Review: Fujifilm X-Pro2 – Is It Still Relevant?

Fujifilm X-Pro2 Blog

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 The X-Trans III sensor inside the X-Pro2 is almost four-years-old, and perhaps a year out-of-date, but is it still good?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!

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Fujifilm blog Fujinon 23mm f/2 Lens

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.

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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.

You can buy the Fujifilm X-Pro2 here:  B&H  Amazon

These are affiliate links, which, when you purchase something using them, I get a small kickback. It doesn’t cost you anything, yet it helps to financially support this website. I would never ask you to purchase something that you don’t want, but if you found this article helpful and are planning to buy this camera, using my links to do so helps me tremendously. Thank you for your support!

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs from my Fujifilm X-Pro2:

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Twisted Tree – Keystone, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Jacob’s Ladder – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Passerby – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Storm Over San Luis Valley – Alamosa, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Old Truck & Mt. Lindsey – Fort Garland, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Clouds Around Timpanogos – Heber City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Bells & Crosses – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Needle’s Eye Night – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Night Sky Over Needles Highway – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Securely In Father’s Arms – Mount Rushmore NM, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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From Dust To Dust – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Drummond Ranch – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Red Leaves In The Forest – Wasatch Mountain SP, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Green & Blue Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Wasatch Spring – South Weber, UT – X-Pro2

See also: Fujifilm Gear

Comparing “Classic Negative” and “Color Negative” Film Simulation Recipes

Someone asked me what the differences are between my “Classic Negative” film simulation recipe and my “Color Negative” film simulation recipe. They’re pretty similar, but they’re not exactly identical. I thought it would be helpful to see them side-by-side, so I applied my “Color Negative” recipe using the in-camera RAW converter on my Fujifilm X-T30 to a few recent exposures that I had captured using my “Classic Negative” recipe. Check them out:

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“Classic Negative”

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“Color Negative”

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“Classic Negative”

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“Color Negative”

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“Classic Negative”

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“Color Negative”

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“Classic Negative”

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“Color Negative”

As you can see, while they’re quite similar, the “Color Negative” recipe is more saturated, has a tad more contrast, and is a little warmer with a bit more red. The “Classic Negative” recipe is slightly more bland, but with a nice vintage negative-film aesthetic. So which film simulation recipe do you like better, “Classic Negative” or “Color Negative”? Let me know in the comments!

Rumor: Classic Negative + Other X-Pro3 Updates Not Coming to X-T3 or X-T30 Anytime Soon

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Blog

Fujifilm announced that the X-T3 will receive a couple of firmware updates, one in December and one in January, which will improve the camera, but neither will include the new features of the X-Pro3. No Classic Negative. No clarity or curves or custom grain, etc., etc. No ability to save white balance shifts with each custom preset. There are a bunch of new tools that Fujifilm has included on the X-Pro3, but none of them will be in these upcoming firmware updates. That doesn’t mean they won’t make their way to the X-T3 and X-T30, it just means it’ll be in the spring at the earliest. And perhaps not all of the new features will ever be added to the X-T3 and X-T30. You might have to wait until the X-T5 and X-T50 (they’ll skip the number four because it’s unlucky in Japan), or buy the X-Pro3. I bet the upcoming X100V will have the same tools as the X-Pro3, so there’s that, too. I was hoping that Fujifilm would add the capabilities of the new camera right away to the two “old” models that share the same sensor and processor, but it looks like they’re delaying it for awhile. I just hope that they don’t delay it indefinitely.

Film Simulation Challenge –Roll 4: Classic Negative (with Ree Drummond)

Back in August I introduced the Film Simulation Challenge, which is where you pick one film simulation recipe and shoot either 24 or 36 frames before changing settings. It’s kind of like loading your camera with a roll of film, and you are stuck with whatever film you loaded until that roll is completely exposed. This challenge is the digital equivalent of that analog issue. I thought it would be a fun experiment to encourage photographic vision while sharing the joy of Fujifilm X cameras.

