After my Complete switch from Fuji to Sony last year, I had the chance (thanks to Fuji Lebanon) to test the Fuji X-Pro 2 , with XF35/2R WR , and I borrowed the XF56/1.2R and XF50-140/2.8 R LM OIS WR from a friend to complete the test – as I don’t have any Fuji item left in my closet, not even an extra battery.
Well, shooting with the X-Pro 2 reminded me a lot of my good old days with the X-Pro 1. I always loved the shooting experience with the X-Pro 1. It handles well in my hands, it doesn’t have the cumbersome dials of the X-T1, plus, and this is the most important part for me: it has the magical Hybrid VF. In a previous post, I talked about my X-Pro 2 wishlist Most of my wishes came true today, except very few. Now the X-Pro 2 is a maturing X-Pro 1. It is almost a complete camera today, with very fast AF performance, weather sealing body, double SD card slot, etc….
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THE X-PRO 2:
- 24MP Sensor: Higher Resolution is always a good thing when it is not too high.
- 1/8000s Mechanical shutter and 1/250s Flash Synch: It was about time after the many X bodies with the older 16MP sensor.
- AF speed : This is the most important improvement on the X-Pro 2. It focuses very fast, It focuses a bit faster than the Sony A6000 in low light conditions. In Good lighting conditions, The 2 years old A6000 still focuses faster. AF tracking is excellent. it has a 10/10 or in the worst conditions a 9/10 success rate.
- Improved Hybrid VF : This is mainly what makes the X-Pro line up a very unique camera. For me, Fuji is equal to X-Pro, whether it was a 1 or 2.
- The Joystick control for AF points : Very Well Implemented. This is a very useful well designed control. Congrats. With this joystick one can control Focus points faster than on a Nikon DSLR.
- The dedicated Metering button : This is one control that i personally like a lot.
- Improved High ISO performance in RAW. One of the things that annoyed me in previous X cameras was the 6400 ISO limitations in RAW. This is fixed now, finally.
- The ISO Dial : Much better than that on the X-T1. Although it needs some getting used to.
- Classic Chrome Film Simulation profile: I am not a fan of Fuji colors. The Classic Chrome Film simulation is the one i like the most.
- The Manual Focus Aids: Focus peaking is improved, it’s not as perfect as the Focus peaking on Sony cameras, but it works fine. Split screen Manual Focus works great. Actually i prefer to manual focus with the Split Screen feature than the Focus peaking on the X-Pro 2.
- Body feels robust and very well finished and it’s still lightweight in my hands: Handling the XF50-140/2.8 was great. the extra width of the body compared to X-T 1 adds to the comfort of handling larger lenses.
- Uncompressed RAW: Thank you Fuji.
- Larger Buffer: That’s a big improvement over the X-T1.
- Fuji Lenses: Maybe the most viable argument for having a Fuji system today is the excellent line up of lenses they have. I never tried any Fuji lens that I was not happy with.
- Video Performance: No more hunting in AF Video. a bit slow, but smooth AF acquisition while recording video. I have read that the FW of the X-Pro 2 can support 4K, but Fuji won’t give us this option in the near Future. i bet many are interested in 4K video for different purposes. Panasonic are already working on 6K and 8K video. So Please Fuji give us the 4K video feature in future FW updates, for those who want it.
WHAT I DON’T LIKE ABOUT THE X-PRO 2:
- Inconsistent Metering: especially when using Spot Metering. This is very annoying when you can’t expect how the camera will Meter. Nikon and Sony metering is by far better and more consistent.
- Electronic Glitches: Fuji always had some electronic glitches that needed several Firmware updates in order to be fixed. So I believe upcoming Firmware Updates will fix most of the glitches. I had a preproduction camera and in 3 days of usage it asked me to turn off the camera and turn it on again more than 10 times.
