Monday, 18 April 2016

My first experiences with the X-Pro2 (part 2)

Some days have passed by and the camera feels more like an every camera does. I find it always interesting how hard we suffer when we wait for a new gadget and how fast we forget about those feelings after a short period of time. "Hey, come on! It's is a brand new X-Pro2!" ;-)

I did a little trip with my wife and my parents in law to a nice little hotel in Kuehlungsborn (a place at the Baltic sea coast of north/east Germany) to enjoy walks at the beach, a hot sauna and a good dinner to forget about work and get some fresh air into my lungs. The camera was with me (as always) and I took some more photos for this little real life review.

Will it blend?

The mother of all questions. This camera does the job and feels great in the hand of a photographer. My lineup for the weekend were the XF 27mm and the 60mm lenses. The last mentioned glass is said to be sluggish in terms of auto-focus so I was curious about how it will perform on the X-Pro2, because on my X-T1 it also performs quite well with just a little bit of focus hunting. On the X-Pro 2 it felt a bit snappier and I also had little to no problems with that ultra-sharp lens. With the new 24 megapixel sensor this lens showed how many details it had left in his spare pocket (and how great Fuji lenses are). The next image is taken from a little portrait session I did for my father in law because he needed a quick one for a presentation he is holding this week in a book store.

At hundred percent view in Lightroom this photos has so much details that it is a pure joy to use this lens on the X-Pro2. But trust me. We live in luxury times with products who deliver great quality even when you shoot photos with your iPhone. In the library of the hotel we stayed I found some older photo-books from the seventies and the quality of the printed photos (compared to now) was way behind every photo you can take with today's technology. That doesn't mean that the composition or the all the other aspects that make a good photo were wrong. It is just a major step in overall image, post processing and print-quality. I think Fuji is with the "top of the cream" in this field and it feels good to use excellent optics and technology that this well made to get professional results (even as a non-pro).

Only cheap in price

With the 27mm pancake this camera becomes an unobtrusive low profile tool that combines a fast auto focus with sharp images that have great contrast. You will love this lens. There is no focus hunting and for about 300 bucks it has the lowest price tag in the range of XF lenses.

High contrast

Will this camera also perform in back lit situations? How about recovering the darker parts of the image and preserving color, noise and contrast?

The image above was taken in a high contrast situation. The building in the foreground was dark out of cam. I did some tweaking with Lightroom and the colors look great. Even the noise level was low in the shadows. You can seriously work with this images without the need of taking two photos or working with a filter. But for fine art photography I will always suggest do save every bit of information by using the other mentioned techniques.

The joy(stick)

Many have written about that new control but you can't say loud enough: thank you! I use this joystick a lot of times (most of the times by doing portraits) and you think by yourself: why has it take so much time until someone had this idea!

Found a quirk!

I bought a new fast SD card (UHS II) to put this camera on steroids, but when I use the front wheel to flip through my images the fast way, the camera refuses to work sometimes and I have to take out the battery to start it over again. I hope Fuji will solve this problem with the next firmware release.


Is it pure marketing? A new profile that is only possible with the new sensor? Black and white like from the darkroom? I've used the ACROS profile in Lightroom to develop the next three images, because I don't do in camera JPG that much. I am a lazy guy when it comes to post processing lots of images and this profile looks great out of the box. I only need to do some tone curve tweaking and it's done!

(Final) thoughts?

I think this camera is the ideal companion because of it's size, handling and image quality. It is ideal for street, reportage and travel photography. It is solid, weather sealed and (now) fast. With high quality glass from Fuji or Zeiss this camera delivers the same excellent images like the predecessors did. There is nothing that has stopped me from taking photos and most of the controls are in the right place (don't forget about that supa dupa joystick!). I can say that I'm satisfied with this camera.

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Stay tuned for the next part...



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