Fujifilm X-T2 Review
|Full model name:||Fujifilm X-T2|
(23.6mm x 15.6mm)
|Viewfinder:||EVF / LCD|
|Native ISO:||200 - 12,800|
|Extended ISO:||100 - 51,200|
|Shutter:||1/32000 - 30 seconds|
|Max Aperture:||2.8 (kit lens)|
5.2 x 3.6 x 1.9 in.
(133 x 92 x 49 mm)
includes batteries, kit lens
|Full specs:||Fujifilm X-T2 specifications|
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Fuji X-T2 Review -- Now Shooting!
09/09/2016: Production First Shots posted
09/15/2016: Field Test Part I posted
10/11/2016: Performance posted
11/09/2016: Field Test Part II posted
01/31/2017: Image Quality Comparison and Print Quality posted
Herons, egrets... and alligators! In Dave Pardue's new Fuji X-T2 Field Test Part II, which begins right where Part I left off, he's survived a hurricane and is back in action with a bevy of lenses to begin testing the X-T2's continuous autofocus performance with a bit of wildlife photography. In calmer conditions, he also takes time to capture a variety of beautiful bokeh-filled images with some nice long Fuji glass, and assesses the X-T2's fine detail performance. Mirrorless cameras are getting better and better, but thus far their C-AF performance has lagged behind that of tried-and-true DSLRs. With the new X-T2, has Fuji finally broken the mold? Read on to find out!
For those who haven't yet read Dave's Field Test Part I, please click here. If you want to check out our detailed Fuji X-T2 Overview, which discusses all the new features and specs, please click here.
Fuji X-T2 Field Test Part II
Toting 4 high-end zooms into the wild for C-AF exploration
By Dave Pardue | Posted: 11/09/2016
For those of you who've read my first X-T2 Field Test centered around the storm Hurricane Hermine, which made her way along the eastern seaboard just a few months ago, you'll only need to fast-forward a day in time to begin this second part of the X-T2 shooting journey with me. I'd gone to the coast to find wildlife in secluded national sanctuaries, and found a hurricane instead. (Oh well, roll with it!) But the storm was here and gone in a veritable blink, and the wildlife and natural fauna returned to do their thing. So, I shook off several fitful nights of sleep and headed out into the welcome return of the sun.
1/1000s / f/8 / ISO 250 / 24mm eq. / XF 16-55mm f/2.8 WR
The day after the storm, and life resumes for the survivors.
(Images have been resized to fit this page, and some have been cropped and/or adjusted in post-production, primarily to balance shadows and highlights where needed. Clicking any image will take you to a carrier page with access to the unedited full resolution image, as well as access to EXIF data. RAW files for most images and edited versions are available for download and personal use from our Fuji X-T2 gallery page.)
Nobody buys a flagship, high-performance camera unless they intend to pair it up with high-quality lenses based on their own shooting needs. The Fuji X-T2 is the "DSLR-styled" family member of the higher-end Fuji line, being geared more towards sports and wildlife than its rangefinder-styled X-Pro2 brother, and therefore screams at you to mate it with comparable zoom lenses. Seeking both wildlife and nature across several national wildlife preserves in the Southeastern US, I was grateful to have access to this treasure trove of high-end zooms lenses.
Equipment check at the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina and a good time for a Fuji X-series family photo. From left to right, the XF 10-24mm f/4; XF 50-140mm f/2.8 WR; XF 16-55mm f/2.8 WR (mounted on the X-T2); and the XF 100-400mm f/4 WR. (Image captured with a Fuji X100S.)
So here I was surrounded by several enormous wildlife reserves all teaming with an abundance of interesting species to photograph, along with capable glass for all manner of situations near and far. And as you may recall from the first Field Test, I was also packing seriously good battery life given the extra two batteries housed in the new portrait battery grip. Add to this that all but the 10-24mm f/4 are weather-sealed, including the booster grip, and I felt really primed and ready for action. And yet, there was one notable exception to that positive feeling...
Since the advent of mirrorless cameras, both end-users and us reviewers alike keep asking the same question over and over again: "When will enthusiast mirrorless cameras really be able to pull off continuous AF like the enthusiast-grade DSLRs?" Popular cameras like the Fuji X-T1, the Olympus E-M1 and the Sony A6300, all of which I've had ample shooting experience with personally, certainly offer good C-AF performance, but we've found that none of them quite reach the C-AF performance heights of competing enthusiast DSLRs like the Canon 7D II and now the newer Nikon D500. They're getting ever closer, yes, but still not quite on par with them in the more demanding fields of sports and wildlife.
