In case you are following me in my social media (Facebook/Instagram), you probably know that I attended the Fujifilm X-series 5th Anniversary event in Tokyo, Japan. I haven’t use the X-Pro2 prior to the event. I think traveling around Japan with the X-Pro2 would be a good way to test the camera and compared it to my main Fuji X camera, the X-T1.
The X-Pro2 is now Fujifilm’s flagship camera. Apart from all the advancements over its predecessor, I’m really looking forward to the new sensor and the 24 megapixels photos that it will produce. I’m a commercial / advertising photographer and there are times that 16 megapixel isn’t really that appealing to clients. Although as photographers, we know that 16 megapixels is more than enough, but having more megapixels gives you a lot of advantages.
Let’s get down to business, meet the Fujifilm X-Pro2:
Technical Specifications can be found on Fujifilm’s website.
X-Pro1 vs X-Pro2
The X-Pro1 is the first interchangeable lens X-series camera. It’s definitely not the fastest camera in Fuji’s lineup, let me be blunt, it is a slow camera; its probably the 2nd slowest camera after the original X100. But, what made the X-Pro1 a classic is its superb image quality; there are Fuji photographers that still believes that the X-Pro1 with first generation X-Trans sensor, still takes better skin tones than the newer X-trans II sensors, like the X-T1, especially in high-ISO shots. Another thing that made the X-Pro1 stand out is its classic rangefinder design.
The X-Pro2 didn’t deviate far from the ergonomics and styling of the X-Pro1, in fact, you wont even tell the difference if you put them side by side. And you know what, that’s a good thing! I love the styling and ergonomics of the X-Pro1. There are subtle differences to enhance the shooting experience. If you have an X-Pro1 and love shooting with it, but like others wished it was faster and gets all the good features of the recent X-series cameras, then once you start using the X-Pro2, you will feel your prayers have been answered. The X-Pro2 is every bit the classic as the X-Pro1, only so much better.
New features of the X-Pro2
- The grip is now much improved compared with the X-Pro1; the same goes with the thumb rest which is now more “grippy” and offers a better feel. They added this new rubber material on the grip and on the thumb rest at the back of the camera and really improves the handling of the X-Pro2.
- New button placements. They are now placed on the right side of the camera, which makes one handed operation possible. Clap! Clap! The button placements are very intuitive to use and you can operate them with one hand. You can focus on your subject in the viewfinder while changing some of the settings of the camera.
- The exposure compensation wheel offers upto -/+ 3 and a “c” option which makes the roller in front of the camera to be the exposure compensation wheel and offers up to -/+ 5.
- The new hybrid viewfinder is now similar to X100T which offers a small EVF overlay on the OVF which is really And yeah, they added a diopter too! The refresh rate and resolution has been massively improved from the laggy EVF of the X-Pro1.
- It now accepts dual SD cards; One major problem with the X-Pro1 was slow SD card writing; those are long gone, X-Pro2’s SD writing is super fast and for the first time, you can use 2 SD cards, as an overflow, a backup, or RAW + JPG config; Good move Fuji!
- AF speed. It is not an exaggeration if I say it’s a thousand times faster than the X-Pro1. The Fuji X-T1 post firmware 4.0 is already quite fast and reliable, but the X-Pro2 takes it to another level, specially in low light. There’s a plenty of AF focusing points at your disposal too, from 49 to 77 AF points. I’m pretty happy with the X-T1 AF speed, but the X-Pro2 just upped the game in that department.
- There’s a new Joystick control at the back of the camera, it controls the focusing points on the fly. So, no need to press the AF button first to move the focus point, all you need to do is just toggle the joystick to move the AF points. And, you can reach this easily with your thumb; you don’t even need to take your eye away of the viewfinder. This is such a small addition but so useful! I have used it during my test and to be honest, I wish my X-T1 have this joystick too 🙁 Slowly, I feel that my X-T1 is getting jealous, I can tell. One time, I didn’t even want to power ON, I swear! Well, it could be because of the depleted battery but, you get the point.
