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Author Topic: X-Pro review part 2  (Read 4622 times)
Craig Arnold
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« on: March 21, 2012, 03:23:20 AM »
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Thanks for the excellent review.

I am not surprised that the performance with a Class-6 (6Mb/s) SD card is poor. My X100 chokes with anything less than a UHS1 (45Mb/s). An 8Gb UHS1 Sandisk card can be had for less than $30, so I cannot see a reason for skimping on this. I am a little surprised that Nick chose to test with such a slow card. At any rate if the X100 is anything to go by, a faster card will help very dramatically.

I absolutely love the Auto-ISO implementation on the X100. Despite the fact that the setup parameters are on a different menu (which bothers me not at all but causes wailing and gnashing of teeth on the forums) it is the best Auto-ISO I have ever used. However matters are more complicated with the ability to change lenses.

Is the the case that there is only ONE setting for minimum shutter speed set at the camera level, and not specific to the lens? The default 1/52s setting is fairly obviously the reciprocal rule adjusted for the crop factor.

I would have hoped for a different minimum shutter speed per lens (at least per X mount lens) and failing that to be able to set it camera-wide as a user-selectable multiple of the reciprocal rule.

« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 03:25:16 AM by Craig Arnold » Logged

Steve Weldon
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 08:19:50 AM »
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a.  The "rangefinder" nomenclature issue was handled with class and imo left little of anything to disagree with.

b.  I wonder if comparing lenses to DSLR lenses vs. the classic rangefinder lenses might be more useful to the average reader?  For instance, the 18mm was mentioned as not being as good as .. enter rangefinder lens here.. but how does it compare to say a 17-40/4? 

c.  Disappointing the SD card can still make such a big difference in speed on this class of camera.  It was somewhat understandable on the x100, but at the price point of the Xpro1 you'd expect the in-camera CPU's and memory to negate all but transfer times.

d.  I didn't see where the AUTO ISO could be easily/quickly enabled/disabled?  I like the auto iso on my x100 for general walking around.. but when I see a subject I want to get more serious about it's a major PIA to switch to a selected ISO.


Nice review Nick.  Looking forward to the next in series.
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JeanMichel
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 09:15:11 AM »
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Dar Nick,Thank you for your review of the Xpro. So what to describe it as? I do use, and prefer, rangefinder cameras -- my first real camera was a Yashica J-35 and it still works; then a Speed Graphic; then M3,4 and 6, and now I use an M9. When it come to describing my Leica's i used to say that I was doing all I could to transform them into Kodak Instamatics (I have some of those too). With AF and AE, the Fuji Xpro probably gets closer to an Instamatic than my M9!  Cheesy
Jean-Michel
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ndevlin
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 11:22:11 AM »
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Steve: Thanks for the kind words.


b.  I wonder if comparing lenses to DSLR lenses vs. the classic rangefinder lenses might be more useful to the average reader?  For instance, the 18mm was mentioned as not being as good as .. enter rangefinder lens here.. but how does it compare to say a 17-40/4? 

Fair enough. I just happen to have given up on those lenses and camera systems a while ago so I didn't have them on hand. My sense, as I hope was conveyed in the review, is that the 18mm would be on-par with the sort of mid-range glass you refer to.

d.  I didn't see where the AUTO ISO could be easily/quickly enabled/disabled?  I like the auto iso on my x100 for general walking around.. but when I see a subject I want to get more serious about it's a major PIA to switch to a selected ISO.

Auto ISO can be set via the "Q" menu, or the "FN" button atop the camera can be set as another alternate ISO selector.  Turning it on and off is just the issue.

Btw: 1/52nd is alnmost certainly chosen based on the 1/focal length rule.  That rule was dodgy for film and is WAY too slow for digital.  Doubling it would be much better.

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Nick Devlin   @onelittlecamera
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 12:51:50 PM »
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Btw: 1/52nd is alnmost certainly chosen based on the 1/focal length rule.  That rule was dodgy for film and is WAY too slow for digital.  Doubling it would be much better. [/color]


+1000
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 01:14:39 PM »
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Steve: Thanks for the kind words.

Fair enough. I just happen to have given up on those lenses and camera systems a while ago so I didn't have them on hand. My sense, as I hope was conveyed in the review, is that the 18mm would be on-par with the sort of mid-range glass you refer to.

d.  I didn't see where the AUTO ISO could be easily/quickly enabled/disabled?  I like the auto iso on my x100 for general walking around.. but when I see a subject I want to get more serious about it's a major PIA to switch to a selected ISO.

