I finally got to get some hands-on time with the new Fuji X-Pro1 at CES 2012. After handing out Camera of the Year honors in 2011 to the Fuji X100, I’ve been itching to see what Fuji had coming for the oft-rumored interchangeable lens lineup. Based on what I’ve seen so far, the Fuji X-Pro1 looks like it won’t disappoint and should easily be in the running for the 2012 Camera of the Year.
The X-Pro1 has all the class and build-quality that we’ve come to expect from the X-series. As was the case with the X100, the smart aperture ring and shutter dial makes manual and auto operation a breeze.
At 16MP, the X-Pro1 appears to offer solid (if not class-leading) image quality and high ISO performance for an APS-C format camera. The form-factor is gorgeous and feels great in the hand. It has all the deliciousness of the X100’s body and adds a world of potential with interchangeable lenses.
The only downside that I see thus far (as compared to the X100) is the focal plane shutter, which offers sync speeds of 1/125s. The X100 synced at 1/4000s thanks to its leaf shutter. My guess is that adding a leaf shutter to each lens for the X-Pro1 would have been cost prohibitive – since they currently run $600 each anyway.
The X-Pro1 does offer TTL compatibility with Fuji’s new line of hotshoe flashes. Sadly though, there is currently no wireless TTL built into the system. I’m not sure if a third party could hack something together, but it could be an exciting workaround if they did.
Listening to Fuji’s press conference (full video here), I was a bit skeptical about their intended market for the X-Pro1 as a mainstream portrait and wedding camera. However, after handling the camera and getting a glimpse at the solid image quality it delivers, I’m less so now. I’m not ready to sell off my 5D Mark II but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see these show up on real shoots over the next few months.
The AF seems fast and snappy. And the overall performance of the camera is as fast as you would expect from a pro-level camera.
As far as lenses go, Fuji is out of the gate with a trio of prime lenses: an 18mm f/2.0, a 35mm f/1.4 and a 60mm f/2.1 Macro. A super-wide 14mm lens and a zoom lens are slated for release later in 2012, and several new prime and zoom lenses should be in the lineup in 2013. I would expect to hear more big news on the X-Pro series cameras and lenses by the time Photokina 2012 rolls around in September.
Initial pricing on the body is estimated at $1700 and $600 for each of the three primes. While several folks have balked at these prices, I think Fuji is going to have a hard time keeping them in stock even at that.
Frankly, the Fuji X-Pro1 looks and feels awesome. Performance seems to be most of what we’d hoped for – save for the focal plane shutter, 1/125s flash sync and limited TTL system. Image quality looks stunning based on what I’ve seen thus far. I can’t wait to spend more time with a production model.
The X-Pro1 should be available in February 2012. Check availability at B&H Photo.
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