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Fuji X-T20 Review

Fuji X-T20 Review

| On 23, Mar 2017

Of the three cameras in Fujifilm’s January announcement, I was most interested to review the X-T20. Partly because I’d liked the X-T10, partly because I loved the X-T2, partly because it supported 4K video. I have three videos about the X-T20 for you – the review; a side-by side comparison with the X-T2; and the video settings to select if you’re in a hurry to get shooting.

Check the U$ price of the X-T20 at B&H

You’ll find the photos used in the video on flickr, where you can review the EXIF data.

Comparing the X-T20 to the X-T2

Best Video Settings for the X-T20

Behind the Scenes

On camera scenes are recorded with a Fujifilm X-T2 with the XF 16-55 lens, and the VPB-XT2 grip. The beauty shots and close-ups were recorded with the X-T2 with the XF60mm macro lens and the Sony A6300 with the 35mmF1.8 and the 30mmF3.5 macro lenses.

Menus were recorded using an Atomos Shogun. The scenes are edited, and may be slowed or speeded up, but not where the speed is material to understanding or appreciating the operation.

I use a Rodelink Filmmaker wireless kit for on camera audio, a Rode NT USB for narration. I edit on a 5K iMac.

I do read and respond to all comments, which are moderated. If, either here or on YouTube, you leave a relevant and civil comment without links (which are filtered by YouTube) it will be posted.

For your guidance 
The products reviewed are on loan, and returned after the review unless otherwise mentioned. I am not sponsored by any manufacturer. The X-T20 kit was on loan from Fujifilm.
My relationship with Fujfilm: In exchange for assistance with their video production, Fujifilm has provided the extended loan of a Fuji X-T2, XF-16-55 and XF50-140 lenses.
I am not compensated for my reviews except through Google Adwords. The B&H links are affiliate links, I do receive a small commission – but please do not allow this to influence your purchase decision.
I would encourage you to visit and support your local photo/video retailer.

Comments

  1. Hello Maarten,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Youtube. I enjoy your videos just as much as I enjoy Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe, As It Happens, or the many other CBC Radio programs, and TV shows (Anne is my current favourite). There is a simplicity and clarity in it that is unique, informative, and entertaining. Truly Canadian.

    I know you have reviewed both D5500 and X-T20 and your friend Paul Marshman prefers D5500 over mirrorless.

    I have a Nikon D40 with a 35/1.8 (portraits, kids) that doesn’t go out anymore and a RX100 Mark I that goes out with me to social events, travel etc. I also have an SB-800 flash, SB-400 flash and a film SLR for the occasional experimentation.

    Having just received my tax refund, I now have an urge to buy a new camera to replace RX100 and/or D40 and since Zach Arias started making videos of Fuji, I have been desiring an X-series for a few years.

    But, I feel an X-T20 + 23/2 is overpriced at $1920 (Henrys). I paid $600 for the used D40 + 35/1.8 in 2009 and $400 open box for the RX100 2 years ago.

    I am not a professional photographer so the only person who will pixel peep my photos is me. I can imagine the colour or sharpness being better, and many photos in lesser light being possible but the weight, the size, and the price is making me hesitate. I certainly can see it replacing my old reliable D40 but don’t know if carrying it with me will be anywhere close to RX100 (small camera bag with shoulder strap). Here is a photo I made last weekend with RX100 that I wish were sharper and better focused but ISO higher than 1600 becomes too grainy for me so I don’t use it.

    https://www.flickr.com/gp/richardhsu/Ls4x71

    How would you describe carrying an X-T20 vs RX100 vs D5500 (another camera I am considering)?
    It is a tool but RX100 made me go out and make many photos that I didn’t with the D40. Wondering if you see the possibility of another creative push with the X-T20.

    Thank you for your patience.

    –Richard Hsu.
    Scarborough, Ontario.

