Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Another Negative View On the Fuji X Pro 1

EOS HD, a website primarily aimed at filmmakers using SLR cameras, has posted what could be called a review of the Fuji X Pro 1. It... is not good.

Before I comment, this review is admittedly coming from a video enthusiast. But he makes the entirely correct point that there is no technical reason why Fuji's video recording features needed to be so sub-par. It is a feature that should be there, simply by virtue of the hardware, yet isn't. Still, I don't shoot a lot of video, so I can write this off.

Beyond that, though, his criticism applies just as well to photography as it does videography. Namely, he thinks that the focus scheme is so terrible as to ruin the camera. He dislikes the hybrid viewfinder, he dislikes the lenses, and he dislikes much of the interface. On a positive note, he thinks that the camera is overall a snappier experience than the X100, which shows that Fuji is indeed finding their feet in this race.

When coming from the perspective of someone who is steeped in the most up-to-date technology that the imaging world is able to produce, the "retro" bits that many photographers covet seem positively absurd. He says that almost every comparison with Sony NEX-7 comes out in Sony's favor, and the focus issue even hands a win to the cheaper Micro 4/3 crew. While I still want this camera, this autofocus problem is becoming increasingly salient.

I have said it before, I will sacrifice usability for image quality, and the reviewer admits that the Fuji likely wins that race. Still, I could buy a Panasonic GH2 and Leica 25mm/1.4 for the same price as the body, or the NEX-7 and Zeiss 24mm/1.8mm for only a bit more. I hope that the X Pro 1 shows us its better side as more reviews start to come in, because this is a pretty big disappointment for me.

Importantly, though, and what stops me from simply saying "fuck it" and forgetting about Fuji, is what this camera reveals about the philosophy at corporate Fuji. They are interested in innovating. They are trying to push the industry forward. They want to do things differently. Canon? Nikon? What are they doing differently? Nothing, that's what. So even if Fuji doesn't nail the target with this camera, they will inevitably get closer as time goes on, and while they likely won't get my money with this iteration, if they stay the course, they will inevitably get some English gold from my English pocket.

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