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The Fujifilm X Pro 1: a great low-budget camera

The Fujifilm X Pro 1: a great low-budget camera

You may think judging an old camera like this is not easy. Understanding how good this camera is, is about the feeling, the experience it can give you while shooting, and the result you get through it. The X-Pro1 is considered one of the best cameras for street photography. And it was released in 2012!!

These are the main characteristics:

  • 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans Sensor
  • This was the first X-Trans Sensor
  • The native Iso Range 200-6400 Iso
  • Extended Ranges 100 Iso High 12800 Iso – 256000 Iso
  • Max Shutter Speed 1/4000th sec.
  • No built-in ND filter
  • Hybrid viewfinder: optical and electronic

This camera is slower than any camera phone or any modern camera as well. But the build quality, the image quality, the hybrid viewfinder, and the overall result you can achieve with the X-Pro1 are incredible. If you are passionate about working with this old but gold camera, you will love the X-Pro1. The secret is to treat the X-Pro1 as a film camera.

Image quality

This camera has just a 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans Sensor. As you look at the images taken with this camera, you will understand that the resolution is not everything. And that the image quality can be outstanding with a 16.3MP sensor.

The first generation X-Trans Sensor

Buying this camera is a huge deal. This sensor has an excellent reputation among photographers. It gives the image an organic and film look and allows you to manipulate and push the color profile. Better than the new Fujifilm camera.

Build quality

Every owner of this camera knows that the X-Pro1 is like a tank. It is heavier than you can expect, but nothing compared to any modern DSLR camera. The camera’s look is just unique, a kind of vintage camera style with all the dials you need. You have the aperture ring on the lens, while the shutter speed dial and the shutter compensation dial are on the top of the camera. Unfortunately, you don’t have a dedicated Iso dial, but you can easily set the quick access function button on the top of the camera (Fn). The camera is not weather-sealing and is not a fast-focusing camera.

The analog controls

The analog controls are essential, especially if you are a beginner. Thanks to the analog dials, you can control the aperture and the shutter speed while shooting. In addition, with this mirrorless, you will improve your general camera handle skills.

The XF lens lineup

Another reason to buy the X-Pro1 is the interchangeable lenses. There are many good lenses in the XF Fujifilm lineup. This camera allows you to enter this excellent market lens for an affordable price.

The feel of the camera

The camera grip is also fantastic, even if you have big hands like me. You can grab the camera securely and comfortably as well. The mechanical shutter sound is excellent but perceptible, and you must remember this when using the X-Pro1 for street photography. There is no electronic shutter, unfortunately.
Another significant aspect is that the battery will last longer if you use the optical viewfinder to shoot.

Pro vs cons

The X-Pro1 is a great camera that helps you to stay focused in the creative process with all you need to control about the exposure on the camera dials. You won’t have any fancy distractions on this old camera. As you have to treat this like a film camera, your shooting will be more intentional using the X-Pro1. For this reason, even if it is slower than the modern cameras, this can be a benefit in my opinion as you can be more focused on your subject. Another pro about this camera is the price. You can find it on the used market for 200$ to 500$. The Iso performance is excellent, but you should not go over 6400 Iso to avoid noise.
The cons are the lack of the Diopter/Correction lenses and the lack of weather-sealing. Maybe we can also add the fantastic shutter sound that can be a cons using this camera in places where you should be silent.
So if you are serious about photography and want to start this journey, buying equipment to help you get started, the X-Pro1 is a great solution.