Fujifilm has been working on their X Pro 1 for a while via firmware updates. And the company constantly strives to improve the product’s autofocusing and other features. Since Firmware 3.01 came out, I was itching to try it out on something a bit more practical besides objects around my apartment and street subjects. Instead, I wanted to try it during an actual shoot.
As many veteran readers of this site may know, many of us are geeks and love the Cosplay world. And so when my friend Lulu wanted to dress up as the Witch from Left4Dead (if you’ve never played that game, you should), I figured that I should put Fujifilm’s newest firmware to the test.
For this test, I used the Fujifilm X Pro 1, 35mm f1.4 R, SLR Magic 23mm f1.7, Yongnuo 560 III, and the Westcott Ice Light.
Low Light Focusing
When the camera initially launched, low light focusing was the bane of my existence with the X Pro 1. Indeed, you really needed to use the AF assist bulb, but I hate using that because I feel like my camera suddenly becomes a lighthouse when trying to capture a moment. As it stands, using the optical viewfinder to focus in low light still really does not show very much of an improvement–even when combined with knowledge of how parallax correction works, it isn’t so great.
But when using the EVF, the focusing is snappy and quick. However, this is only in certain situations. When the focusing reticule is set to the largest size, it is accurate and quick. When the reticule is small, it takes longer and sometimes may not even nail the focusing correctly. But in real life use, this makes a whole load of sense.
There were some scenes that I shot that used ambient light (and not a heck of a lot of it) where my only light was a flash that went off when the shutter did. And even then when the focusing reticule was at its largest, it still nailed the focusing. Once again, I was relying on ambient lighting, which was nearly non-existant. I’m positive that most DSLRs couldn’t even do that.
Indeed, Fujifilm has come a far way in its focusing algorithms.
In some scenes, my 35mm f1.4 wasn’t wide enough. So I’d switch to my SLR Magic 23mm f1.7. That worked fine, but the problem then lies in the fact that it is a manual focus lens. Previously, one would need to enlarge the intended focusing area and check the focusing. But now there is focus peaking. And it worked quite well, but just to double check I often enlarged the area that I was focusing on anyway.
It was extremely liberating to be able to just use a mirrorless system to shoot this concept and to do so comfortably without having to use an LCD screen.
The images in this story were edited to have a gritty grindhouse feel to them, and it works. But Fujifilm’s color gradation has also changed. It processes many colors even better than before for the most part. But to take full advantage of this, we recommend manually white balancing. Lulu’s skin was painted gray, but for some odd reason it came out as blue in some of the photos. The reason: white balancing. So I had to go in and desaturate the blue levels to get it to be more true to life.
Additionally, the image processing in post production software has become simpler and more straight forward. Plus it doesn’t kill my ram as badly anymore.
When the Fujifilm 35mm f1.4 R first was launched, it was perhaps the most problematic lens of the trio. But it had the best image quality. At this point, I think that I can say with certainty that it is the best lens in the lineup. It is sharp, fast to focus, and overall just beautiful. Not only that, but the entire system has drastically improved and they’re only on their first generation of products for the most part!
How the heck could someone not be happy? Seriously.
More photos are right below.
Please Support The Phoblographer
We love to bring you guys the latest and greatest news and gear related stuff. However, we can’t keep doing that unless we have your continued support. If you would like to purchase any of the items mentioned, please do so by clicking our links first and then purchasing the items as we then get a small portion of the sale to help run the website.