Fuji’s latest little brother, the Fujifilm X-T20, has hit the streets and I’ve finally managed to get my hands on one and put it through its paces. It’s a great little camera with some noticeable improvements and a few of the same flaws as its predecessor. It feels like Fuji has really tried to differentiate their double-digit line this time and created an interesting option for those not needing all the additional features of the X-Pro2 or X-T2, but possibly wanting a more consumer-oriented camera. Let’s dive right in and take a look.
The New Sensor
The X-T20 has been upgraded with the new 24mp X-Trans III sensor and X-Processor Pro. This gives much wider coverage of PDAF points and faster focusing overall. On top of that, with the new processor, the X-T20 gets a much bigger buffer than the X-T10 and the ability to save compressed raw files. You will no longer fill the buffer in less than a second at full speed. This is great for when you need to catch the perfect moment in a fast moving scene.
One major difference I noticed compared to the X-Pro2 and X-T2 is that the horrible purple flare issue in back-lit situations seems to have been all but rectified. In the week I have had the camera, I have been pointing it at every light source from every angle I can, and haven’t managed to get anywhere near the amount of the flare and patterning I have seen in the other bodies. This is a marked improvement that I wish had been carried out as a recall for the pro-level bodies.
You also get 4K video recording in both 24 and 30fps, but not the down-sampled variety you get from the X-T2. This means that it is not quite as sharp, but still adequate for occasional shooting. Let’s not kid ourselves, this isn’t a video camera.
EVF and LCD
The EVF and LCD of the X-T20 have, as with each of the new bodies, been improved over previous generations. Both are great, and I was able to shoot with either - given that the conditions were right. The EVF is, similar to its predecessor, less magnified and slightly slower than its big brother, the X-T2. As with the X-T10, it doesn’t have a shaded eye-cup, which means it can be tough to see in bright daylight. However, the LCD is also quite reflective, so I found myself using the EVF and shielding it with my hand quite often.
The Touch Screen
In short, the touch screen could use some work. It can be used to select focus points, shoot, and interact with images in playback mode. That’s it. You can’t control the menus, or access any other functions on the screen.
One of the most annoying things that is enabled by default is a small button on the right-hand side of the screen. The trouble with that is, whenever you’re using the LCD, it’s there. With a body this small, that button gets randomly pushed as you're holding the camera. I found myself shooting off bursts of images accidentally as I was walking along. I thought the camera was broken until I figured out what it was! I wanted to love the touch screen, but simply couldn’t. In the end, I fought with it repeatedly until I figured out how to turn it off. Moving this feature to the opposite side of the screen, I believe, would solve this issue.
I feel like some of these issues could be fixable with a firmware update if the touch screen is accurate enough to, for example, operate the menus. For now, though, it feels like a gimmicky implementation.
Here’s where there have been the most changes compared to the X-T10 from a usability standpoint. For starters, the X-T20 contains the new menu system found in the X-Pro2 and X-T2. This does make things far easier to find by categorizing them rather than having one big list.
Just like the other new bodies, the exposure-compensation dial has now got a "C" setting which allows you to compensate 5 stops over or under. I’ve honestly never found myself needing more than the three stops that Fujifilm offered originally, but it is nice to be able to change exposure compensation to the jog dial for ease of movement.
The function button that was in the bottom right-hand corner of the body has disappeared in this release and the record button from the X-T10 is now labeled as a function button. I miss the extra function button on this body. Below we’ll see why.
Both the X-Pro2 and X-T2 got the addition of a dedicated focus joystick. Even the X-100F got it. The X-T20 did not. When you use the camera, it feels like this is a deliberate move to separate the X-T20 from the X-T2. When the X-T10 was first released, it was a mini X-T1. Fujifilm have certainly not done this with the X-T20. One of the biggest usability upgrades on the new bodies is the focus joystick, and its noticeable absence from the X-T20 keeps the body in the realms of the previous generation when it comes to speed of use. Not only this, but you now have one less function button, which means if you dedicate the selector pad to moving the focus points, you’ll be digging through menus to get to essential settings.
One really great update is the dedicated video setting on the mode dial. This is much better than the X-T10 implementation which required you to start recording before getting a preview of your video. If you're going to use this for simple video recording, this is a useful addition.
Although much of the body has been updated to catch up with the two larger offerings from Fuji, a few things have been left behind.
The shutter doesn’t offer the 1/8000 second mechanical shutter of the X-Pro2 and X-T2. As someone who loves to shoot wide open, this means ND filters (which thankfully I have for my flash work). It also retains the old 1/180 second sync speed which suggests that this is the same shutter found in the previous models.
One of the things that really bugged me from the X-T10 was that the diopter dial would get moved around in my bag and I would be constantly having to reset it every time I took the camera out. The X-T20, unfortunately, still has the same problem. I have missed several shots in just a week of shooting because of this. Perhaps taping it in place is a solution for now.
The tripod mount is still right next to the battery compartment. For most of us, this means removing the quick-release plate if we need to change a battery or memory card. As the mount is not centered on the body anyway, it seems that it would be possible to have it on the other side of the lens.
Don't take all the nitpicking above to suggest this isn't a great camera. Overall, just like the X-T10, this is a fantastic little camera. If you’re using it for walkabout shooting and hobbyist work, you’ll be really happy. Aside from a few usability issues, it is a capable camera with the same image quality and access to X lenses that the other bodies have. However, for fast-paced professional work, I would consider looking into the X-T2.
What I Liked
- Tiny and light
- New sensor and processor
- Improved purple flare issue
- Tighter dials
- New menu
- Larger buffer over X-T10
What I Didn’t
- Lack of focus joystick
- Removal of extra function button
- Tripod mount still right next to battery door
- Memory card still in battery compartment
- 1/4000 second shutter-speed limit