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Fujifilm’s X100 became an instant hit upon its release in 2011, thanks to a 12.3-megapixel APS-C sensor, a high-quality fixed 23mm ƒ/2 lens and a beautiful industrial design. It was followed by the X10, which had a smaller sensor, but also a built-in zoom. Now Fujifilm has introduced the X-Pro1, with a new 16.3-megapixel APS-C sensor and interchangeable lenses. For travel photographers, in particular, this new camera looks like a real winner.
Like the X100, the X-Pro1 features a Hybrid Multi Viewfinder—you can view using an optical viewfinder (for the brightest image and minimal shutter lag) or a 1,440,000-dot electronic one. But this next-generation viewfinder offers two magnifications, automatically switching to 0.37x for the 18mm lens, and 0.60x for the 35mm and 60mm lenses. Both viewfinders can display a lot of shooting information when desired, including exposure compensation, depth of field, shutter speed, aperture, exposure mode, image quality and size, number of available frames, distance indicator, AF target and ISO setting.
Besides a hot-shoe for an external TTL electronic flash unit (Fujifilm offers the EF-X20 for the camera), there’s a PC connector so you can connect studio flash systems. Maximum flash sync shutter speed is 1⁄180 sec.
The X-Pro1 features a solid, attractive body (made in Japan) with a magnesium-alloy chassis, die-cast aluminum-alloy top and baseplates, and leatherlike finish. Precision-milled dials provide direct control of shutter speed and exposure compensation, while apertures are set (in 1⁄3-stop increments) via a ring on the lens. Manual focusing is via a ring on the lens, but as with the X100, is electronic “focus by wire,” not mechanical.
At the heart of the new X-Pro1 is an all-new Fujifilm X-Trans CMOS image sensor. It’s APS-C in size, with a 1.5x focal-length factor and assuring DSLR image quality. But it’s also new in concept, with a unique “enhanced-randomness” filter array that has red, green and blue pixels in every row and column, minimizing moiré and false colors, and thus eliminating the need for an optical low-pass filter—and the resulting loss of sharpness it causes. A new EXR Processor Pro with supporting co-processor gets the most from the new sensor and lenses.
Image Sensor: 16.3 MP X-Trans CMOS
Max. Resolution: 4896×3264 pixels
Sensor Size: 23.6×15.6mm (APS-C)
Video: 1920×1080/24p; 1280×720/24p
AF System: 49-area contrast
Shutter Speeds: 30 to 1⁄4000 sec., B
ISO Settings: 200-6400 (expandable to 100-25,600)
Continuous Firing Mode: 6 fps
Recording Format: RAW, JPEG, RAW + JPEG
Metering: 256-zone, CW, spot
Storage Media: SD/SDHC/SDXC
Dimensions: 5.5×3.2×1.7 inches
Weight: 14.1 ounces
Power Source: Rechargeable NP-W126 Li-ion battery
Estimated Street Price: $1,700 (body only)
Contact: Fujifilm, (800) 800-FUJI, www.fujifilm.com
As an interchangeable-lens camera, the X-Pro1 is susceptible to dust landing on the sensor during lens changes. To combat this, it has an Ultra Sonic Vibration system that shakes dust particles off the sensor.
The X-Pro1 has a focal-plane shutter and can shoot at any shutter speed from 30 to 1⁄400 sec. at any aperture. The X100 has a mechanical shutter and can’t use its top 1⁄4000 sec. speed at apertures wider than ƒ/8.
The X-Pro1 features a new all-electronic Fujifilm X mount that takes new Fujinon XF lenses, of which there are initially three: the XF18mm ƒ/2 R, XF35mm ƒ/1.4 R and XF60mm ƒ/2.4 R macro (0.5x magnification). The X mount and lenses take advantage of the camera’s short 17.7mm flange-back distance, the wider opening and deeper mounting of the lens, producing enhanced resolution edge to edge, minimizing vignetting and reducing chromatic aberration. The lenses feature Fujifilm’s Super EBC coating, glass elements, metal barrels and aperture rings. Each lens comes with a lightweight precision-milled aluminum lens hood. An adapter for Leica M lenses will be offered.
The X-Pro1 can save images on SD, SDHC or SDXC (UHS-I) memory cards.
The X-Pro1 is primarily a still camera, but in this age of hybrids, Fujifilm incorporated 1920x1080p full HD and 1280x720p HD video at 24 fps, in H.264 (.MOV) format. Stereo sound is recorded via the built-in microphone, but there’s no jack for an external mic. Maximum clip length is 29 minutes.
Besides the Hybrid Multi Viewfinder, there’s a 3.0-inch, 1,230,000-dot RGBW LCD monitor for composing images. The “W” in RGBW refers to white pixels along with the usual red, green and blue ones; this provides a brighter image.
The Lowepro Teraclime
50 is a small, soft-sided case that’s perfect for the compact X-Pro1. It’s produced from 95% recycled materials. www.lowepro.com
The 64 GB Class 10 PNY SDXC card has plenty of capacity, and it can keep up with the X-Pro1’s HD video mode. www.pny.comwww.pny.com
The Joby GorillaPod Focus is mountable anywhere. It’s ideal for putting the camera in an interesting position when using the X-Pro1’s HD video capability. joby.com