Classic Styling With Contemporary Technologies
If you love cameras for simply being cameras, you can’t help but fall in love with the Fujifilm X-Pro2. It’s refreshingly individualistic – an adventurous combination of traditional design with thoroughly contemporary technologies. There’s also a purity of purpose which makes for an uncomplicated appeal. The classic styling is hugely effective ergonomically, including a return to the ‘old-fashioned’ way of setting the ISO by lifting and turning the outer rim of the shutter speed dial. Operational efficiency is enhanced with a new front input wheel (to complement the rear control) and, on the rear panel, a jog-type controller for selecting autofocus points. The additional input wheel has both rotational and press-in to change functions, significantly enhancing exposure control especially when shooting in manual. Beautifully milled dials are retained for setting shutter speeds and exposure compensation.
The magnesium alloy bodyshell is both weather-sealed and insulated, plus there are dual slots for SD format memory cards, while 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 and the X-Pro2 integrates the different elements – including the nifty ‘Electronic Range Finder’ (ERF) display – to optimise the usefulness. ERF appears as a small panel inset at the lower right corner of the frame, and is a TTL feed direct from the sensor so it provides a magnified view from the active focus point – without any parallax error. With manual focusing, the ERF panel shows the focus peaking display as an additional means of assistance.
Fujifilm’s latest-generation ‘X-Trans CMOS III’ sensor continues as one of the best in the ‘APS-C’ format world and also allows for hybrid contrast/phase detection autofocusing with its attendant improvements in speed and reliability. The focal plane shutter runs to 1/8000 second and a sensor-based shutter up to 1/32,000 second with, of course, silent operation. Continuous shooting is possible up to 8.0 fps.
While every camera maker offers adjustable 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 monochrome with an ACROS ‘Film Simulation’ preset – named after the popular fine-grained B&W film. This offers adjustments for sharpness, contrast and tonality to give – along with a ‘Grain Effect’ function – much more photographic-looking results.
Fujifilm’s film heritage is also behind functions such as the ‘Lens Modulation Optimiser’ (LMO) for dealing with diffraction, and the camera’s particularly effective dynamic range expansion processing. There are currently 23 X Mount lenses, including the recently released Fujinon XF 100400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR telephoto zoom which is equivalent to 150-600mm but obviously a lot more compact and lighter than a 35mm format lens would be.
Appropriately, the X-Pro2’s feature set is uncompromisingly workmanlike, with 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. 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 excellent performance, especially from the 24 megapixels ‘X-Trans CMOS III’ sensor and Fujifilm’s expertise with processing imaging data. The X-Pro2 may be a very different camera to its pro-level D-SLR rivals – or its pro-level mirrorless rivals – but as a highly effective means to an end, it’s without peer.