Fuji X-Pro2 one year on review

March 24, 2017  •  1 Comment

I can't believe it's been a year since the X-Pro2 came out!  I remember getting it just before I photographed my first wedding of the year, which was in London rather than my usual stomping grounds in Berkshire.  A few days prior to the wedding I'd received it in the post and that same afternoon had used it on a shoot for an agency ( a mature model and friend of mine, Debi Ireland ).  The camera performed great but I managed to knock it off a table onto concrete and had a moment where I thought I'd broken the camera on it's first outing.  The Fuji X-Pro2 is a very sturdy beast however, and it took the knocks in it's stride and kept on working fine, and that's been the story ever since, it's a little more battered and worn around the edges after a year but still working perfectly.  This thing is a tank, I've used it in all sorts of shooting situations, in the rain, at weddings, photographing bands, model shoots, even sports shoots with the 100-400 in the pouring rain.  I've clocked up around 30,000 shots on it but its working as well as ever ( that total would be higher, but the X-T2 came along and stole its place for sports shooting ).

Here are a few shots from that first wedding and the agency shoot...

Reportage shot from the receptionReportage shot from the receptionDocumentary/reportage shot from the reception. Portrait of the groom - MattPortrait of the groom - MattPortrait of the groom - Matt Debi - window light portraitDebi - window light portraitDebi - window light portrait

I still love the look and feel of the shots from this camera, I can usually spot a shot from a Fuji X series camera right away, there is a certain look that is hard to describe and I'm not sure if its the sensor or the lenses that give it that look.  Some people hate it, I love it.  

Since I got the camera there has been one major firmware update, which sped up the AF to X-T2 levels, and there is another one around the corner which is going to give the camera the custom AF modes from the X-T2 as well as improving the AF-C tracking a bit more.  To be honest, the autofocus is already more than capable for my needs, even in low light.  Brides coming down the aisle are not generally moving at Olympic sprinter speeds and I no longer come out in a cold sweat wondering if I'm going to nail the shot like I did when photographing weddings with the X-T1.  There are a couple of glaring omissions from the latest firmware update announcement which I'll deal with now, after I put in a picture to break up the wall of text ( this was from a fashion shoot, taken with the 56 1.2 ).


Firstly, still no tethering for the X-Pro2.  In some ways, this does not bother me, as I have an X-T2, which I use in the studio in preference to the X-Pro2 anyway, as it handles better with the 50-140 zoom lens, which is my go to studio lens.  However, if I did not own the X-T2 I'd be mightily annoyed about this.  Lack of 4k video I can understand, but there is no technical reason why they could not implement tethering into the X-Pro2.  I hope Fuji change their mind on this.

Second issue is the support for changing the ISO via the front dial, which is already in place for the X100F, and is coming to the X-T2.  Why, oh why, is this not coming to the X-Pro2 as well?  For one thing, the X-Pro2 needs this option more than the X-T2, which already has a nice easy dedicated ISO dial that works perfectly.  For another, it would be great to be able to have the same control layout across all cameras.  So again, I hope this gets changed, maybe its a typo in the firmware notes?

Back to the review...

The OVF..do I use it..hmm.  Yes, sometimes, but not enough to justify paying extra for it.  The reason I didn't wait for the X-T2 and bought the X-Pro2 was not the OVF, I wanted the form factor, the faster AF ( compared to the X-T1 ) and the 24 megapixel sensor.  I still prefer the form factor and look and feel over the X-T2, the X-Pro2 is the camera I reach for when it's personal work, and just for fun and general use.  When its time to do a job, then I pick up the X-T2 if I'm going to need that faster burst rate, the extra juice from the battery grip or if I'm using the zoom lenses I own.  For the primes, I generally stick to the X-Pro2.  This camera was made for that 35mm f2 lens, and every time I use it, I wonder why I don't use it more, it's such a punchy, lovely lens and it just works so well on the X-Pro2. Here are a few family shots taken with this combination.  

A quick note on straps now, as I get distracted once again.  I always find the straps Fuji provide to be completely useless, and it was the Fuji strap that got tangled up and dumped the camera on the floor on it's first day.  After about 2 years of experimentation on various Fujis, I've found the Peak Design straps to be my favourites.  This is the one currently attached to my X-Pro2...https://www.peakdesign.com/slide.  And no, they did not pay me to say that, but hey, if you are reading this Peak Design people, I don't mind some freebies in the post:)

So, are there any bad things about this camera?  Well, yes, of course...

The ISO control is fiddly and nowhere near as good as the X-T2, but I find it useable and I've gotten use to it.

The diopter wheel is in a stupid place and it gets moved alot when I put the camera in the bag.

The rubber eyepiece comes off way to easily and isn't as good as the X-T2 one.

And the positives...

The overall look and feel for me is better than the X-T2 and I just enjoy using it more, if I had to sell one of them, I'd sell the X-T2.  This to me is huge, and outweighs a ton of minor issues.

Build quality to me feels slightly more robust than the X-T2, although both are excellent, the XPro-2 feels more premium.

The buttons are generally better placed for me than the X-T2 and less recessed ( although both these cameras are way better than the X-T1 in this regard ).

It attracts less attention than the X-T2, which is basically a mini-dslr, and I always have the grip on the X-T2, which means the X-Pro2 is my ninja camera, well, it was until the X100F arrived anyway.

So to conclude, after a year of hard use, the X-Pro2 is still going strong, working perfectly and generally kicking ass.  No bits have started peeling off like they did on the X-T1 after a year so I think Fuji must have learned from some of their build quality mistakes!  I'll do a review on the X-T2 once it has been aged sufficiently in my camera bag, but so far it is holding up pretty well too.





Tomas Haran(non-registered)
Nice write up. I've been using two xt1 for a few years and recently got the xpro2. The change in evf size is the one thing that I'm still getting used to but I agree the xpro2 feels more solid. I'll probably eventually get the xt2 (the new generation is way better than the last one, for my uses) but I'm really pumped to learn the xpro2. I'll currently using it with the first firmware version and will soon update it all the way. Better AF is why I've updated from the xt1.
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