For a camera that is just 3 years old the Fuji X-Pro1 is one of those cameras that polarises opinion in so many ways. First announced back in January 2012 and launched in March 2012, the X-Pro1 is likely to go down as a classic. It was the flagship model that fully launched Fuji into interchangeable lens systems and in part thanks to the hybrid viewfinder allowing photographers the option of choosing between an optical finder (OVF) and an electronic view (EVF), along with previews of depth of field and white balance. It’s a camera that in many ways is tough to better and for many Fujiholics, the wait continues for the release of the X-Pro2, a new improved X-Pro1, once more trail blazing the Fuji name.
The question many still ask though, is should you still invest your money in an X-Pro1 now, with Fuji moving forward with revised technology, and the X-Pro1 slowly getting left behind.
The release of Fuji's XT-1 certainly upped the game for Fuji, even though the styling was somewhat different to the X-Pro1. It features no rangefinder style cues like the X-Pro1 has but the technology is certainly a step on from the X-Pro1. The fabulous EVF of the XT-1 answers a lot of the critics questions regarding optical viewfinders, and with a faster focussing system and more future proof internals for upgrading via firmware updates, the XT-1 is certainly king of the Fuji hill at present.
However, there is something a little magical about the X-Pro1 that Fuji have been unable to re-create in their models since the launch of the X-Pro1. Of course, it’s digital so it can’t have soul, but so many times I’ve heard the word mentioned. It feels like a living, breathing object, that somehow manages to sprinkle a little fairy dust on images few other cameras manage to do.
If you’re looking for the latest technology with fast autofocus speeds the X-Pro1 isn’t for you. However, if you’re after for a camera that just has that "je ne sais quoi" this maybe the camera you’re looking for.
It has a balance in the hand few other camera bodies have. It’s controls and button layout are quite intuitive and with the fantastic 35mm Fuji XF f/1.4 lens on it, it’s no slouch, and technically the 16mp sensor is still good technology and capable of producing print images with little loss in overall quality too.
So, should you still buy an X-Pro1?
Well, if you’re looking for a soul mate, one you can connect with, produce great images with, but accept isn’t the greatest athlete in town then the X-Pro1 is certainly still relevant. It’s a camera to savour, a camera to make you consider your photography, a little like film cameras do - but when you do that and slow down the results can be amazing.