It's been a four-year wait for the arrival of a new flagship model in Fujifilm's X-Series. Michael Topham reviews the Fujifilm X-Pro2 to find out if it meets our high expectations
Build and handling
Fractionally larger and 45g heavier than the X-Pro1, the construction of the body is made up of four aluminium panels compared to three on the X-Pro1 and features a dust-proof, splash-proof and freezeproof structure to keep the most determined photographers shooting when the going gets tough. Viewed from the front, you’ll notice the focus assist LED is now square rather than circular, the microphone holes have been relocated to the top plate, and a new function button (Fn2) is now located inside the viewfinder switch.
Significant changes at the front of the camera are the new handgrip and a deeply recessed front control dial. In the hand, the X-Pro2 feels slightly chunkier than the X-Pro1 with the deeper grip and extended thumb rest at the rear both benefiting from soft rubber to cushion it more gently against your fingers. The new front dial is easy to locate using your index finger. It clicks as it’s turned and, most importantly, allows users the option of adjusting the shutter speed manually when the shutter speed dial is set to its ‘T’ setting.
There have also been some minor changes underneath. In contrast to the X-Pro1 that had its single memory card slot positioned alongside the battery, the X-Pro2’s dual card slots are found at the side behind a robust weather-sealed door for faster access. Another minor alteration involves the tripod thread, which is now positioned centrally rather than being offset.
The major ergonomic change on the camera is the amalgamation of ISO and shutter speed control into one dial on the top plate. Like the X-Pro1, there’s a central button that needs to be depressed to unlock the shutter speed dial when it’s set to the ‘A’ position. Lifting the shutter speed dial and rotating it adjusts ISO, but after extensive testing I found there were times when I’d accidentally adjust the shutter speed when it was set outside of its locked ‘A’ position and I didn’t pull the collar up high enough.
Both Auto ISO and the ‘L’ and ‘H’ settings (the latter being used to enter the X-Pro2’s expanded ISO settings) can be selected from the dial, however it’s worth noting all the ISO values are fairly small to read, they appear upside down when the shutter speed is set to around 1/125sec, and they’re not illuminated. During low-light testing I found myself referring to the info display on screen or looking through the viewfinder to find out what the sensitivity was set to. In hindsight, had Fujifilm introduced a ‘Q’ setting or such to the ISO dial, users could, if they wanted, override the top plate dial and access ISO in the traditional way via the Quick menu or assign it to a Fn button.
Shifting focus to the back of the camera, you’ll find there’s a fantastic new AF point toggle selector that’s offset to the left of where your thumb rests. It saves having to pull your thumb away to operate autofocus via the four-way controller and results in a much more comfortable and intuitive way of refining the position of the AF-point. There’s also the option to depress it, which instantly moves the AF point into the centre, plus it serves as an excellent way of navigating the main menu, quick menu and drive mode settings.
Generally speaking, the ergonomic changes that have been made combine to give it a better feel in the hand. The revised positioning of buttons and dials will take a bit of getting used to for existing X-Pro1 users, but those who do upgrade will quickly find the changes to the body are mostly beneficial and help improve the overall handling experience.