Fuji is claiming that's now changed, and that true enthusiast DSLR-quality C-AF performance is now here in a mirrorless body in the form of the X-T2. Did they finally hit that hallowed mark? Read on for all the images and details from my experience thus far, but let me start the summary of my conclusions now and say that for the first time in my mirrorless shooting experience I came away extremely pleased with my keeper ratio. This has to date only happened for me when shooting DSLRs, so it was an eye-opening experience to say the least.
Fuji X-T2 - Advanced parameters and the new custom C-AF presets
So what's changed with this model? Well, plenty! As you've likely seen in our overview for this camera the number of overall AF points has increased a great deal, including 169 points with phase-detect pixels, and also a big increase in zone focusing points, offering 49 with phase-detection to the X-T1's 9 PDAF points. Combined with a new processing engine shared with the X-Pro2, the overall AF system is reported to also be a good deal faster in general.
These three basic parameters define the behavior of the C-AF presets on the X-T2.
Equally as interesting to me are the all-new focusing algorithms housed within the X-T2, and a hugely expanded array of presets and customization potential. Using three basic parameters of Tracking Sensitivity (to adjust which subject the camera locks onto); Speed Tracking Sensitivity (to adjust how the camera behaves based on changes in a subject's speed); and Zone area Switching (to select which part of a zone should receive focus priority) you're now afforded a wealth of combinations and permutations to dial-in just how you'd like the C-AF to function on behalf of your current shooting needs.
You can then choose from 5 different presets (Multi-purpose, Ignoring obstacles, Accelerating/decelerating subjects, Subjects that suddenly come into the frame, and Erratically moving subjects) or choose Preset 6 and create your own by tweaking and fine-tuning the three parameters mentioned above. For my shooting needs on this particular day, I focused primarily on the Multi-purpose preset ("A standard setting for moving subjects in general") as it seemed to provide the best settings for flying birds and alligators on-the-move. Once we acquire another X-T2 sample we'll take an expanded look at some of the more specific-use presets on our C-AF test course.
C-AF burst sequence using the Multi-purpose C-AF preset
Below are examples pulled from additional bird sequences from this first day of C-AF exploration with the X-T2.
1/1600s / f/5.6 / ISO 320 / 222mm eq. / XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 WR
Here's another sample from a burst series of a fishing Snowy Egret to show a subject slightly further in the distance, and yet again with plenty of background elements that might otherwise confuse a C-AF system. I've included several full burst series in the Fuji X-T2 gallery.
So there's an initial sampling with birds in flight. Time now to change locations and get a bit deeper into the wilds, so let's pack up and hit the road. We'll take the back roads and avoid the interstate... making our way from Pinckney Island over to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, a home to some rather prehistoric-looking fellows. A quick stop for some more iced tea, and we'll be ready to roll!
"Alligator Alley" in the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge
As you near the Atlantic Coast, the border of South Carolina and Georgia is divided down the center of the Little Back River, which winds its way through the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge and an area that's now commonly known as "Alligator Alley". If you find yourself in the neighborhood, just look for Highway 170, the North Coastal Highway, and ease your way into the heart of the refuge and your alligator search will be underway. Please don't forget an enthusiast-grade camera like the X-T2 and a quality zoom lens or two... as neither your compact camera nor your smartphone will deliver the goods out in these parts. (Thanks to our lens specialist Rob Murray for turning me onto this area!)
1/640s / f/5.6 / ISO 800 / 306mm eq. / XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 WR
Gorgeous, dangerous, almost prehistoric.
That's an initial sampling from my experience thus far with the X-T2's C-AF capabilities. We no longer have a sample unit of the camera, but intend to get another one at some point for further investigation of the presets and customizable settings in order to bring you more details and compare it more directly to other competing systems in both the mirrorless and DSLR camps. I can wholeheartedly say, in the meantime, that my experiences out in the field were unlike any I've yet experienced with a mirrorless system to date. This left me feeling very encouraged by the potential for mirrorless systems in the tricky fields of sports and wildlife going forward, and I can't wait to get another sample in for further testing and for indoor sports season.
