Fuji X-T2 Image Quality Comparison

Below are crops from our laboratory Still Life target comparing Fuji X-T2 image quality to its predecessor, the X-T1, as well as against several recent premium interchangeable lens cameras: the Nikon D500, Olympus E-M1 II, Sony A6500 and Sony A7 II. The Sony A7 Mark II is the only full-frame model in this comparison and doesn't really compare performance-wise, however we decided to include it because at the time of writing it is selling for less than the X-T2, and because of Fujifilm's claim that their X-Trans sensors produce image quality that can rival full-frame Bayer-filtered sensors.

NOTE: These images are from best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). All cameras in this comparison were shot with our very sharp reference lenses. Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the RAW files involved, click these links to visit each camera's respective sample image thumbnail page: Fuji X-T2, Fuji X-T1, Nikon D500, Olympus E-M1 II, Sony A6500, and Sony A7 II -- links to the RAW files appear beneath those for the JPEG images, wherever we have them. And remember, you can always go to our world-renowned Comparometer to compare the Fuji X-T2 to any camera we've ever tested!

Fujifilm X-T2 vs Fujifilm X-T1 at Base ISO

100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 200100% crop from Fujifilm X-T1 test image taken at ISO 200
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 200100% crop from Fujifilm X-T1 test image taken at ISO 200
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 200100% crop from Fujifilm X-T1 test image taken at ISO 200
Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 200
Fujifilm X-T1 at ISO 200

The 24-megapixel Fuji X-T2 clearly resolves more detail in most areas than the 16-megapixel X-T1, but its predecessor does better with the subtle detail in our tricky red-leaf fabric. (The X-T2 manages to resolve some of the fine thread pattern which the X-T1 doesn't, interfering with the leaf pattern, as well as producing lower contrast.) Noise levels appear comparable here at base ISO, just slightly lower from the X-T1. Interestingly, colors are more pleasing from the X-T2, as the X-T1 exhibits slight shifts from orange to yellow and yellow to green. Default sharpening appears to be a little higher from the X-T2 as well.

Fujifilm X-T2 vs Nikon D500 at Base ISO

100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 200100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 200100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 200100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 100
Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 200
Nikon D500 at ISO 100

Here we compare the Fuji X-T2 to the 20.7-megapixel APS-C Nikon D500 at base ISO. (The Nikon D500 is more expensive than the X-T2, but represents the current state-of-the-art in high performance APS-C DSLRs.) The 24-megapixel X-T2 does resolve a bit more more detail than the Nikon, however the D500 produces a crisper image with higher contrast which is especially noticeable in the red-leaf swatch, though sharpening halos are definitely more evident. Noise levels are low from both cameras here at base ISO, however keep in mind the higher base ISO of the Fuji. Both cameras offer great color, though the Fuji's is more accurate overall.

Fujifilm X-T2 vs Olympus E-M1 II at Base ISO

100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 200100% crop from Olympus E-M1 II test image taken at ISO 200
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 200100% crop from Olympus E-M1 II test image taken at ISO 200
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 200100% crop from Olympus E-M1 II test image taken at ISO 200
Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 200
Olympus E-M1 II at ISO 200

Above we compare the Bayer-filtered Micro Four Thirds Olympus E-M1 Mark II to the X-Trans-filtered APS-C X-T2. You would think the 24-megapixel X-T2 would have a noticeable resolution advantage over the 20-megapixel E-M1 II here, but both cameras have similar resolutions on the vertical axis (4000 vs 3888 pixels) which is how this scene is framed, so the resolution difference is very minor and mostly boils down to different demosaicing algorithms and processing. Luminance noise appears higher from the Fuji, but chrominance noise is higher from the Olympus. The Olympus produces a crisper image with higher contrast, though default sharpening also appears to be higher. The X-T2 resolves more fine detail in our red-leaf swatch even though contrast is lower, while the E-M1 II renders it smoother but with less detail, however the Olympus does better with thread pattern in the pink fabric.

Fujifilm X-T2 vs Sony A6500 at Base ISO

100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 200100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 200100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 200100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 100
Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 200
Sony A6500 at ISO 100

Here we compare APS-C sensors of the same pixel count and aspect ratio, with the main difference being X-Trans vs Bayer filtering, and of course in-camera processing. The Sony produces a much crisper, sharper image yet its sharpening algorithm produces less noticeable halos around high-contrast edges. Contrast is also higher from the Sony, especially in the red-leaf swatch, however it does contain obvious moiré patterns while the Fuji image does not. Luma noise is a bit higher from the Fuji, but again, chroma noise is much lower. Color is more pleasing from the Fuji, with less orange to yellow and yellow to green shift, but the Sony preserves more of the subtle coloration caused by offset printing in the mosaic label.

