Re:X20 Review..One Of The Most Thorough Helpful Reviews Of The X20

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jimr
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Re:X20 Review..One Of The Most Thorough Helpful Reviews Of The X20
6 months ago

From Amazon;

" I am a professional photographer and a previous owner of the Fuji X100. The reason I got the original Fuji, and then this x20 was that I wanted to have a nice looking camera I could take with me on trips, etc. that would take great pictures without weighing a ton and being a huge cumbersome burden (like my 5dmk3).

Other than the great looks, I wasn't a big fan of the X100. It had so many glaring flaws that I returned it after a week of use. I am happy to say that this x20 model has addressed most of the issues that made the x100 such a pain. Rather than go into them specifically, I'll just give you my thoughts on this new model.

First, and foremost, the camera takes amazing pictures. This is not an overstatement. I have used all levels of point&shoot cameras over the years and this one is the first to really produce SLR-like quality in a small form factor. The pictures are sharp, the focus is accurate, and the colors are rich. Another way of putting it is this: there are always tell-tale signs that pictures are shot with a P&S camera: too sharp, too much contrast, too vibrant, etc. This camera produces these qualities (sharpness, contrast, vibrance) through great optics, NOT through in-camera processing. It's the real-deal, and you can see the difference.

The build quality of the camera is fantastic. It is sturdy, made primarily of metal, and feels great in my hands. Most important controls are easily accessed with dedicated buttons. I especially like the +2 to -2 exposure control dial on the top. This is something that I use all the time on my SLR and something I think a lot of non-pros could benefit from. When the sensor is tricked by backlight, just dial it up, when things are too bright and getting blown out, just dial it down. It's easy and fast and it's second nature to use for me.

The only control that I think is left out is a thumb controller for the focus point. As it currently is, you must press the AF button (on a wheel with macro, flash, and timer) and then scroll around to change the focus point. It's not a deal-breaker, but it would have been nice to have an 8way dedicated thumb controller for the focus point. I change my focus points constantly, and I just can't do it as fast as I'd like on this model. On top of this, when you look through the eyepiece, which you should be most of the time, you can't change it. You need to take your head back and look at the back of the camera.

I also love the variety of modes the camera has. There are so many that I haven't been able to master the benefits of each setting yet. Here's a brief synopsis:

P, S, AE, and M are the usual suspect that all cameras have.

SR is an advance auto mode that determines the best settings based on the scene. It even shows its predictions, so you can see if it is accurately assessing the situation. From my experience, it's startlingly accurate. It chooses from: landscape, night, tripod, beach, sunset, snow, sky, greenery, and sky & greenery. Having these settings on a camera is old news, but having the camera predict the scene itself and do so with great accuracy is a pretty exciting advancement.

Adv. Advanced lets you make some stylish choices and make your pictures look a little Instagram-ish. I'm not a huge fan of this kind of thing, but I suspect many people will be. The choices are: toy camera (lomo), miniature (tilt-shift), pop-color, high-ley, low-key, dynamic tone, soft focus, and a handful of partial-color masks (everthing BW except reds, etc.).

In this mode, I LOVE the tilt-shift (miniature) setting. I used to own a $1600 tilt-shift lens that I'd pull out once a wedding and use, but sold it because I wasn't using it enough. Now I've been using this and getting the greatest results.

Motion Panorama: an onscreen guide steps you through making a panorama.

Pro-Focus: the camera takes 3 pics and then softens the background to make a portrait-like shot. This actually works better than you'd expect, but I don't use this feature to take portraits.

Pro-Low light: This combines 4 pictures of poorly-lit subjects and combines them. The problem with this and Pro-Focus is that if your subject moves (and they always are, even if just by breathing), it doesn't work well.

Multiple Exposure: You can use this to combine several pictures into one. For example, you can take a picture of the moon, then recompose your shot, and place that same moon in the sky over a cityscape. I've used this to create ghost-pictures to scare my kids.

SP (Scene-Position): This is your standard setting where the user gets to choose what their shooting. The choices are portrait, portrait enhancer, landscape, sport, night, night (tripod), fireworks, sunset, snow, beach, underwater, party, flower, and text.

And finally, there is the macro mode, which is excellent. It is so good, in fact, that I am selling my macro-lens that I use for ring shots because I can actually get results just as good (possibly better) using this camera. And, because the looks of the camera are non-point&shoot looking, I can pull it out on the job and nobody blinks an eye.

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In summary, I think this is a terrific alternative for a bulky SLR. If you're a pro, I think you'd be happy to let this little camera take the place of your SLR on trips to the park, the beach, or on vacations with your family. If you are a hobbyist or family-shooter, I think you should definitely consider this over (or in addition to) a SLR because the best camera is always the one you have with you. If your SLR is too heavy, you'll leave it at home and then all you'll have is iPhone pictures.

I hope you found this review helpful. If so, let me know! I'd be happy to answer any questions you have.

Eric Slay"

Canon EOS 5D Fujifilm FinePix X100 Fujifilm X20
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