We now know that the next Fuji X cameras are imminent so I thought it would be good to have a little re-cap on what we already know but also to try and predict a few things for the future.
Here's hoping that Fuji really gets things right this time!
I have been using Fuji X cameras for a few years now, since the launch of the Fuji X-Pro 1. I should also mention that I have no affiliation with Fuji what-so-ever.
The X-Pro1 was my first X camera and since then I have owned an X-E2 and an X-T10. We also have an original X100. I have owned the 18mm and 10-24mm lenses, I have now sold them and my current line up is 14mm, 23mm, 35mm and 18-55mm f/2.8-4. I also use Cactus flash and triggers and a Nissin i40 for TTL flash.
The X-Pro 2 is Coming!
The next big camera to be released should be the X-Pro 2 and we can be fairly sure that will be announced on 15th January 2016. Fuji Rumours are good at reporting such rumours with a lot of accuracy. Now Magnum confirm that some photos were removed from their website because of an embargo with a camera manurfactuer until 15th January. That camera was the Fuji X-Pro2 which is very obviously being tested by various Fuji ambassadors.
It has been a fairly long time since the launch of the original X-Pro and there is a lot of expectation for this new camera. I do wonder whether it will let some people down. One thing is for sure, Fuji will have to come up with something good, something very usable with very few flaws to get people pre-ordering. The X-Pro is billed as the Pro camera, the flagship model of the interchangeable lens line up but the original X-Pro was not a big success for Fuji, certainly in terms of sales, very poor in fact.
Shortly after the X-Pro 1 came out Fuji then released the X-E1 and it seemed to have some improvements, although no hybrid viewfinder, just an electronic one. But the camera was cheaper. We then had numerous other models including the X-E2 and the X-T1. Since the launch of the X-T1 I think we can safely say that it is more comfortable sitting at the top of the line up than the original (dated) X-Pro1.
So with this confusion of which camera should be the flagship model and the fact that the X-Pro was never much of a financial success, what should Fuji now do? Well it looks like we are quite close to the announcement of the new X-Pro and I wonder what features it can have over and above that of any future X-T2, which will obviously follow in due course.
In my mind the two cameras should sit next to each other at the top of the line. The X-Pro2 is the more rangefinder style camera and the X-T2 should be the more SLR style of camera, but both should be fully loaded with the best technology available. I really can't see it making any sense otherwise.
We have already heard (rumour) that the X-Pro2 will likely be 20-30% more expensive than what people paid for the X-T1. So we are looking at around £1200-£1300 here in the UK.
Some of the rumours of the spec of the Fuji X-Pro2 are as follows. Thanks again go mainly to Fuji Rumours for these...
It's highly likely it will be a new Sony sensor that will deliver high resolution at 24mp and will hopefully have better dynamic range and high ISO capability. Just what is needed and expected, in my opinion.
Latest rumours suggest it will have many more auto focus points, more than 200 and 2/3 are PDAF. This means much faster auto focus which I think we be a big big factor. If this works well a lot of people will be very happy.
Dual SD card slots
Yes this is useful, especially when using the camera professionally. It saves on those fears of losing photos due to corrupt cards.
1/8000 shutter speed
This I think is a very useful feature, with the courses that I run it is clear that faster shutter speeds will be useful to a lot of people. I expect this to be expandable with electronic shutter speeds and I really hope that will be the case, I see no reason why not.
No tilt LCD
The sort of people that the X-Pro attracts tend to think that the tilting LCD is not really needed, an unnecessary gadget. I do have to say I think I will miss the tilt screen that I am currently enjoying on the X-T10. I find it great for landscapes when using a tripod.
So here is where you would expect to see the first difference between the X-Pro2 and any future X-T2 ,because any future X-T2 will surely have a tilt screen.
It looks very likely the new X-Pro will retain the hybrid viewfinder, which is good news for those that like the X-Pro 1 for this feature. A lot of people moan about the current one because it is not accurate enough and I understand those gripes, but I really hope improvements will have been made and will make it a very usable feature.
In particular I would be happy if the position of the Auto Focus points were more accurate on the optical view, nothing worse than thinking you've focused on your subject to later find out you've actually focussed on the background. In practice you can have the AF distance indicators on and you can usually work out by a glance at that whether you are focusing at the correct distance for your shot, but it would be great not to have to do that,
This is likely to be the second difference as the X-T2 will likely only feature an electronic viewfinder, just as the X-T1. Will they both have the same electronic part of the viewfinder though!? I suspect the X-T2 will in fact have a slightly upgraded electronic viewfinder than the X-Pro2, but I'm not sure why, especially given that the X-Pro is likely to be more expensive. I really hope that iI am wrong and the X-Pro gets the best possible electronic viewfinder along with an improved optical one.
1/250 flash sync speed
A relatively new rumour but one I also hope is true. This really helps bring the camera closer to it's pro name and will definitely be good for studio and flash photographers.
Although I am yet to own any weather sealed lenses, I really want the X-Pro2 to be weather sealed. Having just come back from a very wet Lake District holiday, having a camera that can get a bit wet would be a massive bonus.
