by Tom Lee Published 01/12/2012
The Fuji x-Pro 1 was originally unveiled at the previous photokina (2010). Since that time it has created a devoted following amongst both professionals and enthusiasts alike and star devotees from the Societies include Dave Wall and Damien Lovegrove. We also noted that Will Chung was very protective of the one he had about this neck at Focus last year! It has been a little while since Fuji had something that they could shout about on the camera front but this series of cameras seems to have hit the spot. It includes the X-Pro itself along with the x10, x100 and most recently the X-E1 and we suspect that the popularity of the range has both surprised and delighted their designers back in Japan. Much has already been written about the camera and we do not propose to go through it button by button (go to DP Review, that's what we tend to do!). It should be said that not everybody on the various forums are enamoured by every feature, but cameras are like that - so here is what we found.
The camera is solid and chunky, a little retro in design and not a million miles from the style of a Leica from film days. This, though, is not the first ground-breaking rangefinder camera from Fuji, your reviewer once owned the 6x9cm format GW690III otherwise known as the 'Texas Leica' (everything is bigger in Texas and all that). The retro style extends throughout the range and the new X-E1 even has a tan leather flap-front camera case to go with the entire range's lens pouches, which hang from the camera strap. Three flashguns are available and the current lens armoury includes 18mm f2.0, 35mm f 1.4, and 60mm f2.4 macro lenses (remember this is a c-size chip). A 14mm f2.8 and 18-55mm f2.8/4.0 are planned soon, along with a 56mm f 1.4, 27mm f 2.8 pancake, 23mm f1.4, 55-200mm f3.5/4 OIS and a 10-24mm super wide f 4 OIS. Just in case this is not enough there is an adapter which allows coupling to 54 other lenses from Leica, Voightlander and Carl Zeiss.
Everything about this system is solid and classy and this even extends to the magnetic, flip-lid presentation boxes in which the camera and accessories arrive - somebody seems to have been talking to Apple! Even the lens hoods are made of real metal. Fuji seem therefore to have cottoned on to the fact that there are people out there who will pass over more money for quality regardless of the hard times in which we live.
The X-Pro 1 is an electronic 'rangefinder' camera with a C-size detector delivering 4,896x3,264 pixels (12 Mp) from a special CMOS chip. The X-trans chip breaks away from the conventional Bayer pattern with a more randomised placement of R-, G- and B-filtered detector sites, in an attempt to control moire and allow for the elimination of the low pass filter. Great claims are made for the performance of the chip, indicating a performance equivalent to that of a full 35mm frame DSLR.
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