X-pro 2 first impressions and iso test.

I was lucky enough to get to try with a final version of the new (and currently unavailable) Fujifilm X-Pro 2.

NOTE: Scroll to the bottom of this article to find a link to all the RAW files I used in the comparison.  They are for your PERSONAL USE ONLY and not for reproduction or public use without permission.

Xpro2 in the hand

Xpro 2 finally in my hands… but these aren’t my hands. o_O

 

So, I took my 23mm off my X-Pro 1 and threw it onto the X-Pro2. Then I (with permission from the very casual shop assistant) put in a card and took some shots.

So below is a quick first impressions review.

Xpro 2 on the left (with lens) Xpro 1 on the right.

Xpro 2 on the left (with lens) Xpro 1 on the right.

 

Joysticks, ISO dials and OVF stuff.

The joystick…

joystick

OK it’s not as iconic as the Atari 2600 joystick (shown on the left), but it’s just as awesome.  It’s such a great thing for fuji to have chucked onto the camera.  It really makes things easier for people like me who love to move the focus point around.  When I’m shooting events (with my 1Dx) I will move the focus point around all the time and I like to do the same with my X-Pro 1.  On the X-Pro 1 it takes a bunch of steps to do it (aint no body got time for that), on the X-Pro 2 I just waggle my joystick a bit (yes we used to do that a lot back in the 1980s, I have practice) and the points move around. Also you can press down on your joystick for even more pleasure!  That’ll let you get into the changing of the size of the focus points etc. Well done Fuji for listening to people and adding this much needed improvement.  This is my #1 favourite new feature of the X-Pro 2. If I had one complaint is maybe it’s a little small.  But I certainly didn’t have any trouble using it.

 

The ISO dial…

ISO dial is on the outside, pull up to engage. It's cool but...

*ISO dial is on the outside, pull up to engage. It’s cool but…

Now, the ISO dial… I’m not super sure about this.  What I’d like (and honestly maybe this is a function I don’t know about, I only had a few minutes to play with it in the shop) is for Fuji to give us the OPTION to override the ISO dial and just use the front dial with a push to engage ISO selection.

The problem is this.  When you want to change ISO you have to pull up the ring surrounding the shutter speed dial.  This is FINE if you’re looking at the top of the camera, however, if you’re trying to do it with your eye to the viewfinder, it can be a bit awkward.  Sure, it’s not as awkward as the ISO changing system I have on the X-Pro 1 (Fn button to engage ISO, then back dial to switch settings), in fact I like it MORE than jumping through hoops like on the X-Pro 1, so it’s an improvement, however, I’m not sure how easy it will be to get use to. Maybe I’ll love it after a bit of practice, but right now I’m not sure if it’s not just a little too fiddly.  Therefore, if there’s an option to use the front dial instead (or perhaps Fuji can Kaizen it into some future firmware) it would be a good idea.  I believe you can do something similar with the X-T10.

So, I think the ISO dial is an improvement on the X-Pro 1, but the jury is still out on how inconvenient it will be over other options.

 

The new Optical View Finder (OVF)…

* Electronic Rangefinder will magnify your focus points inside the OVF

* Electronic Rangefinder will magnify your focus points inside the OVF

Now this I like a LOT.  I have enjoyed using the OVF on the X-Pro 1, I find it quite useful for street photography, as you can anticipate people entering the frame and prepare to capture their soul for later consumption… I mean, take their photo… However it isn’t without its limitations and it is pretty much useless for manual focus lenses (so forgettaboutit if you’ve got some M-Mount lenses).  I’m please to say the OVF is now improved a LOT!  The greatest improvement (as seen in the X100T) is the tiny LED electronic rangefinder thingy that pops into the lower right corner.  This is just AWESOME for checking you’re getting the focus on the right thing (especially when manual focusing).  Anyone who’s used the X-Pro 1 OVF knows it can be hit and miss when focusing and you really have no idea what is really being focused on.  With the electronic rangefinder you can see what your camera is focusing on and even can move the spot around using the joystick (oh yeh, waggle it baby).  Oh and if you have some Leica/M-mount lenses laying about, we finally have a decent (albeit crop sensored) Leica alternative for your Manual focus range finder goodness (yeh I know it’s not technically a range finder, but whatever bro).  This is great for people like me who’d love to try Leica, but can’t afford the crazy prices (my M-mount Voigtländer 35 1.2 is gonna love this thing).