Auto ISO can be set via the "Q" menu, or the "FN" button atop the camera can be set as another alternate ISO selector.  Turning it on and off is just the issue.

Btw: 1/52nd is alnmost certainly chosen based on the 1/focal length rule.  That rule was dodgy for film and is WAY too slow for digital.  Doubling it would be much better.



b.  It's hard to please everyone for sure.  Who we're writing for dictates so much of what we write.  I appreciate the clarification.

d.  Thank you.
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alban
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2012, 01:45:50 PM »
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Thanks for taking the time to write the review.Very useful and helpful when evaluating the camera as a possible purchase.
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BJL
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2012, 07:00:21 AM »
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I still do not accept the arguments for calling this "rangefinder style", for the simple reason that they apply no more here than to dozens of other recent digital cameras, such as the Olympus Pens and Sony NEXs and Nikon Ones that also lack the bulk and mirror noise of an SLR. I have seen no major trend to call this class of cameras  "rangefinders" or "rangefinder style". Instead there has been considerable debate, settling mostly on descriptions like "compact system cameras" (CSC), or EVIL  for Electronic Viewfinder, Interchangeable Lenses, which is still my favorite, bevause an image in a screen like an LCD _is_ also a viewfinder, as any TLR fan will tell you.

What makes the X-Pro 1 more like a rangefinder than all of the compact, quiet m43 and NEX cameras without VF humps? As fas as I can tell,  the main "addition" is the limitation that it only works well with single focal length lenses in a somewhat limited range of focal lengths.

On the other hand, I am happy with the lenses being compared to other single focal length lens options, since. many users of this camera are likely to prefer those. How about comparing to some such lenses for other EVIL cameras, like NEX or m43 lenses ... if and when such gear is available for comparison.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 07:06:52 AM by BJL » Logged
Steve Weldon
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2012, 07:15:38 AM »
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I still do not accept the arguments for calling this "rangefinder style", for the simple reason that they apply no more here than to dozens of other recent digital cameras, such as the Olympus Pens and Sony NEXs and Nikon Ones that also lack the bulk and mirror noise of an SLR. I have seen no major trend to call this class of cameras  "rangefinders" or "rangefinder style". Instead there has been considerable debate, settling mostly on descriptions like "compact system cameras" (CSC), or EVIL  for Electronic Viewfinder, Interchangeable Lenses, which is still my favorite, bevause an image in a screen like an LCD _is_ also a viewfinder, as any TLR fan will tell you.

What makes the X-Pro 1 more like a rangefinder than all of the compact, quiet m43 and NEX cameras without VF humps? As fas as I can tell,  the main "addition" is the limitation that it only works well with single focal length lenses in a somewhat limited range of focal lengths.

On the other hand, I am happy with the lenses being compared to other single focal length lens options, since. many users of this camera are likely to prefer those. How about comparing to some such lenses for other EVIL cameras, like NEX or m43 lenses ... if and when such gear is available for comparison.
a.  You make good points.  The same points I would have brought up if he hadn't made it clear this was his personal terminology and that he wasn't trying to reclassify anything other than what was in his own mind.  Heck, he can have anything in his own mind he wants as long as he made clear this wasn't a rangefinder.. which it isn't.   And I'm not a Leica fanboy or anything of the sort, to me it's more a matter of what others who won't know better will pick up on.. gosh, I can see the Rangefinder Wars on forums everywhere.. ;o)

b.  I'm all for single focal length comparisons and the NEX m4/3 lenses are good suggestions, but if there are no comparable lenses I'd like to see an opinion on how they compare to something the biggest possible audience can relate to.  I see that as being DSLR lenses, zooms if that's the closest.  It's nothing more than a mental reference, but an important one.
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Craig Arnold
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2012, 08:29:12 AM »
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What makes the X-Pro 1 more like a rangefinder than all of the compact, quiet m43 and NEX cameras without VF humps? As fas as I can tell,  the main "addition" is the limitation that it only works well with single focal length lenses in a somewhat limited range of focal lengths.

Well surely because of the hybrid OPTICAL viewfinder with projected framelines so that in operation it has a very similar experience to a true rangefinder camera.

In common with RF you have a field of view in the optical finder which extends outside of the capture area, very similar parallax issues, a view which does not suffer blackout when you press the shutter, and a great viewing experience which is very different from that obtained from an LCD or EVF. Did you really not notice these features?

