Well worth buying Fujifilm X20

Fujifilm X20 (digital camera)

Makes the competition look old

Michael Ludwig

The X20 is in top form in the hands of experienced photographers. You can fine-tune the camera with the help of many controls. The bright lens with manually adjustable 4x zoom provides DSLR convenience. The optical viewfinder is a rarity in this class. The image sensor with its new pixel arrangement delivers convincing, but not exceptional, quality. The X20 always reacts sufficiently quickly for snapshots.

High image sharpness
Optical viewfinder with information displays
Extensive setting options
Fast autofocus
Fast lens
Battery life
Sharpness at the edge of the picture
At Fujifilm, the following applies at the moment: the more old-fashioned the camera looks, the more up-to-date and high-quality the technology inside. The X20 looks very old in its retro case. A rarity among current compact cameras is the combination of a sharp display (2.8 inches, 460,000 pixels) and an optical viewfinder with good imaging properties. Fujifilm goes even further and displays information in the viewfinder; in black lettering during the day, in subtly shimmering green in the dark. The advantage: When using the viewfinder, you no longer have to look back and read the recording settings on the display. Time, aperture and ISO number appear in the viewfinder and the head goes back, then the eye sensor automatically activates the display.
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Technology from the professional class

The predecessor X10 already offered the large sensor in 2/3 inch format. Fujifilm keeps the size, but relies on the sensor technology from the in-house DSLMs. A special arrangement of the color fields makes the low-pass filter superfluous and ensures extremely high image sharpness. At the lowest light sensitivity (ISO 100) we measure 1,569 pairs of lines per image height - a record with twelve megapixel sensor resolution. However, the sharpness at the edge of the picture decreases by up to 34 percent.
The sharpness in fine details is convincing and is a good deal better across the entire sensitivity range than with conventional compact cameras. Only the Panasonic LX7, Canon PowerShot S110 and Olympus XZ2 offer a comparable level, and the Sony RX100 is even better.
Fujifilm has the image noise well under control, because in the full view on the screen it is only noticeable from ISO 800. The dynamic range remains average with a maximum of nine f-stops. You have optimization potential in photo post-processing if you save the photos not only in JPEG but also in RAW format.

Mechanical zoom lens

With the lens, Fujifilm is sticking to the characteristic feature of the X10: the manual lens. As with a DSLR lens, you can change the focal length of the 4x zoom by turning it. This conveys security, but can lead to unrest in the picture when filming. In addition, the focal length of 28 to 112 millimeters (corresponding to a small picture) is neither particularly wide-angled nor zoom-strong. The quality of the lens did not give rise to any major criticism in the laboratory test. The high initial light intensity from F2.0 to F2.8 also brings plus points.
The X20 is switched on by turning the lens. If you get the hang of it, you react quickly enough for snapshots. The autofocus sharpens sufficiently quickly. The combination of conventional contrast autofocus and phase autofocus sensors on the image sensor also contributes to this. With series photos, ten photos can be taken in full resolution in less than a second.
The battery leaves a weak impression: Between 130 and 480 photos are possible with one charge, with video only 69 minutes. Charging takes place in a charging cradle, which is now a rarity in compact cameras.
Both the camera housing and the controls convey quality and careful manufacturing. With grippy wheels you determine the recording mode and exposure compensation. Two further wheels are used for fine adjustments. Direct keys give you access to the focus and exposure system. And the menu offers further tuning options. There are also comfort features such as the spirit level in the display and focus peaking for easier focusing in manual mode. There are also automatic programs, but the main thing with the X20 is having fun making settings by hand.
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in the test

The better alternatives

The Fujifilm X20 is a good creative camera, but there are better alternatives. The table shows the three creative cameras with the best test results. The selection is continuously updated and is based on all models in the digital camera leaderboard.

in the test