Monday, September 10, 2012

Fujifilm X-Pro1 : Obsolete?

The Fujifilm X-Pro1 is a high end mirrorless camera, featuring an amazing hybrid optical viewfinder (OVF) and a sensor that does wonders to capture details and colours. It's also pretty expensive, when you don't get one on ebay for a fraction of the price like I did!

Now Fuji is releasing its small brother, the XE-1. It's basically the same camera, without the hybrid optical viewfinder (thus smaller and lighter) and with a built-in flash. It looks like both cameras share the same sensor, so we should expect the same image quality as well.


My two cents about it is that it all boils down to the OVF, which is one of the raison d'être of the X series. While the electronic viewfinder (EVF) is ok (and apparently the XE-1 sports a refined version of it), I only use it when I'm too close to the subject or to manually focus on my 3rd-party lenses. It's only a temporary solution. The real Fuji X experience is when using the optical viewfinder. Granted, I haven't had the chance to see the XE-1 for myself, so I'll reserve my final judgement until I can test the new EVF. But I seriously doubt that the XE-1's EVF can match the X100/X-Pro1's comfort.

About the built-in flash, well, I don't see that it means anything. I know that some people use the built-in flash of their cameras, but I never was one of them.

That said, if you don't already own a X-Pro1, I can understand why you might hesitate to shell out the extra cash when all you get for your 600 bucks is the optical viewfinder (and better LCD). The XE-1 is clearly a high-end Fuji for the budget conscious and it's no chance that it's released along a definitely entry user lens like the 18-55mm. In other words, you've got the XE-1 + 18-55mm for the budget users and the X-Pro1 + prime lenses for the more serious users who don't mind paying the extra. I'm totally fine with that. I think it's great from Fuji to expand the product line that way. As for myself, the optical viewfinder is an inherent part of the experience and I wouldn't part with it. Actually, the mere idea of selling the X-Pro1 to buy a XE-1 is pretty ludicrous to me, but hey, different strokes...

15 comments:

Jeremy Harris said...

I totally agree with you. I love my Fuji X-Pro1 and it's optical viewfinder!

Gene Lowinger said...

I was so happy to see that there was no OVF on the new camera, and that it had a built in flash. I have no use for the flash, and without the OVF the new camera offers nothing to me, so my GAS reading was ZERO.

THE CHARLOTTESVILLE PARALLAX said...

I love both of my X-Pro1s and the OVF, but I surprise myself as I only use it when focus speed is of the essence. You can bet dollars to donuts that I'll buy two of these bad boy X-E1s in November. It's just an expansion of my camera bag. Whatever works best for the situation I'm in is the camera I'm going to grab. And if I'm going to save $1400 even better! Remember, a camera is a tool and nothing else. It's what we do with it that matters.

Speaking of X series cameras... I just purchased the obscure and perhaps "obsolete" X-S1 yesterday. Wow! What an awesome $600 back-up camera. And hey, the 624mm and 1cm Super Macro Mode won't be too bad for a few up close and personal grabs too. The resolving power isn't the greatest, but better the digi-cams of yesteryear. The best thing is that the shutter sounds just like the classic X100.

I tip my hat and say, "Thank you, Fuji. Keep pushing the envelope and keep expanding the X series cameras."

Jason

http://jasonkeefer.com

Unknown said...
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Jeff Seltzer said...

It's like people who ask "Why a 5D with a 60D has better X,Y, or Z?" For some (me) the OVF is a camera-defining must have feature, just like the full frame sensor is for me on the 5D. For me, it's what makes the XP1 a "real camera" and not a computer hooked-up to a lens. It allows to use the best possible thing to frame a picture - my eye. It allows me to see what's in the frame, and what's not in the frame. It's more fun.

Matt Meech said...

Yes I agree! I like the EVF but there is a bit of a lag. The whole point of rangefinders and the OVF is that you see the frame as you take the shot. If you are taking shots of landscapes, yes framing is the most important thing. But if you are shooting people I say snap the 'moment' (and crop if you need to). If I'm using the EVF I nearly always miss the moment.

Matt Meech said...

Yes I agree! I like the EVF but there is a bit of a lag. The whole point of rangefinders and the OVF is that you see the frame as you take the shot. If you are taking shots of landscapes, yes framing is the most important thing. But if you are shooting people I say snap the 'moment' (and crop if you need to). If I'm using the EVF I nearly always miss the moment.

khoral said...

Now, here's a post that grabs attention, eheh.
It's fun to see how the new Fuji cameras always spark conversations.

I hope I was clear enough : I have nothing against the XE-1. If it's the right camera for you, by any means go for it!

John Smith said...

On the 18th of September the X-Pro1 will get the major firmware update it needs to autofocus with the best cameras. Obsolete? No. If the X-Pro1 is the new Leica M3 (I have both)then the X-E1 is certainly the M2 of today. Both cameras fit a niche. Will I get an X-E1? Yes. It will be the perfect backup for my XP1, giving me great versatility. And both cameras together cost and weigh less than the Canon or Nikon D-SLRs. Way to go Fuji!

John Smith said...

To Jeff and Matt...you are right about the OVF over the EVF. I spent time shooting motorcycles whizzing by and I found the OVF to be supremely valuable. I can track moving objects with ease on the OVF and the lag just isn't an issue. The versatility of the X-Pro1 startles me. If the X-Pro1 is anything close to obsolete, then so is every other digital camera. I never leave home without my XP1.

khoral said...

I can't wait for the 2.0 firmware. The AF performance gain of course, but also the fact that it finally shortens the number of turns necessary to manual focus the lens (a flaw that I found very disappointing on the X100 too).

Oh and the faster card write... I only shoot RAW and bought the fastest Sandisk specially for the X-Pro1, but there also the performance gain will be much appreciated.

moshiden said...

...lol at the X-pro1 owners who are comforting themselves by saying the OVF is worth the $700 difference. Really? The OVF on the X-Pro1 imo is over-rated. Its incorrect, the frame lines are completely off. Most ppl end up using the EVF anyways.

For the savings of $700, you get a lighter, smaller package in the X-E1 along with better EVF, same sensor and addition of flash. Seems like a no brainer to me. I'll happily use that $700 to buy the prime lens thank you.

Fuji should be ashamed of themselves for releasing like the E-X1 only 5 months after the X-pro1.

Tammy L'Hoste said...

Well fortunately I just bought my XP1 AFTER the xe1 announcement and AFTER the $300 instant rebate on the XP1! I love the OVF and it isn't just me justifying it because I had the choice to go either way--EVF is great for critical framing and focus but seems "claustrophobic" compared to OVF.

The best news is that we all have a choice and that there's another X-mount camera to keep the developers motivated to bring us improvements!

Tammy L'Hoste said...
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khoral said...

Releasing the X-Pro1 and XE-1 in such a short succession is an odd marketing move and I can't say that I know how much the OVF is worth.
That said, in the end, you either care for it or you don't.
I do, so I'll stick to the X-Pro1 for sure.