Fujifilm X-T20 Snap Verdict
- Camera type: Mirrorless or CSC
- Date announced: 19th Jan 2017
- Price at launch: £799.99/$899 (body only), £899/999 (with 16-50mm), £1,099/$1,199 (with 18-55mm)
- Sensor size: APS-C (23.6 x 15.6mm)
- Effective pixel count: 24.3 million
- Lens mount: X
The Fuji X-T20 replaces the X-T10 and sits below the X-T2 in Fuji’s compact system camera line-up. Like the X-T2, it has a mini-DSLR shape and a retro design that extends to traditional exposure controls. These are coupled with a tilting screen that is touch-sensitive and useful for setting AF point or scrolling through images.
Inside the X-T20 is the same 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor and X-Processor Pro image processing engine as is in the Fuji X-T2 and these enable it to produce the same high quality images. The autofocus system is also the same snappy system as is inside the X-T2 and it’s fast and effective, allowing you to shooting moving subjects like sport.
- Traditional exposure controls
- Very good dynamic range
- High quality build
- Touch-control rather limited
- Metering can be fooled by large bright areas in the background
- High ISO jpegs can lack detail
Fujifilm X-T20 Features and Specification
- Processor: X Processor Pro
- Sensitivity (ISO) range: ISO 200-12,800 expandable to ISO 100-51,200
- AF system: Hybrid with 91 or 325 points
- Max shooting rate: Electronic shutter: 14fps for 42 jpegs, 23 lossless compressed raw or 22 uncompressed raw, 11fps 56 jpegs, 24 lossless compressed raw or 23 uncompressed raw,
Mechanical shutter 8fps for 62 jpegs, 25 lossless compressed raw or 23 uncompressed raw
- Max video resolution: 4K (3840×2160) 29.97p / 25p / 24p / 23.98P, 100Mbps up to approx. 10 min.
Full HD (1920×1080) 59.94p / 50p / 29.97p / 25p / 24p / 23.98P, 36Mbps up to approx. 15 min.
The Fuji X-T10 was designed as a more affordable, slightly simpler and smaller alternative to the incredibly popular Fuji X-T1. However, back in July 2016, Fuji replaced the X-T1 with the Fuji X-T2 and that meant time was running out for the X-T10. A few months down the line, Fuji has introduced the Fuji X-T20 as its replacement.
As expected, Fuji has given the X-T20 the same APS-C format 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor and X-Processor Pro image processing engine as is found in the X-T2. That means there’s an 8Mp step-up in resolution from the X-T10.
Like the X-T2, the X-T20 has a native sensitivity range of ISO 200-12,800 (1EV up on the X-T10) with expansion settings taking the range to ISO 100-51,200. These expansion settings now allow raw file shooting – they don’t on the X-T10 and it’s something that will be especially appreciated by long exposure lovers.
Improved AF System
There’s also a significantly improved hybrid autofocus system with 325 AF points, but this can be limited to 91 to speed selection if you want. Of these points, 49 are phase detection points, covering 50% of the horizontal area of the image frame and 75% of the vertical area.
Fuji introduced new continuous Autofocus (AF-C) custom settings with the X-T2 and surprisingly (happily), they have also found there way on to the X-T20. There’s no option to specify your own values for Tracking Sensitivity, Speed Tracking Sensitivity and Zone Area Switching like there is on the X-T2, but 5 preset options let you tailor the camera’s AF response to the movement of the subject.
They’re designed to allow you to set the camera to ignore objects that come briefly between it and the subject or to follow a subject that is accelerating and decelerating.
According to Fuji, an updated AF algorithm enables focus acquisition in 0.06sec. Meanwhile shutter lag is just 0.05sec and there’s a shooting interval of 0.25se.
Another exciting aspect of the new X-T20, is that its tilting 3-inch 1,040,000-dot screen is touch-sensitive. That’s something we’ve been asking for from Fuji for quite some time. So while some may be disappointed that the mini-joystick control that’s found on the X-T2 and X-Pro2 isn’t present, they should console themselves with the fact that the AF point can be selected via the screen.
It’s also possible to focus on the subject and trip the shutter with just the touch of a finger on the screen in Touch Shot mode. In addition, the screen can be used to zoom quickly in and out of images to check for sharpness.
If you’re not a fan of touch-screens, you can turn the touch control off, but you’ll need to set the navigation pad keys to control AF point selection.
