With a hybrid viewfinder and a new colour filter array on its 16.3-million-pixel sensor, Fujifilm’s highly anticipated X-Pro1 compact system camera is more than just a pretty face
White Balance and Colour
Those familiar with Fujifilm’s professional range of digital cameras will know that the company names its image colour settings after its range of films. The standard colour setting is inspired by Fujifilm Provia, while Velvia and Astia provide the models for the vivid and soft styles respectively.
The X-Pro1 also introduces two new film modes: Pro Neg Standard and Pro Neg Hi. These replicate the look of colour negative films, with the Hi version having increased colour and contrast. Of these colour settings, I mostly used Velvia and Pro Neg Hi. They provide punchy images with good contrast and colour. However, the Astia mode is great for just taking the edge off an already high-contrast scene.
While most cameras allow the individual colour settings to be adjusted to taste, Fuji has adopted a more universal approach for the X-Pro1. In the shooting menu are highlight and shadow contrast adjustments, which alter the contrast curve to produce softer or harder shadows and highlights. I found myself making the shadows slightly harder, while setting the highlights to be softer. This produces a good level of contrast, while helping to keep some subtle detail in highlights.
Monochrome enthusiasts have not been forgotten and there are four different black & white modes, including standard and red, yellow and green filter modes. Sepia tone is also available.
In terms of colour reproduction, the X-Pro1 is excellent, and colours look realistic no matter which film simulation mode is set. One of the most important subjects that require successful reproduction is the sky, and the X-Pro1 renders blue sky very well, without the hint of cyan that is apparent in some other cameras.
When shooting outside, I rarely had to take the camera out of its auto white balance mode. Indoors, AWB leaves a hint of colour from domestic tungsten lights, taking the edge off the amber hue without removing it completely. Switching to incandescent white balance removes all the amber hue, producing a clean, neutral image.
Overall, the colours produced by the X-Pro1 are superb, and combined with the contrast and dynamic range options it is possible to produce great JPEG files straight from the camera. In fact, if I were to own a X-Pro1 myself, I would probably shoot raw + JPEG, and use the raw images as archive files. The vast majority of the time I would be perfectly happy with results straight from the camera, which is testament to the colour and sharpness of the images produced.
Image: There is a choice of in-camera black & white styles. This image was taken with the red filter effect