Fuji released their new flagship camera this month, the X-Pro2. It is the first X-series camera to feature a 24MP sensor (compared to 16MP before) and it has a very interesting hybrid optical & electronic view finder. When I first read rumors of the camera it was clear to me that I wanted to upgrade to it. When they finally announced it in January I immediately pre-ordered it.
A week before launch my local photo shop had a day where they had a guy from Fuji in with the new gear they announced in January (there is also an update to the X-E2 and the new X70). I decided to head there to have a first look at the camera but also to see the Fujinon 100-400mm lens in person. This is a pretty huge lens that makes the camera look hilariously small and it clocks in at almost 1400gramm in weight. In addition to the camera and lenses the Fuji guy had brought some images he had taken with the camera and lens in the weeks prior to show what is possible. I loved how they looked but I unfortunately also loved the versatility of the lens. So with my bank account screaming I also ordered the lens…
Last week both of them arrived and I decided to take them out to the zoo on Saturday morning (which is a way better time than Sundays – less crowded). A lot of the controls of the X-Pro2 are very similar to those on the X-E2 that I have become used to but they have moved all of them to the right side of the display and also added a joystick like Canon has on some of their DSLRs. All of this made working with the camera a very similar experience which was very helpful. Truly new for me is the ability to also change the ISO setting with a wheel at the top of the camera. Fuji took a page out of the retro book here with a combined shutter speed and ISO dial like some cameras in the 70s had. You pull up the wheel to change the ISO setting and push in a button to move the shutter speed. This is taking some getting used to but I’ve already become better at it and soon it will be very easy to do, I’m sure. Additionally, the auto-focus is a lot faster than before which is excellent and due to the new processor the whole camera is much speedier.
More of a new experience was the lens. As I’ve stated before this thing is huge! Once more I was glad that years ago I switched from the camera strap that comes in the box to a sling by black rapid. This means that while walking the camera and lens will be resting on your hip and along your leg, making it a much easier proposition. It also helps greatly with getting the weight off your neck. That being said, handling the lens is still getting some getting used to because it is big and not really something you can easily handle when changing settings when you have the camera pressed to your nose. But the picture results absolutely speak for themselves here. They are very sharp and the image stabilizer works great os that I got sharp shots even at the long end of the length when shooting upwards (which my shoulders and arms greatly complained about).
The second test was yesterday: This week there are light sculptures all over Frankfurt. This of course is the perfect playground to take the camera out for more experimentations. I really enjoyed handling the camera with the much more compact 10-20mm lens. Here I could really test changing settings with one hand while still looking through the view finder. It worked great. I also did some testing with high ISO. Fuji has put an emphasis on great performance with high ISO values and it really shows. I’ve set my Auto-ISO setting now to 200-3,200 and even went up higher yesterday when I wanted to handhold a shot that I wouldn’t have been able to get with the tripod I was carrying. The camera didn’t break a sweat and the noise was absolutely fine and Lightroom did a great job reducing it, too.
Lightroom is an issue still though. As I said, the camera came out this month and Lightroom already supports the RAW files from it but I feel like they still need work. Some of the details in the areas that aren’t sharp look very mushy to me. Unfortunately Apple hasn’t shipped support for the files yet so I cannot compare with that but I did compare it with the RAW converter that Fuji ships and the details were better there so I hope Adobe will solve this soon, too.