In operation my X100 has a far more similar feel to my ZI than it does to a DSLR or one of the other mirrorless cameras you cite.

I'm curious whether you've had a chance to use an X100 or XPro1?
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ndevlin
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2012, 08:52:29 AM »
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@bjl

The usable, parallax-corrected, frame line based optical viewfinder, alon with the parallax corrected OVF focussing make this a "rangefinder camera".

That, and sensors and lenses that can actually compete with a 'real' RF.
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Nick Devlin   @onelittlecamera
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2012, 09:09:20 AM »
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In common with RF you have a field of view in the optical finder which extends outside of the capture area, very similar parallax issues, a view which does not suffer blackout when you press the shutter, and a great viewing experience which is very different from that obtained from an LCD or EVF.
Fair enough: You make the case more clearly than the comment in the review that I was responding to: "the cameras' size, their way of seeing the world, their relative silence and their less aggresive posture of use when photographing people ...".  I had overlooked what is in other contexts called the "sports finder" style: with some of the longer prime lenses, getting a smaller image of the subject to be photographed in exchange for a view of what is currently outside the frame but might be about to move into it. In principle, this would also be achieved using an accessory optical VF such as the Olympus VF-1 for m4/3, but there is only that one, matched to one focal length (a moderate wide 17mm), and with no frame lines for longer primes.
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Craig Arnold
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« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2012, 09:27:33 AM »
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In principle, this would also be achieved using an accessory optical VF such as the Olympus VF-1 for m4/3, but there is only that one, matched to one focal length (a moderate wide 17mm), and with no frame lines for longer primes.

Yes, absolutely. I was tempted for a long time to get an Olympus EP1/2/3 and use an external Voigtlander viewfinder.

The tremendous feature of the Fujis though is that it's all integrated and they can project information onto the viewfinder, including the focus distance, horizontal line, histogram, iso settings, etc. If, like me, you're not one of those uber-skilled Leica users who can MF in less than the blink of an eye, then the AF comes in really handy.

The X100 has always been faster than I can focus manually with my ZI, and with recent updates its performance is tremendous compared to manually focussing a RF. I suspect this is true for most people. It is of course far less capable than a decent DSLR.
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BJL
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« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2012, 09:55:20 AM »
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The usable, parallax-corrected, frame line based optical viewfinder, alon with the parallax corrected OVF focussing make this a "rangefinder camera".

That, and sensors and lenses that can actually compete with a 'real' RF.
Nick, I just replied on the first part of this argument for describing it as at least a "rangefinder-like digital camera"; there is something to that argument that some part of the RF experience is preserved.

Your second sentence does not persuade me; partly because sensor and lens performance are nothing to do with why people would call a camera a "rangefinder", but mostly because I am not convinced that the sensor and lenses are really so much better than the various sensors and lenses for the other new compact digital camera systems (not at all to say that they are worse, or not good: your samples look fine!) In the realm of fixed focal length lenses, here is what some of the recent compact systems offer, considering only lenses that work with the cameras' AF systems and excluding adaptor-mounted lenses like 4/3 SLR lenses on m4/3 bodies:

Olympus and Panasonic lenses for Micro Four Thirds mount:
8/3.5 fish-eye, 12/2, 14/2.5, 17/2.8, 20/1.7, 25/1.4, 45/1.8, 45/2.8 macro, with a 60/2.8 macro and 75/1.8 recently announced. (Also a couple of third party AF lenses: the Sigma 19/2.8 and 30/2.8).

Sony lenses for NEX mount:
16/2.8, 24/1.8, 30/3.5 macro, 50/1.8 (with fish-eye and ultra-wide converters for the 16/2.8).

Samsung lenses for NX mount:
16/2.4, 20/2.8, 30/2, 60/2.8 macro.

Fujifilm lenses for XF mount:
18/2, 35/1.4, 60/2.8 macro.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 09:57:36 AM by BJL » Logged
BJL
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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2012, 05:37:01 PM »
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Perhaps I am being a bit too harsh in my tone, since the camera itself seems to have some promise (the "random  CFA", for example), so may I ask a question about the framelines in the OVF?

