X-Pro2 Early Impressions

I feel the time is right to share my first impressions after nearly three weeks with the X-Pro2. The two of us have by now spent a fair amount of time in each other’s company, and we are comfortable enough to share our experience of our time together. So far we have done a few portrait sessions, long exposure, architectural and even sports.

We started out quite shy with each other and we were not seen together in public until I had equipped my new friend with a screen protector and the X-Pro2 metal grip. My hands are larger than average and I’m just not comfortable using any X-Series camera without the largest grip available.

This will be a fairly short review, only covering what I feel are the pros and cons of the X-Pro2 for the way I handle a camera and the type of photography I do. If you are looking for an in-depth technical review, this won’t be it and my advice is to take a look at dpreview for that. I mostly do street photography, portraits and long exposure of landscape or architecture.

Cons

Let’s start with the ‘bad’ stuff, and by bad I really just mean sub optimal. Call it nit picking if you will. Nothing I’ve experienced with the X-Pro2 has been bad so far. It will mostly be how the X-Pro2 compares to the X-T1, as that is the camera I have come to love after nearly two years of using it. And the X-T1 ticks pretty much all the boxes for me.

The Reset Bug – It did not take long after taking the X-Pro2 out of the box before all my custom settings, apart from the time and date, were reset to factory defaults. Not a big deal as I at that time did not have many changes. It has not happened since the first day that everything was reset, but I have more than once had the feeling a setting is suddenly different from what I thought I left it at. I am confident this will be fixed in a future release of the firmware, and the rumour is one is on the way. Fingers crossed.

The ISO Control – It looks fantastic and is a clever idea, but in practice I find it too fiddly to use and there is no way you can use it with one hand. I wish all the controls had the same feel as the exposure compensation button, which is firm enough not to move by accident but can easily be adjusted with your thumb.

Front and Rear Control Wheel – Flimsy and way too easy to move by accident, which surprised me as the X-Pro2 otherwise has a fantastic build quality. I seem to remember there was a similar problem with the X-T1 which was later fixed by Fujifilm. Hopefully, they will do that again.

The Diopter – The biggest offender by a large margin. The control is way too easy to move by accident. More than once have I put the camera to my eye only to think the X-Pro2 has lost the ability to focus. Hey, I panic easily and I do not need this kind of nonsense on such an expensive piece of equipment. The advice on the Internet seems to be to tape it into position, which is what I will end up doing as soon as I can get my hands on some nice black tape.

The EVF Size – In comparison to the X-T1 it feels tiny and I struggle to see all of it. Missed a couple of shots because of it. I do wear glasses which might make the problem worse. Having said that I do love to use the EVF and I have not used the LCD screen much with the X-Pro2 at all.

Format Shortcut – The menu claims you can open the format menu by pressing the centre of the rear command dial whilst pressing and holding the delete button. Very rarely can I get this to work. I’ve pretty much given up trying to use it and just use the regular menu option for format, which does require way too many clicks for such a commonly used operation.

Pros

Always good to end with the positive I think 🙂

Handling – The X-Pro2 feels amazing in the hand. Solid, dependable and hopefully indestructible. First time I took it out, my Canary Wharf waddle, I could  not believe how good it felt to use. A truly joyful experience. All the controls are on the right hand side of the camera within easy reach. I hope the X-T1 adopts some of the control placement of the X-Pro2.

Auto Focus – Holy moly this puppy is lighting fast. That’s all.

ACROS – This new film simulation is gorgeous, and it works for everything from portraits to architecture. Not looked at any RAW files at all since I started shooting with the X-Pro2 and ACROS.

The EVF – It is really fast in high performance mode. Made shooting sports much easier compared to with the X-T1 where I felt the lag made me miss some shots.

The LCD – Not checked this, but it must be of a higher resolution than the one found on the X-T1. Hopefully, I am not imagining the increased detail and how you can even use it in bright sunlight.

The Focus Joystick – Why every camera does not already have one of these is beyond me, but I am sure we will soon see these bad boys on cameras from other manufacturers. It just makes life so much easier for a photographer who likes to adjust the focus point instead of focus and recomposing.

Conclusion

The X-Pro2 is a fantastic camera, which brings a lot of excellent upgrades to the Fuji X Series. Fingers crossed we will see most of them in the X-T2. I have not even mentioned several other new improvements like the larger sensor, or the much improved ISO performance, or the custom menu. When it comes to portraits and street photography the X-Pro2 will from now on be my first choice, and I am sure we will have many great years together. But, yes there is a but, the lack of a tilting screen means it won’t work for everything I do. Luckily, The X-T2 will soon remedy that. Let’s just hope the two will get along together in my camera bag 🙂

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