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The story how I got married with Fujifilm X-Pro 2 // Fujifilm X-Pro 2 review

fujifilm-x-pro2-reviewThe day when I got married with Fujifilm X-Pro 2 // Fujifilm X-Pro 2 review

Preface

The writer (call him Timppa), is a passionate shooter who works as a documentary wedding photographer. I want my work to feel like a hobby. I don’t take it too seriously and it doesn’t exhaust me completely. The next text is to you. To photography lover who desires creating and catching memories on to film. Is there a beer or a halfway gone bottle of wine left from the weekend in your fridge. Take it with you and let the story take you with it. The following photos are taken with Fujifilm X-Pro 2 and the product photos with Fujifilm X-T1.
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(camera strap field day)

The day when i saw a glimpse of her // The first touch

When i think about the time when i got to try the Fuji’s newcomer, the x-pro 2, it went somehow like this.

It was the December 21st when i saw her (you read right, her) the first time. The dark and depressing weather had been over Helsinki for weeks. On that very day there was a moment that gave it a little light. I’m having lunch with couple of my friends in the corner table and i had just had the first bite of my appetizer when i got the first look of her. My heart started pumping more and more the longer i looked at her. An hour passed in seconds and then she was gone. I was left only with a memory of how beautiful species we were talking about. Everything seemed right and wait of many years was over. This will be the camera that turns a next page in my photographing history – reign of Nikon was over.

Welcome Fujifilm X-pro 2.

And yes… the feeling was amazing. There is this intimate Fuji-soul in this camera, what i felt already 4 years ago.

fujifilm-x-pro2-reviewfujifilm-x-pro2-reviewfujifilm-x-pro2-reviewWhen the moment really leaves a mark to you // Fujifilm X-pro 2 – Welcome

The time passed and i couldn’t get her out of my mind, and continuous refreshing of Fujirumors didn’t help. Five weeks later my wait was rewarded. Some people say that waiting is the best time when you are excited of the future. In this case the best feeling was when i got the camera into my hand and got to shoot for the joy. This is article about the camera  which i have been using for 2 months and how it has worked for me. Im not going to list all the features but rather telling which work for me and which not. Im looking for answers to next questions:

1. How does the camera feel?
2. What does bothers me in the camera?
3. Is it going to be the camera that revolutionises my wedding photography?
4. Has Fuji listened its users and improved the weaknesses?
5. Is X-pro 2 Fuji’s next big step towards mass markets?
6. Is X-pro 2 going to stop me switching between Nikon and Fujifilm so i can focus fully to photographing?

fujifilm-x-pro2-reviewfujifilm-x-pro2-reviewfujifilm-x-pro2-reviewfujifilm-x-pro2-reviewFirst date // Fujifilm x-pro 2 exterior

I was nervous. it felt like i had known her for decades but everything was new. BETTER. X-pro 2’s exterior is almost identical to x-pro 1. The biggest and the most visible changes occurred on the backside. All the buttons are placed to the right side of the LCD just where they belong and are big enough to feel them. This has speeded up the use of the camera and made it a lot more simpler. For example you can keep your left hand still while shooting. Thumb has exceptionally well space and it sits always to the right place. Joystick is a perfect addition and switching between focus points is really fast. You are also able to move horizontally in focus point menu and pressing joystick twice the focus point moves back to middle.

Small but functional and beautiful addition was made to speed dial on top of the camera. ISO menu is mounted inside the speed dial and is used by lifting and turning simultaneously. People had different opinions about this at the Kuva&Kamera -event in Helsinki. In two months i have learned to use speed dial so i know exactly how much to turn it when i want to change ISO by one stop and i don’t have to move my eyes from the scene. Although you have to lift the dial-ring pretty much because otherwise the shutter speed switch will move too. Kuva&Kamera -event visitor gave feed back about this. When using Nikon i got used to switch ISO without moving my index finger from the shutter release-button.

Generally X-pro 2’s body is light (495g) and robust which i appreciate as a documentary wedding photographer. Camera has to durable but also inconspicuous. Double SD-card slot was the requirement that i would take the camera to my work arsenal. The first slot is UHS-2 and the second one backs up in UHS-1 speed. You have different options for the second slot like JPEG saving, backing up or using it after the first one is full. The appearance is simple and beautiful which pets eyes. The thing i missed is turning LCD display from X-T1. I didn’t believe that i would ever say this but i have used it really often when i want to adjust the angle a little lower or higher. In the other hand I’m not sure what it would look like in rangefinder camera and it probably would have increased the size.

