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
Image: Of all the colour styles, the vivid colour of Velvia produces the most pleasing images
The best way to describe the contrast-detection AF of the X-Pro1 would be ‘steady’ rather than ‘snappy’. For instance, when using the 60mm and 35mm lenses, the camera’s AF motors can be heard whirring before it locks into focus. The 18mm optic is faster. However, while hardly gazelle-like, the X-Pro1’s focusing speed should be good enough for the type of subjects and situations for which the camera is most likely to be used. After all, it isn’t designed for sports photographers.
When most cameras are set to continuous AF mode, the focusing starts as the shutter button is half depressed. However, the X-Pro1 is a little different. When set to continuous AF the lens is continuously focusing, and a half-press of the shutter actually locks the focus point. The system works well and becomes very intuitive.
Manual focusing is also available with both the electronic and optical viewfinder modes. Here it is important to note that the focusing is electronic, with the ring simply driving a motor that moves the lens optics, rather than the focusing barrel moving them itself. There has been a lot of internet chatter about this, but while I would prefer a direct physical lens barrel for focusing, I found that the electronic focusing was fast and response, particularly given the types of scenes that people will typically be photographing while focusing manually.
When focusing manually using the optical viewfinder, it relies on a rangefinder scale at the bottom of the finder. This gives the current focus distance, along with a bar indicating the depth of field. You do not see changes to the lens focus through the optical viewfinder. Switch to the electronic viewfinder, though, and it is easy to see the changes in focus.
There is also an enlarged option to ensure that fine detail is in focus, and once again it is easy to switch in and out of this mode without removing the eye from the viewfinder. Usefully, there is also a one-shot AF option, which focuses the camera with a single press, effectively overriding the manual focus.