The FUJIFILM 5
Five NB Questions about the X-Pro2 for professional photographer Leon Oosthuizen
1. What would be the single biggest improvement of the FUJIFILM X-Pro2 from the X-Pro1?
There are many changes to the X-Pro2 that are subtle, but actually noticeable and significant changes from the X-Pro1. The single biggest improvement I would say is speed. Everything about the camera is faster – the autofocus both in acquisition and tracking, the interface, the switch between viewfinder modes and even setting the ISO.
The ergonomics and improved user interface all contribute to a faster, more precise tool that is not just an upgrade, but a complete overhaul.
For me, the standout features are the ISO dial, the focus point joystick and the front function button. These are things I use all the time. I REALLY hope the X-T2 has that whenever it arrives.
2. The introduction of the focus-point select joystick seems like a novel feature that we've not seen on many cameras before. Does it actually come in handy?
It took me all of three seconds to fall in love with this joystick-button; I don’t ever want to buy another camera that doesn’t have it. I prefer to move my focus points around, especially with street photography or studio work. Picking exact points via a function button has always been slow, now the joystick allows direct access. The fact that there are more focus points also helps as the gaps in-between points are smaller.
3. Focusing speed was an issue on the X-Pro1. Has it been improved on the X-Pro2?
Focusing speed is vastly improved. The 277 focus points help, naturally, but they are individually also more responsive and accurate in low light or high contrast situations. All the XF lenses focus better on the X-Pro2, but you really notice the improvement with the new linear focus motor lenses like the 35mm f2.0, 90mm f2.0, 16-55 and 50-140.
4. There has been a lot said about the new hybrid viewfinder. In which way do you prefer shooting – electronic, optical or hybrid?
I shoot a wide variety of subjects and genres. Each one requires a slightly different approach. The benefit of the hybrid viewfinder is enabling one to see outside the digital overlay frame that responds to the particular lens attached (and the distance at which it is focussed). This helps being ready for subjects that will move into the frame, which is great for street photography, action or, I would assume, even birds. Additionally, there is no moment your subject is out of view. Not even DSLRs offer this as the mirror obscures the viewfinder during exposures.
The benefits of the EVF are even greater. The main ones for me are in-viewfinder playback and exposure, accurate pre-shot lens-rendering, a live histogram and focus point enlargement for spot-on accuracy. The last point makes manual focusing easy, fast and accurate with any lens.
5. The X-Pro2 looks and feels a lot like those old rangefinders. Compared to the more 'traditional' feel of the X-T1, how does the X-Pro2 handle?
There are small touches on the X-Pro2, like the size and subsequent amount by which the exposure compensation dial protrudes towards the rear to create a better thumb grip. Along with the slightly thicker front rubber grip, it elevates it from being a nice feature to a great ergonomic shape. Now my hand feels less tired, especially when using slightly heavier primes like the 16mm, 56mm or 90mm lenses.
All in all, upgrading from the X-Pro1 is a no-brainer. From the X-T1, you really need to know why you would choose a different form factor. The X-Pro2 is a seriously versatile camera and would be just perfect for just about anything, although if you are the kind of person that likes a tilting screen or the ability to add a vertical grip, then the X-T1 is still the better choice.
Of everything about the X-Pro2’s look and feel that there is to like, I have really come to appreciate the more stealthy styling of the camera: no branding on the front and only a small set of white letters on top. The X-T1 makes far more of a brand statement, but the X-Pro2 is the ultimate stealthy street ninja that comes and goes like smoke.