F7.1 ISO 200)

At its best, Motion Panorama works very well on the X-Pro1. The example above shows no obvious stitching errors at all - something we never quite managed with the X100. The vertical brightness banding that the X100 could give under some situations seems to have been fixed too. It's not perfect, of course, and can still have problems with image content that's relatively close to the camera - but this won't come as any surprise to experienced panorama shooters.

180 degree angle of view, left-right sweep, 18mm lens (1/1400 F6.4 ISO 200)
100% crop, centre of frame showing stitching error.

Bracketing modes

The X-Pro1 has the same set of bracketing options as the X100 which behave in essentially identical fashion, and you can read more about them in our review of that camera here. The only meaningful change compared to the X100 is that you can now freely choose any three of the film modes for Film Simulation bracketing, rather than being limited to Provia, Astia and Velvia. The modes have essentially the same weaknesses as before, most notably:

  • Autoexposure bracketing is limited a maximum interval of 1EV, which is highly restrictive for High Dynamic Range work (arguably the main use for bracketing these days).
  • ISO, Film Simulation and Dynamic Range Bracketing all disable RAW file recording without warning (and can be replicated by reprocessing a single RAW file in-camera anyway).
  • Dynamic Range bracketing always uses ISO 800 or higher, and therefore doesn't give the best possible image quality you could achieve in principle at DR100 and DR200.

Multiple Exposure Mode

Brand-new to the X-Pro1 is a multiple exposure mode, which in traditional Fujifilm fashion offers an intriguing blend of cleverness and slightly-bewildering implementation. Aside from anything else, it's something of a misnomer, as it can only record double exposures.

Multiple Exposure mode isn't accessed from the drive mode menu, where you might reasonably expect it to be, but instead can either be assigned to the Fn button or activated from (deep within) the shooting menu.

This would make perfect sense if you could combine it with other drive modes, but you can't, and when it's active the drive button is disabled and its setting overridden.

Multiple exposure mode simply overlays pairs of images until it's turned off again, and the camera guides you through the process with onscreen hints. Once you've captured the first image, it's displayed as a 'ghost' so you can compose your overlay, even if you're using the optical finder. If you don't like the result, you can even reject the second exposure and have another go, while retaining the first.

Blending between the two images is varied the old-fashioned way, by changing the relative exposures. You can't change the ISO or DR setting between the two shots, though, so you need to plan ahead to some extent.

Multiple exposure mode allows you to overlay two images in-camera You can save a RAW file of the composite image; this is re-processed in-camera to Sepia

Unlike most other manufacturers' implementations of multiple exposure mode, Fujifilm doesn't turn off RAW file recording. This sounds great until you discover that the camera doesn't save RAWs of both frames separately, but just one composite file instead. So you can reprocess with all the usual adjustments, but not indulge in more-selective layering and blending after the event.

Continuous drive: playback and file naming

The X-Pro1 has a continuous drive mode which offers speeds of 3 or 6 fps, and behaves entirely sensibly while you're shooting. So far so unremarkable; but just like the X100, it's what happens afterwards that's annoying.

When you view your images, the X-Pro1 enters a playback mode that shows the first frame in the burst, which is inlaid with a small animation of the sequence (in the 'Information on' and 'Information off' playback views). Pressing 'Delete' will delete all of the shots in the burst without warning, which isn't necessarily what you want to happen. This is compounded by the fact that in the 'Detailed Information' view, there's no way of even telling that you're viewing a sequence, so here it's all-too-easy to delete entire bursts accidentally.

Viewing individual frames in the sequence is slightly circuitous; you have to press the 'down' key first, and at this point you can browse through frames, magnify to check sharpness, and delete them individually. However you're not allowed to view them in the Detailed Display, so you can't check histograms individually (to be fair, exposure is locked during a burst anyway).

Filenaming in continuous drive mode

The X-Pro1's playback behaviour for images shot in continuous mode is certainly eccentric, but the bigger problem is what happens to your filenames:

Images shot in continuous drive mode mode use different filenames: the usual 'DSCF' prefix is replaced by 'S' followed by a burst number (001, 002, 003 etc). The last four numbers of the filename fit in with the existing 'DSCF' sequence.

(This screenshot was originally used in our X100 review; the X-Pro1 behaves identically.)

The problem with this is that, if you tend to use file management software that doesn't understand this convention and simply sorts by name (in other words, anything other than Fujifilm's own), all of these 'Snnn' files will appear the end of the list. So if you've shot an event using a mixture of drive modes, every picture shot in continuous will appear out of sequence, and you'll probably think you've accidentally deleted them all. This is the case with pretty well all of the most-used software around, including (for example) Adobe Lightroom or simply Microsoft Windows.

Overall, this behaviour really isn't suited to a 'professional' camera. Indeed it feels like it was designed for Fujifilm's consumer compacts, then carried over to the X series without any real consideration as to its suitability for users with entirely different expectations.

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Fujifilm X-Pro1

Comments

Total comments: 3
optofonik
By optofonik (5 days ago)

What is the seemingly insurmountable problem with studying a traditional 35mm film rangefinder and re-engineering it into an equally capable digital rangefinder instead of trying to re-invent the wheel? The idea that you cannot accurately use manual focus is absurd. The whole focusing by wire thing is absurd. Again, why is everyone trying to re-invent the wheel?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
paul simon king
By paul simon king (1 month ago)

looking at these RAW examples the fuji x Pro looks softer nad less saturated than the Fuji X100s

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Dave Chilvers
By Dave Chilvers (2 months ago)

After using one for a while and with the latest firmware I find the camera to be quite superb. Lets face it, most of us are looking for IQ firstly and has been said in the review lenses like the 35 1.4 are second to none in my book.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 3