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Fuji’s flagship X-Series cameras are once again on equal specification footing. We are free to choose the form factor we prefer and features we want, budget depending, and not be worried about compromising image quality.
In fact, so much about these cameras is the same—from sensor to processor to autofocus engine—this will be more of a think piece on use cases, along with commentary on their handling, the key point of differentiation.
|Announced||July 7, 2016||January, 2016|
|Released||September, 2016||February, 2016|
Sensor and Image Capture
|Effective Pixels||24.3 million||24.3 million|
|Maximum Image Size in Pixels||6,000 × 4,000||6,000 × 4,000|
|Sensor||X-Trans CMOS III||X-Trans CMOS III|
|Processor||X Processor Pro||X Processor Pro|
|Native ISO||200 – 12800||200 – 12800|
|Extended ISO||100, 25600, 51200||100, 25600, 51200|
Multi, Centre-weighted, Spot, Average
Multi, Centre-weighted, Spot, Average
±3.0EV via Physical Dial
±3.0EV via Physical Dial
|Scene Recognition (SR) Auto Mode||No||No|
|Max Shutter Speed, Mechanical||1/8,000s||1/8,000s|
|Shutter Speed, Electronic||30s to 1/32,000s||1s to 1/32,000s|
|Continuous Shooting||Electronic Shutter: 14fps
With VPB-XT2: 11fps
|Reduced Viewfinder Blackout Time||Yes||No|
|Auto Bracketing||AE (Exposure)
|Exposure Bracketing Values||±⅓ to ±2 EV||±⅓ to ±2 EV|
|Custom White Balance Banks||3||3|
|Interval Timer Shooting||Yes||Yes|
|Classic Chrome Film Simulation||Yes||Yes|
|ACROS Film Simulation||Yes||Yes|
|Autofocus Points||325 in 25 × 13 grid
91 in 13 × 7 grid
|325 in 25 × 13 grid
91 in 13 × 7 grid
|Phase Detect||49 Points
Middle ⅔ of the frame
Middle ⅔ of the frame
|Autofocus Modes||Single, Zone, Wide/Tracking||Single, Zone, Wide/Tracking|
|AF-C Custom Settings||Yes||No|
|AF-C CUSTOM Custom Settings||Yes||No|
|Focus Stick (Lever)||Yes||Yes|
|Electronic Rangefinder (ERF)||-||Yes|
|Bright Frame Simulation||-||Yes|
|Size||0.5 inch||0.48 inch|
|Resolution||2.36m dot OLED||2.36m dot TFT|
|Manual Focus “DUAL” Mode||Yes||No|
|Refresh Rate||60 frames per second
100 frames per second in “Boost Mode”
|85 frames per second|
|Display Lag||0.005 seconds||0.012 seconds|
|Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|Resolution||1,040k dot||1,620k dot|
|New Menu System||Yes||Yes|
3840 × 2160
1920 × 1080
|Flash Sync Speed||1/250 of a second||1/250 of a second|
Body and Handling
|Storage Media Slots||Two||Two|
|Media Max. Speed||UHS-II
Slot1 and 2
Slot 1 Only
|Start-up Time||0.3 sec.||0.4 sec.|
|Command Dials||Front and Rear||Front and Rear|
|Command Dial(s) Act As Buttons||Yes||Yes|
|Metering Mode (Photometry)||Dedicated Switch||Button|
|Drive Select||Dedicated Switch||Button|
|Updated Menu System||Yes||Yes|
513g with Body Cap, Hot Shoe Cover, Battery, Memory Card
495g with Body Cap, Hot Shoe Cover, Battery, Memory Card
|Operating Temperature||-10°C - 40°C||-10°C - 40°C|
|Battery Life||Up to 340 frames
|Up to 380 frames|
|IO||USB 3 / Micro USB
3.5mm / Microphone / Remote Release 2.5mm Stereo Mini Connector
|Micro USB 2
Microphone / Remote Release 2.5mm Stereo Mini Connector
Not much to write in this section. The build of both cameras is excellent. I have my quibbles about a button that doesn’t click as nice as I’d like here, or a dial that’s a little harder to turn there, but on balance, there’s no way to make a purchasing decision on the quality of the parts, tolerances of assembly, or fit and finish.
Buttons, Dials, and Switches
Finally a bit of variance. I prefer the X-Pro’s D-pad and exposure compensation dial to the X-T2, but I definitely prefer the X-T2’s shutter speed and ISO dials. My X-T2 preferences are probably more from an operational and handling perspective, which we’ll get into more below.
