Review Date: May 24, 2016
Category: Advanced Amateur to Pro
Photoxels Editor’s Choice 2016 – Mirrorless
This Fujifilm X-Pro2 Review is based on a production model. All sample images are unretouched, except where specified.The Fujifilm X-Pro2 is a mirrorless rangefinder-styled camera that recaptures for those who have experienced it before with film SLR cameras the essence of photography. Contrary to camera designs that shout how sophisticated they look, the X-Pro2’s design is understated but in an elegant way.
The X-Pro2 does not brandy its pedigree on the front, yet is instantly recognizable. It would have no trouble being admitted in many venues where DSLRs may not be allowed, yet underneath its magnesium alloy and weather-resistant body lies Fujifilm’s most sophisticated mirrrorless to-date.
Fujifilm has risen to become a camera company that actively listens to its users. So, it’s no surprise that the updates in the X-Pro2 answer directly to the most sought-after improvements X-Pro1 users have asked for:
- a higher resolution sensor (from 16.3-MP to 24.3-MP)
- faster autofocus (especially in Single AF mode, though Continuous AF and Tracking AF modes have also significantly improved)
- better low-light sensitive AF (from -1 EV to -3 EV)
- highly precise AF (from 77 CDAF to 273 hybrid CDAF/PDAF points)
- better control layouts (a new Front Command dial, an AF point selection joystick, more customizable Fn buttons, an improved handgrip)
- a higher resolution EVF (from 1.44M-dots to 2.36M-dots)
- built-in diopter adjustment dial
- a higher resolution LCD (from 1.32M-dots to 1.62M-dots)
- an easier-to-use menu
- better video
- two SD card slots
- improved mechanical shutter speed (30 s to 1/8000 s)
- completely silent electronic shutter (1/32000 s)
- max. flash sync shutter speed (from 1/180 s to 1/250 s)
- weather sealing
What I absolutely love about Fujifilm as a company is that it is completely transparent with the capabilities as well as the improvements still needed on the X-Pro2. Thankfully, just like the X-Pro1, nothing detracts from an enjoyable user experience and certainly nothing prevents the photographer from capturing great photographs. Users of X-Pro1 who were thinking of upgrading to the X-Pro2 should go ahead and do it.
Depending on your shooting style, shooting with the X-Pro2 can be a rewarding experience. There’s only one way to find out: visit your friendly retail camera store and handle one. Play with its dedicated controls. If you can borrow one from a friend, do it. Use it for a couple of weeks. Though the dedicated controls may take some getting used to, remember that’s how it used to be on film SLR cameras until one company (who will remain unnamed but starts with the letter “C”) decided to introduce the MODE dial and ruined everything (ha,ha, I’m just [half] joking). Many of you who grew up with the MODE dial and can’t imagine any other way to control a camera might be pleasantly surprised.
However, dedicated controls aside, what excite the most demanding photographers about the X-Pro2 are the hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder, the superb and detailed images it captures in good light, and its excellent low light performance with low noise at high ISOs. And what noise you see is a beautiful film grain-like noise. In summary, that’s it: you get a camera that takes great pictures and gives you enjoyment while doing so.
The Fujifilm X-Pro2 is a camera you can easily get emotionally attached to. Its top-notch design and build, finely crafted hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder, dedicated Shutter Speed dial and Aperture Ring, and excellent image quality that rivals and even bests some of the enthusiast and top-end DSLRs make it an open secret for those who have tried it and fallen in love with it. Highly recommended!