A First Look: Holy Cow Batman, It’s the X-PRO 2!!!! Sockem! POW! WHAM!

4 years ago 21

 

 

 

 

By now you have read reams of reports, reviews and tests on the new Fuji X-PRO 2.  There is little sense in my duplicating all of that, so I will approach this from a different direction.  I would like to attempt to answer some key questions I had when I first heard about the X-PRO 2;

 

(1.)  Is it a significant improvement over the XT-1 ( a camera a really love a lot!)?

 

Yes, it is Fuji’s latest and newest technology and, and in almost every way, it is an improvement over the last generation of cameras.  Fuji looked at every performance category and found a way to bolster it. If you decide to purchase the X-PRO 2 you will have the most capable camera Fuji has ever produced in the X System line!

 

(2.)  How much of a difference does the increase in resolution from 16 to 24.3 mega pixels really make?

This is not a scientific study,  just a judgement based on a looking at thousands of image files over the past decade.  Resolution wise a 33% increase is significant and it does lead to crisper more detailed images.  Even though it is readily apparent even in small sizes, it will make the resulting prints in large sizes (feet by feet) very impressive indeed.  You must understand that because the 24.3 mega pixels resides on an APS-C size sensor the pixel density gives resolution that is very much like a 36 mega pixel full frame sensor.

 

(3.)  Does it in fact have as good or better high ISO – Low noise performance compared to the X-T1.

 

In the past packing that much resolution on an APS-C size sensor meant that you had to sacrifice noise at higher ISO settings, Fuji has conquered this somehow and now we can have very high effective resolution and extraordinary low noise even at very high ISO settings.  So far I believe with this sensor you can shoot all the way to 6400 with almost no noise penalty.  It is my opinion that Fuji’s noise levels were already essentially an industry standard, this sensor and processing chip take them to an even higher level!!!  Mark this one down for 1 to 1-1/2 stops higher ISO with low noise.

 

(4.)  How is the construction?  How do the buttons perform?

 

 

All the buttons and controls are improved from the X-T1, they are raised more, and have a satisfying click when depressed.  The four way pad on the back now does not need an application of sugru to work properly as the X-T1 did.  Because of the new “Joy Stick” moving the focus points and menu items is now much easier and positive.  The exposure compensation dial is larger and easier to turn with your thumb, though not too easy to be accidentally moved.  The speed of operation for all function is aided greatly by the new X-Pro processor.  The viewfinder now  has a diopter correction that makes viewing much clearer without glasses.  How do the numbers look?

 

 

(5.)  Does it have any features or performance increases that make it a GAME CHANGER?

 

 

The optical viewfinder is absolutely wonderful.  The bright line frames give a great view of the scene and what is happening outside your image area.  This, added to the increase from 49 to 77 Phase Detection AF Pixels and the new camera is an auto focus monster.  Being able to move the focusing points with the joy stick is, as they say in the MasterCard commercials, “Priceless!”

 

(6.)  How useful is the Hybrid viewfinder?

 

This is a matter of what kind photography you do.  If you are a newspaper or magazine photojournalist or a street shooter, the optical viewfinder is an absolute must!  If you need to know what will enter your frame next, go and buy an X-PRO 2.  The view is breathtaking and I have to say that even though I really don’t need an optical viewfinder, I love it.  I still find the Electronic Viewfinder better for me because it shows what the final image will look like after you push the shutter release!  The magic, the majesty of mirror less is a new beginning for photographers like you and me!

 

(7.)  What are my feelings about overall Image Quality compared to the X-T1?

 

There is no question that the X-PRO 2 has raised the bar for image quality coming out of a Fuji X cameras.  I don’t think I could put a percentage on the improvement, but it is clearly a sizable step up!

 

(8.)  Does the X-PRO 2 elevate the Fuji X game?

 

You bet, and I can only hope and pray that the X-T2 whenever it comes, will have most of the advances included in the X-PRO 2.  The Fuji engineers have done themselves very proud with this one.

 

(9.)  Who needs the Fuji X-PRO 2? 

 

If you want the latest and greatest, you need it!  If you love rangefinders and want to take advantage of the incredible Optical Viewfinder order yours today!!!  If you love your X-T1 and prefer that style of camera, and might want to wait for the X-T2.  Just know you will be jealous of this sensor for a few months!!!

 

I went out this morning and tried to find a few things to test the camera on.  Here is what I have so far!

 

Acros Film Simulation ISO 400 – 23mm f 1.4 lens

 

The Historic Sander’s Cafe sign at the original Harlan Sanders restaurant.  223mm f 1/4 lens at f 11   ISO  1600

 

Old rusty Volvo at one of my favorite antique stores.   23mm f 1.4 f 8  –  ISO  400

 

Old passenger rail car door   23mm f 1.4 @ f 8  –  ISO 200

 

 

Brightly painted door and wall.  Velvia Film simulation  23mm f 1.4 @ f 8   ISO 400

 

 

L&N Railway painting on a brick wall in Corbin.   23mm f 1.4 @ f 8  –  ISO 400

 

Metal Indiana Pacers sign.  23mm f 1.4 @ f 8   –  ISO 400

 

So in summatioin, killer camera, many improvements, and if you are a Fuji X shooter, and need it’s special graces, order one today!!!

