Continuing the blog serialisation of my popular X-Pro Series lust/hate/love story:
Part 50: The X-Pro2 Review: The X-Pro2: Six Months On
So why did the guy cross the road?!
To be completely honest.. I wasn’t sure what to write about this week!!
I gave serious thought to a piece about fanboys, as this thought has popped up a bit in my consciousness lately after seeing a few comments online (not on my site though) and having a few conversations in real life with some people that should know better…
But no, let’s not! Another time perhaps.
But I got too thinking, it’s about 6 months to the day (give or take) that I got the X-Pro2.
So, although my X-Pro2 is just as shiny (sic) as it was when it was new, it’s no longer shiny and new in my mind… The excitement of a new camera has diminished and the honeymoon period long since ended.
So, am I glad that I ‘crossed the road’ from the X-Pro1 to the X-Pro2?
Yes or course I am 🙂
The X-Pro2 was a big expense for me, one I haven’t regretted for a moment – that’s always a good sign.
We could probably leave this here, but no…
…let’s take a look at the features that made me want to upgrade to the X-Pro2 and after 6 months with them, how useful I find them and what I PERSONALLY think about each of them.
My original article about my perceived improvements (on the X-Pro2 Vs the X-Pro1) and why I wanted them can be found here
Now obviously this is just my opinion, which I’m sure not all of you will share. But my opinion is what it is…
- Improved ISO
- Improved Shutter Speed
- Improved Hybrid Viewfinder
- The electronic shutter
- More Fn buttons
1. ISO, this has really impressed me, if you can make a good exposure, then (within context of the ISO value used) I find the high ISO files to be very good.
Let’s take a look!
2. The Mechanical shutter now goes to 1/8000
I usually shoot the Fuji in aperture priority mode, so it’s the camera that selects the SS. That said I still standby this as an important feature. The Electronic Shutter (ES) might seem to make this feature slightly redundant, but the ES is not perfect for every situation, and in this day and age of fast glass, having a 1/8000 maximum mechanical SS is a good feature
3. The Improved Hybrid Viewfinder
The only hybrid viewfinder in town just got better… !! More or less…
It’s not all improvements to be honest… the icons in the X-Pro2 OVF are a lot smaller and harder to see in bright light
Personally I think the placement (or if it has to be there, the implementation) of the dioptre adjustment wheel is not ideal, as it can get knocked
But these are ultimately ‘nit-picks’ not show stoppers (YMMV)
The VF of the X-Pro2 is clearer than its predecessor, not just because the EVF is of a higher resolution and a faster refresh rate, but also because the design now features an aspherical lens in the eye piece. You can read all about that directly from Fujifilm, by clicking here
As mentioned above, the EVF part is of significantly higher spec than the X-Pro1.
Personally, if you’re a 100% EVF user, then I don’t think the X-Pro2 is your best choice – it’s not bad, but you’re better served by other cameras
The USP of the X-Pro2 is the hybrid view finder – you take a size hit (compared to the XT1/2) on the EVF and gain a OVF.
Now we have the ‘Electronic Range Finder’ (ERF) a moniker I’m not at all fond of, but a feature that’s decidedly clever and often very useful.
It’s not something I use all the time (YMMV) in fact I think of it a little like a Swiss Army knife, not a tool you use everyday if you have a dedicated version on hand (eg you wouldn’t use the tiny wood saw of your Swiss Army knife, if you had a full size wood saw to use, but if you didn’t, you can get the job done with the one on the knife), but one that’s remarkably useful when you do, and you’ll be pleased that you own.
The ERF looks like this
It’s a bit busy isn’t it?! 😦
So I tend to find that (and AGAIN, YMMV) I use it in conjunction with the focus peaking for keeping track of a vaguely, not completely static scene, for example someone sitting down, but not sitting still. I keep a bit of attention on the ERF to see if the subject is illuminated with the focus peaking, then shoot as required.
And speaking of focus peaking this is so, SO much better than on the X-Pro1, so much more usable.
4. The Electronic Shutter.
For me, the charm of this feature isn’t just the super high shutter speed (1/32000) but the fact that it can set to be completely silent and the fact that being electronic it has no vibration.
There’s limitations – fast moving objects, certain types of artificial light and flash. But for quiet places, bright places and dark places, then it’s a welcome addition.
I’m not really a jpeg guy, but Acros is superb. I wrote a lot about it here – and the SOOC Acros shots can look fantastic, but with so many RAW convertors now offering the Fujifilm simulations, you’re also getting the benefits of the Acros tone curve (but not the grain) with your RAFs too
6. More Fn (Function) Buttons
I must admit that I find the X-Pro2 menu long winded, and it’s a shame that the ‘My Menu’ can’t be configured to contain everything.
But because of the multiple Fn buttons I often go for weeks without needing to visit the menu. I like this very much.
I’ve enjoyed these features time and time again in the past 6 months, I’ve used them all as regularly as required and I haven’t been disappointed
I loved the X-Pro1.
But the X-Pro2 has been a worthy successor in my opinion, and I haven’t regretted it for a moment.
And things don’t stay static either – Fujifilm have already released a firmware update with new features, and I don’t doubt that we’ll see more at some point in the future.
The tools available to edit our RAW images continue to expand and improve.
It’s been a good 6 months with a new camera and I hope you’ve enjoyed yours as much as I have mine?
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