Fuji X-T2 Conclusion

Following in the footsteps of the popular Fuji X-T1 was no easy task, but the designers and engineers at Fuji have excelled in splendid fashion with the professional-grade, powerhouse Fuji X-T2.

Sharing the flagship spotlight with its rangefinder-styled brother, the Fuji X-Pro2, the X-T2 is the DSLR-styled member of the family and very much designed with sports and wildlife shooting in mind, especially when combined with the new booster battery grip. Over the course of several different sample models, we put the X-T2 solidly through its paces in our test lab, and took it to some fairly harsh and exotic destinations for extended shooting out in the real world.

Ultimately, we came away thoroughly impressed with this capable and hearty flagship mirrorless camera from Fuji.

Fuji X-T2: Poised for Wildlife

1/1000s / f/5.6 / ISO 200 / 600mm eq. / XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 WR

The combination of the 24mp X-Trans sensor, the increased sophistication of the onboard continuous autofocus system and the available Fujinon lens arsenal make wildlife shooting an obvious choice with the Fuji X-T2. We took this rig along with the booster battery grip and a bevy of Fujinon zooms on a tour of several wildlife sanctuaries and came away thrilled with the results for both image quality and performance in the field.

Fuji X-T2: Portrait & Fashion Photography

1/500s / f/2 / ISO 200 / 135mm eq. / XF 90mm f/2 lens

Fuji X-series cameras have found their way into the hands of many a seasoned portrait and fashion photographer for good reason, and the X-T2 takes it a few steps further. The higher resolution sensor along with the outstanding image quality we found in the analysis of our test images further bolsters the validation in choosing this camera for portrait and fashion shooting. For a more detailed look at portrait shooting with the X-T2 across multiple lenses please see our third Field Test.

1/1700s / f/2.8 / ISO 200 / 210mm eq. / XF 50-140mm f/2.8 lens

And if you need large print sizes even as the ISO climbs, in a camera less bulky than a full frame DSLR rig, we'll let our Print Quality Analysis summary speak for the camera in this regard: "Only a precious few APS-C cameras can match the X-T2 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."

X-Trans: A sensor engineered for capturing rich colors

1/125s / f/7.1 / ISO 640 / 26mm eq. / XF 16-55mm f/2.8 lens

Ah, the debates of the X-Trans sensor continue to this day, and will continue for as long as Fuji puts them into the heart of their APS-C cameras. This interesting departure from traditional Bayer filter array sensors found in most modern digital cameras was "inspired by film" according to Fuji themselves. When coupled with Fuji's Film Simulation Modes found in-camera, the results are reported to deliver a more natural, film-like image with all other factors being equal. In addition, the sensor is designed to avoid moiré while not needing an optical low-pass filter.

The argument that this sensor design when combined with the Film Simulation Modes is "better" or simply "different" is both an academic and an artistic one, and the debate rages on even in the halls of our organization. The fact is that we have some big Fuji fans here at IR, and still others who could take the X-series or leave it, which is certainly interesting. As this reflects the enthusiast and professional photography community at large, we certainly prefer having both "camps" on our staff. You are, therefore, on your own in deciding if this decidedly different approach suits your taste and style, as it most certainly does for at least some of the review staff at IR.

1/1250s / f/4.5 / ISO 200 / 150mm eq. / XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 WR

Overall performance significantly amped from the X-T1

Mirrorless cameras have strived for the better part of a decade to catch up with competing DSLRs in the C-AF arena. Top-tier DSLRs still rule the professional sports market, but the lines continue to blur in the enthusiast world, and the X-T2 along with its rangefinder-inspired brother the X-Pro2 have helped to continue that trend. In our various testing we found the C-AF to be significantly better than the system found in the X-T1, and to now belong in the same ballpark as competing DSLRs in this enthusiast price range.

In addition, the customization options within the X-T2's C-AF menu are now much more sophisticated, allowing for a deeper level of tweaking depending on what you happen to be shooting on any given day. In short, for real world shooting as well as in our performance testing in the lab, we found the X-T2's overall performance to be excellent.

The X-T2 now also comes equipped with 4K video shooting, and while Fuji cameras have not generally been the top-tier choice for multimedia creators, there are some other perks to using the X-T2 for video, such as the ability to use the onboard Film Simulations during video capture.

