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Andrew Reid

Either I have lost the plot or I am in love with the Fuji X Pro2

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So I really didn't think I'd end up keeping this camera, especially as it is 1799 euros body only(!!) for just 1080p and no articulated screen.

BUT this camera is a lesson to all the others...

1. May seem like a small thing to start but it has the BEST menus I have ever used, end of story. Properly organised. Not too long. Snappy to navigate. It is amazing how many other cameras get this wrong, even Canon which have too many sub-sections / tabs. Then there's a nice big MY menu at the end of the new Fujifilm main menu so you barely have to dig into the other tabs at all. It is such a nice improvement on the previous Fuji cameras. During a shoot the menus can make or break a camera. Ask any FS7 owner :)

2. COLOUR and CODEC and DETAIL - it excels at each. The images have an electricity to them, super alive. On most cameras, even with H.265 on the NX1, the codec always pays lipservice to the blacks. Whenever you bring them up they are a mess of banding, compression, blocking. The X Pro 2 codec handles like the D750, super clean in the shadows and LOTS of detail. You can bring so much out of the blacks even when they are crushed in-camera when using Velvia - which by the way, is giving me the most satisfying out of camera non-graded non-fussed with colour yet.

3. SMOOTH editing, and 60p for slow mo. With 4K i have come to miss my render-less timeline, snappy editing and 60p with small file sizes. The only 4K 60p DSLR is $6k and 800Mbit. Hmm - no thank you.

4. SOUL. It has as much soul as a Leica but is far cheaper and with a much more versatile feature set and viewfinder. The EVF is super sharp and you don't even have to magnify focus half the time, just go off the EVF or the back screen. Both are superb. To shoot with it is a pleasure. The water sealed body, the build quality, the twin memory card slots, the reassuringly photographic clunk of the mechanical shutter, which by the way is much quieter than a DSLR but no less beefy, the retro good looks - SUPERB looking camera body - it all adds up to something you just want to pick up over anything else. Makes the GH4 and NX1 feel like boring utility tools.

5. It is FAST and the LENSES are lovely. AF and general speed of operation is a big improvement from the X Pro 1. Then there's the lenses 35mm F2.0 WR, small and affordable. 56mm F1.2, creamy like a Noctilux. I also love the 18-55mm F2.8-4 zoom, it is small and well above average for an APS-C zoom of this kind, 35mm F1.4 is slower to focus and has no OIS but it is a lovely piece of glass, 23mm F1.4 also a stunner.

OK, I wish it had zero moire, I wish it had 4K and I'd love an articulated screen.

And yes... This is designed purely as a purist photographer's Leica-style rangefinder, what the hell am I doing shooting video with it?

Because it FEELS so good to do so and it LOOKS so nice when I playback the results afterwards.

Two things that are so important - the feel of holding the damn thing and the feel you get from the colour and details afterwards. Vibrant and alive, the whole experience.

Sony, Canon, Panasonic experience dull by comparison.

They really need to take a hint from Fujifilm.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I think that's the appeal of the X-Pro2 over the X-T1 even - it's classic, a photographers tool more than a digital experience.  Shame about the lack of 4k and moire, but I'm tempted nonetheless. Fuji said they knew their weaknesses were autofocus and video a while back, and it's so good to see the results. I personally found their lenses noisy and jumpy, quirky almost, for video, but with a beautiful image, and their cameras are improving with each generation.  Like Olympus... A bit more legacy and heritage... A bit more to go.

Do tell us more about the moire - when, where, consistency, frequency. And the autofocus in video... 

Just a crumb or two...

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Welp.  Just bought one earlier this afternoon.  Should be in hand in a few days.

As I found with my EM5II, sometimes the mechanical mojo just matters more than the specs.  If it's fun to use, it's fun to use ...and I certainly enjoy using Fuji cams.  heck, the old x100 still shoots more photos than all my other cameras combined.

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23 minutes ago, squig said:

What's the dynamic range like?

Superb as long as you use the Fast Color Corrector in Premiere to remap 0-255 RGB luma range to 16-235

Playback the files in VLC or Quicktime and you get clipped highlights and crushed blacks.

No idea why this is still a problem in 2016, maybe Fujifilm should talk to some Apple guys.

