Updated: June, 2017
Fuji X-T2 with XF 10-24mm f/4 OIS at ISO 640
There are plenty of reviews focusing on all the differences in feature sets of both cameras, so I won’t be repeating that. Reading about the differences is hardly a substitute for a picking up the camera and trying it, so that’s what I did.
I already covered the X-Pro2 in minute detail, so this will be a quick comparative review. (That’s also why all sample images here will be from X-T2.) We won’t be measuring millimetre difference either, focusing instead on the real-world usability.
Let’s start on the outside.
Fuji X-T2 with XF 16mm f/1.4 WR at ISO 2000
Both cameras have optional grips, but they’re completely different. This is where we come to one of the biggest functional differences, even if it’s only an optional accessory.
X-Pro2’s grip is just a metal plate with an extending rubberised finger-hold which seamlessly merges with the existing one on the camera. It adds just a bit of bulk and makes camera easier to hold, especially with heavier lenses. It’s not a vertical grip, does not have batteries nor any extra buttons — it’s just a piece of metal and rubber.
The X-T2’s vertical grip is much more in line with what we’ve come to expect from DSLR grips, with the added feature of enlarged finger grip on the front of the camera. But that’s the least important thing about it!
I’m not talking just about the vertical buttons, but the fact it enables the (super) boost mode which makes the camera slightly faster in everything it does: shutter lag, AF speed, viewfinder refresh, maximum burst speed (and more). I won’t get into the numbers; the differences in some cases are just slight, but they still give you an edge.
The grip gives the cameras 3 batteries at its disposal at all times (2 in grip, 1 in camera). Three times the battery life is always a good thing, but there’s a big drawback as well. When the time comes to replace all the batteries, to get to the in-camera battery you need to unscrew the grip — and it’s a screw that seems to be rotating for ever! In short, while the batteries will last 3x as long, you will need 9x more time to replace all of them when they’re dead. I tend to use about 8 batteries per body per wedding, so it’s a real concern if they happen to die at an inopportune moment (which is practically guaranteed).
Fuji X-T2 with XF 35mm f/1.4 at ISO 200
It’s a well thought-through compromise between battery life, wastefulness (empty space in the body where battery once was), weight and practicality in the field.
It’s clear why Fuji went the way it did — both cameras go through batteries like a hot knife through butter, so they figured 3 batteries are better than 2. And from that point of view, they’re right. Until the time comes to replace them.
X-Pro2 might need a battery replacement every 90 minutes or so, but I always have a spare in my pocket and replacing it literally takes 10 seconds: open-pop-push-click-done!
With the X-T2 grip you need to find some down time, a surface where to put down the grip and all the batteries, not to mention a quick visit to your camera bag since carrying 3 batteries in your pocket is pushing it. It’s not a huge deal, but you would definitely catch yourself planning where and when to do this, which is a drawback for me. It’s one more thing to think about in a very hectic environment.
Let’s get into the ergonomics of the grip for a second. Buttons, dials and the joystick offer feeling that is similar enough to the camera body counterparts.
I found this quite odd and always initially missed the button completely, until I slightly twisted back my index finger to reach it. It’s not a big deal, but it’s irritating.
Grip verdict? It’s a tough one. Small, light and inconspicuous cameras are a great plus in this business, but so is the AF responsiveness, lower shutter lag and battery life.
If I were getting a pair of X-T2s, I’d probably get just one grip and use it with my slowest lenses during the critical and unpredictable parts of the wedding — the preparations and things like cake cutting and bouquet toss. When the things get more predictable or slower (like the church, reception and the party) I’d take it off to reduce the weight. This would also mostly solve the lengthy battery replacement process.
Having said that, I prefer travelling light so much that I didn’t buy myself an X-T2 grip after the review was complete. I even started leaving the comparatively light and compact X-Pro2 grip at home for the same reason (even though it really helps with heavier lenses).
Fuji X-T2 with XF 16mm f/1.4 WR at ISO 200
Buttons on X-T2 click silently, while you can actually hear a faint click on X-Pro2. The AF-L, AE-L and Disp/Back are slightly recessed so as not to be pressed accidentally, which is a double edged sword when you need to press them with your eye to the viewfinder.
X-Pro2 has nicely shaped cursor buttons, while AF-L and Q buttons are recessed. With X-T2, I was less happy about the cursor/fn keys which have ridges on their outer edges, while inner edges are also recessed. This, in theory, should make them easier to find without looking, but in reality just gives you less area to press them. It’s not a big deal and I got used to it after a while.
