This won’t be a long one because you can get full specs on the Fuji site and review sites that are willing to spend way more energy on details than I have the mental capacity for. Nevertheless the long-awaited Fuji XT-2 has just been announced. Having spent a month with a pre-production model and wishing most of my photography during that month was not underwater, I have been waiting anxiously for the day I could share this with you.
If you loved the XT-1, you’ll love the XT-2. To my hands it feels like a faster, better version of the XT-1 that I adore. If you looked at the XPro-2 when it came out and thought there were features you’d like to see incorporated into the new XT, you’re going to love this. Same great old-school ergonomics, same batteries that struggle for life after 400 frames, which I’ve grown used to and am grateful we’re not being forced to buy all new batteries.
Here’s what I love about the new camera:
Bigger sensor. 24.3mp I’ve never been the megapixel guy. But I’ve always said 24mp was my sweet spot. I crop to 16:9 and 1:1 often enough that having the extra pixels is helpful.
Excellent High ISO Performance. I’m also not the guy who shoots on the streets at midnight and I can’t imagine scenarios where I’d want the 12800 ISO (expandable to 51200) but what I get at 3200 is excellent (and remember I’ve just got a pre-production model, so it’s likely results from production models will be even better).
New Tilt Screen. The new tilting LCD (below) works as before but now also pulls out to the right making vertical shots at hip-height much easier.
Bigger Viewfinder. It’s just bigger.
Dual Card Slots. 2 SD slots. Fantastic!
EVC to +/- 5 stops. On the dial it’s 3 in either direction but 2 more stops are available. I’m mostly using manual now but when I use AV mode I use exposure compensation for every shot. Having 10 stops of compensation is huge.
Better, Faster focusing. The math guys will tell you why this is so, and how many points the AF system has. To me it’s just faster.
Faster Burst Mode. I nearly fell over when I saw that I could choose 14fps on Continuous High. I need to use the Electronic Shutter for this, but if high speed is what I need, this gives me up to 1/32,000 of a second and 14 FPS.
Joystick! Part of the gains in focus speed come from the joystick (below) that first appeared on the XPro-2 to the relief of everyone who has ever used a Fuji. Use it to navigate menus, or to move your focus point when shooting, it’s a huge ergonomic improvement.
Those are the things that excite me. Basically it’s a new XT-1 with more megapixels and a bunch of overdue improvements. There’s other stuff too – like the little buttons that will lock down your ISO or Shutter dial (above). I don’t see myself ever using them, but you never know. There’s improved video functionality that some might find exciting but I don’t know enough about the intricacies of video to know whether this is worth getting excited about.
The Fuji XT-2 is online now at multiple retailers. At B&H it’s listed for USD$1599, body only. The release is suggested around September 8. There is also a vertical battery grip that takes 2 batteries, bringing the total up to three – a welcome for those of us that shoot all day and don’t want to swap out batteries all the time.
Do I love this camera? I sure do. The Fuji XT-2 and XPro-2 will come on every trip with me this year. They feel great in my hands, get out of the way of my creativity faster than ever, and the quality of the photographs is excellent. Should you upgrade? Keep reading.
I’ll end the post with a few sample images, again with the caveat that these are from a pre-production model. But before I go, let me say one more thing that so many of the other voices won’t today: It’s just a camera. Yes it’s a truly lovely camera. Fuji should be congratulated for listening to its users. And there are some excellent improvements that will make it easier to do what we love to do. But it’s just a camera. Should you upgrade? I don’t know. If you, like so many others are already not printing your work (and don’t need 24mp), if you love the XT-1 now and are longing to take it somewhere amazing or have a great personal project in mind, keep the XT-1, save the money, and spend that money on making photographs. Better that than to have an amazing new camera (should I remind you that the XT-1 was also once amazing and new and all the camera you ever thought you needed?) that you can’t take anywhere. I do love this camera. As a working professional it makes sense for me to upgrade, especially as this is now my primary system. It might not make sense for you. Don’t get sucked in by the hype. This is not the new magic bullet. These cameras don’t make beautiful photographs: you do.
Feel free to leave questions in the comments, I’ll do my best to answer them honestly. If they’re overly technical, you might do better checking sites like dpReview.com. Sample images below are 12oopx wide. If you want full-rez sample images I suggest checking the Fuji Site. I’ll link you as those links get published.
For the Love of the Photograph,
PS – Want more like this? I send these articles out every two weeks to photographers around the world who want to improve their craft and explore their creativity and I’d love to include you. Tell me where to send it and I’ll send you a copy of my best-selling eBook Make Better Photographs, as well bi-weekly articles, first-glimpse monographs of my new work, and very occasional news of resources to help you keep moving forward in this craft we love.
“Each and every one of your emails inspire and motivate me to want to jump right out of my chair away from my computer and shoot for the love of it . Thank you David.” – Millie Brown