Fujifilm X-Pro1 Review

March 15, 2012 | Mark Goldstein |


The Fujifilm X-Pro1 feels like the natural interchangeable lens evolution of the incredibly popular X-100 camera, offering similarly refined, intuitive handling, fantastic image quality, premium build quality and three high-quality lenses on launch. Unfortunately like the X-100 it also suffers from slightly sluggish auto-focusing, awkward manual focusing, slow write speeds and merely average video mode, and the hybrid viewfinder doesn't lend itself so well to interchangeable lenses as the fixed lens on the X100. An eye-watering price-tag of almost double the X-100's current price without a lens also doesn't help the X-Pro1's cause. All that said, this is still a great compact system camera that offers something genuinely different to the competition.

The X-Pro1 delivers most of the goods in terms of its handling, with a few caveats. The multitude of external controls, optical viewfinder and stunning appearance have been cunningly combined with some truly cutting-edge features, most notably the hybrid viewfinder. As on the X100, the ability to frame your subject in not one, not two, but three different ways, each of which offers certain benefits, makes the X-Pro1 incredibly versatile, although the magnification system that's employed for the longer 35mm and 60mm lenses does result in a very small frame when using the optical viewfinder. The camera also suffers from using a contrast-based auto-focus system that's slower than other rivals, the same unresponsive manual focusing system as the X100, long processing times for both single and burst RAW images, and a rather rudimentary video mode.

Thankfully the X-Pro1's innovative image sensor and lack of low-pass filter lives up to all the hype and more, delivering truly excellent image quality. Noise is noticeable only by its almost complete absence throughout the ISO range of 100-25,600, while the Dynamic Range function helps to boost contrast and detail. The three lenses are all sharp from the center to the edges (individual reviews coming soon), while the fast maximum apertures make it easy to creatively throw the background out of focus. The X-Pro1 is certainly right up there with the best APS-C sensor cameras on the market, and some full-frame models too.

You will have to pay an awful lot of money, though, for the X-Pro1 - £1399 / $1699 just for the body, and well over £2000 / $2000 with the 35mm lens. That's more than any other compact system camera on the market, including the Sony NEX-7, putting the X-Pro1 more in line with high-end DSLRs like the Canon EOS 7D, the older 5D MKII and the Nikon D7100. The now discounted X100 is also a great alternative if you want a 35mm lens. It's great to see another manufacturer join the compact system camera revolution and bring something truly innovative to the party, so if the Fujifilm X-Pro1 suits your way of shooting and your budget, we have no hesitation at all in highly recommending it.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 5
Value for money 3.5