Street Photography with Fujifilm's X Pro and X100 Series: Overrated or Not?

Street Photography with Fujifilm's X Pro and X100 Series: Overrated or Not?

If you're a street photographer, you're likely always on the lookout for the perfect camera to capture those fleeting moments that define the genre. Fujifilm's X Pro and X100 series are two of the most popular cameras on the market for this purpose. But are they overrated? As someone who has extensive experience with both, I have some thoughts.

First, let's start with the X Pro series. These cameras are often billed as the professional version of the X100 series. They offer interchangeable lenses and better specs than the X100, making them more suited for professional work. However, I have found that the X Pro 1, in particular, is good at one thing and bad at everything else.

The X Pro series uses the same hybrid optical and electronic viewfinder (OVF/EVF) as the X100, which is marketed as a key feature for street photographers. But in reality, the camera doesn't serve this purpose as well as it should. The OVF/EVF setup was designed with both digital and analogue in mind, and as a result, it doesn't do either very well.

On one end of the spectrum, you have an analogue rangefinder, and on the other, a 100% digital rangefinder. The X Pro 1 falls somewhere in the middle, which can make it feel awkward to use. If you want a more analogue experience, you'll need to buy third-party lenses, which can be frustrating since Fuji didn't consult street photographers during the lens design process.

However, with the right lens, such as the TT Artisan 23 mm f/1.4 fully manual focus lens, you can get closer to the analogue experience that Fuji originally marketed its cameras for. Shooting with a lens like this doesn't mean you have to focus manually on every shot. Instead, you can set up zone focusing on top of your camera and use the OVF as a viewfinder for framing. This makes for a faster and smoother shooting experience.

To get the most out of the X Pro 1 for street photography, you'll need to remove all the assist features in the OVF settings, apart from things like your metering and the frame lines and ISO. You'll also want to set the OVF to no blackout to avoid any image preview. These settings will give you a more pleasant shooting experience that feels like a digital version of a film camera.

Now, let's move on to the X100 series. These cameras are often considered the budget option for street photographers who want a high-quality fixed lens camera. But are they overrated? I would argue that yes, they are.

The X100 was marketed as a street photography camera, but in reality, it doesn't serve this purpose as well as it should. The fixed lens can be limiting, and the autofocus can be slow and inaccurate at times. While the X100 series may be a good option for those just starting in street photography, more experienced photographers may find it lacking.

In conclusion, are Fujifilm's X Pro and X100 series overrated for street photography? It's a complicated question. The X Pro series has the potential to be a great option for street photographers, but it requires some tweaks to get there. The X100 series may be a good budget option for beginners, but more experienced photographers may want to invest in something more versatile. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and how you like to shoot.

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