Fuji X-T2 - Image quality out in the field
Shooting moving subjects had proven both enjoyable and relieving with the X-T2 and its majorly improved C-AF system, but I needed a break from all that and went searching for more tranquil shooting situations back at Pinckney Island. It's later in the afternoon, and things are starting to slow down -- a good time to slow my own pace as well.
1/320s / f/11 / ISO 200 / 22mm eq. / XF 10-24mm f/4 R
I love the Fuji 10-24mm f/4 ultra-wide-angle zoom lens. I'd gotten the chance to shoot it on the X-T10 for this article late last year, but was excited to now be shooting it on a flagship model. Second only to having a long zoom lens, a good ultra-wide-angle view is a key component to being out in the wild. This image, like the earlier "family photo" of the gear, was taken at the Pinckney Island wildlife refuge, which offers spectacular views to accompany the wildlife themselves.
1/2500s / f/2.8 / ISO 200 / 210mm eq. / XF 50-140mm f/2.8 WR
Turning now to the venerable Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 WR lens, an exceptional model that was honored with a well-deserved "Lens of Distinction" in our 2015 Lens of the Year awards, and one that pairs nicely on this latest flagship model.
Fuji X-T2 - It's for the birds
I found several areas where I was able to nestle myself in between bushes or trees and not create too much timidity for the "locals" as it were, and primarily using the XF 100-400mm f/4, I was able to get several shots unlike any I'd yet been able to capture. This was the most peaceful and enjoyable part of my field trip to the coast with this excellent camera and lens system, and I'm grateful to the creatures below for their hospitality and for patiently allowing me into their tranquil worlds.
1/125s / f/2.8 / ISO 6400 / 75mm eq. / XF 50-140mm f/2.8 WR
A crescent moon and Jupiter posing in conjunction for this image taken at day's end with the 50-140mm f/2.8. I needed ISO 6400 here in order to achieve a reasonably fast shutter speed at max aperture, and the X-T2 handled that relatively high gain setting quite well. This was processed from the out-of-camera JPEG, and shows only mild noise in areas of the sky. The RAW file for this and most images in this report are available for download and processing in our Fuji X-T2 gallery.
Fuji X-T2 Field Test - Part II Summary
A high-end camera needs to be weather-sealed, and the X-T2 more than proved its mettle in that regard in our Field Test Part I. It also needs to have high-caliber C-AF chops out in the field, and thus far that's exactly what I've encountered -- excellent results, and noticeably better continuous autofocus performance than any mirrorless camera I've shot with before.
High-end cameras also need terrific image quality, and once again, terrific image quality is what I've consistently found from the X-T2 across a variety of subject matter. And lastly, a high-end camera needs a comparable lens ecosystem, and it's my personal belief that Fuji tops the bill in that regard. Zooms or primes, the Fujinon system is my favorite line of lenses, and the X-T2 is the most versatile X-series camera with which to pair them.
Stay tuned for Part III of this Field Test, where I'll explore more custom settings in the C-AF department, more high ISO images, delve into 4K video and pair the camera with several quality Fujinon primes for portraits.
Fuji X-T2 Review -- Overview
by William Brawley
Overview posted: 07/07/2016
The bigger, better Fuji X-T1 successor is here! Say hello to the aptly-named Fujifilm X-T2. Sporting both cosmetic improvements as well as a variety of under-the-hood advancements -- a number of which are shared with the X-Pro2 -- the classic SLR-styled Fuji X-T2 packs in the performance, build quality and high-end features that should make both advanced enthusiasts and professionals alike take notice.
Fuji X-T2 gains "latest generation" X-Trans sensor capable of 4K video
Let's begin with the heart of the matter: the sensor. Like its X-Pro2 sibling, the new Fuji X-T2 features a 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III APS-C image sensor. Up from a 16.3-megapixel X-Trans sensor in the X-T1, the new X-T2 offers a sizeable jump in image resolving power. As with other X-Trans sensors, the X-T2's features the characteristic non-Bayer-style color filter array, which is designed to combat moiré and other aliasing artifacts without the use of an optical low-pass filter. Image quality from previous X-Trans cameras was impressive, so we're expecting great results from this camera as well.
