Fujifilm X-Pro1 has done amazing job throughout almost 2 years of using it. It was the camera that really gives me a new experience of taking pictures. It teaches me to slow down and be discreet about what i’m about to shoot, and wait for the moment desired before actually clicking the shutter. With the variety choose of Fujinon lenses on the market, or some like to use other lenses with the use an adaptor, there is actually no reason for me to upgrade the Fujifilm X-Pro1. It is the camera that fit my requirement and I’m super satisfied with it.
I had several chances of hands-on experience with Fujifilm X100 series on actual fields of shooting. I liked every single part of it, the vintage design & its performance. I’m considering the own it ever since but keep on reluctant as I had already one of the best camera I ever had, the Fujifilm X-Pro1.
Things has changed and so to me.
I barely use my 14mm Fujinon lens. The 35mm Fujinon lens always attached to my X-pro1 body. I can travel with only 1 lens (fujinon 35mm) attached to the X-Pro1 and I’m happy with it. Then I was thinking about how pocketable the X100 are. Switching 35mm to 23mm is not a big deal for me, as I tried it before. The X100 series is what I need for travelling. Fixed lens allow me to shorten my decision which lens to use, I can enjoy the extra time to witness the beauty of the view, not wasting a single second to think which lens is the best for this kind of view and the time taken to switch the lenses if required to do so. Being small and compact yet deliver fine quality of images, I can always carry the camera in my pocket and take it out when needed. The compact & small design makes people think I was just a tourist and not to draw their attention compared to the big sized DLSR and its lenses. So people feel more relax with it, because it was just an idiot here taking photos of them. For older people, the design opens up conversation when they asking if this was an old camera, so it is a bonus tool to communicate and engaged to the them. Wifi capabilities on X100T added another good reason why I should go the for upgrade (or downgrade?) from Fujifilm X-Pro1 to Fujifilm X100T.
The focus is not the fastest AF on the market but it was fine to me, at least it work faster than X-pro1 does. Is was good to know X100T has the face detection mode, this is useful when you asked somebody to take your photo with the higher success rate not to of out of focus which always happens to me.
Fujifilm has made focusing much more fun yet classic focusing experience, it offer split focusing which adopted from analogue camera. I love to use this focusing when a scene not requires fast focusing, it was whole new experience for me (a digital camera with split focusing).
Most of the button is programmable. Since I used to the X-Pro1 fuction button setting, I set the same for the X100T with a little changes. Up button is for Face-Detection, Down for Select focus area, Left for ND Filter, Right for timer, another 2 function setting is for video (Default) near the EV Dial, and for Photometry option. The up button which I choose to work as face detection mode sometimes I switch to flash EV when needed.
Q Button menu also can costumizeable,
Fujifilm made the camera, you design its function button because it simply yours.
I was given leather case as a free give when I bought X100T. It protect the whole body of the camera. While in use, you can either just open part of it or to leave only the “jacket” case. You can access battery memory card bay while using the leather case. But using the leather case meaning you add the case of the camera, it will no longer a pocketable size camera. Furthermore, the leather case did not provide mounting for tripod.
Cam Remote Apps
I would not end the review without mentioning about the “Cam Remote” Apps (available in App Store and Play store). With the wifi capability on X100T, you can now control your camera remotely with the apps. You can select your focusing, choose your shutter speed, ISO, Aperture, EV, film simulation and more with the apps. You can transfer the file to your device like iPad or iPhone with different option of file resolution.
Please note that this review only a brief review about what I like to say about this camera.
Update on 6th July 2015:
This advise goes to those who still thinking of switching DSLR to a mirror less system with fixed lens. Before I switch to X100 series, I have been using X-Pro1 for nearly 2 years which I can consider a period of “transition”. With only 2 lens to use (35mm and 14mm), this is very limited range compared in lenses I can use with my DLSR. But sooner I found that I can live with only 35mm lens. And I accept about fact that the X-pro1 can’t beat all features DSLR can offer such as shutter lag and the AF. It teaches me to slow down my desire to shoot, but to really compose my frame and be discreet about the moment that I really wanted. I became comfortable with its weakness, it wasn’t a big issue for me. The good thing is it produce good image quality. When Fuji released X100T, I was about to buy a fujinon pancake lens (27mm) and I was thinking that maybe I should buy X100T instead. Smaller body, light weight, wifi capability and for the silver version, it look like an antique camera, everybody are afraid of the big black DSLR body nowadays, but the design of X100 series makes people want to know if the camera is still working, now you have the chance to know your subject and it is the chance for you to get nice looking portrait.
