MARCEL LE SUEUR - My Perspective of the FujiFilm X-T2

My Perspective of the Fujifilm X-T2

I had the fortunate opportunity to get my hands on the newly released Fujifilm X-T2 over a weekend. I was counting down the days to get my grubby hands on this mirrorless beauty, as I stirred the thought "will this replace my aging 5D MkII". Can this little mirrorless beat out my monstrous Full-Frame goliath?

Build & Aesthetics

The Fujifilm X-T2 roots it's aesthetics to the more conventional DSLR/SLR frame. It is machined in its weather sealed metal chassis, providing a comforting weight to it - It presented itself as a tool and not a toy. The dials were stiff enough not to bump out of place but not uncomfortable to turn with one finger if needed (Yes the X-T2 does have locking dials but I found it easier to lock the ISO and keep the shutter left open for ease of access).

I've never been a fan of flip out screens as I think it affects the robustness of a camera, pessimistically thinking it creates more opportunity for something to go wrong, but it's advantages won me over. The 3-axis tilt screen made me look a little less silly when getting down low or getting that lay-flat shot. Its size felt comfortable in my hands considering I have fairly large hands, I feel the credit here is due to the larger grip bump & accentuated thumb rest. The buttons are dampened but not squishy and the word on the street is that it is less clicky than the X-PRO2. The shutter sound is immensely satisfying... I could listen to it all day.

The Electronic View Finder (EVF) is bright, big and did not suffer from any noticeable lag. It really enhanced my shooting experience being confident in my exposure when capturing a shot, it eliminated the need for me to chimp to reassure myself that my frames were exposed correctly, so much so that I switched off the 3inch 1040K dot back screen entirely (This also helped out the battery life).

The battery life is quite disappointing, with me easily going through 3-4 batteries per wedding. Between my wife and I, we would easily go through 6-8 batteries, quite a large additional cost to consider.

The X-T2 is sporting a joystick control adopted from it's rangefinder sibling the X-Pro2. It's well placed and makes navigating autofocus zones a breeze.

The Introduction of dual-card slots is warmly welcomed and the compatibility ofUHS-II cards is a step to future-proofing performance.

Software

I could find my way around the menu but I do think they have some strange naming conventions and menu set up (trying to format the card being the first headache) - But not anything that deterred me too much as I did not have to access the camera menu often. Another nice touch is that the Fuji has onboard WiFi for all those VSCOcam quick edits on the go.

Fujifilm's Kaizen ideology has proven itself time and time again with continuous improvements that are actually impactful to the shooter's experience. It comforts a purchaser knowing that their camera will be improved over time and that Fujifilm makes the effort to invest themselves into bettering the gear and listening to it's user-base.

RAW Files

The Fuji captures clean 14-bit RAW files with dynamic range that shoots the socks off my 5D. The colours straight out of camera had me thinking that they were already edited - Fuji Magic. I'm super impressed with the ability to bring back the shadows and squash highlights in post-production without losing detail.

Autofocus

The Autofocus on this camera worked like magic, both in well lit and low-light situations. The Fujinon 35 f2 WR was snappy and the joystick control allowed me to select focus with ease. I am a focus and recompose fellah but this might get me to change my ways. They've also introduced three new AF capabilities giving the power to adjust the tracking sensitivity, speed tracking sensitivity, and the ability for zone area switching.

Video

I'm no videographer and I didn't get the opportunity to take the time to try out the new 4K feature. So go check out the great reviews on Youtube of people that actually know what they're talking about. Shout out to Evidently Something, Timstechblog & Zed ProMedia.

ISO

Being a Wedding Photographer - Shooting low light is a huge requirement. I would comfortably shoot this camera at ISO 6400 whereas my 5D would be pushing it at 3200. The files are clear and a noticeable amount of grain is introduced but not more than I would add in any case. I feared the waxy skin tones fuji has been synonymous for with their high ISO's but I'm happy to report minimal wax here.

Image quality

I decided to take it out on a Sunday afternoon adventure to Chapman's peak drive to see how it operates on a casual outing with friends.

These images were shot with the Fujinon XF35 f2 WR and the Fujinon 16 f1.4 WR. The 35 f2 being the favourite out of the two, I'm looking forward to the release of the anticipated Fujinon 23 f2 WR as I shoot mostly 35mm equivalent on full-frame.

The 24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III Sensor produced incredible image quality as expected as it shares it with the X-Pro2.

SIDE TO SIDE COMPARISON WITH A FULL FRAME CANON DSLR

The first noticeable difference is the size, with the X-T2 being considerably smaller than the Canon. The depth of field wasn't as good with the Fuji as with the Canon but taking into account the sensor size it held up pretty well. You can compare the image quality of the two with the following images below.

Fujifilm X-T2 Specifications

For those who need to crunch the numbers, here's a clean rundown of the specs

      24MP X-Trans CMOS III Sensor

      325 Autofocus Points (169 Phase Detection)

      Autofocus Joystick

      2.36M-dot OLED EVF - 0.005 second refresh time (boost mode: 60 fps or 100 fps)

      3" 1.04M-dot articulating LCD

      4K UHD video - 30fps for a max of 10 min (30mins with booster grip)

      F-Log flat profile and 4K over HDMI

      8 fps continuous shooting with AF (this goes up to 11 with the booster grip)

      5 fps continuous shooting with live view updates between capture

      14 fps continuous with electronic shutter

      Dual UHS-II SD card slots

      USB 3.0 Socket

Pro's & Cons

Pro's

1.     Image quality, build and aesthetics

2.     Low light

3.     That new joystick makes selecting AF points easier

4.     Raw files

5.     Dynamic range

6.     Lens quality

7.     Fuji colours "magic"

8.     Auto-focus is tack sharp and quick

9.     Size

10.  4K video

11.  Wi-Fi system for image transfer

12.  Looks really good hanging off my neck

13.  Dual memory cards

14.  Makes people feel natural allowing for more journalistic approach

Cons

1.     Battery Life (+-400 images per battery)

2.     Back screen isn't consistent with EVF

3.     Cost

4.     Petrol expenses are high cause it makes you want to leave the house.

5.     Battery grip is required to take advantage of full functionality

6.     Lightroom Support for new lenses

Final thoughts

This camera made me want to go out and shoot, something that the Canon lacks. Coming from a negative mindset of crop sensor cameras (besides understanding it's benefits for sports & wildlife), this little camera has worked it's way into my heart. Let's just say I held it a little tighter when having to hand it back over.

A little bit about Marcel: 

Marcel Le Sueur, co-founder of Le Sueur Photography, a husband and wife photography team focused on documentary and fine-art wedding stories based in Cape Town, South Africa.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lesueurphoto/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lesueurphotography/