So far.... So Good.... So What!... - Dave Mustaine
Fuji X-Pro1 18-55mm at 39mm 1/75s f/3.6 ISO3200
I know this is old news, right now its all about the new X-T1. The X-Pro1 is.... sort of forgotten. Everyone that i followed who used a Fuji in their professional work, they seem to all talked and upgraded to the new Fuji X-T1, no harm done, i would have but instead i chose to get the X-Pro1, for one reason only, the rangefinder looks..... and of course the great deal its on. Hahah...condemn me all you want but that's just me. i just love the looks. Maybe next time X-T1. I'll wait for your weather sealed lens bundled kit.
I owned the X100S and i just loved the JPG files that i get from it. Great image quality, High ISO is so good, clean and the grain is just film like, so my standard IQ must equal or higher to the X100S and not lower, thats why i sold my Olympus as , to my eyes, its not on par with the X100S but maybe that is just me.
So when i test fired my X-pro1, the files didnt look anything like my X100S. I was gutted. I thought the IQ should be the same. it must be the same. But after comparing images between the two fujis, i could see that the X100S is a stop cleaner and better. My X-Pro1 just seems to generate a lot of noise and looked washed out. Ever since i owned the Olympus i turned into a noise-pixel-peeper. Zooming in every pictures looking for noise level. Its not healthy. To my eyes, the X-pro1 files are similar to what i could get from my Olympus. and to be honest, the Olympus is a better camera feature-wise. I have a slight regret of selling my Olympus too soon. and its not helping seeing it everyday, making things worse, seeing my friend playing with its features, touch screen to take pictures and wifi abilities..... i'm screaming silently! lol.
So what is wrong with my X-Pro1? I thought i had a bad copy. It could be the old vs new X Trans sensor and the old vs new EXR II processor. I searched the internet and no one seems to mention about these two cameras. No one compared the IQ. They all said its the same IQ...... being a Fuji. But thats not what i'm seeing. I do found some words of encouragement from fellow blogger who said that the new Fujis are a tad better in terms of image quality. But still i find that hard to believe. I'm in denial. "The IQ should be the same", i said to myself.
If i'm not making myself clear, here is a summary of my first impressions on my Fuji X-pro1.......
1 - I see DEAD Pixels. (Ok, so i assume this is normal, its only 3 out of millions. But how come i never came across this on my x100s and x-m1? .... maybe i wasnt pixel peeping back then)
2 - Its prone to HOT Pixels. (Yep, at higher ISOs, these white specks randomly appeared especially on shadows area, its like dandruff as i've always seen it on hairs but.... theres a but.... i've never seen this on my other Fujis)
3 - Its MORE noisier than my x100s. (I am making myself believe that this is due to the new processor on x100s which makes its files cleaner)
4 - The JPGs files have not so much "headroom". (I tend to underexposed a picture and upped the exposure one stop in post processing. This is fine with x100s but with my X-pro1 the hot pixels start to appear)
Is there a number 5? i'm not sure.... but all these problems only occur when i zoomed in at 100%. Its not nice being a pixel peeper.
Where is thy joy? On standard view, the IQ is awesome, its what you would expect from a Fuji files. So how do i find the remedies that i mentioned above? .....Google is my friend.
a - All digital cameras have dead pixels, you were just not looking.... and mine have 3 dead pixels out of millions? ... it sure bugs the hell out of me but i just have to take it out of the equation. its not visible, unless i looked for it. thats why pixel peeping is bad, it takes out the joy out of photography.
b - To confirmed myself on the HOT pixels mentioned, i searched the internet for Fuji X-Pro1 and the X-E1 High ISOs pictures, since they shared the same sensor and processor and indeed the hot pixels are there too! Those white specks just appeared randomly especially at ISO3200 and onwards. I noticed that its less on RAW files. But since i'm a Jpg shooter, the HOT pixels are not so bad, its still not visible unless i zoomed in...... i can live with it. This also shows that the newer cameras, the x100s, XE2 and XT1 can handle the HOT pixels better.
c - Well noise is noise. I'm lucky that Fuji's grain are film-like. I also believe the newer technology in the X100S handles the noise better and produce better image quality. Look for lens modulation optimizer.
d - About it being not-so-much headroom, i just had to change my way of taking shots. i need to get the exposure just right... i mean thats the best way to take a shot anyway, the best/right exposure. Even if i have to upped the exposure in post processing, its only HOT pixels i have to deal with, which only a problem if you pixel peep or zoomed in at 100%. I mean, i'm not gonna print big canvas any day now... if i would i should have shot in RAW and get the exposure right!
I mean Phewww... i thought i had a bad copy. I'm just obsessed that it needs to be on par with my X100S. But then the X-Pro1 is older and used older technology. which in a way makes sense that X100S is better in every aspect. eg. IQ, faster AF
Like i said, all these problems only occur when i zoomed in 100% and in JPGs. The pizza shot above is fine to my eyes, no lighting involve except the house indoor lights .... thus the high ISO. I'm so used to seeing my x100s files, i find all other files inferior. In fact, i compared so many images of my X-pro1 to my X100S and found out that the X100S seems to used a lot of noise reduction in camera. .....How about that??...... I was too worried that my X-pro1 was inferior, in finding the weakness of my Xpro1, i exposed the weakness of my x100s, maybe not a weakness to some but it is using too much noise reduction. Sometimes i find the faces gets a little smooth and waxy. Now i'm on the lowest setting of my NR.
But thats the thing with my X-Pro1, I am more forgiving to it than i am with the Olympus. I dont know why and to be honest i think my EM10 is a better camera. Small, Fast and Grainy pictures... my X-pro1 only has grainy pictures, minus speed and size lol.
So thats basically my first impressions, i have yet to put it through its paces, just some random shots and VSCO it to death. and i gotta say i'm liking those grainy pictures of the X-Pro1!