In The Hand
The external control layout and body construction follows the X100 in terms of having dials for setting the shutter speeds and exposure compensation, but is significantly revised on the back panel.

Mostly notably, the clumsy combination of navigator and command wheel is gone replaced by a set of conventional four-way keys and a horizontally-orientated input wheel located separately. Additionally, thanks to the ‘Q menu’, the navigation keys aren’t dual function except for the top one also selecting the macro focusing mode. However, this can be locked off to avoid being accidentally engaged. As on the X100, a user-assignable function button is located on the top panel and can be set to a range of duties including setting the ISO, image size or quality, the ‘Film Simulation’ mode, the AF modes or the dynamic range expansion levels. The exposure compensation dial is now recessed into the top panel and has stronger detents so it’s much harder to inadvertently move it... although we did still manage to do it on a couple of occasions. The shutter speed dial now locks on the ‘A’ setting, and the release button is located in its centre. Both the ‘Q’ and AF/AE lock buttons are located on what’s essentially a thumbrest so there is the risk of accidentally hitting them too, but in general terms, the X-Pro1’s operation is much smoother and freer of hiccups than the X100’s.

It’s rather nice to still see a common-or-garden variety cable release socket sitting in the middle of the shutter release button. The standard finish is black with the traditional leather-look inserts and, quite simply, the thing looks drop-dead gorgeous. It’s beautifully made too, comparing very favourably with the fit and finish of the Leica. The external covers and the chassis are diecast magnesium alloy components and the markings are engraved rather than screen-printed. The dials are milled from solid metal blocks and the lenses are supplied with metal lens hoods. The rubberised handgrip is small, but quite sufficient for the job, so the X-Pro1 feels comfortably balanced with any of the three current XF lenses fitted. These lenses, too, are very nicely made with metal 
barrels and the same satin black finish (apparently the barrel markings are hand-painted). The aperture rings are also precision milled and click-stopped on one-third EV increments. Everything works with the ease and efficiency you’d expect of analog controls, confirming again that some things just don’t need to be changed. We’re still using steering wheels in cars because there is no better way of doing the job, and the same is true of dials and control collars on cameras. These, combined with the tidied-up menus and the ‘Q menu’ direct access, make the X-Pro1 feel pretty much like second nature both in the hand and in the field.

Speed And Performance
We suspected fast cards were going to be the key to getting the most out of the X-Pro1’s in terms of its continuous shooting capabilities. So, loaded with an 8.0 GB Panasonic SDHC UHS-1 device, the camera fired off a sequence of 18 frames – at JPEG/large/fine quality – in 3.306 seconds which represents a speed of 5.614 fps. It’s fractionally below the quoted speed of 6.0 fps, but most likely accounted for by the file sizes being in the order of 6.9 MB.

Switching to RAW capture, the burst length was ten frames in 1.799 seconds, representing a shooting speed of 5.56 fps (the file size being 24.9 MB). The camera will go on shooting past these burst lengths, but it slows significantly. It also took a fair while to empty the buffer to the card after the RAW capture sequence which is a bit surprising. It’s also worth noting that at 6.0 fps, the AF and AE are set to the first frame.

The autofocus is reasonably snappy, especially with the 18mm lens, but certainly not the fastest in the CSC world. However, the shutter lag which is the scourge of the X100 is virtually non-existent on the X-Pro1 and is quoted at 0.05 seconds by Fujifilm. The 256-segment metering is exceptionally reliable, and it’s rare to encounter a digital camera that doesn’t require some degree of exposure compensation to ensure a good brightness range.

Additionally, the dynamic range is exceptionally good even when set to the lowest setting of 100%. The overall image quality is exceptional with loads of beautifully defined detailing, wonderful colours and extremely smooth tonal gradations. Noise levels are exceptionally low across the sensor’s full native sensitivity range and so, at ISO 6400, are exemplary for an ‘APS-C’ format camera. There’s some slight graininess evident in areas of uniform tone at ISO 12,800, but it’s pretty minimal and, even at ISO 25,600, everything still holds together exceptionally well. The same is true for the RAW files which you’d expect to be noisier than the processed JPEGs, but actually aren’t and remain excellent all the way up to ISO 6400. Of course, the JPEGs can be tweaked in-camera for sharpness, contrast and colour saturation. In the Vivid mode, the JPEGs have an almost film-like quality – particularly in terms of balancing definition and smoothness – that we haven’t really seen before even in cameras with bigger sensors. In all then, the imaging performance, especially in terms of the absence of noise even at the highest ISO settings, is nothing short of stunning.