- The tripod mount is now centered! Wohoo! Finally! I don’t know why it was not centered to begin with, even the X-T1 is also not centered. Well, if you are thinking I’m a little crazy making a big deal of this, then you might not be using tripods as much as I do. Centering the tripod mount offers 2 things, First, when doing a Panorama or even a 360 pano, a centered tripod mount lets to find the nodal point easier. Second, which is the most important part, you don’t need to remove the tripod plate every time you have to change batteries, which can really put you in sh*t mood in an instant, believe me. Nothing worst than capturing a moment or asking your subject to not move, while you find a coin to remove your tripod mount, remove the battery, pop the new battery in and put the tripod mount again. You see?!
- The new sensor, X-Trans III, this is the star of the show. There’s probably lots of technical voodoos involved, but all I can say is that the images are super sharp and now gives you 24 megapixel goodness with Fuji colors! It offers a improvement of at least a stop or two when it comes to high ISO performance and the RAW files (you need to get adobe camera raw 9.4) offers a stop or better in terms of dynamic range. I would say, this sensor alone makes the X-Pro2 worth getting.
- New Menu system. The new menu is more organized and easier to use. But for an existing X-series user like me, it is not a big of a deal. Although, this is a step to the right direction. Reminds me of the Canon’s menu, come to think of it, even the joystick too 🙂
- The ISO dial. Another small addition but makes a big impact in terms of camera usage. The ISO dial is now integrated with the shutter speed dial, you just lift it and you can change the ISO settings. Pretty cool.
- The Shutter speed is now increased to 1/8000. It still supports the 1/32,000 Electronic shutter which is always handy when shooting wide open aperture on a brightly lit environment. The flash sync is also now 1/250 compared to 1/180 on other X-series cameras.
And that’s pretty much it for me, there might be some other things that I left out, but the ones I mentioned above are the one that made an impact on my daily use of the X-Pro2. You can see that these changes are not made by just engineers themselves, they are made with the help of photographers feedback, good thing Fujifilm listens to its customers. All these features sounds so small on paper, but they really make a big difference when using the camera.
Things that I don’t like with the X-Pro2
While the camera sounded so perfect, whats wrong with it? To be honest, there’s not much. But there are 2 things that I wished it had:
- Tilting LCD like the X-T1. Alright, I know some of you is already scrolling down to the comment section trolling me with this one. Yeah, yeah, its NOT a “pro” camera if there’s a flippy/tilty LCD. Well, I don’t think the “pro-ness” of a camera can be measured by a tilting LCD, but whatever! I used the flipping LCD on my X-T1 and I love it. I actually didn’t know I used the tilting LCD that much until I started shooting with the X-Pro2.
- Although the EVF on this is technically the carries the latest tech. However, I still prefer the EVF size of the X-T1. It’s much bigger and easier to use. Although, the refresh rate of X-T1’s EVF is not as good the the X-Pro2, the size makes up for it. Ok, I know there’s a limitation because the X-Pro2 offers both EVF and OVF, so its not that easy to make that EVF the same size as the X-T1.
Come to think of it, those two things is what separates the X-Pro2 to the X-T1 (or X-T2? If that’s the name of the X-T1 successor). Not really a deal breaker for me. But if its a deal breaker for you, I suggest checking the X-Pro2 in the stores first when it comes out.
X-T1 vs X-Pro2
This is the question I get a lot. Let me share my thoughts on this.
If you currently don’t own an X-T1 and choosing between X-Pro2 or X-T1, I think it makes more sense to get the X-Pro2. It is the latest and the greatest X-Series camera right now. It provides faster AF and stunningly good 24 megapixel photos. However, there is a price difference, which could be from 400 – 500 USD depending on where you will buy it. In my opinion, If you can afford it, the X-Pro2 if worth the price. If you are on a tight budget, the X-T1 is still an awesome camera. I think, you wont be regretting that purchase as well.