I also prefer the cross hatched milling for all the metal dials on the X-Pro2, but that’s mostly subjective.
The X-Pro2 wins here, as the X-T2 has a seamed baseplate like its predecessor. As I mentioned in my review, that’s probably down to accommodating the grip contacts. I’m curious as to whether Fuji could get these things milled out of a single piece of metal.
Memory Card and IO Doors
The Memory Card Doors are of similar quality, but open differently. I prefer the slide mechanism on the X-Pro2 over the little tab found on the X-T2—which is really tough to open with heavier gloves on—but given the body shape, it’s not hard to see why Fuji had to go with this style. A slide cover would mean losing the added thumb grip on the X-T2.
The IO Doors are effectively the same.
If you don’t mind spending a little extra for for an extra fancy finish on your camera, Fuji’s got you covered. I like the look of the X-Pro2 “Graphite” over the X-T2 “Graphite Silver,” but I confirmed with Fuji that just one lens, the XF 23mm F2 WR will be the only lens offered as part of a kit in “Graphite.” On the other hand, while more lenses are available in silver, they aren’t Graphite Silver,“ and so have a slightly different look to the finish.
You probably shouldn’t be choosing which of these cameras to get based on the finish. Choose the better body for you, then pick the finish. But I wouldn’t judge.
This is the category we’ll see the biggest differences, and will be one of the deciding factors between these two cameras. Cutting to the chase, neither handles better than other overall, just different. Take your preferences—and whether they align with mine or you think I’m out to lunch—into account.
We’ll start with a couple areas that won’t matter much at all though.
Size and Weight
Out of the box, the size difference is noticeable, but hardly noteworthy. The X-Pro2 is wider and shorter where the X-T2 is narrower and taller. The X-T2 grew a little more in iteration than the X-Pro2 did, so the difference in size is even less than it was in the first generation.
Where things do get different is with the addition of the VPB-XT2 Vertical Power Booster Grip, an accessory that, while not required, will get you the maximum amount of performance possible out of the X-T2. With that accounted for, size and weight become a huge factor, but if you want a grip, the decision between these two cameras has been made for you.
So again, grip aside, size and weight are criteria that probably needn’t factor into your decision a great deal.
Measured Weight in Grams
AF-C Custom Settings
The autofocus engines found in all X-Trans III/X Processor Pro cameras are identical, as are the processors, but the X-T2 adds an enormous amount of customization with how the Continuous Autofocus behaves. Tracking Sensitivity, Speed Tracking Sensitivity, Zone Area Switching, these are settings you simply won’t find on the X-Pro2. You can read much more about this feature in my X-T2 review. Given how Fuji has positioned the X-Pro2, it makes at least some sense for these features to be omitted, so if Continuous Autofocus is what you’re after, The X-T2 is probably the way to go.
Th “Focus Stick” is such a key feature now that it warrants it’s own section. It’s positioned better on on the body of the X-Pro2 for, until I rotate it to portrait orientation where I can feel the RSI taking hold. A gripped X-T2 is literally twice as good. If you spend your days shooting handheld in portrait orientation, the X-T2 wins, period. If you rarely shoot portrait, this matters very little, if at all.
Dial All The Things
For dedicated function access, the X-T2 has you covered. A greater number functions are immediately accessible, and more can be locked into place. I don’t find the pull-to-release ISO dial on the X-Pro2 has frustrating as a lot of other reviewers and photographers do, but the operation of the X-T2’s viewfinder dial sandwich is positively sublime when honing in on the perfect exposure. So much so that I find myself pressing and releasing the button on the X-Pro2’s Shutter Speed dial expecting it to turn when set to “A” and wondering why it won’t.1 If I was in the habit of changing my shutter speed on the fly often, switching back and forth between these cameras would be frustrating, and I would prefer the X-T2’s approach.
It’s tough to call a winner here. This is going to come down to your shooting style and subject matter more than anything. Both cameras can photograph anything of course, but if you’re standing behind your tripod for a lower angle wanting to dial in your exposure perfectly, the X-T2 will serve you better. That said, there’s something to be said for getting your camera set and having the controls just a little bit more out of the way. It’s part of the draw to the X-Pro2 for me. I’m largely an Auto ISO shooter when I’m out and about with my X-Pro2. Having immediate access to my autofocus point via the Focus Stick, Exposure Compensation and Aperture is more often than not all I really need.
