This is a review for the Fujifilm X-T20 camera. I have used the camera for over 4 years, and here are the pros & cons to consider when purchasing this camera.
What is the Fujifilm X-T20?
The Fujifilm X-T20 is a compact medium-size, mirrorless digital camera. Since it is mirrorless, it uses an electric viewfinder.
The camera takes up to 4000x6000 pixels (4K resolution) photos, and recording 4K video @ 30FPS or Full HD (1080p) @ 60FPS.
The camera comes with either of the following kit lenses:
- XF 18–55mm
- XC 16–50mm
In general, most review will recommend the XF 18–55mm for higher quality.
The average price of the Fujifilm X-T20 is about HKD 7000–9000 (USD 900–1200), but you can get it for cheaper.
The lens I use are:
- XC 16–50mm (for events and wide field of view)
- XC 50–230mm (for zoom and portraits)
Overall, due to the mirrorless nature of the camera, it is very lightweight and compact. It is easy to hang on one shoulder while walking around and as such, it is not a hassle to bring around the streets as compared with larger cameras in the Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) group.
Having mainly used a large DSLR camera (Canon 7D) before, the Fujifilm X-T20 feels quite small at first, but after getting used to it, its small size comes as a great benefit.
In my experience of using the camera, I find that the electronic viewfinder shows a real-time display that closely represents the final picture you would take. It has very little-latency, which simulates a normal viewfinder.
The camera also features a tilting touchscreen LCD monitor. While the tilting is useful for high-up or low-angle shots, the touchscreen is somewhat less useful since it gets dirty with fingerprints if you use it often.
While many photographers despise using Picture mode (AKA “P mode”)in cameras due to its simple, unchallenging nature, the auto software (the equivalent of “P mode”) in the Fujifilm X-T20 consistently gives great results and is relatively quick. The photo quality and aperture/shutter speed adjustments are great for quick shots.
Furthermore, since the auto mode is a switch, you can easily flip the switch and manual set the aperture, shutter speed, focus, etc. for your stylistic custom shots.
The documentation for editing the settings on the Fujifilm X-T20 camera is also very clearly and completely written on Fujifilm’s website. This is very handy when you want to find out how to transfer files to your phone, or capture HDR images for example.
With every product, there are drawbacks and trade-offs that have to be made.
Zoom & focus can be slow
In terms of lens and software, the speed of zooming and changing focus can be relatively slow. This is especially crucial for fast-moving subjects such as in sports or wildlife photography.
Some effective methods to counteract this is to use the Continuous High-speed shooting (CH) with Continuous Auto-Focus (AF-C) mode.
Battery Life Limitations
Since the camera is so compact and lightweight, the battery life can be a limitation. This limitation is common with all mirrorless cameras. The battery life is rated at 350 shots (CIPA).
Based on reviews and my experience, the life of the NP-W126 / NP-W126S battery can last about 3 hours of continuous usage (this is not a standard test though!). Because of this, it is recommended to buy and charge an extra battery.
In my experience, you can make the battery last a whole day’s trip and over 800 shots by turning the camera off whenever not in use and turning it on only when taking the shot since the start-up speed is fast.
Phone Transfer is Slow
The Fujifilm camera comes with a free Fujifilm mobile app called Camera Remote. It allows the user to wirelessly transfer photos from their camera to their phone.
In conjunction with the battery life limitation, the app is only useful for transferring specific photos to your phone on-the-go, especially with the limited speed. Since the battery life is limited, it is often better to connect the camera to the computer to charge the camera while transferring the images directly for post-processing and sharing on social media.
Overall, the Fujifilm X-T20 is an amazing product that consistently outputs great, crisp photos. With its compact, lightweight and sturdy construction, it is lovely to carry around and great to work with.