First Impressions: Using the Fujifilm X-Pro1
Fujifilm's unique hybrid viewfinder, a version of which was first seen in the X100, provides a bright optical view of the scene while simultaneously allowing you to view shooting information via an electronic overlay. In the example below, I've set the viewfinder to display minimal shooting information, for an uncluttered scene view.
|In optical viewfinder (OVF) mode, the viewfinder provides you with a wider angle of coverage than the lens you're using - in this case the 35mm f/1.4 without its lens hood. Image composition is made with the use of framelines (seen here in yellow) that correspond to the lens' field of view.|
In true rangefinder fashion, the framelines in the X-Pro1 indicate less than 100% coverage of what the lens will actually capture. Fujifilm claim aproximately 90% coverage in their specs but with the 35mm lens at least, I find it to be even less. Until you become familiar enough with the framing to take this into account, you'll likely end up with a composition including elements you thought were cropped out, but you'll never suffer the (even worse) fate of inadvertently cropping an element you though you had included.
In a subtle but welcome change over the X100, the framelines on the X-Pro1 change color based on the ambient light. With the camera pointed at a normal to dark scene, the framelines are white. Face the camera towards a bright scene, however, and those framelines become yellow, allowing for better visibility.
Fujifilm's engineers have provided two separate magnifications for the OVF when switching between the 18mm lens (.37x) and the 35mm and 60mm lenses (.60x). The higher magnification level ensures that even with the longest of the three XF lenses mounted, the framelines do not become unusably small in the viewfinder. The switch happens automatically upon mounting a lens, though you can also toggle between magnifications simply by holding the viewfinder lever selector for two seconds.
|The hybrid viewfinder contains a magnification lens that is offset from the viewfinder prism when the 18mm lens is mounted.||With the 35mm or 60mm lens attached, the magnification lens slides into the light path, enlarging the image seen in the OVF.|
If you want to see 100% coverage for your attached lens, you can do so by switching the viewfinder to EVF operation. As seamlessly as this hybrid viewfinder system operates, the performance of the EVF itself is a little disappointing. From my experience so far, I feel the same way about the X-Pro1's EVF as I felt about that of the X100. Matched against the best of its competition (the Sony NEX 7 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 are the obvious points of comparison) its refresh rate is a little slow. If you're panning with a moving subject, for example (admittedly not the most typical usage scenario for the X-Pro1), the screen image can lag considerably behind the movement of the camera.
For all of the comparisons to the ultra-expensive Leica M9, it's important to remember that the X-Pro1 has other competitors as well. Realistically, anyone interested in the X-Pro1 will also be considering standout mirrorless models like the Sony NEX 7 and Olympus OM-D E-M5. Be warned though - if you're excited by the very fast autofocus performance of these cameras, you might be disappointed by the responsiveness of the X-Pro1.
In reasonably well-lit scenes with subjects of moderate contrast, AF acquisition is certainly adequate, although no-one will ever mistake the X-Pro1 for an action or sports-oriented camera. The real frustration comes in lower light scenes when using the 60mm f/2.4. Focus hunting is a constant problem, with performance that is noticeably slower than either of the other two XF lenses. I must say though, that while AF may be slow, when the X Pro1 finds its mark it is very, very accurate. After reviewing hundreds of my handheld sample images on the computer, I've only been able to identify a small handful that are unusable due to mis-focus by the AF system.
Unfortunately, the MF complaints we had with the X100 are unchanged with the X-Pro1. In order to check focus you can set the EVF to magnification mode easily enough by clikcing-in the rear dial. Yet the camera insists on choosing its own aperture setting for the image preview - chosen presumably to maintain scene brightness in live view - which in some situations can make critical focus effectively impossible.
When pointed at a bright scene, for example, the camera will show you a magnified live view with the lens set to a narrow aperture, which of course shows a relatively wide depth of field. But if you actually want to shoot at a wide aperture (f/2.4 for example), you can easily be looking at a scene element that appears sharp in the magnified view but sits beyond the depth of field at the taking aperture. In this case, you'll end up with an out-of-focus image, despite it looking sharp in the magnified focusing view in the EVF. For a camera that is so clearly geared to enthusiasts and professionals, this is a critical misstep.
