Welcome to my review of the Fujifilm X-Pro2, the first Fujifilm camera I have ever owned. This is by no means a technical or in depth review, just a few thoughts of the things I love and don’t love about the camera. I am more focusing on usability and how it sits in the Fujifilm camera product lineup. For details about the sensor, dynamic range and processor, there is plenty of reviews out there on the web. I have added some of my first photos taken with the camera when I travelled to Croatia and Montenegro.
Some of the things I DO love about the X-Pro2
A unique and beautiful camera
I never had an attachment to my old canon gear, the camera was functional but ultimately looked like all other DSLRs, yes picking a camera because of its looks would be silly but the looks of this camera is what first caught my eye and interest. In my opinion it’s even better looking than its more functional brother the XT-2. It’s also great standing out from the crowd, when in NYC or in the middle of Iceland and every photographer standing there with there massive DSLR’s or Sony’s, I just sit there quietly happy with my beautiful and unique camera.
The other amusing scenario which has happened to me a few times is fellow photographers asking me “is that a leica?” Now, I can’t take the necessary pictures of the camera to do it justice, but I know someone that can, go and see Jonas Rask’s article on the X-Pro2 and the pictures of the camera. In my opinion he takes the most beautiful photos of camera gear out there.
Intuitive user experience, simple controls and tactile feel
I never realised how quickly I got used to the camera or how great it feels until I was at a wedding and a fellow guests handed me his Canon 5D MK3. I actually couldn’t use it (even though I owned the camera 3 years ago), it just didn’t feel right, it was also just so intuitive and easy to use, you don’t need modes, just set shutter speed dial to auto, ISO to what you like and change the aperture on the lens and boom! Aperture priority. Change shutter and set aperture to auto and boom! Shutter priority. Another advantage of physical dials is the ability to when the camera is off, check or set the settings for your next shot or location. BRILLIANT!
Size obviously matters
Fair enough! If you don’t have the image quality, then it’s hard to justify the trade off for size, but honestly I feel like the IQ of the X-Pro2 is as good if not better than my old Canon 5D Mark 3, maybe it’s just I shoot more or I find it easier to use the X-Pro2, but I just love the size of this camera, its not too small, not too big, it feels great. I just couldn’t be bothered taking my big DSLR out and about or travelling around the world, it really put me off. I don’t think i could ever go back. When I look at the GFX or X-H1 I still would take my X-Pro2 over them.
Granted, this applies to all Fuji cameras, but it really is amazing that Fuji updates their cameras with firmware updates even when the camera is a few years old. So how about this one… 1080p video at launch, 1 year later and I have 4K! What the hell?!! Yep Fuji never ceases to amaze or how about this... adding the ability to set your shutter past 30 seconds without a shutter release cable or bracketing up to 9 images instead of just 3, these are all feature upgrades that I have experienced so far and fujirumours.com have mentioned many more to come.
Some of the things I DON'T love about the X-Pro2
No Articulated screen/Portrait Mode
Now you could argue, I knew what I was getting into as the X-Pro2 did not advertise or claim to have this type of screen but when I tried the X-T2 out in the field I really want one on my X-pro2, it really is handy for landscapes or just when you need to get low. The other issue with the screen is no portrait mode like the X-T2. It’s so nice to review your portrait photos at full screen in portrait mode. Maybe a future firmware update Fuji? Pretty please?
Not impressed with EVF compared to XT2 and other cameras
Another one which you could argue I knew what I was getting into but I don’t use the OVF so the EVF is my go to view. The EVF is good but then since using X-T2 EVF and the Sony A7 EVF, they were just so good, not just the quality of it but the size and comfort looking into those viewfinders is just heads and shoulders above the X-Pro2. Look the X-Pro2 is no slouch and adequate it’s just not as good as what else is out there.
No locking Exposure Compensation button
This one sometimes drives me nuts and isn’t a big deal if you are careful but the exposure compensation dial moves way too easy and too frequently. A little lock mechanism would of been great. There has been countless times I forget to check and start shooting before realising the exposure compensation has moved.
Poor battery life
This is a mirrorless trait but the battery life is pretty poor, I guess I got used to my DSLR where I didn’t need more than 1 extra battery, I have 3 extra batteries for the X-Pro2 and if I am shooting for a day with heavy use i’ll go through 3 batteries. I am not convinced also by the claims about how many frames you can capture on one battery.
Thanks for listening to some of my thoughts, all in all I love this camera and could mention so many other things I love or do the camera more justice talking about the colours, IQ and dynamic range, but no doubt if you come across this article you have already read so many other great reviews that cover this.