In my initial review of the X-Pro1 I talked about the Agile iterative development method, drawing a parallel with the way Fujifilm seems to be working with the X series cameras.
Today, we get to see how powerful these updates can be. The new 2.00 firmware version for the X-Pro1 camera and XF lenses is a gigantic leap forward. No, ginourmous . Over these last months I’d gotten used to the camera’s reaction times and had learned to either compensate or simply accept these quirks as part of the experience. But anytime I picked up the X100 I was reminded of the performance discrepancy, especially in low light situations. No longer: this is now a brand new camera — a total reboot.
We’d been aware of this update and its content for a few weeks now but it’s still surprising when you actually get your own hands on it. The AF speed is downright snappy and now surpasses the X100 by a mile. As promised, writing to the card is also much faster. But the biggest improvement for me has to be the manual focus: it almost feels mechanical. I can’t believe it to be honest. That annoying lag and imprecision that made you feel as though you were focussing in Jell-O has been almost completely eliminated. I still feel it a little bit when going from one end of the scale to the other but it’s minimal. Manual focussing now feels like… Well, actual manual focussing.
And that new 3X focus zoom mode is a godsend. This is now the default zoom factor and it makes a lot more sense than the 10X we had before. Much easier to see what you’re doing. You can switch from 3X to 10X by flicking the command dial left or right for minute adjustments.
Another thing I noticed which isn’t documented: switching back to capture mode from image preview is much quicker. I usually keep the 1.5 seconds image preview while shooting, but sometimes I don’t really need that much time: I half-press the shutter to dismiss the preview and go on working. Before this update the camera wouldn’t react instantly and I’d sometimes have to disable the feature to avoid the lag time. Now it’s instantaneous. The preview image is gone the moment you touch the shutter, the camera ready to take a picture.
The ONE glaring issue that still hasn’t been resolved is Auto ISO: we still cannot set a minimum shutter speed. Grrr. I’d like to know why this isn’t being addressed. Is it a technical problem? An error in design? And if not why the heck isn’t this fixed already?
I tend to lean towards an actual problem surrounding this feature. Clearly Fujifilm is aware of the need for this. They’ve even added a new Auto ISO 6400 mode. But here’s the thing: even with this enabled I still get the same shutter speed calculations from the system, shutter = focal length. Useless.
I would so love to use the X-Pro1 in Auto ISO the way I use the X100. And no, working manually while leaving Auto ISO ON isn’t an option. I don’t want all my pictures exposed on average. Not an option.
LOOK, I’M A BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY!
When the X-Pro1 was announced, Fuji spoke to great lengths about the speed of the new processor and how much more powerful it would be when compared to the X100. Until today this wasn’t obvious at all. Now, it’s an inescapable fact. The 2.00 firmware update is like a brain transplant and body makeover rolled into one.
Folks: meet the new X-Pro1.