The Fuji X-T2 is the first X-series camera to offer 4K video recording. Offering Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 video at both 24p and 30p (as well as 25p for PAL regions), the X-T2 offers more for the multimedia creators out there than other Fuji cameras from years past. Further, the Fuji X-T2 can make use of its characteristic array of film simulation modes for video as well, including 4K video.
Stay sharp: more AF points & a focus on AF performance
Like the X-T1, this new model sports on-chip phase-detect autofocus sensors, but the X-T2 features a dramatic increase in the overall number of AF points for its hybrid phase/contrast detect AF system: 325 points, to be exact. The central 169 points have phase-detect pixels, which cover approximately 40 percent of the sensor area, while nearly 65 percent of the total sensor offers contrast-detect AF. The number of Zone Focusing points has been increased as well, from 49 points originally in the X-T1 to a healthy 91, with 49 of those offering phase-detection (versus only 9 on the X-T1).
Thanks to the Fuji X-T2's updated image processor, the X-Processor Pro -- which it also shares with the X-Pro2 -- and new AF algorithms, the camera reportedly offers vastly improved autofocus performance. The Fuji X-T2 is said be able to focus in only 0.06 seconds in "Boost" mode, according to Fuji, which is down from the 0.08s claimed speed of the X-T1. In our lab tests, the X-T1's AF speed which includes shutter lag was already very fast at 0.14-0.15 seconds, so we expect the X-T2 to test even faster, but we'll obviously need to wait until we get a production unit into the lab to confirm that.
The Fuji X-T2 features a large 0.48-inch, 2.36 million dot OLED viewfinder and a tempered glass 1.04 million dot 3-inch LCD monitor that tilts in three directions.
With the new focusing algorithms and faster processor, Fuji states that not only can the X-T2 focus better on small objects, low-contrast subjects and other items with very fine details, it also refocuses more frequently, thereby offering more accurate predictive AF for better subject tracking.
Fuji has focused (pun intended) on improving continuous AF performance in the X-T2. New and improved C-AF-specific algorithms are said to help with focus accuracy for tracking moving subjects. Users are now also given some C-AF fine-tuning options, where they can customize the C-AF performance parameters to suit the subject at hand, such as tracking acceleration and deceleration, how long the camera maintains focus on a subject, and a parameter called Focus Zone Characteristic. The camera also offers a set of five AF presets for various shooting scenarios, which sounds similar to Canon's various autofocus "Case" presets found in a number of their recent EOS models. Like the Canon system, users of the Fuji X-T2 can further tweak and customize these AF focus presets as needed.
Fuji states that the X-T2's contrast-detect capabilities have been improved as well. Sensor readout performance has been increased -- 2x compared to the X-T1 and earlier Fuji models -- which should increase AF speed. The camera is also said to be capable of focusing in very dim conditions, down to -3EV.
X-T2 offers greater responsiveness & faster shooting
In addition to focus performance improvements, Fuji says the X-T2 gets a number of other performance boosts across the board, including faster start-up time which is reportedly shortened to just 0.3 seconds from 0.5s on the X-T1.
The top mechanical shutter speed has increased from 1/4,000s to 1/8,000s, and X-sync speed has increased from 1/180s to 1/250s. Top electronic shutter speed remains at 1/32,000s.
Continuous shooting for both phase-detect single-AF and predictive C-AF with the mechanical shutter hits up to 8fps for full-resolution images, which is unchanged from the predecessor, but up to 14fps is possible with the electronic shutter. However, by adding on the accessory Vertical Power Booster Grip, you can increase the burst rate to 11fps with the mechanical shutter in Boost mode. Cycle time, shutter lag and viewfinder blackout time are also said to be improved in Boost mode when using the optional grip. (More on this Booster Grip later.)
Rated buffer depths are generous, at 83 JPEGs, 33 lossless compressed RAW or 27 uncompressed RAW frames at 8fps. At 11fps, the rated buffer depths are 73, 30 and 27 frames respectively, and at 14fps, buffer depths are 42, 28 and 25 frames respectively.
Although the electronic viewfinder in the Fuji X-T2 appears to use the same 0.48-inch 2.36 million dot OLED panel as before, along with the same manufacturer-rated 100% coverage, 0.77x magnification (35mm equivalent), 23mm eyepoint and -4 to +2m-1 diopter adjustment, it improves on the earlier camera in a number of ways.