I suspect this really won't interest that many people who are currently shooting with Fuji, especially X-Pro shooters, but it certainly interests me. I would like a camera that I can use for video for my business and I suspect it may well be the tipping point for some professionals thinking of making the switch to Fuji.
I from full frame, previously shooting with Nikon and a D700. I wanted a smaller camera system but I didn't want to compromise too much on quality. Fuji did just that for me, great quality in a smaller and lighter camera. I still wonder sometimes about going back to full frame and I will admit I have been looking at Sony recently. But in the end, I know that full frame might not mean a big camera now-a-days, but it does still mean bigger lenses, especially if you favour primes with larger apertures.
There is another rumour that there could be two versions of the X-Pro2, one with APS-C and one with a slightly larger APS-X sensor. Not sure about this and I'm guessing that the sensor would in fact be full frame and just use a smaller portion of it?! Current lenses don't support full frame due to the image circle they project. I'm not sure if anyone can do a test to know whether the lenses are capable of projecting a slightly bigger image circle than APS-C. In theory though, it sounds great - a little extra sensor size and resolution, why not? Well I suppose the cost, it would surely be more expensive.
My hopes and predictions for the new Fuji line up...
Fuji X-Pro 2
- Weather sealed
- 1/8000 sec
- Faster flash sync (1/250)
- Faster AF
- Improved Hybrid Viewfinder
- Dual SD Card slots
- No tilt LCD
Some more little details, I hope they retain a similar button layout, it particular the review button on the right which can be operated one handed.
Customisable review mode. I like to see the image full size with an overlay of histogram and highlight warning. It would be really great to have that, I know, small things!
So what next?
All of the same spec as the Pro but without the hybrid viewfinder and with a tilt LCD. Rumours suggest the summer of 2016 for this. But should the X-Pro really be 20-30% more expensive!?!
Rumours are hotting up that a slimmed down X100 is close, perhaps even in testing stages. We would expect this camera to be just like the X100 but without the viewfinder. I wonder if this means with no viewfinder at all or with just an electronic viewfinder, I suspect the former. I wonder whether this will retain the same 16mp sensor for now.
What other models will get an update?
Will we see an X200?
I suspect we will, same 24mp sensor, same improved AF, updated hybrid viewfinder and a re-designed 23mm lens.
What about an X-E3 or X-M2?
I really loved the X-E2, but to be honest I only really bought it has it had more updated tech than the X-Pro. But a cheaper version of the X-Pro with just electronic viewfinder would work. Maybe a few other subtle details/specs missing from the X-Pro to separate the Pro from Enthusiast.
The X-M2 looks doubtful for me. We now have then X-T10 which is a very affordable camera and a great one at that, I'm not sure we will see an update to the X-M camera but just watch Fuji prove me wrong!!
Eventually I guess they will update the X-T10 with new sensor etc, but I think they would be happy to continue with that model for at least another year or so.
Fuji already have a really great line up of lenses but I think we could do with some updates and to fill a couple of gaps...
18mm f/2 small lens (same size as new 35mm f/2) - I don't mind this being slightly bigger than the current model with some quality improvements.
23mm f/2 small lens (same size as new 35mm f/2) - I fully understand the arguement of why perhaps we don;t already have this lens, they might loose X100 sales.
30mm f/1 lens - already rumoured and I think this could be great, although I would prefer a smaller lens with a more modest aperture of say f/1.4. I would assume a lens with an aperture of f/1 is going to be on the large size.
I know this is a very personal thing to some extent because these are focal lengths that would suit me, but I definitely think Fuji needs to think about some smaller lenses that would really suit the X-Pro 2 because of it's expected hybrid viewfinder.
X-Trans Image Processing
It has been discussed many many times, Lightroom v Iridient v Photo Ninja v Capture One etc etc. I know opinions will vary but I wanted to put forward my current thinking.
I have used all of the above software options and I choose to stay mainly within Lightroom. When Lightroom first supported X-Trans Raw files it was awful, sooo bad, but since then they have made fairly big advances and now I think it's pretty good but certainly not perfect. I think you can get sharper results with other programmes but I personally find it so much harder to get th colour results that I want to achieve, so I stay with Lightroom. I also find that those sharper results usually come at a cost of colour fringing and since I shoot a lot of woodland landscapes where fringing tends to show a lot on branch/highlight edges. I also think it is so much easier to remove any fringing in Lightroom.
However, I still think we have more to come from Lighroom. Just that little extra bit of X-Trans detail and eliminate the colour smearing totally on fine details and we would be laughing. If Adobe released an update that addressed these issues around the same time the X-Pro2 was announced, then I would be so happy and would definitely be clicking that pre-order button.
My question to you, will you buy the X-Pro 2?
If all of the rumoured spec is to be believed as discussed above, will you buy one? I'm really curious because I know a lot of people really love the X-T1, so much more than the current X-Pro, so will those people wait until the X-T2 is released?
I'd love if you could comment below and let me know.
Many thanks for reading.