Fujifilm X-Pro 2 & Metz 44 AF-2 Field Experience - Joe Ng
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2016-03-30

Fujifilm X-Pro 2


The Fujifilm X-Pro 2 arrived just in time for me to try out during the World Cup qualifier between Canada and Mexico and for my two back-to-back wedding assignments over the weekend. As you may know (if you’ve read some of my previous posts), a large portion of my assignments are dedicated to weddings and sports. Though I’ve never owned the X-Pro 1 before, I do have the X100S as well as the X-T1. The aspect that I love most about the X100S are the rangefinder style and the leaf shutter which results in a high speed flash sync anytime I need it.


I wanted to write a post about the X-Pro 2 in order to share some of my field experience so far with this camera, instead of going in-depth into the technical side of things. A lot of us had waited for the release of the X-Pro 2 for awhile now. During the wait, I noted down some expectations that I had for the X-Pro 2 – better autofocus and ISO.


When I picked up the X-Pro 2, the biggest surprise for me was that the Photometry button and focus joystick were located on the back of the camera, whereas on the X-T1, the metering dial was on the left side of the top plate so you couldn’t keep your eye on the viewfinder while changing metering modes. Thanks to the newly located buttons, I found that I could change my metering mode more quickly whenever there was a change in the lighting situation. Additionally, since I’m not a “focus and recompose” style shooter, the focus joystick is a welcome change as I can easily reach it with my thumb and move the focus point quickly.


How the autofocus performs in low light situations is critical to me as most of my assignments fall into this category. The X-Pro 2 doesn’t disappoint. The low light focus acquisition is much quicker and allows for more accuracy as compared to the X-T1. I believe that the number of selectable focus points has expanded from 49 on previous models to 77. According to the camera’s specs, approximately 40% of the imaging area is now covered by fast phase detection AF pixels really pay it off. I also noticed how focusing using the continuous tracking modes (same as the X-T1) was pretty much seamless in situations that might not have proven to be so successful with the previous tracking modes.

Metz 44 AF-2 Flash


Thanks to Will Prentice from Amplis who sent me a sample of the Metz 44 AF-2 Flash, I was able to test it out with the X-Pro 2 and X-T1. The flash is solidly built and is a reasonable size (not too big or small) and it is made in Germany. I really like the simplicity of the operational panel which contains a total of 5 buttons, making it user-friendly device (especially for those of us who don’t like to read manuals!). It also come with a small LED light for the purpose of shooting videos. I find it to be quite useful when I wanted to capture more detailed shots (e.g. engagement rings, wedding cakes and decorations, etc.).


In terms of performance, the TTL metering is accurate and works extremely well with the X-Pro 2 and X-T1 for a great fill flash experience. Using the camera’s exposure compensation to control the scene and the flash compensation to control the flash, you can easily get excellent exposures. I would say that you should pay attention to the recycle times as it does take 3 to 5 seconds to get a full-power flash, but the X-Pro 2 or X-T1 will not notify you once the flash is ready to go. As I have only one sample unit, I haven’t had the chance to try it with off-camera flash photography. I’ve been told that the flash will be able to support the high-speed sync after a future firmware update, so please stay tuned.

Recap


There are a couple of things that are relevant to the X-Pro 2 that I discovered during my recent assignments:


- AF speed is remarkable

- Shutter lag and EVF blackout time is much shorter than X-T1

- I would happily shoot and deliver images at ISO 12,800 when needed

- The high speed burst of 8FPS is very quick

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