Although Fujifilm’s X series is just one of a slew of recent retro-themed camera lines, its authentic analogue styling and proprietary sensor technology has made a particular impression. The Fujifilm X20 is positioned as the flagship model of the line’s compact offerings, and it arrives with a significant overhauling of its predecessor’s feature set.
Fujifilm X20 review – Features
The Fujifilm X20’s X-Trans CMOS II sensor, for example, is newly developed for the model, despite it bearing the same 2/3in dimensions and 12MP pixel count as the one found in the previous Fujifilm X10. Thanks to the X-Trans technology on which it is based Fujifilm has chosen to omit the standard anti-aliasing filter, stating that more random arrangement of its colour filters renders one unnecessary. It’s not the first compact to do so, with the recent Nikon Coolpix A doing the same.
As with many other recent cameras, Fujifilm X20’s sensor includes phase-detect pixels to assist in focusing. Fujifilm claims this helps focusing speeds to be as prompt as 0.06sec, with an Intelligent Hybrid AF system automatically recognising when a scene requires phase-detection AF or the more conventional contrast-detect means of acquiring focus.
All of this is technology on the Fujifilm X20 is helped by a second generation EXR processor, which is claimed to deliver images with over 30% less noise than the Fujifilm X10, while also making a 12fps burst at full resolution possible. The processor also includes a new Lens Modulation Optimiser function, which helps counter effects such as diffraction which becomes more problematic at smaller apertures.
The Fujifilm X20 maintains the same 28-112mm manual zoom optic as the Fujifilm X10, with a respectably bright f/2-2.8 aperture range. Fujifilm has furnished the lens with a four-stop image stabilisation system, while macro photographers will be pleased to learn the X20 can focus as close as 1cm away from the subject when set to its Super Macro setting.
Other features of note include an optical viewfinder equipped with a new Digital Trans Panel to display key shooting information, as well as full HD video capture at 60fps.
Thanks to the inclusion of a manual zoom lens – whose turning also serves as the power on/off control – the Fujifilm X20 can be powered up and down with far less delay than some of its peers. This makes the X20 useful for more spontaneous captures, particularly as the camera’s autofocus system also does well to bring subject to focus in rapid time. Particularly impressive is the camera’s ability to find focus against low-contrast subjects without intervention from its AF assist light.
The Fujifilm X20’s viewfinder’s 85% coverage is forgivable but together with the lack of parallax markings it means it’s only really useful when the scene does not need to be composed with absolute precision. This finder itself, however, is sufficiently clear and only suffers from slight distortion at wideangle, with none at telephoto.
Exposure information in the Fujifilm X20’s finder lights up brightly with either red or green lights (depending on whether the camera’s settings are appropriate for that situation), although as it’s overlaid over the scene rather than a dark panel (as on DSLRs) it can be difficult to see clearly in all situations.The Fujifilm X20’s LCD screen, however, is excellent, with its crisp detail matched by its excellent contrast. While it’s smaller than those on its peers, this is acceptable considering the inclusion of the optical viewfinder.
Full specification for Fujifilm X20
||12MP 2/3in X-Trans CMOS II type
||2.8in LCD, 460k dots
||Raw, JPEG, MOV
||30-1/4000* (at smaller apertures, 1/1000sec otherwise)
||Auto, Advanced SR Auto, PASM
||TTL 256-zone multi, Centre-weight, Spot
||100-3200 (exp. to ISO 12,800 equivalent in JPEG only)
||Auto, Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (daylight), Fluorescent light (warm white), Fluorescent light (cool white), Incandescent light, Underwater, Custom, Color temperature selection
||Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro
||SD, SDHC, SDXC
||USB 2, HDMI mini
||NP-50 Li-ion battery, approx. 270 frame
||117 x 69.6 x 56.8mm
||353g (including battery and card)
||1920 x 1080 pixels, 60fps
Manufacturer website: Fujifilm
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