Fujifilm X-Pro2 Review
|Full model name:||Fujifilm X-Pro2|
(23.6mm x 15.6mm)
|Viewfinder:||Hybrid / LCD|
|Native ISO:||200 - 12,800|
|Extended ISO:||100 - 51,200|
|Shutter:||1/32000 - 30 sec|
5.5 x 3.3 x 1.8 in.
(141 x 83 x 46 mm)
|Full specs:||Fujifilm X-Pro2 specifications|
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The Fuji X-Pro2 offers excellent image quality across a wide range of ISO speeds, user-friendly and retro-inspired ergonomics, a new high-resolution 24-megapixel sensor and a vastly-improved hybrid autofocus system, among many other new features and improvements. It also offers the best video quality we've seen from an X-Trans camera. Can it create the same excitement that its predecessor did when the X-Pro1 launched in 2012? Has the long wait been worth it? Read on to find out.Pros
Weather-sealed, ergonomic camera body; Fast hybrid AF system; Excellent high ISO performance; Improved continuous shooting performance; Better video quality than previous Fuji cameras.Cons
Some controls don't impress; Continuous autofocus still lags behind competing DSLR cameras; No 4K video; Fixed LCD without touchpanel.Price and availability
Available since March 2016, the Fujifilm X-Pro2 can currently be found for just under US$1,700. Since January 2017, a color variant called the Fuji X-Pro2 Graphite Edition has been available for a US$100 premium, priced at US$1,800.Imaging Resource rating
4.5 out of 5.0
From the Firmware Files: Just bought an X-Pro2 of your very own, or planning to do so soon? If so, you'll want to check to be sure that your firmware is up to date. There have been more than a few firmware updates since the X-Pro2 launched, the most recent of them (as of May 2017) taking place just a couple of months ago.
Want your whistle wetted with some of the new features you may find after upgrading? You can expect to gain access to a raft of brand-new functionality and tweaks, including significantly improved autofocus, better manual focus accuracy, vastly expanded long-exposure capability, better EVF performance and plenty else besides.
You'll find the full change log described in past Firmware Friday roundups, which you can find most easily by researching past X-Pro2 stories on Imaging Resource here. And be sure to watch our Firmware Friday series in future to keep up to date with all the latest firmware news!
Fuji X-Pro2 Review
By Mike Tomkins
Preview posted: 01/14/2016
04/26/2016: Field Test Part I posted
05/24/2016: Field Test Part II posted
06/20/2016: Performance test results posted
09/30/2016: Image Quality Comparison and Print Quality Analysis posted
10/03/2016: Conclusion posted!
05/23/2017: Added info on recent firmware updates.
Want to know if you're onto a winner? The answer to that question would be a resounding yes! The X-Pro2 earned itself a Camera of Distinction award in the Professional Mirrorless category of our 2016 Camera of the Year awards! We praised Fuji's pro-friendly mirrorless camera for its intuitive, weather-sealed body, great image quality and performance, swift and accurate autofocus and superb hybrid viewfinder.
Want to showcase your style while you shoot with the X-Pro2? Note that in January 2017, Fuji debuted a new color variant, the X-Pro2 Graphite Edition. Available from late January 2017, it costs an extra US$100 over the standard X-Pro2, for a final pricetag of US$1,800 body-only.
Way back at the Photokina show in late 2010, Fujifilm teased development of its first compact system camera. Some 18 months later, the Fuji X-Pro1 launched to much acclaim, offering superb image quality, retro ergonomics that actually made sense in a modern camera, and a completely unique hybrid optical viewfinder offering benefits of both optical and electronic finders. The start of what is now a much-loved series of interchangeable-lens cameras from Fuji, the X-Pro1 has long been one of our favorite cameras, and indeed it took home a Camera of Distinction title in our 2012 Camera of the Year awards.
A brand new body with twin-dial operation
Some four years after the launch of that camera, the X-Pro2 made its debut, and thanks to comprehensive updates throughout it's even more of a beauty than its long-in-the-tooth sibling. Take a quick glance at the new model and you could be forgiven for thinking its an X-Pro1, as the basic layout of the front deck is very similar to that in the earlier camera. However, the presence of a control dial above the handgrip hints at the truth: This is an all-new body design.
Compared to its predecessor, the X-Pro2 has grown just a little in all dimensions. Save for a more generous handgrip which adds 3.4mm to the depth, you're not likely to notice the increase, however. Both body width and height have grown by a scant one millimeter. The increase in weight is rather more noticeable, though, at some 45 grams or ~11%.
