Imagine my bittersweet excitement: the launch of the new Fujifilm XT-2. After receiving a Canon 700D camera for a 10th wedding anniversary present in 2013, then investing pretty heavily in decent lenses and various other gear, I heard of a small, mirrorless camera called the Fujifilm XT-1, set for release in 2014. I had learned so much from my Canon, but the time was fast approaching when I knew I would need to upgrade to continue progressing in photography.
Having decided to look around the existing Canon range for an upgrade, everything seemed to be a compromise. I liked some of the features of one model, but also required features of another. I wished I could afford a 1DX – the flagship model at the time – but that was just a fantasy. The thing about the 1DX that I really loved was the all in one body shape, like it has an integrated battery grip. I shoot mostly landscape for work, and portrait for pleasure, so have always had a battery grip on my 700D. However, only the highest models in both the Canon and Nikon range feature this body style (all of which I cannot afford!) so I was back to looking for a body and grip that gave me all the features that I wanted, at a good price. I scoured the internet for photos of this little Fuji, and immediately fell in love with the look of its form factor.
XT-2 Form and function
I have a keen interest in design in its many forms, including product design. I remember as a young child – maybe 7 or 8 – thinking that it would be great if classic car shapes could be filled with the latest technology as a sort of marriage between old and new: the best looks with the best features. This similar thought drew me to the XT-1: it’s a kind of old 35mm film camera design and size, but packed with technology, and I knew that this was now my goal.
Resisting an impulse buy was easy due to a lack of funds. Then I decided to hang back even further due to the inevitable raft of user-found issues like flimsy port doors, light leaks, dodgy control buttons and autofocus problems. But I was happily surprised when Fuji fixed a lot of issues with firmware fixes – something I’d not heard of a manufacturer doing before. This endeared me to the company even more, and I knew I would own a Fuji camera at some point in the future. My wife was ahead of me in this regard, having owned a Fujifilm FinePix S5700 for a couple of years.
Then I decided to try and have a foot in both the Canon and Fuji camps for a while. I would try out the mirrorless system with an X100T first of all, and see how I got on. I could still use my Canon for jobs, and maybe use the Fuji X100T for pleasure, or personal photography.
This did not last long.
I was using my X100T all the time, for jobs as well as pleasure. I decided to sell the Canon gear, and go all in on the Fuji platform.
But by this point, the XT-1 was ageing and rumours were starting to surface of its successor, the aptly named XT-2. Again, I decided to hang back and see what the future brought.
Today, the Fujifilm XT-2 has been launched, and it is exactly what I’ve been waiting a few years for.
I’m excited by the following:
- The 24.3MP sensor – a step up from the 16MP of the X100T.
- 4K video recording – I’m taking my first early steps into movie making, and whilst Fuji have focused more on incredible photography, they haven’t really been known for video. Let’s hope this changes with the XT-2.
- More focussing points – so it’s now up there with the DSLR manufacturers.
- A vastly improved autofocusing system than I am currently used to.
- A ‘Vertical Power Booster Grip’ so the camera now actually utilises the power of 3 batteries, providing power for days of photography, plus enhanced video usage.
- A slightly larger overall body size – I want it small, but not too tiny!
- A joystick for easy autofocus point selection.
I’ve learned a lesson from the previous XT-1 launch and will wait a while before deciding to take the plunge on the XT-2, battery grip and lenses. Best to let the early adopters beta test for me. And hopefully, the price will drop. Rumoured prices seem excessively high, which can be levied at the current UK political situation. Time will tell if a drop will be a welcome distraction as I try and talk myself into making a significant plunge into whatever savings I might have…
But one thing is certain, the Fujifilm XT-2 is my dream camera. It takes all that was great about the XT-1, adds in better features, gets rid of the bad points and serves all of this up in a design that I really admire. In an age where cameras are just tools for many photographers, Fuji helps me love my tools.
Good job, Fuji. Now, let’s talk about sending me an XT-2 review model… with a 10-24mm lens. I’ll show you what it can do for an architectural photographer with a long term crush on your products!