27 minutes ago, Arizona Sunset said:

I think that's the appeal of the X-Pro2 over the X-T1 even - it's classic, a photographers tool more than a digital experience.

Yeah, absolutely.

It is just like having a Leica M rangefinder that happens to shoot better video than a Leica M rangefinder for 1/4th the price, with an EVF AND AN OVF, can't argue with that

The X Pro 1 I also liked but ended up selling it at the time, lens range was rather limited back in 2012 and it was a dog slow camera.

That was the biggest issue... the dreadful AF and even dreadful manual focus too.

The X Pro 2 is mega fast and snappy, they nailed it. Also, viewfinder and body just seem higher quality this time round. Bit heavier, but amazingly built.

Only weak points are the battery life and it is such a sharp 1080p image that when you do get moire, it is pretty noticeable moire.

27 minutes ago, Arizona Sunset said:

Do tell us more about the moire - when, where, consistency, frequency

1 out of every 10 shot has it, but depends on the subject. Not the kind of camera to shoot a lot of infinity focus shots of buildings with, but for actors it's rarely an issue... brief occurrence on clothing, that's about it. What is amazing is that although it is clearly a moire affected camera, it is wonderfully detailed for 1080p.

I'd put the moire at a similar level as the 5D Mark 2 RAW without AA filter and Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

It's not the worst but it does happen.

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Here's the Velvia preset, which I absolutely love...

First shot, crappy light but it has that 'x' factor Sony is nearly always missing, all without any effort at all in post... Look at the smooth tonality and balanced colour...

DSCF3008-graded.thumb.jpg.ab3c1d4c89e313

By the way, here's what Velvia looked like without the 16-235 correction in Premiere... different to the JPEGs and on the camera screen, it had crushed blacks. However the codec has kept them! They snap right out when you correct for the dumb Quicktime RGB range clipping.

DSCF3008.thumb.jpg.017efc95003ad881aff66

Next shot a much more challenging one for dynamic range. Look how much you can get out of it with the most simple quick grade possible - just Fast Color Corrector in Premiere and zero else, not even a RGB curve change...

First ungraded, 0-255 straight off card:

DSCF3008_1.thumb.jpg.94b0ccf43feff0acc9e

Second graded, 16-235 fast colour corrector

DSCF3008_graded.thumb.jpg.e0593a4f33195d

Oh and very important this...... in doing this correction to extend dynamic range notice how colour doesn't go 'weird' like with S-LOG

Cheers for that vid Kaylee, fun to watch.... You can see how detailed the image is pretty well from that. I dial sharpness down -4 to take the edge of it and bring the blacks up a bit in post. Nice fast lens helps too, and Speed Booster. It is a really cinematic image with these adjustments.

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48 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

I'd put the moire at a similar level as the 5D Mark 2 RAW without AA filter and Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

Hmm. I want something mirrorless to replace the A7s for production stills and behind the scenes footage that won't need a lot of post.

What's the rolling shutter like?

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Rolling shutter not much of a concern especially in 60p, but haven't tortured it yet. Will be interesting to see how it compares to the NX1's 1080/60p/120p which has hardly any skew.

Viewfinder refresh is 85fps so not much of an issue in there either.

For stills, the AF is more impressive than the A7S and high ISOs perfectly usable up to 12,800. Some of the film simulation modes even benefit from higher ISOs especially the black and white ones which tend to like 2000-3200. So it's a good low light camera.... Not quite full frame good, but good nevertheless.

Going to get the 35mm F2.0 WR for it as that has more modern AF, snappy and silent like the 18-55mm F2.8-4, I believe. 35mm F1.4 is a bit rough.

Oh and the screen is a thing of beauty... 1.6m dot, beautifully sharp, seems similar to the panel Nikon have used on the D5 and D500

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3 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Rolling shutter not much of a concern especially in 60p, but haven't tortured it yet. Will be interesting to see how it compares to the NX1's 1080/60p/120p which has hardly any skew.

Viewfinder refresh is 85fps so not much of an issue in there either.

