Retro through-and-through: Fujifilm X-Pro2 Review
Body and Handling
Much like the X-Pro1 was a series of welcome tweaks on the design of the original X100, the X-Pro2 is a series of welcome changes and additions on the design of the X-Pro1. The pretty magnesium-alloy body retains its manual dials with the addition of a pull-up collar ISO adjustment placed around the shutter speed dial, and a bigger EV adjustment dial with an extra stop of range either way. If +/-3 stops isn't enough, there is also a "C" position that reassigns EV to the rear control wheel, expanding the range to +/-5 stops.
There's also a new AF point joystick on the back. This addition is one of the biggest improvements on the X-Pro2, helping it behave like a completely different camera compared to its predecessor. More on that later.
|The new grip is much more substantial than the old, fitting the hand nicely...||...the deeper thumb grip is also helpful, although it still doesn't enable full-time one-handed shooting.|
The grip has been enlarged on both sides of the camera. More to hold on to is welcome especially on the thumb rest, but isn't quite enough to make the camera comfortably usable with one hand like a D750 or a 5D Mark III. Moving your thumb to operate the AF joystick means the camera has slightly less support, so you'll need a second hand to hold things steady, especially when working with a heavy lens.
The X-Pro2 offers a small helping of reasons to buy it over any other camera in the Fujifilm lineup, but there's one big one: the hybrid viewfinder. For many, this might be the only reason to chose this camera over an XE or an XT series camera.
The viewfinder is largely lifted straight out of the X100T, and our rollover below mimics the function of the viewfinder lever on the front on the camera:
‹ Push lever left ›
‹ Push lever right›
Optical viewfinder with tab
The optical viewfinder has bright-lines showing the approximate framing of the lens you're currently using, usually with some extra space around it, which can help with visualizing the scene. However, because the viewfinder doesn't look through the lens, it suffers from parallax error, with both the framing and focus point shifting depending on the distance you focus to.
Pushing the lever on the front of the camera causes a tab in the viewfinder to pop up, onto which a magnified view or the focus aid of your choice can be projected. Because this tab shows a through-the-lens view, it can be used to check exactly where your focus point really is.
The optical viewfinder has a magnifier that slides in, when you use lenses longer than 35mm, increasing the magnification from 0.38x to 0.6x. However, even with this in place, any lenses longer than around 56mm end up using a tiny region in the middle of the finder. Longer focal lengths and zoom lenses tend to be easier to use in electronic viewfinder mode, where there is no parallax error and you always get to use the full size of the finder.
ISO Dial and Auto ISO
The new ISO dial-within-a-dial on the X-Pro2 is rather stylized and has to be lifted, before it can be rotated. The camera reports the ISO setting in viewfinder, so you can lift and turn the dial as you shoot through the finder, but it requires more dexterity than simply rotating a normal dial or holding a button and doing so. Thankfully, it ends up being rendered rather ornamental by the camera's Auto ISO system, which is good enough that rarely have to fiddle with the control.
|ISO can be set using a pull-up collar around the shutter speed dial. It's pretty but also pretty impractical.|
You can specify the shutter speed threshold and upper ISO limit (up to ISO 12800) that the camera will use. This is ideal if you're concerned about subject movement or you're trying to avoid camera shake with prime lenses, but because there's no focal-length-related option, it works slightly less well with zooms.
The good news, though, is that you can set three presets for Auto ISO behavior and assign a button to let you quickly switch between them.
Auto ISO can be used (with exposure compensation) in manual shooting mode for stills. However, when shooting movies, exposure is locked when you hit the REC button, so Auto ISO chooses the initial sensitivity but doesn't adjust to maintain brightness.
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