The “film” that I loaded into my Fujifilm X-T30 was a 36 exposure “roll” of my new “Classic Negative” film simulation recipe. This recipe is the closest that I could come to matching the new film simulation of the same name that’s on the X-Pro3, but I have to admit, it’s not a complete match. The Classic Negative film simulation changes depending on the light and how you expose it, which is different than the other film simulations. I don’t think it’s possible to create an exact match, but hopefully my “Classic Negative” recipe is at least in the general ballpark. Or, if it isn’t, I hope that some of you appreciate it nonetheless.

My wife, Amanda, is a big fan of Ree Drummond (also known as The Pioneer Woman). She’s a famous blogger, author and television personality best known for her cooking recipes. She has a store, restaurant and bakery in Oklahoma, which my wife and I visited two summers ago. Ree has a new cookbook, and she’s been traveling the country doing book signings. Amanda insisted that we go so that we could meet her, and so we did! We stood in line for almost an hour in order to have a thirty second conversation with her. It was a very quick meet-and-greet that seemed like it was over before it even began. What you might not know is that Ree’s a pretty good photographer, and I was able to suggest that she create a photojournal book of her ranch that features her black-and-white photographs. She replied that she needs to get the pictures off her SD Card first.

I made 36 exposures using my “Classic Negative” film simulation, and most were of this event, especially while waiting in line. The lighting inside the bookstore was terrible, with some crazy mixed artificial lights, and this recipe wasn’t a good choice for it. I did reprocess in-camera the RAW image of Ree Drummond, and I’ve included that at the bottom of this article. I used a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens for these pictures. I hope that you enjoy!

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Frame 1: Pink Sleeve – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 2: Sunset 218 – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 3: Changing Nature – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 5: Sweetaly Gelato – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 7: King of Books – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 8: Waiting For The Bus – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 9: 15th Street – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 15: Brick Chimney – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 18: A Roof – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 19: Waiting In The Waning Sun – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 22: Rick – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 24: No Trucks – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 26: Salt Lake Neighborhood – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 28: Ree Drummond – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 30: Open – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 31: Happy Amanda – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 32: Bank On It – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 33: Brews – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

Reprocess of frame 28:

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Ree Drummond – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – PRO Neg. Hi

See also:
Roll 1: Kodachrome 64
Roll 2: Kodacolor
Roll 3: Eterna

My Fujifilm “Classic Negative” Film Simulation Recipe (For X-Trans III)

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November Morning – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 – “Classic Negative”

The Fujifilm X-Pro3 has a new film simulation: Classic Negative. This film simulation is supposed to mimic the look of Superia film. The Classic Negative film simulation is expected to make its way to the X-T3 and X-T30 via a firmware update at some point in the near future, but for now the X-Pro3, which is still a couple weeks out from shipping, is the only camera with it. I’ve already had a number of requests for a film simulation recipe that resembles Classic Negative, despite it being so new.

To be clear, I have absolutely zero experience with the Classic Negative film simulation. There’s only a small sampling of examples that I could find online. I have used Superia film before, but sometimes the film simulations aren’t exact matches to the film they’re supposed to look like. From what I can tell, in this case Fujifilm did a decent job of creating a film simulation that resembles the film.

Classic Negative is actually a little different than other film simulations. Fujifilm has increased the color contrast in it compared to other film simulations. How it renders the picture depends on the lighting and exposure. The darker the light, the lower the saturation, while the brighter the light, the stronger the saturation. In addition, warm colors seem to be a little more vibrant, and cool colors appear a little less so. Highlights seem to have a creamy quality to them, while blacks look a tad faded. This is unlike any other option Fujifilm has given us, so you can imagine creating a film simulation recipe that mimics this is very difficult.

