As I write this I have had my Fuji X-Pro2 for exactly 3 days, so I’m not about to give you a full blown, in depth review of how the camera performs as I have not been using it long enough. What I can do is give you my first impressions from opening the box to taking it out for a day of street photography around Liverpool.
I’ve had my Fuji X-Pro1 for a while now and I do like it. It just feels right to use. It’s a few years old and is thought of as a bit slow but it is still a top end camera and capable of being so for a long while yet. So why did I upgrade? Well, it’s new shiny shiny camera gear right? Ok, maybe there’s a little bit of gear lust that drove my decision to upgrade but there are some features of the new model that I was particularly interested in.
This was a big one for me as I’ve always been so conscious of getting my cameras wet while I’ve been out doing street photography, and let’s face it, the UK weather isn’t known for it’s long periods of sun. So the weather sealing was a big plus for me and I can now keep shooting when the weather turns a little rubbish. I also bought the weather sealed 35mm f2 to go with it to replace my 35mm f1.4 so everything is safe to brave the UK weather.
Ok, so the X-Pro1 with the 35mm f1.4 lens wasn’t the fastest at finding it’s focus point and the new X-Pro2 coupled with the new 35mm f2 lens is so much faster. I was surprised at how improved it had got and after a day of wandering the streets of Liverpool I reckon my sharp image hit rate has gone up a stop or two.
The new black and white film simulation mode for jpegs. When creative chrome came out on some of the pervious Fuji cameras, everyone got a bit giddy about it and raved at how good it was and everyone used it. I can see the same thing happening for Acros, but to be honest, it’s well deserved. It is just a nice black and white conversion straight out of camera. Less for me to do in Adobe Lightroom. Winner.
I’ve been using a Toshiba Flashair Wifi SD card in my x100s and X-Pro1 to enable me to edit and post photos from my iPhone while I was out and about. Now, with Wifi built in, I can use some of the faster SD cards that I’ve got and still have that ability to edit and post stuff while I’m out and about.
The X-Pro1 has done me proud and coped with low light pretty well. Now with the new, improved sensor we get decent quality images at the high ISO levels which gives you so many more options in low light. I’m not a big fan of using flash, so the more I can do with available light the better. I tried it out in a pub after the walk round Liverpool and am pretty pleased with the results. No doubt after a bit more getting used to the camera’s characteristics, I’ll like it even more.
There were a few things I wasn’t too keen on. The price to start with. £1349 is a big chunk of cash (or credit card space) to put into a camera when you aren’t a full time photographer making a living from it. However, I’ve already got a few things lined up which should see it helping to contribute to it’s cost so that’s helped justify the expense and I’m selling some of my existing Fuji gear to help fund it too.
I also bought the 35mm f2 weather sealed lens with the camera, so that’s another thing to consider. I can have a nice weather sealed camera body, but if the lenses aren’t weather sealed too, I could still have problems. Fortunately I’m not one for having lots of lenses, I like the idea of one camera, one lens but 35mm isn’t going to cover everything I need to use the camera for so another lens may have to be purchased to complete the kit.
The other thing that I was concerned about was the extra storage space I’m going to need with the larger file sizes. I’ve already got a few large hard drives on the go for my photo storage, plus a cloud based solution too. Now I’m going to be all keen and taking more photos, I’m soon going to run out of storage and it will mean more expense to get more. First world problems eh?
So after a day of use, what do I think? Well, I love it. Even though there are few changes to the X-Pro1 in terms of button layout and menus, I got into the swing of things quickly and it felt natural. Even though it was a brand new camera, that didn’t get in the way and I could concentrate on the images. I love the Acros black and white, it seems to suit the style of photography I enjoy. I’m not quite ready to shoot jpeg only yet, I still like that safety of a raw file just in case.
The auto focus was a joy to use, it was so fast. I used the zone focus mode and even in busy shopping areas it picked out the subject quickly. I still missed a few but I think that was more down to my technique than a problem with the camera. This will no doubt improve with time.
As I said, it’s only been a few days. There have been a few reported bugs with it which I’m sure Fuji will sort out with a firmware update soon, but there is nothing that’s putting me off the camera is it’s confirmed it was the right choice.
The Wifi and iOS app are a bit fiddly. I’m not sure whether that’s just me being an idiot or there are a few things to sort out there, but it worked and my “out and about workflow” was still possible.
In typical fashion, it actually stayed dry, so the weather sealing did not have to perform. I’m sure that will change soon though.
Well, I mentioned about buying another lens, and thanks to the great folk at Cambrian Photo, I got to try out the Fuji 16-55mm f2.8 weather sealed lens. My credit card is going to get a little more use and that lens will be mine. It will give me the flexibility I need and will also mean my kit stays to a minimum. 35mm for general use and street, 16-55mm for some of the more commercial bits I do from time to time.
So with all this expense, a bit more commercial work is in order. More on that another time as I have a few ideas at the drawing board level.