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First Look Review: Fujifilm X-T2

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The Complete Camera

by Rico Pfirstinger

The X-T2 may be Fujifilm’s most important product launch since the introduction of the X-Series. Expanding on the best features of the X-T1 and X-Pro2, can this richly featured workhorse convince enthusiasts and pros to consider the X-Mount as a universal go-to system for all their photographic needs? Let’s find out in this first impressions review.

Getting serious: The X-T2 is Fujifilm’s high-powered successor to the X-T1.

Please note: This carefully researched and ridiculously comprehensive First Look Review of the Fujifilm X-T2 and Vertical Power Booster Grip is based on three different X-T2 pre-production models and more than ten different (and continuously evolving) beta firmware generations. The final hardware and firmware are expected to ship in the first half of September 2016.

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The Fujifilm X-T2: 120 X-Pert Tips is available
Please click here to order the eBook edition in three different DRM-free formats (all for the price of one), including a 40% discount if you use coupon code XPERT40. German readers can click here to order the German editions.

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The X-T2 will be available in September 2016. A matching camera-powered EF-X8 mini flashgun is included.

About two and a half years after the introduction of the successful X-T1, Fujifilm is getting serious with taking the X-series into „we can do everything“ territory. At first glance, the X-T2 looks very much like its predecessor—why change a concept that stood behind Fujifilm’s (so far) most successful X-series camera? However, it’s a different story on the inside. At several global launch events, Fujifilm has made it very clear that the X-T2 is supposed to address all photographic needs, including sports and action shooting. It’s supposed to be a „complete mirrorless camera“.

Ready for business

Compared to the X-T1, the X-T2 features dozens of changes and improvements. Here’s an overview in 40 bullet points:

  • 24.3 MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor (Sony-built with 14 bit readout) with no anti-aliasing filter
  • X-Processor Pro is four times as fast as the EXR II processor used in the X-T1 and offers improved image quality, better noise response and higher dynamic range
  • improved ISO performance (about 1 stop better than the previous generation) with native ISO covering 200 to 12800, and extended ISO settings of 100, 25600 and 51200 (all with full RAW support)
  • 100% faster sensor readout, resulting in improved AF tracking performance, a dramatically reduced minimum blackout time of only 114 ms, and a high 100 fps EVF refresh rate
  • 0.005s display lag, 0.06s max. AF speed, 0.17s shooting interval, 0.045s shutter lag
  • configurable AF-C modes to adapt the AF system to different sports and action shooting scenarios
  • up to 11 fps burst speed in boost mode (14 fps when using the electronic shutter) with AF tracking
  • 3, 4 or 5 fps slow burst mode (CL) with full live-view and CDAF support
  • improved user interface and a new menu structure, including a custom My Menu with up to 16 entries
  • DSLR-style „AF-ON“ option and new settings to individually engage/disengage focus and exposure lock when the shutter button is half-pressed
  • more tactile dials and buttons and a new push-button lock mechanism for top-plate dials
  • better grip and improved standard eyecup
  • convenient focus stick to quickly move the autofocus frame or zone (with up to 325 AF frames to choose from)
  • articulated rear screen works in landscape and portrait orientation
  • new Vertical Power Booster Grip with two additional battery slots for extended shooting (1000+ images) and duplicate controls
  • weather sealing with protection against rain, dust and freezing
  • improved 0.77x electronic viewfinder with better image quality and twice the brightness of the previous model, now also featuring an auto brightness mode
  • low-vibration 1/8000s mechanical shutter with 1/250s flash sync (supplemented by an electronic shutter with 1/32000s), rated for 150,000 shots
  • new flash system offers high-speed sync, wireless TTL and multi-frame shooting (in concert with compatible flash units such as the new EF-X500)
  • dual SD card slots (both support the ultra-fast UHS-II standard)
  • improved hybrid autofocus system with pro-level subject tracking, a larger phase-detection area and more focus points (7 x 13 or 13 x 25 focus points, including either 7 x 7 or 13 x 13 phase detection points)
  • automatic pixel mapping (to map out dead pixels)
  • improved JPEG quality and new ACROS film simulation with ISO-controlled film grain and noise shaping
  • expanded JPEG settings with additional options for contrast, noise reduction, sharpness, color saturation and film grain simulation
  • broader ±2 EV bracketing and ±5 EV exposure compensation (along with expanded Push/Pull options in the camera’s built-in RAW converter)
  • lossless RAW compression cuts RAW file size in half
  • improved battery life indicator for up to three batteries at once (including a 1% accuracy display)
  • enhanced electronic depth-of-field and distance scale with either pixel-based or film-based precision
  • new center-weighted metering option
  • WYSIWYG simulation of fixed dynamic range settings (DR200%, DR400%) in the live view and live histogram of the EVF and LCD, and enhanced highlight DR in Natural Live View mode
  • dedicated video mode on DRIVE dial replaces video record button
  • high-quality 4K video and HD video with 100 Mbit/s and oversampling (to minimize moiré and artifacts)
  • vastly improved video focussing
  • HDMI output to mirror EVF and LCD displays on monitors and HD beamers, or to record the live view with an HD frame grabber
  • uncompressed 4:2:2 HD and 4K HDMI output to external recording devices, including „F-Log“ flat gamma 4K recording with expanded dynamic range
  • threaded cable release option, fast USB 3.0 interface, 3.5mm mic input, 2.5mm remote control input, 3.5mm sound/headphone output (in the Vertical Power Booster Grip)
  • USB charging for the in-body battery
  • Vertical Power Booster Grip includes an external power input to power the camera and charge batteries inside the grip (2 hours charging time for two batteries)
  • new NP-W126S battery with reduced heat dissemination (old batteries remain fully compatible)
  • USB and wireless tethering options (after a future firmware update) with new and improved plug-ins for Adobe Lightroom

