Fujifilm breathes new life into X-Pro interchangeable-lens camera line with X-Pro2

fujifilm-x-pro2-mfr-43.jpg

The X-Pro2 is scheduled to ship in the US in February.

Fujifilm

Given that the X-Pro1 debuted in 2012, one might be forgiven for thinking that Fujifilm had abandoned that track in favor of the more recent X-T1, the model which has held the flagship position in the company's pro/enthusiast interchangeable-lens line since it became available in February 2014.

Fujifilm

The X-Pro2 is scheduled to ship in the US in February, at $1,700 for the body. Prices are high elsewhere, at £1,350 and AU$2,700.

In addition, Fujifilm keeps to its lens roadmap, announcing the promised Fujinon XF100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR. In what's already turning out to be the Year of the Telephoto lens (both Olympus and Panasonic announced them during CES), this pro lens has all the key features you'd expect for its $1,900 price tag (AU$2,700, £1,400): dust-and-weather sealing, five stops of image stabilization, nine-bladed round aperture and a water-repelling fluorine-coated front element. You can extend its 35mm-equivalent 150-600mm range with Fujifilm's 1.4x teleconverter. Still on the roadmap: a 120mm f2.8 macro by the end of this year.

What's new

  • Image sensor and autofocus. Normally, I wouldn't clump these two specs together, but Fujifilm's X-Trans sensor technology has the autofocus sensors on the image sensor. Here, Fujifilm introduces its third-generation X-Trans CMOS, at the APS-C sensor's highest resolution to date -- 24.3 megapixels, up from 16.3MP. A the same time it adds significantly more contrast autofocus areas, 273 up from 49, but keeps the same 77 phase-detection points in the center, just like the fast X-T1. As a refresher, the X-Trans technology uses a 5G:2R:2B ratio (green, red, blue) color filter array rather than the 2G:1R:1B used by the standard Bayer array on a typical sensor. The extra green -- the most sensitive sites on the sensor -- provides sufficient data that there's less false color produced by demosaicking (reconstructing colors from the array) and obviates the need for an optical low-pass filter to blur the edges between the pixels.
  • Speed. Fujifilm bolsters the system with an new image-processing engine, dubbed "X-Processor Pro," which the company claims boosts performance significantly over its existing line. It also ups the continuous-shooting speed in line with that of the X-T1 to 8 frames per second.
  • Viewfinder. Fujifilm introduces a Hybrid Multi viewfinder in the X-Pro2 which extends the technology that first debuted in the X100 series, letting you switch between a direct-view optical and electronic viewfinder (EVF). According to the company, the latest twist is its ability to switch magnification based on the focal length (and therefore the angle of view) of the lens, rather than cropping. It can also overlay the EVF on the optical VF, though I'm not quite sure what that entails.

The top now has an ISO sensitivity dial embedded within the shutter-speed dial.

Fujifilm
  • Design. While Fujifilm has tweaked the layout and form of some of the controls, the biggest update is dust-and-weather sealing, a big miss from the X-Pro1 that made it into the X-T1, and the increase to two SD card slots. It also has a new LCD, the same size as before but higher resolution. In an odd twist, Fujifilm embedded the ISO sensitivity dial in the shutter-speed control, but otherwise leaves the top relatively untouched; still no dedicated record button for video. The back is pretty new, with all the buttons gone from the left of the LCD and the viewfinder all the way on the left as well. It now has a joystick control, separate exposure and focus lock buttons (more like the X-T1) and what looks like a metering button right in the middle top.

The back has changed quite a bit.

Fujifilm
  • Features. In addition to adding Wi-Fi for remote shooting, wireless transfer and interval shooting, Fujifilm brings the X-Pro2 into parity with the X-T1 for shooting video: It now does 1080/60p at a bit rate of 36 megabits per second. Adding to its arsenal of film simulations, Fujifilm introduces a monochrome simulation based on its Neopan 100 ACROS black-and-white film.

My take

For whatever reason, the X-Pro2 retains the shallow grip, forcing you to buy a better accessory grip (the MHG-Xpro2). This never fails to set off my peeve meter. And when you see what Samsung managed to pack into the competing NX1, including 4K video and a tilting display, for about $1,200 (£1,100, AU$2,000), the X-Pro2 seems a bit expensive. On the other hand, for folks who've made an investment in Fuji X-system lenses, it definitely sounds like a worthwhile step up from both the X-Pro1 and the X-T1. If rumors about the X-T2 are correct, then that will fill the more feature-packed flagship option in the company's lineup that this one doesn't.

Comparative specs

Fujifilm X-Pro1 Fujifilm X-Pro2
Sensor effective resolution 16.3MP X-Trans CMOS 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III
Sensor size 23.6 x 15.6mm 23.6 x 15.6mm
Focal-length multiplier 1.5x 1.5x
OLPF No No
Sensitivity range ISO 100 (exp)/200 - ISO 6400/25600(exp) ISO 100 (exp)/200 - ISO 12800/51200 (exp)
Burst shooting 6fps
n/a
8fps
83 JPEG/27 raw
Viewfinder
(mag/ effective mag)
Hybrid
Reverse Galilean
90% coverage
EVF
0.47 in/12 mm
1.44 million dots
100% coverage
Hybrid
Reverse Galilean
92% coverage
EVF
0.48 in/12 mm
2.36 million dots
100% coverage
varies with focal length
(0.59x at 50mm)
Hot Shoe Yes Yes
Autofocus 49-area contrast AF 77-point phase-detection; 273-point contrast
AF sensitivity n/a n/a
Shutter speed 30-1/4,000 sec.; bulb to 60 min; 1/180 x-sync 1/8,000 to 30 sec; bulb to 60 min; 1/250 sec x-sync
Shutter durability n/a n/a
Metering 256 zones 256 zones
Metering sensitivity n/a n/a
Best video H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/24p H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/60p @ 35 Mbps
Audio Stereo Stereo; mic input
Manual aperture and shutter in video Yes Yes
Maximum best-quality recording time per clip 29 minutes 14 minutes
Clean HDMI out No n/a
IS Optical Optical
Display 3 in/7.5 cm
Fixed
1.04m dots
3 in/7.5 cm
Fixed
1.62 million dots
Memory slots 1 x SDXC 2 x SDXC
Wireless connection None Wi-Fi
Flash No No
Wireless flash Yes Yes
Battery life (CIPA rating) 300 shots
(1,300 mAh)
350 shots
(1,300 mAh)
Size (WHD) 5.0 x 2.9 x 1.7 in
140 x 82 x 43 mm
5.2 x 3.3 x 1.8 in
141 x 83 x 46 mm
Body operating weight 15.8 oz
448 g
17.5 oz (est.)
495 g (est.)
Mfr. price (body only) $500 (est.)
£452 (est.)
AU$730 (est.)
$1,700
£1,350
AU$2,700
Release date April 2012 February 2016

Editor's note, January 15, 2016: slightly updated the sensor and viewfinder specs.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Weight 15.7 oz
  • Sensor Resolution 24.3 Megapixel
  • Optical Sensor Size 15.6 x 23.6mm
  • Optical Sensor Type X-Trans CMOS III
  • Sensor Resolution 24.3 pixels