Fuji X-Pro2 updates: Weather-sealing joins the feature list
Changes in the new body go far beyond the simple -- if very desirable -- addition of a front dial and more generous grip. Perhaps most importantly, the X-Pro2's four-piece magnesium alloy body now features no less than 61 different seals which help to prevent ingress of water splashes or dust. That's big news if you like to shoot in harsh environments, as is the ability to shoot in temperatures below freezing, to a minimum of 14°F (-10°C).
Tweaks to top-deck controls
Further reinforcing this camera's retro design aesthetic and helping to reinforce the impression of quality, both top-deck control dials are milled from aluminum, as is the viewfinder lever. Both dials have been changed from those in the earlier camera, though, with the X-Pro2's controls hinting at new capabilities of the uprated model. There's now a small window inset into the shutter speed dial which allows the user to quickly see not just shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation with a glance at the top of the camera and attached lens, but also the ISO sensitivity.
You'll also notice a top shutter speed of 1/8,000 second, and a wider exposure compensation range of +/-3EV. (A "C" position on the EV dial provides access to an even wider range of +/-5EV.) More on those changes in a moment. And one other change of note on the top deck is the addition of a twin-hole stereo microphone just in front of the hot shoe, relocated from its earlier position on the front of the camera in the X-Pro1.
The X-Pro2's rear deck has been totally overhauled
It's the rear of the X-Pro2 which sports the most changes, however. For one thing, the LCD monitor now sits at the very left of the camera body, leaving more room for controls at right of the screen. The autoexposure and autofocus lock functions now have their own separate buttons, and there's a new joystick control used to make autofocus point selections. The dedicated Drive button of the earlier camera has been removed, with its functionality rehomed on the top button of the four-way controller, a position that was previously used to access macro shooting.
An updated on-screen GUI, as well
And it's not just the external controls which have been tuned for better operation, either. There's a new My Menu feature which allows users to choose 16 of their most frequently-used options for quick access. Coupled with the 16 options from the existing Quick Menu, this takes X-Pro2 users up to a total of 32 speedy shortcuts.
X-Pro2: A brand-new imaging pipeline
Of course, the changes go well beyond just the user interface and newly weather-sealed body. The X-Pro2 boasts a brand-new imaging pipeline, for one thing. The 16.3-megapixel X-Trans image sensor which gave its predecessor such great image quality has been replaced with a newer and significantly higher-resolution 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III image sensor.
It still features the same unique color filter array shared by Fuji's other X-Trans imagers, which is designed to resist the unsightly moiré artifacts which can plague standard Bayer-sensored cameras. The new sensor also now includes on-chip phase detection autofocus pixels.
A healthy step forwards in performance
Output from the new sensor is handled by a new X-Processor Pro-branded image processor which offers a big step forwards on the performance front. Startup time is said to have been reduced by 0.1 seconds to just 0.4 seconds, and burst performance has risen from six to a new high of eight frames per second. Shutter lag is manufacturer-rated at just 0.05 seconds, and autofocus performance at as little as 0.08 seconds.
The improvement in burst performance comes paired with a much greater buffer size, as well. Where the X-Pro1 was limited to just 11 raw or 18 JPEG frames in a burst, the X-Pro2 will now yield as many as 27 uncompressed raw or 83 JPEG frames in a burst. (And if you enable the new losslessly-compressed raw option, you can get several more frames in the buffer for a maximum of 33 raw images in each burst.)
These are all Fujifilm's numbers, though, some of which are likely measured internally or require non-default settings. See our Fuji X-Pro2 Performance page to see how the camera performed in our standard lab tests.
An even wider sensitivity range
Together, the new image sensor and processor also yield a wider sensitivity range. By default, the X-Pro2 offers sensitivity from ISO 200 to 12,800 equivalents, where the X-Pro1 topped out at ISO 6400 equivalent. Enabling the X-Pro2's expanded sensitivity range gives access to everything from ISO 100 to 51,200 equivalents, which matches the bottom end of the X-Pro1's expanded range, but bests the earlier camera's upper limit of ISO 25,600 equivalent. And unlike its predecessor and other previous Fuji mirrorless cameras, the X-Pro2 lets you record in raw format across the entire extended ISO range.
Much-improved autofocus capabilities
If there was an Achilles heel in the earlier X-Pro1, it was probably autofocus performance. There are no such worries with the X-Pro2, thanks to a completely overhauled AF system. As noted earlier, the primary change here is the addition of on-chip phase detection autofocus pixels. This allows a hybrid autofocus system pairing the speed of phase detection with the accuracy of contrast detection, and that's reflected in the claimed autofocus speed of as little as 0.08 second. (In our lab tests, the X-Pro2 managed a full AF shutter lag of only 0.057 second in single-area AF mode, a huge improvement over the X-Pro1's 0.369 second result.)
