First Impresions: Fujifilm X-Pro 2

The day has finally arrived, the announcement of the new Fujifilm X-Pro 2. I remember it was almost a year ago when I was talking with the Fuji Guys in Vancouver and we were discussing the upcoming flagship camera. Greg told me that they wanted to get the camera right the first time so they were in no hurry to rush its release. I totally get it. Most brands’ flagship model rarely gets updated annually, and in some industries (like cars) they typically lose money on the flagship model. Fujifilm could not allow the X-Pro 2 to become insignificant within 1 year of release. It would have been easy for
Fujifilm to release the X-Pro 2 last year with parts-bin features from existing X series cameras. If all they did was throw in the existing hybrid EVF/OVF from the X100T, the upgraded firmware from the X-T1/X-T10, and throw in weather-sealing, the X-Pro 2 would have been released on time. This would have been a disappointment for many. The flagship should wow people. There should be significant upgrades to the body, sensor and processor. Has Fujifilm done it? Have they produced a camera worthy of being the flagship that will lead the rest of the X branded cameras? From my review of the pre-production X-Pro 2, the answer is a clear YES!

Everything about the new X-Pro 2 is new, and yet everything still feels familiar. If you have the original X-Pro 1, the new X100T or X-T1, you will quickly find your way through this new camera body. The button layout, the menus (sort of), the hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder, even the battery is the same from the original X-Pro 1. The new features and functions are reasonably easy to figure out, except for a few (like the new C mode on the exposure compensation dial). Let’s list a few of the significant features on the new X-Pro 2:

All new 24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor 
All new X Processor Pro image processing engine
All new Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder with bright line simulation in OVF mode
All new shutter with 1/8000th sec top mechanical shutter speed an 1/250 flash sync
Intelligent Hybrid Phase detect AF with group-able 273 selectable AF points
All new 3″ 1.62 million dot rear LCD
Dual SD card slot with custom save mode
14 Bit RAW with lossless compression, in camera processing, as well as uncompressed
All new integrated ISO dial within the shutter speed dial
Rugged metal construction with weather sealed body while retaining a threaded shutter button
Addition of ACROS film simulation and film grain simulation

Although these are the main features of the new X-Pro 2, it is not the sum of all these bullet points that makes a great camera. It is the way that Fujifilm integrated these features into a familiar shooting style and eco-system that makes this camera great. The only feature that I did not include is the new menu system, which includes a customizable MY MENU. I found I got lost but it is all new so my verdict is not yet out on it. I quickly set my Fn buttons, Q menu and MY MENU with my go-to features so I didn’t have to spend 5 minutes looking for something as simple as reformatting my card or changing from JPEG to RAW. At the same time, there was a firmware update during the time I had the preproduction camera, so I know something like the menu system can easily be changed or upgraded. 

Another point is that my camera is pre-production so I could not try all the new features. RAW files could only be processed in-camera, and some features were not yet activated with the pre-production firmware. Because of this, the image quality is not final and I am not able to post full resolution images taken with this camera. I did however run some JPEG tests comparing the X-Pro 2 with the Leica SL, Sony A7 and other full frame cameras. The X-Pro 2 is the best performing APS-C sensored camera on the market, and I would argue can keep up with many current full frame sensored cameras.

I will be receiving my full production model of the X-Pro 2 at the end of the month. At that time I will be able to conduct some full tests so please stay tuned here on my blog or on my YouTube channel. For now, here is my YouTube video impressions of the new X-Pro 2 where I go more in depth with my thoughts about this new flagship camera. Enjoy the posted images and happy shooting.

from left: X-Pro 1 w/XF 35WR, X-Pro 2 w/XF35 WR, X-T1 w/XF35mm f/1.4

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