Fujifilm X-T2 vs Sony A7 II at Base ISO

100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 200100% crop from Sony A7 II test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 200100% crop from Sony A7 II test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 200100% crop from Sony A7 II test image taken at ISO 100
Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 200
Sony A7 II at ISO 100

Above we compare the 24-megapixel APS-C X-T2 to the 24-megapixel full-frame Sony A7 II. This isn't really a fair comparison, but the A7 II body is currently available for less than the X-T2 and Fuji has claimed their X-Trans APS-C sensors offer image quality comparable to full-frame cameras. Results are similar to the A6500 comparison with the Sony producing a sharper, crisper image but with lower noise and even more noticeable moiré patterns in the red-leaf swatch. Again, the Sony reproduces some of the offset printing colors in the mosaic crop and resolves much more of the thread pattern in the pink fabric, but overall color is warmer and generally more pleasing from the Fuji.

Fujifilm X-T2 vs Fujifilm X-T1 at ISO 1600

100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Fujifilm X-T1 test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Fujifilm X-T1 test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Fujifilm X-T1 test image taken at ISO 1600
Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 1600
Fujifilm X-T1 at ISO 1600

The resolution advantage of the X-T2 is still evident in most areas at ISO 1600 while producing better color and similar noise levels, but the X-T1 continues to do a better job rendering our tricky red-leaf fabric.

Fujifilm X-T2 vs Nikon D500 at ISO 1600

100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 1600
Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 1600
Nikon D500 at ISO 1600

Here at ISO 1600, the Nikon's rendering is much softer than it was at base ISO, while the X-T2's is only slightly softer, and the Fuji continues to resolve more detail in most areas. While contrast is still higher in the red-leaf swatch, the D500's default noise reduction has blurred away more fine detail than the X-T2. Luminance noise is however a bit higher from the X-T2, which is to be expected due to its smaller pixels.

Fujifilm X-T2 vs Olympus E-M1 II at ISO 1600

100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Olympus E-M1 II test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Olympus E-M1 II test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Olympus E-M1 II test image taken at ISO 1600
Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 1600
Olympus E-M1 II at ISO 1600

The Fuji X-T2 starts to pull away from the Olympus E-M1 II here at ISO 1600, with much lower chroma noise and fewer noise reduction artifacts, though luma noise is higher and coarser. While contrast and sharpness are a bit better from the Olympus, the E-M1 II's default noise reduction starts to distort and smear subtle detail in the mosaic crop and especially in the red-leaf fabric.

Fujifilm X-T2 vs Sony A6500 at ISO 1600

100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 1600
Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 1600
Sony A6500 at ISO 1600

The Sony A6500 continues to produce a sharper, crisper, more contrasty image at ISO 1600, and the offset printing coloration in the mosaic crop is no longer present in the A6500 image, suppressed by the Sony's high ISO noise reduction. The Sony also appears to do better in the red-leaf swatch, however much of the fine detail is distorted and false. The A6500 definitely does better with detail in the pink fabric, though, however the X-T2 continues to deliver better overall color.

Fujifilm X-T2 vs Sony A7 II at ISO 1600

100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Sony A7 II test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Sony A7 II test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Sony A7 II test image taken at ISO 1600
Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 1600
Sony A7 II at ISO 1600

Unsurprisingly, the full-frame Sony A7 II out-performs the X-T2 here at ISO 1600, with a cleaner, punchier, more detailed image overall, although moiré patterns and somewhat heavy-handed noise reduction interfere with subtle detail in the red-leaf swatch.

Fujifilm X-T2 vs Fujifilm X-T1 at ISO 3200

100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Fujifilm X-T1 test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Fujifilm X-T1 test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Fujifilm X-T1 test image taken at ISO 3200
Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 3200
Fujifilm X-T1 at ISO 3200

Similar to the comparison of these two siblings at ISO 1600, the X-T2 still manages to resolve more high-contrast detail and renders more pleasing colors, but the X-T1 does noticeably better in our difficult red-leaf swatch, while producing slightly lower luma noise levels. Both cameras produce remarkably low chroma noise for this ISO.

Fujifilm X-T2 vs Nikon D500 at ISO 3200

100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 3200
Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 3200
Nikon D500 at ISO 3200

Once again, we see the Fuji X-T2 hold onto more detail than the Nikon D500 here at ISO 3200, though the D500 continues to produce higher contrast with more obvious sharpening halos. Luma noise levels are again a bit higher from the X-T2 but chroma noise is lower, and overall the X-T2 produces the better image here.

Fujifilm X-T2 vs Olympus E-M1 II at ISO 3200

100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Olympus E-M1 II test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Olympus E-M1 II test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Olympus E-M1 II test image taken at ISO 3200
Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 3200
Olympus E-M1 II at ISO 3200

The Fuji X-T2 is the overall winner here at ISO 3200, with better detail and fewer noise reduction artifacts than the Olympus E-M1 II. Luminance noise from the X-T2 does appear a little higher, but chrominance noise is lower, and the Fuji hangs on to more fine detail in most areas.

Fujifilm X-T2 vs Sony A6500 at ISO 3200

100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 3200
Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 3200
Sony A6500 at ISO 3200

The Sony A6500 still produces a crisper, contrastier image with more punch here at ISO 3200, however noise levels in flatter areas are higher. Again, the red-leaf pattern may look more detailed from the Sony, but much of that detail is false, and the Fuji still produces more pleasing colors.

