The X-Pro2 Review: Part Three The Front of the Body and Battery Life Vs the X-Pro1

Continuing the blog serialisation of my popular X-Pro1 lust/hate/love story:

Part Twenty Seven: The X-Pro2 Review: Part Three The Front of the Body and Battery Life Vs the X-Pro1

The front of the body is very similar between the 2 cameras.

The X-Pro2 gets a front command dial and a new Fn button in the EVF/OVF selector lever.

I should complain about this Fn button!! In haptic terms, it’s a bit spongy, and the travel is a bit too long. You REALLY need to know that you want to push it, in order to push it.

I rest my middle finger tip here out of habit, and sincerely – I thought I’d need to be disabling that button or forever accidentally pressing it, but no not at all.

Of course for you, it maybe a little too spongy/mushy and you don’t like it.

The other new control feature is the AF joystick.

This lets you move the AF point around very quickly, very easily and also doubles as a way to navigate the menus and image playback.

Some reviewers have claimed that they could now never have a camera without this function, but I’m actually going to go a step further.

For me, the AF joystick is so helpful that I quickly became so comfortable with using it; I thought I’d been using it on every camera I’ve had, ever. That’s a compliment. A big one.

I do sometimes go into ‘X-Pro1 muscle memory’ mode and forget it’s there, but that’s not the fault of the camera!

So overall the 2 bodies are quite close for haptics. None of the plus / minus points of each body is enough to be a deal breaker for me. Of course that doesn’t mean you’ll feel the same.

I guess in summary (for haptics) the X-Pro1 doesn’t really get too much wrong, while the X-Pro2 gets some things incredibly correct and others not so much.

Let’s have a bit of a chat about the X-Pro2 battery life. As I’m sure you’ll have read on various reviews and user forums that the battery life is diabolical.

I’m actually going to give the win on battery life to the X-Pro2 on this!

Er what Adam?

Let me explain. I use my X-Pro1 in power save mode. I manually focus it, so I don’t care that the AF is truncated, and I can work round the shutter lag this settings gives you.

Doing this on my X-Pro1 takes my battery usage from about 300 images to about 530 images, per charge. Just to explain that, so that’s 1060 files – 530 RAFs and 530 Large/Fine Jpegs.

So far on the X-Pro2 in high performance mode I’ve got an average of 360 images (720 files) out of a single charge.

The X-Pro2 in high performance mode is doing a LOT more than the X-Pro1 in high performance mode. Yet despite this it returns more shots per change. (360 vs 300)

That’s a clear winner in my view. Your mileage may vary.

But the whole Fuji battery thing has really annoyed me.

Let me explain.

If you want to know about the design process around the X-Pro2, then David Hobby (who was involved in that process) wrote about it HERE. Read that, it’s a great article.

So whether or not to change the battery was a contentious issue during the design phase.

Makes sense.

Option One:

Time for a new battery, perhaps 1800 mAh (?) perhaps that would have given us 500 shots in high performance mode or even 600 on economy. Fantastic.

Option Two:

But of course, all the people that own multiple Fuji X bodies and have many batteries and chargers would have been inconvenienced by this. (I mean no more than owning a X100x camera and any X interchangeable lens camera, but inconvenienced nevertheless), so better to keep the incumbent power unit.

You can toss this around back and forth in your head. It’s not an easy answer.
But lo and behold, with the release of the X-T2 it transpires they’ll be a new battery.

Why? Because the upcoming X-T2 ideally wants to run cooler when shooting 4K video.

So… we HAD to get a new battery anyway, so SURELY this was the time to give us a higher capacity one. But no; instead we get one that has the same power, but runs cooler.

Personally I feel that this was a mistake

And of course, unless Fuji can make a bigger battery that fits in the existing compartment… Then there’s no real scope to improve the battery longevity within the lifetime of the X-Pro2 and X-T2.

Now it may sound like I’m not very happy with the X-Pro2. Not at all. The areas that truly matter (IQ and how easy it is to access that IQ) work very well. But equally… That doesn’t mean that the X-Pro2 is without foibles, failings and idiosyncrasies. I just feel compelled to point them out to you.

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6 thoughts on “The X-Pro2 Review: Part Three The Front of the Body and Battery Life Vs the X-Pro1”

  1. I don’t get the concern about battery life at all:
    If you want a compact and small body, you need to have a small battery, which means in today’s terms low(er) capacity.
    In the Pro series I think it is also a question how the camera is used and how it is intended to be used by the design team. For sure, you can do nearly everything with a Pro2, but it is not designed for that.
    I only have the Pro1 and use it a lot for street. No complaints for battery life: I switch to ofv, AF off and have the camera full time on (no power safe auto off). As such I am very fast, the battery normally lasts 3-4 hours walking a city.
    Granted, every now and then I switch to efv (for architectual stuff as an example) and / or AF ON (for close focus/ shallow dof for example). Sometimes I have to change the battery, but rarely and only once.

    I understand that if you use the camera for different purpose (wedding for example) battery life becomes a problem – but I think thats a given, because you use the camera outside the designer’s mindset.
    Like using a Nikon d5 for street…

    Like

    1. Hi Andreas,

      Thanks for commenting

      Yes and no really… Little batteries can still be powerful, but as you correctly say – a smaller form factor means a smaller battery. The thing is when I write these articles there’s a degree of second guessing what people will be interested in hearing about, and in this day and age (again, as you say) people are concerned about battery life.

      I used to get about 500+ plus shots (so 1000+ raw & jpeg files) from my X-Pro1, because I used it in power save mode. I’m not personally so fussed about operational speed, because I’m quite slow 🙂

      Since writing this (the blog posts are about 12 weeks behind my main articles) Fuji have added a power saving mode to the X-Pro2, and now I sometimes get over 500 shots out of a battery, but with the camera set to high performance mode.

      Bar fairly specific criteria… professional sports or underwater for example, I think that most cameras can turn their hand to most tasks, my understanding is that the X-Pro2 is quite popular with wedding photographers, whether the designer had that in mind or not, I have no clue.

      For me, the X-Pro series are primarily reportage cameras, be that street, documentary or travel, but I’d never suggest that this is all it can shoot, because other people will use it for different things.

      Like

  2. I never meant that the Pro’s shall only be used as the designer imagined – your’e perfectly right saying it’s popular in wedding and if someone decides to use it as a sports camera (ang gets the results he/she wants), who am I to say that’s wrong usage?
    It’s not wrong at all.
    However, I feel (more than I know) that the camera performs best in the area it was designed for.
    Battery life in shots is another misconception in my mind: for me, that is the way I use it, battery life in minutes is way more important: I may walk a city with the camera turned on for 4 hours and only take, say, 50 shots. But the battery will be depleted…bad battery? Hardly….on another day I may have made 300 shots in the same time frame.

    I guess I misuse my camera 🙂
    But hey, that’s ok as long as I get the shots I want to get. The Pro1 does let me down here rarely…

    Like

    1. I agree re battery – I wish I’d measured mine in hours rather than shots, but I realised too late and I’m quite stuck in my measurement system!

      Hope you’re having a good day!

      Like

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