Photography News Issue 35

Photography News | Issue 35 | absolutephoto.com

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Amazing autofocus

Stunning image quality

The 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III sensor, working in conjunction with the X-Processor Pro engine, is capable of excellent quality images with outstanding and accurate colour reproduction. The X-T2’s sensor and processor combination is also very fast, about four times faster than the X-T1’s, giving greater autofocus accuracy as well as keeping shutter release time lag and delays between shots very brief. The shutter release time lag is 0.05sec and shooting interval is 0.19sec – both are improved further with the Vertical Power Booster Grip in Boost mode. The random pixel array of the X-Trans sensor effectively minimises the risk of moiré and false colour without the need of a low-pass filter. That means intricate detail is faithfully resolved giving image quality comparable to a full-frame camera. Fujifilm’s rich film heritage is embraced with its Film Simulation modes that can be applied to in-camera JPEGs. The modes are perfect for photographers wishing to emulate the reproduction of renowned colour films like Velvia, Provia and Astia. For monochrome the ACROS black & white setting gives moody results with great highlights, deep blacks and smooth mid-tones. The native ISO range is 200 up to 12,800 with expansion possible up to 51,200. Low noise is a key characteristic of the sensor even when used at higher ISO settings and images at these levels also exhibit good colour saturation and solid blacks.

Autofocus performance of the X-T2 has been significantly improved over previous models in all areas but particularly with respect to fast-moving subjects. There are 91 AF points (up to 325 points can be selected) available with 49 in the centre with phase-detection AF pixels covering about 40% of the image area. About 85% of the imaging area is covered with contrast-detection pixels and performance has also been improved for faster focusing and superior accuracy in light levels as low as -3EV. For action subjects, the X-T2 has an enhanced AF-C algorithm for high accuracy when tracking or panning with moving objects. Also available are five preset AF settings where Tracking Sensitivity, Speed Tracking Sensitivity and Zone Area Switching are tailored for specific situations. For example, Preset 2 tracks the subject while ignoring any foreground obstacles, while Preset 5 allows for erratically moving subjects, so is perfect for field sports where subjects enter the focusing area from different directions at varying speeds. A sixth custom option lets you set these three parameters to suit your needs.

High-speed shooting

Fast continuous shooting is available on the X-T2. The camera can capture pictures at eight frames-per-second using the mechanical shutter in continuous shooting mode, with the buffer allowing 83 JPEGs or 30 uncompressed Raws in this mode. Switch to the electronic shutter and the continuous shooting rate increases to 14fps, but can still capture up to 42 JPEGs or 28 uncompressed Raws in a single burst. Being able to capture the action at 8fps in its standard form is good enough for many purposes, but the X-T2 is ready for even faster shooting with the addition of the optional Vertical Power Booster Grip VPB-XT2.

Vertical Power Booster VPB-XT2

Improved handling

The X-T2 on its own is a high performing camera with the ability to shoot continuously at eight frames-per-second with the mechanical shutter. The optional Vertical Power Booster Grip (VPB-XT2), which retails for £299.99, increases the camera’s performance to 11fps in Boost mode, but that’s not all. This setting also offers reduced blackout time, shorter shooting interval time (0.17sec from 0.19sec) and a briefer shutter release time lag (0.045sec from 0.05sec). This grip holds two NP-W126S li-ion batteries so, together with a third battery in the camera, gives enough capacity for over 1000 frames. It also doubles as a battery charger, and two cells can be charged in about two hours. The VPB-XT2 duplicates several key features of the camera body including the shutter release, focus lever, the Q and Fn buttons and command dials.

The Fujifilm X-T2 offers significant handling and design improvements over its predecessor that makes it an even more enjoyable, responsive camera to use. The 2.36 million dot electronic viewfinder has a magnification ratio of 0.77x to give a large viewing image and it provides a particularly bright image with minimal blackout during continuous shooting to allow accurate panning with a fast-moving subject. An Automatic Brightness Adjustment function alters the viewing image to ensure you get the best possible view in changing ambient light conditions. Being able to adjust the focus point or zone selection quickly can mean the difference between getting the shot or missing it and the X-T2 has gained a focus lever to speed this process. This is ideally placed for the right thumb to use and also frees up the four-way control pad for other important functions. The camera’s 1.04 million dot three-inch monitor sits flush with the body when not in use, but for situations when a low or high camera viewpoint is needed it can be tilted into position. The X-T2 is the first X-series camera to have a three-direction tilt monitor so the screen folds out to make accurate portrait format shooting from a low angle feasible. Two SD memory card slots are available. They can be configured for one to behave as backup, to be used sequentially or to save Raws to one card and JPEGs to the other. The X-T2’s ISO and shutter speed dials are both lockable, with just one push they can be freely adjusted; another push secures them in place. A simple but highly effective locking mechanism that definitely improves handling.

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