(Please note - as ever this is my personal take on things. And of course I have no access to any of the new Fuji gear. As ever the primary intention of this blog is for me to write what I think and (hopefully) provide some entertainment and something to think about along the way.)
Lot's of 'new' Fuji stuff announced today. Including the £1349 (Gulp!) X-Pro 2. So it isn't a myth. The Fuji faithful are suitably impressed and Fuji will probably hold on to their 3% market share. But this is a very competitive area and most of the X-Pro 2's competitors now have 4K video, which the X-Pro 2 doesn't. I'm sure that when a proper grip is added it will handle well but this, together with the somewhat pointless X-70 and the even more pointless X-E2 'upgrade' are hardly going to set the photographic internet alight.
Fuji have decided long ago where their niche is and they do this retro look well and there is no doubt that they have some pretty nifty lenses. But is there anything here to persuade people to move from m4/3 or Sony FE? Probably not, but at least Fuji owners finally get some more pixels with the X-Pro 2 and apparently decent video.
However, still the same battery, so with the increased features even less pictures than before. And the price. It's WAY too expensive. (And I would point out dearer than the Leica T (Typ 701) was when released) Though of course give it a few months and all those Fuji deals will start to emerge. And this is Fuji's problem. They will sell to those who have invested in Fuji gear, but will they ever go further than this? I suspect not and they will continue to occupy this niche section of the market.
There was a time when a Fuji announcement would interest me with the likelihood that I would buy the new camera. However, not any more. The sample images look OK, the camera looks nice, but I stopped reading the list of new features after I'd started on it as it just got more and more complicated and more and more irrelevant to what I want from a camera. The hybrid viewfinder is a hindrance rather than a help as far as I'm concerned and what I did read seemed to be merely Fuji catching up with everybody else. And these days Mirrorless announcements come with some headline grabbing feature, but there really isn't anything here to keep the discussions going on anything other than the hard core Fuji forums for more than a day or two.
When the X-Pro 1 came out I WAS impressed and bought one. But these days there is the FF Sony FE system with pretty amazing stills and video specs. and m4/3 has made great strides in the time since the original camera appeared. So, the X-Pro 2 may well make little impact. Compare it to a Panasonic GX8 for example and it suffers by comparison. The GX8 is probably also even more retro than than the current Fuji range.
So, a fair amount of comment for a camera I'm not going to buy and a system I've left. But then I had a long relationship with Fuji and enjoyed using their cameras. OK with many frustrations along the way, but in terms of aesthetics and handling I never had any complaints and certainly they have a pretty impressive lens range with a consistent quality throughout. However this is the era of the rapidly improving smartphone and souped up, high performance mirrorless cameras and DSLR's. When the original X100 was announced it caused a sensation, with it's classy classic look and it attracted a lot of attention. But as I indicated earlier I suspect that after a day or two the X-Pro 2 will just be another camera. Decent enough certainly, but with little to get non Fuji fans that excited. But I'm sure that those who bought and still have the original X-Pro 1, will appreciate the upgrade (if they can afford it!) and maybe in these days of falling camera sales, that's enough.