Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Fuji X-T2 and the revised road map

Fuji X-T2 and the revised road map

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 Reaching for the skies with Fujinon lenses and the new X-T2 (Fuji image)
Reaching for the skies with Fujinon lenses and the new X-T2 (Fuji image)

Back in early April I wrote an article about what we might see on the next, somewhat overdue, Fuji roadmap. I made the point at the time that my predictions were based upon a logical extrapolation of known facts, NOT rumours. 

 X-T2 with the new grip
X-T2 with the new grip

I’m pleased to see that in Fuji’s new roadmap, announced today, that “two out of three ain’t bad”. It actually wasn’t hard to predict the new 23mm f/2 R WR, since it answers a very clear need, particularly for travelling photographers. The 50mm f/2 R WR that I also predicted is now a reality too. They are joined by an 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro that replaces the previously-forecast 120mm.

I think this last is a very smart move on Fuji’s part—it makes more sense in a range that is increasingly both convincingly comprehensive and also angled towards the travelling (light) photographer, particularly in the area of primes. We’ll see the 23 later this year but we will have to wait until the first half of 2017 for the 50 and the 80. The 23 and 50, together with the recent 35, form what Fuji is referring to as a “compact prime trio”—what I am more used to calling a “holy trinity”—a la Leica full-frame 35-50-90mm.

Of course you need a camera body to put all this nice new glass on, and in what could be called the worst kept secret ever, Fuji have also taken the wraps off the X-T2. The new camera brings the new 24.3mp sensor first seen on the X-Pro2 to the SLR form factor and adds 4k video recording in a first for the X-Series. Like the X-Pro2, the X-T2 raises the bar in terms of performance and handling.  There is not a lot that hasn’t been tweaked by Fuji’s magicians in bringing the brand new body to market. It’s weather-resistant, of course, and takes a brand-new vertical grip with two additional batteries—all sensible carry-over from its well thought out predecessor.

Fuji are adopting a deliberate and sensible policy of elevating the X-T2 to what it refers to as “double flagship” status, giving photographers a clear choice of form factor with no penalty, but with design cues and handling and some functional differences to set the two apart.

One of the obvious differences is that the X-T2 keeps, and improves upon (if it’s your cup of tea) the tilty screen of its predecessor. It also takes the focus lever concept from the X-Pro2 which will be a boon to handling both when shooting and in review. Pro photographers will appreciate the increased emphasis upon their needs with tethering and enhanced wireless operation.

Fuji are also bringing out a new vertical grip to match the new camera that adds two batteries for high performance shooting; just as well given that another carry-over from the X-Pro2 is the twin SD slots. Sports and motorsport photographers will feel well catered for.

So all in all a big improvement over the already capable and well-regarded X-T1. And all at a UK SRP of £1,399 body only—I’m not sure how Fuji does it, but we should all be glad they do.

 Fuji half case for the X-T2
Fuji half case for the X-T2

Today’s goodies announcements don’t stop there. There’s the welcome announcement of a new and more powerful flash, the EF-X500, and a firmware upgrade for the X-Pro2 which not only gives compatibility with that flash but is said to improve the already snappy autofocus performance and the accuracy of parallax correction in the optical viewfinder.

All in all it’s a good day to be a Fuji user!

5 COMMENTS

    • I checked with the press office and it seems the firmware update will be released in October and not immediately. This is a bit disappointing for users, I imagine. This is the full release:

      FUJIFILM announces Fujifilm X-Pro2 firmware Ver. 2.0 update to further enhance its performance

      Embargo: 7th July 2016
      6.00am BST

      Fujifilm Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) has announced that it will release firmware update Ver. 2.0. for the FUJIFILM X-Pro2 rangefinder-style mirrorless digital camera in October 2016.

      With the firmware update, the FUJIFILM X-Pro2 and the new FUJIFILM X-T2 will stand side-by-side as double flagship X Series cameras.

      Detail of the update includes:

      The new autofocus algorithm* that is implemented on the new FUJIFILM X-T2 to produce faster and more accurate autofocus will also be implemented on the FUJIFILM X-Pro2. 
* Excludes the new AF-C Custom Settings functions.

