More bells than Winchester Cathedral, more whistles than the Flying Scotsman, all singing like Abba and all dancing like Ginger Rogers, Let’s take a look at the new X-Pro2
It of course, has not escaped my attention… Here I am, writing my blog, a blog which by far the most popular component of is my “Love Affair with the X-Pro1” series (which you can read here)
And what do Fujifilm go and do? Release an updated X-Pro camera model, the inevitably named X-Pro2.
But it follows that as a lover of the original X-Pro1, I’m obviously going to be head over heals in love with the newer better camera, right?
Well the first thing to do with any emotive decision is too look at the benefits. So let’s take a look at some of the differences between the models.
When compared to the old model, the X-Pro2 has a great many improvements and features
Firstly, quite possibly the most important bit – the new sensor gains a significant resolution increase from 16.3mp to 24.3mp.
Another headline feature, is the sensitivity of this new chip, now reaching an ISO of 12800 from a previous limit of 6400. ISO can now be set via a dedicated external dial.
As well as stop extra of sensitivity, the new model also features a max mechanical shutter speed of 1/8000 (up a stop from the original model) AND the inclusion of the electronic shutter from the XT range.
There’s a new AF system too, the X-Pro2 offers not only more selectable AF points, but many of these points now use the quicker focusing PDAF on chip pixels, rather than a big fat zero for the number of PDAF pixels on the X-Pro1 chip. This new AF mode supports focus tracking and a higher burst shooting mode.
There’s also a new processor (of which various improvement figures have been suggested, perhaps 4x faster) that will make the camera snappier and faster
The rear LCD goes from 1.23 million dpi up to 1.62.
Other new features include a joystick navigation system to speedily access all those AF points, extra Fn buttons to assign custom functions to and a front command dial to accompany the one on the rear of the body.
There’s a new viewfinder, that not only offers a EVF view and a OVF view, but also offers a view combining both optical and digital components. This new VF also offers a dioptre adjustment.
The EV dial gains a stop each way up to 3EV and can be set so that a command dial can take this to 5 stops!
There’s a new B&W set of film simulation modes, plus the addition of ‘Classic Chrome’ from the second generation Fuji X cameras. There’s also a grain effect mode, to add simulated film grain to your shots
The body is weather sealed, (which as I understand it means ‘splash proof’ and dust resistant), there’s now a wifi function and the body gets 2 SD card slots (one of which is UHS-II for faster speeds) that can be configured for sequential use or for back up use or even to store raw and jpeg separately
There’s a new menu system to enrich the experience, the grip of the camera has been improved and the whole thing is only fractionally bigger and heavier.
The price is even about what the X-Pro1 cost when released 4 years ago!
So.. do I want that? Of course – these aren’t trivial upgrades (well the LCD screen perhaps) like a new colour option, these are things that are tangible, undeniable improvements.
But do I need these things, and if I do, are they worth me spending all that money to get them?
It’s a $64000 question, well it’s a £1350 one, but still…
The best thing to do is do decide if these new and improved features are worth it to me personally.
The new film simulation look very nice, but as I shoot raw I’m not convinced I’ll end up making much use of it. Likewise if I want fake film grain (and I really don’t!) I’ll add it in during post (although so far I’ve been able to resist the temptation!!)
The LCD has a increase in resolution. I don’t chimp so much, and only really use the VF on my cameras
I’m sure that the new menu system is good, but the attraction to me of Fuji is that the external controls can be used to set everything that’s important
WiFi, I’ve used this once on my XT1, just too see if it worked ok (it did!)
An improved burst mode, well I’ve never used my X-Pro1 in burst mode, and never used my X-T1 in anything other than low speed burst mode.
Improved AF is always nice, but more and more I find that I use my cameras (not just my X-Pro1) in MF mode, I’d quite like to have this though, I would make use of it, but I wouldn’t live by it.
The original fixed dioptre of the X-Pro1 suits me fine, fact I love that there’s no scope to knock the adjustment wheel out of place (but I understand why Fujifilm added this feature)
The 1/8000 is nice, but the incumbent 1/4000 is already enough to stop motion, and using a fast lens on a bright day you’ll find that extra stop is not enough to save the highlights, and you’ll still need a ND filter.
Improved ISO is never to be sniffed at, but digital cameras offer their biggest dynamic range at base ISO, personally I try as hard as I can to keep the ISO down. I’m not saying that in certain circumstances another stop of sensitivity wouldn’t come in handy though..
The ability to back up your files via the dual SD card slots is a welcome addition, and would be useful.
So that “just” (sic) leaves the new VF, improved sensor and processor.
Well these are the headline features, more resolution means more detail, but more importantly more scope to crop into your image if you need to make framing changes after the shot. A faster camera is never a bad thing in my book, the X-Pro1 feels really quite clunky, which to be fair is neither here nor there in real life usage, but burning those files to the SD card faster, and improved shutter lag would certainly be welcomed. The AF point joystick is a great idea, focus and re-compose can screw your focus, so the improvement here is you’ll be far less likely to risk try it and do the job properly (ie move the focus box around the frame!)
For me, the new hybrid VF is very interesting, as I’ve written I use a combination of the OVF/EVF all the time on the X-Pro1 and to have a way to combine these features is of great interest to me.
The final point though, the thing for me that trumps all other points is of course the images themselves. I’ve long championed the grittier, more organic look of the X-Pro1 over the later X series cameras, and I doubt that the raw output of the newer sensor looks the same as the sensor from 4 years ago…
…and that’s currently my biggest stumbling block – I want to download some raw files, shot by real life users, I want to run them through my workflow and see what I think. But I can’t – my preferred image manipulation software has yet to offer support to the X-Pro2, so it’s all just a bit of gamble for me.
No, right here and now – let’s sit this one out a bit… let the hype die down and let the early adopters get over the honeymoon period (which I read some of you have already!) and start to discover any shortcomings.
Fuji will release FW updates to fix bugs (they have already in fact) and add features, and the longer I wait the more the price will come down, yet the better the camera will be!
X-Pro2 owners, please keep posting shots and sharing your impressions, I’m loving reading about them.
Far stranger things have happened than the possibility of me buying a X-Pro2, so never ever say never..
But right now, I’ll keep my existing camera, save my money and not take what’s in the box!