First Impressions of the New Fuji X-T2
with Chris Cochran

I don’t usually get hyped on the latest and newest gear to come out except for a few exceptions. I always love to see what DJI comes up with because their advancements and price point always amazes me, I will be extremely happy once Canon announces something big in the next coming months, and the final exception is when it comes to a lot of the Fuji gear. I love Fuji lenses, I just think they are the best mirrorless native glass out there and that is my personal opinion. I would choose a Fuji lens over the native glass for Sony, Olympus, and Panasonic… for right now. But that’s just me and my opinion.

I don’t usually get hyped over bodies although the last one I did get excited for was the camera I currently use a lot for travel, personal use, and just fun which is my Fujifilm X-T1. I got really, really excited for that camera. Now I am finally excited for another body and it’s the Fujifilm X-T2.

Today, I got the opportunity to take a pre-production Fujifilm X-T2, that is not expected to come out for another month and a half, for a test drive and I gave the camera back dying for my shipment confirmation notice to come in for my very own.

@juanny6pac enjoying the X-T2 with XF 16-55 f2.8 WR

Here are my first impressions of the Fuji X-T2 and I hope it helps you if you are either considering pre-ordering this camera or on the fence about buying it. This is my personal opinion and is not sponsored by Fuji or anything like that.

First off, I love this body design. It’s not dramatically different from the X-T1 from the outside and I love that because the design of the body was the main reason I like the X-T1 so much. The body style to me is classic, it’s retro with a modern twist, and it’s rugged. This camera always feels like it can take a beating through travel even though it is so small. I don’t worry about it slung across my back with just it’s strap for the majority of the day; especially with it being weather resistant. But one of the big things that I love about the X-T2’s body design is that they FINALLY put in locking buttons on the dials. Before on the X-T1 you had to push down a center button in order to be able to adjust the shutter and ISO on the camera and if you are in fast paced situation it can sometimes be hard to turn the dials with your eye still in the Electronic Viewfinder. It’s especially difficult for someone like me who loves to wear hats everyday because the bill of my hat usually gets in the way for pressing down the button. Now you will be able to lock and unlock these dials to freely turn them or stay in place as you please which is crucial.

Next was my biggest downfall with the X-T1 and most mirrorless systems in general; autofocus. I can’t stand slow autofocusing. It is the most crucial thing to me and the way I shoot and for the situations I shoot. Whether it’s a concert or an event I want that moment captured when I see it about to happen. I know some people might shoot mostly in manual focus mode which is great for you but a lot of what I shoot outside of my real estate work is autofocus based. My Canon 5D III is legendary for it’s autofocus system and so when I first picked up the X-T1 I was SO DISAPPOINTED with the autofocus system.

Photo by @juanny6pac of Chris Cochran using Sony A7Rii with 70-200 f2.8 G-Master

The Fuji X-T1 was supposed to be amazing in low light but I couldn’t tell because I can’t even get it to nail autofocus in low light a portion of the time. I missed so many moments while my Canon would have no problem. Let’s just say one word about my autofocus reaction on the X-T2… GREAT! Seriously probably one of the fastest mirrorless systems with native lenses I have had my hands on and I just spent an evening shooting the Sony A7Rii with the new FE 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master Lens that just came out (as seen on the right). I have been trying to make the jump to Sony so much from my Canon setup but the autofocus speed, battery and Sony lens selection have deterred me. This Fuji X-T2 though was amazingly fast for a mirrorless. It is still a hair slower than the high end DSLR setup but night and day compared to the Fuji X-T1 and even an improvement from the recently released Fujifilm X-Pro2 that we had on hand for comparisons. Granted I didn’t test this in low light to see if there are improvements there but already the system put a huge smile on my face. I was able to go from completely out of focus to sharp on someone’s face in no time flat while with the Sony A7Rii and G Master lens the very first time I tried that the zoom racked past the focus subject and I was instantly upset.

Now onto what everyone’s questions are with the system. The biggest jump and improvement outside of the autofocus system; the battery grip and boosting capabilities it creates with this camera. The battery grip is built well. It includes an actual hand grip that goes around the body giving more leverage for carrying which feels great; something that the battery grip with the X-T1 did not do. You either had the battery grip or the hand grip before, not both. This one combines both and although it makes the X-T2 drastically heavier and larger it does feel nice. Combined with the Fuji XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens this setup is a beast. It’s definitely not an everyday carry setup but could handle any event or travel shooting in my opinion. The weight on this rivals a full DSLR setup at this point and is not a “lighter bag” scenario.

The boosting capabilities of the grip is interesting. I’m not a fan of needing more camera and weight to get more features which should be standard out of my camera. The X-T2 requires the battery grip to shoot 4k for 30 minutes as well as to get your frames per second up from 8fps to 11fps. I am not the biggest fan of that but I know why they needed to do it. Combine that with needing an external recorder in order to shoot uncompressed 4k video at 30fps you are now looking at a full bag worth of gear. Not ideally what I want with my mirrorless setup.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 it will be packaged with and additional battery grip.

The video at first glance was good but I will do a full review on that come September. I love the color profiles of Fuji. Everyone who shoots Fuji does. So if I am going to be shooting video with only this Fuji body I will definitely be using a color profile to save my editing time and color correction time. If I am shooting with multiple cameras I will have to head over to a more neutral profile as matching these Fuji colors would be an absolute chore.

The battery grip also provides a headphone out for audio monitoring which was drastically missing in the past with the X-T1. Very happy I can monitor. Also love the peak focusing on the camera in video, always handy.

I didn’t use the continuous autofocus while video shooting with it so I can’t speak on the quality of that but the continuous focusing for still shoots with the higher 11fps rate was solid. Little movement to test it with but everything came out sharp and it tracked well with little lag time in the EVF between shots (just a quick burst).

Finally with the battery grip one of the cool things is that you get to fit 3 batteries into the mirrorless camera giving you over 1000 photos of shoot time. Does make the camera heavy but saves you from swapping batteries over the course of an event. It also shows on the screen all three battery meters individually so you can see which one is low and which are full.

All in all I am very happy with this camera. After spending a portion of the day shooting with it I am glad I already have my pre-order in and will be seeing it everyday here soon. I love Fuji because it is the only camera I don’t shoot RAW with just because of the color profiles and the JPEGs look phenomenal. The work you would do in Lightroom or Photoshop to any Fuji files in editing will often be worse than what comes out of camera in JPEG form from Fuji if you use the profiles correctly.

Stay tuned for September when I will give a more detailed breakdown of the Fuji X-T2 and provide sample test images available for you to download straight out of camera.