Having owned my X100s for just a little over a week now and more or less taken it everywhere, I thought it would be an idea to talk about my initial impressions of it against my X-Pro1 which through 12 months of ownership I've had a bit of a love/hate relationship with. At times I feel the X-Pro1 is the best camera I've ever owned and at times I've felt I should sell up and start over with a completely different system. Coming from a pretty simple DSLR system of a Canon 5D Mark1 and a couple of primes to the Fuji X-Pro1 was certainly an eye opener for sure.
Having always had that nagging feeling in the back of my mind that the X100 was the camera I really should own, I had the option to pick one up recently. I could have added another lens, or maybe even two to my X-Pro1 but felt now was the time to finally buy into the X100. I picked up a soon to be replaced almost new X100s which is perfect for everyday carrying around and with the 23mm fixed focal length is ideal for just about, well everything.
As a starting point the X100s is built beautifully, just as the X-Pro1 is. There's little to choose between the two, and as you'd imagine from Fuji build quality is fantastic on both. The X100s is smaller in hand regardless of what lens you have on the X-Pro1, and button layout is similar but not quite the same. I'm not, after a week quite dialled into the layout and so when looking at the back I'm still looking around trying to find the right button at times. Talking of buttons, the scroll wheel of the X100s is certainly not as nice to use as the D pad style of the X-Pro1 that's for sure.
Of course the real differences lie in the sensor and AF speed. Fuji uses the same 16MP X trans sensor from the X-Pro1 but has a few tweaks. With the help of phase detection, auto focussing on the the X100s is snappier and in combination with the fixed 23mm lens, it performs in every way just slightly quicker than the X-Pro1. Whilst still not on a par with the offerings from Olympus, the X100s performs admirably in almost all situations.
In spite of recent firmware updates which have helped Fuji increase the speed of AF On the X-Pro1, it still remains a little underpowered, and could do with a bump in focus speed ideally. It would be great if Fuji could wring more AF speed out through a firmware update, but I'm guessing this is unlikely to happen.
Choosing just one is difficult however. The X100s is ideal for throwing into a small bag and literally taking everywhere. There is not much you can't do with it. Like most Fuji's it appears its achilles heel is low light focussing, but other than that it produces stunning images, so long as you're happy at a fixed focal length. The X-Pro1 is a more deliberate camera choice. It's a hat tip, if you like to film days where thought is required to get the best from it. You can't rush it, it simply won't be rushed and the images it creates have a beautiful lustre, that personally I don't feel the X100s can recreate.
Personally, I like the physical presence of the X-Pro1, it fits in your hand beautifully with buttons having a simple, logical sequence. It's beautifully built, and creates stunning images. Perversely, since buying the X100s, my appreciation of the X-Pro1 has gone up, and I'm enjoying using it more than ever before. However, give me a year with the X100s and I may just change my mind.