Pros

  • Excellent image quality in both Raw and JPEG
  • Superb JPEG color options
  • Direct controls give engaging shooting experience
  • Reassuringly solid build quality
  • AF point joystick speed up operation
  • Greatly improved autofocus, especially in terms of tracking
  • Dual hinged rear screen suits both stills and video shooters
  • Dual card slots give flexibility and capacity
  • Impressive 4K video quality and associated support tools
  • In-camera Raw processing lets you make full use of excellent JPEG engine
  • Simple and effective Wi-Fi system for image transfer
  • USB 3.0 for fast image and video transfer
  • USB charging is convenient
  • Supplied charger makes it easy to keep a spare battery charged

Cons

  • JPEG noise reduction can sometimes over-smooth skin detail at very high ISO
  • Camera's full AF capability only available with a subset of lenses
  • Subject tracking, while good, is not dependable enough for professional use
  • AF performance drops significantly in low light
  • Phase detection region is somewhat small by contemporary standards
  • Choice of three Auto ISO presets more complex than necessary
  • Limited control over autofocus in video mode
  • 'Texture' pattern can appear in images with lens flare
  • Battery grip is required for extended video clips and audio monitoring
  • X-Trans color pattern not as widely or well supported as Bayer design

Overall Conclusion

Previous experience might have led you to expect the X-T2 to be a DSLR-shaped variant of the X-Pro2. This hasn't proved to be the case, with Fujifilm pulling out all the stops to address the system's two significant weak points: autofocus and video. These add substantially to the already likeable control system of the X-T1 and the improved image quality that came with the X-Pro2.

Processing using Adobe Camera Raw, white balance corrected, slight brightening. Fujinon 56mm F1.2 APD, ISO 1000, F1.2, 1/125th
Photo: Richard Butler

With the arrival of the Nikon D500 and Sony's a6300 and a6500, the enthusiast end of the APS-C market is looking pretty competitive. Add to this the lower-than-ever cost of a full frame camera, thanks to Sony's a7 series and the Pentax K-1 and the X-T2 has its work cut out for it.

So to what extent does the X-T2's more comprehensive capability stave off competition from its similarly capable APS-C rivals and the more stripped-back full frame cameras, with the image quality benefit their larger sensors give?

Body and Handling

The X-T2 offers an extensive array of direct control points, to a degree that's possibly excessive. However, toggle locks on the ISO and shutter speed dial mean these can be locked to Auto if you prefer only to use Auto ISO and shoot in aperture priority mode, for instance. It also makes it easy to lock your shutter speed in, when shooting video.

Processing using Adobe Camera Raw, contrast increased. Fujinon 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 200, F5.6, 1/2400th
Photo: Richard Butler

The addition of an autofocus joystick means not only is it quicker and easier to position the camera's focus point (regardless of camera orientation), but it also relieves the competition for the camera's eight custom function buttons. This makes it possible to assign most of the settings you regularly want to change (DR Mode, Film Simulation, Auto ISO Setting, AF Mode in my case), and use the Q.Menu occasionally, for adjusting more obscure parameters, such as Noise Reduction, Highlight and Shadow response.

Overall, then, it's fairly simple to set the X-T2 up to offer an engaged, hands-on shooting experience, even if you're not familiar with shooting the kinds of cameras it resembles.

Performance

Autofocus is one of the X-T2's most dramatically improved aspects, particularly in terms of continuous autofocus. The camera's Zone and Wide/Tracking modes are competitive with many of its contemporaries (the Nikon D500 stands out as significantly better). However, this performance isn't maintained with all lenses and it also dips significantly as light levels fall or when face detection is enabled, so you won't always gain its full capability.

Fujinon 56mm F1.2 APD, ISO 4000, F1.2, 1/80th
Photo: Richard Butler

In good light conditions with some setup, some practice and some work-arounds, the X-T2 can be made to work for a much wider range of subjects for a much greater number of photographers than was previously possible in an X Series camera. While it probably won't be the first choice camera if action, wedding, or active kid photography are your primary concerns, the X-T2's performance will likely serve or exceed the needs of many photographers.

