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Just Posted: Fujifilm X20 review

By dpreview staff on Apr 30, 2013 at 01:00 GMT
Buy on GearShopFrom $499.00

We've posted our 15-page review of Fujifilm's X20 premium compact camera. This follow-up to the X10 adds a new X-Trans CMOS sensor, Hybrid AF system, and enhanced optical viewfinder, while retaining the fast lens, rangefinder-inspired body, and numerous manual controls of its predecessor. Is this the enthusiast compact camera you've been waiting for?

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Fujifilm X20

Comments

Total comments: 177
12
compay
By compay (11 months ago)

I read many times you cannot compare dslr with point and shoot......not so long ago i had a canon F1n camera and an olympus mju point and shoot..... Both filmcamera's with 36*24 mm negatives. And besides all kind of ergonomic and adjustments issues....you sure could compare those camera's....Where is the development ?????

1 upvote
zenpaul
By zenpaul (11 months ago)

BTW

for Canadian buyers London Drugs has the X20 for $549 CDN for a few more days. Also 15 day return policy.

0 upvotes
zenpaul
By zenpaul (11 months ago)

I like the the X20 too. I'm giving it a good workout as I have another week before/if I decide to return it.

Generally an excellent camera tho a bit of a learning curve for an old bugger like me.

Stills are great especially jpegs ROTC. Raw looks good too and I'm messing with LR4 to work with them.

I think its shortcomings have been well mentioned here and elsewhere but it has so many positives.

The 1080 video will not play back smoothly on my iMac (too old?) but is OK in camera. 720 is smooth so I'll stick with that. If I wanna do "serious" video I'll use my Sony camcorder.

Battery life is a disaster so I'm going to pick up extras cheap @ Amazon and an LCD protector too.

Whether I keep it or not I'm having fun with it and getting some lovely pix. Why not enjoy it for what it is?

Paul

0 upvotes
compay
By compay (11 months ago)

hello zenpaul...i also had problems with movies on my i-mac (2012). Found out that you have to import the movies via archive and then import and then movies. Then you will have a mooth video. Also take a look at import settings via preferences - video.

0 upvotes
andyfpp
By andyfpp (11 months ago)

I like the camera but have a couple of issues with it.
Firstly the battery life. First full day out shooting and it lasted 2.5 hours and I shot 68 frames, less than two rolls of film! You say pick up a spare but I recon I'd need at least two spares. That's 10% of the cost of the camera if I buy the Fuji one's!
Secondly f2 has a maximum shutter speed of 1/1,000. Very frustrating.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (11 months ago)

"This viewfinder, which displays roughly 85% of the scene"

At what FL?

0 upvotes
moto75
By moto75 (11 months ago)

at all focal lenghts as it "zooms" with the lens

0 upvotes
Macahan
By Macahan (11 months ago)

The whole "medal ratiing" seems a bit weird. The X20 recieves a higher rating than any other camera in it's category and is only awarded the "silver medal".

0 upvotes
Keith Halpern
By Keith Halpern (11 months ago)

RX100? Higher. Also silver.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (11 months ago)

"The X20 recieves a higher rating than any other camera in it's category"

Not true, RX100 got 78%, and significantly higher achievement - yet Silver Award too.

Oops, Keith already wrote that.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
nicoboston
By nicoboston (11 months ago)

Poor review IMO.
Almost everything has been described elsewhere for weeks or months.
More importantly, there's not a single word about DYNAMIC RANGE, which was one of the most interesting aspect of X10, thanks to EXR.

0 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (11 months ago)

In fact, review mentioned the that there is an option for expanding DR. However - due to the lack of EXR- the conventional method of underexposing & tonecurve manipulation is used. This method (used by other manufacturers as well) has drawback of amplifying the shadow noise and requires stronger NR.

EXR was invented to improve upon the situation by underesposing only the highlights, not the shadows. This allows the shadows to be much less affected by noise & NR.

This is how it traslated to real-world (X10 vs X20): http://www.dpreview.com/files/t/E~a0cacda465cd43d6a39dc7c5c3cdab71

0 upvotes
Davidgilmour
By Davidgilmour (11 months ago)

So they replaced the orbs with the green smudge. Way to go Fuji.

1 upvote
cjep1
By cjep1 (11 months ago)

Just bought this X20 yesterday after trying out X100S, Nikon Coolpix A and Canon G1X.

I really loved the X100S but for my current needs the 35mm isn't close enough (I will use the camera to get pictures of my kids, dogs and private events - I use my DSLR for more serious stuff). Coolpix 23mm simply is too wide.

The G1X lens is too slow which actually means that the bigger sensor isn't such an advantage. The AF speed is horrible too.

I really love the X20. But I miss the manual focus ring from X100S.

FUJI please add this in a firm-ware update: I need a quick way to alter flash compensation (using Fn or Q key) as I do a lot of strobist work. Can't understand why it's not available at least in the Q-menu.

/Claus

0 upvotes
GeekyGal
By GeekyGal (11 months ago)

Glad to know you've found the x20 better for your needs!

0 upvotes
GeekyGal
By GeekyGal (11 months ago)

You often hear people say that the x20 is for enthusiasts and the x100s is for the pros. But this is not always the case as it will depend on your photography needs.

The x20 is often compared to the Sony RX100, Canon g15 and Sony NEX 5r. For those of you who are interested in the how the x20 stack up against its competition, take a look a the comparison chart found here: http://www.squidoo.com/fujifilm-x20-review-sample-images

I do agree with you on x100s' manual focus ring!

