Most of you know by reading this blog and looking at my photos that I am a film shooter and in love with films cameras. I think for the last year and a half I have been exclusively shooting film with some digital in for work. But in March I received a rare opportunity to try out the newly released XPro-2 from Fujifilm. I don't have any connections to Fujifilm, but though some connections I got to borrow the camera for 2 days a long with a 10mm-24mm lens. I was completely shocked I got this opportunity, and couldn't say no.
This camera has been all any camera nerd could talk about for the last three years. XPro-1 users have been urning for this camera since the X-T1 came out and they where feeling more left out when the XT-10 came out. There was many speculation about this camera coming out and what features it would have and everything. Before the release I was following the rumors about it and reading Fuji Rumors every other day about it just waiting for its release. This really seamed like the kind of digital camera I could see my self shooting. Some rumors where its going to be full frame and shoot 4k video and have some tilty flippy screen and do all sorts of trick but sadly that didn't happen. Yes, I know my last post was about G.A.S but can't we just nerd out a bit and let our mouths water at this beautiful camera?
Spec Mombo Jumbo
I know you guys want to know about the great new features of Fuji's XPro-2
- Brand new 24.3 MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III Sensor
- Brand new ISO built in to shutter speed dial (yes, like a film camera)
- Brand new X Processer Pro image processing engine
- Brand new top shutter speed of 1/8000th of a second
- Brand new dual SD card slot
- Metal body and weather sealed body
- Brand new Hybrid view finder ( just like X100t)
Those are not even close to all of the new features on the X-Pro 2 but those are some of the ones that are the most inproved. This is pretty much my first time shooting Fuji besides checking out my girlfriends X-T10. Apparently Fuji worked out a new menu to make it simpler but I still had a hard time finding stuff, but perhaps thats because I have used the same nikon for 6 years and the last year and a half I have been shooting film. They added a My Menu that you can customize but I never dove in to it but if you are used to Fuji this new menu lay out won't be a problem. Also pretty much all the buttons can be programed to FN buttons.
This cameras shutter is dead quite, after turning all the beeps and flashing lights off, which where quite the struggle to find. The auto focus is dead quick and accurate and only missed a few times.
The X-Pro 2 felt really great in the hands, considering I have small hands it fit quite good. They apparently improved the front grip from the X-Pro 1. On the back of the camera there is a thumb grip this with two poorly placed buttons on it, Auto Focus lock and the Quick menu. I found myself hitting the buttons by accident. The buttons on the camera camera have great tactile feed back and feel really satisfying when pushed.
In the photo above you can see that pretty much everything on the back of the cameras Is with in a good range from your right hand, so it's easily operated with one hand. You can also tell that the X-Pro 2 is sporting a new little "joy stick" that is quite amazing and helps navigate the menus and what not, and just like a Xbox controller you can press the button in and program it as a FN button.
The top of the camera is pretty much the same as the X-Pro 1 except the new ISO deal built right in to the shutters speed dial. I quite like its but there is a catch that I will talk about later. With the ISO dial it makes changing ISO a little more accessible then going though a menu to find it. I quite like it a lot it, at a glance of the camera you can see all your settings.
The camera feels really wonderful in the hand, its not too heavy at all and it feels so solid. My girlfriend and I spent hours walking Boston's Haymarket and the North End and my hand and arm never got really tired of holding it even despite that massive lens attached to it. I felt the camera had the right amount of grip but I can see myself getting one of those thugs up grips if I ever owned this camera.
I found myself shooting with the OVF a lot more it made me feel like I was shooting a rangefinder, it was bright and big and everything was visible. I shot more the second day not in the city with the EVF and I thought I wasn't going to like it since its a tiny screen but being able to see your exposure in real time is quite amazing. The lag on the EFV isn't bad at all, its pretty bearable, if I had the camera for a month I think it would almost forget it was a screen.
The auto focus of this camera is pretty incredible, it's fast and pretty spot on. It never really hunted for the focus and I was extremely impressed. The 10-24mm lens was a fantastic pairing with this camera. I really wanted to try the 18mm because its close to 28mm in FF but the wide zoom lens its stunning. It's sharp corner to corner and there seems to be not to much distortion. The zoom is very smooth and the EFV and OVF had no lag when changing focal length. The lens was very solid and had a great feel to it and the aperture ring had a very satisfying click to it as well.
The Not so Good
With every camera there is its faults because no camera is perfect and this one is far from perfect. Parts of this could be my fault or software issues since the camera was only out for a few weeks when I got my hands on it.
First off the battery life if awful and yes, I know most mirrorless cameras are but this one is no better. It never died on me but It was close and the battery indication is awful, it doesn't really show and accurate depiction of the better depletion. I really wish it had a percentage next to the battery icon. If you buy more batteries this won't be a problem anymore.
The ISO dial, yes I love it and it's sexy and retro but it feels cheap, it feels like Fuji didn't really make it durable. It feels flimsy and not as solid and I'm pretty sure this is the only way to change the ISO so if it breaks your fucked? The last bit I don't like its that when you rotate the shutter dial the ISO is reads up side down.
I did have the camera fail on me twice in Boston, one resulting me having to take the battery out because the camera froze and bricked its self. The second time it just froze but I was still able to turn it on and off and it was good to go. I think those where either my error or something that will be fixed in a software update.
The exposure compensation dial was also and issue that it didn't stay locked in place and I found myself shooting +2 or +3 sometimes. I really wish it had a lock on it or it was a bit harder to move.
Now I know most of this sounds like I'm nit picking but this camera has some minor faults and if I had it longer than 2 days I would have gotten used to most of these issues.
Most of the shooting I did in the city I was really trying to push the limits of the camera and shooting ISO 6400 and it really gave me the feel of shooting film after converting them to black and white. Some images where so far over exposed but this Fuji files are amazing and still retain so much information (image directly below).
The way Fuji's sensors render sold is mind blowing, especially with this new sensor.
Is it possible to fall in love in just two days or is it just a massive cloud of lust hanging over my head but either way I really love this camera. It being the first digital camera I have shot in a year to make personal work I really think it has a place in my heart. Yes, it has its faults and what camera doesn't? This is a serious camera for the serious photographer and it really shows in its performance. I really have to applaud Fuji for making this camera and not rushing it, and really taking its time making it and taking insights from other X photographers to make it what it is. I don't think this camera will replace my love and attachment for film but it comes pretty damn close. I think the only thing stoping me from buying this camera is the price, this camera is $1,700USD and the lenses aren't cheap either. I hope to get my hands on one again soon because it was a joy to shoot and I would really recommend giving it a shot if you are looking for a new camera because it has a lot to offer in its small package. Call it puppy love but my hats off to Fuji on this one.
(I did not get paid by FujiFilm for this post)