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Fujifilm X20 Review

Fujifilm X20 Review - The Fujifilm X20 is this years serious compact from Fujifilm and has inherited a number of technologies from high end cameras in the Fujifilm X range. Find out how it performs.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Fujifilm X20
Price : £465
Rating :
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Fujifilm X20 (2)

The Fujifilm X20 is the new serious compact from Fujifilm - and comes with over 50 updates since the Fujifilm X10, available in silver and black as well as all black. The Fujifilm X20 has an RRP of £499, and features a new sensor, improved phase detection focus, and updated image processing for sharper images. 

Fujifilm X20 Features

Fujifilm X20 (3)

Like the X10 before it, it features the same metal body and design, although is now available in black and silver, as well as all black. The lens features a manual zoom ring around the lens, which is also used to switch the camera on and off. A hybrid optical viewfinder gives an optical view with an electronic overlay.

Fujifilm X20 (5)

The camera features a new Hybrid AF CMOS sensor with phase detection built into the sensor to give improved focus speeds, and X-Trans sensor technology means the sensor is no longer an “EXR” sensor, which featured three modes:  HR – Hi-res / DR – Dynamic Range (upto 1600%) / SN – low light / low noise performance.

The sensor used in the X20 uses the same colour filter array as introduced with the X-Pro1 which is designed to give better noise performance, and also allows the removal of the anti-aliasing filter, which is said to give better detail, over the previous sensor used in the X10. The sensor designed to be better in low-light and show less noise. DR options go to 400% in this model.

Fujifilm X20 Black

Technology implemented in the X20 is designed to reduce the effects of diffraction and aberration when using smaller apertures, which should result in sharper pictures, and overall Fujifilm has detailed over 50 improvements in the X20 compared to the X10. The Fujifilm X20 gives a lot of the look and feel of the Fujifilm X100s at nearly half the price.

Key Features 

  • 12megapixel 2/3inch X-Trans CMOS II sensor
  • 4x optical zoom lens, f/2.0-f/2.8, 28-112mm equivalent
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 2.8inch screen, 460k dot
  • Advanced optical viewfinder with 'real time' shooting data display
  • Full HD, 60fps video, with phase detection AF
  • 12fps continuous shooting
  • 49 Points Selectable AF
  • Manual modes, 14-bit RAW
  • In camera RAW converter
  • Manual focus with focus peaking
  • ISO100 - ISO12800
  • 1cm super macro mode
  • Advanced Filters, 360 panoramic
  • Available in black or black and silver

Fujifilm X20 Handling

Fujifilm X20 (7)

Handling - The Fujifilm X20 is designed to re-create the feel and look of a traditional camera with a compact body, built in optical viewfinder, and classic shutter release button with screw thread. In use the camera has a very rapid shutter response and feels like an ideal travel or street shooter camera with a very quiet shutter sound. Build quality is excellent with a solid metal body and a rubber grip on the rear for your thumb, as well as a rubber surround for the optical viewfinder which features eye-detection. The front of the camera features a hard textured grip, and the texture around the metal zoom ring gives the camera excellent grip when holding it with two hands.

Fujifilm X20 (8)

On top of the camera is an exposure compensation dial, which lets you quickly adjust the exposure, although it’s all too easy to forget that you’ve changed it and leave it set by accident. There is also a new Q. menu button which gives quick access to a number of settings on the rear screen, with the Fujifilm menus providing more advanced photo and setup options, neatly arranged into colour coded sections (much improved over the X10 menus). A pop-up flash is activated by using a manual switch on the back, and is closed by simply pushing it back in. Using the Fujifilm X20 in bright sunlight can be difficult with the screen becoming difficult to see – luckily there is a bright sunlight mode that can be switched on to increase the brightness and contrast of the screen which helps slightly, but in the brightest conditions it’s worth using the optical viewfinder. The optical viewfinder gives 85% coverage, and at the widest setting the lens is visible. The viewfinder has an electronic overlay that tells you the focus point, shutter and aperture speeds, and changes colour depending whether focus lock has been successful.

Fujifilm X20 (10)

Battery life - Battery performance is rated at 270 shots according to Fujifilm / CIPA testing, which is average, but can be extended to 700 shots when you disable the rear screen / eye detection sensor, enable power save mode, and simply use the optical viewfinder.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

  Fujifilm X20 Sony RX100
Shutter Response <0.05 0.0
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.2 0.3
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.25 0.3
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.2* 2.2
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.7 0.9
Shot to Shot with Flash 1.0 2.1
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
11fps (11 shots) 7fps (speed priority mode, 15 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A 1.6s
Continuous Shooting - RAW 8fps (8 shots) 4fps  (13 shots)

*Quick start on. Focus was quick, but we were not able to achieve the same high speeds as Fujifilm claimed, and we found the X10 quicker. Although we nearly got the same speeds for other timings, "0.06 seconds AF, approx. 0.5 second start-up time and a 0.5 second shooting interval, shutter lag 0.01sec".