      Compatibility with the new hot-shoe mount flash EF-X500. The camera will now be enabled with high-speed flash sync and multi-flash lighting.

      AUTO POWER OFF will now have 15 sec, 30 sec, and 1 min. options, allowing more customisable power management.

      The parallax correction function will be improved to provide a more accurate and easier-to-use Optical Viewfinder.
      *The detail of the firmware is subject to change.

      Planned release date: October, 2016

      For UK MEDIA ENQUIRIES please contact:
      FUJIFILM UK Digital Camera Press Office
      Jeannie Corby PR Executive jcorby@fuji.co.uk Tel: 01234 572064 / 07979 525398
      Teesdale PR katie@teesdalepr.co.uk Tel: 07557 140268

      For UK CONSUMER ENQUIRIES please contact:
      FUJIFILM UK Camera Service fujitec@fuji.co.uk Tel: 0344 553 2321

      ABOUT FUJIFILM:
      FUJIFILM Corporation and its group companies develop, produce and market products in the Imaging Solutions business (colour films, digital cameras, photofinishing equipment and colour paper, chemicals and services for photofinishing) and Information Solutions business (equipment and materials for medical diagnostics and life science, equipment and materials for graphic arts, flat panel display materials, recording media, optical devices, electronic materials and inkjet materials). The company employs more than 80,000 people worldwide, with 282 subsidiaries all over the world. Uniquely placed to be a market leader in digital imaging, Fujifilm develops and manufactures its own sensors, lenses and processing technology. In addition to its production plants and R&D operations in Japan, the company has key manufaacturing facilities in Europe and the USA for core products such as colour film, colour paper, single use cameras and CTP printing plates, and has further factories in Brazil and China. It has a global turnover in excess of ¥114 billion (around £795 million). In the UK, Fujifilm has been supplying the imaging, printing and graphics industries, as well as consumers, professional and enthusiast photographers, with high quality, innovative products and services for over 30 years. Fujifilm UK currently employs more than 390 people and is one of the country’s most popular photographic and imaging brands.

  1. Thanks Bill

    The 23 f2 is a definite ‘must buy’. I have the f1.4 version, but the thing is too big. As for the others, I will think about them. About 50% of the time I use the X-Pro 2 with Leica lenses. I find that for me the X-Pro 2 is much nicer to handle than any of the current Leica M models. I hope that Leica borrows some of its features when the next really new digital M appears

    I also have the X-T1 which I bought last year because I liked the large EVF as well as the compact size, light weight and traditional handling. The last item is very important to me as I dislike having to go into menus. I always regard any menu use as either a failing on my part as a photographer or as a failure of camera design.

    The main issue with X-T1 was that its output was not really compatible with Lightroom. I found that using Iridient Developer improved things but did not fully overcome the issues. Things have improved a lot (still not perfect) with the X-Pro 2, but I still use Iridient. The X-T2 should be more or less the same.

    I don’t use the joystick thing at all and I have locked it up to prevent the focus area from moving about. Over 300 focus points! What is that all about? I presume it is for moving subjects. For most of my photography, one focus point is just perfect and coming from Leica, focus and recompose is very natural to me.

    As for articulating screens, I can use them looking down but held up high I can see nothing on the screen. I don’t miss it on the X-Pro 2 at all. I don’t find Fuji autofocus to be as good as that of some other CSCs (eg Lumix) so any firmware improvements are to be welcomed.

    Fuji are doing a great job in producing compact quality cameras with traditional handling. As for the X-T2 I certainly don’t need one now but I might change my mind.

    William

    • Thanks William, I agree with you about the 23mm as a must have (although read my next piece for some more thoughts on that…) I had the X-T1 but I am really a rangefinder form-factor person; all those years of Leica M have left their mark on my personal style. The X-T2 looks like a cracking addition to the range but for the times when an SLR-type body would be useful to me I think I shall be giving it a miss. By the way I don’t use the joystick on the X-Pro2 at all when shooting but I do find it very useful during playback and particularly when "developing" raw files in-camera; it has speeded me up considerably.

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