Recently, the internet has been awash with rumours that Fuji was about to announce a new camera, the Fuji XPro2. As a Fuji user I was amongst those who were really anticipated the announcement. I was one of the first people in the UK to purchase the original XPro1, a camera I always loved using for commercial photography, and alongside my two Fuji X-E2s and X100s cameras has been a solid tool in my arsenal ever since. Now, the sensor on the XPro1 is starting to show its age. The original XTrans sensor, used by the XPro1 and the X-E1, is a little basic, but it does perform extremely well in good light; resolving good gradation in the tones through the entire range, from extreme highlights and the darkest shadows……
For quite a few years now, many X shooters (myself included) have been waiting for Fuji to produce a telephoto lens that would go beyond 200mm. From the beginning, Fuji seemed to concentrate all to much on producing primes. When the X-Pro1 was introduced, the only three lenses that you were able to buy, were three prime lenses: 18, 35 & 60mm. From there, they somewhat broadened their horizons with some zooms, but there still seemed to be a focus on primes. After a few years, people were scratching their heads and asking, “Fuji, what about the long telephotos?”. If you know anything about Fuji, they tend to put a lot of work into their lenses and they don’t produce any duds. They put a lot of thought into the entire line of XF lenses, as well as the two XC lenses that are out there. In short, Fuji makes awesome lenses…….
End of last year our son was born which meant that December holidays were cancelled for us and we stayed at home. 2 months on however we felt it’s time to test if he can handle our active on the go lifestyle and so we planned a week long holiday in one of South Africa’s most beautiful regions. The well known Garden Route. When planning our trip we had decided to make use of accommodation within the Garden Route National Park, which proved to be a great choice as it allowed us to really enjoy the peace and tranquility of this area. We took a flight to the coastal town of George from where we continued via rental car to the nearby village of Wilderness and the Ebb and Flow Rest-camp. The perfect place to take in both the beach and the cool forests of Wilderness. The following day after an early morning walk to one of the over 800 year old yellowwood trees we travelled via the Outeniqua pass and the Karoo town of Oudshoorn to the world renowned Cango caves. For us it was one of the highlights of our trip. I am however doubtful if it had been as nice during school holidays when the groups that walk through the caves are large and photo opportunities diminish…….
Last time we had a good time (and a laugh) having a conversation with the X-Pro2. We received great feedback for which we are both very grateful. Today we will continue to cover this new camera but we’ll approach the subject in a slightly different way. Each time a new camera hits the market the Internet goes berserk. There’s a plethora of reviews, technical comparisons and samples being shared and discussed (we share in the blame). Interested buyers visit technically oriented websites where cameras are being compared. It is common to show two cameras side by side where all the possible technical details are compared. Resolution? Check! Video? Check! Panorama? Check! And so on. There is no question that many people like it this way. Not only do we find such comparisons misleading but we believe that they do more harm than good for buyers. For many photographers, a camera is much more than just a physical object. As the facilitator of the creative process, a camera should not only complement but support the photographer in this difficult but highly rewarding endeavour. Therefore, a well-designed camera will make the interaction between photographer and camera intuitive and fluid……..
Once in a while I abandon all sense and do a gear post. This is one of them. I hope it’s helpful to you and that you find the question of why I use the gear I do more interesting than which gear, specifically, I use. It’s the one question that seems to get left out of these discussions; everyone talking about which gear is best without first defining their needs. As so many of you are making similar switches in the way you approach your work, I thought I’d walk you through mine. Last month Fuji announced 2 pieces of gear that pushed me over the edge. As many of you know I’ve been using Fuji cameras more and more, but still hanging on to Pelican cases full of Nikon gear. I’ve held out on switching completely (almost completely, but I’ll explain that) because the Fuji system lacked any optical options at the long end – specifically something more than a 300mm equivalent- and I need those more and more for the work I’m doing……….
By now you have read reams of reports, reviews and tests on the new Fuji X-PRO 2. There is little sense in my duplicating all of that, so I will approach this from a different direction. I would like to attempt to answer some key questions I had when I first heard about the X-PRO 2. Is it a significant improvement over the XT-1 ( a camera a really love a lot!)? Yes, it is Fuji’s latest and newest technology and, and in almost every way, it is an improvement over the last generation of cameras. Fuji looked at every performance category and found a way to bolster it. If you decide to purchase the X-PRO 2 you will have the most capable camera Fuji has ever produced in the X System line!…….
So in summatioin, killer camera, many improvements, and if you are a Fuji X shooter, and need it’s special graces……
One question I get asked on a daily basis now is how the new 24 MP FUJIFILM X-Trans III sensor performs in the hi ISO region above ISO 6400. Partner in crime was the new FUJINON Super-Zoom lens XF100-400 1:4,5-5,6 R LM OIS WR. In order to find out, I used a rainy and dark night in Hamburg’s Hafencity for a little test shooting under harsh conditions. It was super windy – even with a heavy tripod in use the camera was constantly vibrating. Being sceptic about the sharpness of my images changed to a big smile on my face, looking on the LCD-screen of the X-Pro2 : The performance of the image stabilzer was visible right away……..
I gambled late December and sold my Fuji X100t and XT1 so I could have cash in hand when the next Fuji X Pro 2 and X70 were released. I loved both cameras but the thought of selling my loved X100t for a smaller unproven camera was a bit of a risk. Last night I got one in hand and can tell you straight out that my gamble paid off. It is everything I hoped and wanted in an everyday pocket camera. It feels so good in hand and the lens is absolutely outstanding…….
While traveling through Las Vegas, I got wind of a Fujifilm event at B&C Camera. I decided to drop by in hopes of getting my hands on the new X-Pro2. As you can see, I did just that. I didn’t have much time and there were a lot of hands asking for a go, so here is my quick hit review or rather, initial thoughts of the X-Pro2 in 15 minutes. Making my way through the shop, I spotted my goal. Laying there on the table parked next to other Fujifilm new releases, the X70 and 100-400mm f/5.6 lens. The new X-E2S was also there, sadly the new flash was missing. Drat. After a few minutes fiddling with the X70 (which I think is going to be a great pocket street camera), I got my chance to grab hold of the X-Pro2…..
In den Weiten des Internets gibt es viele Gerüchte zu neuen Kameras. Aber es gibt zwei Kameras, die, wenn man ein Ranking dazu machen wollen würde, wahrscheinlich ganz oben landen würden: eine potentielle Canon 5D Mark IV und natürlich die Fujifilm X-Pro2. Na ja, ab jetzt wird es zumindest keine Gerüchte mehr zur X-Pro2 geben, immerhin wurde die Kamera inzwischen offiziell vorgestellt. Letztlich kann ich die „Vorfreude“ auf diese Kamera aber gut verstehen, denn auch ich war neugierig auf die Neuigkeiten. Ja, sogar ein wenig heiß. Denn die X-Pro2 ist die erste Wahl für jeden, der das Bediengefühl einer Leica M liebt, sich diese aber nicht leisten will bzw. kann. Sie ist ideal für jeden, der eine Leica M super findet, aber kein Bock auf eine manuelle Fokussierung hat. Eine deutliche Verbesserung für jeden Fotografen, der die X-Pro1 schätzt, aber endlich eine Kamera auf Augenhöhe der kameratechnischen Zeit möchte usw. Man könnte die Liste wahrscheinlich ewig fortführen……