My first thoughts...Fuji XPro1

(35mm lens, ISO 6400, 1/250th F1.4) I have been back in Hong Kong only a day, and I get a phone call from one of my suppliers....the Fuji XPro1 kit is here....come and collect it and take it for a test drive...of course, like the obedient little boy that I am....i quickly agreed and darted across the river to Kowloon to collect it.

Now something has been tickling my mind...last week I had my best week ever with the Leica M9....totally restored my faith in the beast....however I know the Fuji was on the horizon, and although I don't consider it a direct competitor with the Leica, I have to admit I was scared in case the results from it were so good that I started to question my investment in the Leica gear at some point.

Now I must stress again that I am not a technical wizard nor a scientist of any form....I simply use the camera I have in my hand to attain the best images I can....and the only thing that limits me with the Leica is the ISO..thats it, and even then its mainly because i LOVE to shoot in almost darkness or extremely low light and have found the ISO performance questionable in certain situations.  That will soon be rectified as I will be testing the SLR Magic 50mm 0.95 lens from next week, so will be able to shoot bats in a cave without light i think :-)

Anway, I just wanted to post a few images that I shot tonight and share a few quick thoughts on the Fuji XPro1 having used it on the streets of Hong Kong for only 3 hours.

(35mm lens, ISO 3200, 1/800th F1.4)

Camera settings will be posted under each image, however I will not post full size images for one reason....i dont know how to do it and keep the blog size images at same time! I'm an wordpress idiot when it comes to that, so if anyone can share how to do that on my blog I will happily share links to full size files for them should they want to see them.

My initial thoughts were as follows:

Pros:  perfect body size, amazingly sharp lenses with great maximum apertures, looks super cool (one guy i shot even shouted 'waahhhh LEICA!' after I took his pic, so the Fuji has no problem demanding street cred already as people are thinking its a retro Leica :-), extremely good high ISO performance...shooting in the dark at ISO 25600 and nailing sharp images!

Cons:  Autofocus missed a handful of shots initially...i have almost rectified that problem already by turning on some other autofocus settings that seem to help...I think a bit of practice is needed then it will be fine.  After an hours fiddling around, I was able to shoot in a bar with literally no light, where I could not read the label on my beer and get perfectly sharp focus 9 times out of i guess its just a bit of practice, time will tell, I've heard many complaints about the X100 i was expecting problems, but nothing dramatic has occured, simple fine tuning and it seems to be pretty much there already.

Here are tonight's quick snapshots, please bear in mind these are purely test shots for me to try and familiarise myself with the camera in low light...testing focus and high ISO performance.

Following shots all on the 35mm 1.4 (equivalent approx to a 50mm on full frame) 

(no post processsing or adjustments, simply camera JPEGS here)


(Rocco the Leica slave,  1/350th F1.4, ISO 6400)

(Taxi,  1/1000th F1.4, ISO 3200)

(Woman texting,  1/150th F1.4, ISO 3200)

(Happy Couple,  1/350th F1.4, ISO 3200)

(Caught me peeking,  1/105th F1.6, ISO 3200)


The following few pictures were all taken on the 60mm 2.4 lens (again, no post processsing or adjustments, simply camera JPEGS here)

(dinner time,  1/110th F2.4, ISO 5000)

(inside computer centre,  1/500th F2.4, ISO 5000)

The following images were shot in a very very dark bar, i cranked up the ISO straight to the maximum ISO 25600.....heres the results...again, no noise reduction, or post production whatsoever, these are straight from camera.

(35mm lens, ISO 25600, 1/450th, F1.4)(35mm lens, ISO 25600, 1/340th, F1.4)(60mm lens ISO 25600, 1/120th, F2.4)(60mm lens, ISO 25600, 1/170th, F2.4)

Although these images have been shrunk down for blog sizing, hopefully there is enough information to show the quality at least to give an idea...basically as I said already, there is a total lack of noise anywhere at any ISO....I shoot normally Canon 5D Mk II, Canon 7D or Leica M9 and this Fuji blows them all out of the water in a nano-second with regards high ISO performance...if this is the future of cameras to come with this kind of high ISO performance, then I might as well sell my flash units, as I won't be using them much anymore!

I have to say, apart from the tiny niggles with the autofocus I had at the start of the night, overall I am extremely impressed....I ain't selling my Leica gear, its a very different feeling for me shooting a rangefinder over an autofocus camera...but for sure this new Fuji is going to be getting a serious workout over the coming weeks.

My initial advice to anyone who is looking for a lightweight alternative to DSLR where image quality is paramount, or a less expensive alternative to Leica for street or travel photography...I think this camera could very easily fill that gap.

Please bear in mind that I have not tested any other cameras that could be considered competiton....this is just my gut feeling as a photographer who shoots a lot of images on a day to day basis in a variety of situations.

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