A doubling of autofocus readout speed doubtless plays a big part here, too. The X-Pro2 is, says Fujifilm, now fast enough to provide for motion-predictive autofocus tracking during continuous shooting at rates of up to eight frames per second.
The system is also far more point-dense than in the earlier camera. Where the Fuji X-Pro1 had just 49 contrast-detection autofocus points, the X-Pro2 provides a whopping 273 AF points, 169 of which are phase-detection points. The phase-detection pixels cover an area spanning some 40% of the image frame.
An even better Hybrid Viewfinder
One of the features with which we were the most taken when shooting with the original X-Pro1 was its viewfinder, and the X-Pro2 retains the basic concept while making some key improvements in this area. The new Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder in the X-Pro2 still provides a user-switchable choice of optical and electronic viewfinders, but the latter is now based around an even higher-resolution 2.36-million dot panel, versus the 1.44-million dot unit of the X-Pro1. Manufacturer-rated accuracy for the optical viewfinder has also improved just slightly to 92%, and the finder now has a more generous eyepoint of 16mm.
That's not all, though. There have also been some operational enhancements to the new finder, including the ability to automatically change the bright frame in optical viewfinder mode to match the focal length of the mounted lens, and there's also now an electronic rangefinder function which displays an electronic viewfinder image on top of the optical viewfinder. Add in a swift refresh rate of up to 85 frames per second for smoother motion, and the X-Pro2's new viewfinder is even more of a joy to use.
Fuji X-Pro2 advantage: Higher-resolution display, too
Obviously the typical X-Pro2 shooter will likely spend most of their time using that clever viewfinder, but when it comes time for chimping -- or if you want to shoot at arm's length -- you'll need to rely on the rear-panel display instead. Here, there's still a 3.0-inch diagonal with a 3:2 aspect ratio, but the resolution of the LCD has been boosted from 1.23 to 1.62 million dots.
Plenty more changes, too
As you'd expect in a camera like this, the X-Pro2 caters to experienced photographers with a full complement of exposure modes and physical controls for the key exposure variables. There have been quite a few changes in this department, too, though.
We've already mentioned the exposure compensation dial, which now has a +/-3EV range instead of +/-2EV, and which gives access to a broader +/-5EV range when set to the "C" position. Exposure bracketing, too, has been tweaked for a greater range, though, with a step size between exposures of as much as 2EV. (The X-Pro1 had a 1EV limit.)
You can also now bracket white balance, in addition to the existing exposure, sensitivity, dynamic range and film simulation bracketing functions of the earlier camera. And in the exposure department, the existing 256-zone multi, spot and average metering options are joined by a new center-weighted metering mode.
There's also a significantly faster maximum shutter speed of 1/8,000-second, where the X-Pro1 was limited to 1/4,000 second or slower. (The slowest shutter speed of 30 seconds plus a one hour-limited bulb exposure function remain unchanged.) If you need even faster, though, there's now an electronic shutter function which tops out at a whopping 1/32,000-second. And flash fans will be pleased to see that X-sync is now at 1/250 second in the X-Pro2, where the X-Pro1 had a 1/180-second limit.
And as if that wasn't already plenty, there's now an interval timer function that can shoot sequences of up to 999 frames, with anywhere from one second to 24 hours between exposures. There's also a new grain effect function and an additional film simulation which replicates the look of Fuji's ACROS film, which it says provides "smooth tones, deep blacks and rich textures".
X-Pro2 Video: Much more capable movie shooting
One area in which the original Fuji X-Pro1 was rather limited was in movie capture. With only an internal microphone and a fixed capture rate of 24 frames per second, movie capture was clearly not a primary goal of the design. With the X-Pro2 that changes, as the company has not only brought the frame rate up to a maximum of 60 fps at Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) or HD (1,280 x 720 pixels), but also offers reduced 50p, 30p, 25p and 24p frame rates as well as an external microphone jack.
Get your photos onto your phone with ease
Another must-have feature in a 2016 camera is wireless communication, which makes it quick and easy to get photos online for your friends, family and colleagues to see on social networks. Where the X-Pro1 lacked any wireless communications, the X-Pro2 sports in-camera Wi-Fi wireless networking. You can not only transfer images post-capture via 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, but also control the camera remotely using a free app for Android and iOS devices.
Storage and connectivity have improved, too
Fujifilm has also revised both storage and wired connectivity in the X-Pro2. There is, of course, still a hot shoe for external strobes (as well as a sync terminal), and we've already mentioned the new microphone jack which doubles as a shutter release input. Those are joined by both USB 2.0 data connectivity as in the earlier camera, and a high-definition HDMI video output. However the USB port is now compatible with Fuji's RR-90 Remote Release, and the HDMI port has switched to the smaller Micro (Type D) connector, as compared to the Mini (Type C) connector of the earlier camera.
