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Friday, 08 July 2016

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What is a "joystick?" (This is a serious question -- apparently I no longer understand all the photography buzzwords.)

Well the BJP, the only magazine reviews I trust, reckon the sensor is much poorer at high iso, worse than the old and worse than micro 4/3, in their review of the XPro-2, so I'm thinking of picking up an XT-1 when they flood the market on release of the new one. I use a D810 for commercial work and bought an X100T just for fun and quite like it, even if everything is too small for my hands. Really 16Mp is ok for my personal work, notebook-like wandering around. More Mp are great, but only for stuff you print really big, and I'm going through a period of printing small for now, 'little jewels'.

"Downside, battery change (sic?) will take longer and you'll need more chargers."

The grip also doubles as a charger. Clever design.

I am with you that anyone not already committed to a system will want to see the the E-M1 replacement. Sony never seems to stand still and I would not be surprised if the A7II gets an update in time for Photokina as well.

Thinking of size, the X-T1 is fractionally larger than the X-Pro1 - and that's probably the SLR styling more than anything. I use the X-T1 with a battery grip and find the extra size makes it a more comfortable camera to hold.

And a personal plea, please stop writing about this camera: it only increases my desire to try and afford one!

Perhaps I'm just being naive but I am quite disappointed by the pricing. As a long time XE2 owner i was waiting with bated breath.

I find that for A3 prints the 16MPxtrans peters out passed iso400... no no please I don't want to start a iso/sensor size/print size war....:)

The X-T2 sounds great but is *much* more expensive than I thought it would be. In OZ its $500 more than an a7II, and in *my* tests with my brothers a7II the Sony has the Fuji beat in image quality/DR and has IBIS...

Anyway I have had the X-E2 for three years now... perhaps its time to give into the GAS..

Lloyd Chambers makes sone persuasive contrary arguments at http://diglloyd.com/blog/2016/20160427_1520-Sony-vs-Fujifilm.html

I love Fuji. Who wouldn't when they came up with their sale prices on lenses and close-out prices on discontinued cameras at the same time I happened to have a few extra bucks to spend. So I bought into the system big time. And it's fun to get into the new camera thing again. I cannot see me buying into the "T-series" anytime soon but I like the look of the cameras and I know they are capable of doing anything I might want to do with them. While there are a gazillion features here I would never use, just looking at the back of the X-T2 says to me that Fuji has built a camera with the necessary controls easily within the grasp of human hands. And in a size a human can carry and hold.

Fujifilm Digital

I got an X100T last year and love it. After years of using DSLR's it's really fun to handle/use and I like the way the files look. The only issue that I have is that I just can't get used to the focal length - 50mm is my sweet spot. Probably going to get an XPro2 (something that I swore I wouldn't do - buy into another system). These cameras very appealing and well thought out.

The yips! I like that term for my malady better than familial tremors. Mike, not to try to diagnose your 'yips,' but do your hands ever shake a bit or did the hands of either of your parents? The familial tremors, a hereditary condition and a benign form of Parkinson's), can start at any age and range from very mild to severe and get progressively worse with age.

My mother has them and unfortunately I do too. My aunts had the affliction and now my middle-aged cousins do too. It's quite a laughable site when we get together for a glass of wine and all the glasses start clinking.

My shakes started in my early 30's and when I look back at my photos from film I see the blur. I was quite happy when Canon first came out with their stabilized zoom. Now in digital, stabilization in body or in lens is a must even for wide angle lenses. Yes, I know, a tripod would also solve this problem. But I've never been a tripod user and don't relish the thought of starting. I do prefer in-body stabilization, but one takes what one can get.

Thanks for letting me rant a bit, and thanks for the new term, 'yips!'

Regarding your Canon comments, if you think about how far, how fast, and how diligently Fujifilm has kept its' 'ear to the ground' in terms of listening to photographers and their update campaigns, it is no wonder.

For me, the real genius is that you can use the same set of lenses with a DSLR-like body (the XT's), a rangefinder-ish body (the XP's), and the various digital-brick shapes, led off by the XE's. Imagine if Leica would have ever done that !

Both our humble Editor and Steve have summed it up really well. I, too, LOVE my X100T, and it literally goes with me everywhere. I still love my X-Pro1, especially the way it renders black and white, but my for my needs, the X-T series better fulfills my requirements for use with longer pro-style zooms. All the X-gear that is available today is pretty darn wonderful, in my book.

But, what matters most to me about what Fuji has done is more psychological and emotional. After a decade of shooting Canon pro gear a LOT, I was burned out. Physically worn out (literally) and jaded spiritually. Fuji restored the joy of photography for me.

And for that, I am ever grateful.

Looks real good but too expensive. For the same money, you get a full frame dslr with better capabilities.

Those looking for optimum quality, ignore distractions like size and weight.
Those shooting casually, usually aren't willing to pay that amount of money.

