Ever since I inherited my Leica M5 camera from my Dido (Grandpa) I have wanted to incorporate the rangefinder style of a camera into wedding photography. Rangefinder Cameras have a unique viewfinder that is fantastic for street and documentary style photography. You are able to see just outside of the image frame, allowing you a very different view for composition. However, I wasn’t able to justify a $9,000 body and $2000-$10000 for a lens for a supplementary documentation camera (as amazing as it is) and I just don’t want to shoot film at a wedding. So I was very excited when Fujifilm announced the X-Pro 1 system.
On Friday, the day before a wedding, we received our pre-ordered Fuji X-Pro 1 camera. This is a mirrorless “Pro” level camera aimed at professional photographers wanting a “smaller” than SLR body and Pro level image quality. It features a classic rangefinder look, and a rangefinder style viewfinder. But this version is teched up considerably. In addition to the information heavy rangefinder-ish viewfinder it has the option of having and Electronic Viewfinder (EVF). It also features a killer sensor that lacks an Anti-aliasing filter which makes it super crisp. Add is some other great advances and you have the potential for a great little camera.
We decided to test it out on it’s first wedding this past weekend, and I was pleasantly surprised. It is a very unassuming camera, so people are less likely to notice or pay attention to it when you are wielding it. The viewfinder allows you to compose based on extra information. And it is comparatively quiet when it snaps away. I ended up using the camera a lot more than I had anticipated using it, and when all was said and done, there was over 700 images on the camera.
Ultimately, it is a camera that will be used to supplement the big, fast and Powerful DSLR cameras, but it is a camera that performs very well and the image quality is very impressive. Is this a camera for everyone? No. It is perfect for street photography, event coverage, travel, and it worked surprisingly well for the portrait session as well. But it requires patience, and attention. It slows you down, somewhat necessarily. The focus is accurate and crisp, but not as quick as an SLRs. It’s composition style encourages you to think a bit more. It can shoot 3 or 6 FPS if necessary, but I chose to shoot in single shot mode. It is a camera with quirks, and interesting features. A camera that takes a while to get used to. But it rewards.
I have never been an EVF fan, but the combination viewfinder allows you to take an image with the rangefinder style view, and then it displays the captured image inside the viewfinder. You don’t have to look at the back of the camera to see the result, allowing you to keep your eye to the camera. A very unique approach. There are so many different ways to shoot and use this camera, that I am sure it will continue to impress.
I have included some image samples from the wedding below. Unfortunately, as it is still very new, RAW support in Lightroom or Aperture is still not available, so I had to use an inferior RAW software for these images. The images have also been modified as per my usual workflow, which involves sharpening, contrast adjustments, color shifts, and adding grain, and BW conversion is by my usual method. So please keep in mind, this isn’t for pixel-peepers, but more for people to see how I used this camera to approach a wedding. So here are a select few images from the day, and a couple the day before (out and about). And look for a full post from this wedding and this great couple in the next week.