Released in March of 2016, the Fuji X-Pro2 has been a pretty solid performer for over 3 years now, though I was late to the game with it. I had been watching this series since the release of the X-Pro1 back in 2012, but didn’t pull the trigger until last November when the timing just seemed right. I had sold my Sony A7R II kit in October because I thought I wanted to shoot exclusively film on the Voigtlander and keep the true one camera, one lens philosophy going. I quickly realized I was missing playing with digital.
With 99% of my work ending up on this blog or my Instagram feed, I wasn’t feeling the pull towards full frame or an obscene amounts of pixels any longer. I wanted a light camera that was as fun to shoot as a Leica, but a fraction of the cost. Fuji colors always interested me, and having played with a Fuji X-T2 over the summer, I knew what the processor could do (and it did it well) and loved the tiny lenses and weight of a CMOS mirrorless. With the X-Pro2 being of the same pedigree, I figured it was time to give this rangefinder-inspired camera a spin. So I jumped on Amazon and picked it up with the Fuji XF 35mm f/1.4 (50mm equiv). Aside from my product testing of the Zeiss ZX1, this is all I have shot since then.
The Fuji X-Pro2 may not have all the bells and whistles of a 2019 production camera, but can it still get the job done? Before I get into the details, let’s get a little nerd out of the way.
Fuji X-Pro2 Tech Specs
The water resistant Fuji X-Pro2 comes with some great specs packed into a little body. Firmware is still updated (version 5.0 is now out) which is so nice to see in something 3 years old. The camera has the tried and true X-Trans CMOS III sensor with 24 MP - more than enough for most anyone’s needs. A unique feature in this body is the hybrid multi viewfinder. This allows switching between EVF, OVF, a hybrid of the two, and a rangefinder(ish) mode with digital split image focus. These can quickly be swapped with the flick of a dedicated lever on the front of the camera. Like all Fuji digitals, there’s a pile of film simulations that I do not use - but there’s plenty of talk about those on the web for you to dig into. This one features the ACROS simulation that many covet - so there’s that.
The viewfinder is bright (adjustable) and has a fast refresh. With no really noticeable lag, the EVF looks as though you’re viewing through the OVF. Both have a solid heads-up display of things you want to see in there. (Also customizable). I’ve been flipping between the modes and seem to prefer the EVF. The hybrid is OK, but I don’t find myself enjoying it as much. I like having the EVF simulate Classic Chrome when shooting, as it’s really close to how I edit my image. I almost get a preview of what the RAW edit will look like in the end.
AF features Intelligent Hybrid AF (TTL contrast AF with 325 points / TTL 7x7 phase detection AF with 91 points - covering 40% of the sensor) that’s quite zippy and accurate. Not blistering, but good enough when shooting street. Speaking of quick, the camera starts up in just 0.4 seconds - but can be a little laggy when it falls asleep. Nothing horrid. The menu system is typical Fuji and you can expect to find things in the normal spots. Personally, I leave most of the settings default, turn off all beeps and lights, shoot RAW, and let it go.
One great feature on this over series 1 is dual card slots. These can be configured to write simultaneously for backup, one card RAW, the other JPG, or as an overflow (sequential). Me? I use it as overflow. With 2 64GB cards, I can travel quite some time without filling them up. When traveling, battery life is very fair and it’s rare I need to pop in a backup.
If you like the details, here they are below:
Mount: Fujifilm X Mount
Dimensions: 140.5mm x 82.8mm x 45.9mm / 5.5in. x 3.3in. x 1.8in.
Weight: 445g / 17.5 oz.
Sensor: X-Trans CMOS III, 23.6 x 15.6 mm
Total Pixels: 24.3
3" Rear Screen LCD
Aspect ratio 3:2, approx. 1.62 million dot
OVF - Reverse Galilean viewfinder with electronic bright frame display 92% coverage
Magnifications approx x0.36 / x0.60
EVF - 0.48-in TFT color viewfinder Approx 2.36 millions dots(4:3) 100% coverage
Magnification: 0.59x with 50mm lens
Light Meter: TTL 256-zone metering, Multi / Spot / Average / Center Weighted
Mode: P(Program AE) / A(Aperture Priority AE) / S(Shutter Speed Priority AE) / M(Manual Exposure)
White Balance: Automatic Scene recognition / Custom1~3 / Color temperature selection (2500K~10000K) /
Preset: Fine,Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm White), Fluorescent light (Cool White),Incandescent light, Underwater
Exposure Compensation: -5.0EV - +5.0EV, 1/3EV step - (movie recording : -2.0EV - +2.0EV)
ISO Range: 200 to 12800 (1/3 step)
7x7 phase detection with 91 points
4 sec. to 1/8000 sec.(P mode), 30 sec. to 1/8000 sec.(A mode)
Bulb mode(up to 60 min), TIME : 15 min to 1/8000 sec.
