Fuji X-T2 Image Quality


Saturation & Hue Accuracy
Typical saturation levels with excellent hue accuracy.

ISO Sensitivity
In the diagram above, the squares show the original color, and the circles show the color that the camera captured. More saturated colors are located toward the periphery of the graph. Hue changes as you travel around the center. Thus, hue-accurate, highly saturated colors appear as lines radiating from the center. Mouse over the links to compare ISOs, and click for larger versions.

Saturation. The Fuji X-T2 produces images with fairly bright, pleasing colors using the standard film simulation (Provia) at default settings. The camera pushes most colors by small amounts, dark red, orange and dark green by moderate amounts, but undersaturates aqua by just a bit. Default mean saturation at the base ISO of 200 was 112.2% (12.2% oversaturated), which is close to average these days. You can of course tweak saturation and/or select a different film simulation mode if the default is not to your taste. Mean saturation fell only slightly as ISO increased, ending up at 107.8% at the maximum extended ISO. Most consumer digital cameras produce color that's more highly saturated (more intense) than found in the original subjects. This is simply because most people like their color a bit brighter than life.

Skin tones. The Fuji X-T2 rendered pleasant Caucasian skin tones that were just a touch on the pinkish side when white balance was adjusted to match the light source at base ISO, because of the moderate push in reds. Results were quite pleasing, though, with a healthy look. (Here, too, the X-T2's saturation and/or film mode options may come into play for some users, letting them tweak the color of skin tones if they find the default rendering a bit too saturated for their personal tastes. Note that Fujifilm claims their Astia film simulation produces "true-to-life" skin tones.) Where oversaturation is most problematic is on Caucasian skin tones, as it's very easy for these "memory colors" to be seen as too bright, too pink, too yellow, etc.

Hue. The Fuji X-T2 produced only a few color shifts relative to the ideal reproduction of hues, and has excellent hue accuracy overall, with less of an orange to yellow shift compared to its predecessor, and no yellow to green shift that we often see. The largest shift is in cyan toward blue, however we think it's a deliberate choice by camera engineers to produce better-looking sky colors. Average "delta-C" color error after correction for saturation at base ISO was only 3.36 (lower numbers are better), which is excellent, and hue accuracy remained better than average across the ISO range. Hue is "what color" the color is.

See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images


Exposure and White Balance

Indoors, incandescent lighting
Auto and Incandescent white balance were quite warm, but very good results with the Manual setting. Above average exposure compensation required.

Auto White Balance
+0.7 EV
Incandescent White Balance
+0.7 EV
Manual White Balance
+0.7 EV

Indoors, under typical incandescent lighting, color balance was quite warm using the Auto setting, with a fairly strong red/pink cast. Results with the Incandescent white balance setting were also very warm, with a strong yellow/orange cast. The Manual white balance setting was quite accurate, though. The Fuji X-T2 required +0.7 EV exposure compensation here, while most cameras need about +0.3 EV for this scene. Our test lighting for this shot is a mixture of 60 and 100 watt household incandescent bulbs, a pretty yellow light source, but a very common one in typical home settings here in the U.S.

Outdoors, daylight
Very good color and exposure outdoors.

Manual White Balance,
0 EV
Auto White Balance,
0 EV

Outdoors, the Fuji X-T2 produced very nice color at default settings. The X-T2's default exposure was pretty good for our "Sunlit" Portrait shot when using Manual white balance, just a bit hot (interestingly Auto and Daylight white balance weren't quite as bright even though WB was all that was changed). This is much better than average exposure accuracy, though, as most cameras need +0.7 EV to keep the face bright for this shot, but it did lead to a lot of blown highlights in the mannequin's shirt and flowers. Skin tones were pleasing, with a healthy-looking pinkish cast that's not too overdone with Manual white balance, and Auto wasn't much different (just a touch cooler though as mentioned not quite as bright for some reason). The Fuji X-T2 did a great job with our high-contrast Far-field shot, clipping very few highlights at default exposure, however there are some very dark shadows. Deep shadows generally contain good detail, but are a bit noisy, posterized and are abruptly clipped to black. Color was very pleasing with the Auto white balance setting. See the "Extremes: Sunlit..." section below to see how the X-T2's Highlight/Shadow Tone and D-Range settings deal with harsh lighting like this.

