Fujifilm X-Pro2 Conclusion
Fuji X-Pro2 Conclusion
1/80s / f/2 / ISO 1250 / 53mm eq. / XF 35mm f/2 lens
It has been four long years for Fujifilm X-series fans since the release of the X-Pro1 -- which earned a Camera of Distinction award in our 2012 Camera of the Year wrap-up -- and the waiting ended with the release of the X-Pro2 earlier this year. Four years is a long time in the camera industry and Fujifilm put that time to good use by including many improvements and new features in their X-Pro2 mirrorless camera. Let's take a look at whether or not these improvements make the X-Pro2 a worthy follow-up.
Fuji X-Pro2 body is redesigned and very user friendly
Many changes were made to the camera itself, including a brand-new body with intuitive twin-dial operation and comprehensive weather sealing. The 61 different seals allowed us to confidently use the X-Pro2 in rainy, harsh conditions. The somewhat large -- at least for a mirrorless camera -- body means that the button layout isn't cramped, which is a welcome design element when shooting in slick conditions or chilly weather (in addition to weather-sealing, the X-Pro2 can be safely shot in temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C)).
We were less pleased with some of the Fuji X-Pro2's controls. While the top deck layout is good, the new pull-up and twist ISO ring on the shutter speed dial was irksome, proving to be more inconvenient than anything. And the back panel AF-L button is flush to the body and difficult to locate without looking. On a more positive note, the new joystick on the back is very useful. Despite occasionally being accidentally activated while the camera is around your neck, the joystick works very well for quickly moving the autofocus point.
The X-Pro2's rear layout has seen a change as well, with the 3-inch, 1,620,000 dot display moving to the far left of the camera's back, allowing for some changes to the rear buttons. Autoexposure lock and autofocus lock are now two separate buttons, the aforementioned joystick is a new addition, and the Drive button is no more but instead is a function of the topmost directional button. The new LCD -- which sports nearly 400,000 more dots than the X-Pro1's -- is put to good use with an improved My Menu feature, which allows users to select 16 of their most-used options to quickly access. With that said, this menu system would be even quicker if Fuji had incorporated a touchscreen display in their X-Pro2 (although as we've seen with their touchscreen-enabled X-series cameras, having a touchscreen doesn't necessarily mean it'll be fully-utilized). We also lament the lack of a tilting rear display, but that's a small complaint.
The Fuji X-Pro2's hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder system is one of its most notable features. The optical viewfinder now includes the option to automatically change the bright frame to match the focal length of the lens you have mounted to the X-Pro2. You can also now utilize an electronic rangefinder feature to overlay an electronic viewfinder over the optical viewfinder. Regarding the electronic viewfinder, the refresh rate has been upped to 85 frames per second and the resolution has increased from 1.44 million dots to 2.36 million. We found the optical viewfinder to work particularly well in bright shooting conditions, where the electronic viewfinder and LCD struggled slightly. It's worth noting that where the electronic viewfinder offers close to a 100% view of the scene (we measured 98% in the lab), the optical viewfinder is rated for 92% coverage. While our lab results showed higher coverage at about 96%, up from the just under 86% coverage we found on the X-Pro1, parallax error correction was not as good in our test at about 11 feet. (There's always the EVF if you need better coverage accuracy for nearby subjects, though.)
Overall, the rangefinder-style mirrorless X-Pro2 feels excellent to use. Controls are for the most part user-friendly and the rugged, durable body is well-suited for challenging shooting conditions. The upgraded EVF and LCD display both work well.
Fuji X-Pro 2's new 24-megapixel APS-C sensor delivers great results
Where the X-Pro1 utilized a 16.3-megapixel X-Trans image sensor -- which was great for its time -- the Fujifilm X-Pro2 ups its game with a new 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III image sensor. You still get the same unique color filter array X-Trans sensors are known for, but you get a much higher resolution. That's not all, the new sensor also includes on-chip phase detection autofocus pixels, more on that later.
