For over a year rumors have swirled about Fujifilm's follow-up camera to the X-Pro1, the predictably named X-Pro2. Having previously shot with other Fuji mirrorless cameras, I have been slowly falling in love with them over my more traditional DSLR options for some time now. Mirrorless cameras are smaller, quieter, and increasingly bringing new technology to photographers whereas DSLRs remain large, heavy, and seemingly slow to adapt. My attraction to Fuji goes one step further with their unique sensor design that renders color and tonality unlike any other camera on the market today. Beyond the sensor technology, Fuji also offers emulation modes for both in-camera processing and post-processing that reproduce the looks of some of their most iconic films. Film simulators are usually cheesy, but the Fujifilm simulations for Provia, Astia, Velvia, PRO Neg, and now Acros, reproduce their true film counterparts in an undeniably magnificent way. Suffice it to say, the resulting files from Fuji mirrorless cameras are a pure joy to work with, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on the new Fuji X-Pro2. In what follows are my initial impressions of the camera, from the time I opened the box through the first hour of shooting with it.
There is something so enjoyable about opening the box of a new camera you've been anticipating. Opening the Fuji X-Pro2 was no exception. The packaging was typical Fuji, matte black with a smooth finish. Inside, the camera hid under a cardboard flap with a large "X" cut from it, denoting the X-Pro2 as one of Fuji's X-series cameras. As I lifted the camera from its protective bed, I immediately noticed the perfect weight of the body. Made from a magnesium alloy like most professional camera bodies, the camera feels solid and sure in the hand. Not heavy, but robust. Combined with it's small size, it holds beautifully.
While further inspecting the Fuji X-Pro2, I noticed a couple other things that I liked very much before I even started shooting with it. For example, all of the buttons located on the back face of the camera are reachable by the right hand. Also, the control knobs on the top of the camera are nicely arranged and feature a great tactile feel, both the knurled surfaces and the feeling of the clicks as they rotate. Perhaps most impressive of all ergonomic features is the new focus "stick." This control is basically a little multi-directional joystick within perfect reach of your thumb for quickly adjusting the focus points when shooting. It seems so simple, but I've never seen this control so well executed on any other camera.
With only a little charge in the battery, I grabbed the nearest lens - which happened to be the exquisite Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 XF R - threw a card into first of two slots (two card slots!) and headed out into the yard for some quick snaps. Looking just to get a feel for the camera, and not wanting to spend any time processing images, I set the controls to shoot JPEG versus my usual, preferred setting of RAW, and chose the Fuji Velvia film simulation. After the first couple of clicks, I was hooked. The feel and the sound of the shutter release is practically addictive; the promise of the next "click" virtually begs you to take another shot. Within the hour, I knew this would become my new go-to camera.
Footnotes: All images, Fujiflim X-Pro2 with Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 XF R, straight from the camera JPEGs with in-camera Velvia film simulation