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Gear Reviews

My first thoughts on the Fujifilm X-Pro2

· 15.January.2016

Few weeks ago I had a chance to test the final preproduction model of the newest Fujifilm offering, the highly anticipated X-Pro2, successor to the X-Pro1 – one of Fujifilm’s most beloved cameras. I tested the X-Pro2 with the XF90mm f/2 and also one of Fujifilm’s newest lenses, the XF35mm f/2 on top of it.

I have never owned an X-Pro1 myself, so I was wondering how the X-Pro2 would feel in my hands after me being used to other Fujifilm lineups: the X100 and X-E series, but especially the X-T1 “kind of DSLR experience”.

Oh, it's me... with the X-Pro2 and XF90mm f/2 :)

Oh, it’s me… with the X-Pro2 and XF90mm f/2 🙂 Photo by Marcel Weber.

Handling and build quality

From the very first second I held the X-Pro2 in my hands, I felt at home. Despite of some differences when it comes to the entire form factor of the camera and the button layout, everything immediately felt absolutely right. The camera fit my hands perfectly and the buttons seemed to located be at the most logical places.

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The joystick on the rear side of the camera is great. You can use it to move your focusing points and it works just brilliantly. I also love the idea of the new, dedicated ISO selector built into the shutter speed wheel on top of the camera. You can set your ISO very quickly and – what’s important – you are unable to accidentally change it while shooting.

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The camera feels very rigid. It gives you a good feeling that you can rely on it in every situation. The fact that it is now weather resistant as well only adds to this reassuring experience.

Finally there is a dual card slot on the side of the camera – something so many photographers have been asking for. Needless to say, you can set the way you are using those two cards according to your needs.

The flip covers of the card slot compartment and the connection ports seem to be robuster and I never managed to open them accidentally during my day out with the X-Pro2.

I thoroughly enjoyed shooting with the X-Pro2 / XF35mm f/2 combo. Such an enjoyable photographic set!

Image quality

I was not able to “play” with the RAF files at the time of performing my tests as Lightroom was not supporting them yet at that time. I stuck to JPGs and… they looked absolutely stunning. The new X-Trans III 24MP sensor is producing some outstanding results. Details, dynamic range and color rendition are just phenomenal and I am talking about JPGs! Let the images speak for themselves. Have a look at a couple of JPG files straight out of camera:

X-Pro2, XF35 f/2, ISO 400, f/2.0, 1/280 sec

X-Pro2, XF35 f/2, ISO 400, f/2.0, 1/280 sec

X-Pro2, XF35 f/2, ISO 800, f/2.0, 1/60 sec

X-Pro2, XF35 f/2, ISO 800, f/2.0, 1/60 sec

X-Pro2, XF35 f/2, ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/600 sec

X-Pro2, XF35 f/2, ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/600 sec

X-Pro2, XF35 f/2, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/850 sec

X-Pro2, XF35 f/2, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/850 sec

X-Pro2, XF35 f/2, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/100 sec

X-Pro2, XF35 f/2, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/100 sec

New Acros B&W simulation mode

Fujifilm is introducing a new film simulation mode for those of us enjoying black and white photography, so it was one of the first things I was really eager to try out. The Acros images look beautiful, they have something a little bit softer to them, when compared to the original b&w simulations, especially when combined with the new “grain effect” function, which is supposed to work particularly well with the Acros.

High ISO performance

One word: stunning. I have shot images up to ISO6400 and haven’t seen any lost in image quality. X-Pro2 combined with some of the Fujinon brightest lenses will be just a dream to use in dark situations. Have a look at some high ISO examples:

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X-Pro2, XF35 f/2, ISO 6400, f/7.1, 1/15 sec

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X-Pro2, XF35 f/2, ISO 5000, f/9.0, 1/60 sec

X-Pro2, XF35 f/2, ISO 4000, f/2.8, 1/125 sec

X-Pro2, XF35 f/2, ISO 4000, f/2.8, 1/125 sec

Hybrid viewfinder

This is one of the most useful features of X-Pro2 when shooting in the dark. The electronic viewfinder is great, but just by its nature it is not an optimal tool to use when it gets really, really dark. Switch to optical viewfinder and you will be able to focus and observe the scene more accurately. And there is even more: you can use the optical viewfinder and have a small electronic focusing box being displayed in the corner of the frame, which will help you with accurate focusing even more.

Final thoughts

Oh, yes. Fujifilm is absolutely onto something great with the X-Pro2. If you are considering a new Fujifilm camera right now, or if you are on the fence between the X-T1 and the X-Pro2…. well, you better have a very close look at the X-Pro2. Considering its size, the new X-Trans III 24MP sensor, functionality and some truly stunning high ISO performance, it might be the one you have been waiting for.