0 upvotes
Joerampi
By Joerampi (11 months ago)

The cons
"Video quality not as good as other high-end compacts"

this camera has 60fps for video, which camera is high end that Dpreview mention?

also for me strength in "optics performance" x10 better then X20" (compare the result) both camera using same lens, but why X10 highest poin with x20

anyone can help to explain?

1 upvote
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (11 months ago)

It's a completely different sensor design. The novel color filter array allows the elimination of the anti-aliasing filter. That alone will increase sharpness, even using exactly the same lens. Unfortunately, possibly because of the unique sensor, the results are still a bit blurry. The Olympus XZ-2 looks much better, despite its more conventional design. I really liked the X10, and the X20 looks good, too, but I'm disappointed they aren't getting sharper results. These images are too soft and too noisy.

0 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (11 months ago)

@MarkInSF

In my understanding X20 resolves more that X10 not because of X-Trans sensor, but because of getting rid of EXR. X20 resolving power is roughly equal to bayer sensors.

X-Trans provides better resolution than Bayer only in the of APS-C sensor (especially when coupled with prime lenses).

I don't agree with you that X20 is blurrier than XZ-2 in general. Look at JPEG results in DPR studio comparison. When it comes to RAW, it seems there is some noise-reduction applied in DPR studio shots, while there is none of it in XZ-2 shots.

0 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (11 months ago)

Re: Jpeg engine regress ...

I guess the situation might be salvageable by FW update. These are the problems wrt noise reduction:

- chroma denoising induces excessive chroma (esp. red) bleeding. This may be caused either by insufficiently careful calibration of the algorithm or its general undersophistication.

- luma noise NR seems hard-treshholded. It either obliterates any noise together with any details, or keeps the details (& noise) intact. This trait of the NR algorithm leads to both excessive smearing and the artifacts (especially in the form of blackpepper-like dots).

Looking at RAWs, there seems to be nothing to prevent the X20 to utilize similar NR routines that were present in X10.

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (11 months ago)

I think part of the problem is that Fujifilm made some claims that the new X-Trans sensor would allow IQ similar to the RX100 and 12 mp m43 cameras. Much was also made of the video being upgraded to 1080p60 at 36 mbps.

I paid top dollar to get an X20 from abroad before they hit the stores here. The AF system and VF are huge improvements. X20 AF in low-light is about as fast and accurate as my Nikon V1. Terrific. The problem for me was RAW files were slightly noisy vs the X10 and the JPEG engine was a big step back from the totally usable JPEGs of the X10.

So sadly I sold it, and now have a Nikon P330, which is not quite as nice to shoot with, but is much smaller, and has wonderful IQ, basically the same files you'd get from the class leading P7700. So I'm happy in one sense, but also sad about the Fuji X P&S line. Had high hopes for the X20.

Retro fans look at the Pentax MX-1 which has stunningly good IQ for a compact, with great OOC JPEGs and clean, detailed RAWs.

2 upvotes
Beat Traveller
By Beat Traveller (11 months ago)

Yeah, I was looking into this camera, but it's so much noiser than the regular X-trans sensor. Effects of small size I guess.

0 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (11 months ago)

I agree that too much promises and too much compromises make disappointment. Both sides - producers/users - should always bear in mind physical limits. Software tricks are more and more refined, but still they are only tricks to confuse inexperienced photographers by maikng kitsch ironed noise free, but also detail free paintings. I know, that even in X100S is OOC jpeg totally unusable especially for landscape photo - even when NR and Sharp set to -2. That is why RAW is a must for the best IQ. And small sensor P&S should be limited to 6-8MPx at max. And producers as well as reviewers should always repeat again and again that this limit is in favour of better IQ and better resolution of detail. P&S should serve (and actually serve) for prints up to 15x10cm (6"x4"), exceptionally for A4. And for these 6-8MPx is enough.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (11 months ago)

@zinedi

No, I was not disappointed with the resolution but more minor issues like high ISO performance relative to the X10, and moire/aliasing in video. I could have lived with the JPEGs as I rarely shoot JPEG only. But the resolution is improved over the X10 and in fact if you look at Jeff's samples above, they look quite sharp.

But I probably had unreasonable expectations and fell for some of the marketing hype surrounding the X20. It's still are lovely compact to shoot with, one of the only P&Ss with a decent VF.

0 upvotes
le_alain
By le_alain (11 months ago)

Humm,
Was looking for it to upgrade my X10, because of the faster AF, and OVF overlay.

But disapointed with the pictures, even at 100 ISO textures are out, folliage, grass are bad ..
Perhaps more definition on a studio scene but in the pictures, I really prefer the look of the EXR's ones
It's nearly like "Sony P&S look" smearing and oversharpened :(

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (11 months ago)

X20 is an exemplary case of manufacturer listening too carefully to their customers. X10 was often criticised for its limited resolving power, and since (in popular mind) Fuji owned the means to achieve the high resolution results - the X-Trans - people demanded X10's successor to be equiped with X-Trans.

While X-Trans worked for APS-C very well, in the (diffraction & noise limited) world of small sensors there are other contraints - besides OLP (AA) filter- in the way of achieving very high resolution results. And indeed, X20 yields no more lph than Bayers (such as G15 or XZ-2).

It is futile to hope for hi-res from small sensors. Here Fuji's EXR made much more sense, as it was quite successful in combating other small-sensor limitations: it extended DR considerably or provided somewhat better color separation in low-light situations.

