The Fujifilm X-Pro2 is a exceptional digital camera, but it’s now not for me


I’ve been looking forward to the X-Pro2, Fujifilm’s flagship mirrorless camera, ever considering thatswitching over to the X series 18 months in the past. To recognize why, you need to know a touchapproximately me. i have handiest in reality been taking cameras significantly for seven years. My firstcame in 2009, a barely battered antique Nikon D40. three years, 3 Nikons (I upgraded two times) and 3extra lenses (35mm, 40mm and 50mm constant) later, i was tired of lugging round a giant digital camera,or even more tired of the small choice of precise lenses to be had in my charge variety. I then tried out a mirrorless Sony camera, but Sony’s lens selection at the time become pitiful in case you were not willingto spend big cash.

It wasn’t till an antique colleague of mine showed me the Fujifilm X100T, a compact camera with a 35mm-equal constant lens and an innovative viewfinder this is both electronic and optical, that I knew what Idesired. inside weeks i would thrown my Sony in a drawer and bought an accessdegree X-M1 and a couple of lenses to offer Fujifilm a shot.

After an exceedingly successful trial run at CES 2015, i was convinced. All that became left to do becomeimprove from the accessdegree body to a version that did everything I desired it to. I decided on an X-Pro1 — notwithstanding a colleague advising me against it — as it had the same viewfinder tech as theX100T i might fallen in love with. The trouble was, rumors advised that a sequel, the X-Pro2, became justaround the nook. So I waited.

And waited.

Fujifilm wouldn’t announce the digital camera until January this 12 months, and i failed to get a danger to touch one till remaining month. in spite of everything this time, became it well worth the wait? On paper,the answer gave the look of a resounding yes: The X-Pro2 has an all-new 0.33technology X-Trans sensor, which americathe decision considerably over the relaxation of the X collection, and a cleanimage-processing unit (the “X-Processor seasoned“). meaning a 24.three-megapixel decision and a nativeISO restrict of 12,800, a massive improve from the preceding cameras’ 16.3-megapixel and ISO 6,four hundred limits. there’s additionally an progressed autofocusing machine with section detection — now not completely new for the X collection, but new for the X-pro.
however before we clearly get into what the X-Pro2 is, allow‘s quick cover what it is not. The X-Pro2 isn’ta compact mirrorless camera. At 445g (zero.ninety eight kilos), it’s most effective 10g (a 3rd of an oz.) lighter than the D3100 I tossed apart four years ago. The X-Pro2 is likewise now not a DSLR alternative. The employer‘s X-T10 and X-T1 fill that area of interest, and the X-Pro2 is nearer in form to the Nikon SP and Leica M3 rangefinders popular in the ’50s and ’60s. in the end, the X-seasoned 2 isn’t always is $1,700, which places it in the identical charge variety as Nikon’s and Canon’s ultraexcessiveendAPS-C DSLRs just like the 7D and D500, or, in the direction of home, Sony’s splendid completeframemirrorless A7 II. None of these cameras are at once comparable to the X-Pro2, although, and that is due to Fujifilm’s unique viewfinder.

just like the X-Pro1, and the X100T that bought me on Fujifilm in the first location, the X-Pro2 has a hybrid viewfinder that takes the nice components of optical rangefinders and electronic viewfinders and mashes them into a single unit positioned inside the pinnacle-left corner of the digital camera. In optical mode, itgives you a huge area of view and tasks extra records on pinnacle of it. rather than showing you what your lens is seeing and its recognition, you may alternatively have a white field indicating the vicinity your lens will cover. For a more sensible instance: if you have a zoom lens, this container changes sizesdepending on what focal period you’ve chosen. Above and underneath this view you’ll locate the same old statistics you would assume from a viewfinder. that is customizable, however i’ve it set to revealshutter pace, aperture, ISO, publicity and battery.
the constraints of an optical viewfinder — specifically, not being capable of see what you are focusing on— are mitigated through a tiny electronic viewfinder that sits in the nook of the optical window. this mayboth display you the entire frame (such as you‘d see on a regular EVF) or a tight crop of what you arefocusing on. The setup is a cutting-edge-day take at the rangefinding conceptusing two separatephotograph courses to take a single pictureand i relied on it pretty frequently while using myfavorite Fujinon lens (a 35mm f/1.4). With a telephoto, although, you are going to sense restricted,because the boxed-in location may be tiny. because of this, when shooting with a zoom lens i ended up flicking the lever at the the front of the X-Pro2 and turning the optical viewfinder into a full-blown EVF.

The normal EVF is nothing to write down home about. At zero.48 inches and 2.36 million dots, it’s bestedby means of cheaper cameras from different agencies or even Fujifilm itself. it’s honestly solid, and itaffords a few crucial flexibility to make up for the optical view’s shortcomings. As defined, it is splendid forcapturing with telephoto lenses. this is no longer some thing I do regularly, but then again, i discoveredthe EVF beneficial for navigating menus and viewing pics while shooting at night (i.e., once I failed towant the lcd at the back lighting my face like a Christmas tree). Likewise, the primary liquid crystal display — a three-inch panel with 1.62 hundreds of thousands dots — is ideal enough, but it is fixed inplace. while the X-T, X-M and X-a sequence all offer tilting LCDs, you need to question why the X-Pro2would not have one.
any such three issuesexceptional, flexible and accurate enoughmay be carried out to each sideof the X-Pro2. the brand new photograph sensor and processor are outstanding, with outstanding JPGhandling, coloration duplicate (aided via Fujifilm’s “movie simulation,” which helps you to pick out fromvarious processing options), and usable pics even at ISO levels as high as 12,800. Fujifilm furnished me with an 18-55mm zoom lens (f/2.8four.0 with optical picture stabilization), which has been round for someyears. it’s remarkably sharp round 27–40mm — a long way extra so than your normal package lens —however as you’d assume suffers on the extremes of its variety with softness and distortion. i stopped up leaving it at domestic for most of the people of my testing, generally due to the fact i’m used tocapturing at constant focal lengths.

