Fujifilm X-Pro1 Preview

January 9, 2012 | Mark Goldstein | CES 2012, Compact System Camera | 10 Comments |
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The X-Pro1 is Fujifilm’s first compact system camera, and we saw an almost-complete prototype, one of only two in the world, at Fujifilm UK’s HQ back in December 2011. This is our detailed preview of the Fujiflm X-Pro1’s design, features and accessories.

Building on the success of the fixed lens X100 and zoom lens X10 models, the X-Pro1 has been in development for three years and features a sensor designed and controlled (but not manufactured) by Fujifilm.

Launching in March, the X-Pro1 will be available body only for £999 / $1699, putting it firmly into prosumer DSLR territory and costing the same as the current most expensive CSC, the Sony NEX-7, at least in the UK.

Fujifilm are positioning the X-Pro1 as the ultimate interchangeable lens camera, be that CSC or DSLR, and it certainly has a premium design and build quality that goes some way to justifying the price.

Key highlights of the X-Pro1 include:

     
  • X-Trans CMOS image sensor
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  • X-Mount
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  • XF Fujinon Lenses
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  • Hybrid Multi Viewfinder
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  • New User Interface

X-Trans CMOS Sensor

Fujifilm X-Pro1 Preview

Fujifilm have torn up the rule book to create a completely new kind of image sensor which is unique to and patented by the company. Bayer pattern sensors have to use an optical low pass filter to prevent moire occurring thanks to their regular 2x2 pattern, resulting in a lowering of resolution. The X-Pro1’s sensor uses an irregular pixel pattern in the 6x6 format, with RGB pixels in all lines of the sensor, acting more like irregular siler halide film.

This means that no optical low pass filter is required on the X-Pro1, resulting in better image quality that Fujifilm claims will be as good as or even out-perform the Nikon D7000 and Canon EOS 5D Mk II. A brave claim indeed for what is an APS-C sized sensor - can it really beat a full-frame camera?

XF Lenses

Fujifilm X-Pro1 Preview

The X-Pro1 launches with three prime Fujinon lenses - the X-Pro1 18mm F2.0 lens ($499.99), X-Pro1 35mm F1.4 lens ($499.99) and the X-Pro1 60mm F2.4 Macro lens ($599.99). In turn they provide a 35mm equivalent focal length of 27mm, 52mm and 90mm. Note that there is no 35mm equivalent lens, which means that the X-Pro1 doesn’t step on the toes of the popular X100 fixed-lens camera just yet. The X-Pro1 has a flange-back of just 17.7mm, shorter than the Sony NEX system’s 18mm, limiting light loss and maximising image quality and sharpness.

Hybrid Multi Viewfinder

Fujifilm X-Pro1 Preview

Like the X100, the X-Pro1 has a hybrid optical / electronic viewfinder. The optical viewfinder has a built-in magnifier to accomodate the different focal lengths of the three new XF lenses, automatically recognising which lens is fitted and providing magnifciation of up to 0.6x. It won’t work with a zoom lens, which may explain why no zoom is available on launch. As you’d expect, the electronic viewfinder offers 100% frame coverage.

LCD Screen / New GUI

Fujifilm X-Pro1 Preview

Conventional LCD screens typically have an average reflection measurement of around 0.70%. The new X-Pro1’s screen has a rating of 0.18%, which should make it more visible in bright sunlight, although we suspect most owners will use the Hybrid Multi Viewfinder almost exclusively.

The above picture also shows the updated menu system, which now uses a multi-tabbed list of sub-menus to help avoid endless scrolling through the X-Pro1’s multitude of options.

Other Improvements

Fujifilm X-Pro1 Preview

Fujifilm haven’t rested on their laurels since the launch of the X100, making numerous improvements to the usability of the X-Pro1. Two new JPEG-only film modes, Pro Neg.S for portraits and Pro Neg.H for , are included, alongside a multi-exposure mode. There’s a lock on the shooting mode dial, the exposure compensation button is recessed into the body, there are less buttons on the back for a cleaner interface, the new Q.button opens a Quick menu on both the LCD and EVF, the main menu has more tabs to reduce scrolling, and there are no less than 7 Custom shooting modes.

