Fujifilm X20 Review

5.0
March 28, 2013 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5Mb.

The Fujifilm X20 produces images of outstanding quality. It recorded noise-free JPEG images at ISO 100 up to 800, with a little noise and slight colour desaturation at ISO 1600 and more visible noise at ISO 3200 at full resolution, an excellent performance for a camera with such a small sensor. Even ISO 6400 is worth using, although the same can't be said about the range-topping ISO 12800. The RAW files were also excellent, with usable images throughout the entire range of ISO 100-3200, and they are noticeably sharper than on the original X10.

The Fujifilm X20's 4x zoom lens handled chromatic aberrations very well, with limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations and at the edges of the frame. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure. The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds being long enough for most after-dark shots.

Macro performance is outstandinga, allowing you to focus as close as just 1cm away from the subject. The images were a little soft straight out of the Fujifilm X20 at the default sharpening setting and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting.

The Dynamic Range settings subtly improve detail in the shadows and highlights, while the Film Simulation modes hark back to a bygone era. The new Advanced Filters provide some creative control over your JPEGs. Motion panoramas are the icing on the proverbial cake, although they didn't work very well in mixed lighting conditions or with moving subjects in the frame.

Noise

There are 8 ISO settings available on the Fujifilm X20 for JPEGs, and 6 for RAW files. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting for both JPEG and RAW files.

JPEG RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

 
 
   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

 
 

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera JPEG images are a little soft and ideally benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Focal Range

The Fujifilm X20's 4x zoom lens provides a focal length of 28-112mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

28mm

112mm

File Quality

The Fujifilm X20 has 2 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

12M Fine (3.90Mb) (100% Crop) 12M Normal (2.46Mb) (100% Crop)
   
12M RAW (18.5Mb) (100% Crop)  
 

Chromatic Aberrations

The Fujifilm X20 handled chromatic aberrations very well during the review, with llittle evidence of purple fringing that was only present around the edges of objects in very high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Fujifilm X20 offers a Super Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 1cm away from the camera. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

Flash

The flash settings on the Fujifilm X20 are Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro, Red-eye Reduction Auto, Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash and Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Suppressed Flash - Wide Angle (28mm)

Forced Flash - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Suppressed Flash - Wide Angle (112mm)

Forced Flash - Wide Angle (112mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Forced Flash setting or the Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash option caused any red-eye.

Forced Flash

Forced Flash (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash

Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash (100% Crop)

Night

The Fujifilm X20's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds in the Manual, Shutter-priority and Aperture-priority modes, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds at ISO 100. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

Image Stabilisation

Image Stabilisation is Fujifilm's name for anti-shake, which in the X20 works via a sensor-shift mechanism. To test this, we took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are some 100% crops of the images to show the results. As you can see, with anti shake turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti shake turned off.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/10th / 28mm
     
1/15th sec / 112mm

Dynamic Range

The Fujifilm X20 has three dynamic range settings - 100% (on by default), 200%, and 400% - and an Auto setting if you want to let the camera take control. These settings gradually increase the amount of detail visible in the shadow and highlight areas, with the side-effect of more noise appearing in the image. Note that you can't actually turn this feature off.

100%

200%

   

400%

 
 

Advanced Filter

The Fujifilm X20 offers 13 different filter effects which can be previewed on the LCD screen.

Toy Camera

Miniature

   

Pop Color

High-Key

   

Low-Key

Dynamic Tone

   

Soft Focus

Partial Color (Red)

   

Partial Color (Orange)

Partial Color (Yellow)

   

Partial Color (Green)

Partial Color (Blue)

   

Partial Color (Purple)

 
 

Motion Panoramas

Just like Sony's Cybershot range, the Fujifilm X20 can create motion panoramas up to 360 degrees in length. Exposure is set on the first frame, which caused real problems for our indoor shot where different light sources caused large areas of vertical banding. The X20 performed much better outdoors, although watch out for moving subjects in the frame as the X20 won't compensate for this.

360 Degrees

Pro Focus

The Fujifilm X20's Pro Focus scene mode creates images with a shallow depth of field, with the camera taking a rapid series of exposures at different focal points and aligning them to produce a single frame showing a sharply focused subject against a soft, out-of-focus background.

100%

200%

Pro Low-Light

The Fujifilm X20's Pro Low-Light scene mode produces better image clarity at high ISO levels, with the camera taking a series of four high sensitivity/low-noise shots in quick succession which are then combined together using in-camera processing into an image with less noise than the single exposures.

Pro Low-Light

Pro Low-Light (100% Crop)

Multiple Exposure

The Fujifilm X20 can combine two consecutively taken shots to create a single multi-exposure

Multiple Exposure

Film Simulation

The Fujifilm X20 offers 8 different film simulation modes to help replicate the look of your favourite film stock from the past.

Provia / Standard

Velvia / Vivid

   

Astia / Soft

Monochrome

   

Monochrome + Yellow Filter

Monochrome + Red Filter

   

Monochrome + Green Filter

Sepia

Entry Tags

compact, 1080p, 12 megapixel, camera, 28mm, zoom, 4x zoom, f2.8, retro, 60fps, 2.8 inch LCD, digital, f2, 4x, 12fps, x20, Fujifilm FinePix X20, x20 review, fujifilm x20, fujifilm x20 review, Fujifilm FinePix X20 Review

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