updated 08:05 pm EST, Tue January 10, 2012
We try Fujifilm's interchangeable X-Trans camera
Electronista staff had the opportunity to try Fujifilm's X-Pro1 here on the CES show floor and have so far come away impressed. The body of the camera is big -- it feels more like a big vintage rangefinder, which is partly intentional -- but it's still fairly reassuring to hold and has all the buttons fall comfortably to hand. The only gripes on the outside from our short foray were the slightly stiff mode dials on top and that the thumb wheel was almost too easy to spin.
Image quality, of course, is the emphasis of the camera, and it's here that the camera generally shines. We liked the FinePix X100 from last year; this is that quality, magnified. We only had the chance to use the 35mm f1.4 lens, but the camera had little trouble focusing and getting sharpness in the uneven light of the test area. Skin tones were a bit light hued, but the primary colors popped and were true to life.
We didn't see any moiré effects, possibly proving Fujifilm's claims about the sensor, although the scene wasn't explicitly set up to test that argument. Bokeh was certainly very smooth and subtle when the aperture was wide enough.
Not surprisingly with the f1.4 rating, we actually had to narrow the aperture down to avoid overwhelming the scene with light and leaving too much out of focus in angled scenes. That gave us an opportunity to try the lens controls, which were pleasing to use. The aperture adjustment may almost be too close to the back of the lens, but the focus was just right.
If there's an obstacle, it may be the somewhat dense software. Not much has changed in most cases, so if you tend to change more in-depth settings regularly, you may be frustrated. To our relief, there's a Canon-style Quick Menu option that lets you simply highlight ISO or another favorite setting and use the thumb wheel to adjust it on the spot.
We're looking forward to the X-Pro1 from our time with it, and we thankfully won't have to wait past February. Pricing and future lens choices are the real issues. Fujifilm hasn't set out a cost, so we don't know how well this will stack up against DSLRs in value for the money. Likewise, there are no zoom lenses yet, so it will be hard to completely recommend the X-Pro1 for wildlife photography or others that need long-range or adaptable focal distances.