Here at cinema5D we usually exclusively focus on the video functions of any new camera, because we are first and foremost filmmakers who want to use also small interchangeable lens cameras and DSLRs on professional video productions.
However, we are aware that some of our readers are also interested in the photo functions of these cameras. There are other websites which specialise in reviewing the photo functionality of new cameras, and we will never claim to offer comprehensive reviews of these functions. However we have decided to ask a friend, professional photographer Tony Gigov, to take a look at the photo functions of new cameras for us and to share his thoughts with our audience. Here are his results for the first camera he looked at for us, the Fujifilm X-Pro2.
— Intro by Nino Leitner
My job as a wedding photographer requires me to be quick and very precise – when I am composing my photographs or adjusting the settings; when changing my position or swapping my cameras. I never hang cameras down my neck; using a camera attached to a strap only slows me down. How a camera feels in my hand is very important, because I have to carry it all day long.
When I saw the Fujifilm X-Pro 2, the first thing that really crossed my mind was, that the camera was brought from another era, totally different than ours. Everything about it was so beautiful and stylish, yet unpractical and not very intuitive. Controls, scattered all over the body, looking through the rangefinder, I could see the side of the lens obscuring the picture – this can’t be useful! It can’t, until you customize it to match your expectations.
Within just a few moments, using the main menu, I set the camera to work as I needed it: choosing my custom white balance, aperture, shutter speed, turning all sounds off, selecting a preferred output format, a film filter (for the ones who don’t have time for post-production) and I was off to my next wedding.
Curious about how it would feel in action, while working under pressure, I used the camera simultaneously in different situations – outside, inside the church and at low light during the party in the evening. The results were amazing – despite the vintage controls, I could easily change the white balance, ISO, aperture and shutter speed on the go. The camera was fast enough to focus at any situation and looking at the quality of the photos, I was amazed by the results. There are many great features of the camera and the dual memory card slot is one of them. When it comes to photographing once-in-a-lifetime events it surely takes the pressure off, knowing that “the photo” of “that kiss” you just took, was copied safely to your back up card. Additionally you can choose to save low resolution JPEG previews on one card and RAW files on the other – also very useful if you are portrait or commercial photographer.
Another thing which impressed me was the focusing. Not so much all the 273 focal points, but actually how easy it was to move around and pick the right one. Also to grouping them, if necessary. User-friendliness and intuitive navigation is a huge factor for me.
Last but not least, for the fact that X-Pro 2 is not a Full Frame camera, the quality of the image, delivered by the new X-Trans III sensor was so high, it was beyond anything I have seen before. I was expecting a difference in favor of the 5D Mark III, but I was absolutely wrong. In critical light situations and higher ISO settings, the Fujifilm delivered better results with noise levels, actually pleasant to look at. And all this in weather sealed body, small size and weight.
Comparing an APS-C Sensor to a Full Frame Sensor is never fair, but if I am to make a switch, these are some points I would definitely take into consideration.
I can’t tell if the Fujifilm X-Pro 2 is made for a specific type of Photographers … probably Portraiture, Weddings & Lifestyle more than Sports & Wildlife. However, one thing I am sure of – whoever owns the camera, is someone with taste, character and no interest in other cameras.