1/1000s / f/3.6 / ISO 200 / 53mm eq. / XF 35mm f/2 lens
As expected, the 24-megapixel sensor in the X-Pro2 resolves better detail than the 16-megapixel sensor used in the X-Pro1. In our testing we also found colors more pleasing from the X-Pro2, due in part to less shifting from orange to yellow and yellow to green.
Fujifilm X-Pro2's high ISO performance impresses
Across its entire 100 to 51,200 ISO range, the Fuji X-Pro2 delivers usable prints. This is an impressive feat and not one we see very often. With that said, you won't be making large prints at ISO 51,200 as a good print tops out at 4 x 6 inches. At its base ISO, you can make an excellent 30 x 40 print, certainly big enough for the vast majority of applications. Even at ISO 800, a 24 x 36 print looks nice and about as good as any ISO 800 print has looked from an APS-C camera. You can manage a 20 x 30 print from ISO 1600 images, although for particularly critical applications a 16 x 20 print might work better. At ISO 12,800, you can make a good 8 x 10 print, which is very impressive for an APS-C camera. The X-Pro2 is definitely one of the better APS-C cameras we've tested when it comes to high ISO performance.
1/200s / f/3.6 / ISO 6400 / 54mm eq. / XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens
X-Pro2 has a new hybrid autofocus system and it's quick
Autofocus features have seen a big change with the Fuji X-Pro2. With its overhauled autofocus system, the X-Pro2 offers impressive speed and accuracy. It has on-chip phase detection autofocus pixels in addition to a contrast detect system, meaning it's a hybrid AF camera. There are 273 AF points used in the X-Pro2 compared to just 49 (contrast-detect only) AF points found in its predecessor. 169 of the 273 points are phase-detect, covering approximately 40% of the frame. In addition to more AF points, the camera's AF readout speeds have been doubled, allowing the camera to perform better when shooting continuously.
1/250s / f/4 / ISO 200 / 53mm eq. / XF 35mm f/2 lens
Single shot autofocus performance was very good in our testing, providing very quick, reliable AF performance in a variety of lighting conditions, including low light. As mentioned previously, one issue that we had with the camera’s overall autofocus performance is that the AF-L button on the back of the camera which is also used for back button autofocus sits flush with the camera body and as a result is difficult to find and press without looking.
Continuous autofocus was quite good, although not quite on par with high-end DSLR cameras or other cameras aimed at high-speed shooting. You won't necessarily want to use an X-Pro2 if you're a sports photographer, but if you shoot the occasional moving subject then the X-Pro2 should offer plenty of consistency and performance.
We did however run into some issues with manual focus, at least in the lab. Precise manual focus can be a bit tricky with fly-by-wire focusing with the lens sometimes making large focus changes when the focus ring was just slightly turned. Also for studio shooters, be aware manual focus can sometimes change unexpectedly if you remove the memory card, insert the card or format the card after focusing.
New processor makes the X-Pro2 a much faster camera than its predecessor
The Fuji X-Pro1 left something to be desired with regard to its overall performance. The Fujifilm X-Pro2, on the other hand, provides excellent performance. Full autofocus shutter lag was a mere 0.057 second, which is a very fast result and trumps many high-end DSLR cameras.
Single-shot cycle times were fast and continuous shooting speeds were impressive at about 8.2 frames per second in our testing. Buffer depths varied quite a bit depending on the selected file quality. When recording highest-quality JPEG images, we were able to shoot 62 frames at the 8.2 fps speed before it slowed down to just under 5 fps. The buffer cleared in five seconds with a fast UHS-II card. When recording uncompressed RAW images, the buffer depth dropped to 28 frames and it cleared in 11 seconds. RAW + JPEG had the same buffer depth of 28 frames but took 15 seconds to clear. When the buffer is full, RAW and RAW + JPEG file results in the camera slowing down to about 2.0 and 1.5 fps respectively. If you want your buffer to clear faster (seven and ten seconds respectively) you can shoot with lossless compressed RAF RAW files, but continuous shooting performance is otherwise unchanged.
