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By 27 July 2012 | Categories: gizmos

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Fujifilm's mirrorless X-Pro1 is stirring the market with its retro good looks and excellent image quality. We had it for a few weeks, and this is what caught our attention.
 
1. Mechanical dials everywhere

We are suckers for mechanical dials, not just because they make changing settings a breeze, but it also take us back to a time before it was "digital-everything". In keeping with its retro feel, the X-Pro1 has quite a few, including an exposure dial, a lockable shutter speed (not ISO) dial on top, a command dial, as well as levers to select focus mode and viewfinder.

Even cooler is the ability to change aperture directly on the lens – as in olden times.
 
2. View optically or digitally

Fujifilm bridges parallax problems associated with optical viewfinders by providing a hybrid viewfinder, which can also accommodate a digital view with 1.4 million dots resolution. This allows you to see the shot exactly as the sensor sees it, and it works like a charm.

Not interested in the viewfinder? You can always compose your shot using the 3" LCD display on the back, with its massive resolution of 1.2 million dots, perfect for playback. 
 
It may look crowded, but at the back of the Fujifilm X-Pro1 you can adjust most settings very easily. 
 
3. Three lenses do not a summer make

Having three lenses in your arsenal is not enough really to take on the big boys, but as far as lenses go, they are top notch. Fujifilm developed a new mount for the X-Pro1 (X-mount), with the FUJINON XF Lens series featuring three prime lenses – a wide 18 mm f2, a 60 mm f2.4 with macro and our favourite, a 35 mm with a blistering fast f1.4. Seven more lenses (including a zoom) are expected in spring.
 
4. New sensor a key feature

For the X-Pro1, Fujifilm developed the new 16 megapixel APS-CX-Trans CMOS sensor which they claim is “parallel, if not superior” to a full frame sensor. We simply do not have the facilities to test this brag, but some of the big photography review sites have praised the X-Pro1’s sensor’s performance. Indeed from our side image quality was excellent, it was just a shame that auto-focus could take its time.
 
5. A pretty hefty price tag

With a R20 000 price tag just on the body, the X-Pro1 definitely falls into the "serious enthusiast" category. But with its robust body, interesting film simulation tricks, great lenses and retro-good looks, we can definitely see the appeal. Call Fujifilm on 011-991-0600 for more info. 
 
Test images
 
Here are a few test photos taken with the Fujifilm X-Pro1 by Flickr user Vark1.
 
 
 

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