The X-T1 was a brilliant camera. Not only did it unofficially leapfrog the X-Pro1 as Fuji’s flagship model, but it built such a good reputation that many pros adopted it in preference to a DSLR. But by producing such a strong product, Fuji inadvertently set itself a colossal challenge – how to produce a worthy successor. The Japanese giant has stepped up to the plate admirably though, as the much-anticipated X-T2 comes with a plethora of updates, improvements and new features.
The improved, and very impressive, autofocus capabilities of the X-T2 are a real USP for this model, and Fuji has designed an autofocus system to suit every type of photographer. It’s been optimised to pay particular attention to the areas where the user is most likely to position the subject in the frame, boasting 91 focus points and a phase detection area 230% larger than that on the X-T1.
The AF-C custom settings allow you to adjust your focus depending on the subject you’re shooting. There are six presets, including accelerating and decelerating subjects and ignoring obstacles. These help to get the most from the autofocus capabilities, and ensure that each shot is pin-sharp. This variety means the X-T2 is adaptable for different photographers and changing photographic situations. For manual focus, the focus lever can be moved in eight directions to allow quick changes to the focus point and the electronic viewfinder offers Split Image, where focusing is assisted by lining up image strips in the centre of the EVF. One slight annoyance is the lack of touchscreen for touch focus, but it’s not a deal breaker.
Build & handling
Fuji seems to have taken the approach of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, and instead has simply adapted the design of the X-T1 for a more refined and polished version. As such, the overall design of the X-T2 offers a comfortable grip and is very ergonomic and well balanced.
The magnesium alloy body is extremely lightweight and compact, yet remains solid and rugged. It’s weather-sealed to resist dust and moisture, and is capable of working in temperatures down to -10°C, making it ideal for travel photography, use on the move or in more extreme situations. The dial-based operation on the top of the camera enables you to control your settings without navigating through menus. The dials are lockable to reduce the chance of accidentally changing settings and the 3in LCD screen is adjustable for comfortable viewing from different orientations.
The 24.3MP X-Trans APS-C sensor coupled with the XF range of lenses produces excellent-quality images with drastically reduced moiré and false colours. The processor is also 4x faster than the X-T1’s, meaning less delay between shots. The film simulation modes boast a variety of effects that can be added to the images, such as classic chrome or monochrome, to give the effect of switching films.
The X-T2’s video mode can capture 1.8x the required number of pixels for 4K video, so it’s unlikely the camera will disappoint in this area. You can record in a higher dynamic range while shooting in 4K, rather than normal video mode, and settings such as aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation can all be adjusted while recording. The X-T2 is compatible with a variety of accessories to maximise video capacity, such as simultaneous HDMI output to an external monitor.
Fuji’s design team has clearly listened to feedback – good and bad – it received about the X-T1, and used it when creating the X-T2. This new model is therefore very much an adaptation of the successful X-T1 design, with a few subtle adjustments. The image quality is great and the autofocus custom settings are something you never knew you needed until you’ve used them. Although strictly a CSC, the X-T2 really challenges some DSLRs, and sits comfortably beside the X-Pro2 as Fuji’s joint flagship model.
Great autofocus capabilities
Very accurate colour rendition
Tactile and ergonomic feel
Capable of full 4K shooting
No video button
No GPS capabilities
Battery life shorter than DSLR competitors
- Price: £1399 (as of October 2016)
- Resolution: 24.3MP
- Sensor: 23.6x15.6mm APS-C X-Trans CMOS III
- LCD: 3in 1040k-dot
- Viewfinder: 0.5in 2.36m-dot EVF
- Autofocus: Intelligent Hybrid
- ISO: 200-12,800 (expands to 100-51,200)
- Shooting speed: 14fps
- Video: 4K at 30fps, Full HD at 60fps
- Pop-up flash: No
- Other features: Autofocus custom settings
- Battery life: 340 shots
- Card type: SD, SDHC, SDXC
- Size (WxHxD): 133x92x49mm
- Weight: 507g
- Web: www.fujifilm.eu/uk
This review was first published in the October 2016 issue of Practical Photography - download back issues here.