Fuji X-20 - first impressions after 7 days

Started Sep 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Elyharbour Senior Member • Posts: 2,043
Fuji X-20 - first impressions after 7 days

So, I unpacked the box on Wednesday last week. Never had a Fujifilm camera before, having come from Canon compacts and then Sony DSLRs / SLT / NEX. It's been a bit of a learning curve (and still is).

So what do I love about the X-20:

Well mainly what I bought it for - a serious "compact" with a viewfinder, good ergonomics and IQ potential. I use the OVF all the time. The trend towards non-VF LCD compact cameras over the years has been a real backwards step for me. I like my Sony NEX-5, but so often now I'm almost shooting blind as I can't be bothered with all the nonsense of taking off my sunglasses, finding my reading glasses, then turning-up the LCD brightness to compose the scene and check focus point and settings. By which time things have often moved on. Sure, an EVF on other small compacts (or a NEX-6) would give me a viewfinder, but I have to switch the camera ON first! I discovered in this last week the pleasure of having a small camera hanging from my wrist or neck and just spontaneously lifting it to my eye to scope-out a scene, then twist the lens to zoom in and it switches ON! What a brilliant idea. Of course it would be nice if it had more data as in a live-view EVF, but the essentials are there.

Picture quality:

Well it's different to Sony for sure and I need to adapt to it. Very sharp pics in JPEG mode. Perhaps too much sharpening going on? Still getting used to it and how to best develop the RAW files (and if I indeed I use RAW at all for everyday shots?). Same with the film modes. I like vivid colours but maybe Velvia is just a bit too much for me. Also need to figure-out what DR is actually doing. Right now I don't see a big difference between the 100-400 settings, but need some controlled conditions to really try this out. The RAW files are noisier in LR4 than the APS-C files from Sony and need some NR work even at ISO 400-800, but that's to be expected. The OOC JPEGs on the other hand handle noise very well IMO. Some say the X-20 NR is too aggressive. Something else I need to play with.

DoF control with a small sensor:

As many of my shots are land/seascapes, actually having a large DoF is an ADVANTAGE! Means I don't have to spend so much time worrying about hyperfocal distance, etc, to get sharp foregrounds. Though it's also clear to me that not "everything" is in focus all the time, so it still needs some consideration.  For shallow DoF portraits, etc, I'd probably use my Sony A57 SLT anyway.

Disappointments with the X-20?

Well none really so-far. It struggles to lock focus on low-detail scenes from time-to-time and I have to re-compose, but no worse than my NEX.

So, first impressions? I'll probably use the X-20 as my everyday walk-around camera for the foreseeable future. It won't replace my DSLR-type cameras for more demanding shots and sessions, but it does raise questions about my continued use of the NEX series and whether to go to the NEX-6 or future EVF models??

 Elyharbour's gear list:Elyharbour's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Fujifilm X30 Canon G9 X Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R +5 more
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