Friday, January 15, 2016

There may yet be hope for FujiFilm's cameras: X-Pro2

January 15, 2016, FujiFilm announced the X70, X-E2s, and X-Pro2.

The X-Pro2 got quite a few enhancements, but especially the new processor, new sensor, and weather-sealed body.

I avoided the X-T1 because of its laggy nature.  If you think I'm wrong, you haven't used Olympus and Panasonic mirror-less bodies, which are extremely responsive--or you've been using a Sony camera body, which is less responsive than the FujiFilm bodies.

My first SLR was a Fujica ST-605 and I've been interested in having a new, digital camera body from FujiFilm.  The X-T1 fit nicely, but it just wasn't good for me.

With the X-Pro2, we may see improved low light capabilities, especially if the new processor is better at careful noise removal, and of course, if the new sensor is using much better technology to offset the increased pixel density.

It may be a while before we see any note about a change to the typically waxy skin tones that FujiFilm bodies have been providing.

One thing I noticed that was not overtly mentioned was whether raw files can be used past the normal ISO sensitivity range.  In the past, they indicated that files outside the normal range would be JPEG files.  Considering that high ISO sensitivities could use more adjustment for files, it was frustrating that FujiFilm bodies would only provide JPEG files.  If that has changed, it's a major step forward.

I hope that the new, higher resolution sensor doesn't cause more problems.  Naturally, raw development software has to embrace the new files.  Hopefully, they're great at decoding the files after a few years.  FujiFilm labeled the new sensor X-Trans III but hopefully, decoding works the same.  Phase One Capture One has been very good at processing the files, but hopefully, Adobe will become much better one day, since so many rely on their software.

Considering my Nikon D7200 has 24MP and a native ISO sensitivity range up to 25,600, I wonder how usable FujiFilm's files will be in lower light situations.  Someone mentioned that the sensitivity numbers don't match between FujiFilm and Nikon.  We obviously need a certified test to make certain we can move from brand to brand and body to body and get the same response within a small percentage of error.

All this makes me hopeful for the X-T1 replacement.

If the X-T1 replacement is responsive, flexible in usage, and a bit more powerful without being a problem for itself, I'd like one.

Update 2016.01.17: I was just looking at a comparison between the Nikon D500 and the X-Pro2, which made it look as though the X-Pro2 won.  For me, the X-Pro2 is a good camera body for casual photography, such as travel photography, but getting work done is something that the D500 will do well.  Considering the price, they're not that far apart but I see the X-Pro2 as an expensive competitor for the D7200, Olympus E-M1, Panasonic GX8, and possibly the Sony A7 Mk II, another casual camera body.

It's a most serious threat to Leica, since it does most everything that Leica bodies do well, and it saves you enough money that you can also buy lenses but it still has that emotional connection than a rangefinder would have, especially with the hybrid viewfinder.

Update 2016.07.11: The X-T2 was announced the other day.  It looks really good.  The dual card slots, battery grip that holds two batteries and that has a boost mode seems like they're ready to take on Nikon D7200.  I wonder if I would have chosen to go there.

A couple of years ago, I looked seriously at the X-T1 and didn't want it because it was too slow, too weak.  I'm not sure of the responsiveness of the X-T2, but if that has improved to dSLR or micro Four-Thirds levels, the X-T2 is an easy choice.

The difference with the X-T2 and the D7200 is all about inexpensive zoom lenses for me.  The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 for $359.99 is amazing.  The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 isn't inexpensive but it also isn't expensive for what you get.  On the other hand, the FujiFilm 10-24mm f/4.0 is an amazing lens for the system--and you don't have to worry about third party incompatibilities.

Update 2017.01.01: It looks as though the X-T2 and X-Pro2 are very, very good, but the auto focus is still not quite right.  They've both won a lot of praise, but some criticism for not being everything that they should be.  It's odd to me that they can't get the AF nearer to 100%.  That said, Panasonic really needs to fix theirs on the GH4 and GX8.  It's still better at finding large objects like walls instead of people.  Olympus does better since face detection is added to whatever AF configuration you're already using.

FujiFilm has a good handle on things but they really need to step it up if they're going to have more than a cult following.

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