THE X FACTOR

Me and the X-Pro2 have been side by side for the last few months and it's proven itself to be quite a trusty companion.  It has the capacity to survive whatever you throw at it, regardless of the weather condition outside,  whether you just ate a greasy family sized bucket of KFC and forgot to ask for handwipes.  All without complaining. 

I won't go through all the tech 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 undeniably a 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, even for one handed use.  

  • 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, that 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.  The in camera Raw convertor is superb (with options to adjust highlights/shadows/WB before output).  Autofocus and camera responsiveness is also fast.  I was very impressed with the hit rate with the 8FPS as well, where fast action was captured and all the test shots were 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 Provia or Classic Chrome 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 WR 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.  Yes, I prefer the dial set up on the X-T series, but it's not a deal breaker.

  • The Shutter Sound - A bit trivial in most people's books but there is just something very addictive about the shutter sound on the X-Pro2, it's a very solid and reassuring clunk.  It's not overly loud like some cameras and it's not as muted as the one on the X-T2.   It's both authoritative yet soft but whatever it is, it's music to my ears.

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 adequately and it isn't by any means a small slippery 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 0f a 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.  Naughty Fuji.

  • Battery Life - You would think with all the technological marvels we are blessed with in this day and age, that they would have come up with an effective solution to 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 click-ety sound when it switches.  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.  Not enough to send an OCD-er off the bridge and it's certainly not on an iPhone 7 Jet Black sort of level, but still enough for you to notice.  I 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.  If you're not a fan of black or the gloss finish, there's always the mid cycle refresh colourway/finish to look forward to!

There is a certain appeal about the X-Pro2.   What I love most of all, is that it's not an example of what's in store for the future but more of a celebration of what classic cameras were like in the past.  From the layout of the camera buttons and dials, the exquisite robust rangefinder design to the magnificent optical viewfinder.  If you're looking for 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.