Fujifilm has updated its X-series line-up of retro-styled cameras with the launch of three new shooters. The long-awaited X-Pro2, with an advanced hybrid viewfinder and a new 24.3-megapixel X-Trans sensor, becomes the new flagship rangefinder style camera, while the X-E2S update caters for the mid-range market. Also announced was the X70, a new fixed-lens 28-mm equivalent compact.
Five years ago Fujifilm launched its X-series with the X100 which was followed by the interchangeable lens X-Pro1. Since then we've seen the retro-styled series grow and evolve with the addition of cameras including the X-T1, X-T10, and X100T. Now, four years after its predecessor (which feels like forever in an age of annual or biennial updates) there's a new flagship rangefinder style camera with the X-Pro2, and it looks like it could have been worth the wait.
The new Fujifilm X-series camera, the X-Pro2, looks much like its predecessor, but under those familiar retro rangefinder-like looks are some serious upgrades. For starters, there's a new APS-C (23.6 x 15.6 mm) X-Trans CMOS III image sensor which jumps to 24-megapixels, and an X Processor Pro image processing engine. This combo boosts image quality and also enables an ISO range of 200 to 12800 (expandable to 100 to 51200) and continuous shooting of up to 8 fps (frames per second).
Autofocus has also received a welcome upgrade from the X-Pro1 with the number of selectable focusing points on the hybrid contrast and phase detection system being expanded from 49 to 77. Fujifilm says the X-Pro2 now delivers the fastest AF performance ever in an X-Series camera, which means it should be even quicker than the already speedy X-T1. Though there's no 4K video recording, the camera can shoot Full HD 1080p footage at 60/50 fps.
While those specs are all well and good, cameras like the X-Pro2 are arguably as much about the shooting experience as image quality. On that front an Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder allows X-Pro2 users to instantly switch between a 0.48-in 2.36 million dot electronic viewfinder with a maximum speed of 85 fps, and a more traditional optical viewfinder. The Electronic Rangefinder (ERF) mode, which displays a small electronic viewfinder on top of the optical viewfinder, also arrives having debuted on the X100 series.
The X-Pro2 features physical access to many manual controls, including top dials for shutter speed, ISO and exposure compensation. A Focus Lever joystick has been added to the rear of the camera for more rapid focus area changes. The robust and weather resistant camera, which has a chassis made from four pieces of magnesium alloy, measures 141 x 83 x 46 mm (5.5 x 3.3 x 1.8 in) and weighs 495 g (15.7 oz). That weight includes a battery which should deliver 250 to 350 shots, and one SD memory card, though the camera has dual SD slots.
On the back there's a 3-inch LCD monitor with 1.62 millions dots, and built-in Wi-Fi can be used to share content easily and quickly, or control the camera remotely with the Fujifilm Camera Remote app.
The X70 is a wider-angle little brother for the X100T camera, which is also the smallest and lightest X-series camera with an APS-C sensor. It pairs a 16-megapixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor with a 18.5-mm F2.8 lens consisting of seven elements in five groups, including two aspherical lenses to correct distortion. This gives it a sharp 28-mm equivalent compared to the 35-mm F2 of the X100T, making it suitable for a range of shooting options from landscapes to snapshots, and a rival for the Ricoh GR II.
The large sensor is joined by an EXR Processor II image processing engine, which means the camera should perform well irrespective of lighting conditions. Indeed the X70 has an ISO range of 200 to 6400 (which can again be expanded to 100 to 51200). It can also rattle off up to 10 frames at 8 fps, and record Full HD 1080p video at 60/50 fps.
Autofocus promises to be quick thanks to Fujifilm's Intelligent Hybrid AF system, but it's the combo of image quality and portability of the X70 which will appeal to many. The camera measures a pocketable 113 x 64 x 44 mm (4.4 x 2.5 x 1.8 in) and weighs just 340 g (12 oz) with a battery and memory card. It still manages to pack in the top plate control dials you'd expect of an X-series camera.
While there's no built-in optical or electronic viewfinder (an external optical one will be available), the X70 features a 180-degree tilting 3-inch touchscreen with 1,040K dots. This can be used to adjust focus, and swipe and pinch to zoom images in playback modes. Built-in Wi-Fi again enables easy sharing and remote control functions via the Fujifilm Camera Remote app.
Finally, we've got the X-E2S, which is the successor to the X-E2 camera. While a modest update, the camera features an improved Hybrid AF system which adds new Zone and Wide/Tracking options to the existing Single Point mode for better focusing on moving subjects. The ISO range has also been increased and now stretches up to a maximum of 51200 and the X-E2S benefits from an improved grip and an electronic shutter capable of exposures up to 1/32,000 sec. There's also a more intuitive GUI to make the camera easier to use.
The X-E2S has a 16-megapixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor and a EXR Processor II image processing engine. For composing shots there's a 0.5-in 2.360K dot electronic viewfinder, and a 3-inch LCD monitor with 1,040K dots. The camera can shoot Full HD 1080p video at up to 60/50 fps, and has built-in Wi-Fi for sharing content and remote control functions. From February, users of the original X-E2 will be able to benefit from a firmware update which will give them most of the software improvements as the X-E2S.
All of the new cameras are due to be available in February with the Fujifilm X-Pro2 selling for US$1,700 body-only, while the X70 will set you back $700, and the X-E2S comes in at either $700 body-only, or $1,000 with a 18-55-mm F2.8-F4 kit lens.
You can check out a promo video for the Fujifilm X-Pro2 below.
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