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Fujifilm X-Pro2 | My Initial Thoughts On Fuji’s New Flagship Body

By Anthony Thurston on March 7th 2016

When Fuji first announced their X-Pro2 camera, you could almost hear the sighs of relief from the Fuji faithful who have been waiting to see what Fuji‘s next-generation sensor would hold.

I received my review sample of the X-Pro 2 last week, just a few days before they started shipping, and having had the weekend to play around with it pretty extensively, I am here today to share some of my initial thoughts.

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[RELATED: FUJI X-PRO 2 ANNOUNCED]

Initial Thoughts On Fuji‘s X-Pro 2

I would be lying if I said I was not incredibly excited to get a chance to review this camera. I absolutely loved my X-T1 before jumping ship over to Sony, and I have been patiently keeping an eye on what Fuji has been doing, just waiting for an excuse get back into their system.

The X-Pro 2 feels like a quality camera, but goodness this thing is lightweight. Even compared to my a7R II, I found myself surprised by just how light it is; especially with the lens that was provided for me to use with the X-Pro 2, the 27mm F/2.8.

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1/500th, ISO 200, F/2.8 – XF 27mm f/2.8 on Fuji X-Pro 2

 

I had forgotten just how beautiful the colors coming out of the Fuji are, and the X-Pro 2 is no different. Simply put, they are unmatched.

As far as the handling of the camera goes, I don’t have many complaints so far beyond a handful of things. First, the exposure compensation dial is a little too easy to bump in my opinion. In my shooting, I found that I was constantly having to check it to make sure that I had not bumped it and changed my exposure comp.

Similarly, the other dial that is a little too easy to bump (in my opinion) is the diopter for the viewfinder. There were a couple of times where I would pull the camera up to my eye and find that my entire display was not clear.

Beyond that, the buttons and dials all worked perfectly. I absolutely loved the 2-in-1 ISO/Shutter dial. It really gives off the vintage/retro feel that so many Fuji shooters love.

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1/500th, ISO 200, F/2.8 – XF 27mm f/2.8 on Fuji X-Pro 2

 

As part of this first weekend with the X-Pro 2, I was able to attend the season opener for the MLS defending champion Portland Timbers on Sunday. I did a rather rash thing and decided to shoot the match with only the X-Pro 2 and the 27mm F/2.8 (which gives roughly a 40mm FF equivalent field of view). I honestly was not expecting much, given the reputation mirrorless has for being less than ideal for sports.

Surprisingly, even with a very ‘non’ sports lens like the 27mm, the X-Pro performed admirably. Its 8 FPS max burst mode was plenty to capture the action (what little of it was close enough to me to be worth shooting), and the AF did a pretty good job of tracking subjects.

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1/1600th, ISO 200, F/2.8 – XF 27mm f/2.8 on Fuji X-Pro 2

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1/1000th, ISO 400, F/2.8 – XF 27mm f/2.8 on Fuji X-Pro 2

 

Both of the shots you see above are reactions from the Timbers players having just scored a goal. Now, I certainly would not recommend shooting sports with the XF 27mm if you can help it. I am sure that I would have had some much better shots had I had the 50-140mm with me. But given my limitations on gear for the shoot, I was really impressed with how the X-Pro 2 performed.

That said, it was not all rainbows and unicorns at the game. Being as I only had a review unit, I only had one battery, and before halftime, I was already getting the low battery warning. This meant that I was turning my camera off until I wanted to shoot (which worked thanks to the X-Pro 2’s incredibly fast boot up time). So, battery life is still a big issue for the X-Pro 2, unfortunately.

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1/1600th, ISO 200, F/2.8 – XF 27mm f/2.8 on Fuji X-Pro 2

 

There was also a few cases of the AF just totally missing; something that is fairly rare in my experience with shooting sports with DSLRs, but that said, overall, this was the best sports shooting experience I have had with a mirrorless camera yet.

A big part of that was thanks to the AF joystick which made it super easy to switch between focus points and honestly, it felt like I was using a DSLR. I absolutely love that feature.

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1/2500th, ISO 200, F/3.2 – XF 27mm f/2.8 on Fuji X-Pro 2

 

Overall, this first weekend with the X-Pro 2 has been a good one. I look forward to playing with it for a few more weeks before finishing up my review.

So far here is what I have liked and disliked about the X-Pro 2:

Like So Far

  • Colors
  • Dual ISO/Shutter Speed dial
  • AF joystick
  • AF tracking (Not perfect, but very usable)
  • Burst rate (8 FPS)
  • OVF overlay

DisLIKE SO FAR

  • Battery life
  • Exposure Comp dial
  • Diopter dial
  • EVF exposure
  • RAW performance in Lightroom is still less than ideal
  • OVF AF overlay is confusing at first

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The X-Pro 2 has begun shipping now from retailers all across the globe. If you are interested in picking one up for yourself, you can head on over to B&H here. As I mentioned in last week’s deal report, you can save $100 if you grab one with the 35mm F/2.

Before I go, here are a few more sample shots.

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I would love to answer some of your questions about the X-Pro 2 in my review, so if you have any concerns, thoughts, or questions about Fuji‘s latest flagship, please leave a comment below and I will try and answer as many of them as I can!

 

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

9 Comments

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  1. Dave Haynie

    I think at some point it may be useful to rate battery life in EVF-camera reviews, well, relative to other EVF cameras. Everyone knows that mirrorless cameras have terrible battery life compared to DSLRs. That’s never going to change.

    And so, at least for the full review, address that in multiple ways. How does that compare on the grand scale of EVF cameras. What can I do about it? Out of the box, my Olympus EM-5 Mark II has a nasty CIPA rating of 310 shots…. terrible compared to my Canon 6D’s 1050 shots. But after tweaking some power settings, it’s possible to get 500 shots. Add a battery grip, and now we’re at 1000 shots… and still smaller than the rather small-for-a-FF Canon 6D.

    Not for everyone, but battery life can be a BFD for some people. I think, if every mirrorless review had “TERRIBLE BATTERY LIFE” in big, bold, candy-like letters, no one would buy mirrorless. Make it useful.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Fair enough. I run with an A7R II as my primary rig, and even compared to that the X-Pro 2 seems to die much quicker. That said, I don’t have any hard numbers, but i’ll try to have some for my full review.

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  2. Jean-Francois Perreault

    Thanks for the initial thoughts! Can’t wait for the full review!

    I’m wondering which mode did you use in AF-C?
    Zone? Single Point? You talked about tracking which would suggest Zone AF but I’m not sure.

    Thanks!

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    • Anthony Thurston

      I actually used single point mostly, and moved it around with the new joystick

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    • Jean-Francois Perreault

      I’m always using Zone and I find it very so so. I see more and more people talking about Single Point and how good it is. I’m shooting/playing an Ultimate tournament next weekend, I’ll try my luck using Single Point and see if I get better results.

      Thanks again!

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  3. adam sanford

    Did the SLRL website blow up? A lot of pics in your story are very large and run off the screen to the right.

    (Nice writeup, Anthony.)

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