A couple of days ago Fujifilm finally announced its long-awaited flagship camera, the Fuji X-Pro2. I have been personally waiting for this to happen for a while, because the X-Pro1 has been out for way too long – 4 years, which is a huge stretch of time if you consider how quickly the mirrorless market has been moving in the past few years. I have just gotten back from my 3 week trip to Death Valley and while I have a lot of catching up to do, I did not want to miss on this important announcement. Being a proud owner of the superb Fuji X-T1, I have been wondering what Fuji would do with the X-Pro1 successor. The X-Pro2 is finally out and it looks like it was well worth the wait. While the overall design of the camera has not changed much, Fuji has made a lot of improvements to the interiors of the X-Pro2. With its brand new 24.3 MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor (highest resolution X-Trans sensor we have seen to date), pushing native ISO sensitivity by a full stop from ISO 200-6400 to 200-12800, an improved focal plane shutter capable of handling 1/8000 sec shutter speed (electronic shutter up to 1/32000 sec), 1/250 flash sync (finally!), a brand new Hybrid AF system with a whopping 273 focus points (77 phase detection points covering 40% of the frame) that promises to be Fuji’s fastest AF system to date, a fully weather-sealed camera construction, dual memory card slots (finally!) and an amazing hybrid viewfinder, the X-Pro2 looks like a very serious tool for professionals. Although its pricing of $1,699 might not sound particularly attractive, Fuji has never been a cheap brand in the first place and it has been known to make attractive, functional and enjoyable cameras that many photographers are willing to pay a premium price for.
The Fuji X-Pro1 was the first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera announced by Fujifilm in January of 2012. It was surely a bold move by Fuji at the time, because the company also introduced three high quality prime lenses along with it, all specifically aimed at professionals. Within the next three years, Fuji rolled out many other camera bodies and lenses. Today, with approximately 20 Fuji X mount lenses (not counting lenses from third party manufacturers), many of which are high-quality prime lenses, the Fuji X system has been highly regarded for its superb performance, excellent image quality and its retro ergonomics, making the Fuji system arguably one of the most capable and attractive camera systems on the market.
With the X-Pro2, Fuji is making yet another appeal towards serious amateurs, enthusiasts and professionals. Although the X-T1 has been one of the best Fuji X series cameras to date, the X-Pro2 pushes the capabilities much further than the X-T1. Features such as the brand new AF system, dual SD memory card slots, 1/8000 shutter speed, 1/250 flash sync speed and the updated hybrid viewfinder with the ability to switch between optical and electronic viewfinders, will surely attract many photographers, particularly those who use the Fuji X system exclusively, or as their primary camera system. Also, the new 24.3 MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor will most likely be used by the company in its future iterations of Fuji X cameras, similar to what we have seen with the previous generation 16.3 MP X-Trans sensor. I expect the new sensor to look great, providing even more details and hopefully better handling of noise at high ISOs.
I cannot wait to test the X-Pro2 when I get my hands on one, hopefully sometime in late February of 2016.
Here is the official press release from Fuji:
FUJIFILM ANNOUNCES NEW FLAGSHIP X-PRO2 MIRRORLESS CAMERA
Weather-resistant X-Pro2 features the world’s first Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder, new 24MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor, and creative monochrome ACROS film simulation
Valhalla, N.Y., January 14, 2016 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation, a leader in premium mirrorless cameras, today announced the FUJIFILM X-Pro2, the new flagship range-finder style camera in the award-winning X-Series line. As the new pinnacle of X-Series photography, the X-Pro2 gives professional photographers an innovative Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder capable of instantly switching between optical and electronic finders, a new 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor for truly remarkable image resolution, and a new X-Processor Pro that delivers dramatically improved response times for unmatched performance.
By combining these features with the ultra-high image quality of FUJINON X-Mount lenses and the world-renowned color reproduction technology refined over more than 80 years as a photographic film leader, the FUJIFILM X-Pro2 delivers the best ever results from an X-Series camera.
Advanced performance for professionals
The FUJIFILM X-Pro2 has the world’s first Hybrid Multi Viewfinder that allows photographers to take advantage of both an optical finder for a direct view of the subject as well as an electronic viewfinder to preview settings. The ability to instantly switch between these two types of viewfinders was first installed on the FUJIFILM X100 in 2011, but the latest version found on the X-Pro2 is the most advanced. It now features a Multi-Magnification function that automatically switches viewfinder magnification according to the lens in use and an Electronic Rangefinder that simultaneously displays the electronic viewfinder on top of the optical viewfinder.
