Fuji X-Pro2: All Your Questions, Answered
After years of waiting, the Fuji X-Pro2 is finally shipping. Want some F-Y-I before your B-U-Y? I have been shooting with a pre-production unit since October, and have a pretty good feel for its strengths and weaknesses.
Below are the questions and answers from a Twitter AMA (Ask Me Anything) about the new flagship camera. Scroll down for your questions — all of them, edited only for clarity — and my answers. If you're on the fence, hope it helps.
Fuji X-Pro2 AMA
How fast does it autofocus compared to say, a Nikon D700? not expecting as fast but hoping it's close.
I've never used a D700. So I can't say which is "real-world" (as opposed to the specs) faster. But having used Nikon and Fuji at length now, I would tell you that they are very different. Using an electronic viewfinder (EVF) is different from optically-based DSLRs. There is a learning curve. You shoot differently, I think.
That said, my focus batting average has gone *way* up since I switched to Fuji/EVF. I'm talking 56mm f/1.2 wide open at near 100%. You are working right off the chip — there is no optical chain disconnect. I used to have "tweak" settings in my D3 for various lenses, to "adjust" the offset. That seems laughable now.
Can you set the spot-metering point to follow the focus point as you move it around?
Is it as quiet as the X100T?
Yes. In fact it can be set to silent with the electronic shutter option. Not "less noise." Silent. Like, "pin-drop" silent. The only wisp of a sound is (as far as I can tell) are the aperture blades.
This is not a gimmick, it's a Godsend. If you have an X100T (or firmware-updated X-T1 or X-E2) try it out.
You said the first X-Pro was not good for glasses-wearers. How does this compare?
Better, but not ideal. Better in that there is a varible diopter. But not ideal in that the eye relief is not optimal for eyeglass wearers. And since this is not a problem in the X100 series, I am guessing it has to do with the focal length of the OVF, and/or the lens frameline tracking (which is totally rad, BTW.)
Is it fine for you it has no flash?
Yes. It's a pro-level camera. A Nikon D5 costs $6500 and does not have a pop-up flash. My X-E2 has a pop-up flash and I do not even think I have used it yet. If I plan to use flash on something, I am not thinking "pop-up."
[What are] some flashes/lenses you prefer over others on X-Pro2?
My go-to lenses are:
• 18-55 The kit zoom (and I say that ironically, as it is a great lens).
• 35/1.4: backup to middle of the kit zoom's range when traveling light, 2 stops extra speed, sharp even wide open)
• 14/2.8: 21mm equivalent wideangle, very small, very light, very sharp — and rectilinear.
Not fantastic. The camera has a big engine (new processor: processor is 4x as fast as previous generation) and the same size gas tank as other ILC models. (I.e., same batteries as the other Fuji interchangeable lens cameras.)
But as someone who shoots with several Fuji ILC's, I'm cool with the tradeoff, which is the convenience of battery compatibility. And Fuji-X batteries are small and cheap. So to me it is not a problem. You can get a Fuji batt for $48 but you can get two third party batts and a spare charger for $24.
They are small enough to be super-easy to carry in your pocket, too. Two will fit in a ThinkTank card wallet:
Is it good?
Okay, I made a commitment to answer every Q in the Twitter AMA. So let me say this. I admire the obvious thought that went into this question, and the resulting depth you achieved. I am gonna answer and say "yeah."
Is this THE ONE for wedding photographers who love Fuji?
There is no The One. Never will be. Always something better coming along next year. It's the way of the world. But among Fuji X-cameras, this is absolutely the best body for weddings (paired with an X100T, IMO).
In terms of electronic shutter mode, and great low-light work, X-Pro2 would be a fantastic camera for the ceremony. If you want more detail from someone who shoots nothing but Fuji and does weddings, look into a guy in the UK named Kevin Mullins. He's a far better proxy than am I.
Do you restrict yourself to wider lenses because of the parallax issues in the optical viewfinder?
Hmm. If you mean baseline/focusing accuracy issues as with Leica M and longer lenses, there is none of that. Even in OVF mode, the focusing is being confirmed on the chip.
As for parallax, that is more of a closeup thing than a focal length thing. And Fuji has OVF close-up correction (including focus point) built into all of its OVF-enabled cameras.
By default this is turned off in the camera, so you have to turn it on. For the life of me, I cannot see why you would ever want this turned off. Works well. Use it.
What one feature surprised you most and what missing feature (if any) disappointed you most?
I had no idea Acros (the new B&W film sim) was coming and that has turned out to be pretty sweet. But the focus point joystick nub (which also surprised me) was even better. I lurrrrve that focus nub.
As for missing feature, as an eyeglasses wearer, I'd have to say eye relief. But I know it was a design/engineering choice. Le sigh.
