Body and handling

The X-T2's body appears to be very similar to that of the X-T1 - it's still got that '80s SLR size and shape to it, and is still adorned with direct control dials for shutter speed, ISO and exposure compensation. In addition there are two (now clickable) command dials, front and rear.

Despite the apparent similarities, the X-T2's body is a fraction taller and the grip is a fraction deeper. The differences are subtle though, such that the biggest clue about which model you're looking at is the addition of an AF point joystick on the back of the camera and the threading for a cable remote release in the shutter button.

And, although the specifications of the viewfinder panel are the same as for the X-T1, the X-T2 can drive it faster, giving a more responsive update. By default it runs at 60fps (up from the 55fps of the T1) but can be increased to 100fps by engaging 'Performance Boost' mode.

The X-T2 continues the X-T1's retro SLR styling but sees a couple of button function changes that put even more key features at your fingertips (not least the addition of a joystick for AF point selection).

The shutter speed and ISO dials both feature toggle lock buttons at their centers, meaning they can be clicked down to lock the dials' positions or toggled into the unlocked position if you prefer not to have to press a button before turning the dial. Like the X-Pro2, the exposure comp dial has a 'C' position which hands-off control of exposure comp to one of the command dials, extending the range from ±3EV to ±5EV.

The AF-point joystick liberates the four-way controller, giving the camera a total of eight customizable buttons, making it fairly easy to gain access to the settings you change most often. The buttons on our pre-production unit feel much more responsive than the ones on the X-T1 did, with none of the mushiness that was present on that model. Part of this responsiveness comes from the camera reacting when you press the button, rather than when you release it.

Somewhat oddly, the X-T1's [REC] button has been removed. Movie recording is now its own drive mode, which allows you to preview your framing before initiating recording with the shutter button. The downside is that you can't quickly start recording a video when something worth capturing occurs. Presumably Fujifilm felt that eight customizable buttons was enough. The function of the Focus Check button that's been replaced by the AF joystick is taken on by the now clickable command dial, a little further up the back of the camera.

Instead of the previous behavior, where you could hold down any of the Fn buttons to bring up the customization menu, on the X-T2 you instead hold down the 'Disp/Back' button to gain quick access to the button customization screen.

Dual hinge screen

The camera's flip-out screen deserves some attention. It uses an innovating dual hinge system that we've not seen before. The first hinge sees the screen able to tilt up and down, just like its predecessor's, then a catch on the side allows the screen to hinge along its short edge.

The double-jointed screen means it can be used for video and for high/low-angle stills in the portrait orientation.

Why do this? It means that video shooters and waist-level shooters gain the benefits of the screen flipping up towards them, while also allowing high- or low-angle shooting in the portrait orientation. This usually requires the use of a (patent-protected) fully articulated panel, but this implementation keeps the screen closer to the body, meaning it can still be used discreetly. The only disadvantage is that you can't flip the screen around to protect it against the camera body.

Battery

We're delighted to be able to report that the X-T2 supports charging over USB and includes an external charger, making it easy to ensure the camera is ready-to-go, whenever you need it.

The camera is rated to 340 shots by CIPA standard testing. As always, this doesn't tell you the number of shots you can expect (since the testing involves an abnormally high use of power-draining flash), but the results are broadly comparable. Consequently, if you find you get 600 shots from a 340 shot-per-charge camera, you're likely to get twice as many from a camera rated at 680 shots per charge.

The X-T2 uses a new variant of the existing NP-W126 battery. The NP-W126S is still rated as offering the same capacity, so the precise difference is unclear. Possibilities include revised circuitry for multiple working or improved heat management (or one as a result of the other).