One Year Review: The Fuji X-Pro2 for Commercial Photographers

One Year Review: The Fuji X-Pro2 for Commercial Photographers

About two years ago, I injured my back on a photo shoot, and then six months later I managed to fracture my spine. Although I have recovered, I've been looking for a camera that will capture images suitable for commercial assignments and stock sales, whilst avoiding the weight of a traditional SLR camera. The Fuji X-Pro2 seemed to tick both boxes.

Stock images

After shooting with the Fujifilm range of X series mirrorless cameras since they arrived on the market several years ago, I have noticed my sales figures for stock images taken on these cameras increase at a faster rate than those taken on my traditional Nikon equipment. The reasons for this are likely to do with the portability of the system as a whole (meaning I use them in situations where I wouldn't traditionally take an SLR, and therefore present myself with new opportunities for shooting stock), as opposed to quality of the cameras and lenses - although they are exceptionally good.

One of my best selling images over the last twelve months is of a London cityscape, taken with a Fuji camera (the X-T1) during a stock visit to the city. This suggests that the Fuji cameras are more than capable of competing with traditional DSLR's when it comes to stock photography.

Commercial Photography

Whilst being widely accepted by stock agencies for stock sales, the previous Fujifilm 16 megapixel sensors didn't produce terribly large images that were suitable for all commissioned work (for example, architectural clients). This has meant that photographers can't shoot both commissioned and stock images on the same photo shoot. They either shot stock on the Fuji cameras, or commissions on traditional DSLR cameras. However, the new 24 megapixel sensor in the X-Pro2 means they can shoot both commissioned and stock images with one camera - a huge bonus to photographers looking to save time and increase earnings.  

When you couple the increased sensor size with the the portability of the system, and quality of the lenses, then you have the potential to use the Fuji X-Pro2 as a perfect system for commercial, as well as stock photography.

Recently, we used it to shoot a University prospectus.  After five days on site, the cameras really excelled themselves. The main lenses we used were the 23mm f1.4, and the 56 f1.2, and virtually all using available light (some images did require LED lights).

Using the X-Pro 2

The camera itself is a joy to use and feels very professional when working at speed.  The electronic viewfinder is incredibly smooth under all lighting conditions and gives an accurate rendition of the final image prior to pressing the shutter button - although in some rare situations, you may see a little flickering in the electronic viewfinder when shooting under certain fluorescent room lights (in which case you can switch to the optical viewfinder).

The files from the Fuji X-Pro2 are beautiful. The RAW files in particular have a lot of latitude for adjustment during the editing stage, without introducing too much digital noise. As with previous Fuji cameras, the colours reproduce well, and noise is not evident until you really increase the ISO setting (incredibly important for stock shooting where clean, noise free, images are the rule).

Are there any downsides for professional photographers? Well, the flash system was never great, until the arrival of the new Fujifilm EF-X500 flash (we shoot using a variety of 'permanently on' LED lights). Some will also moan that the battery won't last a full day of shooting. This isn't really an issue to worry about in professional photography, you would always carry spares anyway - whatever system you used.  

Essentially, the camera is perfect for both commercial and stock photography where constantly moving location is typical. Are there any downsides? Nothing major, but when it comes to shooting food photography, I personally don't feel the camera is ideally suited to this, the Fuji X-T2 may be a better option for this field. Also, I think some clients expect to see large cases of camera equipment on a shoot. It can take a little education to put them at ease when you turn up with two rangefinder cameras.

Overall, a lovely camera that is the one I reach for when shooting stock and around half of any commercial commissions. In fact, I like it so much I have added a second X-Pro2 body to our range of cameras in order to avoid constantly switching lenses when on a shoot.

Camera: Fuji X-Pro2 (Amazon UKAmazon USWex UK)
Lens: Fuji 23mm f1.4 lens (Amazon UKAmazon USWex UK)
Lens: Fuji 56mm f1.2 lens (Amazon UKAmazon USWex UK)
Luxury Brown Leather Strap from Etsy.