- No Tilt Screen: Fuji claims this is a Professional (or semi professional) camera and professionals don’t need a Tilt screen. We are in 2016 today, I can’t understand why a mirrorless camera can skip having a very useful Tilt screen for low angle shooting. If some Professional photographers don’t need it, they can simply not tilt it ! Let the ones who need it , enjoy it.
- Multi Exposure is still limited to 2 Exposures only. Even my pocketable Ricoh GR can do better than that.
- No Live View Bulb Mode : As far as I know only Olympus has this great and useful features for long exposures.
- Setting Limitations : Fuji has a lot of setting limitations. In order to shoot higher than 12,800 ISO, one should disable the Electronic shutter. If you want to use a flash, You should disable the Silent Mode, and the list is long. Please Fuji, spare us those limitations in the future. You gave us a fast AF (for a change), give us a fast Work Flow.
- Price: Well here is the deal breaker for me. at 1700$ I find the X-Pro2 very expensive today. I know that the X-Pro 1 was launched at the same price. But back then, Sony didn’t have a sub 500$ powerful A6000, a better featured A6300 at 1,000$ , or an equivalently priced FF A7II. On papers, the A6300 has better specs in almost every aspect, maybe except the 1/8000s shutter. I think that the X-Pro 2 should have been priced at about 1,200$ Max, if they want or care about competing with Sony. I give 200$ more for the Hybrid VF. Although the A6300 should be better in AF, Tracking, video (it has 4K video), It has a Tilt screen, etc…
AF tracking with XF50-140/2.8 and the XF56/1.2
I did some AF tracking tests with X-Pro 2 and 50-140/2.8 and 56/1.2, 5 sets in Total. I would say that the X-Pro 2 tracks very well with both lenses.
Here is a set with XF50-140/2.8
You can check my AF Tracking album on Flickr HERE
Comparing it to Sony A6000 (& A7rII)
High ISO performance compared to A6000 and A7rII : Here are some quick shots taken handheld with X-Pro 2 with XF35/2, A6000 with 35/2.8ZA and A7rII with 55/1.8ZA , all at ISO 6,400. I will leave the conclusion for you.
You can check my Comparison Album between X-Pro 2, A6000 and A7r II HERE
AF speed compared to A6000 : In my tests, X-Pro 2 AF speed was on Par with the 2 years older, sub 500$ A6000. It might focus a bit faster than the A6000 is low light. But in good lighting situations, I would say that the A6000 is still a winner, by a slight margin. I wonder how the X-Pro 2 will stand against the new faster A6300.
Comparing it to Nikon Df
This was a great concern for me, comparing the X-Pro 2 with 50-140/2.8 vs Df with 70-200/2.8VRII. I wanted to see how the Fuji will Auto Focus in Low light against the Nikon. Fuji did well in the test. AF acquisition was fast enough in the dark. I would say it performed very close to the Df. As I don’t have the X-Pro 2 RAW converter yet, I posted some handheld jpeg shots, SOOC, at ISO 12,800 taken with the two combos at very low speeds: You can imagine how dark was the setup for these shots.
One advantage of the Fuji was the IOS on the 50-140/2.8. It seemed to me that the stabilization of the Fuji is a bit better, mainly due to the lack of mirror and weight difference. You can see that the Fuji AWB performed better than the Nikon AWB. Just a reminder this is a jpeg comparison. I believe that Noise and WB of the Raw Files is in favor of the Nikon. But then again, I might be wrong.
You can check my Complete Comparison between X-Pro 2 with XF50-140/2.8 and Nikon Df with 70-200/2.8VRII HERE
my Conclusion :
The X-Pro 1 matured, a lot. The X-Pro 2 is almost a complete APS-C cam today. Fuji should work more on their Electronic glitches, and adjust their Metering performance. And Of course Fuji should rethink their pricing strategy. Their competitors are Sony A6300 and other APS-C or M43 cameras. They should not think that their competitors are other Full Frame cameras. Those who want a Full Frame camera will not buy a Fuji. Those who want a cropped sensor, Fuji is one of the best choices available today, if they rethink their prices.