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Pre-register now! „The Fujifilm X-Pro2: 115 X-Pert Tips“ will be out this summer!

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Fujifilex-X-proCVRYou asked for it, and I am busy writing it! My next book will be about the Fujifilm X-Pro2, and it will be available this summer in English and German from my publishers rocky nook and d.punkt Verlag. Pre-register now for a hefty 40% discount on the English versions of the eBook and printed edition!

This summer, „The Fujifilm X-Pro2: 115 X-Pert Tips“ is going to help you make the most out of your new X-Pro2. To receive an update when the book can be pre-ordered, and to enjoy a nice 40% discount on both the printed edition and the eBook (or both), you can now pre-register here. Just leave your email there, and my publisher will keep you posted.

 

X-E2 vs. X-E2S: Ending the Confusion

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By upgrading your Fujifilm X-E2 with firmware 4, you are giving up the camera that you knew: Your X-E2 will turn into an X-T10—only with a rangefinder design. However, on the inside, both the X-E2v4 and the new X-E2S offer (almost) the same features, the same menu options and the same graphical user interface as the X-T10.

FujifileX-T10_FULLCVR_FINAL-686x1024This is important. To begin with, it means that your old X-E2 user manual has become pretty much obsolete. That’s why Fujifilm has created an entirely new manual along with firmware 4. You can download it here as a PDF file. It also means that my eBook on the X-E2 doesn’t apply to cameras running firmware 4 or the new X-E2S. It’s still great if you don’t upgrade your X-E2, but users who have made the jump are now much better off with my book on the X-T10.

I am not kidding! As long as you can see beyond the different form factors (rangefinder style vs. SLR style), my X-T10 book is now almost perfectly applicable. It really is, because Fuji did a terrific job transforming the X-E2 into an X-T10 with camouflage. This means that my X-E2 eBook won’t be updated. It doesn’t have to, because the update is already here. To ease the transition, my publisher will give you a discount of 40% on all editions of my X-T10 book (printed, eBook and combined). Simply enter XPERT40 in the coupon field when you check out.

Same Same, But Different

Okay, so your X-E2 is now a rangefinder-style version of the X-T10. Great! But what exactly are the differences between an X-E2 running firmware 4 and the new X-E2S? There seems to be some confusion, so let’s straighten it out.

X-E2

X-E2S_silver_back

X-E2 vs. X-E2S

On the outside, the differences are minimal. The X-E2S offers an „improved“ hand grip, but to be honest, I can’t feel much of a difference. However, pressing the four selector buttons on the back of the X-E2S does feel better, so this may be another small improvement over the classic X-E2. With firmware 4, you can forget the MACRO and AF descriptions on two of the X-E2’s selector buttons, as all four selector keys now serve as Fn buttons, just like in the X-E2S. This gives both cameras a total of 7 Fn buttons! Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »