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plunch

6 month Asia - Will the X-pro 1 be the right choice?

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plunch

Hello everyone,

I am a 22 years old guy from Germany and addicted to travel-photography. I have been to Asia (namely South and North-India) two times for around 3 month each, with a huge DSLR (Nikon D300 + 70-200mm VRI). I enjoyed the good image quality of the DSLR however what I did not like was the constraint of really putting out such a huge camera. In certain regions such as Kashmir I did not always felt comfortable with having such a huge camera and being noticed as a western rich guy (Which I am actually not). Some of the photos I made (if anyone is interested) can be seen on my flickr account.

As my next 6month ASIA trip will start in Papua New Guinea, I dont wanna arouse too much attention and purchase a smaller camera. All the facts speak for the Fuji X-pro 1 as I am especially into good ISO-performance. I plan to do more into the documentatory field, therefore the 35mm lense would suite my needs.

However what I am interested in:

1. How is the X-Pro 1 performing in bad climate conditions such as 48° Celsius and high humidity?

Does anyone have first-hand experience with this? (I read the Review from Zack Arias, but he has only been in Mumbai for a couple of days, so I dont know anything about longtime performance in such conditions. Furthermore the climate conditions in Papua New Guinea are somehow "worse")

2. In which time-periods is FUJI releasing new firmwares? I am highly interested in the improved AF-performance especially in low-light situations.

3. I think I read somewhere a thought, that the Nikon strobes such as the Nikon SB900 might be compatible (only in manual mode) with the X-Pro 1, is that true or do I need to use the PC-connection or a external trigger such as pocketwizzards?

Thanks in advance for your answers!

Cheers,

Philipp

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FinePixCamera

I would add an X100 to your Nikon kit. That would give you a far more versatile set up than going all Fuji with the X Pro 1.

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flysurfer

The XP1 is perfect for Asia. Looks like a cheap P&S to most people, everybody likes you when you use it, nobody denies access and it's so much lighter than a DSLR kit.

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Zarniwoop1985

Hi Philipp,

Looking at your wonderful photographs it looks to me like you prefer portrait/people shots more than landscapes? Is that correct? If so, then the 53mm (35mm equiv) 1.4 lens on the X Pro-1 will give you great portrait shots - but you'll have to get closer.

I understand your concern - big camera, attention etc. I've also travelled widely with my big camera which is why I brought the X-Pro1. In fact I have both it and the X100. If portraiture is your main type of photography, than yes stick with the X Pro-1. But buy some spare batteries. Preferably 3 - they won't last as long as your Nikons!

The X Pro 1 is a smaller camera and less visible. But then as foreigner in India - you'll always be visible my friend!

Sorry, I can't answer some of your specific questions. I imagine that the X Pro 1 should be durable in hot and humid conditions.

www.duluxdreams.wordpress.com

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artuk

I must say I find your choice of 70-200 VR lens a slightly strange one for travel - it is both very "long", and rather large - perhaps this added to how much you were noticed? ;)

Looking at your Flickr thread, you obviously like people photos, but I assume if you were using a 70-200mm lens on APS-C then you were a long way from your subjects? I actually don't agree with the above post - if you have been using such a long lens, I don't think the 35mm (=52mm) lens would be "right" for you, since you will have to get much much closer to your subjects (which will make you even more noticable!).

Having said that, the X Pro 1 is an ideal travel camera since it is relatively light and small. However, the versatility and AF speed are not the same as a DSLR, so you need to consider if it is a camera that will suit your style of shooting. If it's not for you, then there are many other small DSLR and compact system camera systems that may suit you - for example an Olympus OM-D or a Sony A-55.

I think it more important for you to choose a camera that you are comfortable and happy shooting with than anything - I often travel with a Sony A850, which is hardly a "travel" camera, but produces very good results, is versatile, and I am comfortable and happy using - which ultimately is what is an important factor to getting photos you are happy with.

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RogerRabbit

If it was my trip I would take a Olympus m4/3 camera and a couple of lens. Much less money, much more versatile lens available much smaller and very good image quality.

To may potential problems wit Fuji gear at the moment to trust it on a trip like this. What happens if you get to India and SAB happens or some other Fuji problem like they have had in every camera since two years.

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artuk

Sorry, regarding your other questions:

1) heat and humidity is the enemy of almost all electronic cameras - I see no reason to think the X Pro 1 is any better or worse suited to that environment. As an aside, in reply to Rogers post above, I spent 2 weeks in Asia with a Sony A850 and a Fuji X Pro 1 (using each for their respective strengths), and neither camera missed a beat. The only time I have had problems is when a film SLR got wet in the rain and it affected the operation of the exposure compensation dial - though it rectified itself when it dried out.

2) None of us know when Fuji will issue new firmware. So far the camera seems fairly stable and functional, so I do not see they will be rushing to patch any initial problems reported so far.

3) Any flash gun that can be triggered by an optical or radio trigger will work as a slave, I believe - but the flash gun will need to have the power set manually since there will no TTL functionality. This is also true if using Fuji flash guns wirelessly. The only way to get TTL support is to use an off camera cable - apparently Canon fit cables support the Fuji flash system.

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plunch

Thanks for all your comments!

artuk:

Yes I like people shots quite a lot, thats why I have chosen the 70-200mm for my trip in 2010, 2008 I only had a 16-85mm kit lense which was not that good. However I could not really afford the lense and sold it directly after the the trip (with no loss btw, I love the price-stability of good lenses). Yes it was a big lense, and it also was a big pain travelling with it, for stability reasons I also brought a monopod along, so I had like a 10kg setup that I carried around in 24-48°Celsius, nevertheless I believe it was worth it as I loved the bokeh and the image quality of the lense.

I am aware of the fact, that the 35mm lense means that I have to get much closer, but I think I was misunderstood when I said I do not want to be noticed too much. Within the process of taking a photo it is okay to be noticed, I just dont wanna scare people away with such a huge lense.

The rangefinder system would be totaly new to me, but honestly I am looking forward to experience a new way of photography. Therefore I am also okay to have a slower AF in comparison to my D300, however the iso performance will be much better. Especially in Asia I want to take my time with doing photos, I dont wanna rush through a city and check my photographic to-do list but I wanna go explore the city and its people and stories with a camera that does not put me in the "photographer-spotlight".

Regarding 2): I am not an experienced Fuji user, hence I thought maybe some of you guys know about their time-periods releasing new firmwares (maybe in comparison to the x100).

Regarding 3): Yes with master-slave infrarot triggering everything is possible, but will it be possible to put the nikon sb900 directly on the flash-hotshoe of the fuji and use it in manual mode? This would look rather funny due to its size, but in some situations it might be handy. However I also have access to pocketwizzards, so it should not be a problem on this side.

RogerRabbit:

I did not know about the SAB issues and just googled it, that could be indeed a problem, I think I will gather some more information about this topic to find out when such a problem could occur, (e.g. after approxamitely 1000 photos). My trip will start in October and will focus on several photo-projects that I plan upfront, so maybe I would have time before to ensure not having such problems.

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MimiTO

Before you get to worried about RogerRabbits sweeping comment about SAB its only applicable to the X100 and not the XPro 1. The XPro hasn't shown any stability issues to date and I wouldn't hesitate taking it on any trip.

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bart613

This is really amazing set of photos you have there (and quite an adventure you had, too!).

If main struggle for you was the size & weight of the Nikon gear (as it was for me) the X-series is going to be a life-saver for you.

What I would suggest is to get X-Pro 1 with 18mm/60mm and x100.

With X-Pro 1 & 60mm you will have excellent set for the type of photos you were doing already -- portrait types, 18mm will be amazing for landscape and "street photography".

x100 will be acting as a backup and lightweight gear when you want to go out somewhere for a drink, or food and don't want to carry "bulky" X-Pro 1 around ;-)

Seems like most of your subjects are already aware you are taking photos which is good. I hate people who are saying "Yeah I'm doing people photography that's why I got 200-800mm so I can stand at the other side of the village and still take photos!".

Having used x100 for similar type of photography (including people in pubs, at night etc.) I found it to be perceived as much less intrusive and provocative. The same I believe comes to X-Pro 1. By using those you can only count that more and more people will let you take their shots.

Also, learn about zone focussing.

The only general suggestion I would like to make to your photos is -- give those photos a bit more DOF. Bokeh is nice, but India and Asia are such a beautiful countries and by capturing just the faces you are loosing the real magic of the environment; amazing environment those people live in.