Can you please compare AF speed and accuracy in lower light environments against Nikon DSLRs and X-T1?
Again, depends on the camera (Nikon D5? D300?) and the situation. I think the biggest hurdle for people going form DSLR to EVF is the difference in the way they work. In varying situations, one will be better than the other. But for me, EVF shooting has been a godsend.
What is your opinion the sensor? Also, what software do you use to process?
It's an X-Trans III. I love the non-Bayer array X-Trans I and II, so this is even better: low light, speed, resolution, you name it. (Non-Bayer, BTW, means no need for an image-fuzzying low-pass filter.)
As for processing, Fuji gives really good (and controllable) files right out of the camera, so I, a) shoot jpeg 95% of the time, and b) spend a lot less time in post. But my post processing software is Photoshop CS3. From 2006. Does what I need and Adobe does not send the goons to my door every month to demand the rent:
What's your favourite update from the original?
Hooboy, where to start. Technically, there have been so many interim updates between the now ancient-feeling X-Pro1 and the X-Pro2 that it is like a whole new camera. So I guess the pat answer would be "better, faster everything."
But gun to my head, single latest update? The focus nub.
Is the Autofocus “there” yet?
There? What does that even mean? What's the sound of one hand clapping?
It's fast. It's different than SLR - some advantages, some disadvantages. For me, a higher batting average and lower frustration. For action sports shooters, maybe the reverse.
But as for EVF, if I could ship my PhaseOne to Will it Blend and Fuji would send me an EVF medium format camera tomorrow as a result, I'd blend the Phase in a heartbeat. The Phase has a beautiful chip, but it should ship with a focus-bracketing feature. SMH.
Could this be used as a sports camera?
Action? Night time? We're still waiting on glass, I think. Also, I think DSLR marries to sports better than does mirrorless/EVF. For now, at least.
But, say, birding or wildlife shooting? I think the X-Pro2 and the new 100-400mm (150-600mm equiv.) might be *the* combo in the world right now. Light, sharp, long reach, variability, five stops (five stops!) of stabilization.
Do you think it's worth the extra cost over the heavily discounted X-Pro1?
Apples to oranges. X-Pro2 is more than 3X the cost of X-Pro1 now. The better choice if economics are driving is X-Pro1 vs X-E2/s. And I would go for the X-E2s if money permits. If money is tight, go X-E2 (only if discounted as compared to the X-E2s, or used). In so many ways, X-E2/s is a better body than X-Pro1 now. Not as rugged, and no OVF. But better in most every other way.
Waxy skintones fixed in jpeg?
Not a problem I have experienced. Looking it up, I see that it is mostly a [high-ISO + noise reduction] thing. If I shoot high ISO, I generally do not do use noise reduction.
What is your first lens choice for shooting an infant in low light? Second lens choice?
Easy: 35/1.4. But be on your belly, down with them. Get into their world.
Second choice: also 35/1.4.
The body covering: more like x100t and x-e2? Or like xt-1 and x-t10? Rubber or PU leather etc.?
Solid, very grippy, good balance of classic lines and ergonomics. Feels hefty (magnesium frame) which helps for the grip, but extra weight is a downside if you are carrying it for 10,000 miles vs. an X100T. Still, a godsend vs. a full-size DSLR. Exterior feels more like X-T1, but stronger ergonomics. Grippy/sticky where it needs to be.
How about side usb/etc. door. Is it plastic or still rubber that will bulge after some time like on the X-T1? Thanks!
Flush, tight, secure-feeling. Not rubber - plastic. Not going anywhere or bulging.
Big design change to move buttons to right of screen. Any thoughts on how that helps? Muscle memory, etc?
THIS IS A BIG DEAL. Fuji is in the midst of both design evolution and design confluence across X-cameras and the work is really bearing fruit.
New button layout means this: YOU NEVER HAVE TO TAKE YOUR EYE AWAY FROM THE FINDER (WHICH, REMEMBER, CAN SHOW YOU YOUR PHOTOS) TO ADJUST ANYTHING.
Once you memorize the button functions (most of which are custom-settable) it's no-look intuitive. It's sweet.
How intuitive (or not) is the ISO/SS dial to use while not looking at it?
It's a dial. Which means fast, positive changes. But get this: when you change the dial (shutter speed or ISO) it updates real-time in the finder. So again, fast as a no-look pass from Magic Johnson back in the day. IMO, the perfect combo of tradition and tech.
Should I sell my Nikon gear for an X-Pro2 outfit? Zooms or primes?
No. I do not think you should sell your Nikon gear and go all Fuji. It's an abrupt change. Better to dip a toe in the waters and test it out for awhile first.