The Verdict
Interestingly, the X-Pro1 is rather less ‘cutesy’ retro than the X100. It seems to be a whole lot more purposeful perhaps because of its size, but certainly because of the interchangeable lenses. The classical styling is most definitely there, but the overall emphasis appears to be more on the function than the form… in other words, this is designed to be, first and foremost, a professional’s working tool rather than a plaything (not that the X100 can be considered merely the latter either, but you know what we mean). Furthermore, the balancing of the traditional and the contemporary is even cleverer, and it’s a long time since we’ve picked up a camera that immediately felt so right. That you don’t need to go near the instruction manual to work everything out is another testimony to the sheer competence of the X-Pro1’s design at every level. It isn’t entirely flawless, but it is undoubtedly a truly great camera.

Sensor: 16.3 million (effective) pixels ‘X-Trans’ CMOS with 23.6x15.6 mm imaging area and 3:2 aspect ratio. Sensitivity equivalent to ISO 200-6400, extendable to ISO 12,800 and 25,600.
Focal Length Magnification: 1.5x.
Formats/Resolution: Two JPEG compression settings, RAW output (lossless compression) and RAW+JPEG capture. Three resolution settings at 3:2 aspect ratio; 4896x3264, 3456x2304 and 2496x1664 pixels. Three resolution settings at 16:9 aspect ratio; 4896x2760, 3456x1944 and 2496x1408 pixels. Three resolution settings at 1:1 aspect ratio; 3264x3264, 2304x2304 and 1664x1664 pixels. 24-bit RGB colour for JPEGs, 36-bit RGB colour for RAW files.
Video Recording: H.264 MOV format at 1920x1080 pixels, 24 fps and 16:9 aspect ratio and 1280x720 pixels, 24 fps and 16:9 aspect ratio. Stereo microphones built-in. Clip length limited to 29 minutes and 59 seconds. No stereo audio input.
Recording Media: SD, SDHC and SDXC (UHS-1) memory cards.
Continuous Shooting: 18 JPEG/large/fine frames (as tested) at up to 6.0 fps or 10 RAW frames (as tested). Low speed mode captures
at 3.0 fps.
White Balance: TTL measurement. Auto mode, seven presets and one custom settings. White balance compensation (amber-to-blue and/or green-to-magenta) in all presets, and white balance bracketing. Manual colour temperature setting from 2500 to 10,000 degrees Kelvin.
Interfaces: USB 2.0 and HDMI mini connector.
Additional Digital Features: Sensor cleaning, 7.62 cm RGBW LCD monitor (1.23 megapixels), ‘Film Simulation’ modes (Standard/Provia, Vivid/Velvia, Soft/Astia, Pro Neg High, Pro Neg Standard, Monochrome, Monochrome+Yellow, Monochrome+Red, Monochrome+Green, Sepia), ‘Motion Panorama’ modes (vertical and horizontal, two sizes), dynamic range expansion (Auto, 100%, 200%, 400%), adjustable image parameters (colour saturation, sharpness, highlight tone, shadow tone), histogram display, electronic level display, grid displays, guidance displays, depth-of-field preview, bracketing functions (AE, Film Simulation, Dynamic Range, ISO), high ISO noise reduction, long exposure noise reduction, seven custom set-up memories, sRGB and Adobe RGB colour space settings, playback/editing functions (RAW Conversion [11 adjustable parameters], Erase, Crop, Resize, Protect, Image Rotate,  Red-Eye Removal, PhotoBook Assist), image search modes (Date, Face, Favourites, Type Of Data, Upload Mark), auto playback (with fade), multi-image playback, 9/100 thumbnail displays, zoom playback, silent mode, PictBridge and DPOF support.
Power: One 7.2 volt/1260 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack (NP-W126 type).
Dimensions (WxHxD): body only = 139.5x81.8x42.5 mm.
Weight: body only = 400 grams (without battery or memory card).
Price: $1799 body only. $2499 with Fujinon Super EBC XF 35mm f1.4 R prime lens or XF 18mm f2.0 R prime lens. Each of these lenses separately priced at $699. Fujinon Super EBC XF 60mm f2.4 R macro lens priced at $749. The optional EF-X20 flash unit is priced at $359.
Distributor: Fujifilm Australia, telephone (02) 9466 2600 or visit