The X-T2 now features a 5fps Live View mode to make tracking moving subjects easier. And there's also a bigger eyecup.
While viewfinder lag time is still specified at 0.005 seconds, the standard refresh rate of 60 frames per second can now be increased up to 100fps in Boost mode without the need for the battery grip. Fuji says a reduction in false color in the EVF is also a benefit of Boost mode.
High quality images but a seemingly limited ISO range
The image quality from the X-T1 was excellent, for both low and higher ISOs, from RAWs files and even JPEGs straight out of the camera. Given this, and the pedigree of Fuji cameras in general, we expect similar top-notch image quality performance from the X-T2 as well. The native ISO range of 200-12,800, when compared to a number of recent cameras feels a bit limited, but the X-T2's ISO can be expanded down to ISO 100 and up to ISO 25,600 or 51,200 as selected in the menu for the camera's 'H' setting on the ISO dial.
As with other Fuji cameras, the X-T2 features a number of in-camera film simulations such as Provia, Velvia, and Astia, as well as new filter offerings like Classic Chrome and Acros, for rich, deep monochrome images. Of course, film simulations are for JPEG images only, but fear not RAW shooters; the X-T2 offers in-camera RAW processing, which let's you process files with image settings and film simulations as you want, all in-camera. As mentioned earlier, film simulations and filters are also available while shooting video, including in 4K.
Additional shooting options include interval timer shooting for in-camera timelapse photography, with intervals of one second up to a full 24 hours for an unlimited number of frames -- basically until your memory cards are full. The Fuji X-T2 also features a sweep panorama mode and a multiple exposure setting as well as a variety of bracketing options.
The Fuji X-T2 with the included EF-X8 hot-shoe flash unit attached.
The X-T2 is more video-friendly, including 4K!
As stated earlier, the Fuji X-T2 now offers a more advanced array of video features, including 4K Ultra HD recording. According to Fuji, 4K video requires a UHS Speed Class 3 or faster memory card, and continuous 4K video recording is limited to just 10 minutes with the standard camera body. Add on the optional Vertical Power Booster Grip, however, which supports up to two additional battery packs, and continuous 4K recording can be extended to 30 minutes.
The Fuji X-T2 also offers Full HD video up to 60p (as well as 50p/25p for PAL), with continuous recording limited to 15 minutes. 720p video is also available at up to 60p, for a maximum of 29 minutes. We don't yet have details on how much -- or if -- the Booster Grip increases recording time for Full HD or HD video.
Videos are recorded in MOV format using MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 compression with 48KHz linear PCM stereo sound. Bitrates are 100Mbps for 4K and Full HD, and 50Mbps for HD. 4K mode has a 1.17x crop, while Full HD and HD are 1.0x.
Other video features are fairly straightforward. Single-shot, continuous AF and manual focus are all available in movie mode, and with on-sensor phase-detect AF, focus adjustments should appear smooth and quick without much hunting. Stereo audio is available from either on-board microphones or through an external microphone via the newly-added standard 3.5mm mic jack. Audio levels are adjustable in 20 increments, and on-screen left and right channel audio levels can be displayed before and during recording.
One thing of note, that's also mentioned below in our Hands-On Tour, is that while the X-T2 body itself gains a standard 3.5mm mic jack, as opposed to the dual-function 2.5mm mic-and-remote jack of the X-T1, the X-T2 also supports a headphone jack...if you purchase the Vertical Power Booster Grip. If your workflow requires headphones to monitor audio during a shoot, be sure to budget for that grip.
The camera records video to either the SD card(s) or can output a clean video signal via HDMI, at up to 4K resolution, should you want to capture a video signal with an external recording device.
Standard issue Wi-Fi connectivity with remote control features
As with its predecessor, the X-T2 features built-in wireless connectivity for easy sharing and transferring of photos. Wireless connectivity is Wi-Fi-based (no NFC connectivity yet), so both Android and iOS have a level playing field in this regard. Using the Fuji companion app, users also have rather robust remote control shooting capabilities, including the ability to adjust exposure compensation, aperture, ISO, white balance, and self-timer functions.
Pricing & Availability
Set to go on sale in September 2016, the Fujifilm X-T2 body-only is priced at US$1,599.95 or in a kit bundled with the XF18-55mm lens for US$1,899.95. Both configurations include the EF-X8 flash.