Fuji XT2 - £1,400
Panny GX8 - £700

As I'm not a Fuji user, I will comment only in general.

You should try focus tracking with a camera that's good at it, it's a great feature and works on animals and people alike (hint). Any sort of action situation and tracking is great in improving the hit ratio.

The X-T1 and X-T2 are some of the best looking cameras out there, but I don't get why ISO and shutter speed dials are needed; auto being the norm and manual adjustment working well electronically. There is a case for the physical exposure compensation dial, as it can be handy to check when raising the camera to see that it's at zero.

The joystick looks a bit small, I wonder how it works with gloves on? One weakness of the haptics in sony's A7 series is that the buttons are hard to feel with gloves on.

Overall, this looks like a very solid camera. I'm still not buying Fuji (not putting that sort of money on an APS-C sensor, especially an unusual one), but I expect them to do well in the marketplace.

I'm sure it's the greatest camera since sliced bread (at least until the next upgrade come along). For me after a number of cycles of buying camera upgrades and finally realizing how much time and money I had spent on doing this and how little I got for it, the camera buying thrill is gone.
I'm still a mediocure amateur photographer and I think I would be a lot better one now if I had spent lots more time on actually taking pictures and studying photography and much less time on endless camera research and buying.

What an excellent overview of the XT-2 and Fuji goodness. And many folk's loving comments are right on. Heck, I still love my X-Pro 1, so it just feels like Fuji squirted an entire can of luscious whip cream at me with all the sweet refinements of the X-Pro 2 and now the XT-2.
I must admit that, at 73, I'm slow at my type of photography, so 1 frame a minute would be fine. I have carried a tripod for 53 years and manual focused for 53 years and love aperture dials (even the unmarked one on my Fuji zoom) and all the other "retro" features of these Fuji cameras. I started life carrying a 500C and 5 lenses and my neck is permanently crooked so 3 cheers for the weight and size reductions.
The features of the XT-2 that I want most are the moveable display and superior EVF. Just might give autofocusing a try too! The "speediness" overall of newer cameras just doesn't really improve anything for me. And if the light isn't right, I pack up and go home - the heck with flash.
Like you, I'd like to try tracking something before I die but that must wait till I can afford a lighter tripod that's easy to pickup :-)

I rented the X-Pro2 (XP2) and a few lenses for four days. On day three, I called and extended the rental for another five. Then the day came when it all had to go back. :=(

The first week of XP2 withdrawal was not too bad. I told myself it would be best to wait and see what other new cameras would be showing up in anticipation of Photokina. I was looking for a camera to replace the Sony mirrorless I gave away.

But the next week brought some new emotions. I realized I did not have a camera to take cat pictures. This would be a problem. So I did what any decent cat (and dog) mommy would do. I went on B&H's site and looked in my wish list to see if I had saved a cat camera in there. And there it was, nicely bundled with its glorious lenses and must have accessories.

I so love my XP2. It makes me feel sixteen all over again.

I've been shooting Fuji for three years, quickly weaning myself from the Canons except for some specific assignments. Started with X Pro 1 and X-E1 bodies, then three X-T1's for all my "work work" and the X Pro 1 and X100t for my personal work.

I'd been waiting for a long time for the X Pro 2, and preordered one as soon as it was available at B&H. Had it for a week and ordered a second one.... :) Now I've just shipped another pile of gear off to the dealer and will order an X-T2, as I prefer that style camera for shooting with longer lenses -- the XP2 is perfect with the smaller primes. My lovely wife swiped an X-T1 body and a few lenses, so those found a good home.

For me, the usability of the Fuji system is just about perfect. It's small and light -- and you bet your sweet &*(^ that matters to any professional after thirty years of humping a thirty pound bag on one shoulder -- but not too small. The lens selection is very good and there are no duds -- every lens does exactly what I expect (though I did return the 16-55/2.8 zoom, as it's just too large for the system -- as large as my Canon 24-70/2.8 II lens). I love the feel of shooting with the X Pro, either one of them. Maybe it was dpreview.com who said, "if you get it, you should get it" in their review of the X Pro 2, which I think is just about right. It's all about the feel of shooting with it. You should get one, Mike. :)

With regard to some of the comments on sensor size and printing ability, I've yet to have anyone look at one of my photos and say, "Gee, that would be a lot better if you had a full frame camera." One of my stitched panoramas of our campus was printed as a backlit transparency 42 feet wide by 10 feet tall and displayed on a stage at an event -- you could walk right up to it and count every brick on every building in the photo. I used the "kit" 18-55 mm lens for that shot. I work every day with an amazing creative team, and you bet I would hear about it if the image quality wasn't up to par.

"I'm still a mediocure amateur photographer and I think I would be a lot better one now if I had spent lots more time on actually taking pictures and studying photography and much less time on endless camera research and buying."