Even if Fuji wanted to sacrifice the EXR benefits for resolution, why did it go the X-Trans instead of Bayer ?

4 upvotes
inframan
By inframan (11 months ago)

If looks were everything Fuji would have my votes hands down. Maybe because they still have "film" in their name their cameras, especially this series, look really classic.

0 upvotes
nathondetroit
By nathondetroit (11 months ago)

Brilliant job with the noise reduction samples! It definitely gave a great impression of what JPEG shooters will need to tweak as they use this camera. I was worried, but the -2 NR shots were quite crispy in relation to the apocalypse-level fear spreading around the forums.

1 upvote
tinpusher
By tinpusher (11 months ago)

Setting the NR to-2 still leaves watercollouring on the jpegs.
I tried this as I was desperate to keep the camera ; it is a thing of beauty!

THe smearing of the jpegs was too much and NOTHING you can do with the settings makes it acceptable to me.
Just surprised that what passes as simply a Con to DPReview should be a deal breaker to me.

1 upvote
tazmac
By tazmac (11 months ago)

Shoot in RAW... That's the only setting you need!

1 upvote
nathondetroit
By nathondetroit (11 months ago)

RAW is superior, very true!

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (11 months ago)

The Pros and Cons are things we think users will want to consider when making a decision about buying (or not) a camera.

If one of them helped you identify a 'deal breaker' for you then that's exactly where the point should have been made.

3 upvotes
proxy
By proxy (11 months ago)

not so convinced about "good color rendition/preservation" as stated in the review, ISO 200,800 darker then other values, colors are different then other cameras in the review and especially highly regarded cameras in that aspect, over-contrasted... "plasticy", made to look good but not faithful (yellows, blues, reds), overall not bad but overpriced, wouldn't touch it

0 upvotes
Stephen Scharf
By Stephen Scharf (11 months ago)

Coupla points.

First one: I don't understand how the Canon G15 can score 2% lower and get a Gold Award and the X20 score 2% higher and get a Silver award, especially when key scores for major attributes (e.g. image quality) are so close. The only thing I can come up with is one is labeled Canon and the other Fujifilm.

Also, I am mystified by DPR's methodology...using Adobe for X-Trans RAW conversions, when clearly Capture One 7.1.1 is clearly superior, as DPR has demonstrated with it's own testing. Why not use procedures that get the best from a camera?

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (11 months ago)

1. The awards and the scores aren't connected. The award is totally subjective - if the reviewer really likes a camera for one reason or another, he may give it a gold or silver award. In DPR's own words:

"There is no direct link between the overall score and the awards: they are not given automatically to cameras reaching a certain threshold. Crucially a camera can get an award even if a camera with a higher overall score didn't."

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/4416254604/camera-scores-ratings-explained

2. The DPR "philosophy" is to use the same procedure for every camera. If the comparison images were converted with different software, we would have one more variable affecting the outcome, besides the cameras themselves. You wouldn't just be comparing cameras, but also raw converters.
But sure, trying to get the very best out of each camera wouldn't be a bad thing. It would be more time-consuming, though.

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (11 months ago)

Revenant is exactly right.

May I add that trying to get the very best out of each camera would not only be massively time-consuming, it would also be impossible.

Having a standardized process makes all the results comparable, making them up on a camera-by-camera basis would just open a thousand arguments about not using the processing that person thinks is best. And then the conspiracy theories start...

2 upvotes
SDPharm
By SDPharm (11 months ago)

It's too confusing to have an award and a separate score. Since the score is a composite of many parameter, it really means different thing to different people, which means it has no fixed meaning anyway.

It's best to get rid of that 'total score' and let people look at the bar graph and decide for themselves based on the parameters that matter to them most, and keep the award as an subjective 'impression.'

1 upvote
RichRMA
By RichRMA (11 months ago)

I don't know. Go to the RAW comparison studio shot. Replace the Olympus P&S there with an OM-D, or any cheap DSLR. They just clobber these P&S's, even at 100 ISO there is noticeably better resolution. With used NEX-3's and 5's going for $250-$350, or (like I saw the other day) a Panasonic G3 open box with lens for $275, I'd be hard-pressed to spend $599 on a P&S.

2 upvotes
tazmac
By tazmac (11 months ago)

Your money!

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (11 months ago)

You are just now finding out that DSLRs have better IQ than P&Ss?

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Arn
By Arn (11 months ago)

(to marike6) Yes, DSLR's have much better IQ at any ISO, but the it's a "compact camera" not a P&S. I have trouble understanding how people constantly get these two very different things mixed.

Comment edited 22 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
SRT3lkt
By SRT3lkt (11 months ago)

I think dpreview's rating is just fine, if you take photographs (not just compare certain features or numbers) with those cameras and you'll know why those ratings are given.

0 upvotes
playForever8
By playForever8 (Apr 30, 2013)

dpreview rating system is quite messed up. I just don't understand how the 77% points come up for X20.

If comparing X20 against Nikon J1. They are in the same price range(even considering J1 price 2 years ago, now J1 is half of the initial list price).

J1 has bigger sensor 1" vs 2/3"
J1 has much faster AF, especially continuous AF system.
J1 has better video quality.
J1 better picture quality at low ISO and high ISO with its default kit lens.
J1 is half of X20 price now

J1 only got 67% rating. What a joke!

