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Fujifilm's retro modern mirrorless camera

The Fujifilm X-T2 now comes with 91 phase-detection autofocusing points, up from 49 in the X-T1.
The Fujifilm X-T2 now comes with 91 phase-detection autofocusing points, up from 49 in the X-T1. PHOTO: FUJIFILM

Overall handling of the X-T2 is superb and the image quality is excellent

Fujifilm's X-T2 is the successor to the critically acclaimed, two-year- old X-T1 - flagship model of Fujifilm's X-T mirrorless cameras.

The X-T2 looks very much like its predecessor, though slightly larger and heavier (by 67g). It still has a magnesium alloy body with a comfortable rubberised grip that allows a great hold of the camera.

It is resistant to dust and water, with 63 points of weather sealing,and works in freezing temperatures, down to -10 deg C.

Its design and manual-control dials hark back to those SLR cameras of yesteryear. There is no mode dial for you to switch from Program mode to Aperture-priority mode.

On the top left of the camera is the ISO dial with a lock button that you have to press in order to turn the dial. On the top right is an exposure compensation dial, a shutter-speed dial, a Function button and a shutter-release button.

The shutter-speed dial has a lock button too, but it works only when you want to turn from Auto to other shutter speeds. While the exposure compensation dial does not have such a locking mechanism, I did not encounter any accidental turns during the review.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $2,599 (body only)

    IMAGE SENSOR: 24.3-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS III

    DISPLAY: Tiltable 3-inch LCD monitor with 1,040,000 dots; Oled electronic viewfinder with 2,360,000 dots

    SENSITIVITY: ISO 100-51,200

    SHOOTING SPEED: Up to 8 frames per second

    CONNECTIVITY: Wi-Fi

    WEIGHT: 507g (with battery and memory card)

  • RATING:

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 5/5

    PERFORMANCE: 5/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

TECH SPECS

The major difference between the X-T2 and X-T1 is the addition of the rear joystick - sited beside the thumb rest - for the changing of autofocusing (AF) point. It works a treat and makes the process so much faster.

The front and rear command dials are clickable now. You can, for instance, click on the rear command dial to zoom into a live image on the rear display. Overall handling of the camera is superb.

The rear display now has a dual hinge system. It is able to tilt 90 degrees upwards and 45 degrees downwards like its predecessor. But there is another hinge on the side of the display that lets the display tilt up 65 degrees on the shorter side towards the thumb rest.

Another point of particular note is that the X-T2 can be charged by using a USB 3.0 cable. This means it is one fewer charger to take along on your travels.

The X-T2 has been upgraded with a new 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III APS-C image sensor (up from X-T1's 16.3 megapixels) and the latest X-Processor Pro image processor. It also now comes with dual SD-card slots and supports 4K video recording.

Operation wise, the X-T2 starts up in less than 0.5sec and shuts down in 1sec.

This is much faster than most mirrorless cameras' power up and shutdown timing of 2sec each.

The X-T2 now comes with 91 phase-detection AF points, up from 49 in the X-T1. And the improvement in AF speed shows.

Using the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens, the AF is almost instantaneous in bright sunlight. Even under dim lighting conditions, it takes 1sec at most to grab a focus with the aid of the AF assist light.

With an SD card that has a writing speed of 94MB per second, the X-T1 is able to shoot 29 RAW images in 3.9sec before the buffer runs out, close to the advertised shooting speed. Shutter lag is negligible.

Image quality is excellent with greater dynamic range and sharper details than its predecessor.

The colours are accurately and vividly reproduced most of the time. But, under incandescent lighting, it does tend towards the warm side.

The ISO performance is stellar too. You will not see any image noise even at ISO 1,600. Noise artefacts start to appear only at ISO 3,200.

In fact, I think, even at IS0 12,800, the images are still good enough for small prints and Web use. That's one stop better than the X-T1. Using it at ISO 25,600 and above is not recommended, as there will be too much chromatic noise.

