X-Pro1 help/advice

Started Jun 6, 2012 | Discussions thread
CriticalI Senior Member • Posts: 1,777
Depends if you want a backup or...

Do you want a backup for your D800, or a travel/street camera for when you are not working and want something portable.

I have a D700 (much better backup for the D800 IMO as its very similar) and sold the D7000 for the Xpro1. Never regretted it for a second. Frankly the D7000 AF was not that reliable (in my case) with anything except excellent lenses and the mirror slap was pretty wild. Moreover I had to adjust many of my lenses.

AF speed? Hmm. A lot of opinions on that one. I would say its more noisy than slow (lens motors are not silent ones) and if its not as fast as the latest Oly's then its probably better than the Canon G1-X. But when I try and use fast primes on the D700, the focus there is not exactly snappy either. Put it this way, it's not a sports camera but I have not missed anything because of focus speed, though there is a bit of a "lag". Its as much a lens issue as a body issue I think as the lenses are not IF and the gearing is quite slow, especially on the 60mm macro.

What is an issue at first acquaintance is that it tends to focus on the background unless you are very precise (you really have to concentrate and keep the focus point fixed as its not a one-off measurement like an SLR but iterative) or know a couple of simple tricks. One is to focus with the camera at an angle which seems to help the AF. The other is to ensure the focus point is completely covered by the subject, which is not always possible.

The upside is that the focus is very precise if you do make it work even on a moving subject (one shot). More-so than any SLR I have used (focusing off the sensor eliminates all the potential manufacturing tolerance errors caused by using a set of mirrors and a separate AF sensor and it can compensate for spherical aberration - great for off centre subjects. Also, the lenses have excellent performance and low distortion at almost all apertures.

MF is an interesting point too. SLRs really are not all that good unless you use live view and frankly, thats clunky, so the Xpro1 is in my view miles ahead of any SLR as the EVF sharpens up the in focus areas and you can zoom in with one click. Yes, focus by wire is slow, but even in MF mode you can AF using the AF-L button and then make fine adjustments with the focus ring.

Also if you use the smallest possible focus area for AF-S mode, you can much more precisely focus on an eye than I ever could on a D700. Portraits-r-us would recommend the Xpro1 for this reason and for the skin tones.

The one serious downside is the rather half-finished performance of the Adobe RAW converter, which seems to suffer from colour bleed from red into white areas.

There are a few firmware quirks (the auto ISO would be much better with a minimum shutter speed setting and there is a bit of a lag writing to the buffer before you can review the shot in RAW mode, although you can take another shot much more quickly).

The good news is the aperture chatter is cured in FW 1.1, although it now takes longer for the EVF to adjust to the scene brightness.

Of course, with two systems you will need two sets of lenses, dedicated flash etc. But I can't say I have regretted buying it for a second. For what I shoot, its fun and the output is entirely rewarding but if you want a different experience for your non-DSLR outings, it is something really different.

In summary if you are not looking for a sport camera, and you don't need a direct backup for the D800 which takes the same lenses and accessories, then go for it. It will do interiors and portraits very nicely and for my use, and provided you buy the right dioptre VF lens for your eyesight, MF is not at all unusable. Of course, zone focus works with any camera.

Some shots here, including moving subjects. I can say that after a few weeks the number of correctly focused shots has increased to near 100%. It just took a bit of practice...


stopshoot wrote:

Here is my dilemma that I’m hoping some of the genuine people on this forum I hope can help me with.

I need an interim camera for work (product, interior and the odd portrait – typically focal lengths are 24 and 50mm) until the D800 comes more widely available here in the UK (which will probably be next year) that I can then use as a personal camera for my own use later. I’m thinking of either a Nikon d7000 or the Fuji X-Pro1

Why the X-Pro1 – well, very interested in the up coming M-Mount as that could possibly open up the options to some fantastic lenses though a little nervous of how the focusing will work.... Also, very interested in the potential detail that the sensor seems to resolve.

However, I used to own an X100 (my own personal use) and got rid of it due to it suffering the sticky blades (can’t fault Fuji customer service though) and missed loads of shots due to focus errors – though I believe that the new firmware has made large improvements in this area.

So, my questions are for actual owners:

How bad is the focus on the X-Pro1 – I’ve read reports that the manual focus is just as bad as the X100 was or example? I do use manual focus a lot inc. zone focusing for event photography.

Speed, i.e. shutter lag, card write times etc? Does it clunk along, sort of M8 speed or is it a lot better than the X100

Is the aperture chatter that seem to plague the camera went it first came out still such an issue (I’m referring to reports here not first hand knowledge)?

Your honest opinions/advice would be greatly appreciated.

PS. Just in case you are interested, I had looked at the OM-D and the NEX but the OM-D didn’t feel right in my hands and I personally (my opinion) don’t think it is work the current asking price, as for the NEX didn’t like the viewfinder, too me it just seemed small and dark especially when I compared it to my old X100 – again just my opinion.

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