When we compare the workflow of a photo let say 5 years ago, things has been changed a lot. When we shoot with camera, we do have an options for our jpeg output like Black and White or Sephia etc. But the latest camera (talking about Fujifilm) nowadays have another option called Film Simulation. My first 4 months of using Fujifilm X-Pro 1, I shoot with “Astia”. I like the effect how it deepen the shadow area and pops out the colour but not too much which suits my taste. This Film Simulation effects will do nothing to your RAW file. With X100T, I think I’m in love with the Classic Chrome, it appear to be a default film simulation in my camera which I use almost all the time except when I shoot in black and white. After the shooting, you need to transfer your images to your computer, do some editing to enhance the photo and share your work in Facebook or other social media.
Then the WIFI feature introduced in most of the camera nowadays. We can now install apps to our phones or tabs and connect to our camera. When connected, we can geotag, browse and fully control a “live” remote shooting with it. The images can be shared straight away after the shooting without transferring images to a computer. It actually cut down the workflow that we used before. The are dozens of photo apps can be downloaded providing amazing photo enhancement. For me, by the time I write this post, I’m using Snapseed, Afterlight and VSCO cam, there are some limitation with these apps, but not a big issue if those images intended just to be share on social media.
Bhaktapur is one of our destination during our recent trip to Nepal with my fellow friends. In 2012, I have spent much time with wide angle lens. Since established shot was not my aim for this trip, I decided to use only 1 lens looking for any chances for portrait.
On our way from Sarangkot down to Bhaktapur, a friend of me, Leanna Chong asking me if I dare exchange our camera. So she will be using my Fujifilm X-Pro1, and I will use Fujifilm X100. I have no hesitate to take that as a challenge.
I struggled for half an hour to understand how X100 works. A lot of guessing within the menus and finally I get the some basic understanding how does it working.Basic means to know simple setting like aperture, exposure, shooting modes, shutter speeds and ISO. I believe X100 provides a lot of features, but I don’t want to spent so much time and perhaps missed any potential shots along the way.
If you happened in Kathmandu and you have nothing in your plan for that day, I will suggest a visit to Boudhanath Stupa. The largest stupa in Nepal, ranked no. 3 interesting places to visit in Kathmandu written in Lonely Planet Travel Guide Book.
Located about 7km of east of the downtown Kathmandu, if you from Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist spot, it cost you about Rs350 (in 2012) per way with a small, cramped sized taxi. It took about 15-20 minutes to reach here. Entrance fees applied at the gate with the cost of Rs150 per person.
Boudhanath is both an eye of calm within capital’s dusty pandemonium and a sancutary of Tibetan Buddhist culture amid a nation dominated by Nepal Hindus. Throughout its narrow streets, you can see posters of smiling Dalai Lama, Tibetan folk-medicine stores, traditional artisans’ workshops, and restaurants. It has been announced as World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1979. Buddhists walk around the sacred monuments clockwise, the same direction a prayer wheel spins. The monasteries near the stupa have become a global centre of Tibetan Buddhism.
If you planned to make a visit, I suggest to go here arround 3-5pm. If you come earlier, the you will have all the time for visit all the shops inside, of have a cup of coffee or two at one of the roof top cafe surrounding the big stupa. I’m suggesting to visit at that time so that we are can target for the sunset and the blue hour. Well I don’t really mean that sunset but to have Boudhanath with nice golden layer at the edge of the horizon. During blue hour, when they started to lid the prayer candles and put it around the stupa is something not to be missed too. I didn’t manage to wait until all prayer candles fully completed arranged around the stupa, but for now, that will be in my “must-have” list on my next visit.
