Thursday, 7 June 2012

Fuji X Pro-1: Shooting From The Hip/Vivid vs B&W

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved
Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved
With this month's credit card statement settled, I can now claim complete ownership of my Fujifilm X Pro-1 and the Fujinon 18mm lens that I bought last month, so feel I've earned the right to update my impressions having used it in the streets of New York as frequently as I could.

Let me start by saying that looks can be deceiving. Operating the Fujifilm X Pro-1's various options can be quite complex, and took longer than I expected, especially as I have the unfortunate habit of not reading manuals, preferring to learn on the fly.

Much has been written (and continues to be written) on the X Pro-1's performance, strong and weak points, quirks (some infuriating and others not so much) and superlative image quality...so I won't repeat them here, apart from saying this:

1. As I do much of my street photography in the streets of NYC by shooting from the hip, I rely on the X Pro-1's auto focus. Its auto focus is not infallible, but even my Canon 5D Mark II and 7D are not, so that's an issue I can easily live with. The main gripe I have with the X Pro-1 is that it occasionally goes to sleep, and it takes a few jabs at its shutter to wake it up. By that time of course, the subject of my attention has walked on by, or the moment I wanted to capture passed.

And to me, that's the main negative of the X Pro-1 insofar as shooting from the hip is concerned.

2. I tried a couple of color film settings, and I'm occasionally disappointed in the rendition of the Velvia (or vivid) setting. The color photograph above was made using the Vivid film simulation setting, and I just don't like it. While the whole scene is more or less fine, the color of the man's jeans (as an example) is unnatural, and seems too over-saturated.

3. The battery life of the X Pro-1 sucks. As I mentioned in previous posts, I manage to get about 300 images on one charge (that includes a bit of chimping). On the other hand, it recharges quite rapidly. So on my shopping list, is another battery. For an all day kind of shooting, 2 batteries (and perhaps 3) are the minimum.

That all said, I am quite satisfied with the performance of the X Pro-1 and I anticipate getting more comfortable with it during the next few weeks, and also expect that Fuji will come up with further firmware updates.

I added a monochrome version (processed via LR) which I much prefer to the color one. I suspect that if I claimed that it came from the new Leica MM, no one would guess otherwise.

Finally, for a website that aggregates all there is to know about the Fuji X Pro-1, drop by Thomas Menk's Scoop.it | Fuji X Pro 1 blog.