Thursday, March 29, 2012


"Now I have four children. You will be called Stitchface." 
- Homer Simpson to an autographed football

A picture of a Leica M3 and a Hasselblad 500 C/M, maybe the finest cameras ever made. The picture was taken with a new Fujifilm X-Pro1. It was shot at 125th of a second, f1.4 and at ISO 1600 indoors. Yes, ISO 1600. Look for high ISO noise. There is none. The picture is tack sharp. The bokeh is just right. Detail is remarkable. Lowlights possess incredible detail and you can see that on the Hasselblad and its strap. Remarkable. This little digital camera belongs on the shelf with these two titans. As a camera, it is almost perfect.


There is trouble in paradise and it all revolves around the focusing of the camera. The autofocus is a sheer nightmare. When focusing, the Fuji 35mm dedicated lens hunts and hunts. In single or continuous modes, it lags and when the shutter goes off there is a feeling that the camera failed to focus as it makes focusing motions to the last nanosecond. With each shot the LCD viewer was checked. Tack sharp every time. But it is frazzling. Low light AF is almost impossible which is sad as this camera can shoot at an incredible 25,600 ISO and still rear a great image. You just can't focus with it under the tempting conditions. 

Manual focusing is almost a joke. First, the three compatible lenses have no distance scales on the barrel of the lens so there is no starting point for focus. It is found on the electric viewfinder which is okay I guess. To focus, just simply turn the focus ring. And turn. And turn. And turn until you get to the focus point. After shooting a few images your left hand fingers will be able to crush ball bearings. Or you'll think that you're suffering an angina attack. Or both. The lens is very sharp and there is little colour shift. Focusing is the camera's Achilles Heel.

Fuji has acknowledged  it will have a factory made Leica M lens adapter ready for late April. It is a sure thing that the addressed problems will disappear with the smooth focusing M lenses. Also, since pre-production of the X-Pro1 Fuji has addressed the AF problem and is working on fixing the tardiness of the AF. Let us hope for the best. This camera is too good to fail.

I called Fuji Canada about this AF problem and Gerry, the person at the camera technical support centre, reassured me that Fuji is working on improving the camera. Firmware updates are on the way. I just wish to pass my thanks to Fuji for its concerns for the customers.I was very impressed by the knowledge and helpfulness that I received. 

For more updates on the Fujifilm X-Pro1, and all of the Fujifilm cameras like the X100, X10 and XS-1, go to , a valuable ally for Fuji camera owners and potential buyers. 

A further note...

Since this post came out, the X-Pro1 has improved focusing. I can focus as fast as I can with the Leica M3. That is very fast and I have taken on D-SLRs with the Leica and come out triumphantly. The X-Pro2 is on the way, probably available in spring of 2015. It will be my next camera. But don't expect me to sell my X-Pro1. It's too good for that.

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