It’s been almost 3 weeks after returning from our travel photography trip at Kathmandu. Back at home, I’d spent most of my time with my beloved family rather than looking or examining all photos taken during the trip. Just taking my time for a quick editing & upload to my flickr account so they will be ready when I’m about to write something in my blog. I’m using lightroom through my entire workflow until the selected photos uploaded in my flickr account with its provided publish service. Maybe I will share some tips about publishing photos to flickr via lightroom in another post.
In November 2012, when I first travel to Nepal, I have already taken what I call “established” photo. With those “established” photo already in hand, I’m now put more effort to get portraits. A portrait with permission, not just a candid. This is where our communication skill get tested, it really pumped up my adrenaline most of the time simply because of just asking a stranger whether it’s okay to take photo of them. For most of you, maybe this is just an easy task but you got to believe me that it really hard on me. Maybe it really hurts me when I get rejected, feeling of upset and stressful moment when you really found someone with the characteristic features you wanted but refused to be photographed. I’m using Fujifilm X-Pro1 with 35mm lens, it means I will shoot just about 3-4 feet away from them just to get their portrait, I know they will feel awkward but this is where “trust” plays its role. When we get trusted, there is a good possibility that they will accept your request.
Below are portrait series of Nepal (Kathmandu – Nagarkot – Bhaktapur – Pokhara)
Portrait of lady above was taken when we about to leave from Sarangkot after spending 3-4 hours for the sunrise viewing. We were the last group leaving Sarangkot that morning. While waiting for our friends at our meeting point, I see this lady inside her shop. So i made some contact with her, investing few rupee for a bottle of Coke. I can’t deny the lighting that moment, and I said to myself, the worst thing I could get is just a rejection. Suddenly I speak before my mind even made decision yet, can I photograph you? She nodded.
The Smoking man is Mr. Bhubanashur, 60 years old and a Newari Hindu. We met at Bhaktapur while I’m waiting for my phone sim to get activated, I don’t expect the activation of new number will cost such amount of time. This guy, his is selling CDs of Nepal Traditional Music. He looks approachable to me, so I made my move to start a conversation. We talked about 5 minutes and he started to light up his cigarette and you know whats next.
A guy with nice blue fleece. The are about 3 mens were talking when we passed by, then one of the member asking where we come from, knowing that we all come from Malaysia, he spoke Malay with us and sharing some of his work experiences in Malaysia not long ago. My eyes actually fixed to his friend with blue fleece. I told him how good looking he was with that fleece and made a request for taking his portrait.
61 years old Tibetan Lady at Tashi Palkhiel. She is one of the villager selling tibetan handicraft near the Tibetan Refugee Camp. I bought few pieces of “friendship bracelet” and ask for a quick portrait shoot before leaving.
This beautiful girl above is Ms. Barsha, a 17 years old Tamang living at Nagarkot. She study in a boarding school somewhere in Kathmandu. That day, is a special day for Tamang which Lhosar Festival was celebrated. Actually, this shooting location is not in our list of destination that day, but as we passed by the village, I asked our driver to stop after seeing so many village gathering like having some kind of celebration. I have never regret of stopping by this village.
I took these two ladies photo at Swayambhunath Stupa or also known as The Monkey Temple. There were about 5-6 ladies in the same spot, when I was following my friend Wazari Wazir. I’m grateful he made his move communicating with them, a short warming up session and I took this opportunity to photograph some of them.
As he wrote in his blog:
“I simply could not resist photographing them, the light was so wonderful. I’m sure, I will be haunted by this moment if I didn’t get the shot, well, at least I should try to ask them. Photographing strangers, isn’t easy, nobody ever said it was” – Wazari Wazir (read more here)
He did mention too about his experience being rejected after asking permission to take someone’s portrait, getting “NO” is not the real big thing but thats what keeping us to explore more and take it as challenge to make a portrait of a stranger. Follow your heart, your instinct are telling you something. You need to trust yourself first to be trusted.
