While there is nothing that can compare to the life-changing event of becoming a dad, there is other exciting news this year: the X-Pro2 has been announced! Well over four years after the release of the original X-Pro1, the release of its successor has been rumored and anticipated for quite a while now.
While I don't currently own the X-Pro1, we do have a history together. As I wrote in a previous post, my first attempt to "make the switch" from Nikon to Fuji was actually with the X-Pro1, back in 2013.
I was convinced I was going to ditch my full frame Nikon gear and go Fuji-all-the-way. But once I actually had the X-Pro1 in my hands, I started doubting… Perhaps it was the spotty autofocus, slow(ish) write times, or simply the fact that at that time, there was no 85mm f/1.4 equivalent (my portrait lens of choice) available for the Fuji X system. Maybe it was just me who was not ready – mentally – to really let go of all that wonderful full-frame Nikon f/1.4 glass. In any case, I returned the X-Pro1 within the grace period and stuck to my Nikon kit for another year or so.
Then, in early 2014, the Fujifilm X-T1 was released. It did not actually seem to be the successor to the X-Pro1. For that, it just was too different: no hybrid viewfinder (EVF/OVF) and clearly a different design philosophy with its SLR-rather-than-rangefinder styling. However, the X-T1 was about two Fuji-generations newer than the X-Pro1. The combination of its huge EVF and phase-detection autofocus now made it a much more viable option for DSLR users looking for a more light-weight alternative.
Indeed, the X-T1 was the Fuji camera body that was good enough for me to make the switch for real. I sold all my Nikon gear and got myself a nice collection of Fuji primes to go with the X-T1.
The X-T1 has been my all singing, all dancing camera ever since. With a 35mm lens on it, it is nearly as compact as my X100. For studio portraits, I can throw on the 56mm f/1.2, the vertical battery grip and a pocket wizard, making it an excellent studio camera. For the past 1,5 years, I have been absolutely convinced that the X-T1 would be the last camera I would need for a long, long time...
Of course, in the back of my mind there was still the memory of my brief romance with the X-Pro1. While I knew its successor would be coming sooner or later, I really promised myself that I would not be interested. Nope – happy with my X-T1, thank you very much.
Then, on January 15, the X-Pro2 was officially announced. Finally, after over four years, a successor to the X-Pro1! But why would anyone currently owning an X-T1 would be interested? It has a smaller EVF than the X-T1, an inferior hand grip, fewer physical knobs and function buttons, no option for a vertical battery grip and it weighs about 55 grams more. Not to mention the fact that it is about 30% more expensive!
Well... After two days of reading various reviews (by a selective group of photographers that were given access to a pre-production version of the X-Pro2), I placed my pre-order for the X-Pro2. I Simply Could. Not. Resist.
What sold me on the X-Pro2? I guess most of all, the physical design of the body: ever since I got my first X100, I have developed a preference for rangefinder-style bodies over the DSLR-style type. If I could choose, I would take the X-T1 technology in an "X-Pro form factor" any day. But Fuji went much further with the X-Pro2, and – for the first time in four years – implemented a brand new 24 megapixel sensor in their flagship body.
Now, I don't care much about megapixels. More pixels mean bigger file sizes and more time spent waiting for your computer to finish processing your images. But apparently Fuji found a way to use this higher pixel count to actually improve the high ISO performance – allegedly by 1 to 1 ½ stops! Being a natural light photographer (outside my studio at least), I welcome being able to shoot at ISO 6400 (or ISO 12800 even) without having to worry about noise so much.
Also, there's that hybrid viewfinder again. Now, I have to be honest: I hardly ever use the OVF on my X100T – the EVF is just so good. But reading about the X-Pro2 has piqued my interest in the optical viewfinder again, and I have actually started using the OVF on my X100T again because of it.
Finally, there's all the little ergonomic changes. That focusing joystick seems awesome, the combined ISO/shutter speed dial is very clever, and moving all buttons right of the screen for one-handed operation makes total sense.
Of course, I realize this all just sounds a lot like I'm simply trying to justify what seems like an obvious case of G.A.S. – which is true I guess, to some degree. I won't deny the X-Pro2 has a certain desirability-factor to it, and I certainly cannot make an economic case for buying it. It won't get me more clients and it definitely will not cause me to take better photos. But photography is not just a source of income to me – it is my passion. While there was nothing wrong with the X-T1, I never loved it like I do my X100. The X-Pro2 however, looks like it will be the Last Camera I'll Ever Need™… :-) (yes, I'm sure it will be funny reading this five years from now)
That said, I cannot afford to buy a brand new X-Pro2 without selling my X-T1.
Looking at online classifieds, there are already lots of people going the exact same route. Great news for people looking to get a good deal on a used X-T1, but bad news for someone like me trying to get a fair price for their X-T1. As such, even though the X-Pro2 probably won't start shipping until the end of February, I decided to list my X-T1 now already before used prices drop even further.
And as fate will have it, I actually sold my X-T1 yesterday…
So, I am now left behind with my three prime lenses (23mm f/1.4, 35mm f/2 WR & 56mm f/1.2) without a body to mount them on! ;-) Of course, I still have my X100T, which will be my one and only camera, likely for most of February (or longer, if the X-Pro2 shipping date is delayed even further). Which is not a problem at all, of course – the X100T is more than capable, and a 35mm field of view (or 28mm, with the wide-angle adapter that I also own) is a perfect angle to document our rapidly growing son!
That said, I can't wait for my X-Pro2 to arrive… ;-)