For stills, the AF is more impressive than the A7S and high ISOs perfectly usable up to 12,800. Some of the film simulation modes even benefit from higher ISOs especially the black and white ones which tend to like 2000-3200. So it's a good low light camera.... Not quite full frame good, but good nevertheless.

Going to get the 35mm F2.0 WR for it as that has more modern AF, snappy and silent like the 18-55mm F2.8-4, I believe. 35mm F1.4 is a bit rough.

Oh and the screen is a thing of beauty... 1.6m dot, beautifully sharp, seems similar to the panel Nikon have used on the D5 and D500

Looks great, maybe I can let go my GH4 (for me no fun to take pictures with) and keep my 2 GM1's, BMPCC and the A7S  and get this attractive cam..even with the flaws. What lenses would you advice. I think with IS would be nice.

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1 hour ago, fuzzynormal said:

The f2 35mm lens is faster and quieter in AF than the f1.4?

Fuji rumors says the 35/2 is one of a few lenses that takes full advantage of the new AF system, the others being the 16-55, 50-140, 100-400 and 90mm. Hopefully there will be a FW update to improve performance with other lenses - though with some it may require improved internals to boost speed.

11 hours ago, kaylee said:

i love fujis take on things im with you andrew

idk lol but this review was shot using the provia preset check it out

 

Got some moire on that shirt, check around 4:13

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50 minutes ago, thatPhilGuy said:

Nice to see you in love.  Almost head-over-heals.  :-)

That honeymoon phase... ain't nothin' better... 

12 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

1 out of every 10 shot has it, but depends on the subject.

Not the kind of camera to shoot a lot of infinity focus shots of buildings with, but for actors it's rarely an issue...

brief occurrence on clothing, that's about it.

Awesome!

For context, then, here's 1/10 X-Pro2 retro experience compared to 9/10 X-T1 digital experience (almost every video I shot with the X-T1 had visible moire in it):

56df015cd880f_ScreenShot2016-03-08at9.43

In contrast, an NX1, S II, R II 4k crop mode, has all lines vertical and clean.Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 8.52.23 AM.png

The NX1 is a prime example of having clean 4k but 1080p with a bit of moire in it (not unlike the X-Pro2, actually), unlike, say the A7S, which is clean through and through. 

An interesting specimen, the X-Pro2, nonetheless.  

Color me yellow, jealous.  

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14 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

5. It is FAST and the LENSES are lovely. AF and general speed of operation is a big improvement from the X Pro 1. Then there's the lenses 35mm F2.0 WR, small and affordable. 56mm F1.2, creamy like a Noctilux. I also love the 18-55mm F2.8-4 zoom, it is small and well above average for an APS-C zoom of this kind, 35mm F1.4 is slower to focus and has no OIS but it is a lovely piece of glass, 23mm F1.4 also a stunner.

 

Here is the info that I missed, thanks. Can/will you show some clips?

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Some thoughts on the X Pro2 as stills camera before I get the main review finished which covers video...

This thing is sensational. It's like a Leica M with the weight brought down and an EVF added, with superb autofocus.

I'll say that again... a not so heavy Leica M with an EVF and AF and better live view display quality.

The Leica M is of course the king of stills cameras... do ya get it yet...? Yep - this thing betters it.

The 35mm F2.0 WR is nothing short of a bargain, best AF of the Fujifilm primes yet cost me 350 euros. AF is up there with the best Micro Four Thirds lenses, but it is a Super 35mm lens and weather sealed. Camera is nice and saturated at ISO 6400 and pretty clean, can't say that about a Micro Four Thirds cam.

The AF is totally silent and nothing moves, or grinds back and forth like on Fuji's older lenses. Feel of the aperture ring is glorious.

Every time I use this camera I get a nice feeling about it, it is perhaps the first ever "perfect" ergonomic camera.

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I had a look at the manual. What really sux is you can't make any contrast, saturation, or sharpness adjustments in video mode. 6400 ISO tests look about equal to the 5D MKIII (albeit with slightly less resolution).

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/fuji-x-pro2/XPRO2hSLI06400NR1.HTM 

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/canon-5d-mkiii/E5D3hSLI006400NR0.HTM 

It doesn't have that nasty chroma noise like the Sonys

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/sony-a7s/A7ShSLI006400NR0.HTM

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