A number of new accessories are being released alongside the X-T2, including the new Vertical Power Booster Grip, an X-T2 Metal Hand Grip, a bottom leather case, and a cover kit. Pricing for these new accessories has not yet been disclosed. The EF-X500, a brand new hot-shoe-mounted flash unit is also set to go on sale in September 2016 alongside the X-T2, with a retail price of around US$449.99.
Hands-on with the bigger, better Fuji X-T2
by William Brawley | Posted 07/06/2016
The Fuji X-T2 looks similar, but offers numerous fixes & tweaks
There's no doubt that the original Fuji X-T1 is an amazing camera. It's wonderful to look at, for starters, with its compact, thoroughly retro-inspired design. Its ergonomics are quite nice as well, with a good handgrip shape and excellent, tacky grip material. Then, add on the grip attachment, and things are even better in terms of grip and balance, especially with larger lenses.
On the surface, the Fujifilm X-T2 appears to be more or less identical to the original: the same DSLR-esque shape, similar top-deck array of control dials with the characteristic Fuji non-PASM dial layout, and a large electronic viewfinder. As before, the X-T2 is also meant to be rugged. It's fully dust- and moisture-resistant with a die-cast magnesium body. According to Fuji, there are 63 points of weather sealing, and the camera is freeze-resistent to 14°F (-10°C) like its predecessor.
However, upon a closer inspection, it's clear that there are a lot of small yet important new features and improvements to the design and the controls that make the Fuji X-T2 more user-friendly as well as much more appealing to the advanced enthusiast and professional photographer.
I was fortunate enough to have some hands-on time with a pre-production prototype, but the firmware is, at this time, far from complete, so we can't test the camera nor comment on its performance or AF capabilities yet. However, I can give you a rundown of the camera's new and improved ergonomics, design and its beefier vertical grip accessory.
The X-T2 is a bit larger, while the controls get refinements
Without the grip attached, right off the bat, one might be hard-pressed to see much difference between the new camera and the old one. The X-T2 is however slightly larger in terms of body thickness, but the overall shape and handgrip contour has not changed to a noticeable degree. The handgrip is very comfortable and somewhat deeper -- along with a sizable thumb notch on the back -- to provide a solid, secure grip without being overly large. Without the grip, the X-T2 still feels very compact and lightweight, and maintains a more "bar-like" profile of a slim, sleek mirrorless camera rather than a bulkier "L-shaped" design of a DSLR.
The top-deck controls of the Fuji X-T2 are laid out much like that of the original model, although noticeably absent is the red movie record button. Instead, Fuji has now added a dedicated Movie Mode option on the drive mode dial that sits under the ISO selection dial. As such, while in movie mode, you simply start and stop video recording with the shutter release button. No idea why the change here, as there appears to be plenty of room on the top deck of the camera to keep a record button in its former location, but perhaps it's to avoid accidental triggering of video recording.
Redesigned locking ISO, Shutter Speed dials now make sense
The other primary differences, or should I say, improvements to the top-deck controls are that not only are the ISO and shutter speed dials larger in diameter and a bit taller, but their locking switches have a bit more travel and provide a much more tactile 'click' when locking or unlocking them. It's much easier to see at a glance whether or not your dials are locked. Furthermore, the shutter speed dial also no longer auto-locks into place when rotated into the 'Auto' setting, which I quite like. Both the ISO and shutter speed dial can rotate freely while unlocked (unlike the ISO dial on the X-T1), and they only lock into place when you explicitly press the lock button -- no need to hold the lock button to rotate the ISO dial anymore!
Lastly, we noted that the exposure compensation dial on the X-T1 was easily bumped. On the X-T2, the EV dial is ever so slightly stiffer to rotate, though that could simply be due to the newness of the camera. But, it also sits a bit further back from the edge of the camera, which makes it feel less likely to get rotated accidentally.
One minor issue I encountered regarding the top control dials is with the two small, layered dials underneath the ISO and shutter speed dials. While it's a handy use of space, these small dials can be very difficult to rotate. Both dials now have more modes on them (a movie mode on the left one, and an additional metering mode -- center-weighted -- on the right), and my colleagues and I found that the small tabs used to rotate these dials (see photo on the right) can be be a bit clumsy to operate. For one, they can get crammed up against the EVF housing, which can make these dials frustrating to adjust especially if you don't have long fingernails.