1 sec. to 1/32000 sec. (P / A / S / M modes)
Bulb mode : 1 sec. fixed, TIME : 15 min to 1/32000sec
Mechanical + Electronic Shutter
4 sec. to 1/32000 sec.(P mode), 30 sec. to 1/32000 sec.(A mode)
Bulb mode(up to 60 min), TIME : 15 min to 1/32000 sec.
Synchronized shutter speed for flash
1/250 sec. or slower
8 fps continuous shooting with AF
Image Types: JPEG (Exif Ver.2.3)*2, RAW : 14bit RAW (RAF original format), RAW+JPEG
Flash Sync: 1/250
Cost: $1699 (Amazon - April 2019)
Fuji XF 35mm f/1.4: $599 (Amazon - April 2019)
One additional accessory I have on here is the awesome Lensmate Folding Thumb Grip for Fujifilm X-Pro2. It looks like a film advance lever, but is used to balance the camera so much better. I really love how well this little guy works. It also folds back out of the way so you can easily access the buttons below it.
Highly highly suggest this or a similar grip for the camera. It’s a little pricey ($60 give or take) but well worth it in my book.
I also suggest getting a couple batteries and a car charger if you travel or do long trips. I grabbed the simple Wasabi Power Battery (2-Pack) and Charger for $20. It’s rare I need to go to a second battery - but it has come in handy on multi-day trips where I won’t have a chance to charge batteries.
On the Street with the X-Pro2
I’ve been primarily using this as a street camera since I received it with little landscape or portrait, but I mix it in when I can. It may sound funny, but the design encourages me to do more street work with it. It’s stealthy, light, and quiet. It truly does get out of my way. And though the design is 3 years old now, it doesn’t feel it.
Currently, I walk with it using just a wrist strap so it’s always at the ready. I am usually on a shoulder sling of some kind, but the wrist strap felt right for this one. As I said in the intro, my only lens at this point is the 35mm f/1.4. This is roughly a 50mm equivalent in 35mm and a view I am used to seeing with all my other cameras (see my post on my 50mm addiction). It’s a great lens on the street and as you can see to the right, can capture quite a bit as long as you move your feet.
Here are some of the settings I have adjusted:
Image Quality: RAW
Film Simulation: CLASSIC CHROME (this is just for the preview in the finder as you have to pick one. As I shoot RAW, it’s not applied to the file).
AF Mode: Single Point
AF Illuminator: OFF
AF+MF: ON (Allows manual focus while in AF mode)
MF Assist: FOCUS PEAK HIGHLIGHT
AF BEEP VOL.: OFF
IMAGE DISP: OFF
FRAMING GUIDELINE: GRID 9
CARD SLOT SETTING: SEQUENTIAL
Front: Shutter speed
Rear: Adjust focus frame size (I do this since aperture is on the lens and do not need to dedicate it here)
That’s really it. It’s a set it and forget it kind of thing. One annoyance is the menu location for formatting the cards. You have to dig several menus deep to format slot 1, then dig all the way back in again to do slot 2. Pain in my ass. A shortcut to note is holding in the trash icon, then simultaneously depressing the rear command wheel. This brings you straight into the format card function.
Results from the Fuji X-Pro2
As there isn’t a whole lot to say, I think letting the photos speak for themself is a good approach here. This is a random selection of images shot between November and April. All on the same lens, of course, and edited in Lightroom CC on my iPad. Note: Fuji files and Lightroom are not best friends. Take the sharpening back from its default of 40 down to 10-15. Otherwise, background tends to “worm” a little. It’s annoying.
I tried to throw in a small variety of scenes and edits to give a little range on how it performs. Sorry it’s a little street heavy, that’s just what I have been doing. Click on the images below for a larger size.
I asked in the intro if this is still relevant in 2019. For me, it’s a resounding YES. Especially as a street camera, where things like the (relatively) ancient Leica M9 still rule, this is a solid player.
With the way my images have been coming out lately, I haven’t had the desire to pick up my 2 remaining film cameras (Voigtlander and Yashica). I haven’t shot a frame of film since October and am in no rush. I am still trying to figure out the style I want to edit these in, but am getting pretty close right now and feel I can be consistent with the look I want. Usually, it’s just a one-click profile (not preset) that I use with a little exposure adjustment and WB correction. But as for the camera, for what it is, I really enjoy it. It’s lightweight, fairly quick, and built for street.
I know better than to say this is all I will use, but for the last 6 months it really has been. If I was shooting for money, I don’t think this would be the camera for professional work, though I honestly think it could be used that way. I know several people using it as a back up at weddings with no issue. But as a street machine, it’s one of the best (digitals) out there, especially when you consider bang for the buck. I put it on par with how much I liked the Sony RX1R II in the street. The real test is when I get my final copy of the Zeiss ZX1 (soon) and pit them together on the street.