“A photograph is both a pseudo-presence and a token of absence. Like a wood fire in a room, photographs – especially those of people, of distant landscapes and faraway cities, of the vanished past – are incitements to reverie.” – Susan Sontag
Thaipusam is a key Hindu ceremony that is held each year during the full moon in the tenth month of the Hindu calendar – Thai – falling from mid-January to mid-February in the Gregorian calendar. It is mainly observed in countries where there is a significant presence of Tamil community including Malaysia. . It mark as public holiday in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Kedah, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Penang & Selangor.
I’ve been living in Kota Kinabalu for so many years but never heard of this festival being held around here. All this years, I only know this iconic festival attracts over one million devotees and tens of thousands of tourists at Batu Caves. I was looking for some photographic opportunity during Deepavali last year, when I see the note about Thaipusam at Sri Subramaniam Temple (KM22, Penampang-Papar Road in Lok Kawi). My curiosity about it lead me to ask one of the visitor at the temple, I am lucky enough to know that the person I talked to is one of the temple management team. He said it was actually held every year. Yes, every year here in Kota Kinabalu and I have never seen a picture of this festival that was taken from here.
With the information given, I managed to find the location where it being held. It was at Meruntum waterfront near Sabindo Traffic Light. I can’t wait a friend of mine, Rade to arrive when I saw the ceremony is already started. During the ceremony, I’m still curious will be there any piercing like what we used to see at Batu Caves. I decided to stay when the group of devotees carrying a pot of milk walks to Sri Subramaniam Temple. Then I just realise that the piercing ceremony will be held.
Since this was my first time covering Thaipusam Festival, I have no idea how and what to expect. These are some images I took this morning with Fujifilm X-Pro1 + Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4.
I can’t stay until the end of ceremony (I wish I could), I have another priority for family & to perform Friday Prayer. I learn a lot about this festival, next year I’ll aim for the eve Thaipusam. It much more interesting in Batu Caves, but I prefer to highlight the festival at Kota Kinabalu.
- Fuji X-Pro1 Shoots Landscape (Kota Belud)
- Tailor at Handicraft Market, Kota Kinabalu
- Fujifilm X-Pro1 Review (In My Own Words)
- Baby Portrait With Available Light
Buy Less Geat, Get An eBook:
I know this is quite late to write the review on X-Pro1. But I had a lot of enquiries since i owned one. Rather than replying every time people asking about it, why not i put in my blog so it can benefit everybody. First of all, I just want you to know that I’m not really into gears. Before having the X-Pro1, I only owned Nikon D60 (new) & D90 (2nd hand) with 18-55mm kitlens & 35mm F1.8. Besides of that, i’m a fan of film camera too, so i had a TLR Yashica 635 and SLR Minolta SRT101 with 58mm Rokkor Lens.
In January 2012, Fujifilm has launched X-Pro1 together with 3 prime lens (35mm F1.4, 18mm F2 & 60mm F2.4). This news however didn’t effect much other than hearing new model has been lunched by Fujifilm. The X100 model in that time was already 2 years in the market, i heard a lot of good feedback about it but never comes in my mind to own it. The were friends of mine having the X100 and they quite satisfied, the retro design added this model more interesting. My first hands-on X100 was during Saiful Nang Photography Seminar in Kota Kinabalu where we went to Kiulu for shooting, he handed me the X100 and i had about 2-3 minutes to handle it. Maybe it was that short time that X100 has failed to impressed me other than its retro look.
Months after the launching of the X-Pro1, I’m quite surprised that this model has actually impressed by many professional photographer. I read about it in Zack Arias’s blog, Matt Brandon’s Digital Trekkers blog, and tonnes to positive reviews all over the internet. Zack Arias & Matt Brandon has mentioned that they has spent less time with DSLR since their first love with the X-Pro1. Besides of that, this X-virus has spreading all over Malaysia. Amri Ginang, Yaman Ibrahim, Muslianshah Masrie are the earliest person that “I know” has put their trust over this camera. With endless positive feedback and more professional photographer has own it, it is the good sign that this camera can be trusted. This has grown my own interest over the Fujifilm X-Pro1.
You can continue read more about this camera “in depth” in Digital Photography Review (Fujifilm X-Pro1). They did all the mathematics for you.