Working together, the newly developed 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor and the high-performance X-Processor Pro image engine deliver pictures with a perceived resolution far greater than the actual number of pixels used. Moreover, the X-Pro2 now boasts 4x the processing speed of conventional image processing engines, which in turn gives users increased response times, even with the increased resolution. The powerful X-Processor Pro dramatically improves a wide range of response times, including a start-up time of just 0.4 seconds, the shortest shooting interval of 0.25 seconds, a shutter time lag of 0.05 seconds, and autofocus speeds as fast as 0.06 seconds. And with the option to use compressed RAW files, the X-Pro2’s performance and functionality now exceed the needs of professional photographers, including faster live view and even higher definition movies.
Cutting-edge autofocus system
The FUJIFILM X-Pro2 uses a new autofocus (AF) system that gives users an expanded number of selectable focusing points with 273 AF points. 77 of these are phase detection – for greater functionality and faster autofocus. With the X-Pro2, approximately 40% of the imaging area is now covered by fast, precise phase detection AF pixels, which means focusing speeds when photographing moving subjects have improved dramatically. By combining the processing capabilities of the new X-Processor Pro with a contrast AF readout speed that is 2x faster than before, the X-Pro2 delivers the fastest AF performance ever in an X-Series camera.
Weather-resistant for challenging shooting environments
The FUJIFILM X-Pro2 has a robust, weather-resistant body to meet the needs of professional photographers in tough shooting environments. The camera’s chassis is made from four pieces of magnesium alloy and is sealed with more than 61 points, making it dust-proof, splash-proof and capable of operating in temperatures as low as 14°F. In addition, it has dual SD card slots, for more reliable image storage and less card changing while on location.
Improved layout and new user interface design
The new FUJIFILM X-Pro2 embodies the true craftsmanship that the X-Series is known for around the world. The shutter speed dial, exposure compensation dial and finder switching lever are all milled from aluminum for a premium look and comfortable feel. The ISO sensitivity dial is now built-in to the shutter speed dial so camera settings can be confirmed at a glance without having to turn the power on. And the command dial position has been added to the exposure compensation dial. Selecting this function switches exposure compensation operation to the front command dial and expands the range to ±5EV.
The FUJIFILM X-Pro2 features Command dials on both the front and rear of the camera. And by adding a push function, they are easier to use, and still retain dust and water resistance. There are six function buttons to allow easier access to regularly used functions, and a new Focus Lever enables users to quickly select a focusing point, speeding up operation.
Photographers will find a new, easy-to-use graphical user interface design in the FUJIFILM X-Pro2 with fresh categories added to the tabs on the menu screen, allowing faster access to the item required. Users can register a maximum of 16 frequently used items in the new My Menu feature, and when combined with the 16 items from the Q Menu, a total of 32 shortcuts can be created.
The viewfinder display in the FUJIFILM X-Pro2 now offers a greater level of customization so it can further match the individual needs of the photographer. The X-Pro2 gives users a Bright Frame Simulation function in the optical viewfinder mode so the angle of view of each focal length can be confirmed without having to replace the lens, so the user can change lenses more accurately.
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 key features:
- World’s first Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder with 2.36 million dots and maximum speed of 85 frames per second
- Diopter correction mechanism with an eye point of 16mm and a telephoto bright frame with enlarged focal length of 140mm
- 24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III Sensor
- Fast AF of up to 0.08 seconds
- Phase detection AF and motion predictive AF for continuous shooting up to 8 frames per second
- Start-up time of 0.4 seconds
- Shutter time lag of 0.05 seconds
- Shooting interval of 0.25 seconds
- Focal plane shutter top speed of 1/8000 second
- Flash sync speed up to 1/250 second
- Dust and water-resistant body with more than 61 points of weather sealing and freeze resistance to 14°F
- High-precision 3” rear display with 1.62 million dots
- Dual memory card slots (Slot1 compatible with UHS-II standards)
- New monochrome ACROS film simulation for smooth tones, deep blacks and rich textures
- New Grain Effect mode for images reminiscent of old film photos, especially when printed
- Maximum ISO performance up to 12800 sensitivity; Extended ISO ISO100, 25600, 51200
- Improved electric charge transfer rate for ultra-fast readout speeds
- Interval timer for shooting time-lapse sequences of one second to 24 hours, up to 999 frames
- Free FUJIFILM Camera Remote application and Wireless Communication function allows users to remotely shoot images from smartphones and tablets via WiFi
- Photos can be sent to the INSTAX Share Printer using the free INSTAX Share App (iOS and Android) SHARE Smartphone Printer
- Full HD video 1080p at 60fps; bit rate of 36Mbps for clear capture of delicate movements; frame rates of 60 fps, 50fps, 30fps, 25fps and 24fps, supporting worldwide motion picture formats
- Advanced creative filters
- Optional accessories:
- Hand Grip MHG-Xpro2 – improves grip and retains access to battery and SD card, and compatible with an Arca Swiss plate
- Leather Case BLC-XPRO2 – genuine leather bottom case elegantly shows off the X-Pro2’s classic design while protecting the camera body with battery access
The FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (body only) will be available in February 2016 for USD $1,699.95 and CAD $1,899.99.