That's Nick Nolte, as photojournalist Russell Price, in the excellent 1983 movie Under Fire. Russell is pretty accurately kitted out for a PJ in his day: Nikon SLRs and a Leica M as an add-on. Both platforms have different strengths, which is why many photojournalists (myself included) swung both ways back then.
That's how I feel about Nikon/Canon vs. Fuji. So here's what I suggest: instead of switching whole hog, get an X100T (or a used X100S if money is tight—but pass on the original X100) and explore the differences in Fuji X before you divorce your Nikons. That's what I did.
Worst case: you will have saved yourself a lot of trouble of changing back. And you can always sell the X100/t/s on eBay if it is not for you.
Middle case: you won't end up switching whole hog, but the X100/t/s will be super useful in certain situations (just like the Leica was). In the Fuji's case: dead quiet, all kinds of Fuji films embedded (a super cool thing that does not get nearly the attention it deserves, IMO) and a leaf shutter. If you are a regular reader of this site, you know just how fantabulous a leaf shutter is.
Best case (for Fuji, anywhay): you find yourself using the "backup" X100/s/t more and more, and the Nikons start collecting dust. Then you look back three years later and realize the last three bodies and seven lenses you purchased for yourself were all Fujis. Now you gotta figure out how to best dispose of a closet full of Nikon gear.
(AKA, what happened to me.)
Followup Q: Would be replacing Nikon D300. Thinking primes for faster glass and rangefinder aesthetic.
Deep breath. Don't force the switch. Grab an X100/s/t and let it pull you over. Or not. Wait and see.
Are you able make a comparison to the X-T1? Is it an upgrade?
Oh yeah. Bigger chip, faster processer, new film sim, better controls.
That said, completely different form factor built around the same (look of) chip and the same lenses. So the X-T1 might be a better fit for you, depending on your preferred form factor. But the color is consistent across the two, so the X-T1 could serve as a perfect, familiar, consistent backup to an X-Pro2.
And I love the fact that I can change platforms (SLR-ish to rangefinder-ish) while keeping an consistent chip, using the same lenses, and the same spare batteries.
Any learning curve issues for someone with X100S jumping to the X-Pro system?
If you are using an X100S you already speak the language. You'll just find more features, more pixels, more ruggedness. There's better OVF on the X-Pro2. The user interface is still evolving, so there are some differences. But it will be quite familiar.
But since the chip is color-consistent and the controls are familiar, the two bodies co-exist very nicely together. I would not worry about that at all.
Mine is on order. Does the focus point shift automatically when you shit camera from landscape to portrait?
[Note: I edited the questions only for clarity, and to clean up Twitter shorthand and fat-finger flubs. But the typo in the question above was too good to correct.]
No, but that's a damn good idea. Ideally, I think it should be user-selectable in the menu, would you agree? And yes, I have already passed that idea on to Fuji.
Is this a practical camera for food photography? I tend to get messy on shoots and need something I can clean and can keep up.
Gosh, I dunno. Are you dunking the cameras in soup? I mean, it's weatherproofed, okay. And I think the way Fuji does color would work well with food, as would an EVF. But there are no tilt/shift lenses yet, which could limit you if you are really into the orientation of the plane of focus and do a lot of close-ups.
Would you say this camera offers more freedom than say, Canon?
Freedom? Freedom from what? Lugging DSLRs around? Yes. Freedom from bracketing your focus while quietly cursing under your breath? Yes. Freedom from gratuitously smartass bloggers snarkishly answering your demonstrably obtuse question? No, not that. That freedom will never be yours to cherish.
Does Fuji XPro 2 need higher shutter speed for sharp handheld images to compensate for 24Mpx like my Nikon D750 over D700?
Interesting question. Not sure. My guess is, that's probably physics coming after us for eating from the Tree of Pixel Density. But I will say this: you know how you need to lock the mirror up for maximum sharpness in an SLR? There is no mirror flopping around in an X-Pro2, ever. So you got that going for you, which is nice.
I would LOVE a feature-by-feature walk through video like you did for the 100s.
Similar to others: how does it compare to XT1 + X100T? Feel, shooting experience, AF, quietness, Image quality?
Feel: more rugged build.
Shooting experience: everything is faster.
AF: The AF is fast AF.
Quietness: If you want quiet, switch to electronic shutter mode. (Silent.)
Image quality: Same as X-T1, but less noise and ~50% more pixels.
Do you know if there are any grips available yet for the X-Pro2? I have one for the X-Pro1 and the X-E2.
Coming, but not sure if they are shipping yet. Saw them in Japan and Dubai. Consistent with other Fuji grips. But try the X-Pro2 first without it, to see if you even need a grip. I felt it was fine, stock. It is beefier than the other X-cameras and very grippy on its own.
So there, AMA asked and honestly aswered. I hope it helped.
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