The Fujifilm X-T20 looks like the camera bargain of the year

Probably any year, actually – because it’s really just an X-T2 in a smaller body

22 January 2017
by Stuff Staff

Our first thought on seeing the new Fujifilm X-T20: what’s the catch? But it turns out there is no catch.

Fuji’s new compact system camera essentially gives you everything you get in the outstanding X-T2 but in a smaller, much cheaper body. What’s the catch indeed…

Here’s what you need to know about it.

1) IT’S STUFFED WITH TOP TECH

We love the X-T2. It’s an excellent snapper which really improved on its predecessor the X-T1 in several key areas. And surprisingly, the X-T20 keeps almost all of those upgrades.

First and foremost that means you get the same 24.3MP APS-C sensor – up from 16MP on the X-T10 and X-T1 – plus a vastly improved autofocus system. The latter puts pretty much every other CSC to shame, with up to 325 autofocus points, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-fast focusing and a fully customisable tracking system.

There’s also 4K video recording at up to 30fps – another feature which arrived on the X-T2 and which we’re a tad surprised to see make its way here too.

2) IT’S A TOUCH SENSITIVE

The X-T20 actually beats the X-T2 on one front, because it’s the first Fuji X camera to get all touchy-feely on its 3in LCD screen. As you’d imagine you can use the touch controls to either tap-to-shoot or swipe though and zoom into pictures, and given that the display also flips out it should do a cracking job of taking photos in awkward spaces.

Should you prefer to shoot through a viewfinder you get what looks like exactly the same 0.39in, 2.36 million-dot electronic viewfinder as the one on the X-T10. The X-T2’s 0.5in EVF is therefore bigger and better, but the addition of the touchscreen arguably makes up for that drawback.

3) IT’S REALLY SMALL

The X-T20 is almost exactly the same size as the X-T10, which means it’s really pretty diddy; slip a pancake lens on it and it’ll fit in a jacket pocket, no problem.

Despite its diminutive size, you still get plenty of manual controls dotted around the body – only a dedicated ISO dial is really missing compared to the X-T2, but given that it’s a fair bit smaller that seems a fair trade off.

The biggest loss compared to the larger model is probably that there’s no waterproofing, while the X-T2’s dual SD slots are another ommission – you just get the one here.

Finally, the body is largely plastic, rather than magnesium alloy, but on the plus side it retains all of the X Series’ attractive retro-stylings.

4) IT’S GOT EVERYTHING ELSE

Wi-Fi is included for easy photo-transfer and remote shooting via the Fujifilm Remote Camera app, while the electronic shutter – capable of snapping at up to a remarkable 1/32,000 – could come in handy from time to time.

There’s also a pop-up flash built into the hotshoe and a film-aping grain mode, while all of Fuji’s moreish in-built photo filters are present and correct too, including the new monochrome ACROS effort.


5) IT’S A REAL BARGAIN

Well, kind of.

Given that all you really lose from the X-T2 are the weatherproofing, dual SD cards, one or two controls and the bigger viewfinder, the Fujifilm X-T20 is really quite the bargain. It’ll set you back US$900 in body-only form, whereas the X-T2 currently sells for a slightly terrifying US$1599. That’s nearly half-price, discount fans – and with a touchscreen and smaller body thrown in to boot.

On the other hand… $900 is still a lot of money. The X-T10 cost a mere US$800 when it arrived, and there are loads of great cameras available for less than what the X-T20 will set you back. But on the other, other hand (we’ve got three hands, alright?) you’ll be getting a lot of camera for your money. So yeah, we’re still calling it a bargain.

Bargain or not, it’ll be available from 23 February and we’ll have a full review of it around that time.

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