While the layout of these cameras is just about as similar as Fuji could make them within their styles, their layouts are quite different. This is almost 100% subjective territory. In my hand, I feel the buttons on the X-Pro2 fall in just the right place more often than the X-T2. It’s the “extension of my hand/eye” or whatever. I like that even the Image Review and Trash buttons are to the right side of the camera where the X-T2 requires she grip shimmying to get at. A big exception to that is when I’m shooting on a tripod, I actually like having both thumbs going at the same time, so I think Fuji made the right choices here.
The X-T2’s grip has an effect here too. Without it, the position of the front Function button is perfect for me, like the X-Pro2. With the grip attached, I find that button just a bit out of reach. I plan to keep the grip attached my X-T2 all the time, and that results my button placement preferences leaning a little further towards the X-Pro2. So make sure you try the X-T2 out with the grip before you buy (or buy from somewhere with a liberal return policy) to see how it handles for you. If you’re disappointed about missing out on an OVF, for instance, and it turns out you dislike the handling of the X-T2 with the grip on, that could alter your purchase decision.
The X-T2 has one extra customizable button, but making adjustments is quite a bit more annoying. For some reason, Fuji has omitted the extreme convenience of being able to press and hold a customizable Function button to quickly change it’s setting like we have on the X-Pro2. Instead, we’re forced to wade into Menu Land to make adjustments.
Comically, if you have either the top or bottom D-Pad buttons set to change your AF mode, pressing and holding will result in the camera quickly cycling through the various modes. There isn’t a single reason why anyone would want this functionality. I hope to see this changed in a future firmware update.
Each of these cameras come with viewfinding tradeoffs. At first thought, one might think the addition of an entire Optical Viewfinder would tip the scales heavily in favour of the X-Pro2. But what the X-T2 does have is so much better than the X-Pro2’s equivalents that it ends up being a much closer comparison, of not tipping the other way.
The optical viewfinder of the X-Pro and X100 line of cameras can offer the photographer a tremendous amount of flexibility in how they compose their images. There’s a good chance you’ve read this elsewhere, but aside from seeing reality through the viewfinder, as opposed to a camera’s interpretation, the additional space surrounding the frame allows you to more carefully compose your images, and capture the image at the right time, once something has entered the frame. The former makes a bigger difference than you might think. Having to hunt around outside of an otherwise blacked out frame can grow tiresome. The latter is a huge boon for street and reportage photography.
The X-T2 bests the X-Pro2 here in every way. From size to magnification to maximum potential frame rate to the manual focus “DUAL” split screen mode, the X-T2’s EVF is a few cuts above the X-Pro2.
Turning “Boost Mode” on pushes the X-T2’s EVF frame rate up to 100, or 15 higher than the maximum the X-Pro2 can achieve. In low light, I don’t see a big difference between the two without Boost Mode on, but when I flick the switch on my grip (or digging pretty far into menus without some “My Menu” action), I can see the frame rate jump immediately. It’s pretty remarkable. If you’re a nighttime street shooter, you’re gonna want the X-T2’s EVF.
Eyeglass wearers take note, at 23mm and set to “NORMAL”, the X-T2’s EVF is much easier to compose with than the X-Pro2 if the diopter doesn’t cut it.
The X-Pro2 takes the pixel density crown here, with around 600K more dots on its display, but it’s a display that doesn’t tilt at all, let alone in three directions like the X-T2’s. I can see the added resolution offered by the X-Pro2, particularly in the UI, but I would take the utility of a tilt screen over the resolution bump.
Like size and weight, this is another department that is going to mostly hinge on whether or not you have a grip installed on your X-T2 or not. Grip attached, X-T2 wins. No grip, it’s a tie outside of two things, AF-C Custom Settings, and Continuous frames per second.
Getting into specifics, startup time has been reduced further still from 0.4 sec. to 0.3 sec. Comparing the two, I can’t tell the difference, and the delay in my ability to actually flick the power switch at the same is probably have way more of an affect start up time than the cameras are.
Set the X-T2 to “Boost,” and the X-Pro2 to “High Performance” or “Standard” and you’ll get the same AF performance out of these cameras provided you have the same lens mounted.
The X-T2 added some improvements to autofocus algorithms geared primary at wildlife shooting; fur and high frequency subjects, specifically. Thanks to Fuji’s dedication to firmware updates these improvements hit the X-Pro2 with their Ver.2.00 update, so it seems we’re back to even playing ground there. I can’t say I was having a lot of trouble with autofocus shooting wildlife with the X-Pro2 at firmware Ver.1.02.
