The Fuji X-Pro 1 at the Rodeo
I’ve had my Fujifilm X-Pro 1 for about a month now, having rented one previously, and it’s proving to be a frustrating and lovable thing.
At times I’ll want to throw it across the room when it stumbles over a simple focus or is busy thinking to itself when my subject’s face assumes a perfect (and fleeting) expression.
But then I’ll look at the images it produces and declare it to be the best thing ever.
We went to the Rodeo de Santa Fe last night, and the X-Pro1 was its usual Jekyll and Hyde self. While I was shooting, especially fast-moving horses I was pretty sure I wasn’t getting anything.
When I got home, however, it made me love it again.
A lot more of the action shots than I’d feared turned out to be crisp, and while I wouldn’t recommend shooting sports with it if you’ve got an SLR to hand, it stood up better than I’d expected.
All these were taken with the 35mm F1.4 lens that I’m really enjoying.
And when I was back to shooting slower activity with it, it felt like the X-Pro1 relaxed and showed me what it could really do in its more natural environment.
To be fair, the X-Pro1 did miss a few shots. It struggled when the subject was coming right towards me (the continuous focus couldn’t keep up), but understandably did better at subjects coming across me. The EVF was way too slow, however, so it was OVF all the way. But even with a DSLR it’d be a bit of a crapshoot in terms of how many keepers you’d get from an event like this.
I want to believe
The problem for me with this camera is that since most of my work for families and organizations is documentary-based, I need to be sure that when the moment arrives that I want to capture, the camera won’t let me down. My subjects might not be running around all the time, but if a brief smile passes across a kid’s face, or a group of people at work align themselves perfectly in the frame and the camera fails and I miss the shot, then I can’t use the camera for paid work.
A sharp-enough, adequately exposed shot of a great moment is worth so much more to me than a pin-sharp, perfectly exposed shot of the dull moment after the great moment.
But the X-Pro1′s performance at the Rodeo, when it was out of its element, gives me hope that it will deliver the usability to match the image quality it undoubtedly has in spades.