Accessories

In addition to the X-Pro1 body and three XF lenses, a range of accessories will be available for Fujifilm’s compact system camera. The EF-X20 is a new smaller external flashgun, while 52mm and 39mm filters will be availble to protect the lenses. There’s also a leather case which fits the 18mm and 35mm lenses (but not the larger 60mm macro), as well as an Assist Grip which adds more shape to the front of the camera (but no additional controls).



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10 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Mad Hungarian

I'll bet you all the other camera makers are scrambling as we speak. This is just one stunning looking beast.

10:08 pm - Monday, January 9, 2012

#2 Eyal Gurevitch

After buying the X10 as a supplement to my 7D,
I'm looking at this new wonder, and am contemplating whether it could replace both.

We'll all be waiting to see how the story unravels.

-eyalg

10:34 pm - Monday, January 9, 2012

#3 melanie

I want this camera! ...agree with Hungarian: stunning!
http://www.etsy.com/people/HabitatConception?ref=si_pr

11:18 pm - Monday, January 9, 2012

#4 dj0502

still NEX-7 owns this.

It's sexy but the EVF doesn't work for me. Let's see what other manufactures churn out, before I purchase that NEX-7.

12:40 am - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#5 franky_goes

The lenses are really impressive, small and light but hope to get the zooms soon too. Even though I like the primes are better and faster optically, i still need the zooms from time to time for sure..

One disappointment is that the 60mm macro is not a real macro, only gives 0.5x magnification ratio:

http://www.dslrpassion.com/news/39-fuji/218-fuji-x-pro-xf-lenses-specifications-and-pricing.html

12:56 am - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#6 M.

dj0502, this camera lets you choose, depending on the lens you use, between optical and electronic viewfinder. It's the only mirrorless camera to do so. What exactly do you mean the EVF doesn't work for you? The NEX-7's viewfinder is an electronic one, so it probably won't work for you either.

1:43 am - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#7 t.j.

I think this looks to be a good camera, I have already seen the Fuji guys talk about it a lot, but the one improvement that they didn't mention was better menu, and task to task performance, the NEX-7 has a great deal of custom settings. Also on dpreview you can compare the images from the x100 to the nex-7, I feel the nex-7 wins on IQ, i don't know how much improvment they made with this new sensor, but I'm very interested. Until the review I'm holding out. It is great to see good competition from companies other than Canikon. Ive been tired of their strangle hold on the market.

2:11 am - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#8 Dougbm

I used to own a Fuji S2 Pro for about 5 years and it was well known for it's great dynamic range. It was based on a Nikon body and used Nikor lenses. Then Fuji seemed to concentrate on the saturated point and shoot market with mixed success. I now have an x100 and no doubt Fuji are back on track making premium products for the more discerning photgrapher. This looks good but to entice me away from the x100 it really needs a 24-105 zoom equivalent. And to be honest they need to improve the metering. Thank god for the exposure comp dial. Lovely images otherwise and brilliant in low light. I use my x100 a lot but recently had to use my 5D exclusively and it was apparent how useful the 24-105 lens was and how good the metering.

3:09 am - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#9 jjcc

1700 US! Great camera otherwise.

This is a tad too much to ask. Who's doing your price research?

Fuji if you want to sell in volume this range is out of reach for most consumers.

1000 for the body with lens tops.

The margins are too high on this.

5:09 pm - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#10 Kash

I am a big fan of Fuji and their approach to photography on a whole. I own an X100 and it is mostly a joy to use (providing the AF locks down the subject correctly).

The biggest flaw of the X100 is the focussing system, IMO, and the lack of true manual focus control is what lets the camera down. Anyone who has used the X100 for a long period of time in a range of situations will probably attest to the AF system and will have similar grievances about the inadequacies of manually focussing with this camera as the feel isn't as "direct" as what you would find on a regular lens.

On this new camera, there is no mention about manual focussing at all and while I love the design and features of the camera, the make or break feature for me will be about whether the lens have direct manual control over focussing.

12:41 pm - Wednesday, January 11, 2012