Photography News issue 28

Photography News Issue 28 absolutephoto.com

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Previews

First look: FujifilmX-Pro2 Fujifilm’s new flagship model is as different as it is familiar. Find out what’s changed – and what hasn’t – in our hands-on preview

Specs

Price £1349 body only Sensor

24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III, no optical low-pass filter. Through X Processor Pro processor with ultrasonic vibration cleaning Sensor format 23.6x15.6mm, 6000x4000 pixels ISO range 200-12,800 (extendable to 100, 25,600 and 51,200) Shutter range 30secs to 1/32,000sec with flash sync at 1/250sec, Bulb mode up to 60 minutes (mechanical and electronic shutter combined) Drivemodes Single, continuous up to 8fps Metering system TTL 256-zone metering, multi, spot, average and centre-weighted Exposuremodes PASM Exposure compensation +/-5 stops Monitor 3in fixed with 1.62 million dots OVF Reverse Galilean viewfinder with electronic bright frame display, approx. 92% coverage EVF 2.36 million dot TFT, 100% coverage, eye sensor Focusing Intelligent Hybrid AF with Single and Continuous AF, manual focusing Focus points 77 or 273 points, single point AF. Zone AF, Wide/Tracking AF Video MPEG-4 format, Full HD (1920x1080) and HD (1280x720) at 60, 50, 30, 25 and 24fps Connectivity Wi-Fi, USB 2.0 (High Speed), micro USB, HDMI output, microphone socket 2.5mm Storagemedia Dual SD, SDHC, SDXC card slots, UHS-II compatible (card slot 1 only) Dimensions (wxhxd) 140.5x82.8x45.9mm Weight 495g (including battery & memory card) Contact fujifilm.eu/uk

Words by Roger Payne

2016 marks the fifth anniversary of Fujifilm’s X-series so it’s very fitting that the company has kicked off the year by launching a new flagship model for the increasingly popular range. The X-Pro2, which you’ll be able to pick up in the shops from February, may look similar to the X-Pro1 it replaces, but there are far-reaching changes. The most notable of these has to be the new sensor and new processor, which combine to offer some significant advances over anyother model in the range. Before we get into the X-Pro2, it’s worth pausing to look at how Fujifilm has changed the camera world in the past five years. When the original X100 was launched in March 2011 it was radical departure for the company which had previously been expending great energies selling low-priced compacts, bridge cameras and the occasional re-badged and re-sensored Nikon DSLR. Despite having a few quirks, the fixed-lens X100 gained an immediate following by virtue of its looks and the quality of results from the unique APS-C sized sensor, and as the range expanded rapidly into interchangeable lens models, the following grew exponentially. Today, Fujifilmis a force tobe reckonedwithand now has a range that’s worthy of consideration whether you want a quality compact camera or a mirrorless model with an enviable suite of lenses to support it. The original X-Pro1 arrived just shy of four years ago in March 2012. It’s perhaps a little surprising that we’ve had to wait so long for its successor to arrive, especially when you consider that there has been bags of innovation and development within the range during that time. But it’s also testament to the fact that Fujifilm got that first model so right. There are still many satisfied X-Pro1 users around the globe, although a number may well have added an X-E2 or X-T1 to their kit, just to satisfy their ‘Gear Acquisition Syndrome’ needs. Put the X-Pro2 next to the X-Pro1 and the uninitiatedmay struggle to pick out differences. There are plenty, of course, both internally and externally, but the form factors of the cameras are virtually identical, even down to the type of paint used to coat the magnesium alloy body. This familiarity is a good thing in my book. If you’re an existingX-Pro1 user, you’ll be instantly at home with the X-Pro2, whereas if you’re looking at the system afresh with the launch of this newmodel, you canbe confident of buying a tried-and-tested design. In many ways, the body sums up what Fujifilm has done with the rest of the X-Pro2. It doesn’t look that different, yet it is very different. Take the body shell, which is now made of four pieces of magnesium alloy as opposed to three in theX-Pro1, while thewhole camera isweather resistant to the same level as the X-T1 and the growingnumber ofWR lenses in theXF line-up. The 61 seals at vulnerable spots around the shell mean it’s dust and splash proof andwill work in temperatures as lowas -10°C.

The viewfinder has also been changed, with the technology from the X100T completely re- engineered to fit into the X-Pro2 body. Fujifilm hasalwaysbeenone forawhizz-bang ’finderand the X-Pro2’s is whizzier and bangier than most. A lever on the front of the camera allows you to switchbetween an optical viewfinder (OVF) and a 2.36 million dot electronic viewfinder (EVF), but you can also superimpose an electronic rangefinder (ERF) onto the OVF, which displays a small EVF in the corner of the frame, allowing you to preview camera settings in real time. It sounds a little distracting, but it isn’t. In fact, it’s a real godsend if you don’t like shooting with an EVF, but do like the functionality such a finder brings. Sensor issues Fujifilm has been equally innovative with its sensors in the X-series, with the unique X-Trans lightcatchercockingasnookattheBayersensors in every other digital camera out there. The X-Trans principle is relatively simple. Whereas Bayer sensors arrange pixel in groups of four, the X-Trans arranges them in groups of 36. In turn, this more random array negates the need

for an optical low-pass filter and delivers more accurate colours that are refreshingly moiré free. Up until now, Fujifilm has been confident that the 16.3-megapixel APS-C sized X-Trans II sensor has been more than enough to give full- frame DSLRs a run for their money, but the X-Trans III sensor in the X-Pro2 sees the pixel count jump to 24.3 megapixels. Technologically speaking, nothing has markedly changed on the sensor, but the resolution hike gives more flexibility in terms of cropping images as well as beingable todeliver aprofessional Shangri-Laof anA2 print with negligible quality loss. Resolutionaside, the sensordoes offer further enhancements. High ISO sensitivity is now 12,800, with expansion options down to 100 and up to 51,200, plus there’s also a new Film Simulation mode called ACROS. Named after a Neopan emulsion, ACROS is claimed to deliver better monochrome images with smoother tones, deeper blacks and richer textures than other black&white shooting options. Boosting the size of the sensor means a meatier processor is required and Fujifilm has duly delivered with the new X Processor Pro, which is claimed to be four times faster than the

In many ways, the body sums up what Fujifilm has done with the rest of the X-Pro2. It doesn’t look that different, yet it is very different

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