 

Other things I noted:

Card slots: The 2 card slots (finally on the side and not stuck in with the battery) is a good thing to see.

Exposure compensation dial is bigger.  As you can see from this picture:

X-Pro 2 on left, X-Pro 1 on right.

X-Pro 2 on left, X-Pro 1 on right.

The Exposure Compensation dial is a bit bigger on the newer camera.  This is most likely because now it goes up to 3 and has C mode (so you can push it to 5 stops). Though, I’d wonder at that point why you’d not be shooting manual, but that’s just me.

EVF seems better… to be honest I didn’t spend too much time looking at the EFV because I found the new OVF so much fun.  But it seemed a bit better than the X-Pro 1.  I’m sure it’s a lot better, but I honestly didn’t have enough time with it to really tell.

X-Pro 2 on the left.

X-Pro 2 on the left.

ISO COMPARISONS

Now, onto the ISO comparisons.  Below are 100% crops from ISO 100-25600 (in one stop jumps).  Please ignore any missed focus (by which I mainly mean the 100iso shot), I made the error of shooting everything at f/1.4 and some of the shots may not have nailed focus (I only had time for one shot per ISO) but this is an ISO comparison not a sharpness test.

All were shot with the Fuji 23mm 1.4 lens at 1.4.  I had it set to A on the aperture and shutter dial… unfortunately it hit the max of 1/8000 at the two highest ISOs (sorry about that) but it still should be ok.

All were processed in Lightroom with Provia/Standard Profile and the following sharpening/NR settings:

I used these settings for each one.

I used these settings for each one.

Here’s what the scene I shot looks like as a whole picture:

The whole picture. I'll be including a link to the RAW files.

The whole picture. I’ll be including a link to the RAW files.

So here’s the 100% crops:

100iso (sorry about the softness on this one)

100iso (sorry about the softness on this one) This is the L setting and apparently will affect your dynamic range, so be careful using this setting.

 

200 iso (this is the base ISO)

200 iso (this is the base ISO)

 

400iso

400iso

 

800iso

800iso still clean as heck. I pretty much live on 800ISO on the X-Pro 1 so I’m happy with these results.

 

1600iso

1600iso noise creeping in…

 

3200iso

3200iso this is where I’d stop.  I could safely set the auto ISO to hit 3200 and not worry too much.

 

6400iso

6400iso (getting a bit too noisy for my tastes, losing a bit too much fine detail but would do in a pinch)

 

12800iso

12800iso (I’d only use it if I really needed too).

 

25600iso

25600iso (let’s face facts… yuck). This is the H (High) setting.

 

So, up to 3600iso it’s pretty much fine, I’m not worried about a little grain and would be more than happy with 3600iso shots.  6400 is starting to get a little too grainy for some things, but would still look fine in if you’re not displaying or printing too large.  12800 would be OK if you didn’t care much about details and noise and just wanted to capture the moment… 25600 is reserved for those times… well I don’t know, but I’m sure there will be a time you might need something grainy and with less fine details.

THAT SAID, IT DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR!

Even a relatively noisy shot can look ok when you don’t look too closely at it,  so even 12800 or even 25600 might be OK depending on it’s final use.  Especially if you’re not going to display/print it too big.

Here’s iso 200 compared to 12800 both small sized and next to each other:

Can you tell the difference?

Can you tell the difference?

Yeh it’s hard to tell the difference when the pictures are so small (12800 on the left BTW).

Conclusion

So, what do I think?

The new sensor, OVF, dual card slots, joystick and ISO dial are nice improvements over the X-Pro 1.  I’m looking forward to trying this camera out some more and perhaps having a bit more comprehensive review later on.

ISO seems great from 100iso – 3200 and useable above depending on what you’re using it for.  Personally I’ll be keeping 6400 as my max, with 3200 and below being my safe zone.  But YMMV.

Xpro 2 on the left (with lens) Xpro 1 on the right.

Xpro 2 on the left (with lens) Xpro 1 on the right.

LINK TO RAW FILES (for personal use only, reproduction or redistribution without permission is strictly forbidden):

LINK (Google Drive)

Each file is approx 50MB!  These are full uncompressed RAW files, they aren’t the new lossless compressed RAW files that is also an option.

 

*Picture borrowed from Fuji.

Thanks for reading,

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