1/1000s / f/2 / ISO 320 / 135mm eq. / XF 90mm f/2 lens

Fuji X-T2: Reigning in the natural world

Landscape photographers will find much to love in the Fuji X-T2, especially when paired with a capable wide angle zoom lens like the XF 10-24mm f/4 OIS. The versatile Film Simulation modes certainly add to the creative palette, and the much higher resolution sensor gives more flexibility with ample freedom to crop images as needed.

1/400s / f/11 / ISO 200 / 15mm eq. / XF 10-24mm f/4 lens

Fujinon lens selection enhances the X-series ecosystem

A camera body is the beginning of a professional or enthusiast photography ecosystem, but the available lens selection is as important to the overall system as the body itself. We at IR find the Fujinon lens selection to be excellent in its offerings and diversity, as well as their build quality, making this a major part of why a dedicated photographer may consider a camera body like the X-T2.

1/125s / f/2 / ISO 800 / 135mm eq. / XF 90mm f/2 lens

Fuji X-T2: Excellent weather sealing tested by us in harsh environments

A professional-grade camera must be properly weather-sealed for extended reliability in the field, and we're talking weather sealing of the caliber that can withstand more than a casual spring shower. We took the Fuji X-T2 right into the heart of a hurricane, and it not only fired reliably but also kept on firing long after the storm had passed. This included not only the camera body but the booster battery grip and several of the Fujinon lenses that braved the storm with us as well. (In this case, the XF 16-55mm f/2.8 and the XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6.)

In truth, there are not many other mirrorless cameras that we would risk taking into the heart of a hurricane.

1/1000s / f/11 / ISO 640 / 116mm eq. / XF 16-55mm f/2.8 lens

Fuji X-T2 Review Summary

Honored in our 2016 COTY awards as a Camera of Distinction in the Best Overall category for good reason, the Fuji X-T2 is a professional powerhouse with ample capabilities across the board. It's a DSLR-styled mirrorless camera that melds both the DSLR and mirrorless worlds, and offers enough external controls to please any retro-fanatic. And if you're a professional photographer needing the best in weather sealing, the X-T2 has you more than covered there.

Under the hood, the X-T2 sports the latest-generation 24.3mp X-Trans sensor, and we found the resulting image quality both in the lab and out in the field to rival or top most any APS-C camera out there. The autofocus engine has also been heavily amped from the original X-T1, bringing its C-AF chops more in line with its modern DSLR rivals, and we've seen solid evidence of this performance in controlled tests and out in the field. Add in the awesome available Fujinon lens line, and the Fuji X-T2 becomes an obvious choice as a terrific all-around professional-grade camera. A Dave's Pick? You bet!

1/60s / f/10 / ISO 800 / 36mm eq. / XF 16-55mm f/2.8 lens


Pros & Cons

  • Robust weather sealing
  • Enhanced C-AF custom presets
  • Film simulation modes very useful
  • In-camera RAW processing a plus
  • Excellent image quality from both JPEGs and RAW files
  • Superb high ISO performance for an APS-C camera, among the best we've seen
  • Very good dynamic range
  • Excellent hue accuracy
  • Incredibly fast hybrid autofocus system
  • Able to autofocus in extremely low light
  • Low shutter lag
  • Very quick shot to shot times
  • Fast 8fps mechanical shutter burst mode, very fast 13.6fps with e-shutter
  • Generous buffer depths and faster buffer clearing when using a fast UHS-II card
  • Higher resolution EVF and LCD monitor
  • Dual SD card slots (and both support UHS-II)
  • Mechanical shutter speeds up to 1/8000s, electronic up to 1/32,000s
  • 1/250s x-sync speed
  • PC-Sync socket
  • External 3.5mm mic jack
  • Able to capture RAW files throughout the extended ISO range
  • Separate highlight and shadow contrast control
  • D-Range feature works well to preserve highlights in JPEGs
  • USB 3.0 port
  • Shoots 4K video up to 30p, and Full HD up to 60p
  • Internal USB charging is supported even though dedicated battery charger is included
  • Optional Booster Grip allows for two extra batteries & higher performance
  • Precise manual focus is tricky with fly-by-wire focusing, plus focus can change unexpectedly when adjusting other unrelated settings
  • Shutter pre-press penalty
  • Battery life is only decent, but with the grip you can have a total of three batteries at once
  • Auto and incandescent white balance struggle in tungsten lighting
  • No built-in flash (but small hot-shoe flash is bundled in box)
  • Video quality still not on par with competing cameras in this class

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