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$200 Fuji X-Pro1 Review with the 18mm f/2

$200 Fuji X-Pro1 Review with the 18mm f/2

I love the Fuji X system! The out of camera JPG files look fantastic, the cameras are easy to use with plenty of analog controls, the lenses are sharp, and Fuji frequently updates their firmware adding new features.

Over the years, I’ve owned an X20, X30, X100S, X100T, an X-T1 (currently), and soon the new X-Pro 2. Since the X-Pro 2 was rumored, the price of the original X-Pro 1 has plummeted to very low levels. Well, I found a good deal on Craigslist for a Used X-Pro 1 with a used Fuji 18mm f/2 for $500. The lens alone sells used on Amazon and eBay for about $300. That pretty much brings the price of the X-Pro 1 to $200! For that low price, I couldn’t pass it up. I can play with it, resell it for about the same (plus or minus), or keep it to use as a knock around camera in bad conditions, or teach my daughters how to use it (my current plan).

It always fascinates me how the demand for perfectly good cameras fade with time. Also, a camera like the X-Pro 1 is better than any and all compact cameras on the market today when it comes to image quality and versatility. Yet so many consumers will go out and spend $1,000 on a smaller sensor camera with inferior optics. If you’re in the market for a good camera at an inexpensive price, then look for a used camera like the Fuji X-Pro 1.

For the purposes of this review, I’ll talk about the combo I bought – the 18mm f/2 with this lens. Like my other reviews, I prefer not to get too wordy. So, here’s a list of pros and cons instead.

  1. Pros:
  2. Inexpensive
  3. Great image quality
  4. Interchangeable lenses
  5. EVF / Optical viewfinder
  6. Looks cool / retro
  7. Easy to use controls and menus
  8. Good in low light
  9. Multiple filter / presets (Fuji calls them Film presets)
  10. Lightweight
  11. Solid build
  12. APS-C sensor size

Cons:

  1. Focuses slow compared to a DSLR or a modern mirrorless camera
  2. Focuses slower than some compacts
  3. No face detection (I use this feature all the time on my GX8 and X-T1)
  4. Smoothing of images at high ISOs
  5. It’s a bit sluggish to focus with the newest 35mm f/2 prime, but seems faster with the f/1.4.
  6. It’s a bit fiddly when used with a Nissin i40 flash – I had to change modes on the flash to manual, then TTL, for TTL to start working. Once it’s working, it’s just fine.
  7. Megapixel count is decent, but lower compared to the newest X-Pro 2 or GX8
  8. The optical view finder is really pointless, I use the EVF 99.9% of the time.

Now, let’s get to the images! Every photo below is the JPG file straight out of camera – resized using JPEGmini Pro to save on bandwidth.

Playing Othello with AnyaPlaying Othello with Anya

The next series of shots were taken during a photo walk with our two girls. They were using their Kid’s Edition Kindle Fires to take photos. This photo walk actually entertained for a couple of hours! I’ll definitely be doing this again with them.

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The following day, was the Seahawks / Vikings playoff game. That is absolutely the best time in the world to go to Seattle since everyone is watching the game. We decided to take the train (it’s really a mass transit rail system, but to the girls it’s a train) into downtown Seattle, have lunch at the Westlake Center, take the Monorail to Seattle, and play at the new Artists at Play Park next to the Experience Music Project and the Space Needle.

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On our way back to the downtown area from the Space Needle, we stopped by Westlake Park. There’s a tiny play area, a few people playing chess, ping pong, etc. It’s a mix of street people, families, and tourists. It’s fairly safe, but I wouldn’t let your guard down.

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This last image is outside the transit transfer area in Sea-Tac.
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In conclusion, the Fuji X-Pro1 is a great camera. It’s fun to play with, produces quality images, and can be had for a bargain! I’ll be keeping it to teach my daughters how to use a camera with manual controls, but I’m excited to use the X-Pro2. I’ve already got mine on order!


Noah Bershatsky

Noah Bershatsky

I was a nerd before hipsters were cool.

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