Love At First Sight
On a wedding assignment with 48th Studio last May or June, I have my first opportunity to actually hands-on the X-Pro1 belong to my friend, Fahad Nasir (48th Studio Founder). The X-Pro1 was coupled with Fujinon 35mm F1.4. The body is quite big from what i aspected. The weight is very light that i don’t even bother to carry it all the time. Large viewfinder with selectable OVF (Optical View Finder) and EVF (Electronic View Finder). During that time, the one that really impressed me is the ring aperture on the lens & its EVF. The EVF is actually viewing almost accurate exposure, when you adjust the EV dial, it will show the effect “live”. This feature is new to me. The camera has once again impressed me with its Auto White Balance (WB) and its capability on high ISO without loosing so much details. So that was my love at first sight with X-Pro1.
Just few months after our first met, I owned myself the X-Pro1 with 35mm F1.4. It was exactly the same camera that i tried during the wedding assignment. I have some amount of savings which i have planned to buy a full frame camera (D700 or 5DMII) when I was informed that X-Pro1 is open for sale.
Simple & Elegant. I can’t really describe in words but enough to let you know that i love it. Black body, leather bodygrip, large view finder at the top corner, EV dial, i love all of these.
When it comes about the handling, one thing i notice is it is easy to get blurred image. Maybe the camera is too light when 35mm XF lens attached to the body. I need about 1/125 shutter to get sharp images handheld. Of cause we still can get it sharp when the shutter is lower than that, the chance is 50%. But this issue is no longer a “problemo” once i get used to it. I can now shoot as low as 1/30 shutter speed and get sharp images.
Auto Focus (AF) is the main issue when dealing with X-Pro1. The focus is really slow, that you can’t get it right when focusing moving objects. If they do, it wasn’t that fast. This weakness is okay for me as my type of photography is more on daily use, portrait & travel, which fast focusing is not so crucial. Being operating manual film camera before, i found that i should be thankful that we don’t have to face that kind for manual focusing everyday. On recent firmware updates (Ver 3.01) has actually let to better AF performance and Fujifilm really hear the voices to make the “peak focusing” comes into reality. This has given me more confidence to do manual focus.
Image quality is awesome. Yes of cause we can shoot RAW. One good thing is we can select choices of film emulation, Astia is the one i liked the most. Video modes is available too but very minimal option. I been using AWB from the first day I owned it. ISO1600-ISO3200 is acceptable, higher is good for 4R prints with unnoticeable noise. I had tried one picture of my daughter with ISO 25000 in 4R prints. I tried Nikon SB600 speed light on X-Pro1, can’t TTL but works with manual mode. I tried with YungNuo RF603 trigger and it work fiercely.
By this moment, i had only 2 lenses. XF 35mm F1.4 & XF 14mm F2.8. I really love the aperture ring on the lens, like my Rokkor lens. They also produces very sharp images.
Been using D60 & D90 for years but never had any firmware updates. I felt much intimate with Fujifilm because they do care about Fuji users with Firmware updates. They (Fujilfilm) hear our voices out here. They still working on firmware updates even though the X100, X-Pro1 has already in the market for more than 2 years (almost 2 years for Fujifilm X-Pro1). While writing this post, i go to Fujifilm website of to see the firmware version (3.01), I’m surprised that on 28th November 2013, Fuji has announced another firmware update (Ver. 3.10), this firmware update will be released on 5th December 2013. This is truly amazing, i was about to point in my additional suggestion about minimum shutter speed while using aperture priority mode, we can now set it! Thanks a lot Fuji.
If I could change a thing on X-Pro1, What is it?
Personally, I would like to change the front lever to its original function in film camera as timer. The switching between EVF & OVF can be programmed in LCD/Eye sensor button. The mechanical timer is good (do you remember the sound of the mechanical timer?, thats “retro” if you could understand me) , but not really reliable for long time run (my minolta has this kind of timer, it still working after about 30 years in the market). However, digital timer will do just fine too. But I’m sure people will love the long forgotten “mechanical timer”.
Of all the point i mentioned above, I can say that I am very satisfied over X-Pro1. Really obsessed & crazy about it.I been shooting exclusively with X-Pro1 for straight 3 months. I love it so much. It produced “Kick Ass” quality images.