The AF-L button is easier to find with your finger on X-T2, but also more difficult to positively press without twisting your thumb. In general, it’s badly placed on both cameras and makes back-button focusing difficult when your eye is on the viewfinder. I avoid it completely on both cameras after enjoying it on X100T.
Q-menu button is placed close to the LCD on X-T2, making it very easy to press without lifting your eye from the viewfinder. This is really useful when you turn off the LCD completely, to save battery life.
ISO dials — both cameras have them. X-Pro2 has ISO dial integrated in the exposure dial, with lift-to-unlock action. I don’t like it, to put it mildly, and it’s hell when you need to change ISO often. In the darkness of the reception venue it’s very difficult to use since you can’t read the small text in the small in-set window without decent light. Having flash on top makes it practically impossible!
It looks good, but that’s the only positive thing I can say about it; it’s the ultimate form-over-function debacle. Even during the day, two fingers and a lot of practice is necessary to move it quickly mid-shoot, and forget doing it with your eye on the viewfinder for more than 1EV ISO shift.
If I could avoid using it completely (remapping the function to a function button), I would happily do it.
X-T2 on the other hand has a separate dedicated ISO dial on the left of the camera which works perfectly. It also has a lock-toggle which you can leave locked or unlocked, depending on the requirements of the moment. This is huge plus, I can’t emphasise it enough. Clear win for the X-T2. If you change ISO often, this alone is enough to forget about X-Pro2!
Fuji X-T2 with XF 16mm f/1.4 WR at ISO 200
However, as time passed, I realized that easily accessible EC dial is a double edged-sword. It gets accidentally rotated so often that it causes real problems on the shoot. In 50% of cases I will rotate it in a random direction while putting down the camera, so when I pick it up (from my double camera strap system) exposure will be completely messed up. This is a real issue for photojournalistic approach because things won’t wait for me to determine where is my EC dial and where I need to rotate it to fix things after I just picked it up to catch a particular moment.
If you shoot casually or use just one camera, this might not bother you as much, but for professional work it’s clear that Fuji noticed this issue and decided to fix it on X-T2 (where the philosophy was to lock down everything as much as possible).
However, I shoot in Av mode and constantly adjust the compensation to keep the exposure spot on. Weddings are filled with white walls, black suits, shooting down or against the light all within 15 seconds, so exposure compensation is a crucial dial. This leaves us with a problem — having to use two fingers to rotate it on X-T2 while switching to holding the camera with your left hand only is really impractical.
Initially I didn’t like this since the front control dial was a bit hard to find with my finger. Thousands of shots later, I got used to it. In all, I can do it quickly and reliably now; so much so that I decided to switch to this system on the X-Pro2 as well, just for uniformity. It’s a shame that a huge, nice, physical dial goes to waste, but that’s how it is. So paradoxically, I’ll give a win to X-T2 for this one. Sometimes a stiff dial is a good thing!
Next are the drive mode control lever and the photometry lever. X-T2 has them, while X-Pro2 uses custom button functions, Q-menu or main menu. It’s really practical to have this accessible via physical controls — levers integrated under ISO and exposure dials, respectively.
However, the photometry lever is awkwardly placed, so that when evaluative mode is selected the lever is stuck so close to the shutter button that you need to use your nail to move it initially. After that it’s okay, but it just so happens I mostly use the evaluative mode. On the other hand, I rarely switch photometry mode, so it’s not a huge drawback for me personally.
On X-Pro2 you can set any of the fn buttons to select these functions, which works pretty well too. I’d still give X-T2 advantage here since you have quick visual feedback of what you’ve set, even if the camera is turned off. And to be honest, I like playing with those switches!
Fuji X-T2 with XF 10-24mm f/4 OIS at ISO 200
It’s not ideal, but it all depends on how often you use it. I tend to leave camera in viewfinder only + eye sensor mode to save battery, but the button requires extra effort if I need to use LCD for something (like shooting over heads of guests).
X-Pro2 has it more accessible, above the middle of the LCD. You still need both hands to press it, but you can do it while holding your camera naturally.
Diopter adjustment is very nicely placed on X-T2 because it’s almost impossible to rotate it by accident. The minus is that is doesn’t have zero position marked, so if your eye is straining to focus on the viewfinder, it takes guessing to reset or adjust.
X-Pro2 has the inverse problem — the zero position is clearly marked, but it’s extremely easy to turn by accident. (I have to reset it 20-30 times a shoot!)
Image playback button is in a somewhat unfortunate location on X-T2. To be clear, it’s visible and accessible, sure, but it doesn’t fulfil one thing I need it to: to be right under my finger when I take the camera off my eye to check the last shot. This is something you do hundreds of times during a full wedding shoot, so a very small inconvenience in button placement quickly piles up.