See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images

~2,900 lines of strong detail from JPEGs, about the same from ACR converted RAW.

Strong detail to
~2,900 lines horizontal
Camera JPEG
Strong detail to
~2,900 lines vertical
Camera JPEG
Strong detail to
~2,900 lines horizontal
ACR converted RAW
Strong detail to
~2,900 lines vertical
ACR converted RAW

Our in-camera JPEG resolution chart shot revealed sharp, distinct line patterns up to just over 2,900 lines per picture height in the horizontal direction, and to just over 2,900 lines per picture height in the vertical direction as well. Some may argue for higher numbers, but lines begin to merge and are not very distinct at higher resolutions. Complete extinction of the pattern didn't occur before the 4,000 line limit of our chart in both directions. Adobe Camera Raw wasn't able to extract any additional resolution, however it did produce lower amounts of luma moiré near the limits of resolution. As expected, ACR produced low amounts of chroma moiré even though it normally produces higher from Bayer-filtered cameras, thanks to the X-Trans sensor's irregular color filter pattern. Use these numbers to compare with other cameras of similar resolution, or use them to see just what higher resolution can mean in terms of potential detail.

See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images

Sharpness & Detail
Slightly soft images at default settings, with only minor edge-enhancement artifacts appearing around high-contrast subjects. Mild noise suppression is visible in the shadows at base ISO.

Good definition of high-contrast elements, with only minor evidence of edge enhancement. Subtle detail: Hair Noise suppression tends to blur detail in areas of subtle contrast, though detail remains strong in the darker parts of the model's hair here.

Sharpness. The Fuji X-T2 captures slightly soft images by default, though there are still some minor edge enhancement artifacts visible along high-contrast edges such as the relatively thin sharpening "halos" around the lines and letters of the bottle label above left. Default sharpening seems to be a touch stronger than some prior X-Trans models, but still quite conservative compared to most cameras. Edge enhancement creates the illusion of sharpness by enhancing colors and tones right at the edge of a rapid transition in color or tone.

Detail. The crop above right shows low levels of luminance noise suppression, as the darker areas of the model's hair still show a very good amount of detail. Some individual strands do merge together when local contrast is low and as shadows deepen, but performance here is excellent for an APS-C sensor. The Fuji X-T2 also does a great job at keeping chrominance noise low, better than most Bayer-filtered cameras, but it can struggle to resolve fine detail or accurate color in certain fine subject matter because of its unique color filter arrangement. Noise-suppression systems in digital cameras tend to flatten-out detail in areas of subtle contrast. The effects can often be seen in shots of human hair, where the individual strands are lost and an almost "watercolor" look appears.

RAW vs In-Camera JPEGs
As noted above, the Fuji X-T2 produces slightly soft JPEG images but with very good detail at default settings. Let's see how an Adobe Camera Raw conversion with relatively strong unsharp mask sharpening compares.

Base ISO (200)
Camera JPEG, defaults
RAW via Adobe Camera Raw

In the table above, we compare an in-camera JPEG taken at base ISO (200) using default noise reduction and sharpening (on the left) to the matching RAW file converted with Adobe Camera Raw 9.1 via DNG Converter 9.8 using default noise reduction with quite strong but tight unsharp masking applied in Photoshop. (We've found that the X-T2's RAW files are softer than previous generation Fuji X-series models, at least when converted in ACR, so we needed to use fairly strong sharpening to get images to look reasonably crisp. In this case, we used USM of 400%, radius of 0.3 pixels, and a threshold of 0.)

Adobe Camera Raw does a very good job here, but doesn't extract significantly more detail than the camera does, though contrast and subtle detail in the our red-leaf fabric is noticeably better. There is a touch more detail in the mosaic crop and perhaps slightly more accurate colors, but nothing really to write home about. The strong sharpening required to keep images reasonably sharp does tend to exacerbate noise, though, as can be seen in the background of the first set of crops, however that can be mitigated by experimenting with the sharpening settings, or using some luminance noise reduction. Bottom line: Fuji's in-camera processing is excellent, and there isn't much advantage to shooting RAW in terms of detail reproduction, at least with Adobe Camera Raw and at low ISOs.