For my hands the camera is comfy and stable. But for bigger hands i recommend the hand grip (does not come with extra battery place) which gives more support to the bottom and front. I have to make the special mention of the shutter sound. It’s bloody sexy.

I like

Integrated shutter speed and ISO switch is functional
Buttons on the right side of the camera, in the right places and big enough
6 buttons that you can program as you wish is plenty and more
Grip of the camera is good
Light but durable – Wedding photographers dream!
Shutter sound is like a music to your ears
Camera is extremely pretty – rouses almost too much attention ;)
Battery has stayed the same. Good if you have enough of them.
Battery life in percent

I didn’t like

Grip is too small for big hands, i recommend a hand grip
No extra battery option in hand grip
You have to get used to the ISO switch
No turning LCD
Battery is the same. Still almost miserable. Update to this is needed most definitely.
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On the next date we deepened // X-pro 2 interior

As i mentioned earlier Fujifilm x-pro 2’s exterior is very similar to x-pro 1 but inside everything is new. The biggest thing to me was the briefness of “blackout” time. Wedding photographing is continuous and things happen every second. After i have taken the photo my “eyes” are closed for a moment. Imagine that i take almost 3500 photos during one wedding it means 3500 blackout seconds = 58 minutes. Almost one hour of black screen. This has been fixed and is comparable to dslr’s mirror. FUCKING AWESOME.

Electronic finder works perfectly and you can take 85 photos in second. Finder does its job in every way really well and recently i have been excited to focus manually. It works really fast with electronic finder and to me the focus peaking is the best help to manual focusing. You can also choose digital split screen. I haven’t been using a lot of optic finder when using x-pro 2 but ill fix that. I like when i see the final picture before i have even taken it though. It reduces the work to be done afterwards when you can set the options right when taking the picture. Fujifilm has done good job with a new processor which makes the camera really fast. Everything is much smoother and readier what ever you do. Moving in menu, focusing or taking a picture and how fast the camera is ready for the next one. Shutter can make it now up to 1/8000 instead of 1/4000 and flash sync has improved to 1/250 from 1/180.

I Like

  • Blackout time or better its absence
  • Double SD slot
  • Processor
  • Electronic finder
  • Mechanic shutter 1/8000
  • Flash sync 1/250
  • Ease of the manual focusing

Nothing that i didn’t like

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Third date // ACROS

This film simulation deserves its own mention. Use it or not, after this you will. We are talking about Fuji’s new simulation and my question is why we had to wait for this for so long. I love black and white pictures and it helps me to see what the light is like at the moment. I usually use the new heavily grainy option with the black and white because I’m in love with the “film” type of pictures. Fuji film has made the heavy grain really beautiful and fine. Can you get any closer to the “film’s grain”? Also +1 for the light and dark hues to bring the contrast. With these tips; pedal to the metal and enjoy!

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I will! // Fujifilm x-pro 2 is my first choice

As a conclusion after third dates we got married. My Nikon equipment is all sold. Camera feels really good to shoot with and you can have fun with it. I have shot weddings with Fujifilm’s cameras  and the mornings begin when i take this little workhorses out os my bag. So no big change to my work but knowing that i can shoot the whole day with equipment this light is awesome. Fuji has really listened the customers since i haven’t been facing big weaknesses and there is little to criticize. Of course I’m waiting continuous improvement to ISO but not forever. Now we have good ISO but when we get the excellent ISO its 10/10. If the ISO 6400 got improved to 25 600’s level i would be more that happy.  Thats enough. Focusing could be improved forever and especially continuous focusing could be made a lot better but we are getting there.

Im happy with the focusing speed.

I believe that x-pro 2 will raise the interest to Fujifilm when it stars to challenge with technique too. By this i mean that Fuji has been superior in “shooting vibe” and “soul”. Now when we get the hardware to the same level it wakes the technique people too. Im waiting what will happen in next 2 years and i believe that Fujifilm will be a though challenger to the other camera brands. X-pro 2 will stop the jumping between Nikon and Fujifilm and its time to focus on photographing. X-T1 has still spot in my camera bag because its huge finder. Its amazing for the wedding portraits. Focusing on the photo is more intense with X-T1 and the slower processor makes it good for the portraits.

