For more than a year now, there’s been a clear winner for anyone choosing a mirrorless camera: the X-T10 was probably the best dollar-for-dollar CSC out there.
Seriously, if you paid more you were throwing your money away, and if you paid less you weren’t getting anywhere near as good a camera.
As well as giving photographers excellent picture quality for their cash, Fujifilm managed to dilute the flagship X-T1 down into a smaller body, but keep almost all of the same features.
Now, Fuji has done it again with the X-T20.
It has the same gorgeous retro-inspired looks, APS-C sensor and photographer-friendly controls of the top-end X-T2, which launched late last year, but doesn’t have the top-end price to match.
You’d think there would be a snag somewhere, right? After a few hours spent snapping with this latest model, I can’t see one.
There’s more than a little deja vu when you pick this camera up - it feels almost identical to the X-T10. You get the same retro-inspired looks, same comprehensive top plate and same easy-to-reach rear controls.
Then again, why mess with a good thing? Fuji fans will instantly know where all the buttons, dials and functions are, so they can concentrate on getting a great shot rather than learning everything again from scratch.
Moving movie mode from a dedicated button to the drive dial makes a lot of sense, though, and so does shifting the function button from the rear to the top plate. It was too easy to knock accidentally before, so that shouldn’t be a problem now.
The biggest change is the new touchscreen. Before, picking a focus point was little fiddly, but now you can just tap the screen - it’s a massive improvement, if not quite as slick as the X-T2’s joystick. It’ll let you pinch-zoom and swipe through your saved photos, too.
It still flips out like before, but only up and down - not to the side as well. There’s no weatherproofing either, but those are pretty much the only sacrifices Fujifilm has made to get everything we love about the X-T2 in a smaller, cheaper body.
BACK IN ACTION
That means you get a brand new 24.3MP sensor, the same X-Trans CMOS III you’ll get in the X-T2. A big upgrade over the 16MP sensor squeezed into the X-T10. It’s paired with a more powerful sensor as well, which is good enough for 4K video recording.
The X-T20 also gets the same autofocus system, with a total of 325 focus points (49 of which being phase-detection points). Again, that’s a huge step up from the X-T10’s 15 phase-detection points, and makes all the difference for rapid shooting - even in low light.
I used the centre-most 49-points for the best performance, which are outlined as bigger squares on the touchscreen so you know where to frame your shots. The touchscreen makes it a breeze to pick the right point of focus.
With a 50mm, f/2.0 prime lens bolted on the front, the X-T20 did a fantastic job at both fading daylight and night-time shooting. I’ll need to wait until I’ve tried bright scenarios before making a final call on image quality, but these early, rushed results look great straight out of the camera.
Framing shots with the OLED viewfinder was as good as ever, and the familiar control layout meant I didn't have to use half my demo time learning where all the modes and buttons were.