    • Maarten

      Richard:

      Thanks for writing, I appreciate your kinds words.
      Although it seems as if we’re on opposite sides, Paul and I just arbitrarily took sides for the video – we were trying to stress the advantages and disadvantages of both, and I personally believe both types have a lot to offer.
      I’m always hesitant to recommend a new camera to someone who I feel has a perfectly good camera – and I think both the RX100 and the D40 would qualify. That said, I’m happy to recommend Fuji, and the X-T20, and would feel that it could likely replace both. The X-T20 is small, not as small as the RX100, but I do find it an easy carry, particularly with the kit lens.
      To make a couple of suggestions for the RX100 photo – in my view, it’s not ISO that’s making it grainy. The image is focussed on the railing, not the faces, and the exposure, particularly of the faces is a little dark. That could be remedied with a little exposure compensation and a different focus mode (or face detection – although I’m the first to admit Sony does not often recognize faces with glasses).
      As for creativity, I do find Fuji cameras to be very creatively stimulating – more than other cameras, they encourage me to take photos and to try different approaches.
      I hope these rambling thoughts help,
      Maarten

      • “To make a couple of suggestions for the RX100 photo – in my view, it’s not ISO that’s making it grainy. The image is focussed on the railing, not the faces, and the exposure, particularly of the faces is a little dark.”

        Agreed. Mine was set to Center focus with face detection on. I had to make a very quick reaction shot, I didn’t have time to focus and recompose and didn’t have time to see if it picked the face (which it didn’t). For some reason, I have never included exposure compensation into my exposure thinking but I will do it now and experiment with it till I get it right. Thank you.

        I just removed D5500, 85/1.8, 60/2.8 macro from my wish list and replaced it with Fuji X-T20 + 23/2 🙂

        • Maarten

          Richard:
          I appreciate the update on your wishlist. Candid snaps are tricky … Please stay in touch.
          Maarten

  2. Tadej

    Hello Maarten,

    Thank you very much for providing excellent reviews. It is always a pleasure to watch you review cameras with such precision.

    I would kindly ask you for an advice. I am looking to buy a camera for taking photographs of my family (tricky part being capturing kids in motion). How does, in your experience, Fuji X-T20 work for moving subjects with it’s autofocus? I have read it is a combination of phase + contrast detect, which is apparently not as good as Sony’s. Also, it is already 3 years old camera.
    Would the autofocus still be “good enough” in late 2020 for intended purpose? My photography knowledge is minimal – so I plan to start with full auto mode and slowly learn more (so far used only point & shoot 10 years ago and smartphones). As a beginner I struggle to recognize the point when the autofocus is “good enough” on a camera for my purpose. Unfortunately I am unable to try them in person at a store due to COVID-19 situation.

    I can get a good deal (I think?) on X-T20 with XF 18-55mm f2.8-4 kit lens (old stock & display model) for 700€. I am attracted by Fuji’s film simulations, also by it’s retro looks. Not relevant here really, but I also like the fact that Fujifilm released last firmware update for X-T20 in 2020, clearly showing they care for supporting the camera a couple of years since the release.
    Here are some other options I consider:
    1) Fuji X-T30 + XC 15-45mmF3.5-5.6 Certainly more capable camera, but comparatively 200 bucks more than X-T20 kit above. Worth the price difference with such kit lens?
    2) Sony a6100 + 16-50mm kit. 100 bucks more than X-T20, also the kit lens of Sony is not a stellar performer and would need to be replaced sooner or later to unleash camera’s full potential.
    3) Nikon Z50 + 16-50 mm 3.5-6.3 kit. This one is also 100 bucks more than X-T20 package. I had a chance to hold the camera before the lockdown, loved the grip – however I am deeply concerned by lens availability (Z lens primes are a tad too expensive yet for my taste).

    I have looked at mirrorless APS-C options as I want my camera to be easy to carry. Maybe some options I have missed? DSLRs are not off the table but I find them much larger than mirrorless options.

    I would greatly appreciate your kind opinion on my narrow selection. I am fully aware the final decision is on me. I am trying to avoid shelling out the money on something that will not perform well for my purposes 🙂

    Thank you a lot for your feedback,
    Tadej

    • Maarten

      Tadej:

      You have done some excellent analysis, and there’s no easy decision – all could be good choices, with the drawbacks you have identified. I’m not sure I can help you decide whether the X-T20’s focus (and I haven’t seen it with the latest update) is good enough – that really is a personal one. I’ve seen better (Sony) and while the X-T20, particularly for tracking, isn’t as good for many situations, it may be good enough – but I’m not sure, and I’m afraid even you can’t predict, what those situations might be. Can you find a dealer with a good return policy? From time to time Fujifilm has provided try and buy offers – but that might not be available from all dealers. Can’t hurt to ask.
      I hope this helps, stay safe,
      Maarten

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