Two month review of the Fuji X-Pro2
Over the last month or so, I’ve been shooting with the X-Pro2 every chance I get. My initial impressions remain unchanged. The focusing performance, image quality, and new joystick on the back mean more “keepers.” These three points are the reason that I bought and use this camera.
I still hate the ISO dial. It’s gimmicky, inconvenient, and they could have included a dedicated ISO dial like the X-T1, but I guess that Fuji thought it was kitschy.
The viewfinder downright stinks! The EVF portion is too cool, too dark, and too small. I’ve increased the brightness and saturation, but it’s still too cool – color temperature wise, and it’s lagging behind the competition. I complained about this in a forum on Dpreview and got blasted for it. Side note – if you want to see how nasty people can be, then read this thread (wow). Fuji could have put a better EVF in this camera. The technology exists, they just went cheap. The optical viewfinder is gimmicky and awful! If you want accurate autofocus with wide open aperture lenses, then don’t use it. If you want to play and have the camera behave in retro, old school, inaccurate, and gimmicky mode, then by all means – use the optical viewfinder. They should rename the optical viewfinder switch on the camera to “hipster mode.”
The screen is decent, but they could have made it tilty, and added a touch screen. It wouldn’t have hurt anything camera wise, again I think they just cheaped out.
There’s a PC / flash sync port on the side of the camera. I’m pretty sure that the majority of people will never use it. What’s the problem then? Well, the little plastic cover for it, fell off and is gone. Not a big deal, but good luck finding a replacement part. It’s not a standard PC / sync port, and thus you cannot find a replacement part. If you find one for sale, please post it in the comments below. Please note, it cannot be a threaded port cover – it’s a push on one.
The menus are stupid. Switching from slot 1 to slot 2 of the SD Card isn’t intuitive. The format command cannot be added to your own menu. There’s just a few weird things here and there. The nice thing, is that in my initial review, I mentioned the problem about the settings being lost. Fuji fixed that with a firmware. I’m going to bet in the next few firmware revisions, they revamp the menu. I could be wrong, but I’m sure other people are also annoyed with it.
Regarding images, I have found that I prefer using the raw files instead of the JPEGs. The JPEGs are good, but you can get so much more detail out of the raw files. I’ve messed with Iridient, Capture One, and Lightroom. My raw processor of choice is Lightroom. I find that the film emulation presets included give you a very good starting place. Then I use a little bit of Alien Skin Exposure for adding effect, and a smidge of Athentech’s Perfectly Clear.
Here are some shots over the last few weeks:
Karate friends at our Sensei’s 36th birthday party.
Low light, but still able to nail the focus and get the shot.
Awful mixed lighting, harsh shadows, and underexposed. I was able to pull quite a bit of detail out of the raw photo.
Nadia’s new / used bike.
Two energetic girls in stopping in the middle of the intersection for a picture. Quick focus – BAM! Got the shot. The camera was slung over my shoulder and I was riding my bike with them. Nice and lightweight.
Harsh mixed lighting.
They don’t have these in Seattle.
Cool yard junk in Cave Creek, AZ. I used a polarizer in this shot.
Cactus at sundown in Cave Creek, AZ. I was able to recover quite a bit of the highlights in post. The JPEG out of the camera didn’t look anything like this.
Not the best camera for selfies, but better than nothing.
TC Thorstenson himself. This guy rides bison! Hogs and Horses in Cave Creek, AZ. A fun place.
Midday desert sun.
Fast AF, very responsive shutter, lots of wind, and a fast car.
Even in harsh midday sun, the Fuji X-Trans allows for quite a bit of detail in the highlights and shadows. Really one of the main advantages of the Fuji sensor.
The fast and accurate autofocus meant that I didn’t have to hang out to close to this drone for an extended period of time.
What’s my final conclusion? It’s the best Fuji you can buy today. Therefore, if image quality and getting the shot matter to you, then this is THE Fuji to get. However, as soon as the X-T2 comes out – assuming it’s got the same performance as the X-Pro2, a better EVF than the X-T1, and a tilty screen, then I’m going to sell my X-Pro2 and go for that camera. At this point, it’s pure speculation though. It might come out later this year. Even if it does, it could be six months from now, a year, or more! Who knows? Moreover, it might not have everything I want. Most importantly, it’s all guesswork right now. I’d rather use the best Fuji today and make great pictures. Am I happy with it? Not entirely, but that’s OK.