3 Months On
After 3 months with the X-pro1, the camera had definitely grew on me. At the beginning, it was a stunner of a camera in the hand. And as a user of the X100, I was surprised as to how bulky it felt in the hand compared to the svelte-like little sister. The shutter movement was also a surprised, as I was used to the silent X100, which employed a leaf shutter.
Let's talk about three strong points for the X-pro1.
First, the quality of the jpeg. What came out from the sensor was something I was not expecting. Yes, I knew it would be good, but not as good as I thought it was going to be. The lack of low-pass filter, made possible by the X-trans sensor configuration appeared to sharpen the results. The jpeg coming out from the card only needed minor tweaking. I have yet to use the RAW data as I use Aperture for my post work. Apple has yet to release a RAW converter for the camera. I found that using the RAW files with the X100 only added to a headache as the jpeg engine on the cameras were already top notch. Coupled with the amazing prime lens that Fuji released, we had a clear winner as far as sharp images were concerned.
Second, the white balance. As mentioned, one of the reason of using RAW was to get the white balance right. Shooting RAW allowed for more latitude as far as exposure and white balance were concerned. But still, too many choices in post just led to longer time spent processing, which in the end might not add to the quality of the results. With the X-pro1, the white balance, especially the skin tone were very much film-like. This was not surprising since Fuji made their mark as innovators in print films. My old favorites were Reala and Velvia. Natural reasons for me to be drawn to the palette of the jpegs. And the results from the X-pro1 seemed better compared to the X100 as far as white balance were concerned.
Restricting the discussion to three points could never do justice to this beautiful camera. So, for the final section, I would like to discuss about the gamble Fuji took in leasing a new camera system with a propriety mount. Fuji called this the X-mount. And the primes - three of them, the 18mm f2.0, 35mm f1.4 and 60mm f2.4 - available on the day of the launch were of a high quality.
I own both the 18mm and 35mm. Every time I go out, I was torn between the two as to which one I should have attached to the body. Over the years, I have always been drawn to the 50mm focal length. And the 35mm provided that. Add that to the wide aperture, you really get shallow depth-of-field when you snap using this lens. Some time a bit too shallow. Using primes also made you think before you shoot, and often let you feet do the work when composing.
The X-pro1 was not exactly a small investment on my part. But it had been a joy to use, and certainly fulfilled my needs. I wished that it could be smaller, with a slightly smarter focussing mechanism, but you can't have everything. I was sure that some software tweak may improve the focussing. If you were looking for a premium quality compact system camera, the X-pro1 is a good bet.