Overall, performance is much improved over the X-Pro1.
Utilizing a custom NP-W126 lithium-ion battery, CIPA battery life varies significantly depending on whether or not you're using the LCD monitor, electronic viewfinder or optical viewfinder. Using the LCD monitor, battery life is 280 / 250 / 330 shots (standard, high performance and economy mode). The electronic viewfinder reduces standard and high performance battery life to 250 and 210 shots respectively. The best battery performance comes when using the optical viewfinder, unsurprisingly, with 350, 350 and 380 shots respectively. This isn't bad for a mirrorless camera but if you're looking to shoot for a full day, you'll want a spare battery. Unfortunately, in-camera charging via USB port is not supported so you'll have to use the included dedicated battery charger.
Fuji X-Pro2's video performance is much improved, but still no 4K
Video has long been a sore spot for Fujifilm X-series cameras, but the X-Pro2 takes steps to turn things around. Capable of recording 1080p video at up to 60 frames per second, the 4K-less X-Pro2 won't turn any heads with its video resolving capabilities, but its Full HD MOV files look a lot better than those from previous X-Trans cameras, not displaying the moiré and other artifacts that Fujifilm mirrorless cameras typically exhibit. For the more serious video shooters, it is worth noting that the X-Pro2 includes a microphone jack but no headphone jack.
Final thoughts on the Fuji X-Pro2: An excellent follow-up flagship camera for Fuji
1/125s / f/5.6 / ISO 500 / 29mm eq. / XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens
Two of the biggest knocks on the X-Pro1 were its autofocus speeds and continuous shooting performance. These two issues have definitely been addressed with the Fujifilm X-Pro2. The things we liked about the X-Pro1 -- such as its build quality, body design, distinct hybrid viewfinder and image quality -- have all gotten better with the Fuji X-Pro2, in some cases dramatically better.
The Fuji X-Pro2 is an even more capable street shooter than was its much-loved predecessor. It has all the control you could ask for, great image quality, and Fuji’s unique film simulation modes for gorgeous color. We consider it an excellent option for advanced photographers looking for a great walk around camera.
Pros & Cons
- Excellent image quality from both JPEGs and RAW files
- Superb high ISO performance for an APS-C camera, among the best we've seen
- Very good dynamic range
- Excellent hue accuracy
- Very fast hybrid autofocus system
- Able to autofocus in extremely low light
- Low shutter lag
- Very quick shot to shot times
- Fast 8 fps burst mode
- Generous buffer depths and faster buffer clearing when using a fast UHS-II card
- Improved coverage from optical viewfinder (but see related Con)
- Higher resolution EVF and LCD monitor
- Decent battery life for a mirrorless camera when using the optical viewfinder
- Dual SD card slots (but only one supports UHS-II)
- Mechanical shutter speeds up to 1/8000s, electronic up to 1/32,000s
- 1/250s x-sync speed
- External mic jack (which doubles as a shutter release input)
- Able to capture RAW files throughout the extended ISO range
- Film simulation modes
- Separate highlight and shadow contrast control
- D-Range feature works well to preserve highlights in JPEGs
- Rugged, weather-resistant camera body
- New joystick on the rear of the camera works well
- Twin-dial operation
- Updated user interface including My Menu feature
- Better video quality than its predecessor
- In-camera Wi-Fi
- Mediocre battery life with LCD or EVF
- Shutter pre-press penalty
- Optical viewfinder has poor parallax correction
- Auto and incandescent white balance struggle in tungsten lighting
- No built-in or bundled flash
- Internal USB charging not supported
- Some controls are not well-designed (awkward ISO dial and flush AF-L button)
- Continuous autofocus performance, while improved over X-Pro1, doesn't have the speed and accuracy of some competing DSLR cameras
- Precise manual focus is tricky with fly-by-wire focusing, plus focus can change unexpectedly
- No 4K video
- Fixed LCD; not touch sensitive
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