ISO & Noise Performance
Excellent high ISO performance for an APS-C sensor.

Default High ISO Noise Reduction
ISO 100 ISO 200 ISO 400
ISO 800 ISO 1,600 ISO 3,200
ISO 6,400 ISO 12,800 ISO 25,600
ISO 51,200

The Fuji X-T2's images are quite clean with good detail up to ISO 800, with low, fine-grained luma noise and almost no chroma noise. At ISO 1,600, noise reduction efforts are a little stronger as you'd expect, but fine detail is still very good with almost no chroma noise. ISO 3,200 shows a stronger increase in noise and blurring, but fine detail remains pretty good, again with almost no chroma noise. At ISO 6,400 luminance noise becomes more noticeable along with noise reduction artifacts, though noise still fairly fine-grained, and chroma noise is still well-controlled. Image quality drops off more rapidly at ISO 12,800 and above, with progressively more visible noise grain, stronger blurring and more noticeable noise reduction artifacts. Fine detail at ISOs 25,600 and 51,200 is quite soft with heavy luminance noise accentuated by sharpening artifacts, as well as chrominance noise in the form of large but fairly subtle yellow and purple blotches. Still, noise performance in high ISO JPEGs is excellent, among the best we've seen from an APS-C sensor.

We're pixel-peeping to the extreme here though, which isn't always representative of what you see in prints. As always, see the Print Quality section below for maximum recommended print sizes at each ISO.

Extremes: Sunlit, dynamic range and low light tests
Mediocre dynamic range in JPEGs at default settings. Very good low-light performance.

0 EV +0.3 EV +0.7 EV

Sunlight. The Fuji X-T2 struggled with the harsh lighting of this test at default settings at the base ISO of 200 (which should be best case). We preferred the default exposure overall, because the exposure at +0.3 EV exposure compensation was too bright with far too many clipped highlights. Even at default exposure (0 EV), quite a few highlights were blown in the mannequin's shirt and flowers. There are quite a few dark shadows as well, and very deep shadows are somewhat posterized and clip to black rather abruptly, likely in an attempt to hide noise. Overall, the Fuji X-T2's JPEGs performed below average here without any highlight and shadow adjustments, nor any dynamic range enhancement (see below).

The good news is the blown highlights and clipped shadows in the above test scene were easily recoverable in the RAF RAW files, even at +0.7 EV, so dynamic range captured in the X-T2's RAW files appears to be excellent.

Because digital cameras are more like slide film than negative film (in that they tend to have a more limited tonal range), we test them in the harshest situations to see how they handle scenes with bright highlights and dark shadows, as well as what kind of sensitivity they have in low light. The shot above is designed to mimic the very harsh, contrasty effect of direct noonday sunlight, a very tough challenge for most digital cameras. (You can read details of this test here.)

Contrast Adjustment
The Fuji X-T2 does not offer a traditional contrast adjustment. Instead, it offers Shadow and Highlight Tone settings, which let you adjust contrast in highlights and shadows independently. There are seven settings each on the X-T2, ranging from -2 to +5.

Far-field Highlight and Shadow Tone Comparison
-2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4
-2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4

Shadow and Highlight Tone. Above you can see the effects the seven settings for Highlight and Shadow Tone control on our high-contrast Far-field shot. Mouse over the links to load the associated thumbnail and click on the links to visit the full resolution image.

Note how the Highlight settings mainly affect the brighter portions of the image, while the Shadow settings impact the darker areas. Both settings can be used simultaneously, giving more flexibility to tune the tone curve at both ends compared to a single contrast setting.

Far-field D-Range Comparison

D-Range is Fuji's name for their dynamic range enhancement technology. D-Range designed to preserve hot highlights, by exposing for highlights and then boosting mid-tones and shadows. There are three levels: DR100 100% (default), DR200 200%, DR400 400%, as well as an Auto mode which can select DR100 or DR200. DR200 is available at ISO 400 and above, while DR400 is available at ISO 800 and above, so all the examples above were taken at ISO 800. Mouse over the links above to load the corresponding thumbnail image. Click on the links to get to the full resolution images.