Jeff offers some of most sage thoughts I've read here in quite a while.

Picking up on a couple of comments from up the page suggesting that fuji will inevitably move to 'full frame' and holding on to the view that 'serious'photographers will choose full frame and non serious won't pay, I think they are missing the point. The latest APS-C sensor is really good enough for most people and the bodies work exceptionally well. I am now thinking that 'full frame's and bigger are special purpose, and that the smaller sensors are the normal for all sorts of professional and amateur work. The increased depth of field suits me. The low light performance is good enough - better than I ever expected and,most importantly, the XP2 has enough dynamic range to use in a similar manner to fillum.

The only missing item, I think, is ibis.

Why knock a clear choice that delivers what it promises.

Mike

Fuji would do well to make rental fees apply to the purchase price if you buy the same gear within 30-45 days of rental. Might help some who are on the fence about renting and don't want to buy before trying gear.

I own an XT-1, which is apparently now obsolete. People going gaga over the XT-2 should remember that this model too will become "obsolete" in eighteen months or so - not that it will perform any worse than it does now. When is enough "enough"?

The joystick on this camera probably won't be of much use to me because I only ever use the center focus point anyway. I keep it locked there and re-frame. I wouldn't be using autofocus at all, but digital camera viewfinders are designed to aid the camera in focusing, not the photographer, so I usually let the camera do what it was designed to do, rather than fight it.

I've never used focus tracking because the cameras that do it best are big and heavy and not my style. I'll be interested in giving it a try with the XT-2, though, which is my style.

I was going to write the following under your Vemödalen post, but never got around to it. Turns out it's just as well, because I think it pertains to the video capabilities of the XT-2.

In an article on his Photoshelter blog entitled The Slideshow is a Terrible Way to Show Photos Allen Murabayashi argues that the days of the hero image are about finished. In a world where Google has photographed virtually every inch of the earth, and the globe is awash in photos, it's almost impossible for single photos to grab people's attention. Consequently, he says, more and more young photographers are turning their efforts to multimedia presentations.

There was a recent show in Krakow, Poland that makes much the same point. Called A New Display: Visual Storytelling at a Crossroads, it actually documents the increasing use of multimedia among documentary photojournalists, tracing its beginning back to, roughly, the adoption of digital photography.

I find myself lately shooting less and less when I should be shooting more and more, and I know it's because of this Vemödalen phenomenon. What's the point in another single image?

So I'm thinking that the inclusion of 4K video in the XT-2 is a good thing, and maybe an old dog like me can use it to learn a new trick.

Fuji has been very very good at what they choose to do for a very long time. They have always been somewhat courageous in their willingness to make niche products to extremely high standards even though they know they will sell in small numbers.
Their view camera lenses still have a huge following, (right up to the 450 & 600mm for ULF film. The 'Texas Leica", as well as the 645 roll film cameras still have a cult following. They sloved early dynamic range issues with their dual pixel sensors in Nikon Bodies, and may wedding Photographers swore by them.
They are a 'deeply photographic' company despite cameras being essentially a hobby over the years.
They solve photographic problems in interesting ways.
As you point out they have now built a very interesting system, piece by piece. They are patient and they listen. They were again content to start as a niche product but have now filled it out to be a quite complete product line.
Contrast that with Sony who also make some superb products, and who also innovate. They make and change and rename products so quickly that it is difficult to keep track. Tons of interesting cameras and too few lenses, then lenses came but feel very large.
Looking back Fuji has been on a march---without missing a step.
There is a focus and efficiency about it, which seems to stem from their realization that APS-C "Is the New 35mm" and focused on it with laser precision.
They seem disciplined enough to leave other interesting possibilities to others, like Sony or the micro 4/3 group.
Focus
Only time will tell if they are right, but it seems to be looking good for them now.
I think it's great, and interesting.

There will always be those who love the Fujis and those who don't for whatever reasons. I have seen many spurious arguments against the Fujis over the years but the results speak for themselves for me, not the specs.

Going through my back catalogue, I like the look and feel of my pre 2000s film photos and although a string of digital Nikons increased my output, the look changed. Then I get to 2013 and the X-Trans files get some of that look and feel back. Not the same but there is a feel to the photos that reminds me of film, especially black and white.

Overall an excellent précis of what's currently known about the camera and one that I would agree with on almost every point. I can't decide between the X-Pro2 and the X-T2. Looks like I'll have to get both (eventually).

It seems I love photography and cameras equally - one requires the other. I've been using digital cameras from Sony, Nikon, Leica and Fuji for years now (DSLRs and mirrorless, small and large frame) and over the years I have narrowed down what I want from a camera.

