By Namour Filho
You might be asking: what’s the point of another FUJIFILM X-T2 review if reviewers all talk about the same things? Luckily for you, I wrote a different kind of review.To start, I need to talk a little bit about my experience with this camera. I’ve been working and playing with Fujifilm cameras since the X100S. During the past few years I’ve also shot with the X-E2, X-T10, X100T, X-T1, X70 and X-Pro2.As a curious photographer who gives classes and lectures about the mirrorless revolution all over Brazil, I’ve also tried on Olympus, Samsung and Sony gear together with many a variety of lenses for weddings and portraits. I did this because, as an X-Photographer, I can’t be fully knowledgeably about Fujifilm without also experiencing other brands. I have had great experiences with DSLR cameras, too. I first used Canon cameras back in 2001, testing many different models and lenses.With that brief history, let me begin my X-T2 review.Several months ago, I put my hands on the X-T2 with the Vertical Power Booster. My first impression was that I would never use this booster: I hate weight and big cameras, but as I was going to travel for 21 days, I would have time to experiment.The first part of my trip was Portugal. There, I attended a workshop group at “Quinta” in Viseu, a wine farm. I tried the camera in different situations: on hot days and situations of high contrast, on overcast days with softness, and also during times of balanced light. I began testing the advanced filters, film simulations, and the drive modes. I headed to Paris, where I shot in mixed lighting situations, such as: contrasting scenes and scenes at twilight in the city. Some images were also made with third party lenses with manual focus and an adapter.Then, I returned to Brazil and photographed two weddings. I took along my X-Pro2 and shot the weddings with both cameras, just to feel the differences in action. And not surprisingly, I did feel it.So, l will talk about my recent experiences by making X Series-specific comparisons.
X-T2 versus X-T1
The new camera wins by far when we talk about resolution. With more megapixels, you can crop more, and you can do this without any fear. I know other wedding photographers like that fact as much as I do.
The new LCD screen with vertical movement: when I first heard about this feature, I thought that this wouldn’t be very useful, but with this new dimension of articulation, I challenged myself with the feature many during my street photography, travel photography and in the midst of weddings. This is, surprisingly, a really cool and useful feature.
The new ISO and Shutter Speed dials are proof-positive that a little change can make a huge difference. Fujifilm is always open to photographers’ feedback and they make the proper changes most of the time. This dial took my workflow to a higher level at weddings. Now, all I have to do is just press the button in the dial to lock or unlock it, and I’ll be rest-assured that my settings are perfect.
Dual card slot: this is another change from the X-T1 that made this body more pro. Dual slots are essential for backup and to separate RAW from JPEG.In my opinion, the compensation dial was a negative change from the X-T1 to X-T2. The dial now takes 2 fingers instead of one like with the X-T1. I know Fujifilm engineers changed it by listening to the demands from photographers, but I prefer the old way.
Continuous Autofocus is a huge improvement. With this advancement in AF, the gap between Fujifilm and DSLRs is gone. I’ve noticed great improvements with 80% to 90% precision. I like that this camera has more focusing points, which helps a lot with face or eye detection on single focus.
ACROS film simulation allows photographers more freedom to create unique JPEG files.Two good things that I loved were the inclusion of a joystick, which helps a lot for many uses and the continuous shooting that was changed to a controlled one by your finger, so you can shoot even one image on the continuous if you want.
X-T2 versus X-Pro2
Many photographers ask me this question every day: Which is one better: X-T2 or X-Pro2? Which one do I choose?
My answer is: either gives you the same final quality. It is the same sensor and the same processor, but mounted in different bodies, with different design and operational functions.I always say that the X-Pro2 is a camera for rangefinder lovers, documentary or street photographers. In my opinion, it is prettier than the X-T2, but, according to complaints of most users, it lacks an articulating LCD and the ISO dial is also a negative aspect. I suggested that Fujifilm give photographers the option of setting the ISO with the front or back command dials..
The X-T2 is a perfect camera for wedding, sports, outdoor and wildlife photographers. It has a very ergonomic design, everything is reachable and it has a DSLR look, which many photographers still seek (I do not mind it).
The technological advances are not a reason for you to choose between one and the other. Fujifilm takes care about it with constant firmware updates that give both cameras equivalent capacity.Another important thing is the vertical power booster that is available for the X-T2 allows much longer battery life: the grip adds the power of two more batteries, so it raises to three the number of batteries; which, for me, is enough for my entire wedding. The commands in this new booster grip are very well situated and even include the joystick. This booster grip also increases the number of shots per second in the high-speed drive, and this is a very good thing for sports and wildlife photographers.
The negative aspects are the weight and size that are increased and you must turn it off when not using the grip in order to avoid pressing the shutter button accidentally. This can be a mess if you are in the middle of a wedding.
X-T2 versus DSLRs
This is a difficult comparison to make, because we talk about different systems and, in this case, Full Frame, different sensors sizes.
But I think now is the right time for me to compare.The lacks that many photographers used to talk about Fujifilm cameras were mainly related to the resolution (that the sensors were 16 megapixels), autofocus speed, sensor size, dual card slots and flash system.
I believe that, with the release of the X-T2, Fujifilm has reached a point of change.This camera has 24 megapixels with huge quality and increased resolution – the size of its rich RAW files can reach up to 60 megabytes. This size is ideal for photographers who normally crop their images.
Concerning autofocus speed, it is a notorious fact that Fujifilm worked really hard on improving AF: now featuring very good face and eyes detection, as well as 5 different modes of continuous autofocus. I tested it under some situations – including weddings – and it worked very well.In regards to the sensor size, everybody knows that nowadays, technology has been advancing incredibly fast and that the latest APS-C sensors can now achieve beautiful results at high ISO levels and wide latitude. Fujifilm’s latest generation sensors are very competitive in the DSLR market.
With the unique engineering of the X-Trans sensor, the results reached by the X-Pro2 and the X-T2 are even better – arguably better than many DSLRs.The adding of the dual card slot helped a lot for the wedding photographers who need instantly back up.
I always tell my photographer friends that we pay too much attention to irrelevant details about photography gear.
Of course, Canon offers very good cameras and lenses – the same for Nikon, Pentax, Sony, and others. But, the most important thing for me – and the factors that caused me to switch over to Fujifilm were the ergonomic bodies, lightweight design, and very good prices. It was unthinkable that we could have such great and competitive system with this price and such high quality some years ago.
In just 5 years, FUJIFILM X Series has built a solid system with 22 exceptional FUJINON lenses. FUJINON is known by its superb quality glass in medical diagnosis and broadcasting lenses. This legacy experience is now being used within X Series lenses. And, very importantly: at a very good price.To sum this review up, I must emphasize that Fujifilm is a brand that listens to their users very carefully, and that is the secret behind their huge success. You can list some cons about them, but they will be happy to listen, take notes and fix them, maybe even in a simple firmware update.Nowadays, people make decisions based on details. The competition in the camera industry is tremendous. For choosing the best photography gear, we must also make our decisions based on details. Fujifilm has paid attention to the critical details, and the X-T2 is a perfect example of a beautiful result.