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Fuji X20 review

Fuji puts X-Pro1 technology in an X10 body

Our Verdict

With the X20, Fuji continues its dominance in the corner of the market reserved for high-end compact cameras with superb image quality that exude retro cool. No other manufacturer manages to mix those two qualities together quite so well as Fuji.

For

  • Retro design
  • Manual controls
  • Film simulation modes
  • Viewfinder

Against

  • No touchscreen
  • Creative filters can't be shot in raw format
  • Fairly limited zoom range

Fuji's FinePix X10 really impressed when we tested it, so naturally we are pleased to learn that the Fuji FinePix X20 that replaces it is fundamentally the same, but with a sensor based on the one in the superb Fuji X-Pro1.

However, while the Fuji X100S and the Fuji X-Pro1 have APS-C format sensors, the Fuji X20 uses a 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS II device with 12 million effective pixels.

The key feature of the X-Trans CMOS II sensor is that it doesn't use a Bayer RGGB filter array like most cameras. Instead, it has a 6 x 6 RGGB filter array pattern, with a random arrangement of colour filters within each block of 36 photo receptors.

Fuji FinePix X20 review

This makes the Fuji X20's sensor less susceptible to moiré patterning than the Fuji X10's, and consequently Fuji has been able to omit the low-pass filter. Low pass or anti-aliasing filters are normally employed to reduce moiré patterning, but they also soften the image a little.

As a result of this filter design, the Fuji X20 is claimed to be able to resolve more detail than the Fuji X10. And thanks to its Lens Modulation Optimiser, Fuji says this is better maintained into the corners of the frame.

In fact, the company also believes that, thanks to its sensor and EXR Processor II combination, the new camera produces images with 30% lower noise levels than the Fuji X10.

Fuji X20 review

Another benefit of the new processor is that it enables a faster start-up time of 0.5 sec, shutter lag of 0.01 sec and a shooting interval of 0.5 sec.

Fuji tells us that it has made 50 improvements on the Fuji X10 for the Fuji X20, but one of the most useful (after the sensor upgrade) is the addition of a Digital Trans Panel in the viewfinder.

This highly transparent layer displays key information such as shutter speed, aperture, sensitivity and the focus area. Cleverly, it also changes colour according to the scene and shooting conditions, going green in very dark situations, so that it remains visible. A sensor also detects when the camera is held to the eye, and responds by switching off the LCD screen.

Fuji X20 review

As with the Fuji X100S, the Fuji X20 has a hybrid AF system, and some of the green pixels on the sensor double up as phase detection focus pixels. Fuji claims that this system, in combination with the new processor, enables the Fuji X20 to focus in 0.06 sec - faster than the 0.08 sec of the Fuji X100S.

Manual focusing has also been enhanced on the Fuji X20 with the addition of Focus Peaking Highlight, which indicates the areas of highest contrast.

Like the Fuji X10 before it, the Fuji X20 has a Fujinon 7.1-28.4mm f/2-2.8 lens, giving the equivalent focal length of 23mm. This is a good choice for landscape and street photography.

The Fuji X20 is priced at £499.99/US$599.95/AU$652, putting it in the same sort of price bracket as the Canon G15 and Olympus XZ-2.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenNo
Effective Camera Resolution12 Megapixel
GPSNo
USBYes
Wide AngleYes
PictBridgeYes
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourSilver
Optical Zoom4x
Digital Zoom2x
Brand NameFujifilm
FeaturesFace Detection, Live View, Continuous Shooting Mode, Orientation Sensor, External Flash Shoe
Screen Size7.1 cm (2.8")
Video FormatsMPEG-4, MOV
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)333 g
Minimum Focus Distance10 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Maximum Frame Rate60 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeX-Trans CMOS II
HDMIYes
HD Movie ModeYes
Battery Model SupportedNP-50
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height69.6 mm
Width117 mm
Depth56.8 mm
Focal Length7.10 mm to 28.40 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerFuji Photo Film Co. Ltd
Product ModelX20
Product NameX20 Compact Camera
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberP10NC11010A
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.fujifilm.co.uk
Marketing InformationThe FUJIFILM X20 inherits the high-precision lens and refined design from the popular X10, whilst featuring substantially improved performance.
With a new X-Trans CMOS II sensor and EXR Processor II, the X20 offers hi-speed features including AF speeds as fast as 0.06 seconds, shooting intervals of 0.5 seconds and a shutter time lag of 0.01 seconds.
Its newly-developed Advanced Optical Viewfinder provides real-time shooting data ensuring improved usability and a bright view.
Battery Life270 Shot
Package Contents
  • X20 Compact Camera
  • Li-ion Battery NP-50
  • Battery Charger BC-50B
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Lens Cap
  • USB Cable
  • CD-ROM
  • Owner's Manual
Display Resolution460000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesSpeaker, Microphone