Interviews

Interview: The Most Comprehensive Guide on the X-Pro2

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Tony Phillips is an author, photographer, pilot, teacher, and lecturer, and has a long-standing passion for photography. To date he has 8 published books on photography. Four on Fujifilm X cameras and lighting. All are available on the following website.

He is recommended by MirrorLessons as one of 6 Authors of Mirrorless Camera Manuals Whose Books You’ll Actually Enjoy Reading. He conducts photographic seminars on the fundamentals of digital photography through to advanced lighting.

Tony Phillips - X-Pro2 001
I reached out to Tony with some questions to learn more about his latest book – “The Complete Guide to Fujifilm’s X-Pro2“, in which he examines the highly anticipated camera to form a detailed 545-page guide.

Can you tell us about yourself and how long you have you been using Fujifilm X-Series cameras for?

Over the years I’ve been a teacher, businessman and entrepreneur. I started shooting film in high-school, using an SLR as a school photographer. This ongoing passion has led me to writing books to help people understand photography and their equipment – so they shoot the kinds of pictures they are interested in.

I dipped my toe in the water with the Fujifilm X-E1. The first Fujifilm X camera I really fell in love with was the X100S. It’s difficult for people who have never shot Real High Speed sync with a leaf-shutter lens to understand why X100 cameras are so magical.

Tony Phillips - X-Pro2 002

A preview of what’s covered in the X-Pro2 Guide

When you write a detailed guide that covers a camera what are the steps you like to take to ensure all content is accurate?

Accuracy is essential in a book like this, and is a significant part of the undertaking. I handle a camera quite a bit over many months during the writing process. So it’s safe to say I become quite familiar with it. I read available Fujifilm information – including the manual and test everything I say. I sometimes ask questions of Fujifilm to seek clarification of technical details, and I have proof-readers who are Fujifilm (X-Pro2) photographers. In this book, for instance, I requested information from Fujifilm to cross-check my explanation of the new Depth-Of-Field Scale setting.

When the entire work is completed, I read, edit and test everything – every setting, suggestion and idea – to ensure nothing is missed and my explanation is complete and clear. I usually write the opening introductory chapters last.

What is the biggest stand out feature (or your favorite feature) of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 that you have been able to uncover?

I’ve shot with many cameras, so this is actually a tough question.

What people mostly ask me is what “hidden” features I discovered. And after handling the camera so much, I usually feel it is all pretty straight forward. Handle it for a while, and the X-Pro2 is an easy camera to use.

Since I am a photographer, I value image quality, then camera handling. The notable features for me are IQ, speed, and the hybrid viewfinder. I also like the new menu structure and customisations which help streamline shooting workflow.

Technically I’m impressed the bump to 24MP comes without added noise. It might not be obvious to people, but that is quite a feat!

Tony Phillips - X-Pro2 007

A preview of what is covered in the X-Pro2 Guide

In what formats can people view the X-Pro2 guide and is the guide interactive?

The X-Pro2 book is available in PDF, .MOBI, and .EPUB electronic formats and print on demand B&W and Colour printed books. Whichever format a customer buys entitles them to the electronic formats if they send their receipt (as proof of purchase) to the publisher. Instructions are in the book.

The electronic formats are all internally hyperlinked, and the PDF has an extended index and hyperlinked table of contents.

Based on your own experience, is there a particular piece of content that Fujifilm instruction manuals may lack?

The manual does a reasonable job outlining camera settings. It’s tough to cover everything in detail without writing a huge book.

Can you make any suggestions about how Fujifilm could improve their instruction manuals for X Series cameras?

I’ll be cheeky here, and say give everyone my book

But seriously, the manual has a logical structure. Hyperlinked PDF versions are always welcome.

Tony Phillips - X-Pro2 003

A preview of what is covered in the X-Pro2 Guide

When you talk to other Fujifilm users who have purchased your guides, what has been the best feedback you have received?

I receive lots of great feedback ranging from suggestions, questions, and occasionally a typo. What I mostly get is people telling me how much the book has helped improve their understanding and use of the camera in the pursuit of their photography. People often comment on the accessible style – which is something I aim for.

Here’s just a few from X-Pro2 owners since the launch:

“The book is really (can’t put it down) really great … such a relief to find a friendly conversational style of writing. I have used the X-Pro2 professionally and for recreation… I’m still fine-tuning how I use it, and I find it most informative to cross check how I use the Camera with the recommendations in the book.” – Roland Herrera

“Just want to let you know that I’m finding your new X-Pro2 ebook extremely helpful, and this after using my X-Pro2 camera for 3 1/2 weeks in Europe. Finding all kinds of helpful info on settings, etc. Thanks for writing it.” – Chris Morrow

“Thanks for the dedicated book. It’s really enjoyable and helpful.” – Hidenori Yamada

“This is a very well put together guide book, and I’ve read a ton of them in my time! Excellent!” – Steve MacDonald

Tony Phillips - X-Pro2 004

A preview of what is covered in the X-Pro2 Guide

 

Typically, how long does it take you to create a detailed guide, and did you face any challenges when creating the X-Pro2 guide?

This varies. This is my fourth Fujifilm-specific book. The first took 7 months. This last one came in at just over four.

The typical challenge is the long developmental lead time, and of course it’s a solo effort. That’s a long time to spend without an income.

If you are interested in obtaining Tony’s X-Pro2 guide then you can pick up your own copy for $26.45 USD. Over the coming weeks it will also be listed on Amazon, iTunes and other eBook outlets so stay tuned.

10 replies »

  1. Book is excellent, if you order the printed copy from lulu shipping is a long long wait. I am waiting here (Germany) for the 3rd week and counting… Yes, there is express shipping but very expensive. 😦

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    • Hi Bernd,
      I’m glad you like the book.
      Purchase of printed books entitles you to the electronic formats. Just send your lulu receipt to the publishers at friedmanarchives. They’ll send you download links, and the waiting is over!
      Tony

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  2. I have had Tony’s X-T1 book for some time now. I anticipate buying the X-T-2 as soon as possible. Would the X-Pro2 book have enough new information applicable to the X-T2 to justify buying it rather than wait for the X-T2 book in several months?

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  3. Bought the x pro 2 book last night. Have had several of Tony’s and Gary’s books…best out there. Thanks for the complete and hard work Tony!

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  4. It’s a really well thought out book. It’s giving me insights into the camera that I could never get from the manual. Great job Tony!

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  5. Excellent and clear information that makes the fujifilm first timer a joy of experience. Waiting for the XT2 edition to be able to understand the mumbo jumbo manual of the manufacturer. Please!!!!!
    Enrique

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  6. I purchased a copy soon after buying my X Pro2. It has been invaluable. Easy to understand, covers everything, and offered additional support in the form of access to the color pictures ( I bought the paper, B&W version) and Flash book. I’d venture to say it is an essential buy!

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