Fujifilm X-Pro 2 Field Test: Costa Rica Watch out, it might make you want to switch...

I've never shot with a Fujifilm camera before. But when I got the chance to take the brand new flagship model, the X-Pro 2 to Costa Rica for a couple weeks, I said "Sure, why not?". I wasn't expecting anything much, but am always up for trying something new.

Little did I know, I'd kind of fall in love with the camera, and be really sad to send it back! In fact, it has me seriously thinking about changing up my main camera. Yeah, kind of a big deal.

The funny thing is, it also kind of annoyed me. There were things about the camera body that I just couldn't get used to. Things I really wished were different. So how could a camera with some flaws make me turn my head so?​

The answer: a simple, sort-of-intangible quality to the images. And by that, I mean that I was blown away with how good the files looked straight out of camera. It was exciting for two reasons – first, I felt like the images I was seeing in my mind were actually translating in the camera. Beautiful light looked beautiful. Colors that caught my attention were stunning in the images. It made me excited and inspired to shoot more. Second, it made life SO MUCH EASIER when it came to working with the photos afterwards. 

I was blown away with how good the files looked straight out of camera.

I did practically no editing to them, and they looked amazing. It was faster than ever to deal with images after the fact, making me more likely to share and print them. That's a big deal.

So, what follows are some of my favorite images from the trip. If you want to hear the full details on the camera, shooting experience, ergonomics, the things that bugged me, etc. – please watch the video above!

Specs

Fujifilm X-Pro 2

Fujifilm's newest release, a retro-styled 24.3MP APS-C camera with a lot of nifty features.

Body Only - $1,699.00

Check it out on B&H

Details:

  • 24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III Sensor
  • Hybrid viewfinder (OVF and EVF)
  • 3.0" 1.62m-dot LCD monitor (fixed, non-articulating)
  • 273-Point AF with 77 Phase-Detect Points
  • Up to 8 fps shooting
  • Up to ISO 51,200
  • Weather-sealed, 2x SD card slots
  • Electronic shutter max speed of 1/32000 sec, mechanical shutter max speed of 1/8000 sec
  • Flash sync of up to 1/250 sec
  • 16 Film simulation modes

Sample Photos

Here are some of my favorite photos from my two week field test of the Fujifilm X-Pro 2.

I used two lenses:

IMPORTANT NOTE ON THE IMAGES: To give you a fair sense of the results you can expect from the camera, all of the images in this review have not been edited (except for some very slight cropping on a couple because I couldn't stand the crooked horizon). They have, however, had the Fuji profiles Provia or Velvia applied in the Camera Calibration module of Lightroom. These profiles replicate the results you see on the back of the camera (the JPEG preview) with your raw files. These are effectively the straight out of camera results, as this profile can be automatically applied on import.

SETTINGS: 16-55mm lens @ 43mm, f/2.8, 1/500s, ISO 200, Velvia

SETTINGS: 35mm lens, f/1.4, 1/2000s, ISO 200, Provia

SETTINGS: 35mm lens, f/1.6, 1/1600s, ISO 200, Provia

SETTINGS: 16-55mm lens @ 16mm, f/6.4, 1/400s, ISO 200, Provia

SETTINGS: 16-55mm lens @ 16mm, f/4.0, 1/400s, ISO 200, Provia

SETTINGS: 35mm lens, f/1.4, 1/3200s, ISO 200, Provia

SETTINGS: 16-55mm lens @ 50mm, f/3.2, 1/200s, ISO 200, Velvia

SETTINGS: 16-55mm lens @ 23mm, f/4.0, 1/200s, ISO 3200, Provia

SETTINGS: 16-55mm lens @ 25mm, f/5.6, 1/200s, ISO 200, Velvia

High ISO Performance

I'll admit that I didn't do an extensive test of the high ISO performance of the Fujifilm X-Pro 2 (there are other reviewers who are far better at that), but from where I stand, it seems like the high ISO range is very useable, and the noise at the upper limits is not too shabby looking (almost like film grain). 

SETTINGS: 16-55mm lens @ 16mm, f/2.8, 1/60s, ISO 12800, Provia

Lightroom Profiles

As mentioned above, with Fuji files you can apply a camera profile in Lightroom in order to replicate the results you'll see on the back of the camera. This can be done in the Camera Calibration module, and even automated by creating a preset. The following photos will give you an idea of the difference between the straight out of camera image on the left, and then the images with the Provia and Velvia profiles applied. In general I found Provia to be perfect for images with people in them, and Velvia to be great for landscapes (it tended to make skin tones too orange).

Straight out of camera

Provia

Velvia

Straight out of camera

Provia

Velvia

Conclusion

I know I'm picky about cameras, and I feel like I've been on a search for "the perfect camera" for many years. I also know that it doesn't exist. There are things about the Fujifilm X-Pro2 that were irksome, but I loved the photos it gave me, and I didn't feel like I was missing moments. It kept up, and helped translate the vision in my mind into a photograph – more accurately than any other camera I've shot with. Is there more that you can ask of a camera? That's a question I find myself pondering.

There are rumors of a new Fujifilm X-T2 to be released soon, and that one is expected to have the same sensor, and a lot of the things I liked about this camera, but does away with the fiddly ISO dial. I'm wondering if that just might be my personal closest-thing-to-perfect camera? Maybe. The X-Pro2 certainly came close enough to have me totally rethinking a lot that I thought I knew about cameras, and what I wanted. And in that sense, it was a highly valuable experience to try it out.

So, to sum it all up, it's a fantastic camera, creates incredible images, and a lot of fun to shoot with, despite a few fiddly features. It is definitely well worth a look.

In this review:

Fujifilm X-Pro 2

Fujifilm's newest release, a retro-styled 24.3MP APS-C camera with a lot of nifty features.

Price: Body Only - $1,699.00

Check it out on B&H

Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4

A fast prime with exceptional sharpness and color.

Price: $599.00

Check it out on B&H

Fujifilm 16-55mm f/2.8

A mid-range zoom with a fast maximum aperture, and impressive image quality.

Price: $1,199.00

Check it out on B&H

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