The Fujifilm X Pro 1 turns 10 years old next January. And we’re expecting some sort of huge announcement from Fujifilm because of just that. Here’s a fun fact: I still own mine. Even today, the Fujifilm X Pro 1 isn’t a bad camera. It’s highly capable and still far better than many DSLRs that have come out in the past decade. But it’s lacking a lot of the major features that make modern cameras so great. That doesn’t mean you should toss yours in the trash. In fact, Fujifilm has given it firmware updates every now and again. And for what it’s worth, I still use mine.
Modern Cameras Have Made Us So Lazy
For this blog post, I decided to use nothing else but the Fujifilm X Pro 1 for a week. And wow, what a culture shock. I was immediately brought back to a time way before COVID-19. Do you remember cameras before Face Detection? Do you remember when you had to really work to move the autofocus point? And more importantly, do you remember cameras that prioritized the center autofocus point? Well, the Fujifilm X Pro 1 is one of those cameras.
This sounds like business as usual if you’re a Leica M shooter.
With cameras like the Fujifilm X Pro 3 and XT4, it’s easy to point, focus, and shoot. It’s bound to work to get a face in focus. But the Fujifilm X Pro 1 didn’t have face detection or eye detection: you had to move the focusing point. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t get good photos though. In fact, I still shoot pretty much the same amount that I used to. Back then, I used to use the center focus point and get the photos I liked. These days, I let the camera find the face and I get the shot I want in less than five frames.
I couldn’t imagine wanting to do just this today. If I were shooting film, then I’d totally understand. But digital cameras have much higher expectations today. The cameras more or less do everything for you. All you have to do is point and shoot! I think this mentality has lead to some folks to spending more time in post-production. Would I want to go back to old-school digital? Not really. However, I love the image quality I get. The Fujifilm X Pro 1 delivers some of the most film-like images I’ve ever seen, even today.
The Problems with Image Quality
When the Fujifilm X Pro 1 was approaching its end of life, folks wanted it to have the ACROS film simulation. Fuji told me back then that it had to do with memory on the camera. But the folks over at Fuji X Weekly have a community that submits combinations to create custom film and creative looks. For the most part, they’ve nailed Kodak Ektachrome. So I end up shooting what sort of looks like Kodak Ektachrome on the Fujifilm X Pro 1.
I knew about Fuji X Weekly a while back from emails. But I only gave it a shot after my buddy Brent showed me how cool it was. We’re in agreement that a few folks who use it don’t know what film looks like or have ever shot with film. That’s how I feel about most of the presets. Still, I pay for the full subscription just in case I find something I like.
I knew one could create custom color profiles, but I never cared to mess with them much.
Is the Fujifilm X Pro 1 Still a Good Camera?
So is the Fujifilm X Pro 1 still a good camera? Well first off, it can be had really cheap. And yes, it’s still a very good camera. But I wouldn’t use it for everything. It’s lacking weather sealing, and that I very much require. It’s lacking face detection. The autofocus could be loads faster. Yet it still can do multiple exposures, something that Sony and Leica both can’t do as of this writing. Best of all, it’s got the hybrid viewfinder that few cameras have. It’s a great backup if you don’t have to worry about inclement weather and conditions.
But like all things that get older, you’ve got to do more work to make the images truly shine.