So where’s the button?
The only positive thing is that on a mirrorless camera you need it much less often compared to a DSLR, since you get an exposure preview and live histogram; but still, checking your focus requires image playback.
X-Pro2 has perfectly placed playback/delete buttons which I can easily press with my right thumb without any hand repositioning at all and then quickly reach real control dial (click zooms into the center of the image).
Custom Fn button is in close vicinity of the shutter button on both cameras. On X-Pro2 it’s right of the shutter button and on X-T2 it’s sandwiched between the shutter button and two dials, towards the back of the camera. In practice this means it’s really accessible on X-Pro2 without looking and practically impossible to press on X-T2 with your eye to the viewfinder.
I had a hard time figuring out a function to assign it on X-T2 so that it’s at least remotely usable. Q menu was much more accessible so I kept using it for all functions I didn’t already assign to more accessible function buttons. In the end I set it to toggle boost mode. I rarely need this, usually just in my private time to save battery.
Even so, this isn’t a big deal since I have two easily accessible function buttons free for assignment (compared to X-Pro2) because of the dedicated photometry and drive mode levers.
Fuji X-T2 with XF 16mm f/1.4 at ISO 200
This is one thing that was really confusing on the X-Pro2 — the fact that to close the battery door, you needed to move the small locking switch back to closed position. I just couldn’t figure out why Fuji would design it this way?! Of all the cameras and other electronic devices I owned, I don’t think I ever saw such a design.
It’s very irritating, not helped by the fact that with Fuji you constantly need to replace batteries (I do it 12-14 times during a wedding for my two bodies, while with Canon, featuring simple push-to-close design, I do it from 0 to 2 times per wedding). In the end I just figured it was a Fuji way of doing things.
Surprisingly, X-T2 has precisely the design I was wishing for in X-Pro2 — you just push the door and it clicks into place. There’s still a locking switch to open it which is just fine.
Memory card doors are also different. It slides in/out of place in X-Pro2 while X-T2 has a door similar to battery compartment door: safety switch to unlock and open, push-to-lock for closing. While X-Pro2’s design isn’t impractical, I like it less since I’ve been known to pick the camera up in such a way as to slide the door half-open.
Generally, there is a really important difference between the cameras which you only notice after using both cameras for a long time. X-T2 was designed to avoid messing up your controls accidentally (including the SD card compartment), while X-Pro2 was not.
Since I carry both on a HoldFast MoneyMaker strap, I tend to ‘pick them up’ and drop them down very often. In at least 50% of cases, something will be messed up on the X-Pro2 (usually exposure compensation or diopter adjustment). X-T2 is much more resilient in this regard and I almost never have issues with the controls.
Controls verdict? X-T2 is a clear winner in this department. Dedicated ISO dial, physical switches for photometry and drive modes are a pleasure to use. And for hectic wedding work, having controls not prone to accidental activations is a blessing! Image playback button is the only real drawback, but as you get more confident with your focusing, it’s bearable.
Fuji X-T2 with XF 23mm f/1.4 at ISO 4000
Let’s start with AF in good light, on a sunny day. In my testing I put emphasis on problematic lenses which are slow to focus by design (like XF 35mm f/1.4 and XF 56mm f/1.2) and didn’t pay too much attention to lenses which focused quickly even on X-Pro2 with the old firmware (like XF 16mm f/1.4 WR and XF 10-24mm f/4 OIS).
To make a long story short, it’s very hard to tell any meaningful difference between the two cameras, whether in single or continuous modes. Both focus very quickly in good light — simple as that. X-T2 with the grip should be marginally faster, but without precise measurements it was hard to tell the difference which couldn’t be explained by placebo effect.
When the light gets dim, the X-T2 seems to get a slight edge. It’s not a huge difference, but it appears as if the X-T2 gets the shot in focus a little bit faster. (Don’t quote me on this, however. They’re really close.)
In all honesty, I was hoping the X-T2 would wipe the floor with the X-Pro2, making the decision much easier, but the truth is that it’s really close. They’d be neck-and-neck, then X-T2 would slightly outperform the X-Pro2 in one series of tests and then back to square one.
If the tests were precisely measured and consistently repeatable, a pattern might have emerged, but the results would still probably be close. Which isn’t that surprising since they’re mostly using the same technology (sensors and algorithms).
The only case where X-T2 could outperform the X-Pro2 in a meaningful way would be by using the vertical booster grip on X-T2 in difficult conditions.