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Blog

According to Fujifilm, this new film simulation has the second-most contrast out of all of them, only behind Velvia, while the saturation is in the range of PRO Neg. Std. I found it difficult to create a high-contrast look that doesn’t blow out highlights or create blocked shadows. I also found it difficult to recreate the look of warm and slightly vibrant skin tones while also creating cool and dull shadows, as you can only get one right. I tried to find a happy middle ground that’s not very far off on anything and generally provides a similar aesthetic. I hope that I succeeded, although I’m not completely confident in that I did.

I didn’t initially intend to share this recipe until I had a chance to see Classic Negative for myself. When the Eterna film simulation came out, I created a recipe for it for my camera that didn’t have it. Some time later, once I had a chance to shoot with Eterna, I realized that my recipe wasn’t as close as I thought or hoped it would be. I’m guessing this one might turn out to be the same. However, a Fuji X Weekly reader urged me to share it, even if it might turn out to be wrong, as some people might like it anyway. I hope that you do like it, whether or not it is completely accurate to the real Classic Negative film simulation.

PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +3
Shadow: +2
Color: -3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +1
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Off or N/A
White Balance: 6700K, -2 Red & +7 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs made using this “Classic Negative” film simulation recipe:

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Smile of Joy – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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November Red Shed – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Dormant Neighborhood Tree – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Icy Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Brown Cottonwood Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Brown Eye Boy – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Mixed Use Crate – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Backyard Winter – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Brown Leaf Pile – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Suburban House – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: My Film Simulation Recipes

My White Balance Shift Solution

As you know, my film simulation recipes rely heavily on white balance shifts. Unfortunately, you cannot save white balance shifts with custom presets. You can only save one white balance shift for each white balance type in the White Balance Menu. In other words, whatever shift you set for auto white balance will be applied to all custom presets that use auto white balance. If all of your C1-C7 presets in the Q menu use the same white balance, one white balance shift will be applied to all of them. For many people, this means that whenever you change recipes you’re also having to adjust the white balance shift, which is a pain sometimes.

The Fujifilm X-Pro3 doesn’t have this problem from what I’ve heard. You can save unique white balance shifts with each preset in the Q menu. You can set it and forget it! There’s a decent chance that this ability will be added to the X-T3 and X-T30 via a firmware update at some point, but right now the X-Pro3 is the only camera that can do this. There’s an outside chance that X-Trans III cameras could also be given this feature, but most likely not. Don’t fret! I do have a solution. There’s a simple work-around that might make things much easier for you.

The issue is that only one white balance shift can be saved per white balance, but in that statement lies the answer! What you need are presets that use different white balances. Or you can have presets that use the same white balance and the same white balance shift. What do I mean?

So you have custom slots C1 through C7, right? Maybe you use all seven of them for color. Or maybe you set aside one or two for black-and-white, in which case white balance and white balance shift may or may not be important. For each color preset you simply use a film simulation recipe with a different white balance. If each recipe uses a different white balance, then you can set the shift for that recipe and you’re good to go. It will always be set to that unless you decided to change it.

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For example, you could have Kodachrome II, which uses auto white balance, set to C1, Kodacolor, which uses a kelvin white balance, set to C2, Kodachrome 64, which uses daylight white balance, set to C3, Lomography Color 100, which uses cloudy/shade white balance, set to C4, Color Negative, which uses fluorescent 1 white balance, set to C5, Fujichrome Sensia, which uses flurescent 2 white balance, set to C6, and Portra 400, which uses a custom white balance, set to C7. If you did that, since each recipe uses a different white balance, you wouldn’t have to adjust the white balance shift when going between different presets. Also, there a few recipes that share the same white balance and white balance shift as others, such as Kodachrome II and Ektachrome 100SW, so you could use both of those and never have to change the shift.

To make things easy for you, I’ve organized the color film simulation recipes by white balance. Choose one from each until all of your available presets are filled. It’s pretty simple. Unfortunately, you might not be able to use all of your favorite recipes, depending on exactly what the white balance and white balance shifts are. But I hope that you find enough options you like to fill your available presets.

