Continuing the blog serialisation of my popular X-Pro Series lust/hate/love story:
Part 35: The X-Pro2 Review: The X-Pro2: History Repeats?
I think it’s begun… History repeats…
Perhaps it’s just because the X-T2 has arrived, perhaps it’s because the X-Pro2 has been out a while and the honeymoon period is over…
…But for whatever reason…
The backlash seems to have begun!!
On the various internet outlets, people are already saying that the X-Pro2 is old hat, slow and cumbersome when compared to the X-T2.
People are saying that ‘somehow’ the images from the X-T2 are sharper, better (which is quite odd as the 2 cameras share the same sensor!)
That the specs of the X-T2 far surpass the X-Pro2, particularly the EVF.
I can believe that AF performance of the X-T2 is better – after all, the X-T2 features more AF tracking modes and a newer AF algorithm.
“Apparently” the X-Pro2 is suddenly nothing more than a ‘point and shoot’
It’s like what they said about the X-Pro1 all over again, no? Under spec’d, under performing, and over hyped by fanboys.
I can understand why the X-T2 is/will be the more popular body… The internet is filled with “rangefinder” (sic) love… The rhetoric runs something like this
“Rangefinder style cameras are so much better, a corner mounted view finder doesn’t squish my nose up against the LCD and the unobtrusive shape helps me capture my subjects”
I mean that’s all true and valid, no arguments about that from me.
The “problem” seems to be that for every single person typing ‘rangefinder love’ posts into internet forums there seems to be 9 extra people with their wallets open in a camera store buying a ‘SLR’ shaped camera.
I asked a Fuji sales manager (directly) what was the better seller, the X-E2 or the X-T10? These 2 cameras are so close on spec (with the latest FW updates) that the only reason to select one over the other would be a preference in body shape. And guess what? Ten times more X-T10 than X-E2 models were sold in his sales territory.
The rangefinder lovers might be loud and proud, but the SLR styled buyers speak with cash 🙂
So does it really matter? If we have a niche love, and get a niche product, then are we not happy enough?
Do we really demand X-T2 levels of performance from our X-Pro2 in order to get our ‘snap shots’ ? 🙂
Well I’m actually not sure it’s even that clear cut…
Firstly Fujifilm will release a Firmware update to bring the base X-T2 AF algorithm to the X-Pro2. You can read that here
Secondly, where it matters most – I’m not actually that convinced that the X-Pro2 suffers from any spec deficiency compared to the X-T2 at all.
Let’s take the EVF for starters.
The physical spec of the EVF on both cameras is actually the same.
The X-T2 appears bigger, because it has a larger magnifying lens in front of it. I can see why people want this, and like this and it’s a good thing.
But in my opinion, it’s a small advantage and not worth giving up the OVF and ERF for. It’s not like the X-Pro2 EVF is illegible, and in fact, the X-T2 EVF has a view mode that stops it filling the whole screen. So not every X-T2 user wants that much magnification!
The higher refresh rate of the EVF in the X-T2 is of course a very welcome addition, and a better spec than the X-Pro2.
The X-T2 also features other specs that surpass the X-Pro2; shorter shot-to-shot times, better continuous shooting rates and shorter shutter lag.
But there’s a massive caveat to that (and I mean massive 🙂 ) you need to buy and add on the additional battery grip to the X-T2 in order to access these features.
And suddenly the ‘rangefinder rhetoric’ REALLY does ring true about a smaller, lighter more discrete camera doesn’t it?
The X-Pro2 is not suddenly an outdated camera just because the X-T2 has some features more suited for that genre of body shape.
It’s not suddenly a brick that can’t take very good pictures!
The X-Pro2 remains as is, and retains the charm of the original… In terms of ‘rangefinder’ styled mirrorless bodies, it’s the most advanced and highest spec’d device currently on the market.
The X-T2 MIGHT PERHAPS be classed as the same within it’s genre too… But methinks its rein at the top of its tree will be a little more short lived…
…After all, the next high tech, high spec SLR styled camera is never far away…
For us X-Pro series shooters, the charm and applicability of the form factor will always provide what we need.
Besides… if Fuji update the EVF refresh rate (IF) along with the AF speed in next month’s FW update, then sans battery grip, the X-T2 and X-Pro2 will ALMOST be on a even keel.
But even if not – in fact even if the X-Pro2 stays at it’s current spec, I’m not unhappy.
For what I like to shoot, the X-Pro2 serves me well, letting me get close and personal and without being obtrusive.
I’ll trade some nano-seconds of AF speed for that any day.
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