Based on X20 current price, X20 should be compared against J3(same price range), which has faster AF, higher MP than J1. I am not sure when J3 is reviewed by dpreview. what the rating will be given to J3 ? Shouldn't be well above 80% if X20 got 77% now.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Apr 30, 2013)

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/4416254604/camera-scores-ratings-explained

6 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Apr 30, 2013)

I own the J1, V1 cameras. So I'm sympathetic to the Nikon 1 system, but not to your complaint.

- That the J1 is cheap now is not relevant to what dpreview can say about either camera, its up to people to do their own homework.

- The Nikon 1 cameras lack(ed) direct access to a number of significant controls like ISO and EV. That was the main "hit" as far as dpreview was concerned. I agree that direct access buttons to ISO and WB is somewhat overrated, but menu diving for PASM modes is a pain.

- Most importantly, dpreview doesn't consider the cameras to be in the same class so the "scores" are not directly comparable. The Nikon 1 cameras were put against the Panasonic G, GF and Olympus Pen, and even NEX. The X20 is an enthusiast compact, put against the Panasonic LX and Canon G or S series.

4 upvotes
tazmac
By tazmac (11 months ago)

How's the viewfinder on the J1?

1 upvote
bluevaping
By bluevaping (11 months ago)

Sure I like the direct access controls and viewfinder of X20. But I like direct access to different lens. There is the trade off. I went with less desirable compact MLC. The nikon 1 s1. Full manual still and video with more menu work. The body is more compact with twice the sensor size and no AA filter as well. The new kit lens is sharp corner to corner, good for general use. And for more depth of field and lower light the f1.8 50 is great. The display has great viewing angles and good in daylight. As for the viewfinder, I found wearing pair of polarized sunglasses cuts glare for even better framing.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
moto75
By moto75 (Apr 30, 2013)

For me the X20 is some kind of a mixed bag: The ergonomics are great for a compact camera, also like the versatility of the zoom lens.

I can accept that due to the shutter type it only offers 1/1000 s at F2. So in bright light conditions at the beginning I rather worked with "P" until I found out that in P the aperture is closed down to F8 or F9, e. g. P selects F9 at 1/800s while F5 and 1/2500s would still be possible. And I think beyond F5.6 diffraction starts to be an issue. So I tried out which are the shortest possible times at certain apertures and calculated the exposure value:

F2.0 + 1/1000s = EV 12
F2.8 + 1/1200s = EV 13,2
F4.0 + 1/2000s = EV 15
F5.0 + 1/2500s = EV 15,9
F7.1 + 1/3000s = EV 17,2
F9.0 + 1/4000s = EV 18,3

Another issue is IQ, especially in JPEGs, RAW results with Silkypix and/or LR4.4 are ok, but definitely not better than from my Pentax Q or Ricoh GRD4, to say the least. Would love to see a FW update for the JPEG output and the P-line.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Apr 30, 2013)

In S, A or M mode the camera will use a combination of physical and electronic shutter to allow it to continue to offer up to 1/4000th even at F2.

5 upvotes
moto75
By moto75 (Apr 30, 2013)

Just tried it out now: In M and S modes I can confirm, but in A mode I don't get shorter times than 1/1000s. Any hints? thanks!

0 upvotes
photoguy622
By photoguy622 (Apr 30, 2013)

You've just got to use M mode if that's what you want to do. I don't know why it behaves this way, and it is a bit annoying, but at least there is that work around.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Apr 30, 2013)

I thought I'd got it into electronic shutter territory in A mode, but I could be wrong (I just picked it up and played, having found no useful info in the instruction manual).

1 upvote
moto75
By moto75 (11 months ago)

...just after some more trials I believe this is working for me in M mode. But it looks a bit like a not fully implemented feature, also without any documentation in the manual. Would love to see it implemented in a way like Pentax did with the Q where you have a menu option to generally allow using the electronic shutter once the mechanic shutter doesn't support shorter exposure times (btw: the nice thing is that Q and X20 share the same battery type :))

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (Apr 30, 2013)

How can this come so close to the mighty RX100? - 77% vs 78%
And why can it not be compared to the RX100? they are the same category and similar price ranges

4 upvotes
NiallM
By NiallM (Apr 30, 2013)

Whether you like one or not, a VF is a huge plus for a camera and in this rating system it's worth about 10%, considering 99% of the X20 market competition has nada.

Another huge factor regarding camera rating is ergonomics and in my big hands the RX100 is a bar of soap. I'll probably buy the Samsung EX2F over the Pana LX7 for that very reason, and the articulated screen, because i'm tall and find that i do a lot of low perspective/close to the ground stuff. See? Everyone has different needs.

Speed of use is another factor and the RX100 requires a lot of menu surfing. This issue alone can take a lot of the fun out of photography as well, especially for the older gits out there.

2 upvotes
photoguy622
By photoguy622 (Apr 30, 2013)

Don't forget that the X20 is much brighter through its zoom range as well.

0 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (Apr 30, 2013)

RX100 has nearly 2x larger sensor 13.2x8.8mm vs 8.8x6.6mm
RX100 has 20MP vs 12MP
RX100 has 1200k display vs 460k
RX100 is actually brighter at the wider end although darker at longer end F1.8-F4.9 vs F2-F2.8
RX100 exp comp is -3 to +3 vs -2 to +2
RX100 battery life is 330 vs 270
RX100 is lighter 240g vs 350g and all dimensions are smaller
The X20 advantage is a tunnel viewfinder and the speed at the long end
The X20 also has 3 more buttons with a scroller and exp comp selector

5 upvotes
xeriwthe
By xeriwthe (Apr 30, 2013)

OMG x20 is junk compared to RX100 i mean obviously

life is based on bullet point comparisons end of story can't believe anyone can think otherwise

Comment edited 56 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
WellyNZ
By WellyNZ (11 months ago)

@Everlast66,

You're boring.