Fujifilm X20 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Fujifilm X20 Sample Photos


Sample Photos - Exposure is reliable with the camera consistently producing bright saturated images with good levels of detail. Colour is good and the flash performs quite well with a good mix between the subject and background detail, giving natural look results, although the flash does appear quite weak.

Fujifilm X20 Lens test images


Lens Performance - There are improvements in detail over the X10 as suggested, as long as ISO is kept low, where the X10 showed moire in fine detail, the X20 shows the detail without moire. Dynamic range is good, with the camera offering a number of ways to expand the amount captured, with an option for up to 400% DR. Macro performance is excellent with the camera letting you focus with the subject as close as 1cm from the front of the lens, giving excellent results. Purple fringing and chromatic aberrations are low, and there is very little lens distortion visible.

Fujifilm X20 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - ISO performance is good at the lowest ISO setting of ISO100 and detail is also good until you reach ISO800 where fine details can be lost. Images are sharp even at ISO1600, and noise becomes more noticeable at ISO3200. ISO6400 and ISO12800 images aren't resized as they were on the previous model, however noise is quite strong so these settings are best avoided.

Fujifilm X20 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Auto white balance (AWB) performance is good under tungsten lighting with a warm result, with the tungsten preset giving more natural results. AWB performs well under fluorescent lighting, with the fluorescent preset giving a colour cast to the image.

Pano 120 | 1/340 sec | f/5.6 | 7.1 mm | ISO 100
Pano 120 | 1/340 sec | f/5.6 | 7.1 mm | ISO 100

Pano 180 | 1/250 sec | f/5.6 | 7.1 mm | ISO 100
Pano 180 | 1/250 sec | f/5.6 | 7.1 mm | ISO 100

Pano 360 | 1/420 sec | f/7.1 | 7.1 mm | ISO 100
Pano 360 | 1/420 sec | f/7.1 | 7.1 mm | ISO 100
Panorama mode - The camera features an automatic panoramic mode that automatically stitches the photos as you hold the shutter release button and pan the camera around. Results are good, with the camera offering 120, 180 or 360 degree photos.

Fujifilm X20 Other sample images


Fujifilm X20 Digital filters


Digital Filters - There are a number of film simulation modes, dynamic range options (100% - 400%), as well as effects, including Toy camera, Miniature, pro low-light mode, pro-focus mode, multiple exposures, and more. There are a number of bracketing options available including DR and Film Simulation bracketing, as well as ISO bracketing. RAW processing is built in and can be used in playback mode. Although the RAW file is not saved or available as an options with a number of these modes, or the scene modes.

Video - Video quality is impressive, recording full HD video, at 60fps, giving smooth results, although with a manual zoom ring, getting a smooth zoom can be difficult. An optional stereo microphone can be attached through the multiUSB port.


Value For Money

The Fujifilm X20 is up against a number of competitors, with nearly all manufacturers having a camera or even two models available in the “serious compact” market. As the Fujifilm X20 features a flash hot-shoe, here are the nearest competitors with flash hot-shoe:

Olympus XZ-2 – f/1.8-f/2.5, 4x optical zoom lens, optional EVF available, £349
Canon Powershot G15 – f/1.8-f/2.8, 5x optical zoom lens, optical viewfinder, £415
Nikon Coolpix P7700 – f/2.0-f/4.0, 7.1x optical zoom lens, vari-angle screen, £325
Panasonic Lumix LX7 – f/1.4-f/2.3, 3.8x optical zoom lens, optional EVF available, £325
Samsung EX2F – f/1.4-f/2.7, 3.3x optical zoom lens, vari-angle tilting screen, Wi-Fi, £199

The Fujifilm X20 is available for £465 – which prices it quite noticeably higher than the other models listed above, and you would expect the camera to come with a 2 year warranty at this price (however it doesn’t). For more suggestions, have a look at our Top 10 Best Serious Compact Cameras.

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Fujifilm X20 Verdict

The Fujifilm X20 may look the same as the X10 on the outside, but the insides where all the technology lives has been significantly upgraded, replaced and re-worked, with the camera delivering better than ever image quality and improved continuous shooting speed. The camera delivers sharp, detailed images with bright saturated colours typical of Fujifilm, as well as good noise performance.

