Thursday, July 7, 2016

FIRST LOOK: FUJIFILM X-T2 camera review (part 2)

In Part 2 of my First look review of the Fujifilm X-T2, that has been released today, we will have a look at the image quality of the latest X-series camera! At the end I will give my  initial thoughts and conclusions. Part 1 can be found here.

IMAGE QUALITY (click on the image for full screen view)
Since I picked up my "pre-production" copy of the X-T2 end of April 2016, I've been taking the camera to a lot of different places over the world. But one of the first shots I made, was this post-sunset shot below from a new project called "The Terrace- Dubai Creek Harbour" at the end of Dubai Creek. 

ISO 200, f5.6, 1/250s, 140mm on XF 50-140 f2.8 lens

A second image where three images were blended together was this one of the Burj Khalifa during the blue hour from the Palace Hotel. It was made by using the new 2 stop Exposure bracketing, which a lot of photographers have been asking for, for a long time!

ISO 800, 3 different shutter speeds, f11, 11mm on XF 10-24 f4 lens

The dynamic range and especially the RAW file potential of the single files is excellent as well. The image below of a tree in Mauritius is made by adjusting shadows and highlights of a single RAW file in Lightroom. Something that definitively would have been more difficult in the previous generation of X-Trans sensors. If I have to choose, I would rather slightly underexpose and recover in post than the opposite.
ISO 200, 1/100s,  f9,  XF16mm f1.4 lens
I've really enjoyed using the new XF100-400 lens when shooting the X-T2; especially with the new battery grip where the combination is really well balanced. Below are a few sample images from a wildlife flamingo shoot in Dubai. Look at the sharpness! 

ISO 400, 1/750s, f11,  347mm on XF 100-400 lens 
ISO 400, 1/250s, f13,  400mm on XF 100-400 lens

Especially for my Aviation photography, the new advanced focus tracking is the biggest improvement compared to the X-T1. Although the firmware was still not final when I shoot the Planes of Fame airshow end of April, I came home with lots of great images!
Planes of Fame airshow 2016, Chino, CA
ISO 200, 1/140s, f9,  360mm on XF 100-400 lens

Planes of Fame airshow 2016, Chino, CA
                                                  ISO 200, 1/450s, f13,  153mm on XF 100-400 lens

I shot the camera in harsh desert conditions; strong winds with blowing sand and temperatures over 40C, with absolutely no problems. 

ISO 320, 1/160s, f14, 55mm on XF 16-55 f2.8 lens
I'm not a pixel peeper, but have really been impressed with the amount of detail the X-T2 files reveal; both with the in-camera jpegs and with the RAF (RAW) files. It looks like Lightroom CC deals a lot better with the X-Pro2 and X-T2 files than with the classic X-Trans II files.
ISO 200, 1/400s, f6.4, 23mm on XF 18-135 lens
ISO 400, 1/160s, f10, 400mm on XF 100-400 lens

The previous generation X-Trans II sensor images, with a lot of foliage, could sometimes be a challenge to develop to its full potential in Lightroom. The new sensor does not seem to suffer from the same problem. Check out the aerial image below to see the amount of detail. 

ISO 800, 1/4700s, f5.0, with XF90mm f2.0 lens
When the X-Pro2 was announced in January 2016, some photographers were sceptical about the high ISO performance of the higher megapixel sensor. In my X-Pro2 review, I concluded that the X-Trans III sensor has about one stop advantage over the X-Trans II and that seems to hold true as well for the new X-T2 sensor.  I will happily shoot at ISO 6400, even 8000 with the new camera as long as the image is correctly exposed. 

ISO 3200, 1/160s, f11, 100mm with XF 100-400 lens

ISO 6400, 1/350s,  f5.6, 16mm with XF16-55 f2.8 lens
Especially when shooting with the smaller lenses like the XF35 f2 or 27mm f2.8, the X-T2 makes for a great street photography camera! I love the tilt screen when hunting for these decisive moments. This is by far the number one reason, I don't own an X-Pro2!

ISO 400, 1/60s, f5.6, XF 35 f2 lens
ISO 200, 1/120s, f11, XF10-24 f4 lens (Acros Y)
The First Look review of the X-T2 has been largely based around the differences between its older brother. It is important to know that the camera has many more features that are not mentioned here; items like the built in WiFi or great film simulation modes have been part of the Fujifilm X-series for a while. 

Negative points on the X-T2 were very hard to find; there were a few smaller items with regards to the battery grip (see part 1 Battery-Battery grip), which I suspect will be solved by the time the cameras becomes available. Yes, a touchscreen would have been nice, but that would have undoubtedly increased the price point. Beside the new "joystick" is working great, almost making a touchscreen just a gimmick. Still on the LCD, I have liked to see the screen rotate to the 180 degree mark, something that video shooters love.

I stated before that the camera I used for the review, was a very early pre-production copy, which I got more than 2 months ahead of the announcement date.  Given the firmware was not final when writing the review, I was not able to go into detail of the new updated autofocus tracking system and other new features. I will therefore blog again about the missing items before the camera becomes available in September 2016.

What I do know is that I really believe the X-T2 will be another "high flyer" for Fujifilm. No, I'm not paid to make that statement, but I'm confident that this camera will pull even more DSLR shooters over to the mirrorless camp. Even without having seen the full potential of the X-T2, I'm sold. For 1600,-USD I want one! 



Neha Verma said...

Interesting blog! Shoot the best pictures with Fujifilm X Series

Alex Altgauzen said...