Pros:

  • Excellent JPEG output with good choice of color modes
  • Raw performance comparable with best-in-class
  • Class-leading high ISO performance
  • Distinguished design with solid, sealed build
  • Good single AF performance, reasonable in continuous AF
  • Unique and enjoyable hybrid viewfinder system
  • Sensible degree of customization
  • 'My Menu' feature simplifies access to settings you frequently change
  • Greatly improved video results work well with Film Simulation modes
  • Most responsive X series camera yet
  • Twin card slots
  • In-camera Raw conversion and Wi-Fi let you modify and share images quickly
  • DR modes let you easily exploit the sensor's dynamic range

Cons:

  • Video and supporting features aren't cutting edge
  • Continuous AF Tracking lags the best in class
  • ISO dial is attractive but impractical
  • Battery life disappointing (especially when using EVF)
  • 'Texture' pattern can appear in images with lens flare
  • No USB charging option
  • No focal-length dependent threshold for Auto ISO mode
  • Q Menu doesn't allow exploration of options for each setting

Overall Conclusion

The X-Pro2 is one of the most expensive APS-C cameras now on the market but also one of the most specialized. The traditional looks and slightly throw-back handling of the camera are likely to dictate whether you love or are baffled by it. And, broadly speaking, this should dictate whether this is the camera for you.

Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8R LM WR
ISO200, F5.6, 1/750sec - Astia Film Simulation

If you directly compare it against most of its peers, it risks coming up short in one respect or other. Its autofocus isn't as sophisticated as the sportiest of its contemporaries (such as the Canon EOS 7D II or Nikon D500), its video isn't as cutting-edge as it could be (Sony's less expensive a6300 and Samsung's swansong model both offer better footage). However, unlike the original X-Pro1, these aspects aren't so uncompetitive that you have to completely write-off them off and hope they're of little interest to the target audience. The X-Pro2 is a much more fully-rounded camera than its styling implies and one that can turn its hand to a wide range of tasks, it's just at its best within its own, narrower milieu.

Body and handling

The X-Pro2's handling is as informed by history as its exterior styling: the primary exposure settings are defined using a combination of aperture ring or shutter speed dial, along with command dials. So far, not that much slower than using a twin-dial DSLR. The dedicated exposure compensation might even speed up shooting in some modes. However, the ISO dial, mounted concentrically within the shutter speed dial is slow and fiddly to change, so we found we tended to leave this set to Auto, then control the automatic behavior by applying its settings to one of the custom buttons. Because the Auto ISO behavior can only be defined by shutter speed (not related to focal length), this way of working is best suited to prime lenses.

Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8R LM WR
ISO 200, F8, 1/750sec - Classic Chrome Film Simulation

The viewfinder, too, gets on best with a prime lens mounted. In optical mode, the finder is only really-well matched to lenses in the 24-50mm equivalent range, where you get to use a good amount of its area. Even within this range, there's the additional learning curve associated with predicting how much the framing and focus point will move, when you half-press to focus the camera. The inherent parallax error that comes from the finder's offset position mean that both can jump significantly when you focus on a nearby object.

Yet, despite these quirks, or perhaps because of them, I found it to be a lovely way of shooting. It may not quite be as immediate and direct as shooting with a real, manual focus rangefinder (something I think all enthusiasts should experience at least once), but there's something different about the X-Pro2's finder that I enjoy more than using EVFs or DSLR finders, if I'm in the mood to take things slowly.

Fujinon XF23mm F1.4R
ISO 200, F2.2, 1/160sec - Astia Film Simulation (NR -2)

Photo by: Sam Spencer

The joystick and option to drop back to 77AF points make it quick and easy to position your AF point (though we'd be disappointed if this or rear-screen-as-touchpad didn't appear on the next X-T model), and it was only when shooting video that the addition of an articulated screen even crossed my mind. Sadly not all the controls worked so well. The exposure comp dial can turn rather too easily on the sample we shot with, meaning it was necessary to check its position before starting shooting, for fear of it having brushed against a coat or something in a bag.

Overall, then, although it's not always as fast or slick as a high-end DSLR, the X-Pro2 can easily be set up to give access to all its key functions such that I found the intricacy of the experience to fall on the side of engaging, rather than frustrating.

Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8R LM WR.
ISO 200, F2.8, 1/500sec - Acros Film Simulation

Autofocus

The camera's autofocus performance is, more than most systems, dictated by the lens you mount on it - the very fastest lenses in the system are near-instant for single AF acquisitions but this experience isn't consistent across the lens range.

Engaging Continuous AF just highlights this inconsistency. With the fastest lenses, the camera's zone and tracking focus modes work reasonably well. They work best if the photographer tries to keep the initial focus point on or near the subject, and the camera's speed at refocusing means you can get a good number of shots in focus. However, this isn't the case with all the X series lenses and many of the primes with which the X-Pro2 pairs so well tend to give much lower hit-rates, as they can't refocus in time.