 

NEXT UP:  Side by side image quality and noise comparisons with the X-T1!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

 

 

 

 

 

21 Responses

  1. Bob says:

    As much as I love my XT-1 the X Pro -2 is very tempting. Something I haven’t read much about is how the optical viewfinder works with a long lens like the 90 or 50-140. Is it usable with these lenses?

    • Daniel Cabral says:

      I know there is a review that I have seen out there about your exact question. I do remember them saying that the Fuji x 56mm stretches the optical viewfinder to its limits. The 90mm, forget it. I would confirm that by Googling your question. This should not be surprising for those who shot film rangefinders. The longer lens would eventually invade the optical viewfinder of film rangefinders too, including medium formats, which is why you don’t see telephotos for some old rangefinders. That is just physics, not a defect.

  2. Bill Fortney says:

    It is, but anything longer than the 56mm the bright frame lines start to occupy a pretty small portion of the frame, for me I think the frame lines in the optical viewfinder are most useful from 16mm to 56mm. You may be o.k. To 90mm. But with the flick of a lever you are in the EVF which, of course gives 100% view on all lenses.

  3. Jim Goshorn says:

    Thanks for answering part of my button question. The other part was are the buttons better laid out so your fingers don’t feel as cramped to the point that you need to check what you are pressing?

    If you ant to use zooms, is it more practical to just use the EVF because too much of the lens is blocking the viewfinder?

    Have the color film simulations changed any with the newer processor and sensor?

    And the ultimate question: have you found a new toy for your bag? 🙂

    Thanks!

    Jim

    • Bill Fortney says:

      The buttons are spaced well, very ergonomic.

      Yes, for zooms I would stick with the EVF, anything with 62mm or larger filter size definitely appears in the lower right corner of the optical viewfinder!

      The film simulations seem the same to be, but the new added Acros B&W is really fantastic!

  4. Jerry R says:

    Bill,
    I have no need for the optical viewfinder, but the other features of the Pro 2 over the T1 look appealing. How does the image look through the Pro 2 versus the T1? Is it a smaller size and if so is that significant? Would I see any difference in doing landscape photography? I don’t like using the LCD to shoot.

    Also – Bessie & I have attended several of your workshops with Jack Graham. Wanted to let you know that Bessie, after 63 years of marriage, has passed away suddenly at 81 and without warning. Hope to see you at another workshop when I get my act together.

    Jerry R

    • Bill Fortney says:

      The EVF has slightly less magnification that the X-T1, in practical terms they are about the same!

      Jerry, so very sorry to hear that, you will be in my prayers!

    • Richard Browne says:

      Jerry –

      I had the pleasure of sharing time with you and Bessie at the Mt. Rainier workshop last August. I’m so sorry to hear of Bessie’s passing. She was a delightful woman; I know you’ll miss her greatly. My thoughts and prayers go out to you.
      Rick Browne

  5. Jerry R says:

    Bill,

    In the above post I, obviously, was referring the the EVF

    Jerry R

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  7. Jim Erickson says:

    Bill, thanks again for your take on new Fuji equipment. Although in your opinion the optical view is less than steller with longer lens, it seems to me if I was shooting a bird in flight, a basketball player driving to the bucket, a motocross rider hitting a jump, having the big view, and relying on the zone or wide focusing abilities of the new X-Pro2, especially in One of the burst modes, the hit ratio should be pretty strong. Not sure how long you get to keep the camera but hope you really might be able to test that scenario.

    Now that you’ve seen been able to test both the camera and the new 100-400 zoom, with a limited budget which one would you do first? Got a feeling like so much in photography, “It just depends on _____________!”

    Thanks,
    Jim Erickson

  8. Ron M says:

    Hi Bill,

    thanks for the excellent feedback. I don’t anticipate buying a PRO2. I love the retro SLR style of my XT-1 too much, I will wait for the XT-2 (BTW, the retro style to me, makes more sense from an ergonomic standpoint. I never have liked the single dial / menu approach to camera control that virtually all DSLRs use) For me, the only thing that I think the XT-1 is lacking is the buttons are too small / too recessed (and I have average sized hands, and I dont want to go the sugru route) In colder weather using gloves can be a problem with the XT-1. So I hope you will (I’m sure you will) tell fuji to make the XT-2 buttons / 4 way controller and joy stick on the XT-2 like the PRO2. Obviously I am awaiting the sensor upgrade in the XT-2 as well.

    Thanks again for the review!
    Ron

  9. Mac says:

    Great review! Mine is pre-ordered with the fujinon 35mm WR! The xpro2 convinced me to take the leap into a rangefinder style system that is way more affordable than Leica monochrome

  10. I was in Portland today and saw the 100-400 at Pro Photo Supply. Heavy, appears well built and surprisingly big — in fact, we stood it next to the Canon 100-400 and the Fuji was larger. That’s a bit disappointing because I want as much portability as possible. This will also mean going back to a more sturdy bullhead. It looks like I’d need an Arca Swiss plate of at least two inches and I picked up a three inches so I can use it when mine arrives.

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