Fujifilm X-Pro 1 Hands-On: Intoxicatingly Simple

Fujifims’ new X-Pro 1 is the most sophisticated mirrorless camera we’ve ever touched. We said sophisticated, not complicated. If you know the difference, you are going to love this camera.

As a camera the X-Pro 1 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 after spending 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.

We tried the camera out using a prototype so there were some quirks to the performance, but overall the camera is a lot of fun. There’s not intelligent automatic settings that pretend to know what you’re looking for from 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 coolest 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, and Fuji has told us that this will be the case on the production models, is that the autofocus isn’t going to be as snappy as it is on other cameras. Fuji says thats because that’s not what this camera is about. Fine, but it’s going to annoy the hell out of you if you’re used to a good point-and-shoot camera or DSLR.

This isn’t a fully featured camera, it’s just probably going to be a very good camera. We’re very excited to see what the image quality on the company’s proprietary version of the APS-C sensor looks like, because that’s what this camera is all about. It takes care of the quality and leaves the photography up to you. The camera is will be available at the end of February, and Fuji tells us it’ll cost about $US2400.