I doubt anyone's looking at the X-Pro2 to shoot sports, but these results do leave it lagging behind the more capable cameras in its class when it comes to following and catching the moment. If tracking isn't what you need, it's worth noting that focus accuracy is very impressive, though, even when using off-center AF points and wide apertures.

Image Quality

The camera's image quality is excellent. The 24MP sensor boosts the resolution and seems to benefit from improved and more subtle processing of fine detail (there's much less of the 'waxy skin' effect that we saw at High ISO settings on the previous generation of Fujifilms). JPEG color response is excellent, with a choice of usefully diverse processing options. These Film Simulation modes are can be changed retrospectively, if you shoot Raw, as can details such as white balance fine tuning and the highlight and shadow aspects of the tone curve. This pairs well with the camera's Wi-Fi, to allow Raw adjustments before pushing the image to a smart device.

Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR
ISO 1250, F2.8, 1/125sec - Astia Film Simulation (NR-2)

The sensor itself produces files with as much dynamic range as any of its APS-C peers, giving a good degree of processing latitude to adjust the image. The camera's DR modes let you choose an appropriate balance between highlight capture and the noise that comes from using a shorter exposure, as you shoot each shot. The camera's X-Trans color filter design appears to capture a good level of detail with very little moiré, but there's a greater-than-usual variation between how well different Raw converters render this detail.

Video

Video hasn't heretofore been a strong point for the Fujifilm X series, and perhaps the company's focus on offering traditionally-styled, still-photographer targeted cameras has meant that no one seemed too aggrieved. However, good tools and good performances can encourage the use of new features, so it's good to see that the X-Pro2 has made big improvements in video quality.

The form factor, as much as the lack of 4K and video support tools, is likely to keep dedicated videographers away from the X-Pro2, but enthusiast photographers who like to (or think they might like to) dabble in video probably shouldn't be put off. The output, especially in combination with the camera's Film Simulations, is good enough to encourage experimentation and give results that are good enough to make sure the feature gets used.

The final word

The X-Pro2 is a significant upgrade over the original Pro1, improved in every respect to give a much faster and more flexible tool. However, although it is a camera with a broad range of capabilities, it's one that's at its most distinctive and enjoyable when playing to its core strengths. The hybrid viewfinder is at its best when working with moderately wide to moderately long prime lenses, and the camera's handling comes into its own when operating within these boundaries.

Fujinon XF23mm F1.4R
ISO 200, F3.6, 1/55sec - Provia Film Simulation (NR -2)

Photo by: Sam Spencer

None of this is to say that the camera can only be used for shooting with a set of Fujifilm's classic focal length mimicking primes, just that it's much easier to justify spending this much money if that's how you plan to use it. X-T1 users wanting the boosts in image quality, video and responsiveness might be better-off waiting for the almost-inevitable X-T2, since it'll give a more consistent experience however you choose to shoot it. But, as I discovered when I tried to shoot them back-to-back, anyone who owns an X-Pro1 should seriously consider upgrading: the X-Pro2 is so much better in every respect. 

More so than most cameras, it's one that if you get it, you should considering getting it, and if you don't, then you'll probably miss the point entirely. Personally I loved it: because of its specialism, not in spite of it.


Scoring

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category.
Click here to learn about the changes to our scoring system and what these numbers mean.

Fujifilm X-Pro2
Category: Semi-professional Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
PoorExcellent
Conclusion
The X-Pro2 is a 24MP high-end X-mount camera whose appeal is inextricably linked to its innovative optical/electronic hybrid viewfinder. It offers excellent image quality and some of the best out-of-camera JPEGs on the market, and comes in a well built, elegant body with plenty of direct control. Video is good but not cutting-edge either in terms of quality or supporting features. When it comes to still image quality the X-Pro2 can deliver. Whether or not this is the camera for you depends on whether you find its styling (and predisposition towards prime-lens shooting) appealing, or unnecessarily idiosyncratic.
Good for
Photographers looking for an involved, traditional shooting experience. Anyone who wants a camera with a little style and character.
Not so good for
Sports shooters, dedicated videographers or anyone expecting a DSLR-like shooting experience.
83%
Overall score

Samples gallery

Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.

Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. Because our review images are now hosted on the 'galleries' section of dpreview.com, you can enjoy all of the new galleries functionality when browsing these samples.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 Real-world Samples

89 images • Posted on Jan 25, 2016 • View album
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Pre-production samples gallery

Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.

Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. Because our review images are now hosted on the 'galleries' section of dpreview.com, you can enjoy all of the new galleries functionality when browsing these samples.

These images were shot using a pre-production camera running near-final firmware and, as such, should be considered beta samples, since final image quality may differ.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 beta sample gallery

30 images • Posted on Jan 15, 2016 • View album
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