Fujifilm has built a great reputation when it comes to their X-Series mirrorless cameras. This is because the company found a way to combine good image quality with classic design and a lens collection optimized for fast primes, something that every photography enthusiast looks for. The Fujifilm X-T20 was designed as a cheaper version of the X-T2. It is a mid-range SLR-styled mirrorless camera that offers a host of new features including Fujifilm’s latest 24 megapixel CMOS sensor, faster burst shooting, 4K video capture and an improved autofocus system just to name a few. But while it is around $500 cheaper than the X-T2, this Fujifilm X-T20 review seeks to explore whether it is worth the $900 price tag.
To get started, let’s take a quick look at some of the features that the Fujifilm X-T20 has to offer.
Type: Mid-range SLR-styled mirrorless camera
Resolution: 24 megapixels
Sensor: X-Trans CMOS III sensor
Viewfinder: 2.36M – dot OLED electronic viewfinder
ISO: 200 – 12800
Shutter speed: 32000 sec
Continuous shooting rate: 8 fps with AF, 5 fps in Live View
Size: 3.26 x 4.66 x 1.63 inches
Weight: 11.8 ounces
Media storage: SD, SDHC, SDXC
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What makes the Fujifilm X-T20 so popular is its combination of advanced features including a 24 megapixel CMOS sensor, 4K recording capability and up to 325 selectable AF points, 169 of which offer phase detection. The camera is fitted with a 2.36M-dot electronic viewfinder and a 3″ 1.04M-dot tilting screen that allows for low and high angle shots. While the burst rate hasn’t changed much compared to the X-T1, Fujifilm dramatically increased the buffer size. The main area where the X-T20 falls short of expectations is the electric viewfinder, which is smaller than the other cameras in the X-series. With that in mind, let’s dive further into the X-T20.
Image quality and performance
The Fujifilm X-T20 has great ISO sensitivity, resolution and dynamic range. As you would expect with a Fujifilm camera, the JPEG stills are usable straight out of the camera while RAW files have plenty of latitude for post-processing. Additionally, it is fitted with the latest X-Trans sensor, which eliminates the need for optical low-pass filters and improves the sharpness of images.
Noise performance at higher ISO sensitivities is quite good, but efforts to reduce the noise can often smear faces. Files at the lower end of ISO sensitivity are generally clean and hardly show signs of luminance.
The TTL 256-zone metering system performs admirably. For someone who’s shooting a lot of portraits, it creates a bias towards overexposing the shot. What you get is a more flattering high-key result. The slight boost in resolution is welcome as it means a clear and crisp feed for reviewing captured photos.
Camera design and controls
Fujifilm opted to refine an already existing design rather than come up with an entirely new one. Therefore, it is no surprise that the Fujifilm X-T20 has a slightly hunched version of the X-T10 DSLR-style design. While it doesn’t have any weather sealing, this camera boasts magnesium top and bottom plates. The body is furnished with a decent amount of controls including a large shutter speed dial located along the top plate, an exposure compensation dial and a dedicated movie button.
You will find the release for the inbuilt flash around the collar of the drive mode. The Fujifilm X-T20 doesn’t have a dedicated ISO button but you can quickly adjust the sensitivity level via the menu. Contrary to what one would expect, the SD card slot is at the bottom. This makes it incredibly difficult to access when using a tripod. Like most Fujifilm cameras, the LCD screen tilts to allow for low and high angle shots. It is also touch enabled, making it easy to select a focus point and take a photo.
The benefits that the Fujifilm X-T20 offers include:
- 4K video recording capability
- Film simulation options
- Rich and detailed images
- Built-in WiFi
- Strong lens ecosystem
- Sturdy and rugged design
- LCD screen can be tilted downward by 45 degrees and upward by 90 degrees
- Fast burst shooting rate
- Allows for USB and microphone connectivity
- Features the latest Fujifilm X-Trans APS-C sensor and processor
- Excellent handling
- Comes with tactile control
Even with highly efficient features, the Fujifilm X-T20 isn’t without its limitations and faults.
- Lack image stabilization
- Lacks weatherproofing
- No dedicated AF button
- Touchscreen is mostly limited to reviewing images in playback and repositioning the AF area
- Geo-tagging is very basic and doesn’t update when you move away
- Battery life could be better
- Has EVF magnification
All in all, Fujifilm does a good job of putting the quality and power of the X-T2 into a smaller, more compact unit. It offers direct setting controls and a rugged body, which is quite popular among Fujifilm cameras. And while it lacks advanced features like image stabilization, battery grip and weather sealing that are common among high-end cameras; the fact is that it remains a good contender for other shooters. Moreover, it is a particularly good investment for someone who travels a lot and wants a compact interchangeable camera. The model offers high-end features at a reduced price. Unfortunately, the Fujifilm X-T20 isn’t the best option for action photographers or anyone who requires ultra high-quality 4K video.
As we conclude this Fujifilm X-T20 review, it’s important to note that this is a well-designed camera that’s a pleasure to use. The image quality has improved considerably and so has the burst shooting rate. Its ability to record 4K footage as well as the company’s latest Film Simulation Modes have made it quite popular. On the downside, subject tracking is inconsistent, to say the least while the continuous AF struggles in low light conditions. In addition, capture controls are limited and the 4K video quality could benefit from improvements. All things considered, Fujifilm did a pretty darn good job with this model. For a mirrorless camera that was designed to save you $500 while offering great performance, the Fujifilm X-T20 doesn’t disappoint. It is worth every cent you spend and more.