More about the grip. Without it, these two cameras are the same, right down to the buffer. Attach the grip to the X-T2 and the maximum frame rate goes up to 11 frames per second, while the buffer goes down 83 to 73 for JPEG, from 33 to 3 for Lossless compressed RAFs, and stays the same for Uncompressed RAFs. This suggests that while the shutter can capture at a higher frame rate, the image processor can’t quite keep pace with the added computation effort of compressing the images one way or another.
As discussed, the “better” camera when it comes to performance depends entirely on whether you intend to get the grip for the X-T2. If so, the X-T2 is the most performant camera Fuji has on offer today.
You can expect identical image quality from these two cameras. The entire imaging chain is the same.
If you’ve made it this far and/or read my X-T2 Review, you know that there’s one accessory in particular that’s pretty important to the overall X-T2 experience; the VPB-XT2 Vertical Power Booster Grip. The X-Pro2 doesn’t even have a vertical grip of any kind, let alone that improves its performance. This is one area the X-T2 runs away with it.
I’m the sort of person who is open to letting a product’s design inform the way I use them to some degree. I’m willing to approach a product with my mind open to the idea its designers know what they are doing. That’s not to say I will accept nonsensical design, for from it, but as I use cameras like the X-Pro2 and X-T2, I can appreciate what their designers set out to achieve with each. They really are not intended for the same audience.
For me, the X-T2 is typically a contemplative set up, followed by rapid capture, tweaking, and more capture. The X-Pro2 is the nimble, stealthy candid capture. Fewer tweaks, less fuss, get in, get the shot and get out. Having written that, both cameras can serve the role of their counterpart well, maybe just not as well in every situation.
Sales and bundles aside, we’re looking at a price difference of around $100 for the addition of an Optical Viewfinder. Pretty fair. But then, you’d be nuts to ignore sales and bundles where you can get an X-T2 and the VPB-XT2 Vertical Power Booster Grip for the same price as an X-Pro2 on its own. Value-wise, I gotta hand it to the X-T2 with the grip. It’s the better buy and you can get more camera for your money.
So Who Should Get an X-Pro2
While this camera has suddenly found itself somewhat tucked into a niche—even more so now that the X100 is available in X-Trans III—there are still some for whom the X-Pro2 is the better camera. Street, reportage, and documentary photographers will definitely appreciate the Optical Viewfinder found in either the X-Pro or X100 bodies, and if they aren’t fond of being restricted to 35mm and conversion lenses, the X100 is out. The OVF is a pretty big deal.
Who Should Get an X-T2?
Anyone else, really. Especially those who plan to supplement their interchangeable body with an X100F, and don’t mind being tied to 35mm for optical goodness. Going back to the X-Pro2’s EVF is always hard after shooting with the X-T2 for a minute and half, and the more I handle it with the VPB-XT2 Vertical Power Booster Grip and my Really Right Stuff L-plate attached, the more I like it. I love braving the elements with the X-T2.
What If You Already Have An X-Pro2?
You’re fine. No need to make the lateral move to an X-T2 unless of course, you purchased the X-Pro2 because the lure of more resolution was too much to bear. In which case, fill your boots, as they say.
My Camera Strategy
It wasn’t long after owning the X-Pro2 that I knew I would want an X-Trans III sensor in an X-T body. If I had unlimited funds and an assistant to carry my things, I would have two X-T2’s, both gripped, one with the XF 16mm F1.4 WR attached, and the other with either the XF 90mm F2 WR or XF 50-140mm F2.8 WR along with and X-Pro2 and the XF 35mm F2 WR. As it stands, I will probably vacation with exactly that, minus one X-T2. I can’t express strongly enough how much I wish I had this X-T2 during my Safari trip.
I love the X-Pro2, I really do. If I could have only one camera and one lens, it would still be the X-Pro2 and XF 35mm F2 WR. Desert Island Camera. But it’s less versatile, its marquee feature, the OVF, should really be limited to 23-56mm, and it’s missing the grip modularity of the X-T2.
So the X-Pro2 will continue to be my preferred street and documentary photography camera. One of three Auto ISO banks selected, each with its own maximum Shutter Speed. When I’m going out to shoot with my tripod in poor weather, or setting up my LumoPro LP180s for a portrait session, it will be the X-T2 in full manual all the way.