Fujifilm X-T2 – From X-pectation to reality

Fujifilm X-T1 was the camera that gave me the assurance and confident to jump into mirrorless about 2 and half years ago. Leaving my bread and butter 1DX, 5D2 and L lenses was really a difficult decision. Do bear in mind that I really think hard as these are my gears that I make a living with. But I was thankful that there was a vertical grip which beef up the small X-T1 and hopefully looks like a small DSLR in my client’s eyes. In retrospect; how silly of me.

Fast forward, the new X-T2. Everything about the X-T2 have either grown bigger, taller and definitely better. Its a bigger camera now. Not a lot more but when I hold it in my hand, its feels more right. Especially with a new design tumb rest area. Its also heavier; to be exact; 67 grams. The three
dials are also a bit taller and a little bigger. All except the compensation dial which is the same diameter. I am not gonna explain much in this area. Here are some pictures of X-T1 and X-T2 side by side. I guess this will the best way to explain the physical size differences between X-T1 and X-T2.


Now my question, is X-T2 finally a Pro specs X camera from Fujifilm? I have done much with X-T1 and through this last two years its been the workhorse for me until X-Pro2 came along half a year ago.

Personally; X-Pro2 will always be special in my hand. I love the range finder look and the hybrid viewfinder. It works well with my commercial work too. If I were to choose for commercial work; I would now like to work with X-T2. I think Fujifilm may have just nailed it. X-T2; finally a Pro workhorse specs camera for X-series.






Before I share a few reasons why I love X-T2, may I share a video of X-T2 in action. This awesome video is film by my good pal Joel Lim using another X-T2 to video.

1. Vertical Power Booster Grip. You can now have a total of 3 batteries loaded! Which mean I could shoot 3 times longer. One battery in the camera and another 2 in the vertical grip. This gives the photographer a 1000 shots under normal mode setting. The Grip also features a headphone jack to enable audio monitoring during video recording. The Grip itself has battery-charging functionality. Using the AC adapter supplied (AC-9VS), one could fully charge two batteries at the same time in approx. 2 hours.

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2. Tilt screen. This is really useful compare to X-Pro2 which house a fixed screen. Its a important feature to me as commercial photographer. Its for those high and low angle. Here is a picture of me shooting a food scene; and I am thankful for it. X-T2 tilt screen has just been upgraded, its now able to tilt vertically instead of just horizontally up or down.

3. Boost Mode. I call it BEAST mode. This mode will be very attractive for photographers who needs more. Sport, wildlife and fashion. At 11 frame per second. X-T2 is one o the the fastest APS-C camera around. The draw back, you need to attach the vertical grip to achieve this. Without it, its at 8 frame per second. Which is commendable. In fact without the vertical grip attached, one is able to shoot at a whopping 14 frame per second in electronic shutter mode.

4. 4K video. I am no video guy but…
The video mode button is on the lower ring of the ISO dial. To get the video rolling, just a tap on the shutter button and the same for stopping the video. This workflow is perfect. X-T2 now have a dedicated sound and mic jack. 4K is at 30 fps and for 1080 its at 60 fps. Lastly the Film Simulation modes, used for still images, can be applied to video too.
X-T2 also supports Clean HDMI output for 4K video recording, and also offers the “F-Log” log-gamma option, which takes advantage of the sensor’s wide dynamic range to record video in wide color gamut, facilitating video production workflow.

5. Dials. I have always love the Fujifilm X Series Camera dials. Not only its beautifully crafted but extremely functional. X-T2’s dials are now a bit bigger and taller plus it have a push lock button mechanism. No more issue of accidentally changing the setting. Woohoo! I have always love the compensation dial. Now it has 5-stop +/- capability vs X-T1’s 3 stop.

6. Electronic Shutter. This is nothing new in the world of Fujifilm but this is a very useful feature when shooting a portraits outdoor when the sun is blazing. At a max shutter speed of 1/32000 of a second; I could happily shoot wide open with all the awesome Fujinon primes lenses.

7. Joystick. Like Xpro2, this little joystick does help speed up when you need to move your focus point. A good and essential addition.

8. IQ. The X-T2 features the 24.3MP X-TransTM CMOS III, an APS-C sensor with no low-pass filter boasting the highest performance in the history of the X Series. If you own a X-T1 and thinking does the extra 8MP makes a huge difference? This is no rocket science.







9. AF point. X-Pro2 has 273 AF point. X-T2 has more: 52 more. Woohoo! That makes brings it to 325 AF point. Auto focus is definitely faster and more certain then X-T1.

10. AF-C custom setting. This is a good step forward for Fujifilm. X-T2 has 6 custom setting for even higher accuracy in focus-tracking moving subjects. You can customize settings to optimize AF characteristics according to the type of subject movements. Setting 1, multi purpose. Setting 2, ignore obstacle and continue to track subject. Setting 3, for accelerating and decelerating of subject. Setting 4, For sudden appearing subject. I guess this setting is great for getting that paparazzi shot. Setting 5, Erratically moving and accelerating and decelerating subject. This setting is for parents who wanna get that great shot of their kids. And lastly, Setting 6, a custom setting where you could fully control tracking sensitivity, speed tracking sensitivity and zone area switching.



11. Dual SD slot. Two slot is better then one. These two slot supports UHS-11 SD card.

12. EVF. So what is new? The X-T2’s 2.36-million-dot high-resolution organic EL electronic viewfinder has the magnification ratio of 0.77x and maintains the display time lag of just 0.005 seconds. With the maximum brightness doubled from X-T1, the viewfinder features the Automatic Brightness Adjustment function so that it is easy to see even in intense backlighting.
The EVF refreshes at a rate of 60fps, or as high as 100fps in the Boost mode to deliver smooth display of movements. It can continue displaying a moving subject without interruption. The fast rate of refresh is maintained even in low light for easy framing during night shooting.
The X-T2’s blackout time is less than half of that of the X-T1 due to the parallel processing of Live View display and fast shutter charging. This has enabled continuous shooting of 5fps in Live View, giving users the ability to easily continue tracking a moving subject.

FINAL THOUGHTS

After using X-T2 for both personal and commercial work, I must say its indeed a very capable camera. If you are currently holding a X-T1 and thinking the improvement on X-T2 is just the extra 8MP, you are wrong. Its a totally new beast. Its worth the upgrade and you will not be disappointed.
If anyone is still having doubt about mirrorless, X-T2 will be that camera that erase all the doubt. Its truly a Pro spec mirrorless camera from Fujifilm. The future is here!

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  • Richard Simko

    How is the D-pad feeling? Hope it is better than X-T1.

  • Jeff

    The only thing keeping me from upgrading my X-T1 is the price tag. It’s 2000$ here in Canada!! Without the grip. Make it 1500$ and I’ll sell my X-T1 for around 700-800$ and get the X-T2.

  • I had a chance to handle an XT-2 this weekend at a photo conference. It really seems that *every* aspect of the XT-1 has been improved! I loved its balance in my hand, and really enjoyed the new tap-to-lock/unlock dial controls.