Fujifilm X-T2 vs Sony A7 II at ISO 3200

100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Sony A7 II test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Sony A7 II test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Sony A7 II test image taken at ISO 3200
Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 3200
Sony A7 II at ISO 3200

Like the A6500, the A7 II produces a sharper, more contrasty image than the X-T2 here at ISO 3200. Noise levels are indeed lower from the full-frame Sony, though less natural-looking noise reduction artifacts can be seen in flatter areas. Overall, we think the Sony A7 II still comes out ahead here when viewed at 100% like this, but there is no denying the X-T2 does amazingly well for an APS-C sensor.

Fujifilm X-T2 vs. Fujifilm X-T1, Nikon D500, Olympus E-M1 II, Sony A6500, Sony A7 II

100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 200100% crop from Fujifilm X-T1 test image taken at ISO 200100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Olympus E-M1 II test image taken at ISO 200100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Sony A7 II test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Fujifilm X-T1 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Olympus E-M1 II test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Sony A7 II test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Fujifilm X-T2 test image taken at ISO 6400100% crop from Fujifilm X-T1 test image taken at ISO 6400100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 6400100% crop from Olympus E-M1 II test image taken at ISO 6400100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 6400100% crop from Sony A7 II test image taken at ISO 6400
Fujifilm
X-T2
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Fujifilm
X-T1
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Nikon
D500
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Olympus
E-M1 II
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Sony
A6500
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Sony
A7 II
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Detail comparison. High-contrast detail is also important, pushing the camera in different ways, so we like to look at it, too. The X-T2 does well here against its predecessor, able to fully resolve the line pattern inside the lettering even at ISO 6400 which the lower-resolution X-T1 had difficulty with. The X-T2 compares well to the Olympus E-M1 II too, with the latter's image quality dropping off more quickly as ISO rises. The APS-C Nikon D500 and Sony A6500 both produce higher contrast across ISOs, but detail isn't significantly better from the Sony and the Nikon isn't able to resolve quite as much detail as the X-T2. The Sony A7 II is the overall winner here with great contrast and the least image degradation as sensitivity climbs, though that's not a surprise given its full-frame sensor.

 

Fuji X-T2 Print Quality Analysis

Excellent 30 x 40 inch prints at ISO 100/200; a good 13 x 19 inch print at ISO 3200; and a good 4 x 6 inch print at ISO 51,200.

ISOs 100 and 200 deliver excellent prints at 30 x 40 inches and higher, until you run out of available resolution. These prints at base and extended low ISO display very rich color and terrific fine detail. They are in fact among the most natural-looking prints we've seen from any camera we've tested.

ISO 400 yields an outstanding print at 24 x 36 inches while still preserving top-notch fine detail. Wall display prints at this ISO are fine at 30 x 40 inches as well.

ISO 800 prints are surprisingly good at 24 x 36 inches. They're not quite as tack sharp as the ones at ISO 400, but they still very much pass our "good" rating. For most critical printing purposes we recommend a reduction to 20 x 30 inches here for ensuring maximum fine detail.

ISO 1600 images at 20 x 30 inches are quite good for this ISO sensitivity setting. Close examination reveals a mild trace of noise in flatter areas of our test target, but fine detail and full color reproduction are still very good here.

ISO 3200 produces a 16 x 20 inch print that almost passes our good standard. Similar issues exist as found in the 20 x 30 inch print at ISO 1600, but there is now a noticeable softening in the red channel in general, and a trace more noise in a few areas of our target. While that size is certainly usable for less critical applications, we'll call the 13 x 19 inch prints good here.

ISO 6400 is the common turning point for image quality in most APS-C cameras these days, but the X-T2 fares about as well here as the best we've seen, delivering a very nice 11 x 14 inch print with virtually no discernible issues or noise reduction artifacts. For such a lofty ISO this is a nice, large and vibrant print.

ISO 12,800 pushes the envelope for what an APS-C camera can achieve at this sensitivity. Like its rangefinder brother the X-Pro2, the X-T2 can deliver an 8 x 10 inch print that easily passes our good seal of approval. And just how big a deal is that? Let's just say you won't find many other cameras delivering that print size at this ISO without stepping up to a full-frame model.

ISO 25,600 delivers a very good 5 x 7 inch print with good colors and good fine detail as well, with virtually no noise present anywhere in the image. Once again, this really is quite a feat for an APS-C camera.

ISO 51,200 prints are quite usable at 4 x 6 inches, making the entire ISO range from the X-T2 usable in the print quality department. (No wasted ISO settings are provided here!)

The Fuji X-T2 was honored on our site with a Camera of Distinction award for the Best Overall cameras from 2016, and with good reason. We now know that its print quality more than bolsters this honor, and we're frankly pretty amazed by just how well it performs here. Only a precious few APS-C cameras can match it in the print quality department, while none thus far can exceed it for print sizes as ISO rises nor the sheer quality of the printed imagery.

 



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