There is a workaround to this problem, although it's far from obvious. If you configure the Fn button for Depth of Field Preview, pressing it before you adjust focus sets the lens to the taking aperture. At this point, clicking in the rear dial for magnified view will allow accurate manual focus. Rather curiously, when set to video mode the camera honors the taking aperture in both normal and magnified live view all of the time, giving full time depth of field preview. I don't see why the camera can't behave this way in still image mode.
|When using the EVF or rear LCD in MF mode, you can view the scene at 100%...||...or press the rear thumb dial for a magnified view in order to adjust focus.|
There's another frustration that carries over from the X100. Looking through the viewfinder set to either OVF or EVF operation, in MF mode you can press the AE/AF lock button to engage AF acquisition on a chosen AF area. Yet there is no focus confirmation. Your only clue is an audible one, in that you can longer hear the lens being adjusted. Whether the camera thinks it has achieved focus or not is never clear; all you know for sure is that is has stopped trying.
Ideally, we'd like to see a firmware update that incorporated Sony and Ricoh-style focusing peaking in MF mode. After all, one of the potential benefits of a mirrorless camera design is a short flange back distance that permits the use of a range of lenses built for other systems, past and present. It's likely we'll see all sorts of third party adapters for the X-mount in the coming months, which could quickly broaden the selection of usable manual focus lenses. Improved MF capability could go a long way towards making the X-Pro1 an attractive option for owners of third-party lenses, but right now I don't think the manual focus experience has received the attention it deserves from Fujifilm.
Oddities and quirks
Fortunately, the X-Pro1 is free from the majority of the handling oddities, operational quirks and downright bugs that made the X100 such a painful camera to use when it was first released. Fujifilm appears to have taken some of the feedback to heart, with the result that the X-Pro1 behaves much more sensibly. It isn't perfect though - here are a few things that have bothered me during my time with the camera.
When shooting in continuous mode, the resulting files get saved according to a completely different filenaming system, which can cause all sorts of issues if you like to name and sort images using any camera-generated titles. Another bit of maddening behavior comes when you review vertical images in playback mode. Should you want to magnify the view, the enlarged view remains constrained to the same vertical format, as shown below. The only workaround - and I use the term loosely here - is to disable the camera's auto rotation ability, which is far from ideal. This quirk is also inherited from the X100, but on that camera it's been fixed in FW 1.20.
|Because the rear screen is in a horizontal format, vertical images occupy a much smaller screen area.||Frustratingly, and for no good reason, this behavior carries over into the magnified view, resulting in a lot of wasted display area.|
Finally, although you have the option to display compositional grids in the OVF, this function is rendered much less useful than it could (and should) be by the fact that they are positioned relative to the entire viewfinder area rather than to the framelines for the currently-mounted lens. Unlike the framelines, the gridlines don't adjust for parallax on focusing either. This means that when using the 60mm lens in particular, the gridlines are of limited practical use as 'Framing Guidelines', which is what Fujifilm claims them to be.
Mar 26, 2015
Dec 18, 2014
Jun 27, 2014
Mar 6, 2014
|Global Reach by cjf2|
|Maligne Lake by Pete of Oz|
from - Mountain Lake - (Full Colours only + A Border)
This two-part video series takes a deep dive into the world of dynamic symmetry and geometric composition, using iconic photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's brilliant photographs as a guide.
Award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart tells the moving story behind this drone photograph, captured in the aftermath of the devastating wildfire in Gatlinburg, TN in 2016.
Happy 2017 World Photo Day! We asked everyone on staff at DPReview to share one photo that they took within the last year that makes them jazzed on photography. Here's what we chose.
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.
A photograph and quote tweeted out by former president Barack Obama has officially become the most popular tweet of all time, receiving over 1.3 million retweets and 3.4 million likes.
Edward Weston was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, and in this episode of Advancing Your Photography we learn the extreme technique he used to capture one of his most famous still life photos.
Instagram just released a small update that will make a huge difference if you're active on the photo sharing app: threaded comment replies.
Venus Optics has announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E mount. A lens they've dubbed, "the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame."
Cinnac is a new social network for photographers that will help you separate your good photos from your great ones through a Tinder-like community-based rating system.
The Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM is an understated jewel of a lens, and one that we've enjoyed on a variety of cameras since its release almost five years ago. Its relatively small size and image stabilization make it a versatile tool for a variety of photography - check out our sample gallery.
You don't need a fancy studio or tons of gear to capture the kind of classic product photography you see in magazines. In this video, Dustin Dolby shows you how to do it with just a couple of speedlights and some know-how.
The life-logging camera is trying to make a comeback. Say hello to FrontRow, a live-streaming enabled life-logging camera from Ubiquiti that hangs on a necklace like a pendant.
When a prospective client approaches you, don't just say "yes" right away. Here's a useful list of questions you should be asking before you decide to take the job and name your price.
Samsung just revealed a blazing-fast new Solid State Drive capable of data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s.
DJI has developed a 'Local Data Mode' that lets pilots fly without being connected to the Internet. The mode should calm recent fears over data privacy and security when flying DJI drones.