Improved rear controls borrowed from the X-Pro2
The back of the camera includes one of my favorite new features of the X-T2, a multi-directional joystick button, just like on the X-Pro2. Not only can you use this joystick control to navigate menus, but also, more importantly, you can quickly and easily change the focus point immediately. Out in the field, this is such a handy, time-saving feature that lets you quickly compose your shots and get focus squared away in a moment's notice. The joystick control also clicks inwards as a button, letting you quickly adjust the size of the focus area by rotating the front or rear command dial.
The front and rear command dials also serve double duty as pushable buttons, just like on the X-Pro2. The rear command dial/button in particular now replaces the dedicated 'Focus Assist' button of the X-T1. That button was swapped for the 'Q' quick menu button, which then made room for the new joystick control. Pressing the rear command dial now offers an instant magnified view of the scene for precise focus control.
The four directional buttons on the back also get a subtle redesign and are now raised a bit more out away from the back of the camera. On the X-T1, these buttons were practically flush against the camera, and as such, were a bit frustrating to use. The new ones here are much easier to press and provide some noticeable tactile feedback, which to us is a very welcome change indeed.
Big, bright EVF and unique two-way tilting LCD
Continuing the exploration of the rear of the camera, the first thing you'll probably notice is the EVF and its slightly redesigned eyecup. The EVF itself feels just as big and as crisp as the X-T1's, with the same 0.77x magnification. It's gorgeous: bright, easy to read and very large. The rubbery eyecup now has a wider, flared design that offers a bit more protection against outside light and glare, which is nice.
The next major big feature is the all-new articulated LCD screen, though it's quite a bit different than other articulated screens I've come across. First, it offers more or less the same degree of vertical tilt as the X-T1's LCD screen, however the X-T2's screen now also offers a sideways tilt. Sideways? Yep, you now can have an upward-tilting screen for low-angle shooting in portrait orientation! Perhaps a bit gimmicky at first thought, but I can see it being quite useful for low-angle full-body portrait shots or better yet, wide-angle architectural photography. When using the camera with the grip, this new screen design makes a lot of sense.
Bigger, but new vertical grip has better grip, holds more batteries
OK, let's talk about the awesome grip accessory. On the X-T1, I think it's almost a necessary feature, not because the camera itself is too small, but rather that it just adds that much more to hold onto while not making the camera body that much larger, heavier or bulkier. It's a bit of a different story with the Fuji X-T2, though. The grip accessory is much more "large and in charge" this time around. Not only is it simply thicker along the vertical grip area -- which makes the camera much more secure to hold -- it also adds some additional grip and thickness up along the camera body itself for when you're holding it horizontally.
Altogether, it makes the X-T2 package quite a bit bulkier and handle much more like a regular DSLR...for better or worse, depending on your point of view. If you're trying to keep things light and compact, the X-T2's new battery grip might not be the way to go, but if you shoot with a lot of telephoto lenses, especially with the new 100-400mm, the grip is a welcomed addition.
I, personally, would probably deal with the extra bulk of the grip given its other big advantages: battery life and increased performance. While the X-T1's grip offered a spot for a second battery to be used in conjunction with the one already in the camera, the X-T2's battery grip can carry two additional battery packs, for a total of three -- yes, three -- batteries all at once. Given the rather poor battery life from mirrorless cameras in general compared to their DSLR counterparts, this is very helpful. (The CIPA battery life rating for the X-T2 with a single battery is only 340 shots per charge, but up to about 1,000 shots are possible when using three batteries.)
The camera indicates the capacity level of each battery separately, which is quite handy, and the grip has built-in charging capability, allowing you to fully charge two batteries at the same time in about two hours with the supplied AC adapter.
The final little tidbit to share about the new grip is that, as expected, it offers most of the same right-hand controls and buttons as you'd find while holding the camera horizontally. The new joystick control and pressable front and rear command dials are all there. The grips offers a couple of unique additional buttons, including a dedicated performance mode switch to toggle between Normal and Boost performance modes as well as a DC-In power port, which lets you power the camera directly without the need to use up your batteries.
As mentioned previously, the grip also provides a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is certainly a nice amenity for video shooters. It should be noted, however, that the X-T2 body itself does not have a headphone jack of its own, so you'll need to pick up the grip accessory if you want this feature.