6 upvotes
tazmac
By tazmac (11 months ago)

RX100 Corners are soft... Check the studio comparison picture!

1 upvote
jimkh
By jimkh (11 months ago)

I'm an RX100 owner so I admit to probably having a prejudice but I'm confused by this X20 review. In the beginning of the review the RX100 is identified as one of the competitors, i.e. enthusiast compact. Then when sensor size is mentioned as 2x or so larger on the RX100 it's put down as much more expensive. At the $600-$700 level I don't find a $50 difference as a big difference. But then when we reach the end of the reeview with the comparison bar chart the RX100 is not available for comparison.
I realize the X20 is larger than the RX100 but how much larger. It seems to me that a comparison picture of the competitors would have been helpful.
So is the RX100 a competitor or is it in a different class? The review is non-responsive to this reasonable question.

Jim

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
wakaba
By wakaba (Apr 30, 2013)

Nikon D600 still better image quality at ISO 6400 than X20 at 100.
That is what you get. Much closer to my phonecam than anything. Doa.

2 upvotes
skytripper
By skytripper (Apr 30, 2013)

You're comparing a compact with a $2000 full-frame DSLR? That's just plain NUTS!!!

10 upvotes
johnparas11zenfoliodotcom
By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (Apr 30, 2013)

OMG LOL.. point and shoot versus DSLR?

3 upvotes
kecajkerugo
By kecajkerugo (Apr 30, 2013)

yes, that is possible...see my post below and test it yourself that way.

0 upvotes
photoguy622
By photoguy622 (Apr 30, 2013)

Are you for real?

Even if the photo quality was only as good as a camera phone (which it's not based on the last test of camera phones done on this site) then the X20 is still not DOA. It has excellent ergonomics, and a great lens. Heck, it's just fun to shoot with.

1 upvote
Juck
By Juck (Apr 30, 2013)

Don't feed the troll ladies.

3 upvotes
WellyNZ
By WellyNZ (11 months ago)

Good point, wakaba! Don't listen to them.

Scans from my 8x10 large format film camera result in 320 megapixel images with more detail than you can comprehend. This camera is much closer to my D600 than anything. Rubbish.

2 upvotes
RAG64
By RAG64 (Apr 30, 2013)

Thank you DPR for reviewing a relevant camera and in a timely fashion! :-)

I realize both reviews were done by different people, but I don't understand why the comparison tool (on the conclusion page) shows much better IQ - especially in raw - and better video for the X20 than the G15, when this is clearly not the case even from reading your review.
Is that why the X20 got a better % score???

2 upvotes
reuptake
By reuptake (Apr 30, 2013)

I don't really understand why this review didn't mention one very obvious issue with X20: you can't use shutter faster than 1/1000 when using aperture 2.0 or similar. This is a big problem when taking pictures in a sunshine.

3 upvotes
Mr Sincere
By Mr Sincere (Apr 30, 2013)

While a built in ND filter is certainly more convenient, I believe you can use a screw on ND filter with the x20, if you have the appropriate adaptor. This is far from ideal, but it's at least better than the rx100, where there's no way to use an ND filter (although I remember reading something about people gluing filters on... ick.)

You are correct though, in that this is a big advantage of the compact zooms like the XZ-2 and LX7 that do have a built in ND filter, and even a higher max shutter speed (and lower base ISO in the LX7).

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Apr 30, 2013)

Pretty easy to just hold a filter up in front of any lens. I do it all the time. Of course it makes purists shudder.

1 upvote
Jeff Keller
By Jeff Keller (Apr 30, 2013)

See R Butler's response above about shutter speeds faster than 1/1000 sec.

3 upvotes
photoguy622
By photoguy622 (Apr 30, 2013)

Not if you use M mode.

0 upvotes
reuptake
By reuptake (Apr 30, 2013)

Still it's really annoying. I've been using X20 during my trip to Sri Lanka, too thousands, and this particular problem was the bigest one for me. It should be mentioned in a review.

Overall I'm pretty plesed with this camera.

Comment edited 11 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
johnparas11zenfoliodotcom
By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (Apr 30, 2013)

if this had a direct red video record button.. then I will really want it.. (aside from better jpeg output).. so maybe the X30 next year.. so i guess I iwll just enjoy my Canon G12 still.. no need to "upgrade" yet ;-)

note: the G12 does not have the direct red video button as well.. and g15 ..meh.. I am tired of the design of the G series.. so time to look somewhere else ;-)

..of course owning a camera.. the aesthetic look, the handling, and other variables count.. and yes no perfect camera .. always compromises in what we want.. :-)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
reuptake
By reuptake (Apr 30, 2013)

The video quality is very bad, AF constantly adjusting itself. "Direct red video button" won't help here.

1 upvote
johnparas11zenfoliodotcom
By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (Apr 30, 2013)

yep.. maybe a firmware update..
although th ewishing for a direct video button is just for convenience.. for example.. when in dark school hall/gym.. for school performances.. I just want to press the video right away instead of fumbling for the dial.. and no I do not want to bring a separate video cam :-)

0 upvotes
AngryCorgi
By AngryCorgi (Apr 30, 2013)

Odd thing is that Fuji's marketing PROMISED the X20 to be superior in DR and SNR to both the G1X and RX100...and it lags pretty far behind both.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3378827

4 upvotes
xeriwthe
By xeriwthe (11 months ago)

OMG PROMISE BREAKERS PROMISE BREAKERS

i'm sorry but not really. i just feel as dumb as perhaps you might be for partaking in the madness, again apologies but not really

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (11 months ago)

If you look up the word "lie" in a dictionary, it says "a promise made by marketing people."

