Having decided a little while ago to dump my DSLR kit for something more lightweight and portable, the shortlist of what I wanted was actually pretty short. Initially, my head was somewhat turned by the Fuji XE-1. A stunningly designed camera married to a beautiful X trans sensor which on it's day will do just about 90% of the work any DSLR camera can do. Great size, competitively priced and with everything I want from a camera.
Having had a play with one in my local Jessops a couple of times, I did some homework and everything seemed to fit the bill. That was until I came upon the Fuji X-Pro1. The Fuji X-Pro1 is to all intents and purposes the same camera. OK, dimensionally it's a little bigger, it has an optical viewfinder not just the electronic viewfinder found on the XE-1. The most important aspects of the camera are the same though - same X trans sensor, same lens mount, effectively same control.
So, really it just comes down to feel and balance. Luckily, I had the chance to try one out in Birmingham last weekend and have to say, everything I had read about the X-Pro1 was right - and I simply fell for it. For me, it just seemed to fit better in the hand, the OVF is a welcome extra and personally I think it has just slightly more presence. On Tuesday I managed to source one together with an 18-55mm kit lens.
Well, it's a lot different to a DSLR. It focusses differently so that will be a learning curve. The system works on contrast detection autofocus (CDAF) which means you effectively aim for surfaces that have contrast. This is different to a traditional DSLR which works on phase detection autofocus (PDAF) where you look for object edges to focus on. This is going to take some getting used to, but something that does hold benefit. For instance, lenses aren't subject to back focus issues for one.
What is apparent is the amazing build quality - and even with the zoom lens which is in effect Fuji's kit lens, with a focal length of 18-55mm you still get f2.8 - 4.0 which is capable of very high quality results.
So, what's next? Well, there is a shopping list
- Diopter adjustment lens
- 35mm f/1.4 prime lens
- A spare battery or two
- Faster writing SD cards
- ND Filters for both zoom & prime lenses
At some stage, I might consider adding one or two other prime lenses to the mix. I love the flexibility the zoom lens offers, but having mainly shot with primes, I love the control and overall feel a prime lens offers. Fuji have some corking lenses debuting over the coming months, but of course price maybe the issue with some of their planned releases. We'll just have to see about that one.
All in all, I'm a very happy man this week…. hopefully this will be my go-to camera and get me out shooting for all occasions now.