There are also two flash card slots in the new camera, as opposed to the single slot of the earlier model. As in that camera, fast UHS-I SD cards are supported, as well as higher-capacity SDHC / SDXC types. However, if you have a UHS-II card, fear not -- that too is supported, but only in the primary card slot.
Power still comes courtesy of a proprietary NP-W126 lithium ion rechargeable battery pack, just as in the earlier camera. It's a little tricky to compare the battery life rating, however, as the X-Pro1 was rated for 300 shots on a charge without specifying if this was for the optical or electronic viewfinder. With the X-Pro2, you can expect to manage a manufacturer-rated 350 frames on a charge using the optical finder, or 250 shots with the electronic viewfinder. The X-Pro2 comes with a dedicated battery charger and in-camera USB charging is unfortunately not supported.
X-Pro2: Price and availability
The Fujifilm X-Pro2 was initially slated to begin shipping in the US market from February 2016, but first shipments were delayed slightly into March. Body-only pricing is set at around US$1,700.
Fuji X-Pro2 Field Test Part I
Street shooting with Fujifilm's new flagship
X-Pro2: not exactly small but quite portable
When I received my Fujifilm X-Pro2 sample, I unpacked it, slapped the XF 35mm F2 lens on it, and checked out the weight and feel. It's not a small camera, especially compared to other mirrorless models. That said, its rangefinder shape and relatively modest weight mean it's not much of a burden to handle and carry — at least with the also relatively compact 35mm lens mounted. I immediately spent some time working the dials and buttons and handling the body, and found that the X-Pro2 feels sturdy and very well-made. Heavier pro-level DSLR cameras may feel more robust than the X-Pro2 to some people, but I suspect that's partly an illusion provided by the greater weight alone.
Fuji X-Pro2 Field Test Part II
A fast performer in almost every way (but disappointing back-button AF)
In my early walks with the Fujifilm X-Pro2, I paid particular attention to the speed and decisiveness of its autofocus system in the most typical use case -- single AF on stationary subjects. In walks along the East River and around the Lower East Side, I shot in bright light and at dusk, and the camera's AF system was quick and sure. During one walk at night, in very dim light with low contrast subjects, the AF system was perfectly acceptable but not as good as the best AF cameras I've used, and it behaved the same in several later tests in very dim light.
Fuji X-Pro2 Image Quality Comparison
See how the X-Pro2's image quality stacks up against the competition
NOTE: These images are from best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). All cameras in this comparison were shot with our very sharp reference lenses. Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the RAW files involved, click these links to visit each camera's respective sample image thumbnail page...
Fuji X-Pro2 Print Quality
How will your photos look on paper?
Do you like being able to crank the gain up to ISO 12,800 without a harsh penalty in image quality? If so, the X-Pro2 can deliver, being capable of a solid 8 x 10 inch print at that lofty ISO. While it certainly can't match strides with most full-frame offerings, it equals or bests most other cameras we've tested in the APS-C world for impressive print quality, and that's quite a feat given the current competition. What's also significant is that the X-Pro2 can make usable prints at every available ISO, and this is something we see from a relatively small percentage of cameras, even in the enthusiast category.
Read about the Fujifilm X-Pro2 Print Quality
Fuji X-Pro2 Conclusion
A worthy successor to Fuji's flagship camera
Many changes were made to the camera body itself, including a brand-new body with twin dial operation and the addition of weather-sealing to the body. 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)).
In the Box
The Fuji X-Pro2 retail box ships with the following items:
- X-Pro2 camera body
- Body cap
- NP-W126 lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack
- BC-W126 battery charger
- Hot shoe cover
- Shoulder strap
- Metal strap clips with leatherette protective covers
- Clip attaching tool
- Sync terminal cap
- Instruction manual
- An assortment of X-mount lenses, if you don't already have any
- Extra NP-W126 lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack for extended outings
- Large capacity SDHC/SDXC memory cards. Given the high resolution and large file sizes of the X-Pro2, 32GB is a good tradeoff between cost and capacity. If you plan to capture HD movie clips, shoot image bursts, or shoot in RAW format, look for cards with UHS-I or UHS-II markings. UHS-II cards will be the fastest option.
- M mount adapter (to use Carl Zeiss, Leica, Voigtland and Ricoh M-mount lenses)
- External shoe mount flash (EF-X20, EF-42 or EF-20) or other accessory flash
- RR-90 wired remote release
- Medium to large camera bag
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Also has viewfinder