For me Fujifilm is a workhorse in which fun and comfort of the photographing are combined. Fujifilm has not lost it’s soul rather brought it out smoother. X-pro 2 is light enough to hang from your shoulder all day and shooting is relaxed. I believe that the targets of the photo feel more comfortable too when my whole face isn’t behind the camera and i can really make a contact to the people.

These are my thoughts after two months of use. We are married and everything is good after the honeymoon too. The question is – What do Fujifilm and X-pro 2 mean to you?

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Fujifilm X-Pro 2 review

Read also these Fujifilm articles:

Take photos like a superhero!

Iceland.

  • Alan - 2016-08-03 - 17:35

    Wonderful article. Very nice images. We’re any sooc?ReplyCancel

  • Pedro Cardoso - 2016-08-03 - 19:30

    I love it. The way you describe the camera and the relationship with it is so, so spot on. I’ve used it only once in May on a wedding and I totally fell in love with it. Still need to get the funds together to jump ship, but it’s in the plans.

    I love the colours you used on these images. I’m not the kind of guy to ask “what presets do you use”, but I can’t seem to achieve these tones with my x100t using VSCO Lightroom Portra presets (that I love on my D700 .nef files). Do you mind sharing what kind of stuff you do to the XP2 files?

    Thank you!

    PS – great blog and great photography. Will definitely stay up to date with the news :DReplyCancel

    • Timo - 2016-08-04 - 11:39

      Thank you Pedro for your kind words!

      I use my own presets mixed with some old vsco pack. Few years ago I just played a lot with them and tried to get something out what i liked and since then it just have been mixed more with time. Nothing specific :)ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - 2016-08-04 - 10:27

    Fantastic photos.

    Greetings from vienna,
    soizReplyCancel

  • elliot - 2016-08-05 - 00:58

    You mentioned that with Acros you are applying the grain feature that fuji offers and you are using heavy grain. Are you also applying this to your color presets as well?ReplyCancel

    • Timo - 2016-08-08 - 10:49

      Hi Elliot! Actually I haven’t try heavy grain with color simulations. I should give a shot for that. Good idea!ReplyCancel

  • Art - 2016-08-06 - 16:25

    You nailed it, that is how I feel about my X-Pro2 for the past 4 months. I just sold my XT1 recently and had intended getting the T2 as well but after handling it at the Fuji Canada Walk a few weeks ago I opted for a second X-Pro2 body, there is just nothing else like it.ReplyCancel

  • Paul - 2016-09-14 - 19:07

    These are amazing Timo!! I think like everyone else is saying, the way you are renditioning color in your edits is absolutely beautiful! Would you say it’s coming more from the fuji film simulations or more from your vsco/mix preset edits? Also I am considering picking up either the xpro2, xt2 or x100t. I know they are different but would you be able to achieve these similar tones from these cameras? Thanks and again look forward to seeing more of your work!ReplyCancel

    • Timo - 2016-09-18 - 18:04

      Ciao Paul!

      Thank you for the kind words! I believe it’s mix between how Fujifilm gives out the images and how my edit touches them. I just edit them how I like it. Also mood and how I feel about the photo is important. Of course you can but these tones and edit are work of many hours. It’s not just ”push the button and voilà” you know. A lot of small steps to forward. Any camera you pick from Fujifilm you’re going to love it. :)

      Take care!ReplyCancel

  • Beth Herzhaft - 2017-04-23 - 18:32

    Hi Timo!

    Wonderful article and amazing, amazing images.

    The only thing that I would add in the “don’t like” department is how alarmingly easy it is to accidentally change settings on the back of the camera without meaning to! Even when the wheel on back is locked, somehow my belt touching the camera changes other buttons/settings.

    To my dismay, last night ALL of the images on the card were deleted and I certainly did not do this manually. And it was a job so I really am hoping they can be retrieved.

    But the point is that as much as I love (and am married to my Fuji Xpro-2), this is something they could VASTLY improve upon. Too easy for big changes to be made simply by bumping the back.ReplyCancel

    • Timo - 2017-04-24 - 13:37

      Thank you Beth for your thoughts and comment!ReplyCancel

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