Keep the Existing Shots or Take What’s in the Box: Should I buy a X-Pro2?

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.

I’ve already blogged about Gear Acquisition Syndrome or “GAS” (which you can read here) and what the best camera truly is here.

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!

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14 thoughts on “Keep the Existing Shots or Take What’s in the Box: Should I buy a X-Pro2?”

  1. I was going to wait, too, but I got a good deal at the Photography Show so I bought one. Regrets? Not a one. Pop over to my blog where I’ve made three posts of images shot on the X-Pro2. It really is a MAJOR step forward for Fuji… Best, Tony/The Fuji Freak

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    1. Thanks Tony, I think my main sticking point is that if I sold both the XT1 and XP1 it would only fund about half of it. If I didn’t have the XT1 it would be a no brainer, as clearly the XP2 is light years (well 4) ahead of the XP1, but I perceive the gap to the XT1 to be far less… Go on then, I’ll bite! How good was your deal? Was it body only or did Fuji find another way to sweeten the transaction? (ie accessories/glass)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps not wonderful but £100 off at launch was far better than any other deals I came across. I could have gone for interest free credit for 12 or 24 months but I didn’t want the messing about. I did get some goodies from Fujiflim – their X-System Photographer’s Yearbook, most notably, which is chock full of inspiration.

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      2. I really wanted to go to the show, I was even in the UK, but alas not quite on the correct week! £100 is not bad, that’s about 7-8% or kinda like getting the metal grip for free!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I have to say that the show wasn’t as good as it was when it was Focus on Imaging. There was a distinct lack of excitement missing. There were complaints about some of the big guns having surly staff. It is a good way of seeing what’s going on in the world of photography but it’s no Photokina! I shall think hard before committing to going next year. Yes, I put the money to good use with bits for the X-Pro2 – wrist strap, better neck strap, couple of filters…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I posted some first impressions about the X-Pro2 on my Fuji blog and have a couple sessions coming up in the next few days. I’ll give my real-use impressions after I’ve actually used it.

    The price makes it more than a “spur of the moment” decision, but like Tony (FujiFreak), I got a better deal than the full $1700 MSRP. It lessened the shock a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Adam.

    I’m pretty new to the Fuji world – bought my X100T in November 2014 to shoot the images for my InSight: Tokyo photographer’s guide – and an X-Pro1 late last year. Call me impressed.

    I’ve written two items on the arrival of the X-Pro2 you and your readers might like:

    Part 1: http://www.dearsusan.net/2016/03/19/463-fujis-x-pro2-first-look-part-1/

    Part 2: http://www.dearsusan.net/2016/03/23/465-x-rated-photography/

    I market InSight guides through the DearSusan site – it’s there for travelling photographers – feel free to take a look.

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  4. Hi Adam,

    IMO, other thing worth to mention when evaluating the need to go xp2 is the size of these new files. In the end this could also mean new investment on your hardware to handle those bigger files. Or just accept a slower workflow 🙂

    Cheers\Guilherme

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    1. Hi Guilherme,
      Thanks for commenting. Yes that’s a very good point! There’s also the angle of the compressed raw option, and whether ‘our’ PP SW of choice will handle these files ok or even at all (which is too early to say) I’m in no rush to upgrade to be honest, not only is it a lot of money, but having (as per the 1st part of the blog) bought the XP1, then the XT1, then got the XP1 again I’m trying to be wise to the differences between ‘newer and better’ and what I actually like to shoot with. Trying at least 🙂

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  5. I’ve found your blog because I was looking for similar opinions to mine, I very much prefer the look of the 1st generation sensor. I have as well two cameras with the x-trans II, but I’ve decided recently to buy a xp1 instead of xp2. I’ve had a XE1 that was upgraded to a XE2, which made me realize how much more I prefer the output from the former. I’ve never been able to justify the reason why but when the xp2 came out, I was convince to get the new one, however after a rational analysis on the investment vs benefits, getting a brand new xp1 for a incredible price seemed wiser. I even think getting a XT1 these days is for sure a better business than getting a xp2. Dont get me wrong, most probably I will have a xp2 down the line, but right now, I’m pretty satisfied with my gear. And congrats for the blog, I really make mine your words here. 🙂

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    1. Thank you so, so much Guilherme, my blog can be a bit of a labour of love, and the views and attention it gets is SO variable.. somethings I post get 100s and 100s of hits, others about 12! But I write it for me, so anyone liking it is a bonus, anyone liking it and telling me they like it (like you just did) is really encouraging, so thank you.
      I think the XP1 just some how comes together to be better than its specs suggest. The IQ, File size, DR, NR, Colours etc might all be a bit behind many other bodies when compared in isolation, but when taken as a whole, they all compliment each other to make images that look right. It’s PERHAPS like mechanical grip Vs traction control in a car!! I’ve nearly finished writing part 11 of the Xp1 story (published we’re up to part9) this will take it too over 12,000 words, so I think it might be one of the largest opinion pieces on the XP1 available anywhere on the web! I feel the XP1 deserves this and I’m glad I’m not alone 🙂
      Best regards
      Adam

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  6. The new XPro2 is a very good camera of course.
    Buy it early and be a Fuji developer pioneer or wait a couple of years and buy at sub £750?
    In the mean time carry on taking wonderful photos with the old but superb xpro1
    Just like me…..

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    1. Thanks very much! The more I think it through, the more I think that in real world usage the XP2 will be quite similar to my XT1. Speaking of which, my XT1 came from the Fuji refurb shop, which saved a fair few quid, so if I truly can’t resist the siren call of the XP2 that’s almost certainly where I’ll go shopping!

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