T3 Smackdown: Fujifilm X-Pro2 vs Olympus PEN-F

A retro-styled camera rumble of epic proportions

Fujifilm X-Pro2

Is Fuji's upgrade of its pro-targeted 'X' camera worth the four-year wait?

Design

An 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' approach sees the X-Pro2 closely resembling the X-Pro1 for classic rangefinder-camera-type design and layout. The twin top-plate dials and four-sided magnesium moulding construction lend it heft and durability.

*****

Features

The big draws are a 24MP APS-C sensor and a processor four times faster than its forebear, plus an eye-level 'hybrid' viewfinder that can switch between an optical finder and a 2.3-million-dot-resolution real-time electronic view.

****

Performance

The X-Pro2 reacts like a pro-grade tool, quickly becoming an extension of your arm. Images pack plenty of detail within the frame. We enjoyed subtly boosting the natural colour performance by selecting the 'Velvia' Film Simulation mode.

****

Usability

As the layout and button positioning positively encourage us to get hands-on, this is a camera that reveals its riches over time. It's not one for picking up and being able to use straightaway; unless, that is, you owned the X-Pro1.

****

Olympus PEN-F

Olympus resurrects a sixties classic, but is it more cold war that hot stuff?

Design

The PEN-F takes its style cue from the original Olympus F. It's Olympus's first digital rangefinder-style camera, so there are manual top- and front-plate dials and knobs aplenty. The milled aluminium construction makes it light yet sturdy.

*****

Features

The PEN-F boasts the highest sensor resolution in the Olympus range (20MP). There's also a 50MP composite-shot mode, five-axis anti-shake and the use of either a tilting LCD or a 2.36-million-dot OLED viewfinder to compose your photos.

****

Performance

Able to determine focus with a half-press of the shutter-release button, and write maximum-resolution photos to a removable SD card in a couple of seconds tops, the PEN-F operates like a professional camera.

*****

Usability

Photography enthusiasts will relish the hands on approach promoted by the physical controls. However, newbies may need a little while to get used to a camera that encourages a more considered approach to creating images.

****

Verdict

Winner: Olympus PEN-F

*****

T3 Rates: You can replace your phone's camera and bulky DSLR with this swish, interchangeable-lens compact.

T3 Slates: The teeny backplate buttons feel like a sacrifice to achieve a smaller overall form factor.

Runner up: Fujifilm X-Pro2

****

T3 Rates: Detailed, punchy pictures from a camera that feels built to last. It's a sound – if pricey – choice.

T3 Slates: The need to lift and twist the shutter-speed button to reveal hidden ISO settings is a tad fiddly.