Now, what makes it complicated when you have the X-T1. Should you upgrade to X-Pro2? In my opinion, the X-Pro2 offers a different shooting style; it’s rangefinder style might better to some people while others might still prefer the DSLR style of the X-T1. In terms of performance, the X-Pro2 really trumps the X-T1; I think it comes down to three things: faster AF speed, rangefinder style with hybrid view finder and the Dual SD card. If you really need those, then it’s worth the upgrade. But, bear in mind that the X-T1 is already 2 years old and might be due for a refresh soon.
If you have the X-Pro1, just go and get the X-Pro2. We both know how long you have waited for it 🙂
I think the X-T series and the X-Pro series are designed for different kind of photography. This might not sound so convincing right now, but I can see that distinction might be more pronounced once the successor of the X-T1 comes out. For the mean time, the X-T1 is still an awesome camera and would recommend it to anyone who wanted to try the X-Series system.
Should you buy the X-Pro2?
To be honest on paper, the X-Pro2 doesn’t really sound that impressive. Besides the new sensor with 24 megapixels, it really didn’t blew me away. I was expecting something crazy and out of this world specs. But, all of that changed when I started using the X-Pro2. What Fujifilm did is add the features that matters the most to photographers. They didn’t add any gimicky features that will look good on paper but will not have any impact on real life use of the camera. What Fuji created here is a photographers camera. It might not be feature-packed like the Sony A7 series, or the Olympus OMD, but once you start using this camera, you will have the realization that somehow, they have you, the photographer, in mind when building this camera.
Will I be getting the X-Pro2 when it goes out this mid February? Heck yeah! I’ll probably get this for my birthday (which is also mid February) 🙂
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Very good review straight to the point and yet informative! I think I might consider getting again a FUJIFILM in my Darkside lineup 🙂 After using the x10 which still works until now shows its a very good brand with good cameras specially for travel, documentary and street photography.
Thanks Mike job well done! Keep up the good work!
Nice review Michael. Looks like you enjoyed the rest of your tour after we left you behind in Tokyo!
Hey Bjorn; Yeah! I really enjoyed the trip, I’ll come back to Japan again during autumn/spring 🙂 Too bad you guys can’t join me after Fujikina.
Great review Michael!
I tried shooting the X-Pro2 during the Photoworld Manila 2016 event and to my experience it was surprisingly good! Knowing how camera technology progresses for my choosing, i always consider first the ergonomics that fits to my shooting style (this stretched age of mine does take its toll ~ hehe). Hence, the X-Pro2 is more than comfortable to my handling on a range finder perspective. Super fast AF system and the burst speed blew me away compared to the rest of the X-series line up. Since my test was brief, I really haven’t pixel checked the hit rate from its burst mode, but i presume that they are all captured tack sharp from my settings!
If i can afford one or receiving as a GIFT, then this will definitely be in my bag. Well, preferable ‘out’ of my bag shooting street photography!
Thumbs up to Fujifilm this year.
Thanks a lot PJ! The X-Pro2 is worth the wait 🙂 I’ll post some pixel peeping photos soon!
Hopefully you will become an X-Photographer soon haha!
Wow, love the photos!
I had a XT-1 but switched back to a Nikon DF due to the poor continuous autofocus performance. I am not looking back (I love my D810 and DF), but I am very fond of Fuji, especially with their f/w updates, and the removal of the clumsy focus point system.
How is the battery life?
Thanks a lot Niel; I think you will like the X-Pro2 since the focusing has been further improved. The battery life is the same as the X-T1, around 300-400 shots per battery.
I’ll never get rid of my X-Pro 1, but plan to sell/trade my X-T1 and hand grip for the X-Pro2. Have you tried the X-Pro2 in the leather case for the X-Pro1 ?
Hi Robert! I don’t a leather case on my X-Pro1 so I’m not sure if it will fit.
The X-T1 viewfinder is larger because a prism is mounted between the display and your eye. (Actually, a dual arrangement because you have so-called normal and large settings – both enlarging the LED.) It might be more comfortable than the X-Pro 2, but it probably has no more resolution than the X-Pro 2.
Thanks for the info Charles!
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