Film Simulation Recipes that use AWB
Film Simulation Recipes that use Kelvin
Film Simulation Recipes that use other White Balances

Since I set up my custom presets this way on my camera, it’s made a world of difference to me. It’s so much easier moving between recipes! The user experience has been greatly improved. I hope that you find this just as useful as I did.

Daylight Savings Ends – Don’t Forget to Turn Back Time

Fujifilm Blog

Daylight Savings Time ended last night in America, so be sure to check the clocks on your cameras. Many of them didn’t automatically “fall back” an hour last night, and so you will have to manually adjust it today. If you forget, the timestamp on the EXIF will be off one hour until spring. While you are thinking about it now, take a quick look at your camera to make sure it shows the right time.

Film Simulation Recipes That Use Other White Balances

Film

I’ve made a list of all my film simulation recipes that use a white balance other than auto or kelvin. Previously I organized them by dynamic range setting, so that they could be seen in a different arrangement. Now I’m doing it by white balance. The film simulation recipes below all use a white balance other than auto or kelvin. Just in case it’s helpful, I’ve also included the required white balance shift.

Daylight:

Kodachrome 64 (+2R, -5B)

Cloudy/Shade:

Lomography Color 100 (-3R, +7B)

Fluorescent 1:

Color Negative (-2R, +4B)

Fluorescent 2:

Fujichrome Sensia 100 (-1R, -3B)

Custom: 

Portra 400 (+2R, -5B)

See also:
Film Simulation Recipes that use Auto White Balance
Film Simulation Recipes that use Kelvin

Film Simulation Recipes That Use Kelvin White Balance

Film

I’ve made a list of all my film simulation recipes that use a white balance with a specific Kelvin temperature. Previously I organized them by dynamic range setting, so that they could be seen in a different arrangement. Now I’m doing it by white balance. The film simulation recipes below all use a kelvin white balance. Just in case it’s helpful, I’ve also included the required white balance shift.

Kodacolor (-1R, -4B)
Eterna Low-Contrast 
(-3R, +3B)
Elite Chrome 200 (+4R, -8B)
Urban Vintage Chrome (-1R, -3B)
Fujicolor 100 Industrial (+8R, -8B)
Redscle (+9R, 0B)
Cinestill 800T (no shift)
“Classic Negative” (-2R, +7B)

See also:
Film Simulation Recipes That Use Auto White Balance
Film Simulation Recipes That Use Other White Balances

Film Simulation Recipes That Use Auto White Balance

Fujifilm Film Simulation Blog

I’ve made a list of all my film simulation recipes that use auto white balance. Previously I organized them by dynamic range setting, so that they could be seen in a different arrangement. Now I’m doing it by white balance. The film simulation recipes below all use auto white balance. Just in case it’s helpful, I’ve also included the required white balance shift.

X-T30 Eterna (+5R, -5B)
Expired Eterna
(+5R, +5B)
Faded Color
(shift variable)
“Warm Contrast”
(-2R, -4B)
X-T30 Velvia
(+1R, -1B)
X100F Velvia 
(+1R, -1B)
Classic Chrome (+1R, -1B)
Dramatic Classic Chrome (+1R, -1B)
Astia
(no shift)
PRO Neg. Hi (no shift)
Vintage Kodachrome (+2R, -4B)
Fujicolor Superia 800 
(-2R, -3B)
“Eterna” 
(+2R, +2B)
Ektar 100 
(+3R, -2B)
Cross Process 
(-3R, -8B)
Kodachrome II 
(+3R, -4B)
Ektachrome 100SW (+3R, -4B)
Vintage Agfacolor
(-3R, -4B)
Aged Color 
(+5R, -3B)
Fujicolor Pro 400H 
(+2R, +1B)
Agfa Optima 200 
(-1R, -1B)

See also:
Film Simulation Recipes that use Kelvin White Balance
Film Simulation Recipes that use Other White Balances