Why I Bought a Fujifilm X-Pro2 and then Returned It

I've been using the Fuji X-T10 for most of the images I've made over the last 2 years. I chose it over the X-T1 at the time because I liked the slightly smaller size and button placements. A few weeks ago, in the middle of shooting some corporate headshots, the playback button suddenly twisted and sunk into the body of the camera. Not unusable and I had a back-up camera with me anyway, but frustrating and apparently a $200 fix.

The X-T10 has been great and I can't fault it (until the button failure) but I'm not sure I ever loved it as much as I did my previous X-E1. Which is probably why I haven't had it repaired yet (other than a temporary DIY fix with some tape to prevent the button from twisting). There's something about the XT cameras that feels more utilitarian than the XE or XPro models.

Instead I bought an X-Pro2.

As an immaculate ex-display model it was a few hundred dollars less than full price, but it's still far from being a cheap camera. It is though everything I want from a camera, and to me one of the prettiest cameras around at the moment. It's fast, responsive, has an excellent grip (for my hands at least), weather-sealed, with dual card slots and a fixed screen. I even like the dual shutter speed / ISO dial that many have complained about. No 4k video or touch screen but I don't mind that.

One of the standout features on the X-Pro2 is the viewfinder, offering both optical and electronic views as well as a 'picture in picture' option to help with manual focusing. It works well and the option of switching quickly to an optical view is a great feature that I think I'd use frequently.

Here comes the 'but' though. You knew there was one. I'm left eye dominant, and mostly wear glasses except around the house. That combination means that a camera viewfinder is necessarily a little further from my eye than it might be for some people. And with the X-Pro2 that becomes a problem.

Without glasses I can see all edges of the screen within the viewfinder as you'd expect. With glasses on though, I have to move my eye around to see the edges. Not ideal, although I don't mind if it's very minor. On the X-Pro2 though it feels too much. I can't see as much as I'd like. It's not just the size of the viewfinder, but the eye relief (the distance that the eye needs to be from the viewfinder) which is rated at 16mm on the X-Pro2 compared to, for example, 23mm on the X-T2 and X-E2. Some glasses-wearers seem to be fine with it and when I first tried the X-Pro2 I thought it would be fine too.

It's just one problem when the camera does everything else so well, but it's too critical and I think would hinder my enjoyment of it. I could use the rear screen, or set the diopter and always take my glasses off to use it, but it just feels like too much of a compromise. So, sadly, this beautiful, nearly perfect camera has been returned to Adorama.

What to do instead? I have a few ideas. I think it was Matt Day that posted something similar about returning an X-Pro2 and he went out and bought a Leica. I don't expect to be defecting from Fuji though. The X-T2 or X-T20 would be sensible options, but rumor has it there just might be an X-E3 on the Fujifilm horizon...