Fujifilm has been experimenting with sensor designs right from the very beginning and the new ‘X-Trans’ CMOS is another clever piece of thinking outside the square. The new array also means there are RGB pixels in every vertical row and horizontal line which translates into enhanced colour fidelity. More importantly though, the more ‘random’ arrangement of RGB pixels – or, in technical terms, its higher aperiodicity – effectively lowers the frequency at which a moiré effect will occur (caused by interference) with repeating patterns, eliminating the need for LPFs and so enabling more of the sensor’s resolution to be realised. Moiré isn’t entirely eliminated, but the circumstances where it could possibly happen are now much fewer. Incidentally, with the two LPFs gone, the focal plane shutter can be located much closer to the sensor’s surface which also enables the shorter back focus distance.
Pixels At Work
The X-Trans sensor’s imaging area is 23.6x15.6 mm and the effective pixel count is 16.3 million, but it would appear this is pretty much the total pixel count too, due to the larger 6x6-pixels pattern and the more sophisticated demosaicing algorithms required (which interpolate the RGB values of each pixel). Consequently, there aren’t really any redundant or unusable pixels at the edges of the sensor.
However, the new sensor’s more complex pixel pattern does require a processor with considerable grunt. Fujifilm calls it the ‘EXR Processor Pro’ and it’s able to deliver a continuous shooting speed of 6.0 fps, but none of the published specifications quote burst lengths so we’ll be determining this in the ‘Speed And Performance’ section.
The sensitivity range is equivalent to ISO 200 to 6400 with two stops of ‘push’ to ISO 25,600 and a one stop ‘pull’ to ISO 100. The maximum image size at the standard aspect ratio of 3:2 is 4896x3264 pixels and JPEGs can be captured at two smaller sizes and one of two levels of compression. Additionally, there are three image sizes available at the 16:9 and 1:1 aspect ratios which are both crops. Not so the panorama modes which are created, as on the X100, by panning the camera while a rapid-fire series of images are recorded and then stitched together. If the camera is held vertically, the maximum image size is 7680x2160 pixels. There are two RAW+JPEG capture settings so the appended compressed file can be either large/fine or large/normal.
The X-Pro1 accepts SD format memory cards
with a single port that supports the SDHC
and SDXC types, including the higher-speed UHS-1 version of the latter. The card compartment is located within the battery compartment and both are in the camera’s plate with, curiously, the tripod-mounting socket positioned off-centre so it’s right alongside. Consequently, changing memory cards will require the camera to be first removed from the mounting plate.
Colour And Contrast
In terms of the image processing functions, the X-Pro1 inherits everything from the X100, but with some additional capabilities. Chief among these is the addition of two new ‘Film Simulation’ modes called Pro Neg Hi and Pro Neg Standard which are colour presets primarily designed for portraiture and with two levels of colour saturation. The remaining eight film modes replicate the look of the Fujichrome transparency films Provia, Velvia and Astia (which equate to Standard, Vivid and Soft respectively) and for B&W capture with the options of adding yellow, red or green contrast control filters, or sepia toning. The colour saturation, sharpness and highlight and/or shadow tone (i.e. the contrast) can be adjusted for the selected film mode. As on the X100, there’s a choice of three manual settings for dynamic range expansion processing – called 100%, 200% and 400% – or an automatic correction which assesses the brightness range in the scene and tweaks both the exposure and the tone curve accordingly.
Auto bracketing modes are available for exposure, the ‘Film Simulation’ settings (which now allows the B&W modes to be included), dynamic range expansion and sensitivity. All capture a three-frame sequence, but there still isn’t a white balancing bracketing option.
The X-Pro1’s white balance controls are the same as those of the X100 with the automatic correction based on scene recognition analysis and supplemented a selection of seven presets, one custom measurement, fine-tuning and manual colour temperature setting. The latter’s range is from 2500 to 10,000 degrees Kelvin while the fine-tuning is available over nine steps in the colour ranges of red-to-cyan and blue-to-yellow. Obviously all this is previewable both on the LCD monitor and in the EVF. Noise reduction can be manually set to one of five levels (Low, Medium Low, Standard, Medium High and High).
The X-Pro1 also allows for the processing of RAW files – so the images can be viewed in-camera – with adjustments for colour, sharpness, highlight and/or shadow tone, noise reduction, colour
space, exposure, dynamic range and white
balance (with shifts) and the application of a
‘Film Simulation’ mode or an adjustment called ‘Reflect Shooting Conditions’.
As with the X100, you get the feeling that video recording is very much a secondary consideration on the X-Pro1; provided because it has to be rather than any other consideration. Nevertheless, Full HD footage is recorded with stereo sound at the cinematic speed of 24 fps and the aperture-priority auto exposure control mode is available for increased control over depth-of-field. The ‘Film Simulation’ modes are also available, along with the white balance presets (and fine-tuning) and continuous autofocusing, but there isn’t a dedicated movie start/stop button or provisions for fitting an external microphone.