"X-Pro1 to X-Pro2" by Knut Koivisto
Knut Koivisto is one of Sweden's most respected portrait photographers, who moves effortlessly between the worlds of entertainment and business. His style is to create a pared-down image, with the focus firmly on the person. He has a humanist world view and always cherishes the individual. He combines figures from cinema and portraits of Sweden's biggest actors with the cream of Swedish business. He also teaches and gives lectures. He works on his own personal projects and is one of the leading lights of the new social media.
"I think the most important thing, whatever the title or position of the person being photographed, is to go straight to the heart of the person, without getting hung up on effects or gimmicks. It takes a while to learn that. To ignore the thought that this is a CEO or a big movie star like Mikael Persbrandt or a nurse. They all deserve the same respect and should be treated like human beings. That's how you create the magic, together. Because if you work with people, it's always about teamwork."
By Knut Koivisto
I can still remember the day I heard the news about the coming Fujifilm X-Pro1. It’s four years ago but it’s still a clear memory. I could see that all I had wished for in a digital camera was in the X-Pro1. I just knew I had to have it and I wanted to be the first.
My love affair with the digital Fujifilm cameras started already with the X100 in 2011. I had been looking for the perfect digital camera for almost ten years and tried a lot of different brands and models but none of them came close to my demands. I wanted a camera that would perform the image quality and handling of a professional but with the size of almost a compact camera.
When the date for the release of the X-Pro1 came up I contacted my professional camera dealer ProCenter in Stockholm and told them, I need to have the first X-Pro1 that you get! I called them every day and demanded to know, when will you have the camera! So I got the first sample and I’m convinced it was the first in Sweden.
It’s strange, I’ve been obsessed by the Fujifilm X-series since the first day and I hear it from other photographers who shoot with the X-cameras, both enthusiasts and professionals. We’re Fujilovers and we care about our cameras.
The X-Pro1 was marvelous. I loved the design, you could feel the connection to classical cameras of gone by days and still it had it’s unique look and identity. The hybrid view finder also gave it a usability unheard of. But for me the image quality from the new X-Trans CMOS Sensor was my main reason to finally give my heart to the camera.
Sure, there were issues with it. People where talking about the autofocus. It wasn’t fast enough for some people. In low light situations it went hunting. The autofocus wasn’t maybe as fast as some other cameras but when it locked it was sharp. For me it was more about lack of support of the raw-files in the beginning. And that you had to get correction lenses for the viewfinder if you needed diopter correction (I wear glasses when also when I shoot).
But also it wasn’t as intruding as the big DSLR’s. People got relaxed when I picked up my X-Pro1 and that means a lot when you shoot portraits of people for a living, as I do. You remain discreet during the shoot, either people know they are being photographed or not.
In the beginning there was the three Fujinon prime lenses, 18mm, 35mm and 60mm. You can do a lot with that combination. The fact that Fujifilm went for the primes first before they started making zoom lenses is for me a strong signal that says, we mean serious business and the conscious photographer is our target. Today the system is huge with a lens for every need you might think of and new ones being released all the time.
After the X-Pro1 there have been a couple of X-series cameras. I have tried them all and I have enjoyed them. Each one of them shearing the same sensor and by that, maintaining the high image quality. And each one of them raising the bar of the X-cameras quality. But there has always been that question. When were we going to get the new X-Pro2?
Now finally we have our long awaited X-Pro2 here! I always thought the new model really had to be something special. Just an upgrade wouldn’t do and with the arrival of the X-T1, witch was outstanding, I was skeptical of how that would be possible. But already at the technical specs I felt that X-Pro2 was something special. A new 24 megapixel sensor with 273 selectable focus points. A brand new processor to help speed up everything in the camera, from image processing to autofocus and the whole camera. The new shutter speed dial combined with the ISO setting witch I think is brilliant. The new joystick to help with all kinds of selection including the focus point while shooting. Double SD card slots and weather sealing. I could go on but this isn’t about the technical specs, it’s about how is this camera to work with.
Me, I’m a photographer. I work as one, professionally, and I do it a lot on my spare time. All the time in fact. I need a camera I can just pic up and it will work. Doesn’t matter if it’s a working situation in my studio or if it’s on a film set or if I’m in the streets shooting on my own. And it has to be portable, lightweight and small. It has to look good too, that’s very important to me. This used to be an impossible equation. Now with the X-Pro2 I feel safe and it fulfill all the above points. I’m just amazed. It still have all the design and quality of the old X-Pro1 that I fell in love with but it’s like everything under the hood has been changed into a race car like camera. It’s the next level of the X-Series. It’s the new flagship.
I think one of the reasons photographers love to work with X-Pro2 (and all the other X-cameras) is the ease of handling. It comes down to the logic and the planing of the layout. The controls are where you need them to be and there is no need to dive into the many for simple adjustments. You always have the basic overview of the camera settings. Even when the camera is switched off. Now there are some people who say the camera has a retro design due to the controls and the shape of it. But I would go further and say it’s the most logical design and therefore timeless.
The X-Pro2 is a joy for me to photograph with and I feel it’s with me all the time. The X-series has grown into a mature system where I can pick just the parts I need. For me as a photographer the X-Pro2 is now an extension of my mind and my eye. I no longer have to think about the camera, I just let it react to my will. For me as a photographer that is exactly what I want, a companion to explore my future photography together with. Me and my X-Pro2, beautiful things awaits us.