1 upvote
photoguy622
By photoguy622 (Apr 30, 2013)

I enjoy the X20 and agree with the review. While image quality at higher ISO speeds is nothing to write home about, the rest of the camera (ergonomics, optical viewfinder, great lens, solid build quality), make it well worth the price.

0 upvotes
Viramati
By Viramati (Apr 30, 2013)

Have had the camera for a few weeks and agree with most of the review. I only shoot RAW and am pretty happy with the results I can get in Lr4.4. In fact I find the files to very malleable and with some well set up presets I can get good reults at base and high iso. I agree the jpegs are disappointing and hope over time they can tweak them with a firmware update. It is the only small camera of its kind with a decent OVF and for me this is the main selling point plus the fantastically fast and accurate auto-focus make it a great little street camera

0 upvotes
Rob P
By Rob P (Apr 30, 2013)

Thanks again for not popping up the link to the review in a new tab. It's good to see you as a responsible net publisher!

5 upvotes
tinpusher
By tinpusher (Apr 30, 2013)

Poor Greens and smeary jpegs are why I returned the X20.
If Fuji issues a firmware fix then I'll buy another but until then I'm sticking to the X10 and RX100 as my compact choices.

Lovely camera to use though ; just a shame about the jpegs.
RAWs were fine and look great on LR4.4

6 upvotes
kecajkerugo
By kecajkerugo (Apr 30, 2013)

many people do not care about RAWs therefore for this community is perfect camera.
Many of you is dissapointed of the quality try to make a test then:
have somebody to swicth on different cameras in the DPR tool in a way you do not know which one is the fuji (so do not use this review comparative analysi directly) and try to guess which one is the fuji. Do it for lower ISO and moderate ISO...a high ISO of 3200 or higher will not work on any such cameras. Make another test: using same tool swich on a few APS-C cameras to be compared to the Fuji...select for example D5000, Canon Rebel .....older ones (but still with a large sensor) and see how the smudging look like...you will be surprised how much the DSLR are "soft".
So mayby this camera is softer viewed 100% than soem of the small sensor brothers but it is still a great tool when viewed normally on a screen.

0 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (Apr 30, 2013)

I agree. For any compact camera like this the resolution at 100% and performance at ISO 3200 are primarily of academic interest and will be irrelevant to the practical uses the camera is designed for.
For 100% crops and ISO 3200 no compact would a sensible choice. Even the RX100 whose equivalent aperture advantage has almost disappeared by 35mm equiv. compared to the fast 1/1.7" and this slighly slower lens 2/3" camera.
The images can hardly be called mediocre as one or others have described them. Seems a nice camera in its class.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Apr 30, 2013)

Could we readers get some more raw samples than just the test scene?

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Mr Sincere
By Mr Sincere (Apr 30, 2013)

Look at the bottom of page 8 of the review.

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Apr 30, 2013)

Mr Sincere-

Thank you, now how about ISO 1600.

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Apr 30, 2013)

I just don't get how anyone would get a camera that doesn't produce a decent RAW conversion from the typical software. Any of the current competitors like the Canon G15, the Oly or the Nikon P7700 produce much better results.

3 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Apr 30, 2013)

Well people love the retro styling and the controls on this camera. I for one really like what fuji has done with the viewfinder. For some it is enough and a surprising number of people who buy cameras like this shoot jpeg anyway.

That said any camera that doesn't have good raw support/performance in Lightroom is an automatic no buy for me regardless of how much I like the design or certain features.

0 upvotes
Trevor G
By Trevor G (Apr 30, 2013)

@rhlpetrus

Maybe you should check the comparisons in this thread, using Silkypix 5 as the processing tool. It seems to let the X20 best everything for detail, including the RX100.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3480900

0 upvotes
kewlguy
By kewlguy (Apr 30, 2013)

Apparently this cameras is more about wow factor rather than IQ - which is important in 2013...

1 upvote
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Apr 30, 2013)

Since its X-trans, Apples Aperture might be better choice for RAW (best one most likely as its in case of X-E1 or X-Pro1).

0 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (Apr 30, 2013)

Well, Apple added RAW processing for X-Trans relatively recently so it might not be the best around - yet, anyway.

0 upvotes
Parappaman
By Parappaman (Apr 30, 2013)

Same lens, but the X-10 scores higher in the optics department.
Same flash, but the X-10 scores lower in the flash performance department.
Worse and more aggressive noise reduction at high ISO, but the X-10 scores MUCH higher in low-light/high ISO performance.
Also, the X-20 has a faster burst rate, faster focusing and shorter lock-up times, and yet the X-10 scores higher in the performance (speed) department.

Hmmm... curious indeed.

Other than that, nice review of a very beautiful camera!

9 upvotes
chp
By chp (11 months ago)

I am really curious about these specific points too...... how can the optic scores be different when the lens is unchanged ?

0 upvotes
PhotoKhan
By PhotoKhan (Apr 30, 2013)

From the "Conclusion-Pros":"Solid build quality with retro design".
How can "retro design" (a personal preference) be considered a "Pro"?

