Fujifilm X-Pro1 Hands-On: Intoxicatingly Simple

Fujifilms' new X-Pro1 is the most sophisticated mirrorless camera I've ever touched. I said sophisticated, not complicated. If you know the difference, you are going to love this camera.

As a camera, the X-Pro1 is incredibly easy to use, which means a lot of people are going to hate it. All of the functions you need to take a picture are right in front of you, and if you've spend the last few years navigating camera menus trying to set up shots, the layout is almost shockingly simple. Aperture is controlled by a ring around the lens, right where you expect it. Shutter speed is controlled by a dial on the top of the camera where you usually find the exposure mode dial on a DSLR. Where do you control exposure settings then? If you want the camera to automatically set the aperture, shutter speed or both, simply twist the the control ring/dial to "A". That's it. Simple.

I tried the camera out using a prototype so there were some quirks with performance. There are no intelligent automatic settings that pretend to know what you're looking for in a picture. This camera isn't for snapshots. It sucks you in and begs you to focus on the kind of picture you're trying to take—to the point where you lose track of time trying to get it right.

Like other Fuji cameras, this camera has the unbelievably cool hybrid viewfinder, which allows you to toggle between the back display and the viewfinder. The best part is that all the menus and display options you're used to seeing on a camera's LCD are viewable through the viewfinder.

The camera's one drawback is that the autofocus isn't going to be as snappy as it is on other cameras. Fuji told us that this will be the case on the production models as well, which is going to annoy the hell out of you if you're used to a good point-and-shoot camera or DSLR.

I didn't get a chance to check out image quality but I'm excited about the potential of Fuji's proprietary version of the APS-C sensor in this beautiful body. It takes care of the quality and leaves the photography up to you. The X-Pro1 will be available at the end of February, and Fuji told us it'll cost about $2400. That might seem a little expensive for a mirrorless system camera, sure—but for a certain type of well-heeled shutterhead, it could well be worth it.

Fujifilm X-Pro1 Hands-On: Intoxicatingly Simple


Fujifilm X-Pro1 Hands-On: Intoxicatingly Simple
Fujifilm X-Pro1 Hands-On: Intoxicatingly Simple