As expected, Fuji has included the Acros Film Simulation mode in the X-T20’s feature set. This mode produces punchy monochrome jpegs and has proved popular amongst X-T2 and X-Pro2 users. As with the other Film Simulation modes, this can be applied to both stills and videos, thus allowing movie and stills to have a similar appearance.
Video can be recorded in 4K (3840×2160) at up to 29.97 and 100Mbps, but continuous recoding is restricted to 10 minutes. That might sound limiting, but it’s likely to be enough for most situations. Meanwhile, Full HD (1920×1080) recording (at up to 59.94p) can be maintained for up to 15minutes.
Fujifilm X-T20 Build and Handling
- Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I)
- Viewfinder: 0.39-inch OLED with 2,360,000 dots with 0.62x mag and a display lag time of just 0.005sec
- Screen: Tilting touch-sensitive 3-inch, LCD with 1040,000 dots
- Dimensions: 118.4mm x 82.8mm x 41.4mm
- Weight: 383g / 13.5 oz. with battery and card
Fuji has stuck with the same design for the X-T20 as it used for the X-T10, but there are a couple of minor changes. The Function (Fn) button that’s in the bottom right corner of the back of the X-T10, for instance, has gone.
Instead, the button on the top-plate that is used for video recording on the X-T10 is designated as the customisable Function button.
Video mode is now set via the newly marked setting on the drive mode dial and recording is started with the shutter button – just like on the X-T2.
As mentioned earlier, the mini-joystick control that was well received on the X-T2, has not made it on to the X-T20, but the tilting screen is touch-sensitive.
The X-T20 has the same high quality feel as the X-T10 with magnesium alloy top and bottom plates and milled aluminium dials. Unlike the X-T2, there are no weatherproof seals.
As before with the X-T10, the X-T20 has a small but very effective grip and pronounced thumb-ridge, both of which have an excellent coating that makes it stick in your grasp.
All of the controls are within easy reach and the Q button, just to the side of the thumb-rest, gives speedy access to the Quick Menu. This menu is customisable with 28 features being available for any of the 16 slots.
Shutter speed is set using the traditional shutter speed dial on the top-plate and there are markings running from 1-1/4000sec, plus B and T for Bulb and Time mode, along with an A for Automatic setting.
The camera can be used with lenses that have an aperture ring, for the full-traditional control experience, but there are front and rear dials for making adjustments as well.
When both the shutter speed dial and the aperture ring are set to A, the camera is in Program mode and will set exposure for you. Leave the shutter speed dial at A and set an aperture value using the ring and you’re in aperture priority mode. Conversely, the camera operates in shutter priority mode when the aperture ring is on A and a shutter speed value is set via the dial. Setting both controls to a specific value means the camera is in manual exposure mode.
To the right of the shutter speed dial, beyond the shutter release button, is the familiar exposure compensation dial. This has settings running from +/-3EV plus a ‘C’ setting that allows you to apply compensation values up to +/-5EV using the front command dial.
When a lens without an aperture ring is mounted, the front command dial is also used for setting aperture, it’s possible to toggle between aperture and exposure compensation control by pressing the dial.
The rear dial, which controls shutter speed can also be depressed and this along with the function (Fn1) button on the top-plate, the four-way navigation buttons and the AE-L and AF-L buttons can be assigned to access key features. A total of 32 features are available as customisation options.
Helpfully, there’s a My Menu option in the main menu to which you can assign and rank the menu items that matter most to you. It means that experienced photographers can set-up the camera to suit their preferences.
Meanwhile, inexperienced photographers will appreciate the fact that a selector lever is available to set the X-T20 to fully-automatic Advanced SR Auto mode. When this is activated the camera attempts to choose the optimum settings for the scene allowing you to concentrate on getting the composition right.
Like the X-T10, the X-T20 has a 0.39-inch 2,360,000-dot OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) and a sensor detects when it is use to turn off the main screen. It can also detect when the camera is turned upright for portrait format images and rotates the information display accordingly.
While it has the same resolution as the X-T2’s EVF, the X-T20’s is smaller so you don’t get the option for the dual image that allows you to see magnified details as well as the whole scene when you’re focusing manually.
Nevertheless, the X-T20’s EVF provides and nice clear view with plenty of detail. My preferences is to see the image as it will be captured with the camera settings applied, but Fuji has responded to requests to allow an ‘unprocessed’ image to be seen instead if you wish.
