Fuji X-Pro1 Vs Canon 5D MK2 Shootout Review: Day 70

I found myself in quite a lucky position the other day, I was shooting some shots for a personal art project I am putting together when I realised that, not only was I in the presence of a bit of a guitar hero, Peredur Ap Gwynedd, (I think everyone would have heard him play at some point, he has his own wiki page!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peredur_ap_Gwynedd ) I had both the Fuji X-Pro1 with a 35mm f1.4 lens and the Canon 5D2 with me. What a perfect opportunity to test out the cameras side by side I thought… Lets not hang around here though, lets have a look at the images.

1/80 sec;   f/1.8;   ISO 500

1/80 sec; f/1.8; ISO 500

1/64 sec;   f/1.6;   ISO 1000

1/64 sec; f/1.6; ISO 1000

So that is Peredur Ap Gwynedd with his 1968 Les Paul Deluxe Gold Top, a prized axe if you know your guitars. So beautiful in the flesh… (the Guitar not him)

It was all a little impromptu and I was reliant on available light, that’s not much by the way as the British winter thinks it will miss us to much if it leaves now. I had a 5ft silver reflector with me to help but that was it.  The lens’ I had were the fujinon 35mm f1.4 for the X-Pro1 and the Canon 50mm F1.2 for the 5D2. I love shooting really shallow so both lens’ are perfect for me. The lens’ are almost the same focal length due to the crop factor on the X-Pro1 so its a pretty fair comparison.

There really isn’t much to choose between the images, they are so similar, I haven’t spent loads of time colour balancing and retouching but I have brought them both round to be in the same sort of world and made a little crop to lose some unwanted items on the edge.

The processed file size of each is 46mb for the Fuji X-Pro1 and 62mb for the Canon 5D2. For me personally the extra file size is important and is why I would choose the canon for a job or magazine work. I always shoot more than I need around the edge of the frame and then crop in, this is due to being asked for extensions to images to fit different formats and if you have it under the crop you wont have to spend hours/days building extra image out of spare plates. Obviously a Phase One P45+ or P65+ are the most perfect camera for this but often budgets will dictate what sort of equipment you will use. Lets have a look at a crop…


Looking at the crops ( I am sure Peredur will not thank me for a face close up) we can see that although the X-Pro1 is sharper on the eye the overall quality of the file is less. The file seems to become smudgey where it is not in focus. The canon holds in quality into the fall off.


Again here on the Guitar (oh what a beautiful guitar) we see the X-Pro1 has become smudged. Most likely this could be a process issue, I am sure in a few updates we will see a lot better handling of the Fuji X-Trans files not just from Phase One but from Adobe too. A contributing factor to this though is the high ISO that was used. To be a fair test I would need to have identical settings at the lowest ISO in perfect even daylight. But that bores the hell out of me so I can safely say it wont happen, I am not that much of a tech geek. So we have a few excuses for the X-Pro1. Its still a great camera and there is nothing wrong with the image, Peredur was happy and I am sure he didn’t spot what I have just highlighted. That’s a good point, there are few people who would look at an image in this way, so it shouldn’t be a big deal, the X-Pro1 is a stunning camera and will give you great results, just take photos with it.

As I said I find the X-Pro1 shot the sharper of the two, now this could be for several reasons, the first is that I messed up the focus on the Canon shot, Shooting at f1.8 on manual focus I am not surprised I missed it, its always a risk (I almost always shoot tethered into capture one so I can check focus as I go). Another reason could be that even at f1.6 the X-Pro1 has a less shallow depth of field due to the smaller sensor and therefore a bigger sweet spot. The 35mm Fujinon lens is superb, its incredibly sharp (when you get it right) and is still small and light. I would recommend anyone with the X-Pro1 to add this to their kit. I have nothing but praise for it.

I had the cameras on very different settings so maybe its not a fair test. The reason for this lies in how the 2 cameras felt and behaved in my hands, I didn’t have a light meter so I was going by what I saw. I was shooting tethered on the Canon and to card on the Fuji. The difference in operation was amazing, maybe its because I am not used to the Fuji but I really struggled with it, I couldn’t see if I was focused in manual focus and had no idea if it was hitting the focus in auto, I tried all view modes and ended up really frustrated, in the end i just fired off a load of shots in auto focus with the OVF and hoped for the best. Not a good idea if that was a commissioned portrait! The Canon was, as always, a delight I could see everything clearly in the viewfinder and I just had to frame my subject and snap.

I hate to say it due to my love for the camera, but the Fuji X-Pro1 made me want to scream in this situation. I wanted it to be amazing for this so badly, I am left disappointed.

So now lets look at the images exactly how the cameras captured them.

Peredur Ap Gwynedd Canon 5D2 RAW

Peredur Ap Gwynedd Fuji X-Pro1 RAW

As you can see here the Fuji tends to go towards the cold and the Canon towards the warm, I will say I like the Fuji colours straight as they are most of the time whereas the Canon I like to change. In the image below you can see the white balance difference in capture one, both were set for cloudy daylight and I didn’t grey card either of them.



I didn’t really adjust the shots in Capture One as you can see below, I just wanted to put them in the same world.


I find the X-Pro1 files can take a lot of pushing and pulling as i have said in previous blog posts, This image was no different and I can’t detect any difference between the files whilst working them in Photoshop, I was half expecting the Fuji file to breakup sooner than the Canon one but it held no problems.

The kits are pretty different in terms of size, The 5D2 with a battery grip being massive in comparison to the X-Pro1. I love the feel of both cameras but I would hate to carry the Canon around with me all day in the street, but I would still not feel confident with just the X-Pro1 on a shoot. As a team though…. Wow!

Size Comparison

Size Comparison

So in conclusion what do I think. Well the X-Pro1 frustrated the hell out of me, only because I am used to working really fast with the Canon I think. It actually got a slightly sharper (operator error for the canon) result. There really isn’t a great deal to chose between them but the Canon is still the superior camera in my opinion, I would never turn up with just a Fuji X-Pro1 kit. As I have said before the Fuji X-Pro1 is a stunning camera, great for having with you everyday and the most perfect 2nd or 3rd camera.

I wont be rushing to use it for a full on portrait session, I may utilise it during the session for some more candid shots but it would never make the grade as my main camera.

There are times when the X-Pro1 comes into its own, I recently shot a wedding on it and I am currently writing up my thoughts on that, so look out for that post!

Thanks to Peredur for his time on this one!

If your interested you can check out my work here http://www.paularcher-uk.com


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6 responses to “Fuji X-Pro1 Vs Canon 5D MK2 Shootout Review: Day 70”

  1. Amie Reynolds (@AmieLR) says :

    I will take time to read through the write up but I just want to say.. Wow.. that guitar!

  2. Dave Reeves says :

    What about the xpro1 over the original 5D? I was reading up on the x-e2 and the xpro1 and was thinking of trading in for something more portable for street scenes. The high ISO looks a little grainy, otherwise the quality of the image is great. how did the shoot go using just the xpro1?

  3. Joshua Reber says :

    Has your opinion of the camera greatly changed since then?

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