Also, like the X10, the Fujifilm X20 has been introduced with a high RRP of £499, although this is less than the £529 RRP of the X10 when it was first launched. This is partly justified by the unique build quality and design of the camera, as well as it being one of very few compact cameras with a built in optical viewfinder. The price does make it an investment, being priced higher than a number of mirrorless and Digital SLRs, and we feel that it should include a 2 year warranty for peace of mind, although we can’t see any problems with the build quality.

The Fujifilm X20 delivers high image quality, unique handling and features, as well as an optical viewfinder, in a well built and stylish camera, with full manual controls, raw shooting and flash hot shoe. If these are features you’re looking for, and have the money to invest, then the Fujifilm X20 comes highly recommended.

 
  The Fujifilm X20 delivers impressive detail and image quality from a compact camera with retro styling.

Fujifilm X20 Pros

Excellent image quality
Excellent build quality and design
Optical / Hybrid viewfinder with shooting information
Eye-detection sensor
f/1.8 4x optical zoom lens
Manual controls
Fast continuous shooting
Q menu gives quick access to options
Electronic level
Printed manual and neck strap included

Fujifilm X20 Cons

Price
Previous EXR modes not available due to new sensor
RAW not available in some modes

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  


Fujifilm X20 Specifications

ManufacturerFujifilm
Lens
Max Aperturef/2 - f/2.8
35mm equivalent28mm - 112mm
Optical Zoom4x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels12Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4000
Pixels (H)3000
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size2/3
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor2.8in
Screen resolution460k
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting12fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS60fps
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiNo
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLi-ion battery NP-50
CIPA Rating270
Box Contents
Box ContentsLi-ion battery NP-50, Battery charger BC-50B, Shoulder strap, Lens cap, USB cable, CD-ROM (Viewer software, RAW File Converter etc.*4) Owner's manual
Dimensions
Weight333g
Width117mm
Height69.6mm
Depth56.8mm

View Full Product Details

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Photographs taken using the Fujifilm X20

Ennerdale Water, Autumn ShadesNataliaEnnerdale WaterLITTLE GREEN VANNY streetNY dont walkNY greenwich villageNY crossingPast&Present
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Comments


8 May 2013 4:33PM
Excellent review of an excellent camera, I have the X-10, so it was especially interesting to see what improvements have been made. Lots as far as I can see and all for the better. However, it will need to drop in price to make it a worth while up grade. A couple of other review sites said the X-10 Jpegs were still better.
I'm also interested to see if an X-S2 is round the corner.

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Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
8 May 2013 6:02PM
Raw not available in some modes, its that really a con.

I`m still happy with my x10, and don`t yet really feel the urge to upgrade, I`ll wait until it brakes Smile

The price is pretty good, and its cheaper than the x10 at launch Sad

One area that seems to be lacking in reviews of compacts of this level is with the flash and leaf shutters, its a major plus in camera like this, all reviews from all sites seem to miss out on talking about these features, being able to sync flash at all shutter speeds is a really useful advantage.

The in built flash performs well in macro mode as well (though its disabled in super macro mode for obvious reasons)

All in a good review.
Nobody says about watercolor effect after RAW conversion...
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
8 May 2013 6:58PM
There is no water colour effect Smile
10 May 2013 10:14AM
Incorrect
f/1.8 4x optical zoom lens
Max Aperture f/2 - f/2.5

Correct
f/2 4x optical zoom lens
Max Aperture f/2 - f/2.8

Please change in your review
joshwa e2
4 710 United Kingdom
10 May 2013 10:42AM
Hi cosmeeen, updated, thanks
24 May 2013 1:53AM
Fuji's RAF (RAW) files don't seem to be supported by Windows viewers but work perfectly well with packages like Adobe Lightroom. The camera does NOT come with a printed manual, but a CD instead (shame). It is built like a brick sheizen-hausen (however that may be spelt) and you can feel the build quality as soon as you pick it up.

I had reservations at first, mostly because of the apparent lack of RAF support but I've got over it now having bought Lightroom.

It's a camera you just want to hold.

It comes with a neck strap but I shall be replacing that with a wrist strap as the neck strap just makes the camera seem unwieldy.

I have much to try out yet but initial impressions are good. The clincher for me was the optical viewfinder. It's not great but at least it's there, unlike the stupidly expensive OVF extra of the Nikon Coolpix A and the Ricoh GR (yes I know they have big sensors but hey ho).
joshwa e2
4 710 United Kingdom
24 May 2013 8:50AM
Hi ShinySideUp, ours came with a 141 page printed manual in the box, although this could vary depending on location or seller, thanks for the feedback, Josh

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