We’re big fans of Fuji cameras at Stuff. We reckon its diddy X-T10 is the best system camera you can buy right now, while the deluxe X-Pro2 picked up a full five stars in our testing earlier this year.
Truth be told, we’ve been waiting a long time for the new X-T2. As the first Fuji camera that can record video in 4K, it’s a true all-rounder in the way that Sony’s a7S and the mighty Panasonic Lumix GH4 are. Especially since these video smarts and several updated photo tricks have all been crammed into what is essentially the X-T1’s shapely compact body.
So does the Fujifilm X-T2 stand up to scrutiny? We got hands-on with it to find out.
Video: 4K all the way
Shooting video on the original X-T1 wasn’t all that much fun. The quality was OK, but the camera lacked clever focusing, slow motion and other cool features found on many other modern cameras. And of course it couldn’t shoot in 4K either. All in all, it was a half-hearted effort and one that the X-T2 does its best to make amends for.
This camera has the power to capture 10 mins of 4K footage at a thoroughly respectable 30fps. As per the X-T1 you can also grab full HD video at 60fps, and for up to 15 mins instead of the previous 14 mins. The upshot of these changes is that video quality should be a lot better on the X-T2, and given that you can use Fuji's famed ‘Film Simulation’ modes on video as well as stills, it should look nicely distinctive too.
That’s bad news for smartphone cameras, but a huge boost for anyone with aspirations to shoot more like a pro. And when you’re spending over a grand on a CSC, you’d expect nothing less.
Design: retro cool
For the most part, the Fujifilm X-T2 is a thoroughly iterative update on its predecessor; when your big new design feature is the fact that the LCD screen now tilts sideways as well as upwards, it’s hard to claim you're breaking any kind of mould. That’s fine, though. We loved a whole lot about the X-T1, especially its sleek weatherproof body, and the X-T2 is just as much of a retro all-black delight.
Smaller than a DSLR but similarly tactile, it gives you a wealth of dials and buttons to play with - ISO, shutter speed and exposure compensation are all present and correct on top rather than being hidden within menus, while aperture is generally controlled on the lens. This time round the ISO and shutter dials have been made taller for easier operation, while Fuji has opted for a slightly larger grip. It certainly feels great in the hand, and the controls are all comfortably within reach.
Photo nerds will also appreciate dual UHS II SD card slots for extra-fast writing speeds. These die-hards probably won’t be too fussed about the lack of a touchscreen display, but it seems like a bit of a shame to us.
Autofocus: Speed to spare
So it’s business as usual with the X-T2’s aesthetics, but that doesn’t mean this camera is a straightforward retread of its predecessor with better video. It also benefits from Fuji’s latest X-Trans CMOS III sensor. You know, the one that debuted with the X-Pro2 for improved autofocusing and speedy photo snapping.
Hook up an X-T2 with one of Fuji’s new vertical battery grips and it can capture photos at 11fps as standard. That’s pretty damn fast, but you’ll get by just fine at the standard speed of 8fps. It’s kind of like scooting around town in a BMW M3 instead of a Porsche 918.
Better still, the sensor covers 75% of the frame for greater accuracy and sensitivity, especially when you’re locking on to fast-moving subjects. Sports and wildlife photographers will really appreciate the difference, especially since you can now change your tracking speed sensitivity to account for changes in speed or subjects suddenly appearing; an F1 car turning into a hairpin bend, for instance.
Megapixels: Even more of them
We’ve got this far without talking about the X-T2’s megapixel count because 16.3MPs were more than enough with the X-T1. Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped Fuji bumping up that count to 23.4MP this time around. Because why not?
Additionally, the X-T2’s 2.36M dot OLED viewfinder has been tweaked slightly to help lessen the effects of moire and false colour, where patterns overlap, and will now refresh at 60fps; that’s a leap forward from the previous 54fps. Having only used the camera for a brief amount of time, we weren't able to test the real-world effects of these updates ourselves, but they’re sure to be appreciated by Fuji fans. Generally speaking, the X-T2 seems to give you an added gloss of finesse when compared to its older sibling.
Fujifilm X-T2 Initial Verdict
Fujifilm’s X-T1 was an excellent snapper that just missed out on our System Camera of the Year Award back in 2014. With some much-needed new video skills and a bit of added photo polish, the X-T2 should be a very strong contender for that top gong this December.
It's due out on 8 September priced S$2599 (S$2999 with 18-55mm kit lens), and we can’t wait to give it a proper test in the next month or so.