22 November, 2021 seen 591When talking about mirrorless cameras in 2022, Canon, Sony, Nikon, and Panasonic are the brands to consider. In this…
The Fujifilm X-T20 is a 4K-capable enthusiast-level, interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera, sharing some of the high-end specs of it's bigger brother, the X-T2, while saving the buck in other areas which are not-so-necessary for consumers.
If you are new to mirrorless cameras, see: Mirrorless Camera Buying Guide and Top 20 Best Selling Mirrorless Cameras
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List price: Buy Fujifilm X-T20 mirrorless camera on Amazon.com
It has a body of very similar design to that of it's predecessor, the X-T10. The real change comes from the inside and this is where X-T20 shows it's muscle. It packs a 24MP APS-C sensor customly designed by Fujifilm for their new cameras. This is the same sensor used in the X-T2, providing a significant boost in resolution compared to the T10 which only had a 16MP sensor.
While the X-T2 is one of the best mirrorless cameras on the market, it might be too expensive for an average photography enthusiast. This is why we got the X-T20, which aims to hit the sweet spot in terms of value for enthusiast amateurs and semi-professionals.
- Excellent image quality
- Very good hybrid AF system
- Fast software and processing
- High-quality magnesium-alloy body
- Tilt-able touch-screen
- Customization and manual controls
- Limited touch-screen functionality
Body and design
The Fujifilm X-T20 shares the same retro-styled design like other Fujifilm cameras in the X line. Although being a lot more affordable than the X-T2, it is nonetheless a very solid camera built using high-quality materials. The main casing is magnesium-alloy with a smooth, silver finish. A large portion of the body is enveloped in a textured leather-like material, adding both to the retro look and to the quality of grip. Unlike the X-T2, this camera lacks any weather-proofing. So, not a rugged camera. Although weather-sealing is always nice to have, it is our opinion that this is a totally acceptable sacrifice considering the reduced pricetag. On the other hand, the X-T20 gains a touch-screen, which we will examine in a moment. The differences in designed compared to the X-T10 are minor, with an addition of a dedicated video option on the main mode dial, and the Function button which has moved from the rear to the top plate.
Fujifilm X-T20 mirrorless camera controls
The X-T20 not only looks different from other mirrorless camera, but also employs an entirely different approach to controls. There is no traditional DSLR-like mode dial with shooting modes like Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Program, etc. Instead, what we have here is more of a straightforward approach; basically choosing between Auto and Control (full manual) modes, with addition of dedicated modes for bracketing, panorama and video. This design makes sense considering the abundance of dedicated dials on top of the camera. For example, the top plate has dials for setting the aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation. While there is no dedicated ISO button, you can always hop in the menu and assign ISO settings to the customizable Function button on top. This is camera is all about creative customization, so you can customize other controls in the same manner.
Speaking of customization, it is worth noting that the X-T20 has a special Q (Quick) button on the rear for quick-menu access. This menu provides all the settings you might need to adjust during a shooting session.
Fujifilm X-T20 LCD display
The rear of the camera houses a sharp LCD touch-screen which is partially tiltable (can be rotated around a horizontal axis up and down) which is great for shooting below the waist or above head. The screen is not fully vari-angle, which means you cannot rotate it in 180-degrees for selfie capture. The touch-screen functionality is primarily used for focusing (touch a point to focus) and instant capture, media viewing and playback, but not for menu navigation.
The Fujifilm X-T20 has en electronic viewfinder (EVF), which has become almost a signature feature of modern mirrorless cameras. The EVF in the T20 is a detailed 2360K-dotted OLED screen with near-100% coverage, 0.62x magnification (down from 0.77x available in the X-T2). Using the EVF you will be able to see lots of information regarding shooting parameters in real time, as well as live changes to the scene as you adjust the settings. The ease of use is further improved thanks to the VF screen being very bright too.
Performance and Image quality
Autofocus in the X-T20 is a hybrid AF system, using both phase-detect and contrast-detect autofocus points. In single-point AF mode there a total of 325 AF points; 169 phase-detect points which concentrated in a square shape around the centre and 156 contrast-detect points on the sides. For other modes, such as in continuous subject tracking (AF servo) these come down to a total of 91 AF points. This system is very impressive and will no doubt provide fast and accurate focusing. In comparison, the X-T10 only had 49 AF points.
Burst shooting speed
The X-T20 is fast shooter, faster than the T10 despite having more megapixels. Depending on whether you are using mechanical or electronic shutter, this camera will be able to go as fast as 8FPS for the mechanical, and up to 14FPS for the electronic shutter. Buffer capacity is capped at 23 RAW / 62 JPEG files with the electronic shutter, and 22 RAWs / 42 JPEGs with the mechanical shutter. These specs are impressive for this class of camera, although the numbers could be even bigger if the X-T20 supported faster SD cards. The X-T2 supports UHS-II cards, leaving it still a considerably better choice for sports photography.
Just like the hybrid AF system, the Fujifilm X-T20 has the same sensor used in the higher-end Fujifilm X-T2 and the recently-released Fujifilm X100F. We are talking about Fujifilm's own X-Trans CMOS III sensor which has proven an excellent performer in terms of detail sharpness, noise handling and more or less every other aspect. Having 24.3MP stills is not a bad thing either, producing more details and the possibility of cropping while still retaining the high pixel count. Base ISO ranges from ISO200 - ISO12800 and the expanded ISO ranges from IS0100 - ISO51200). In practice, you can count on everything up to ISO1600 to provide very good results. Moving beyond that is sure to introduce visible noise, although this can be remedied in post-processing of RAW files. Still, consider ISO3200 as an acceptable option if you are aiming for social network sharing, but going farther than that it is not recommended if you want your photos to remain clear to a decent level.
All in all, you can expect color-rich, clear and detailed photos from the Fujifilm X-T20, good white balance accuracy and color reproduction. The same goes for video which can record 4K resolution at 30FPS, and 1080p Full HD at 60FPS.
The Bottom Line
One might see this review as overly-positive, but that's just because we could not find any serious flaws with this camera.
Of course, there are areas where it could use some improvement . For example, we would have liked a fully utilized touch screen for menu and settings navigation, but no camera is perfect.
The Fujifilm X-T20 has the exact same sensor and AF system, delivering the same image quality, at a half of the price. On top of that it has a great looking, high-quality body and lots of manual controls.
Things really can't get much better at this price point. If you are looking to invest in a mid-to-high-end mirrorless camera, you should give the X-T20 a serious consideration.
List price: Buy Fujifilm X-T20 mirrorless camera on Amazon.com