For me, the perfect camera is one that I can use by muscle memory without having to think about its quirks. Like a musician that can trust the notes that will come out of his or her instruments, the best cameras are trustable, predictable, and intuitive, leaving the photographer to focus on his or her art. Here are a few suggestions to make the x-Pro1 more of an artists favorite tool.
1. Adjusting the ISO should use the up-down arrow buttons at all times. Currently, if I am using electronic viewfinder the up-down arrows adjust the ISO while I am in the optical viewfinder the left-right arrows adujust the ISO. Really simple thing, but oh so annoying.
2. All manual focusing, aperture, and shutter-speed adjustments should register while the shutter button is half pressed. Currently, when I have the shutter button half depressed and I adjust my focus, aperture, or shutter-speed they aren’t registered until I release the shutter button.
3. JPG and processed RAW images should align all pixels. When I open a JPG in photoshop and then open a RAW file and layer it on top of the JPG the pixels on the left and right 10% do not align. I assume there is some in-camera de-distortion processing that is not being done with the Adobe Camera Raw. It is important that Adobe has these lens distortion recipes so that they can add it to their RAW processing engine. They have a check-box to turn the distortion correction on and off in Adobe Camera Raw, but with the x-Pro1 that check box is grayed out.
4. While in manual focus mode and using the electronic viewfinder decrease the obstruction of the focus distance indicator at the bottom of the electronic viewfinder. I can not see the bottom 5-10% of the screen because the opaque blue measuring tape blocks a large portion of the image. Either move it down, or make it largely transparent. It gets in the way of a large part of the compositional space.
5. Make navigation to the “Format” menu item easier. Now it takes at least 10 button press to format a card. You can reduce that to 3 button presses by allowing the user to press “Menu” then “Up” and looping around to the end of the menu.
6. Visually confirm where the focus is. I love the new firmware update to manual focus speed and usability. It makes the camera much more usable. But I would still like some way to be sure my image is in focus. About 5% of the time I am finding that what I thought I focused on isn’t in focus. When I am in manual focus and I hit the auto-focus (AE-L/AF-L) button or I twist the lens manual focus it would be nice if the EVF zoomed in for a split second to give me visual confirmation of what is actually in focus. Or another option is a temporary visualization of hard edge detection, focus peaking, like this. One of these solutions would make a much wider range of M lenses usable on the x-pro one.
7. Always show the Menu on the back screen never through viewfinder. It is really unnatural to hold the camera up to the eye when going through the menu options. It also freaks out the people around me a bit. It just looks and feels very unnatural. When I hit the Menu button the menu should always appear on the back screen and not in the viewfinder, no matter which view-mode I am in.
8. Make the Flash option in the menu toggle-able. There is a greyed out menu item that shows the ability to turn flash triggering on and off, but it is always greyed out and I can’t select it. The flash mode should be able to over-ride the silent mode settings. Often I want to be in silent mode, but trigger a flash.
9. Make battery only insertable one direction. This is a big physical design flaw. 1/4 of the time I am in a rush and I insert the battery in a direction that doesn’t work (I am using aftermarkets batteries that don’t have the same markings). I should be able to insert batteries by feel instead of having to look down and study them.
10. Fix the flash shoe signal so that the Canon ST-E3-RT will trigger flashes. I would love to use my remote trigger to manually control flashes on the X-Pro1 but for some reason it won’t fire. I have no idea where the problem is. The x-Pro1 will trigger my canon 600EX-RT, but not the Canon ST-E3-RT.
11. Put a break on the lens when it hits infinity and close focus limits. One of the best things about Leica is that they could be manually focused intuitively. Without even using the rangefinder, I would always leave my lens on infinity and move it from muscle memory to the correct position of focus. This is much harder on the x-1pro lenses because I don’t physically feel when I hit infinity. I know it would require physical alteration to the lens, but this would be another thing that transforms how people use your cameras.
12. I need a 35mm 1.4 equivalent lens. I know it is in production but it can’t come fast enough. Make it good and make it fast because it will be my primary lens.