Battery life continues to be average. While the X-T1 can shoot around 350 still images on a full charge, the X-T2 actually captures 10 frames fewer.

  • Verdict: The Fujifilm X-T2 is everything you can ask for in a mirrorless camera with its excellent image quality, superb build and intuitive handling. Perfect, if only it is priced lower.
  • Fujifilm's X-T2 is the successor to the critically acclaimed, two-year- old X-T1 - flagship model of Fujifilm's X-T mirrorless cameras.

    The X-T2 looks very much like its predecessor, though slightly larger and heavier (by 67g). It still has a magnesium alloy body with a comfortable rubberised grip that allows a great hold of the camera.

    It is resistant to dust and water, with 63 points of weather sealing,and works in freezing temperatures, down to -10 deg C.

    Its design and manual-control dials hark back to those SLR cameras of yesteryear. There is no mode dial for you to switch from Program mode to Aperture-priority mode.

    On the top left of the camera is the ISO dial with a lock button that you have to press in order to turn the dial. On the top right is an exposure compensation dial, a shutter-speed dial, a Function button and a shutter-release button.

    The shutter-speed dial has a lock button too, but it works only when you want to turn from Auto to other shutter speeds. While the exposure compensation dial does not have such a locking mechanism, I did not encounter any accidental turns during the review.

    The major difference between the X-T2 and X-T1 is the addition of the rear joystick - sited beside the thumb rest - for the changing of autofocusing (AF) point. It works a treat and makes the process so much faster.

    The front and rear command dials are clickable now. You can, for instance, click on the rear command dial to zoom into a live image on the rear display. Overall handling of the camera is superb.

    The rear display now has a dual hinge system. It is able to tilt 90 degrees upwards and 45 degrees downwards like its predecessor. But there is another hinge on the side of the display that lets the display tilt up 65 degrees on the shorter side towards the thumb rest.

    Another point of particular note is that the X-T2 can be charged by using a USB 3.0 cable. This means it is one fewer charger to take along on your travels.

    The X-T2 has been upgraded with a new 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III APS-C image sensor (up from X-T1's 16.3 megapixels) and the latest X-Processor Pro image processor. It also now comes with dual SD-card slots and supports 4K video recording.

    Operation wise, the X-T2 starts up in less than 0.5sec and shuts down in 1sec.

    This is much faster than most mirrorless cameras' power up and shutdown timing of 2sec each.

    The X-T2 now comes with 91 phase-detection AF points, up from 49 in the X-T1. And the improvement in AF speed shows.

    Using the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens, the AF is almost instantaneous in bright sunlight. Even under dim lighting conditions, it takes 1sec at most to grab a focus with the aid of the AF assist light.

    With an SD card that has a writing speed of 94MB per second, the X-T1 is able to shoot 29 RAW images in 3.9sec before the buffer runs out, close to the advertised shooting speed. Shutter lag is negligible.

    Image quality is excellent with greater dynamic range and sharper details than its predecessor.

    The colours are accurately and vividly reproduced most of the time. But, under incandescent lighting, it does tend towards the warm side.

    The ISO performance is stellar too. You will not see any image noise even at ISO 1,600. Noise artefacts start to appear only at ISO 3,200.

    In fact, I think, even at IS0 12,800, the images are still good enough for small prints and Web use. That's one stop better than the X-T1. Using it at ISO 25,600 and above is not recommended, as there will be too much chromatic noise.

    Battery life continues to be average. While the X-T1 can shoot around 350 still images on a full charge, the X-T2 actually captures 10 frames fewer.

  • Verdict: The Fujifilm X-T2 is everything you can ask for in a mirrorless camera with its excellent image quality, superb build and intuitive handling. Perfect, if only it is priced lower
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2016, with the headline 'Fujifilm's retro modern mirrorless camera'. Print Edition | Subscribe