Fujifilm adds to the X-series and gets rid of the fixed lens with the X-Pro 1

fujifilm pcIn yet another unsurprising announcement today, Fujifilm took the wraps off its already-leaked X-Pro 1. Last week, specs and images surfaced, showing off the brand’s first ICS system camera in all its glory. Now, we’ve got word from Fujifilm itself.  

Following up the success of its fixed-lens, high-end X-series comes the X-Pro 1. The X100 and X10 seemingly defied category, and were hybrid, hobbyist combinations of the increasingly popular ICL, micro four-thirds systems flooding the market and impressive DSLR devices. Both of these cameras were met with rave reviews, and it seemed to hint that Fujifilm would make an even bigger move in this market. 

x pro 1And now we’re seeing this come to fruition in the X-Pro 1. The camera isn’t coasting on hype alone: it features a newly developed 16-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor from Fujifilm, as well as the manufacturer’s impressive hybrid viewfinder (complete with next-gen upgrades). 

Fujifilm claims the new sensor system is on par with that of “some” full frame DSLRs, which is huge feat and could bump the X-Pro 1 above nearly all of the MFT/compact ICL competition. However that “some” phrasing is crucial, and the system isn’t likely to best results from cameras like the Sony a77 or Nikon D3 (when asked, Fujifilm would not say whether it planned to use full-frame sensors in future iterations of the X-series). That said, we’re expecting impressive resolution performance from the X-Pro 1. 

The device also boasts a new processor, the EXR Processor Pro. Fujifilm says this will contribute to an all-around, faster, higher-precision experience. 

But no feature can quite create a hype like the hybrid viewfinder. Fujifilm first showed off this OVF/EVF mechanism in the X100, and it nearly overshadow the camera itself. Now, we’re seeing the next iteration of the inventive tool in the X-Pro 1, which will decrease shutter lag (which caused some complaints for the X100) and add bright viewing when using the optical viewfinder mode. Live view will be available via the EVF. 

hybrid viewfinderOf course, the X-Pro 1 doesn’t spare anything when it comes to aesthetics. Like the originals of the X-series, it has a magnesium alloy chassis and a detailed retro body. However, it looks slightly less toy-like: there was something of a “for looks only” aspect to the X100 especially, giving its severe throwback styling. The X-Pro 1 is all business in a black-on-black casing and heavy duty looks. It definitely doesn’t look like a collector case item. 

The new, thin X mount from Fujifilm is yet another upgrade in this camera. This design is catered for the new XF lenses from Fujifilm as well as mirrorless camera systems. The rear lens mechanics are that much closer to the sensor, which will reduce the back focus of each lens for higher resolution images. 

The X-Pro 1 shows Fujifilm intends to capitalize on the “third generation” camera craze hitting the market. In today’s press conference, the company specifically called out other brands’ mirrorless and MFT devices, including the Olympus PEN lineup and Sony NEX system. Admitting that some of them range in stylishness, they are low quality. And that while DSLRs capture superior images, the X-Pro 1 rises above the competition–in looks and technology. Fujifilm says this camera is aiming for the professional market, specifically mentioning wedding and street photographers. 

The X-Pro 1 hasn’t been ultimately priced yet, but it’s expected to be around $1,700; lenses around $600 each. This will not be determined until the end of January. It will be shipping late February. 

Fujifilm isn’t forsaking the rest of its models however. Today we heard units of all prices will be released, including an entry level device at $100. Even still, at those prices and with this much investment on Fujifilm’s part, it’s clear the manufacturer wants to take full advantage of this developing interest in new-age camera body’s with DSLR results. And it makes sense: Fujifilm said that while it doesn’t have exact numbers on sales, the X100 is still backordered and has far exceeded its original expectations.