I understand that the 60mm needs them, because the OVF magnification for it is the same as for the 35mm, which is the situation that taditional rangefinders absolutely need famelines for. But how does it work with the 18mm and 35mm? How substantial is the "cropping" of the total VF image by the framelines? Is there just enough, or far more than enough, that they could be moved with focus distance to correct for parallax? Is the extra VF image just about what is needed to cover the parallax shifts, so that you see all of what will be recorded by the sensor at every focal length, or is it significantly more than this?
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2012, 07:50:50 PM »
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Nick, thank you for your evaluation of the new Fuji. I have to admit as an old "rangefinder" user (dare I use that term?) I was intrigued by the news of this upcoming camera. However, now I'm quite happy I went with the Sony NEX-7 for my Leica lenses (even if the menu's suck).
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ndevlin
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« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2012, 09:40:11 PM »
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Perhaps I am being a bit too harsh in my tone, since the camera itself seems to have some promise (the "random  CFA", for example), so may I ask a question about the framelines in the OVF?

I understand that the 60mm needs them, because the OVF magnification for it is the same as for the 35mm, which is the situation that taditional rangefinders absolutely need famelines for. But how does it work with the 18mm and 35mm? How substantial is the "cropping" of the total VF image by the framelines? Is there just enough, or far more than enough, that they could be moved with focus distance to correct for parallax? Is the extra VF image just about what is needed to cover the parallax shifts, so that you see all of what will be recorded by the sensor at every focal length, or is it significantly more than this?

Very fair question. If I understand it correctly I didn't treat this issue in the review (which was already long enough). The basic OVF window on the X-Pro1 is slighty wider the the field of view of the 18mm lens.  Thus, like a great many M-model, it has a quite low magnification and give full field-of-view coverage for the widest lens.  There are still frames appearing with the 18mm mounted, but they are out near the edges of the window.

The magic starts to happen on the X-Pro1 when you put on the other lenses. THe camera slides a magnifier into the OVF, and the field of view narrows quite a bit, to something like a 35 or 40mm field of view.  The 35mm lens (a 50mm equivalent) now gets framelines in the central 2/3rs of the window, roughly.  The 60mm get proportionately tighter frames - just like on a Leica.  You CAN make the magnifier retract with the longer lenses, but the framelines are then very small. 

The EVF is quite useful with the 60mm, because what your are getting fills the screen.

It's this viewfinder duality that makes it, imho, 'rangefinder style' much more than any of the other admittedly very similar cameras out there.

And I totally agree that lens and sensor quality, strictly speaking, has nothing to do with it.  It's just that, to me, to be rangefinder-like, it must compete (not match, obviously) the IQ of a Leica to be worth whatever other compromises come along.

Some of the other small cameras out there very good indeed. As a rangefinder guy, however, none of them have ever spoken to me at all, no matter how hard I tried to love them.  The X-Pro1 does.  So that's admittedly very subjective. But I think other RF-style photographers will have the same reaction. 

If you will allow me to be truly and completely circular, it's a rangefinder-style camera because 'rangefinder-style' photographers will like it. At least this one does. 

Cheers,

- N.     
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Nick Devlin   @onelittlecamera
Craig Arnold
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« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2012, 02:56:42 AM »
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I've been reading up a bit on the Auto-ISO and it seems that at least on the Fuji there is a very simple and workable solution.

Set Auto-ISO on, then put it into M mode. i.e. Set your aperture and shutter speed and let ISO fall where it may. In some respects this seems to be the most simple and logical Auto-ISO mode possible.

Nick can you confirm that this works?
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ndevlin
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« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2012, 10:03:20 AM »
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That was the first thing I tried , and it didn't work, though I can't remember exactly why. When I get my hands on it again I will recheck this. 

What you describe is what Pentax calls "shutter and aperture priority". Works fantasically on their system.  Too bad great UI can't alone make a company.

- N.
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Nick Devlin   @onelittlecamera
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« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2012, 10:23:53 AM »
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The magic starts to happen on the X-Pro1 when you put on the other lenses. THe camera slides a magnifier into the OVF, and the field of view narrows quite a bit, to something like a 35 or 40mm field of view.  The 35mm lens (a 50mm equivalent) now gets framelines in the central 2/3rs of the window, roughly.
Thanks; that solves my puzzle. I knew about the extra magnification, but the slight surprise is that it does not fully adjust fore the focal length difference, so that the image from the 35mm lens does not fill the VF as ugh as with the 18mm. So with extra magnification, the VF covers a "wide normal FOV" corresponding to about 35mm in 35mm format, which I believe os a popular choice as a walk-around lens on RFs.
Do you take this as an indication that Fujifilm plans on a lens of intermediate FOV, something like 25mm, to give that "35mm equivalent FOV"?
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