I've been writing for some time about the need for mirrorless to get better in terms of 'pro' type functionality and to offer a genuine alternative to DSLR's and something that is a significant improvement over smartphones. If nothing else just to offer something special to 'serious' photographers and to find a niche in a falling camera market. Basically to offer 'professional' mirrorless at a significantly lower price than the only real offering so far, the Leica SL (Typ 601). And it seems Fuji, of all companies, have done exactly that with the X-T2. This is no pretend rangefinder with a 'lookaleica' design ethic but a serious modern camera with lots of DSLR type features including 4K video and a three battery boost system capable of 1000+ shots with no battery change courtesy of a new grip. (Finally a manufacturer has decided this IS important after all). All in all a camera to challenge the DSLR domination of Nikon and Canon and perhaps the first genuine all-round high speed, high spec. mirrorless camera. (The Leica not being top of the range for speed)
Now I'm very happy with my Leica(s) and I will get better stills and video from my SL as for me, the X-Trans sensor still 'softens' images in Photoshop way too much for my tastes, but the X-T2 looks an undeniably impressive camera. What we need now is the Olympus OMD-EM1 II, the Panasonic GH5 and whatever Sony have planned next for the FE A7 series to follow suit. Fuji have finally addressed the battery issue, finally added 4K video (looks good too) and speeded up the AF so that Nikon and Canon should be seriously worried and will have to come up with something similar. For this camera takes (affordable for most) mirrorless into another league. And the X-T2, with Fuji's rapidly increasing and improving lens range is starting to look the real deal and deserving of that 'pro mirrorless' tag.
As I've written many times before, the layout, usability, paired down menus and lens / sensor quality of my Leicas is important enough to me that I have invested a LOT of money in their current offerings, but if I was still in the market for another mirrorless system, I'd see this new Fuji camera as something to build a professional working hybrid outfit around. Hopefully, this will spur Sony, Olympus and Panasonic to get serious about making mirrorless the first choice hybrid stills / video system for demanding photographers that it really should have been by now. And hopefully we can finally lay to rest that notion that mirrorless is a compromised 'stepping stone' for compact camera and smartphone upgraders (Which I never thought that was the way to go with it anyway).
So, in complete contrast to my underwhelmed response to the pretty ordinary Panasonic GX80, the X-T2 is a camera to get excited about and I'm sure will be flying off the shelves when it's released. Because if it doesn't then the interchangeable lens camera market is surely doomed, as far as non-pros are concerned. And that surely cannot be the case. As I indicated in the title of this post, we're (hopefully) getting there in terms of serious cameras for serious photographers. Even though the comment 'It's about time' can be levelled at all the mirrorless manufacturers, including Fuji.