Just a quick review of a day with the fuji xpro1 with a leica like lens for street photography
I've tested it during two day , I've shot around 400 pictures.
1 - How to focus
In general the first question about the focusing. With the Xpro1 you have 3 ways to focus :
- The main screen : you can focus with the main screen, the resolution is high enough to focus precisely, the refresh rate is good even in low light. If you are really closed (less than 1.5m) to your subject and you want a very precise focus you have to use the magnification. The magnification (x10) it's easily accessible by a dial. It zoom on the center of the frame only, I've to admit that x10 is too much with a 35mm (50mm in FF). In street photography with 50mm (FF) you are rarely closely than 1.5 meter so you rarely use the magnification.
- The EVF : Easy and difficult, the EVF has the same approach than the main screen for the focusing but it's MUCH smaller. The first remark is : more you lens is open , less you have DOF easier is the focus. Because your subject really pop out of the background. I shot most of my shot between f2 and f4 without magnification. I've missed around 8 % due to bad focusing which is very low. One thing you have to consider is that during the day the refresh rate of the EVF is very fast, so it's almost instantaneous. Another point is the APS sensor you have much more DOF than with a full frame and it makes all the difference. At f/4 with a 35mm you have enought DOF to avoid the miss focus problem due to the size of the EVF. The magnification in the EVF ahve been really improve with the firmware 1.11 it’s really positive, but in low light ( 1/60, f/2, ISO6400) the refresh rate is not higher enough for quick focus (less than 5s). In the sub (1/60, f/2, ISO 800), no problem it’s quick enought.
- The OVF : the is one a least or best ways to shot regarded to your street shooting style. With the OVF the only indication is a frame which shows you what you get in fonction of the focal lenght set in the menu. Is you shoot in zone focus always around the same distance, it’s the fastest way to compose your sceen without be bother by the evf. For exemple with 35mm at f8 in APS sensor with the focus set a 2m I have 1.1 meter of DOF, it’s enough to shoot quickly a scene without touch to the focus ring.
2 – Reactivity
I’m very supprise by the speed of the switch between EVF and the main screen it’s almost instantaneous. Even when the camera is in sleep mode and the energy saving is on the wake up of the camera is really quick (less than 1s). But if you are in very bright light (very sunny) and you want to shot in the 2s after the wake up of the camera the picture can be 1 or 2 EV too bright. With a manual focus lens there almost no shutter lag (compared to my Nikon D700) which it’s very nice for street.
3 – Quality
I don’t have any fuji lens so I can’t know if the good quality and rendering is due to the sensor, the lens or both. All the pictures have been taken in JPG in Astia mode (film simulation) at 8Mpix. It’s really sharp even at F2 and 16Mpx. It’s personal but I love the color rendering and the white balance of the picture. The JPG are straight from the camera just some have been crop. It’s just snapshot in different type of light.
4 – On the field
- Very fast and easy focus in manual in good light condition
- It's very quiet !!! (As quiet , maybe more than my Leica M4)
- The sensor is amazing in colour, sharpness, rendering, and high ISO (6400) which is good for street at night
- Well build even if it’s seems light in hand
- Discrete, the people are not afraid by the camera, some thought it’s a leica or a film camera, if you shoot with EVF you keep an eye contact with your subject (I shoot both eyes open).
- Funny and interesting things, you can see in live the effect of the modification of the aperture on the DOF of the picture.
- Auto ISO is useless !!! this is a big problem when you shoot at night. The speed drop until 1/30 before rising the ISO. The solution set your aperture and your speed and let work the auto ISO. It’s a problem when you shoot a noon (when the light condition change a lot) and you want to keep a least 1/250. So you have to work with fix ISO
- EVF is not good enough in low light
- OVF, the contrast is not strong enough in bright light, you don’t see the indication !!
- Think to compensated the exposure with -1 EV in low light
I’m very pleased with the result, I was used to do street photography with a Leica M4 and a 35mm. It’s not easy to compared to and M8, the rendering of the sensor is very… Leica but the ISO capacity is out of date, the electronics too. For the focusing , I focus faster in daylight with my Xpro1 but faster in low light with my M4. I don’t regret my choice, but for analog photography leica M rocks!! Fujifilm promised some very nice lens a 14mm (21mm), 23mm (35mm) a zoom. I a very nice camera for street , holidays… It’s very versatile and much lighter than an APS reflex camera.
P.S: sorry for the vocabulary mistake, my english is not very good