Fujifilm X-Pro1 Review with Sample Videos
Glaring issues with autofocus, rolling shutter, and interference make the X-Pro1 a disappointment for video.
The FujifilmX-Pro1 is capable of recording excellent video images, but the camera doesn’t deserve any praise for its terrible handling and controls in video mode. The camera is equipped with an unreliable autofocus system for video recording, and certain manual controls (like shutter speed and ISO) aren’t even available for adjustment in video mode. To top it all off, the X-Pro1 had one of the worst rolling shutter effects we’ve seen on a camera, which riddled our vivid, Full HD videos with a generous amount of wobble and blur.
The continuous autofocus on the X-Pro1 was not always effective in video mode.
Motion & Sharpness
Videos are recorded in Full HD, though at only a 24p frame rate. As a result, motion isn’t quite as smooth as the best mirrorless cameras, such as the Sony NEX-7 (which offers a 60p frame rate in addition to 24p options). The camera did show a strong rolling shutter effect when we panned back and forth, as you can see in the video below. But we also noticed some wobble when we panned the camera very slowly as well.
The camera had one of the worst rolling shutter effects we've seen.
See our full motion performance review, including video clips.
Although the X-Pro1 was able to resolve 650 lw/ph of detail horizontally and 600 vertically, that’s only when the camera remains perfectly still. Even then, that’s only half the story. Fujifilm’s decision to remove the optical low-pass filter results in extremely distracting moire in all fine repeating patterns. We’re talking bright, colorful moire that no one will miss.
Sharpness levels weren't great, but bright light video clips still looked vibrant and crisp.
Read our full sharpness performance review.
Of course the tradeoff for an absent low-pass filter is more light coming through the lens. Because of that, and the wide open f/1.4 aperture found on the 35mm lens, we expected the X-Pro1 to fare quite well in our video sensitivity test. Fujifilm did not disappoint. In order to gather 50 IRE of image data, the sensor requires only 3 lux of ambient illumination. This incredibly impressive result is far better than what we expect from a high end DSLR, more like a high end camcorder instead. This is the most positive aspect of the X-Pro1’s video performance.
Low light sensitivity was the camera's strong suit, but the autofocus was terrible in even semi-dark situations.
Read our full low light sensitivity performance review.
Unfortunately, the Fujifilm X-Pro1's positives as a video camera—strong color rendition and impressive low light performance—are severely outweighed by the camera's poor controls in video mode. The unreliable autofocus system drove us crazy at times, and we came away convinced that the only way to get consistently-good focus with the camera was to switch to manual focus mode.
We were also bugged by the X-Pro1's lack of shutter speed and ISO adjustment in video mode. This essentially makes the large shutter speed dial on the top of the camera useless in movie mode, which is a downright shame. Aperture can be set in video mode, using the aperture dial on the attached X-Mount lens, but you can't change the aperture once video recording begins. It's a silly restriction for a camera that prides itself on having mechanical dials and rings. With only one Full HD 1080p setting and one 720p option, the X-Pro1 also has a limited set of shooting modes to choose from (both use 24p frame rates).
If you're looking for a smooth video-making experience, the Fujifilm X-Pro1 is sure to disappoint. The camera's new X-Trans sensor is certainly capable of doing some amazing work with still images, but it wasn't designed with video in mind. This results in videos that occasionally look fantastic, but usually suffer from a significant amounts of artifacting, interference, and wobble. These issues, combined with the flaky autofocus and limited controls in video mode, make for a camera that is not well-suited for any type of video recording.
To read our full conclusions for the Fujifilm X-Pro1 including analysis of the camera's video handling and audio options, plus see sample videos and photos, visit the full review at DigitalCameraInfo.com.
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