The new Fujifilm X-Pro3 will be released on November 29, and there’s a lot of buzz around it, but what about the X-Pro2? Is it still relevant? Is it a camera that you should consider? Is it a good option even though it has the old sensor and processor? I hope to answer those questions in this review.
The X-Pro2 was released way back in March of 2016. It replaced the X-Pro1, which was the very first X-Trans sensor camera by Fujifilm. The X-Pro2 was the first camera to have the 24-megapixel X-Trans III sensor. The X-H1, X-T2, X-T20, X-E3 and X100F would later share this same sensor and processor. The 26-megapixel X-Trans IV sensor, which is the same sensor found in the upcoming X-Pro3, was introduced with the X-T3 in September of 2018. The X-Trans III sensor inside the X-Pro2 is almost four-years-old, and perhaps a year out-of-date, but is it still good?
The main advantage of the fourth generation sensor over the third generation is heat. The new sensor runs cooler, which means it can be pushed further. It’s quicker, and the processor can be asked to do more. There’s very little image-quality difference between the two sensors. Pictures captured with the X-Pro3 won’t look much different than those captured with the X-Pro2. But the older camera won’t be as quick, especially regarding auto-focus, and it has fewer features. The X-Pro3 is loaded with new tools, which may or may not be useful to you. Even though the X-Pro2 isn’t as quick or feature-rich, it’s still sufficiently quick and feature-rich for most photographers.
The X-Pro line isn’t about quickness anyway. It’s about having a solid quality camera that’s a joy to use. It feels good to have in your hand and to hold to your eye. It’s something to take to the city and wait for just the right light and moment. It’s a photographer’s tool. And what a great tool it is!
Something that I appreciate about the X-Pro2 is that it’s weather-sealed. Pair it with a weather-sealed lens, and you can use it in situations that you wouldn’t dare take another camera. For me that was the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, where the winds were whipping the sand, which pelted my skin. The X-Pro2 handled it like a champ, and I was able to “get the shot” that I was after.
Another thing that I really appreciate about the camera is the viewfinder. The X-Pro2 has a unique hybrid viewfinder that can be used electronically or optically. It’s a part of the experience of the camera. The X-Pro line isn’t about test charts or stat sheets, it’s about the user experience. Fujifilm calls it “pursuing pure photography” with “a body design that maximizes practicality.” While the X-Pro2 offers identical image quality and similar features to the X-T2 (and, really, the X-T20), what sets it apart is the experience of it, and the great viewfinder is a big part of that.
Even though the X-Trans III sensor is almost four-years-old now, it doesn’t come across as “old” in practical use. It offers more than enough resolution, dynamic range and high-ISO capabilities for most people and situations. The X-Pro2 is plenty quick and feature-rich to warrant consideration. It wasn’t designed to be your typical “throw-away” digital camera, which you own for perhaps two years, and then unload on eBay at a bargain basement price when the latest model is released. The X-Pro2 was intended as a camera that you keep for years. It’s a camera that you’ll still want to have around when it’s ten years old, and if it still has some clicks left in the shutter, perhaps longer.
The X-Pro2 is a beautiful camera! I think the only camera that’s better-looking in the Fujifilm lineup is the X100F, and only by a little. Fujifilm got the design right, and it’s cameras like this that have given Fujifilm a great reputation. Strangers will ask you about the camera around your neck, and fellow photographers will comment to you about the beautiful design. There’s a certain pride in owning one.
I don’t want to dive deeply into the technical aspects of this camera. I’m not going to share stat sheets or show massive crops comparing the image quality to other cameras. You can readily find that information on the web. What I want to offer is my opinion of the X-Pro2. Is it a good camera to buy?
If you are in the market for a camera and are considering the X-Pro2, but you are unsure because it’s not the latest-and-greatest, I want to help you. You will love it! But with the caveat that the X-Pro series isn’t for everyone. If you are the type of person who has to have the newest, fastest and greatest, this might not be the best camera for you. If you find yourself constantly searching the internet for side-by-side crops to compare the tiny differences between cameras, this one might not be for you. If you are the person who buys a new camera every year, you might want to consider something else. If you’re the kind of person who likes to capture pictures at your own pace and in your own way, and you appreciate the way Fujifilm cameras render images, then the X-Pro2 might very well be a good choice. If you are after an experience that’s different from your typical digital camera, something with an analogue soul perhaps, the X-Pro2 is something you should strongly consider. It’s a great camera, even in 2019, and I’m sure still in 2026, and while it’s not for everyone, I do believe that most people would appreciate it.
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Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs from my Fujifilm X-Pro2:
See also: Fujifilm Gear