welcome Fuji X1 Pro

I’m just after testing Fuji X1 Pro on wedding. unfortunately most of pictures taken are good. it’s a bit crazy, but this compact camera got me more accuracy then Nikon D700 on previous wedding as I was using Nikon as backup to my Leica M9. By accuracy I mean: focus in point, automatic exposure (I used 1600-3200 automatic ISO in reception), colors rendition etc. I’ve read everywhere on the net: this is useless camera because of AF. did I get on steroids? do not think so.

Talking about X1 Pro – it’s not Leica M9, it does not have enough detail in the shadows to compare to half Leica M9 details, but for more average exposure (also meaning wide range of tones from highlights to shadows) in high iso (3200-6400) the quality kicks typical Nikon D700, Canon 5dmk2 I can compare from daily experience. Sound blasphemous? It’s only my opinion. New camera sensor compared to relatively old sensor of D700 or aging 5dmk2’s sensor.

Best of all – small camera setup allows me to dig in more into wedding story being as long as it’s possible transparent for the wedding guests. Why not another Leica? Monochrome beast is not available now, do not need third one at that moment. Why Fuji? none of mirrorless cameras delivers the image I have found in Fuji.

So I’ve just sold Nikon and decided to switch on my part of equipment to Fuji. Sounds crazy? 35 f1.4 (on 135film equal to 50mm), 18 f2 (on 135film equal to 27mm), small flash EF20 (with swivel head – wish I have something like that for Leica M9) and Fuji X1 Pro with grip (honestly – handling without this grip is not comfortable – I do not know why Leica without any grip/thumb up is more handy for me). I did some stuff during this weekend apart to wedding coverage including typical snaps like hipshots during walk or shooting some skateboard’s jumps on the street – I’m more then happy with the results. I will try to summarize some impressions – for more deeper review need more real experience with this camera. But – if you asked me – is it possible to shoot wedding with Fuji X1 Pro – the answer is – yes. I’ve just did it. Also – please take note – I’m not regular reviewer, I’m just photographer so I can share only my experience. My thoughts can be different to your impressions about this camera, but as long as this is independent from producer and honest – I think sharing and getting feedback gives only benefits to all users and people thinking about this camera. So let’s go.

Myths to kick down:

Fuji X1 Pro can do only 150 pics on one battery… it’s not a truth. I’ve taken more then 500 on one battery with huge time of chimping with LCD and zooming to 1:1.

Lightroom 4 opens Fuji X1 Pro files. yes, but you will need to make own/better profile for this camera to get what this camera and sensor can deliver. Actual LR4.1 opens Fuji images, but the render is not something to say wow. better results can be delivered with customized Jpegs.

AF is slow. I have found Fuji X1 Pro with 35/1.4 lens faster then Nikon D700 with 50/1.4G. Fujinion 18/2 (on 135film equal to 27mm) is faster then 35 1/4 (on 135film equal to 50mm). Of course there are faster lenses for Nikon. AF on Fuji X1 Pro is faster and more accurate then on Fuji X100 I have tested on two or three weddings. It’s not lighting fast as on Nikon D3s, neither new Canon 5dmk3. However I have not found a problem working with Fuji X1 Pro during wedding coverage including moving objects (but please note, it’s also not a problem for me to work on the wedding with Leica M9 which is for me manual exposure/focus camera). So this case depends on your expectations, experience, style.

shutter sound is not loud. Fuji X1 Pro is definitely louder then Fuji X100.

lenses are like toys. yes if you mean weight. nothing to say bad about the optics at that moment.

manual focusing is possible. manual focusing on both Fuji X100 and Fuji X1 Pro is misunderstanding. this is real crap unless you are doing macro/closeup with LCD. scale focusing is working for me – something wrong with scale/distance numbers?

Fuji X1 Pro is cheaper Leica M9. it’s true only if I’m cheaper version of Brad Pitt. forget Fuji if you want Leica. buy Fuji if you want something different then real 100% rangefinder construction.

What I love in Fuji X1 Pro

– really interesting and amazing camera sensor. something fresh inside. interesting to go deeper to discover it better.

– size, weight, IQ, fast response. I really love the switch from Nikon D700 I did.

– it looks like camera with person to ignore, the same level of transparency like Leica M9.

– I tested auto ISO automation and it works great. I’m manual mode shooter, but auto ISO allow me to adapt to different situation with same setup of aperture/time relation I have intended.

– camera sensor allows to included wide range of tones.

– 6fps mode. fast moving objects, action.

– for turism/holidays panorama will be interesting option.

– sharpness, contrast, low noise at iso3200/6400.

– for the lenses – I really like the lens shade/cap idea definitely stolen from Leica 🙂

– the number of adaptors to use with this camera are growing, I wait for original Fuji to Leica M adapter.

Must have:

– three batteries for wedding – this is minimal safe. for whole day unplugged and intense shooting I would say bring 4 batteries. with using the optical viewfinder you can be close to 1000 pictures taken on one battery.

– grip – as mentioned above – the camera is so handy with that, the grip is not big – the only cons – the grip is screw up into regular baseplate of the camera. to change battery, remove card – you need to unscrew the grip, then you have access to open the battery/memory card slot.

– as for now – both 18/2 and 35/1.4 are must have lenses in my opinion – I have possibility to test 60 /2.4 Macro lens in shop and it looks promising both as portrait and macro lens for this system, but for today this lens is not available to buy in Poland.

Stay tuned for some real world samples soon. Special thanks for Cezary & for help and deal with Fuji X1 Pro.

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