...and I find it now an established Fujifilm characteristic that their cameras have problems reproducing blues and reds.

Firetruck-red is definitely NOT that shade.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Apr 30, 2013)

Because "Solid build quality with retro design" is something that enthusiast and pro photographers want. Because retro design has undergone 100 years of refinement in the field of ergonomics, efficiency and usefulness. This design - especially good and unique (for this category) viewfinder on the right place (says my nose) with shooting data and manual zoom are big plus.

13 upvotes
PhotoKhan
By PhotoKhan (Apr 30, 2013)

Ahhh..."The Grand Educator", an always appreciated figure.
I would suggest, tough, that you first familiarize yourself with the actual meanings of "Design", "Retro", "Objectivity" and "Subjectivity" before you so rabidly pontificate.
You might be in for a surprise...

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Revenant
By Revenant (Apr 30, 2013)

And also because the pros and cons reflect the reviewer's personal preferences, as they should. If the reviewer likes retro design, then it's a pro for him. He didn't say that it must be a pro for you.

8 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Apr 30, 2013)

What is strictly objective in such product review? Only exactly measured numbers I think. But review is a view of a very informed and experienced user of certain product category, who partially refers his own preferences, but is also - due to his experience - able to generalize views of people - potential users of product - that is a craft and art to balance these two approaches.

3 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (Apr 30, 2013)

I am not sure that designing something to look like it was hand built in the 19th Century but will in fact be mass produced in the 21st Century is always a good match.

3 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Apr 30, 2013)

I AM sure that cheap automated mass production has done bad harm to ergonomic design - especially in this compact category. The cheap mass produced plastic soap-box-like or cell-phone-like electronic toys without built-in viewfinders and without good optics are ugly for photographer's eyes and hands - in my opinion. That's why I see as the great success to join photographic ergonomics, tradition and style with modern mass production.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
GrahamDuthie
By GrahamDuthie (Apr 30, 2013)

Disappointing IQ. I don't know much about RAW converters, so I'm wondering if any one thinks the X20 could match the G15 in IQ with better RAW conversion? it seems like a great camera to use, if only the output could match that standard.

2 upvotes
Trevor G
By Trevor G (Apr 30, 2013)

Check out this thread where I compare a number of cameras including the RX100 against the X20, using Silkypix DSP5 at default settings in each case.

The X20 shows more detail in the studio test scene than the RX100 on the feathers

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3480900?page=2

1 upvote
attomole
By attomole (Apr 30, 2013)

I suppose it depends on your expectations, but i don't see that outperforms or is bested by any of its peers, even the RX100, The Nikon 1 and MFT stuff does, but it claws some back by virtue of its 2-2.8 lens, where you would be working 3.5 to 5.6 with an equivalent Kit lens on the aforementioned.

0 upvotes
Peter Gabriel
By Peter Gabriel (Apr 30, 2013)

Hmm, a bit to much copy and paste for my liking. Ex. the Raw download states:

"... and judge the capabilities of the D7100 for yourself."

Say what?

5 upvotes
CeleryBeats
By CeleryBeats (Apr 30, 2013)

LOL that's hilarious! Though that part isn't really specific to any camera. It's just about downloading a file. In this case the RAW from a D7100..um X20! :D

2 upvotes
AngryCorgi
By AngryCorgi (Apr 30, 2013)

I almost blew my espresso out my nose. Bahahahahahahahahahahaha...good catch! :D

0 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Apr 30, 2013)

Another one: page ten talks about the Panasonic GH3.

1 upvote
Jeff Keller
By Jeff Keller (Apr 30, 2013)

Sorry about that... fixed now. The links to the RAW files were correct though, just not the text before it :)

2 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Apr 30, 2013)

I really like what Fuji have done with this design. The X10 was a joy to operate, but had sub-par image quality in my opinion.

Now along comes this. Side by side, it's still a great body design.

But seeing the images along side the LX7 is disgraceful--the LX7 ROMPS this for image quality at every ISO. Sure makes XTrans seem like a joke.

8 upvotes
Trevor G
By Trevor G (Apr 30, 2013)

Maybe you should look again at the X20, using Silkypix to process both images.

Here, I did it just for you:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3480900?page=2#forum-post-51383170

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Apr 30, 2013)

Fascinating X10-X20 comparison shots on page 8.

I resized from 4000 to 2000 pixel baseline, nudged the X10 contrast up by 20%. The images then looked identical to me. I would say, also, that at 100% full resolution the smudging artifacts were worse for the X20 than for the X10.

In all, I can't say I'm sold on X-trans for this sensor size at least.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
smatty
By smatty (Apr 30, 2013)

And unless someone proves differently, I would say that EXR has the edge in DR.

But we might not know as dpreview did the test on the X10 but not the X20 review...

4 upvotes
AngryCorgi
By AngryCorgi (Apr 30, 2013)

It's already been shown elsewhere, and yes, the detail using the X10 + EXR DR trumps the smudgy X20 DR boost.

2 upvotes
sphexx
By sphexx (Apr 30, 2013)

In dpr tests the X10 at 6MP DR400 trumps every other camera (ie not just compacts) I have tried in the "comparator". Maybe the tests are faulty but the X10 dynamic range is very good in my experience.

0 upvotes
JonP
By JonP (Apr 30, 2013)

I think it's a good review, and it looks like Fuji have addressed one of the weaknesses of the x10 - AF speed and accuracy. However, the loss of EXR mode (especially the DR benefits) probably doesn't make up for it, for me.

