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Fujifilm X-Pro1 Digital Camera Review$1,699.99
While we love the physical appearance of the camera, handling the body presents a few problems. The attractive dimpled surface surrounding the exterior does little to actually improve grip. Fujifilm has included a raised, rubberized area on the right hand side of the front panel, however this embellishment is too shallow to effectively aid handling by adult fingers.
Things are even worse on the rear panel. Although there is sufficient empty space to rest the right thumb (barely), not one but two important buttons have been placed directly onto the adjacent lip. Despite their slight outward angle, it's almost impossible to pick up the X-Pro1 without accidentally pressing one of these buttons. For AE-L / AF-L that's not a big deal, but if you accidentally turn on the quick menu and, say, change white balance or resolution settings, that could ruin the day.
Fujifilm was kind enough to send along their optional hand grip accessory, which screws into the bottom of the camera and extends the front grip way out. This accessory is worth buying, since it eliminates grip problems on the front of the camera, however the rear thumb rest issues persist.
Buttons & Dials
Manual control dials are some of the X-Pro1's defining features, and they are all a joy to use. The various aperture rings on all three XF lenses are the most fun, but we also get a large dial for shutter speed, a smaller one for exposure compensation, and an even smaller command dial on the rear panel, which is almost unnecessary given the detailed control afforded by the others. All of them feel great, even though we accidentally spun the EV dial once or twice. The shutter dial, on the other hand, has a smart locking button that allows free rotation of the dial except across the "A" setting in either direction, making it easy to switch back to automatic shutter by touch, without even looking at the dial.
The top plate is also home to the shutter release, which is precise and satisfying, and a customizable Function button, which can be set to active multiple exposure mode, preview depth of field, adjust ISO settings, change self-timer options, swap to video mode, and more.
On the rear panel, the button layout is divided by the large LCD monitor. On the right, you'll find a directional pad for navigating the menus, surrounding the menu button itself. There's also the playback mode button, display button, and shortcuts on the thumb rest for AE / AF lock and access to the quick menu. Macro focus options are also found here.
Above the LCD, a view mode button toggles between full-time viewfinder framing, LCD framing, or–our favorite–the eye sensor, which swaps back and forth automatically. The viewfinder can be further controlled by a mechanical lever on the front of the body, within reach of the right pointer finger, which swaps between optical and electronic functionality.
Off on the left side of the LCD, three large buttons are well placed for easy access to drive mode mode, autoexposure, and autofocus options.
On the rear panel you'll find an excellent 3-inch LCD with a very high (1,230k-dot) resolution. Glare and reflectivity can be a problem but only in broad daylight, and even then the panel is still sufficiently bright enough to playback images. Viewing angle is also very wide, a must for fixed-position monitors, and the screen is covered by a durable scratch-resistant plastic coating.
The X-Pro1's viewfinder is one of the best we've seen. This triple-function device may be set to either optical, electronic, or hybrid mode (like the HUD on a fighter jet). We spent most of our time using the hybrid method, since it's just so darn cool, but if that's not for you, a manual lever on the front panel cycles through the different options.
For fully electronic use, a tiny screen slides into view, and the image is projected on there. This EVF is far more responsive than most, and introduced only the tiniest bit of lag while framing. We also love the eye sensor located right alongside, which automatically swaps display between the finder and the LCD, without the need to press a toggle button. Our only complaint is color accuracy, rendition of the EVF is a little too cool. But in a camera that so thoroughly fuses old and new, this viewfinder is perhaps the best example of that design mindset.
The X-Pro1 is not equipped with image stabilization, but given the speed of these lenses that's almost irrelevant. For a similar model with a hardware stabilizer, consider the Sony NEX-7.