The Value of Ergonomics…..

4 years, 5 months ago 10



A very common question I get is, should I get camera A or camera B?  My most common answer is what do you plan to do with the camera?  What kinds of subjects do you shoot, do you shoot action, and sports, do you shoot close-ups, do want a lighter camera and lenses for travel and convienence or do you prefer a heavier camera and lenses?  Answering those questions will lead you to the kind of camera and the major specifications it will need to meet.


After we narrow down the type of camera and what it’s capabilities are,  I ask the most important question of all!!!  How does it feel in your hands, how comfortable are you operating the major controls?  I am a big believer that the more natural a camera feels to you, the better you will use it.  The point is to get so used to the camera that it is second nature to you and you stop thinking about the camera and start thinking about the light and the subject.


I have been using both the Fujifilm X PRO2 and the new X-T2.  They are both incredible cameras and can make almost identical images.  They share the same X-Trans CMOS III, 24.3 mega pixel sensor and X Processor Pro CPU.  The both take the incredible Fujifilm XF Lens System.  In spite of how much heritage they share they are very different cameras, for very different users.  For that reason I have been struggling with which model I will make my main camera, I say main because I will own both, but one will be the most used, and thus will be the one that requires that I have two bodies in my travel system.  When working in the field I want to have two identical bodies that operate the same so my movement from one to the other is fluid and comfortable.


The images above and below show where the major controls, the ones you will use almost all the time, are located on each camera.  The ISO dial is integrated into the shutter speed knob on the X PRO2 and is on the opposite side on the X-T2.





In the illustration below you can see how much different the placement is of the, all important, focusing joy stick between the X-PRO2 and the X-T2.  I used the X-PRO2  for some time before I had an X-T2 to use. I got used to the location of the joystick on the X PRO2 first, and now that my thumb goes to that spot and it goes there every time, my muscle memory says the one on the X-T2 is in the wrong place.  If I had started with the X-T2 I might think the X PRO2  joystick is out of place.  Muscle memory is funny thing!  I like the feel of the X PRO2 best for my hands.



Another thing I like about the X PRO2 is that the preview arrow, for reviewing images, is on the right side with all the other major controls, on the X-T2 it is on the top left of the camera back, which for me is a less convenient location.  Not a big deal, but a deal none-the-less.  One other thing I like much better about the X PRO2 is the Exposure Compensation dial is easier to turn with just my thumb.  This is a really big deal for me, as my method of calculating exposure is to shoot in Aperture Priority mode and use the exposure compensation dial to make the scene lighter or darker until I see exactly how I want the final image to appear.  Having to use two fingers with the X-T2 knob breaks my normal way of working with the camera.  Is it a big deal? No, but I would have “much” preferred it be easier to turn on the X-T2.  Speaking of easier, I was one of the people that said the door covering the memory card slots needed a lock, well, I was wrong.  The friction operating system on the X PRO2 door works fine, it is a heavier, better made door than on the previous X-T1 and is much more convienent than the lock on the X-T2.  I find my self fumbling too much to get the X-T2 door open, but then again,  that could be my lack of dexterity!!  (once again, for me, this all personal opinion)!  One last thing, the option of the optical viewfinder on the X PRO2 is magical, it is truly wonderful when shooting primes in the 24mm to 85mm range!  I don’t use it as much as the electronic viewfinder, but it is a real joy when I do!


Is there anything about the X-T2 that I like better?  You bet, it has more capable auto focus, more frame rate, the electronic viewfinder has more magnification and is brighter.  The LCD folds out both horizontally and vertically, and I miss that on the X PRO2!!!!  Without the battery compartment the X-T2 is slightly smaller, which is either good or bad depending on the size of your hands, I prefer the slightly larger frame of the X PRO 2, personally.  The X-T2 benefits greatly from adding the battery grip, and I will very likely use mine with the grip to take advantage of the extra speed and longer battery life.  Adding the battery grip improves performance and makes the rig larger, which may, or may not, be your cup of tea….


I loved the X-T1 and said many times I did’t need anything better, but that was before I experienced the focusing joystick, the wonderful new sensor and the Acros monochrome settings!  Since I shoot film simulation in Velvia, Provia and Acros with a red filter all the time, I can’t go back!!!!


I still have not experienced the full production X-T2 so my final decision may be a few weeks away, but as of today I’m leaning towards a working system that will include two X PRO2 bodies and one X-T2 body with the battery grip, my faithful and much loved Graphite X-T1, a gift from a dear Fuji friend,  will bring up the rear!


Ergonomics is vital to me for a user camera and the X PRO2 is  sheer joy to hold and shoot!




the pilgrim

10 Responses

  1. Mike E says:

    While I realize that the “real estate” on the back of each type of camera body is different I also wish that the manufacturers could do a better job of providing a consistent user interface. My Canon bodies have the same issues you describe here. And while I have learned to adapt to the differences most of the time I still have problems when I first start using that particular body after a layoff and when i get excited about what I am shooting and try to rush things.

  2. Jim Goshorn says:

    I started with an X-E2 and it felt awkward to look through a rangefinder placement. Then I got an X-T1 and it felt more natural but the more I used it, the more I missed the button placement of the X-E2. Now I have an X-Pro2 and while the X-T’s are slightly better for viewing, the ergonomics for the controls are just better on the X-E’s and X-Pro’s.

    IMHO, I think 2 X-Pro’s and an X-T for the times you need it’s features is probably best overall. Of course, you just could get 2 of each and call it a tie 🙂

  3. pointreyes says:

    I recently purchased the 50-140 with 1.4x and 2.0xTC. I can handle this lens on the X-T1 with vertical battery grip because it just feels good in the hand. I have noticed that I use the thumb rest on the side of the camera more when carrying the camera/lens combo. It appears that the XP2 has that thumb rest but the XT2 does not.

    How does the XP2 with the 50-140 feel compared to the what you remembered the way it felt on the XT1?

    The joystick is a big thing to me. That was the one thing I missed switching from my Canon 5D to the XT1.

  4. Richard Browne says:

    The big difference in the two cameras that I suspect would affect me is the placement of the electronic view finder. I’m a left-eye shooter, so with the X-Pro2, the placement of the EVF to the left on the backside of the camera means my greasy nose with be stuck right in the middle of the LCD screen. However, on the X-T2, with the EVF more in the middle of the camera, my greasy nose will be more to the right of the LCD screen – perhaps even off the screen entirely. This makes a big difference to me. If the Fuji cameras had a rotating LCD screen (like my old Canon 60D has), then the screen could be rotated to a “closed” position and my nose would leave a grease spot on the blank back of the screen rather than on the front LCD portion. Given the Fuji set-up, I’m going with the X-T2.

  5. Bill, do you think the X-T1 L racket will fit the X-T2?

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