Retro Good Looks
The X20 is an advanced compact camera from Fujifilm. It takes its design cues from the retro rangefinders of the past, making it stand out from the run-of-the-mill compacts. Possessing a robust and sturdy build, the camera felt good in our hands though it’s heavier and larger than your standard compact.
The Fujixfilm X20 comes with a few design quirks. For starters, it doesn’t come with a Power button; simply twist the zoom ring to power on the camera. The camera doesn’t come with a zoom rocker either, as you can twist and turn the manual zoom lens to get closer or further from your subject. The X20 also makes use of the Focus Peak Highlight function during manual focus.
Despite being slightly larger than some of the other advanced compacts, there’s hardly an empty spot on the rear of the camera due to the many buttons and controls found there. The X20 sees the RAW button previously found on its predecessor, the X10, replaced with the Q button, which brings up a selection of settings when pressed. The rear display remains at 2.8 inches with a resolution of 460k-dots.
The X20 comes with an optical viewfinder, which is a handy alternative to the rear display. The viewfinder, however, only provides 85% coverage of the lens’ fieldof-view, so you will have to frame your shot accordingly as the final shot will have a slightly wider view.
While the viewfinder is useful when the rear display washes out under bright sunlight, we found that the lens barrel is visible at the bottom right corner of the frame when shooting at a wider angle. While the lens barrel is not captured in the shot, this does make framing awkward at times. The viewfinder image also does not have the composition grid and AF selection point overlaid onto it; these only appear on the rear display.
The top of the camera is pretty standard with the mode dial, shutter release button, hot shoe mount, customizable Fn button and built-in flash. There is also a dedicated exposure compensation dial, which is useful in some situations, though more often than not we forgot to reset the setting and started shooting with the previous setting.
Fujifilm promised improved autofocus speeds with the X20 (the older X10 sported rather slow AF performance) and we can see that they’ve has largely delivered on that promise, though AF tracking still needs a bit more work as the X20 stumbled a bit during testing.
The X20 produces images with excellent color, and noise remains controlled up to ISO800 though in a rather aggressive fashion, and also quite apparent from ISO200 onwards.
In terms of battery life, the X20 promises 270 shots according to the CIPA standard, which isn’t high when compared to its peers. If you intend to spend an entire day shooting, we advise bringing an additional battery.
The X20 is a definite improvement over its predecessor, the X10. AF speed has been improved and there’s the optical viewfinder, which proved useful on sunny days.
Build quality is robust and it feels neither cheap nor fragile. However, it’s slightly larger than your average compact camera, while its noise reduction software tends to be aggressive, occasionally smudging out detail.
In the end, the X20 is a niche camera that will appeal to those who like its retro style, manual zoom and optical viewfinder. For the mainstream shutterbug, however, its high asking price may limit its appeal due to the many powerful competitors that are available.
speciFicatiOns image sensOr 2.3” CMOS // eFFectiVe piXels 12 Megapixels // Optical ZOOm 4x // isO
sensitiVity ISO100- 12800 // aperture range F2.0 – F11 // shutter speeD 30 sec to 1/4000 sec // FOcal length 28 - 112 mm (35mm film Equivalent) // stOrage meDia SD Card /SDHC Card / SDXC // lcD Display 2.8- inch (460k-dot Pixels) TFT-LCD // Battery Rechargeable lithium ion battery
(NP-50) // DimensiOns 117 x 69.6 x 56.8mm // Weight Approx. 353 g (Including Battery and Memory Card)
The X20 comes with an optical viewfinder, though with only 85% coverage for the lens’ field-of-view.