The ability to shoot at eight frames per second with this autofocus makes the X-T2 pretty competitive against similarly priced cameras. Adding the 'Power Booster Grip' unlocks the ability to shoot at 11 frames per second but also raises the price to that of the Nikon D500, which is unequivocally a better sports camera (thanks both to its autofocus and lack of viewfinder lag when continuous shooting). We'd suggest buying it for the battery life extension, rather than the increased performance.

Image Quality

The X-T2's image quality is essentially identical to that of the X-Pro2, which is to say very good. Raw performance is a match for the best APS-C cameras we're ever tested, both in noise and dynamic range terms. On top of this the JPEG engine, with its choice of attractive 'Film Simulation' modes, is superb especially if you lower the noise reduction a little.

Processing using Adobe Camera Raw, white balance adjusted. Fujinon 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR, ISO 1250, F2.8, 1/500th
Photo: Richard Butler

Add to all of this a fairly comprehensive in-camera Raw converter and built-in Wi-Fi and you should be able to hone and share your best shots soon after you take them. Only the slightly heavy-handed noise reduction on skin tones counts significantly against the T2.

As pixel counts climb and other manufacturers forego the use of optical low pass filters, the benefits of the X-Trans design become less clear. At 24MP the lower risk of moiré when shooting with sharp lenses remains a benefit but whether this is worth the slight loss of fine detail and reduction in Raw converter choice is something for each photographer to consider. Overall, though, we were impressed with the X-T2.

Video

Video is the other area of significant improvement for the X-T2. Its 4K footage is some of the most detailed we've seen, and strikes a good balance between offering an acceptable level of rolling shutter and not having to suffer an overly limiting crop. The camera's Film Simulations offer some attractive out-of-camera footage, especially with the contrast turned down a little. Sadly the more grading-friendly F-Log mode is only available if you invest in an external recorder, where you can benefit from more detailed color output.

The video autofocus is disappointingly implemented, with insufficient control over when and how quickly the camera refocuses. The provision of focus peaking and a number of lenses with linear manual focus response means you can at least focus manually.

Video shooters are probably the users who'll benefit most from the Power Booster grip: the inclusion of a headphone jack, increased recording time and extended battery capacity are all significant benefits.

The final word

The X-T2 arrives at a time of fierce competition. Ever more affordable full frame cameras (including the excellent Pentax K-1) make it difficult to justify spending so much money on an APS-C camera and, in response, its APS-C peers, both mirrorless and DSLR, have become supremely capable.

Fujinon 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 200, F5.6, 1/2000th
Photo: Richard Butler

No wonder, then, that the X-T2 is Fujifilm's most capable and well-rounded ILC ever: it had to be. The company has done a great job of recognizing its strengths and has applied most efforts to its areas of greatest weakness: autofocus and video. This only helps expand the camera's appeal: it's a better camera for existing X series owners and for those people previously put off the system.

Not everything is completely resolved: the camera's full autofocus performance is only available with select lenses used in good light, and the camera's processing can still apply too much smoothing to faces at high ISO. But these are comparatively minor drawbacks from a really engaging, highly responsive stills and video-capable camera with frequently excellent image quality. Even against such stiff competition, it's a Gold.

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category. Click here to learn about the changes to our scoring system and what these numbers mean.

Fujifilm X-T2
Category: Semi-professional Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
PoorExcellent
Conclusion
The X-T2 is Fujifilm's most all-round capable ILC ever. It offers the excellent Raw image quality and delicious JPEGs as the X-Pro2 but gains much improved autofocus and some of the most detailed 4K footage we've seen. This full capability is only realized with certain lenses and in good light, but overall it's a camera whose capabilities extend far beyond those hinted at by its retro design.
Good for
Photographers looking for a jack-of-all-trades camera with hands-on ergonomics and excellent image quality.
Not so good for
Those professionals who need to be able to depend absolutely on the autofocus system.
86%
Overall score

Fujifilm X-T2 Samples Gallery

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