The screen is also good and doesn’t suffer excessively from glare or reflection in bright light. It’s also nice and responsive to touch. It’s a shame that Fuji hasn’t allowed the Quick menu or main menu to be used with touch-control.
Fujifilm X-T20 Performance
As the X-T20 uses the same sensor and processing engine as the Fuji X-T2 and Fuji X-Pro2, the image quality isn’t much of a surprise. Both these cameras have impressed us with their ability to capture high-quality, detail-rich images with attractive colours and the X-T20 follows in the same vein.
Images captured at the low sensitivity levels have a high level of detail and only a trace of luminance noise begins to appear at around ISO 1600 if you choose to look for it at 100% on screen.
As you’d expect, the level of noise increases a little with each increase in sensitivity, but it’s fine-grained and evenly distributed with no clumping or banding. Fuji conceals the chroma noise (coloured speckling) well in jpegs, but at ISO 12,800 some areas can look a little too smooth. Applying the default level of noise reduction to raw files in Adobe Camera Raw produces images that have fine luminance noise but look more natural, especially in areas of uniform tone with subtle detail – such as the stone of buildings or paving slabs.
Autofocus and Metering
The X-T10’s autofocus was pretty good and capable of getting moving subjects sharp, but the X-T20’s is a step-up and on a par with the X-T2’s, enabling you to shoot sport and action or wildlife, as well as stationary subjects.
Fuji’s Multi-zone metering system can be relied upon to give good exposures in a wide range of situations and I found there were only a few occasions when I needed to use the exposure compensation dial. Invariably this was when a large part of the scene was much brighter than the subject and the camera wanted to make the image darker than I did. It’s not an unusual or unexpected response, but one of the benefits of an electronic viewfinder is that you can see exposure errors and counteract them before taking a shot.
The X-T20 has good dynamic range and raw files can be brightened significantly to bring out shadow detail. I was able to brighten high contrast raw files in Adobe Camera Raw by 3EV to reveal detail in areas that looked close to solid black.
While there’s a collection of white balance settings, I found the Automatic setting does an excellent job in many lighting conditions. Shots taken in shade look natural without being too cold, while those in sunlight look attractive and not too warm.
Colours generally look good when the X-T20 is set to the default Film Simulation mode (Provia/Standard) but it’s well worth experimenting with the others to find a favourite. I’m a fan of Classic Chrome, but Acros is very nice for producing black and white images.
Fujifilm X-T20 Sample Images
Follow the link to our Fujifilm X-T20 sample images Flickr album to view and download more full resolution images.
Fujifilm X-T20 Verdict
The Fuji X-T20 is one of those cameras that just feels right when you pick it up. It’s nice and solid with a grip that makes it feel secure in your hand and all the controls fall within easy reach. It lacks the sensitivity dial and mini joystick control of the X-T2, but neither of them seem like major losses. Sensitivity can be set via the Quick menu or a customised button, but the Auto ISO option makes sense for most situations as noise control is very good.
Given the smaller size of the X-T20 in comparison with the X-T2, squeezing on a joystick might have been at the expense of handling comfort and security. Opting for a touch-screen is a great alternative and it makes setting AF point a breeze, especially when you’re shooting from above or below head height. It’s a pity that Fuji hasn’t extended touch-control to the menus as it would make setting selection quicker.
While it is a smaller and more affordable alternative to the X-T2, the X-T20 doesn’t feel like a major compromise. It has all the most important features and it produces high quality images that are a match for those from the X-T2 and X-Pro2. The raw files give you plenty of detail and dynamic range to play with but the jpegs also look good straight from the camera thanks to the superb Film Simulation modes.
In summary, the Fuji X-T20 is a lovely camera.
Should I buy the Fujifilm X-T20?
If you like the DSLR-like shape and traditional exposure controls of the X-T2 but want something a bit smaller and more affordable, the X-T20 is a great choice. It lacks the weatherproofing but has a nice solid feel and while it’s Continuous AF system isn’t as customisable it’s effective allowing to shoot a wide range of subjects.
The X-T20 makes an excellent everyday or travel camera. Its viewfinder allows you to compose images on bright sunny days and assess the scene with the camera’s settings applied and its 24Mp sensor delivers high-quality images.