This is where Ian Burley, DPNow's editor and founder, shares his unique thoughts and impressions on subjects that he hopes will be of interest to others on the subjects of digital photography and other related or loosely related topics! You can follow DPNow Editor's blog on Facebook and Twitter, too.
X-Pro1 - Fujifilm's (not so compact) system camera
Posted 10-01-12 at 04:11 AM by Ian
Photo industry watchers had been expecting Fujifilm to join the ranks of Panasonic Lumix, Olympus, Sony, Samsung, Pentax and Nikon and introduce a compact system camera. Well, Fujifilm has introduced the X-Pro1 system camera (along with three lenses) but it's definitely no compact. Indeed, the X-Pro1 is larger than some DSLRs we can think of.
So has Fujifilm lost the plot or do they know something that the CSC brigade don't?
Compact System Cameras were conceived to address the problem (read: opportunity) that not enough compact camera users were fulfilling perceived ambitions to upgrade to something better like a DSLR. One of the barriers CSC makers identified was the fact that DSLRs are too large and heavy because of design compromises centring around the need for a reflex mirror.
And we have seen some fantastic CSCs of varying sizes but all of them are typically smaller and lighter than the smallest DSLRs.
But in fact there is another group of photographers who want to get rid of the DSLR mirror but who think the CSC is too extreme in terms of size. These people often complain that they find the controls too small and fiddly and the handling of the camera difficult in general for their hands, especially when using larger and heavier, often legacy, lenses.
Enter the Fujifilm X-Pro1. It's DSLR-sized and yet it's a mirror-less system camera with interchangeable lenses and a novel development of the dual aspect optical and digital viewfinder first seen in the Fujifilm X-100; in fact you could easily think of the X-Pro1 as a larger system camera version of the X-100. You can frame with the 3 inch LCD or the viewfinder in electronic display mode, or you can switch to rangefinder style optical parallax bright line finder mode; the magnification of the finder even adjusts automatically to match the attached lens.
The biggest turn off of the X-100 for many was its fixed single focal length lens. The X-Pro1 addresses that. The X-Pro1 is a serious enthusiast and semi-professional camera that is likely to be expensive and so not a mass market seller, but I firmly believe the concept of a mirror-less system camera that is larger than the current crop of compact system cameras will eventually become an important sector of the camera market as we slowly but surely move away from DSLRs.
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