My choice of Fuji x-plained

I have been doing photography for about forty years now. Over these years I have been an Olympus OM user (five cameras at one point), for a very brief period a Canon user, a Nikon enthusiast and now a confirmed Fujifilm fan.

I bought the Fuji X-E2 whilst I still had my Nikons. I had started to feel the weight and the encumbrance of the D800 and the full frame lenses after carrying them around all day. So, I thought I would try out the smaller form of the mirrorless cameras. After a few doubts, I was sold on the Fiji system and my whole Nikon camera outfit went off to help fund a new Fuji X-T1 and several lenses.

The X-T1 is a great camera. It feels great in the hand, the electronics are super, the viewfinder excellent and it oozes quality. Once I had set up the AF-L button as the back-button focus control I was, for the most part, happy –  except for the fact that I am left eye dominant and also wear glasses. This meant that my face covers the right-hand side of the camera body. When I raise the camera to my eye to take a photograph I cannot reach the Q or Focus assist buttons without moving my face away. Using the back-button focus button (AF-L) is a little better although I still have to pull the camera away a fraction to get my thumb inbetween my spectacles and the button to press it. This normally results in a smudged spectacle lens. Nevertheless, I love using it.



Then the X-Pro2 came out and its specs looked brilliant. The X-E2 is a rangefinder style camera and I find it so easy to use held up to my eyes that I figured the X-Pro2 would be even better. However, rumours started to filter through about an X-T2, so I held off purchasing an X-Pro2. I had read all the specs on it and visited various forums to get some impression of what other people thought about it. For the most part, the feedback obtained was more than satisfactory. However, some people did express some concerns on the viewfinder being smaller with less magnification that that on the X-T1. The X-Pro2 also has a smaller eyepoint than the X-T1. Eyepoint is the maximum distance from which the full electronic viewfinder display can be seen. This distance is more important for spectacle users, as glasses keep the user from putting his eye directly up to the viewfinder thereby seeing the full display.

The X-T1 has an eyepoint of 23mm whilst the X-Pro2’s distance is 16mm. This means spectacle wearers may not be able to see the periphery of the viewfinder if your eye is further than this distance from the eye-piece. This never really concerned me as the Nikon D800 has an eyepoint of only 18mm and I had no problem using it.

So I waited for the X-T2 to come out. When it did I looked at it and I must admit I was tempted. The specs looked, for the most part, as good as the X-Pro2 and in some areas better. However, in the long run, the ergonomics talked me out of it. Although I could now make the button on the front of the camera the designated back (front?) button focus control, the Q button had become the really useful joystick. And just as I couldn’t reach the X-T1’s Q button, I wouldn’t be able to operate the joystick on the X-T2 without removing the camera from my eye.



So I got the X-Pro2 and I don’t regret it. It’s an amazing camera and because the viewfinder is on the far left of the body, I can reach every button on the left, including the joystick, without removing my eye from the viewfinder.



So, never under-estimate the importance of the ergonomics of a camera. Some things just cannot be worked around.



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