My view of the samples is that IQ is fractionally behind competitors (at low ISO), but basically in the same range.

If there's one thing I've learned, it's that small differences in IQ in 100% crops just aren't a major issue when selecting a camera. AF, viewfinder, ergonomics (inc. menus etc) can make the difference between a shot ruined/missed, and a shot that's good. After that, a small difference in IQ just isn't that much of a big deal.

At the price, it's not worth trading in my X10 for, but it looks like a good camera for many enthusiasts. The manual zoom alone makes up for the slight softness IMO.

17 upvotes
smatty
By smatty (Apr 30, 2013)

There was one single test that I cared about and that was to see how the Dynamic Range of the small X-Trans sensor in the X20 compared to the EXR sensor in the X10.

And while dpreview tested DR in the X10 it was omitted in the X20 review. WHY?

3 upvotes
NIK11
By NIK11 (Apr 30, 2013)

Yes, the DPRE DR test is the only reliable alternative to DXO inflated figures being offered, albeit jpeg only. I think it's a shame DPRE have abandoned this, and A/F times as well.

I can work out resolution comparisons from any number of sites, but DR requires precise careful measurement which DPRE use to do so well.

3 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Apr 30, 2013)

DPR's DR test is not very useful for those wanting to use the full DR available, since it is jpeg only, thus dependent on the camera's jpeg profiles. DxOMark figures show the true potential and are not inflated at all.

1 upvote
smatty
By smatty (Apr 30, 2013)

Yes, but most Fuji X-Photographers use JPG very often because those OOC results are very, very good. And a comparison between the DR of the X10 to X20 would have been of great interest!

2 upvotes
NIK11
By NIK11 (Apr 30, 2013)

reply to rhlpetrus-
Did you notice about 18 months ago that DXO updated their test software, re-tested everything, and overnight most compact's DR improved by a wopping 1-2 stops? Seems like inflation to me!

0 upvotes
smatty
By smatty (Apr 30, 2013)

DXnikOn is not a very useful real world tool for me...

1 upvote
ogl
By ogl (Apr 30, 2013)

The result is real junk...XZ-2 is far better.

3 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Apr 30, 2013)

I really think dpreview ought to try Capture One 7 on this camera, because LightRoom's output is still too soft. And the Olympus model in the raw comparison does much better- not quite what one may expect from an AAless camera.

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Apr 30, 2013)

Fuji ought to share their algorithms with Adobe! C1 isn't giving great results compared to the jpegs either.

Until Fuji shares their "magic" these XTrans are jpeg only.

0 upvotes
panoviews
By panoviews (Apr 30, 2013)

The RAW output is very soft, quite strange for a sensor with no AA filter.

2 upvotes
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (Apr 30, 2013)

It could be a software problem. Camera Raw didn'nt handle EXR patterns very well.

0 upvotes
viking79
By viking79 (Apr 30, 2013)

It is a point and shoot, all small sensors need more sharpening than large sensors. They have to resolve much high resolutions. The sensor is 6.6mm tall with 3000 pixels, that is 1500/6.6 lp/mm = 227 lp/mm where an SLR with the same number of pixels is like 100 lp/mm. You need a much better quality lens on the Fuji or it will look a little soft (hence the required added sharpening).

1 upvote
Arn
By Arn (11 months ago)

(viking79) ...argh, it's definitely not a point and shoot, but a compact camera and an advanced one at that. The small(ish) sensor doesn't make it a point and shoot - in fact, people who are not familiar with cameras, will not be able to use a camera like this to it's full potential. The softness of the X20 is clearly a software related problem, the RAW converters can't properly translate the sensor data. Just compate the RAW images to any camera with a similar sensor (Olympus XZ-2, Panasonic LX7, Nikon P7700) and see the X20's butt kicked.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (11 months ago)

Of course it's a point and shoot camera. It's a point and shoot camera with an above average lens and exceptional dynamic range. It has lots of features and options that may confuse users who are not big time pros but it's still a point and shoot camera.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Apr 30, 2013)

One of the most powerful features of the X10 and X20 series is the ability to capture four rapid shots of a darkly lit scene at one press of a shutter button, and the camera interpolates the 4 images into 1 image with less noise and faster shutter speeds than normal.
What normally would be a very dark and noisy image is rendered bright and clean by the camera engine.
This, and combined with a very fluid manually operated zoom lens, make this intrepid midget a powerhouse journalistic mojo.

.

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Arn
By Arn (Apr 30, 2013)

RAW quality appears to be worse than all of the competition! The output is simply soft. This is clearly apparent using the studio comparison tool. This should be clearly stated in the conclusion of the review. I could never consider such a camera, even though in other respects the camera is interesting.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Apr 30, 2013)

Raw AND jpeg don't stack up to the competition.

2 upvotes
Nightwings
By Nightwings (Apr 30, 2013)

Suggestion to the reviewer -

When showing the different film simulation modes .... Please choose a landscape shot with lots of green ... trees... and sky. The shot that you chose of the boats.... means nothing imho... because we don't know what the true natural color of those boats are in real life. Whereas a landscape shot, is a subject that we can easily relate to in terms of colors.

My 2C

11 upvotes
RAG64
By RAG64 (Apr 30, 2013)

Good point! ...but do you realize how hard it must be to get blue skies in the Seattle are? :D

I must say I find the bridge picture with the cables valuable (as I did at DCR) for evaluating and comparing sharpness, contrast and distortion. I hope he keeps that one for future reviews.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Total comments: 177
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