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©garyperlmutter
Gear Reviews

My first month with the X-Pro2!

· 19.April.2016

So I have now owned my X-pro2 for exactly a month now since purchasing the camera at the Photography Show in Birmingham. Yes you heard that right I bought it with my hard earned cash, despite being one of the ‘staff’ writers for Fujilove I am not an X Photographer nor do Fuji pay me to write this or receive a discount or freebies on Fuji gear. So here’s a bit of background I have been a full-time professional photographer since leaving school and now have reached the ripe old age of 60, that means I was brought up on using and owning film cameras. I went digital must be getting on for 15 years now and since 2011 I have been hooked on the Fuji range. In that time I have owned two X100’s, the XT1, X-Pro1 and now the X-Pro2. I use the Fuji’s both professionally and because I enjoy using them, for fun stuff too.

So what do I think about the X-Pro2? In a nutshell, for me it’s the best Fuji yet!

In the last month I have been using extensively both for my commercial work and for my passion of Street Photography. Professionally I have photographed parties (in very low light), portraits and property interiors and exteriors. As you can see quite a varied selection so definitely a good test for the new ‘kid on the block’.

How did it perform? Faultlessly is the answer in one word.

Here’s what I loved about it:

The build quality. Definitely a step-up from the X-T1. Feels far more reassuringly solid.

The handling. I like the re-positioned buttons compared to the X-Pro1. Didn’t take me long to get used to them. Even with a large lens like the 90mm, it feels just right in the hand. Personally despite having small hands, I prefer it’s size over say the X100 and even the X-T1. It feels just right. I don’t accidentally knock any dials out of place when taking in and out of camera bags.

The eye dioptre adjustment. Being of a certain age and a spectacle wearer this is a necessity for me. How on earth Fuji got away without building one into the X-Pro1 I’ll never know.

The new 24 megapixel sensor. Now personally I never had a problem, nor did my clients with 16 megapixels. However it’s great knowing that if I need to crop in post production, I’ll still be left with a whole lot of megapixels. (that’s as technical as I get!)

High ISO quality. To my eye I can now get acceptable results at 12,800 ISO which is really useful to me when I shoot in low light at parties.

The OVF. Whilst the EVF is not as large as that in the X-T1, its faster refresh rate is noticeable. For me however having an OVF is an added plus. It’s this feature that attracted me to the Fuji range in the first place with the X100. For my street photography being able to see my subjects before they walk into the frame really helps in capturing the decisive moment. Here’s a tip that you may not be aware of (Present in the X-Pro1 too). If you keep the EVF/OVF selector to the right having selected the OVF, a smaller brightline frame comes into view. This gives you even more time to see you subject coming into shot.

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Shows larger frame selected for 35mm lens


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Shows smaller frame selected for 35mm lens

The twin card slots. Whilst I have not had an SD card fail on me, I know others who have and when shooting weddings as I do, this certainly helps the stress levels! I also love the way you can configure these to not just be a backup, but also to say write RAW’s to one card and JPEGS to the other. Or just as an overflow, so when the first card fills up it just carries on writing to the second card. How clever!

That Joystick. Now I love this but not for the reason most photographers have been singing its praises. I don’t ever use it to move the focus point. Unless that is my camera is mounted on a tripod. I prefer to just half press the shutter button to hold focus and recompose. However I do use it to move around the image on playback when in a magnified view. Here’s another tip you may not know? When using the joystick in this manner if you depress the joystick it returns the image to it normal full size state!

Its looks!

As a street photographer I much prefer its unassuming ‘rangefinder’ style body shape to the DSLR looking X-T1. It’s much less conspicuous both on the street and when shooting weddings. I had people assume it was a vintage film camera as they did when I owned the X100’s.

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Fuji X-Pro2, 35mm f2

So what sucks?

Well sadly the batteries still literally suck. Now it’s been great being able to use the same batteries as previously owned for my X-T1 and X-Pro1, but they are still the thing I miss must over my old Canon system. I know its not just Fuji that has this problem; it’s a common mirrorless camera issue generally. At least now Fuji have put in a percentage power left readout. I still always have to keep several backups with me.

Lack of an articulated LCD screen. Speak to any of the Fuji employees and the official line is that the feedback from presumably the X Photographers was that it was not a thing they wanted. Well I know a few personally and they have said they want a tilting screen. Fuji say that it would have made the camera bulkier, well I don’t feel it made the X-T1 or the X70 bulky do you? Maybe the X-Pro3 will have it in 3 years time?

The ISO dial. Despite being a beautiful throwback to times I sadly remember all to well in my film days. In practical use, its small and fiddly, particularly when trying to adjust in low light situations, which let’s face it tends to be just when you need to change the ISO most!

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Fuji X-Pro2, 35mm f2

So that’s it really. To sum up it’s literally a camera that is a joy to use both professionally and for fun, something that couldn’t be said for my Canon gear, which to me was always just a workhorse.