look inside the core of the X-series: a M. Angeloni review


Massimiliano Angeloni tested the X-PRO1, X-100, X-10 and different lenses over months and months, so his reviews are rich of details and personal considerations. Take a look by yourself and check it out, read and look at the pictures. I decided just to translate (not literally) his introduction to the X-PRO1 review. (translated version here)

Introduction: Slow down. Everything is fast, too fast. Why write about X-PRO1, when there is already the X-E1? And maybe the X-E1 is already old now! Has everything already been said about the X-PRO1? Max says that if you go really deep inside the X-PRO1 you will discover a little universe, so rich, that he could write chapters over chapters about it. In times where everybody runs, the risk is to have a superficial view of everything. Therefore he comes out with his review only now. Because it takes time to make an accurate review [personal note: it’s like the fox of the little prince (click here), when he says: “One only understands the things that one tames… Men have no more time to understand anything.] So he “tamed” his X-PRO1, and here you can read his story. (translated version)

Will the X-PRO1 really endanger the hegemony of the reflex cameras? Nikon and Canon, simply the best FF-cameras, have shown to everybody the way. To compete with them and also with the competitors in the mirrorless market, you have to go a different, a new way. Did Fuji find this new way? Did they find the right balance between size, joy of photography and great image quality? Where are the limits of this camera? And of course, step by step, image after image, lens after lens, Max will share his very professional and also personal considerations with you.

You see, to make a short summary is against the philosophy of his passionate work and detailed reviews. You need some time, but for everyone who loves photography, it will be a pleasure to read it.

So, for everyone who really wants to look inside the very core of the X-series, just click here for the X-PRO1, X-100, and X-10 review and take your time to “tame” them! (translated versions: X-PRO1, X-100, X-10)

To go to the photo galleries: X-PRO1 (click here) / X-100 (click here) / X-10 (click here)

[ad picture above] “The X-100 is made for the street… little fripperies and a lot of substance.”… “That’s the X-100… a traveling companion that is not embarrassed when you ask her to offer us the best… and even if you ask her to make just the “humble” work of a compact camera with the aim to capture some memories with full automatic adjustments.”

[ad picture above] X-PRO1 with the Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R

[ad picture above] “The X-10 is fantastic for portrait images.”… “The X-10 represents the new standard for compact digital cameras.” [as we reported, the X-10 won the “camera of the year 2012 award” of Stuff-UK (click here to Steve.uk review)]

  • Jon R

    Here’s another Fuji X-E1 review I haven’t seen posted yet.

    • MJr

      Because that one’s boring ;)

      • Gui

        Boring? Not so. Thorough, and objective. It’s the most balanced I’ve seen yet. It acknowledges that autofocus is still underperforming in the X-line compared to the rest of marketplace while also making clear that there is no better imaging coming from an APS-C sensor-based camera right now. Given the quality of the images these Fujis are generating (I’m using the X100, XP1, and have had the XE1 for a few days) it’s all the more essential that Fuji figure out how to make a substantial leap forward in their implementation of autofocus. There will always be hunting with AF in all cameras in some instances, whether due to light or subjectmatter. But in challenging conditions, the Fuji AF is terrible. Outdoors, it’s rarely a big issue: my fail rate is consistent with what it is on all my rigs; indoors, the Fuji declines precipitously in its ability to catch decisive moments. This can and should be addressed, and the recent firmware upgrades suggest that Fuji is willing to work on this but, let’s not kid ourselves, not yet able to make the kinds of major improvements that are needed to ensure the life of this line. Prosumers are not going to adopt this just because of a great sensor that takes great pictures in certain situations: at this point, it’s not unreasonable to ask that any high-end digital camera manage all aspects of the toolkit. Yes, I also shoot manual when using M-glass, and so I’m not a shooter who has to have AF to take pictures. But if a camera has AF and it’s slower in low light than I can manage with an M6, that’s a real problem. I am in no way beating up on these new Fujis: I’m enjoying them, and I want to keep enjoying them. Comments that are critical at this point are essential from users to ensure the success of this sensor. The XP2 and the X200 need to be as fast as the Olympus OMs so that one can really say that there is no real reason, for some photographers, to shoulder the weight of a D800 or a MKIII. Fuji is a major operational upgrade away from having a major — rather than a boutique — camera.

    • Jon R

      Another 18-55 f2.8-4.0 lens review

      Their rankings are always a bit high though. Almost every single lens they review gets above 8.0

  • Balthazar B

    Considering that well over 95% of the greatest photographs (of all genres) ever taken were done without benefit of autofocus (not to mention autoshutter, autoISO, autoaperture, etc.), I’d call any comparative shortcomings the Fuji line has against the competition in this area to be minor at worst. And something they have plenty of time to fix as they choose. I’m more interested in their prioritization of lenses and handling, frankly, and am willing to cut them a little slack on the automation.

    • Gui

      I’m right there with you in cutting them slack: that’s why I’m using their cameras, because the image quality is overwhelmingly more important to me that the tech implementation. But as their manual focus on their native lenses hasn’t been a selling point either (it’s much slower to manual focus a Fuji X lens than an M on Leica/Voigtlander/Zeiss Ikon rangefinders) and as their implementation of manual focussing when using their M-adaptor is less elegant and effective than Sony’s on the NEX with peaking, the real problem is that whether you use Fuji’s AF or their manual options, either, in my view, is slower than an experienced shooter can achieve using a manual rangefinder. Would you agree that if you have a new camera with a wonderful sensor, it should either be able to focus manually as fast as a 50 year-old camera, or its auto-focus should be *faster* than an experienced shooter can achieve when shooting manually. I’m all for slack, but I want Fuji to get the manual and AF focus to be up to spec as far as the industry goes. If their IQ is better, it would be not unreasonable to ask that their basic handling of focussing, whether manual or AF, be average. They are, objectively, below average. IQ is always the most important factor, but missed shots and fails, if they accumulate in non-sports situations, and they have in my usage over the past year, that suggests that part of this wonderful camera series isn’t where it needs to be and where I very much hope it will get to.

  • Roger Whitehead

    > Considering that well over 95% of the greatest photographs (of all genres)
    > ever taken were done without benefit of autofocus…

    Considering that well over 95% of the greatest journeys to battle were made on horseback, generals should not complain about any lack of motorised troop transport.


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