First Impression: X-Pro2

Disclaimer: This is not a review, in fact, it probably shouldn’t even be called First Impression granted that I’ve only had it for approx 20 mins of solid use. So if you’re expecting fancy charts and mathematical equations please stop reading.

Background

Fujifilm Camera Australia and DigiDIRECT held a workshop that showcased the highly anticipated X-Pro2 and X70. The people at Fujifilm Camera Australia were also kind enough to share the full range of XF lenses to try from the 10-24mm through to the 100-400mm. Unfortunately as there was only 1 unit of the X-Pro2 we had to share it around so most of us only had a good 20 mins or less of solid use, so this is purely my impression of the camera after 20 mins.

First Impressions

While holding the unit my first thoughts were its size, it felt big in my hands compared to the more familiar X-T1. Unfortunately without having used the X-Pro1 I cannot compare their sizes, it feels bulky and solid like a  miniature tank. Personally, I prefer the DSLR-like style and design (hence the X-T1 is my preferred camera) just a personal preference.

2016_0302_20403200(2)[1]
X-Pro2 – Shot with 56mm f1.2

What I LIKE about it

With 273 AF points of which 169 of that make up the phase detection autofocus what’s there not to like? I was able to accurately place my focus points anywhere without having to focus and recompose the shot. From what I’ve noticed the AF speed is slightly quicker than the X-T1, however, I’m not sure if this was due to the performance set to either standard or eco mode.

Although 24mp is nothing new in today’s market, it is still an improvement over the 16mp seen on some of the other X Series cameras in Fuji’s lineup. The images look great on the back of the LCD although without pixel peeping I couldn’t tell the difference when compared with the LCD on the X-T1. I’m sure if you were to print large formats it will retain more detail.

Acros film simulation is something that is desired by many, unfortunately, this is exclusive to the X-Pro2 because of its CMOS III processor. Images taken using this film simulation looks great and with the added feature of applying grain just makes this all the more desired.

Focus joystick (known as something else to Fuji) is probably the best physical feature/addition to the camera and I really hope Fuji applies this to other cameras in the future *cough* X-T2. Having a dedicated joystick to move the focus point means you can now keep the dial buttons as function keys.

Dual memory card slots are handy but it’s unfortunate that only 1 is UHS II compatible while the other is for the slower cards if they were to have both slots UHS II while being backwards compatible that would have been the better option unless it was designed this way to reduce cost.

What I DISLIKE about it

The size. Like I said earlier the size was the first thing I noticed, it is quite big and bulky for my liking. Some may find this to be OK especially those coming from X-Pro1, X-E1, E2 cameras, but those more accustomed to DSLR designs like the X-T1 will find this to be a bit on the bulky side. To put harshly, it feels like a brick but a stylish one 🙂

2016_0302_20404700[1]

The position and how you change the ISO settings was frustrating to put lightly, honestly whoever thought this was a clever idea needs to be removed from the design team. Firstly to change the ISO you need to pull the SS dial upwards and twist which in turn changes the ISO settings. The ISO value is shown in a very small window and it’s not a digital display (good luck trying to change it at night) but that’s not all. The dial (when pulled up to change the ISO) has a lot of tension and as a result of the dial often slips from your fingers back to the down position. Throughout the night, I found myself constantly pulling the dial up to change the ISO as it keeps slipping. The other pain point is that as you turn the SS dial the small window displaying the ISO turns with it and at certain points the ISO display is completely upside down. Trying to change the ISO from an upside down position while in the dark is challenging.

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Note the ISO display on the SS shutter dial

There’s not much else I dislike and if there were I’ll be nit picking. But remember this is only after 20 mins of use but it was enough to determine whether this is a camera for me or not.

Conclusion

It’s been a few years since the release of the X-Pro1 and since then the X-Pro2 has seen some significant changes, those loyal to the X-Pro1 will be right at home and appreciate these big changes, but for others probably not. Then there are those on the “wait for X-T2” band wagon eagerly waiting for the official announcement.

At the price of two X-T1, a bulkier feel and a somewhat frustrating design of the ISO dial this won’t appeal to everyone, others on the night who also used the X-Pro2 shared the same view regarding the ISO dial. Is this a make or break feature? Probably not but for me, I will be giving this a miss and jumping on that X-T2 band wagon.

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