Ports, slots & jacks: Standard mic jack, dual SD card slots
Speaking of ports, let's finish up the X-T2 tour with a look at the camera body's various ports and storage media. Ports are all located behind a door on the left-hand side of the camera just as with the predecessor, but there are a number of changes.
For starters, the X-T2 gets an upgrade to USB 3.0 over the USB 2.0 port of the X-T1. Also, there's now a standard 3.5mm microphone input and a standalone 2.5mm wired remote jack, which replaces the combined 2.5mm mic/remote port of the X-T1. HDMI, while still present, is now in the form of a Micro (Type-D) HDMI port rather than the Type-C Mini HDMI connector of the original model.
For storage media, the Fuji X-T2 features a much-welcomed setup that's sure to please pros and enthusiast alike: dual SD card slots. As opposed to the single card slot of the original camera, the X-T2 provides two UHS-II compatible card slots. The SD card slots sit behind a locking, spring-loaded card door that's released by a small switch. I find this a nice improvement over the slide-to-open card door of the X-T1, which can be opened easily by accident, though one of my colleagues disagrees and misses the older one.
The Fuji X-T2 feels bigger and better than ever
All told, by look and feel alone, the Fujifilm X-T2 seems to be a fantastic, much-improved flagship camera. With a focus on small details and ergonomic improvements rather than an all-new design, the Fuji X-T2, for the most part, addresses the original model's shortcomings while remaining wholly familiar and easy to use for long-time Fuji photographers -- but given all the new features and performance specs, the X-T2 might just draw even more seasoned DSLR shooters into the mirrorless world.
Below are a few real-world gallery images shot with our pre-production beta sample, and there are plenty more in our Fuji X-T2 Gallery. Stay tuned, as we'll have you more to come once we get production-level firmware!
[Notes: Images have been cropped, resized to fit this page and slightly adjusted in post, primarily to balance shadows and highlights when needed. Clicking any image will take you to a carrier page, where you'll have access to the full resolution image as delivered straight from the (beta) X-T2, in addition to detailed EXIF data.]
1/2000s / f/2.8 / ISO 200 / 153mm eq. / pre-production beta sample
1/4000s / f/2.8 / ISO 200 / 75mm eq. / pre-production beta sample
1/400s / f/2.8 / ISO 320 / 210mm eq. / pre-production beta sample
1/500s / f/3.2 / ISO 200 / 159mm eq. / pre-production beta sample
1/320s / f/8 / ISO 400 / 36mm eq. / pre-production beta sample
1/30s / f/5 / ISO 200 / 36mm eq. / pre-production beta sample
Fujifilm X-T2 Field Test Part I
Taking the new flagship Fuji into the eye of the storm
They were calling it Tropical Depression 9, and it was already starting to intimidate the Gulf of Mexico. I was packing for the Atlantic Coast to try out the new Fuji X-T2, the highest-end camera I'd yet to have the privilege of Field Testing, and was feeling a bit intimidated myself. The X-T2 is reportedly sporting a hugely improved C-AF system complete with new custom presets, and I wanted to try and bring our readers the full picture.
I'd shot extensively with the predecessor X-T1, primarily for gallery samples of many of the recent Fujinon XT lenses that have come our way, including the latest long zooming XT 100-400mm f/4-5.6. I've grown to very much love the X-T1, have learned to utilize most of its capabilities as well as dodge some of its quirks, but I knew that it wasn't quite up to fully competing against enthusiast DSLRs in the C-AF world of sports and wildlife. It was good, but simply not as good as the best in that class.
With that in mind, I got the nod to head to an area deep in the Carolina low country, replete with a wealth of National Wildlife Refuge sanctuaries, with the goal of putting the X-T2 through its paces in a real-world and challenging environment. But a funny thing happened on the way to the Atlantic Coast, as TD-9 morphed into Hurricane Hermine, and the eye of the storm took a path towards me.
Fujifilm X-T2 Image Quality Comparison
See how the Fuji X-T2's image quality stacks up against rivals
Here we present 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...
Fujifilm X-T2 Print Quality Analysis
Find out just how large you can print at each ISO!
Print quality and image quality are similar but not identical, because what you see on a print isn't always the same as what you see on the screen. Our print quality analysis answers the important question: "Just how big can I print my photos at higher ISOs?"
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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