*All images (X-Pro1 detailed body images) are taken from Digital Photography Review Website. I will replace with my own very soon.
-Buy Less Gear, Get A Book-
Related Post (Shoot with Fujifilm X-Pro1)
After having coffee session with friends on one night, i took a short visit at Kota Kinabalu Night Market which located just in front of Le Meridien Hotel. This Night Market normally operates from 5pm to midnight. It was about 1130pm when i reach here. Nothing much happening other on this time except the hawkers busy cleaning their stall which then “transformed” into a cubical cabinet.
With very minimal lighting available, I was looking for any photographic opportunity. Besides, this is the time where the high ISO capability to be tested. These set of images were taken with Fujifim X-Pro1 with Fujinon 14mm XF lens. I am quite impressed by its performance.
- Gaya Street Sunday Market
- Tailor At Handicraft Market Kota Kinabalu
- Tadau Kaamatan – Portrait Series
- Faces Of Mabul (Monotone)
- Photo Essay : Business At Dusk
Gaya Street is one the tourist attraction in Kota Kinabalu. For many years, it held local market start from 0530hrs to 1300hrs every Sunday. You can find almost everything here, live plants, pets, tortoises, antiques, fruits, drinks, various local food and local cookies.
During the World War II, most of the building are bombed by the Allies. Only 2 building survived after the war. Upon reaching the end off Gaya Street Market, just about 1-2 minute walk from Jesselton Hotel toward Oldtown White Coffee is “Sabah Tourism Building”. It is one the survived building. Located just in front of the building, there is Plague of “Zero KM” marker. Start from Jesselton Hotel towards “The Party Play is actually one of the earliest post-war building which appointed to a Hong Kong contractor by British.
This morning, I made a visit at Gaya Street SUnday Market looking for any photographic opportunity. I do not want to get distracted to have another lens in hands and keep on my focus on making a photograph, so i just have 1 lens with me. Furthermore, I can always come again and use another lens. I always bear in my mind that having so much gear sometimes distracts us to think about which gear to use rather than how to make the photograph.
Last night, i was thinking what kind of moment I want to photograph. Being common to this place made me really hard to think what was it to make this market so interesting. There are plenty of photography opportunity like candids, portrait, etc. It also best presented in colours to show people how vibrant of this market could be.
While on my way to Gaya Street this morning, I decided to go back to basic and just play with light & shadow which to be presented in B&W. Here some images i took this morning. All images are taken using Fujifilm X-Pro1 with Fujinon XF 14mm 2.8.
After spending few weeks with Fujinon XF14mm 2.8. I am very satisfied with its both sharpness & its ability to shoot during low light. There are some marking on the lens which i’m not paying attention to when I use this lens until recently my curiosity has brought me to find the actual purpose of the marking.
For those who used manual lens or film camera, these marking are nothing new to them. I’ve seen several zoom lenses has these marking with its lines connecting to the focusing distance. These marking is known as “Depth Of Field (DOF) Indicator”. Here are some example (google images) of the marking i talked about:
DOF indicator is used to guide which aperture will provides “acceptable” sharpness nearer and further from the actual focus distance. These technique is known as “Zone Focusing”. I’m not going to explain it scientifically about this. But lets learn how to use it.
Lets use “Image 2” as an example.
- From the top, we can see the focus distance in feet(ft) followed by meter (m). On the focusing mark, it has aperture value on both its left and right side. Starting with 4, 8, 11, 16, 22.
- Lets say that our subject are now in focus at 4ft. When we decide to use f8, both marking on the focusing marking shows us 3ft and 6ft. These indicate us that anything between 3ft to 6ft will be in “acceptable” sharpness. Any subject beyond the zone, will begin to blur, or out of focus.
- I’m pretty sure you get the point now. I’ll let you to do further understanding by actually try it yourself.
Unfortunately, many of modern lenses nowadays doesn’t have these indicator due to Auto Focus technology has been improved way better for year to year. Welldone Fujifilm for their genius effort on putting the Depth Of Field Indicator on its Fujinon XF14mm lens to keep us aware of this features and be thankful for the advance of our AF technology nowadays.