The AF verdict? These aren’t the kind of differences that would make me immediately get rid of my X-Pro2 in favour of the X-T2, but I’d be feeling a bit more confident going into a dark venue with an X-T2.
Knowing you can add the grip to make it more lively also helps, even if you don’t actually own it.
Fuji X-T2 with XF 16mm f/1.4 WR at ISO 200
X-Pro2 has the hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder which works very well for a variety of situations. See my review here for more info. You don’t really have an issue with it until you see the X-T2’s viewfinder. After that, you have a problem.
X-T2 has a larger, brighter and more saturated viewfinder (OLED vs. TFT in X-Pro2). It also has a slightly higher refresh rate when in boost mode (with the vertical grip). This all means that you promptly forget that you’re looking through an EVF — which is just ideal. Returning to X-Pro2’s viewfinder is just… depressing. It’s small and pale in comparison, which also makes it less useful for judging exposure and focus.
I should mention that the specifications say X-T2 EVF with the booster grip has about 15% faster refresh than X-Pro2, and similarly slower refresh without the grip. However, all three EVF cases had plenty speedy refreshes to my eye.
X-T2’s eyecup and central viewfinder placement do a much better job of stopping stray light hitting your eye, which is really a big problem I have with X-Pro2 in sunny weather.
With LCDs, it’s a bit different. X-Pro2’s LCD has a higher resolution, but I didn’t find the X-T2s pixelated or inadequate. However, X-T2 has articulated screen which is immensely useful for all kinds of work. If you’ve ever tried it, you know how handy it can be when shooting over people’s heads, from a really low perspective or from a tripod. It isn’t fully articulated, but you can get it to most positions you’d need in practice.
Viewfinder and LCD verdict? This one is easy. It goes hands down to X-T2. Big, bright, responsive and well-shielded viewfinder combined with flexible LCD is the perfect combo. The only X-Pro2 advantage — optical viewfinder — is practically useless for this kind of work since you never know what AF actually picked up when it confirms the focus, nor how big the AF area is. Not to mention that almost any lens with a lens hood partially obscures your view. And then there’s the parallax. Optical viewfinder would only be useful if your battery was nearly empty and you wanted to preserve all the juice you can, but this isn’t really an option for pros.
Fuji X-T2 with XF 35mm f/1.4 at ISO 200
One nice change, though, is the fact that both card slots in X-T2 are UHS-II compatible. This means very quick card write times when you record RAWs to both card simultaneously (which I do). If you want to get similar write times in X-Pro2 you need to write RAWs to card 1 and JPEGs to card 2, which isn’t ideal.
Having said that, I am rarely so trigger happy as to overfill the buffer on X-Pro2, so I can live with it.
Shooting verdict? X-T2 has a clear advantage. How important it will be for you personally is questionable.
Video. I didn’t properly test the video mode since I have no use for it professionally, but I did try it out of curiosity. On X-Pro2 you need to dedicate one custom fn button to it, and on X-T2 you use the drive mode lever to set to video which I found more practical.
The big news is that X-T2 can record 4K footage.
The video itself looks good, but suffers from visible rolling shutter when shot handheld.
There are two very welcome additions in comparison with the X-Pro2. First is the mic levels display, and the second is the amazing AF-C focusing mode.
Both cameras can perform AF-C focusing while filming, but X-T2 has quicker and smoother AF performance and also another extremely important feature — it allows you to move the focus point while filming. This instantly made the AF-C my favourite shooting mode.
I also need to mention that paradoxically, not only does X-Pro2 have a fixed AF-C focus point, it doesn’t even display where (or how big) it is! This causes a lot of guesswork while filming and a lot of missed focuses. It also means you always need to have central framing of the subject which is boring at best and neurotic at worst — if the subject is moving around the frame, you need to follow it constantly.
Video verdict? No question, X-T2 all the way. Even if you don’t care about 4K and mic levels, the amazing AF-C and the AF joystick will give every rookie smooth and precise focus without constant re-framing.
Fuji X-T2 with XF 10-24mm f/4 OIS at ISO 800
When I say ‘works’, I actually mean ‘fits’. You simply cannot physically screw it on X-T2 (I tried), and going by the Fuji forums, you risk sensor damage (even on X-Pro2 in some cases). That’s cheap Chinese optics for you. (Metabones, do us a favour and make an EF > X-mount adaptor already!)
If you want to look good, get an X-Pro2… and if you want happy wedding clients, get the X-T2!
Fuji X-Pro2 with XF 35mm f/1.4 and MHG-XPRO2 grip and X-T2 with XF 10-24mm f/4 OIS and VPB-XT2 grip