Thursday, January 14, 2016

First Impresions: Fujifilm X-Pro 2

The day has finally arrived, the announcement of the new Fujifilm X-Pro 2. I remember it was almost a year ago when I was talking with the Fuji Guys in Vancouver and we were discussing the upcoming flagship camera. Greg told me that they wanted to get the camera right the first time so they were in no hurry to rush its release. I totally get it. Most brands' flagship model rarely gets updated annually, and in some industries (like cars) they typically lose money on the flagship model. Fujifilm could not allow the X-Pro 2 to become insignificant within 1 year of release. It would have been easy for
Fujifilm to release the X-Pro 2 last year with parts-bin features from existing X series cameras. If all they did was throw in the existing hybrid EVF/OVF from the X100T, the upgraded firmware from the X-T1/X-T10, and throw in weather-sealing, the X-Pro 2 would have been released on time. This would have been a disappointment for many. The flagship should wow people. There should be significant upgrades to the body, sensor and processor. Has Fujifilm done it? Have they produced a camera worthy of being the flagship that will lead the rest of the X branded cameras? From my review of the pre-production X-Pro 2, the answer is a clear YES!

Everything about the new X-Pro 2 is new, and yet everything still feels familiar. If you have the original X-Pro 1, the new X100T or X-T1, you will quickly find your way through this new camera body. The button layout, the menus (sort of), the hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder, even the battery is the same from the original X-Pro 1. The new features and functions are reasonably easy to figure out, except for a few (like the new C mode on the exposure compensation dial). Let's list a few of the significant features on the new X-Pro 2:
  • All new 24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor 
  • All new X Processor Pro image processing engine
  • All new Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder with bright line simulation in OVF mode
  • All new shutter with 1/8000th sec top mechanical shutter speed an 1/250 flash sync
  • Intelligent Hybrid Phase detect AF with group-able 273 selectable AF points
  • All new 3" 1.62 million dot rear LCD
  • Dual SD card slot with custom save mode
  • 14 Bit RAW with lossless compression, in camera processing, as well as uncompressed
  • All new integrated ISO dial within the shutter speed dial
  • Rugged metal construction with weather sealed body while retaining a threaded shutter button
  • Addition of ACROS film simulation and film grain simulation

Although these are the main features of the new X-Pro 2, it is not the sum of all these bullet points that makes a great camera. It is the way that Fujifilm integrated these features into a familiar shooting style and eco-system that makes this camera great. The only feature that I did not include is the new menu system, which includes a customizable MY MENU. I found I got lost but it is all new so my verdict is not yet out on it. I quickly set my Fn buttons, Q menu and MY MENU with my go-to features so I didn't have to spend 5 minutes looking for something as simple as reformatting my card or changing from JPEG to RAW. At the same time, there was a firmware update during the time I had the preproduction camera, so I know something like the menu system can easily be changed or upgraded. 

Another point is that my camera is pre-production so I could not try all the new features. RAW files could only be processed in-camera, and some features were not yet activated with the pre-production firmware. Because of this, the image quality is not final and I am not able to post full resolution images taken with this camera. I did however run some JPEG tests comparing the X-Pro 2 with the Leica SL, Sony A7 and other full frame cameras. The X-Pro 2 is the best performing APS-C sensored camera on the market, and I would argue can keep up with many current full frame sensored cameras.

I will be receiving my full production model of the X-Pro 2 at the end of the month. At that time I will be able to conduct some full tests so please stay tuned here on my blog or on my YouTube channel. For now, here is my YouTube video impressions of the new X-Pro 2 where I go more in depth with my thoughts about this new flagship camera. Enjoy the posted images and happy shooting.

from left: X-Pro 1 w/XF 35WR, X-Pro 2 w/XF35 WR, X-T1 w/XF35mm f/1.4


  1. List of features has an error, X-Trans II instead of III

  2. Great article as usual Take-san! I wish there were more, compared to the videos (takes less time to go through!) :)

  3. Hey Take, I know this is kind of an apple and oranges comparison, but do you think it's comparable to the Leica Q? I currently have the Q now, but the Fuji seems to have a lot more utility with changeable lens and the same sort of feeling at a lower price point. I'm also curious about the focusing, seems like it might be easier to get a lot more keepers with the Fuji.

  4. Being left eye dominant do you find it easier to shoot with the XT1 or the Xpro 2?
    I read online left eye dominant photographers found XT1 easier to shoot with did you find this to be true?

    1. Yes being left eye dominant is easier with the DSLR ergonomic versus shooting with a camera with a rangefinder layout. However, I've learned to live with this handicap since I love the rangefinder layout.

  5. Ok thanks for the reply. The Xpro 2 is a good looking camera , I wish it had an articulating screen like the XT1.

  6. Hi BHT!
    i recently bought a X100T (just after reading your review...and you were right, it's great!) and now i would like a you reccommend me?
    and which lenses? the new or the old 35mm??? and the 23?
    thx a lot

    1. If you are looking to get into interchangeable lens cameras, the X-Pro 2 is an amazing choice if you can afford it. It shoots very similar to the X100T except bigger and more powerful. As for lenses, I really like the new XF35 f/2 WR. It was designed to work with the X-Pro 2. The XF23mm f/1.4 is nice, but since you already have that angle of view from your X100T, perhaps going wider would be great, or a zoom lens. If you want to stick to primes, I like the XF14mm, XF23, XF35, XF56. For zooms the standard kit lens XF18-55mm is great. Lens choice is a very personal choice based on your style of photography but the XF35mm f/2 is a solid choice.

  7. I am a X-T1 user since 2014 December, with a XF18mm-135mm lens, recently i bought the XF35mm F1.4, and now I am considering to get a wider lens for landscape and street photography too. which lens do you recommend? and which is a better lens XF14 F2.8 or XF16 F1.4? about the X-Pro 2 AF being slow in low light what do you think?

    1. optically most choose the XF16mm because of the wider aperture. For me, I prefer the compact size and weight of the XF14mm, as well as the wider field of view. The XF14mm has a 21mm equivalent while the XF16mm has a 24mm equivalent. In general, ultra wide angle begins at 21mm, so I prefer the XF14mm for my type of photography.

  8. Thank you so much 🙂 I am slowly wrapping my head around this concept and your articles are very helpful. Can you please help me to find the rangefinder for shaky hands


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