Fuji X-Pro 1 - Is it more trouble than its worth?

Fuji X-Pro-1 60mm f/2.4 lens
Fuji X-Pro-1 60mm f/2.4 lens

I was asked this perfectly legitimate question on Google+

"So, if by using this complex workflow you can eventually obtain files similar to what you get with your other cameras, why would you actually do it and not use the easier cameras and raw files only ?

Putting aside per pixel sharpness, is the resolution of a no AA filter 16Mpixel sensor not comparable to the AA filtered 24Mpixel sensor of the nex7 ?"

While writing my reply, it did occur to me that it might seem somewhat of a mystery as to why I persevere with the camera. Hopefully the following will make this clear.

 "I ask myself the same question all the time!!!

However there are reasons for all this. The first advantage for me from the X-Pro 1 is its performance at high(er) ISO's. What this means in practice for what I do, is that instead of shooting at ISO 100 and f5.6 in order to get a high shutter speed I can shoot at ISO 800 and f/16 and the Fuji file still produces clean noise free results.

For someone who does what I do, shoot outdoors, walk quite long distances and try to get the maximum DOF I can this has serious advantages. It also means that I can consider using telepho lenses much more. In fact I use the 60mm an awful lot, and the Fuji's ISO performance allows me to use that lens at its optimum apertures.

Since I work primarily hand-held, this is a camera that does what others can't.

The second advantage is the quality of the jpgs. This is the first (and only) camera that gives me out of camera jpg. quality that is suitable for who I supply. The majority of the libraries that sell my work are insistent that images be shot on raw, but since the Fuji is so good at jpg. output, and indeed is very similar to the results that I achieve using raw conversion with other cameras, that in most circumstances the camera reduces my workflow. However since it doesn't give me what I want all the time, I do need a raw conversion that works well. I would also add that the conversion process from raw in silkypix to .dng files in Photoshop takes about 10-15 minutes, as I do it in batches, so its not really that long.

The third advantage of the X-Pro 1 is that this unprecendented high ISO performance extends what I can shoot and sell. For the first time ever I have had files accepted by libraries that I've shot at ISO 3200 and 6400. They are that clean. This means that I can now consider shooting the interiors of the buildings I photograph. Tripods are often not welcome, so this gives me an option I didn't have before.

Certainly I consider the best output that I can currently get is at ISO 100 with my NEX-7. However I never use that camera at anything other than ISO 100 as I find the output quality does degrade quite rapidly beyond that. This means that the NEX-7 works as a good weather camera only. Since I live and work in the UK mostly, we are blessed (???) with a climate that is some way from that of the South of France. Yesterday, for example, while waiting for the large black clouds overhead to pass by, I was able to shoot some macro nature shots with the 60mm, at high ISO's, narrow apertures and high shutter speeds and still be confident that what I was producing would satisfy even my most demanding libraries and clients.

I know of no other camera that will do any of the above, and thats why I'm prepared to take the time and effort to get myself a decent raw file, if and when I need one. As I indicated because of the other advantages, and the fact that the X-Pro 1 files interpolate very well, in some ways it can be a camera that lessens the amount of work I have to do rather than increases it. That's why its still around and thats why I spend so time working on and with it."

Of interest might be this review of the X-Pro 1 by Thom Hogan - http://www.sansmirror.com/cameras/a-note-about-camera-reviews/fujifilm-x-pro1.html It has some information on why the raw conversion problems occur, and has further links on that. Well worth a read.

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