The X-Pro 1 and me
I got the Fujifilm X100 back in 2012 and while I was a big fan of the ergonomics, I had numerous issues with the camera.
Despite how nice and natural it felt in the hand, it was not as responsive as I had hoped. When it came to focusing, it was slow. When it came to processing images that were shot in burst mode, it was slower. Simply put, it was a great idea, but the it needed a bit more work behind the scenes.
If Fuji could somehow take the ergonomics of the X100 and apply it to a more responsive model, along with the option of having an interchangeable lenses, they’d be onto a winner.
In 2014, I was alerted to a deal for the Fuji X-Pro 1 – a camera body, with an 18mm lens and a 35mm lens. I can’t remember how much it was, but I remember I had to snap up the deal then and there.
Originally, I hadn’t planned on using it for weddings. I had my Nikon DSLRs for that. This was for mostly snaps of my friends and family.
However, curiosity eventually got the better of me and I took it to a wedding. I captured a few shots at the start of the day, packed it back in the bag and then thought nothing of it until I got home and backed up the images on my computer.
When reviewing the images, this shot stood out for me. Compared to the other shots I had taken on my Nikon D7000s, I felt like this was in a different league.
Eventually, I ended up taking it with me to all my weddings. I then proceeded to ditch my DSLRs and shoot exclusively on mirrorless cameras.
It’s now 2021 and pre-covid, I used to mainly shoot weddings with the X-T3s, which simply put are amazing and bring everything I could possibly need for a mirrorless camera body. But when I go out with my family, there is something about the X-Pro 1 that keeps drawing me back to it.
It has captured many stories about my family; including memorable holidays, events and of course, the birth of my daughter.
Sure, in light of the more recent models, it’s dated and somewhat clunky, but it still packs a solid punch in my humble opinion and when combined with the 18mm lens, it’s a charming little package.
Since then, Fujifilm cameras have gradually become the main gear I use for my work. I’ve upgraded several times, using XT1s, XT2s and now XT3s – which I think are amazing little machines, that pack a serious punch.
Now, I know the X-Pro 1 is getting old, and even a bit slow by modern standards. But for my own personal photos, there is something that always draws me back to the original X-Pro 1. It just feels right, like it’s the natural tool to use when documenting my family.
So when people ask me what is the best camera, i don’t feel the answer is as simple as they expect. Essentially, it’s the one that feels right in your hand.
People often ask me what is the best camera – in my opinion, I don’t think it exists – they all have their flaws and their unique qualities that make them suitable to whatever situation. But, if you were to put me on the spot and ask me what has been my favourite camera to use over the years, don’t be surprised if I say it’s the X-Pro 1.