Me and the X-Pro2 have been side by side for the last few months and it's proven itself to be a trusty companion. It has the capacity to survive whatever you throw at it, regardless of what the weather condition is outside, whether you just ate a family sized bucket of KFC and forgot to ask for handwipes. All without complaint.
I won't go through all the specs as (A) I think you're more than likely clued up on those and (B) I'm not in a copy+paste kind of mood.
Instead here are a few of my favourite things and reasons why you may consider the X-PRO2. I've also included some things I don't like.
THINGS I LIKE:
- The Aesthetics - This is one beautiful camera. It's a rangefinder style and while not everyone will find it appealing, there's no arguing that it is very clean design with no visible humps like a traditional DSLR. There is no visible branding on the front, it comes in a lovely all black colourway, the top plate is clean and uncluttered and there are easy to access controls on the rear.
- The Joystick - this to me is a huge and significant improvement over the previous generation of FujiFilm cameras, such as the X-PRO1 and X-T1. It works like a charm, and feels very solid. The fact that you can also push in for a function is fantastic. It is very easy to move the AF point with the joystick when framing with the OVF/EVF eyepiece. It's essentially one of those things, once you start using it, you wonder why it wasn't there in the first place. Sure, you could probably live without it and use the D-Pad but it just helps make life easier.
- Image Quality - in a single word, superb. I think the 24MP and sensor combination is very good. Yes, if you want finer detail, then Full Frame options are better, this to me is the sweet spot amongst all other sensors and cameras out there. Images are very sharp, the tonality of the photos are amazing, the way the camera handles and processes those dark shadows and light is like no other camera. Autofocus and camera responsiveness is also fast. I was very impressed with the hit rate with the 8FPS as well, where action was captured and was tack sharp.
- Fujifilm Simulations - Fujifilm's has bought their wealth of experience in the film era to the digital age with their beautiful selection of film styles. Each has their own unique attributes, my go to simulation is Classic Chrome or Provia for colour and ACROS for black and white photography. These are Fujifilm exclusive simulations and what gives their images that 'special' type of pop and rendition that other manufacturers cannot match straight out of the camera.
- Weather Sealing - It's not until you are caught in the rain that you fully appreciate this feature of the camera (and selected lenses). All 3 lenses I have are WR, so it's a nice assurance that when that drizzle suddenly turns into a torrential downpour in a split second, and this happens more often than not in the UK, Fuji have you covered.
- New ISO Dial - Nothing much to say here, some don't like it, I do. Rather than have a separate dial, it saves space, is not at all unsightly and most importantly is easy to use. Some say it's a gimmick (usually those that are not X-Pro2 owners or have not used the camera for a long period), I disagree.
THINGS I DON'T LIKE:
- The Grip - My number one gripe with the camera is that there isn't really much to hold onto. Sure, it fits in the hand nicely and it isn't by any means a small camera but the ergonomics could have benefited greatly with a slightly larger grip point. I also understand that by having a larger grip, you would lose the rangefinder style every so slightly. And looks is to this camera, what lemon drizzle is to a lemon drizzle muffin! I just wish the designers could have given either a little bit more upfront or a little bit more at the back, as it is, it's not so dissimilar to a size 0 catwalk model. Now, Fuji do sell a hand grip (which proves they're aware of the issue), however as with the lens hood fiasco, they are grossly over charging for a bit of metal.
- Battery Life - You would think with all the technological marvels we are blessed with in this day and age, that they would have sorted out this age old issue by now. On average, you can get just over 300 shots with a full battery, depending on your shooting style. For reference, I use 'High Performance' mode, shoot with the EVF and I normally turn off the camera when not in use. It's not a huge issue though, as you can buy a spare battery but as I'm sure women of the world complaining about PE would pronounce - it would have been nice if it lasted a wee bit longer.
- OVF/EVF Sensor - This didn't annoy me at first but I came to realise when I first started holding the camera across my body with the camera on, is that the sensor would trigger the EVF when it touched my body and then back to the OVF when it wasn't. I wish there was a setting where you could simply choose EVF as the primary viewing mode so there isn't that annoying clickety sound when it switches (perhaps a good excuse to switch to the X-T2?). My workaround for this is to turn the camera off once I've taken a shot.
- Gloss Black - Personal preference but it would have been nice if the camera body was matte black, as the gloss finish is a little bit of a fingerprint magnet. Have to say, that I'm a big fan of the finish on the Sony A7 II and Panasonic GX8 and wish that Fuji had gone that route.
There is a certain appeal about the X-Pro2. It is, by and large, a professional grade camera, but one that is fit for all levels, whether you're looking for something to start with and grow into or whether you're a seasoned pro. The control dials and buttons are all well laid out and very clear and the camera body is solid, it's a very well built piece of kit. It won't be for everyone, but my best advice is to go to your nearest camera store and handle one for yourself, see how it feels in the hand, because at the end of the day, if you're looking something that takes good photos, the options are endless. If you're looking for something more, something with a certain je ne sais quoi, a certain X factor if you will, an emotional connection that will inspire you to just get out and shoot, then you just might be happy with an X-Pro2.