A photographer’s skill versus the gear they use. It’s an argument that shows up time and again in photography forums and comments sections. I don’t intend to walk that well-trodden path in this article, except to point out a single consideration, that the gear you use as a photographer should be the gear that best complements your style of shooting and gets out of your way. All that is an opening to talk about a recent piece of equipment that has seemingly sparked a revolution of sorts among some photographers, you may have seen the seemingly endless number of “Why I Switched” articles about it; the Fujifilm X-T2.
The mirrorless Fujifilm X-T2 is the co-flagship camera of the Fujifilm Corporation alongside the Fujifilm X-Pro2. Both cameras share the same X-Trans III, 24-megapixel sensor, and processing engine. While the X-Pro2 features a rangefinder style body, the X-T2 has more traditional SLR styling. It is the X-T2 which seems to have captured the hearts of so many photographers and prompted a remarkable brand loyalty for Fujifilm’s relatively young X-series cameras.
The Fujifilm X-T2
On first viewing, the Fujifilm X-T2 is notable for its size. Like many mirrorless cameras, the body sees a reduction in size and weight over most DSLRs. Combining the compactness of the body with the size of many of Fujifilm’s prime lens offerings produces a kit that is easily able to be carried for hours. Showing a clear intent for professional use the X-T2 has two memory cards slots and supports SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards.
A remarkable Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) is one of the best on the market. The EVF has the advantage of providing a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get preview of the photograph. Since the image in the EVF is taken from the sensor rather than through the lens like a DSLR, exposure and white balance are presented in the EVF exactly as they will be represented in the captured image.
Like any professional gear, the Fujifilm X-T2 has a solid construction. The body is composed of all metal and features weather sealing. The X-T2 is a camera that can be shot with under just about any conditions. Fujifilm states that it can operate at temperatures as low as -10°C. Battery compartment and port doors do not feel flimsy and should stand up to repeated openings.
In a bit of throwback to film cameras of the past, the X-T2 features physical dials on the camera for setting shutter speed and ISO. Rocker buttons also enable setting drive functions and metering modes. It is possible to set all the main camera functions manually. There is something to be said for the convenience of this. Both the shutter speed and ISO button are lockable. For those who prefer to use the cameras front or back wheels for settings, Fujifilm allows the customization of these functions.
Fujifilm has developed something unique with the X-Trans sensor now in its 3rd generation. At 24 megapixels the sensor does provide excellent image quality. Being an APS-C sized sensor it does mean that the image will be smaller than the full frame sensor of some other professional level cameras.
Fujifilm’s sensor excels at producing faithful, pleasing colors. Photographers have found that the jpg output of the X-Trans III sensor is excellent. RAW files from the X-T2 show a great latitude and can be pushed to a high degree. Prints produced from X-T2 files carry over that quality well.
A great deal has also been said about Fujifilm’s film simulations, for good reason. Leveraging its background as a film manufacturing Fujifilm has created film simulations that are more than gimmicks. The Classic Chrome and black and white Acros simulations have become favorites among X-series photographers.
Capable of shooting 4K video, the X-T2 is Fujifilm’s most capable camera for video. Shooting in high definition at a variety of frames per second with options for external microphones and monitoring. Fujifilm’s film simulations are also available during shooting video.
Fujifilm provides users of its X-series cameras with a range of excellent primes, short telephoto, and telephoto lens with the XF designation. With primes including wide angle like the 16mm f2, up to portrait focused 90mm f2 there is likely a lens for every photographer’s need. The 18-55mm kit lens is considered by many to be one of the sharpest kit lenses offered by any manufacturer.
Not everything is perfect with the Fujifilm X-T2. Battery life is definitely an issue as it is with many mirrorless cameras. Powering the Electronic Viewfinder will be a definite drain on power and extra batteries are a necessity. The optional battery grip helps by providing two additional batteries along with one in the body.
For some professional studio photographers, tethering is a necessity. Fujifilm’s tethering options for the X-T2 has improved since its release, but are still not as mature as other options.
Currently, there are not many 3rd party lens options for Fujifilm’s X-series camera. Adapters can be used for vintage lenses, but only a few manufacturers such as Rokinon provide native lens mounts.
There is no in-body image stabilization. Several lens options do offer stabilization.
While the X-T2 is hand’s down Fujifilm’s best camera for video there are things to consider if you shoot video regularly. Shooting 4k is limited to 30fps rather than 120fps, this means slow motion video will be a bit limited. Ungraded F-LOG video is only available with a separate monitor attached to the camera
CONCLUSION: Why The Fujifilm X-T2
From the convenience of it’s buttons-and-dials approach to setting the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to the undeniable quality of its lens line up Fujifilm has developed a piece of equipment that inspires photographers. Gear may not be all that matters although it certainly makes a difference when it comes time to the job done. As a photographer deciding the best tool for you is better done in considering every option available. The Fujifilm X-T2 offers a combination of performance and image quality that might just make you a fan too.
If you would like a comprehensive guide for the X-T2 this one is very good.
I also use these shutter release buttons. They just feel a little better to me!
Oh and check out this article on why another photographer selected the X-T2 for his every day Driver