after I paired the X-Pro2 with lenses i am familiar with, i was very thrilled with the effects, if no longer withthe convenience with which they had been obtained. There are a pair of dials atop the digital camera, one a basic exposure (to ±3) manipulate, the alternative a dual ISO/shutter speed manipulate. The latter may be very unintuitive — I actually couldn’t provide an explanation for how it’s supposed to paintingsregardless of having used it drastically. on the front and back of the camera are wheels whose functionschange relying on what mode you’re in — shutter, aperture ISO, and so on. — which I simplest definitelyused for satisfactory-grain manipulate of shutter speed, as my lenses all have aperture dials. somewhere else you’ll locate committed mechanical buttons for automobileexposure lock, autofocus lock and a 3point switch for jumping between autofocus modes. there’s also a tiny joystick by using the lcd at theback of the camera that helps you to set a focus without problems. it is splendid, and each Fujifilmdigital camera any further wishes to have it.

The X-Pro2 handles properly, and with the kit lens, or smaller lenses just like the 27mm or 35mm constant,it’s very easy to move and preserve constant. placed a bigger lens on it, though, and it suffers; the grip isa bit too shallow for helping the load of a fifty five–200mm zoom, for instance.
no matter a sizeable variety of physical controls at my disposal, i discovered the X-Pro2 missing. Thehassle certainly is that ISO/shutter dial. The X-T10 (Fujifilm’s DSLR-like digicam) breaks out shutter speeds and ISO into two separate dials, as do limitless different cameras. Why the business enterprise‘s flagship does no longer is a thriller. thankfully, the X-Pro2 has 3 customizable auto ISO settings, so I set them up inreasonably tight increments (2 hundred–800, 800–3,two hundred, three,two hundred–12,800, respectively) and jumped between them on the fly using the Fn button. That suits my modern-daycapturing style (I generally use guide mode with restrained automobile ISO as a safety net), but it isstill nowhere near as brief or intuitive as it ought to be. What i was hoping for from the X-Pro2 was granular mechanical manipulate over each side of the digital camera. What I were given instead changed into antraumatic compromise.

speakme of, one fundamental pain factor for Fujifilm cameras has been video. I mainly have areasonably-priced Canon DSLR just to shoot the only or two things I want to in step with 12 months,due to the fact Fujifilm’s video is so negative. while nobody is buying an X-Pro2 for its videofunctionality, i am satisfied to document that it may simply shoot satisfactory video now, at 1080p and 60fps. One for the “precise sufficient” column, for sure.

Autofocus, any other spotty place for the X series, is hugely improved over preceding Fujifilm cameras. The unique X-seasoned had exactly 0 segment-detection pixels. it is some thing it truly is been rectifiedby way of greater latest models, but the X-Pro2 has by using far the maximum segment-detection pixels of any X series digicam, protecting roughly 40 percent of the body. That leads to a large actualinternational development in phrases of each velocity and accuracy, although it must be talked aboutthat the actual tempo of focusing will rely on the lens you’ve got in the front of that sensor.

After multiple weeks of capturing, i have taken a few lovely photographs. In case my beginning talefailed to clue you in, i’m very an awful lot an amateur. My framing can be terrible, my depth of field tooslender, my shutter pace too sluggish. No digital camera will fix that. What i can say is that the pictures i have fascinated with the X-Pro2 had been better than the pictures i’ve interested in other Fujifilm cameras. And i’ve had a number of a laugh capturing them. I in all likelihood shouldn’t be advising you tovisit a competing internet site, but i’d suggest finding out Sam Byford’s sample gallery over at the Verge.he is a much higher photographer than i am (and, now not coincidentally, the aforementioned colleague who brought me to the X collection inside the first area).
As first rate a time as i’ve had with it, i’ve come to the belief that the X-Pro2 isn’t what I want from acamera. And that sucks, in particular after a 12 months of looking ahead to it. Of path, I can’t ignore the leaps forward it gives. increased decision without a dip in pixel-by means of-pixel high-quality, a nativeand usable ISO 12,800, improved autofocus, better JPEG rendering, a brand new movie simulation mode (Acros, a black-and-white movie, become used to seize the shot above), the new hybrid viewfinder — thoseare all worthy and welcome improvements. but they may be caught interior a frame that doesn’tpaintings that well as an everyday interchangeable-lens digicam. That viewfinder, as bendy as it’s miles, is plenty better proper to the organisation‘s constant-lens services. The organisation‘s exquisite lensselection handles higher connected to the DLSR-like X-T1 and X-T10.

however this sensor and processor will come to different Fujifilm cameras. And they’ll be a great deal, lotshigher for it. As an awful lot fun because it‘s been to shoot with, and even though it‘s one of the qualityperforming cameras i have ever used, i am now not too unhappy to be announcing good-bye to the X-Pro2. i am unhappy, although, to be caught ready again, this time for a refresh to some other Fujifilmdigicam — for, I guess, the “X-T2.”