I love cameras with marked physical dials. There is something visceral and pleasurable in operating a camera as a mechanical device and not only a computerised recording device. Plus, seeing the exposure parameters before the camera is even on is reassuring and helpful. So far, there are only two that I know of that allow setting all exposure parameters (aperture, shutter speed, ISO) via marked dials: Fuji X-Pro 2 and the X-T series. The discontinued Epson digital rangefinder series had that too. I also like cameras that look good (design is important), handle well (nice button and dial operation, comfortable to hold), don't weigh too much (1 kg for camera only is too much for me) and generally "get out of the way" in my type of use, which is snapshots of my family and life around me - I'm an omnivore when it comes to photography, but not a professional. The target for me is mostly viewing on an iPad retina screen, rarely print (but if I do print, I like to print both small and large).

I've bought a Leica Q as it seemed a perfect realisation of the ideal: small, well-built, live view, marked dials (except ISO), great design, excellent haptics. Well, it turns out I prefer the default colour output of my old Fuji X100s, and there is no advantage of full frame that I can actually see, except for larger file dimensions. The highlight "response" of the sensor and lens combination (which is really important to me as it often makes images look digital and harsh; interestingly it's "shadow recovery" that seems to be all the rage now) I actually like better from the Fuji. I also don't see any inherent advantage - pixel peeping be damned - of a larger sensor in real life ISO performance. The Fuji's noise looks more natural and less "in your face" to me. I also never really bonded with the Leica in terms of daily use - the Fuji is just... nicer? More compact, analog-camera-like and comfortable to carry. Well, it simply ends up being used more. By the way, the Q has great autofocus and a terrific, fast lens (way better than X100's 23mm), which surprisingly doesn't help change my mind at all - the handling and colour output from the Fuji prevail. I guess colour response and overall "feel" of the camera should not be underestimated when digital cameras are discussed. I used to fuss about the size of the sensor - but my tests between Leica Q and X100s confirmed to me that a "single-stop" sensor size difference is not enough to make real-world difference in typical size output.

So now the Leica is up for sale, and the X100s stays. As I really like live view, the relatively lower weight and size, and the line-up of Fuji primes, and I've waited long enough for Nikon to deliver my favourite focal length in APS-C format (23mm equiv. to 35mm), I will be buying the X-T2 soon and my Nikon DSLR will end up as my daughter's camera.

Oh, and one more observation I forgot in my previous comment - there are things Fuji is doing that no one else does, which make the brand particularly appealing:
- a great line-up of prime and zoom lenses, that are consistently good, look consistently good, and have aperture rings on them
- window-finder autofocus cameras (no one else currently follows in the footsteps of Contax G series)
- both rangefinder-like and SLR-like camera models that take the same lenses and have consistent controls
- very nice film simulations that are actually aesthetically pleasing and not "toy-like", and can serve as great JPGs or as a base for further editing (not all of us want to be Photoshop gurus)
- consistently listening to photographers and improving cameras via firmware even after the end of product lifecycle

Guess that's a lot of consistency right there.

Further contrarian addendum:

As to the comment about Canon fearing Fuji. I've never known a corporation to formally designate an official Company We Fear Most. To me, this seems very much like the kind of question about which there will be different opinions among the people working within a company like Canon. When I worked at Nikon, if you posed any business question (aside from hard sales and production numbers) to 10 different managers within the company, you'd get at least 3 different answers. Frequently, you'd get 10 different answers. And I often saw my colleagues make up answers out of thin air, based on their own particular hobby horses, in order to seem important or knowledgeable, rather than the glorified flunkies, yes-men, and go-fers that we actually were. So, for my own part, I'd take that comment with a big grain of salt.

Does the "min shutter speed" when using Auto ISO still get ignored and overrun by the camera when the ISO ceiling is hit?

Is the AF via button (not shutter release) still inexplicably relegated to Manual Focus mode only?

These are, by far, by really, REALLY far, the biggest gripes I have with the X-E2.

@Mark L — you should contact me about the X-T1.

A couple of years ago I wrote to Mike to tell him I thought his blog had lost its way. He wrote back to me asking me to hang on in, because things would improve. Well I'm glad I did, because the blog has developed into a fascinating,essential and unique take on photography for those of us who care about it. However, if there's one thing I can do without on the blog, it's the kind of tedious fanboy posts that regularly appear, and this topic has generated some of the worst. Not Mike's fault, I know, but please can we stop sharing our purchase intentions and get back to photography? Thanks!

[Glad you're still with us, Chris.

I think you just have to realize that not every post is for everybody. Most posts I hope interest a majority of readers, but some might hit only 5% and that's okay too. As long as there aren't too many posts like that.

I have to laugh, though, because I'm just now preparing a post that...shares a purchase intention. Sorry. --Mike]

Perhaps someone should ask Canon in 2016 if they still feel the heat from Fuji, as they apparently did in 2003?

I think I know the answer to that one...

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