Last Thursday morning I had resolved to cancel my D500 order, largely because I’m not a birder and I didn’t really see what it would add other than the need to purchase a whole new set of wide angle lenses (that’s tongue in cheek – I think the D500 looks fantastic, but I don’t really need its qualities). This led me to think about one of the cameras I thought looked interesting but perhaps not for me on first glance, the Fujifilm X-Pro2. It seems funny to say that, because at one point it seemed like every other post here was about Fuji X, but I never really got along with the interchangeable X-Trans II cameras (like the X-E2 and X-T1). Loved the X100S though.
Why in the world would buying one of these make sense if I wasn’t going to get the D500? The main difference is lenses. I have all of the Fuji 14, 23, 35 and 18-55 lenses from my first Fuji adventure along with a stack of batteries. I also had a lot of fond memories of the X-Pro1, which I foolishly sold.
The X-Pro2 arrived on Friday and I took it out a little over the weekend. It addressed a lot of my concerns about the X-Pro1 as well as the X-T1. It’s worth noting that it doesn’t do some of the things the X-T1 does or has less functionality. That said, it has more functionality too. Key improvements over the X-Pro 1 are: the sensor, the layout of the back, weather sealing, the focus point joystick, the shutter, the e-Shutter, the viewfinder, the inclusion of the (amazing) acros film simulation and integrated wifi. It does not have the flip out screen from the X-T1, lacks connections for a battery grip, and nor does it have such a high magnification viewfinder. That said, I wear glasses and I found the X-Pro2 viewfinder easier to use.
So what’s it like to use? Really very, very good. This is a camera that you have fun using. The controls are well positioned and easy to use. The new functionality is brilliant, particularly the joystick, which I much prefer to a touch screen (sorry people who love touch screens, but as a focus tool they are overrated) for selecting a focus point. The results are impressive for an APS-C camera. The colours are the best in the business, saturated without blowing out colour channels. Resolution is much improved and high ISO performance seems better. Dynamic range, reported by some commentators to be worse than the previous sensor, actually seems better, but possibly that was a reference to the ability to pull results from the sensor from darkness to detail rather than its ability to record a wide dynamic range when properly exposed. Regardless, I’m happier with the ability of this sensor to expose skies and landscapes well.
I should qualify slightly: it’s not a DSLR replacement, for me (YMMV), nor do the results outperform 35mm sensor bodies. But I do think it outperforms 35mm sensor mirrorless bodies in the “fun to use” test. The results are aesthetically attractive with little effort (these are all OOC jpegs). It’s also a really portable body, smaller than a Panasonic GX8, with the same kind of attention to detail of manufacture of at least my D810. It feels light, but extremely well screwed together.
I’ll report more on this in due course, but I think this is a real winner for Fujifilm.