Friday, January 13, 2012
Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 02:00 PM
"Our preview of the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and Fujifilm's X system lenses. The X-Pro1 is, in many respects, the camera that many people hoped the X100 was foreshadowing: interchangeable lenses and a cutting-edge sensor combined in a classically-styled body and retaining the excellent hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder."
When I first tried the X100, I was impressed with the JPEGs I got from it. Since then I have had more exposure to it with a friend who bought it, and I have to say it produces exceptional images. The lens is good, and the sensor, if I may say, is the best APS-sized sensor currently on the market. What turned me off was the lens; I just have no affinity for the field of view provided by the 35mm focal length.
Well, this week, Fujifilm has announced the X-Pro1, which is a slightly larger X100 with an interchangeable lens mount. While still a 16 megapixel APS-sized sensor, this new sensor uses a new layout: Instead of the traditional GRGB 2x2 colour array (which, in case you forget, GRGB means Green Red Green Blue; these designate the colour each photosite collects), the sensor features arrays of 6x6 arranged in a different way (more like GBGRGR and GRGBGB arrays which alternate throughout the sensor). The upshot of this strange new complicated arrangement is the removal of the anti-aliasing filter, which is applied to prevent moire. Moire commonly shows up as squiggly lines when very fine lines are photographed. While the anti-aliasing filter prevents that, it also decreases the sharpness of the final image. Removing this, Fujifilm claims, will allow the X-Pro1 to compete with the 24 megapixel Sony NEX7. Impressive indeed.
The rest of the camera is pretty much the same as the X100. It features the unique hybrid viewfinder, which now can switch between two magnifications to accommodate lenses of different focal lengths and the same retro design (but now in black). Fujifilm however seems to have improved on the UI for the camera's digital side, which was something that bugged me for the original X100. As with most interchangeable lens systems, there is now a noisier focal plane shutter, so gone is the near-silent operation of the X100. As for lenses, Fujifilm is shipping three lenses at the start, which are essentially 28/2, 50/1.4, and 90/2.4 in 35mm equivalent terms. There are more lenses on the road map, with a zoom, and a 21mm equivalent coming this year.
Downside of this? The camera is not going to be cheap. The price is US$1,700 for just the body alone, and with the three debut lenses going for US$650 each. Ouch. More details and a very through preview at the read link.