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WilzWorkz7

i see your photos and I feel that you will do well with the XPRO1 with the 60mm :) as the rest have shared.

And I think what is still lacking is the 24mm. 18mm is too wide, 35mm is a bit restrictive for the environmental shot.

Between the high ISO performance of XPRO1 and OM-D/MFT, there is really no fight at all. Heck, any camera can fail during a trip even an Olympus. So using that as a reason not to bring the XPRO1 is really cheeky at best and downright unfair at worst.

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damienlovegrove

X-Pro1 is a perfect travel camera choice. I've just decided to abandon my clunky DSLR for all my travel photography. The X-Pro1 is detailed enough, light enough and small enough to meet most tasks. I'll never travel with a 70-200 or DSLR again!

Have one lens on the camera and the other 2 in a small pouch on your belt and that is it. It's what I'm taking on my road trip across the USA.

I've shot 1000 frames this week using all three lenses and I'm feeling inspired by the IQ and the ease of composition. It's the future of photography here right now.

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plunch

M

... The XPro hasn't shown any stability issues to date and I wouldn't hesitate taking it on any trip.

Thanks for the info, that was something that worried me. Who knows what comes in the next month, as the camera is not on the market for long, but I hope there are no such issues with the X-pro 1.

What I would suggest is to get X-Pro 1 with 18mm/60mm and x100.

With X-Pro 1 & 60mm you will have excellent set for the type of photos you were doing already -- portrait types, 18mm will be amazing for landscape and "street photography".

x100 will be acting as a backup and lightweight gear when you want to go out somewhere for a drink, or food and don't want to carry "bulky" X-Pro 1 around ;-)

Also, learn about zone focussing.

I was thinking about the 35mm as my main lense as I plan to go more into the field of documentary photography. I normally hate it to have more than one lense, but I guess another landscape lense such as the 18mm or a portrait lense such as the 60mm would be nice, but taking 3 lenses with me would make it harder to choose between those lenses, I kinda hate it to have too much choice, than only the "if" questions arouse.

However buying two cameras would be totaly out of my budget, and I dont believe I will experience the X-pro 1 as being bulky after changing from a DSLR.

Regarding the zone-focusing, yes I have to gather information and learn about it, I believe that will come when the camera will be in my hands.

This is really amazing set of photos you have there (and quite an adventure you had, too!).

Seems like most of your subjects are already aware you are taking photos which is good. I hate people who are saying "Yeah I'm doing people photography that's why I got 200-800mm so I can stand at the other side of the village and still take photos!".

Having used x100 for similar type of photography (including people in pubs, at night etc.) I found it to be perceived as much less intrusive and provocative. The same I believe comes to X-Pro 1. By using those you can only count that more and more people will let you take their shots.

The only general suggestion I would like to make to your photos is -- give those photos a bit more DOF. Bokeh is nice, but India and Asia are such a beautiful countries and by capturing just the faces you are loosing the real magic of the environment; amazing environment those people live in.

Yes it was quite an adventure, I am happy that I decided after school to work 3 month and travel 3 month through India (much in difference to most of my old friends in school who rather went on a party holiday).

Yes all of the portraits I took where noticed and allowed by the people on the photos. I do not like secretive portraits either, I like to get in contact with people. While I had in 2008 a problem to do that, I had in 2010 more success and just overcame my inner-barrier of getting into contact with people while having a camera on me. However I like photos that are out of the moment, hence sometimes it is important to photograph without the person noticing it as first, but talking to that specific person afterwards, maybe asking for another shot or talking to her about something. With that approach I could also make portraits of a person and try out different perspectives.

I did use a pretty low aperture (2.8 on 200mm) as I loved the Bokeh back than (and still do). However I know what you mean, and think that I will adapt that anyway when going more into documentary photography by e.g. having different photos within a photo-series such as portraits with a 60mm (with low aperture) and e.g. full-body shots also showing the surrounding environment with a 35mm lense (higher aperture).

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RogerRabbit

Before you get to worried about RogerRabbits sweeping comment about SAB its only applicable to the X100 and not the XPro 1. The XPro hasn't shown any stability issues to date and I wouldn't hesitate taking it on any trip.

I only say SAB as example of things that could go wrong and not be easy fixed in India. No SAB with any X-PRo1 lenses.

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