FU­JI­FILM X-PRO2

Camera - - AWARDS -

If you love cam­eras for sim­ply be­ing cam­eras, you can’t help but fall in love with the X-Pro2. Fu­ji­film’s X Mount flag­ship is re­fresh­ingly in­di­vid­u­al­is­tic – an ad­ven­tur­ous com­bi­na­tion of tra­di­tional de­sign ele­ments (the RF-style op­ti­cal viewfinder, beefy di­als, etc, etc) with thor­oughly con­tem­po­rary tech­nolo­gies. On paper it re­ally looks like it shouldn’t work as well as it does, but Fu­ji­film’s blend­ing of the old with the new is damn near seam­less so there’s a har­mony and a bal­ance that flirts with er­gonomic per­fec­tion. It might not look like it, but in the hand the X-Pro2 is a rev­e­la­tion (per­haps con­firms why Leica has stuck with a sim­i­lar ba­sic con­fig­u­ra­tion for over 60 years).

There’s also a pu­rity of pur­pose – af­ter all, the Fu­ji­film X-Pro2 is first and fore­most a work­ing cam­era – which makes for an un­com­pli­cated appeal. The styling is, be­fore any­thing else, un­com­pro­mis­ing… in­clud­ing a re­turn to the old­fash­ioned way of set­ting the ISO by lift­ing and turn­ing the outer rim of the shut­ter speed dial. The mag­ne­sium al­loy bodyshell is now weather-sealed and there’s dual mem­ory card slots, but the jewel in the crown is still Fu­ji­film’s unique hy­brid op­ti­cal/elec­tronic viewfinder. Now that EVFs are so good, it could be ar­gued there’s less im­per­a­tive for the op­ti­cal op­tion, but Fu­ji­film’s ar­range­ment de­liv­ers the best of both worlds. The lat­est-gen­er­a­tion ‘X-Trans CMOS’ sen­sor con­tin­ues as one of the best in the ‘APS-C’ world and now al­lows for hy­brid con­trast/ phase de­tec­tion aut­o­fo­cus­ing with its at­ten­dant im­prove­ments in speed and re­li­a­bil­ity (plus most of the X-T2 re­fine­ments are avail­able as an up­grade). The con­ven­tional fo­cal plane shut­ter runs to 1/8000 sec­ond and sen­sor-based shut­ter to 1/32,000 sec­ond. And while every­body has JPEG pic­ture pre­sets, Fu­ji­film puts a lot of ef­fort into de­sign­ing its pro­files to repli­cate the look of its best-loved colour films. Now it’s do­ing the same with B&W so the X-Pro2 has an ACROS ‘Film Sim­u­la­tion’ pre­set. Fu­ji­film’s film her­itage is also be­hind func­tions such as the ‘Lens Mo­du­la­tion Op­ti­miser’ (LMO) for deal­ing with dif­frac­tion and the par­tic­u­larly ef­fec­tive dy­namic range ex­pan­sion pro­cess­ing.

Ap­pro­pri­ately, the X-Pro2’s fea­ture set is work­man­like rather than flashy, there’s ev­ery­thing needed to get the job done in­cam­era with the em­pha­sis on a smooth and ef­fi­cient work­flow. This is a cam­era that works with you rather than against you so it makes busi­ness a plea­sure and, if you aren’t shoot­ing for profit, the whole ex­pe­ri­ence is a sheer de­light.

It’s backed up by a solid per­for­mance, es­pe­cially from the 24 MP ‘X-Trans’ sen­sor and Fu­ji­film’s ex­per­tise with pro­cess­ing imag­ing data. It may be a very dif­fer­ent an­i­mal to its pro-level D-SLR ri­vals – or, for that mat­ter (and more rel­e­vant in this cat­e­gory), its pro-level mir­ror­less ri­vals – but as a highly ef­fec­tive means to an end, the Fu­ji­film X-Pro2 is ac­tu­ally with­out peer.

PRO­FES­SIONAL MIR­ROR­LESS CAM­ERA – THE FI­NAL­ISTS Fu­ji­film X-Pro2 Leica SL Sony Al­pha 7S II

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