Fujifilm X20 Review

March 28, 2013 | Mark Goldstein |


At first glance the new Fujifilm X20 looks virtually identical to the original X10, but it includes so many improvements under the hood, particularly to its operational speed, auto and manual focusing systems, optical viewfinder and image quality, that it feels like shooting with an entirely new camera. The one admittedly minor criticism that jumps to mind is the continued absence of an Neutral Density filter, but that's definitely nit-picking.

As with the new X100S, Fujifilm have taken the original X10 by the metaphorical scruff of the neck and tried to address all of the shortcomings of what was already a great camera. The X20 offers better image quality thanks to the new 12 megapixel 2/3-type X-Trans CMOS II sensor with no low-pass filter, much faster auto-focusing and operational speed, enhanced manual focusing that you'll actually want to use, and an innovative optical viewfinder that now displays key shooting information.

It also inherits the same retro feel, outstanding build quality and photographer-friendly design as its predecessor, continuing to deliver intuitive handling in spades. From the welcome inclusion of the enhanced optical viewfinder to the improved manual zooming ring, not forgetting the exposure compensation and shooting mode dials, flash hotshoe, clever pop-up flash and even the traditional threaded cable release, the X20 is a sophisticated compact camera flamboyantly dressed up in a pro-camera's clothing.

If your head has been turned by the headline-grabbing X100S, but you really, really want a zoom lens, then the X20 is on hand to more than satisfy your needs. £519 / $599 is admittedly a lot of ask for what is essentially still a compact camera at heart, despite all the fancy trappings, but for us the Fujifilm X20 delivers such a winning combination of old and new that offers so many important improvements over the original model that we can heartily recommend it for new and X10 users alike. Essential!

5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4.5