As you can see the images above, the Fuji X-T2's higher D-Range settings were effective at toning down highlights in our Far-field shot. As they say, though, there's no free lunch, because improved highlight retention comes at a cost of increased noise. This is because the camera's sensitivity needs to be raised to take advantage of the D-Range feature, though that's not much of penalty because the X-T2's high ISO performance is so good. (Note that the Fuji X-T2 does not offer a multi-shot in-camera HDR mode.)

Dynamic Range Analysis
A key parameter in a digital camera is its Dynamic Range, the range of brightness that can be faithfully recorded. At the upper end of the tonal scale, dynamic range is dictated by the point at which the RGB data "saturates" at values of 255, 255, 255. At the lower end of the tonal scale, dynamic range is determined by the point at which there ceases to be any useful difference between adjacent tonal steps. Note the use of the qualifier "useful" in there: While it's tempting to evaluate dynamic range as the maximum number of tonal steps that can be discerned at all, that measure of dynamic range has very little relevance to real-world photography. What we care about as photographers is how much detail we can pull out of the shadows before image noise becomes too objectionable. This, of course, is a very subjective matter, and will vary with the application and even the subject matter in question. (Noise will be much more visible in subjects with large areas of flat tints and subtle shading than it would in subjects with strong, highly contrasting surface texture.)

What makes most sense then, is to specify useful dynamic range in terms of the point at which image noise reaches some agreed-upon threshold. To this end, Imatest computes a number of different dynamic range measurements, based on a variety of image noise thresholds. The noise thresholds are specified in terms of f-stops of equivalent luminance variation in the final image file, and dynamic range is computed for noise thresholds of 1.0 (low image quality), 0.5 (medium image quality), 0.25 (medium-high image quality) and 0.1 (high image quality). For most photographers and most applications, the noise thresholds of 0.5 and 0.25 f-stops are probably the most relevant to the production of acceptable-quality finished images, but many noise-sensitive shooters will insist on the 0.1 f-stop limit for their most critical work. A full discussion of all the data Imatest produces is really beyond the scope of this review: Visit the Imatest website for details of what the program measures, how it performs its computations, and how to interpret its output.

Note: Recently, we've switched to using DxOMark's dynamic range results because some cameras were exceeding what could measured with a Stouffer T4110 step chart, but DxOMark does not publish results for Fuji X-Trans sensors, probably because they don't support RAW files from those sensors which require more complex demosaicing than standard Bayer-filtered models. So, here we're showing our Imatest results at base ISO (best case). Note that Imatest's Quality Level threshold of Low corresponds to DxOMark's dynamic range signal-to-noise (SNR) threshold of 1.0.

The Fuji X-T2 shares its sensor with the X-Pro2, so here we present our Imatest dynamic range test results from the X-Pro2:

JPEG. The graph at right (click for a larger version) was generated using Imatest's dynamic range analysis for an in-camera Fuji X-Pro2 JPEG file with a nominally-exposed density step target (Stouffer T4110). At default settings and native base ISO of 200, the results show 9.04 f-stops of total dynamic range, however the range at the "Low" quality threshold is still 9.04 stops and at the "High" threshold, it drops down to only 7.0 stops. These scores are below average for an APS-C model and confirm the mediocre dynamic range in JPEGs mentioned previously, but keep in mind we didn't enable any of the Fuji X-Pro2's dynamic range enhancement features for this test. The gaps in the density response chart at the low end also reflect the posterization seen in very deep shadows of the X-Pro 2's JPEGs.

RAW. The graph at right is from the same Stouffer T4110 stepchart image captured as a raw (.RAF) file, processed with Adobe Camera Raw using the Auto setting, then tweaked from there for best results. As can be seen, the score at the highest quality level increased significantly compared to the in-camera JPEG, from 7.0 to 9.22 f-stops, and total dynamic range improved even more from 9.04 to 13.1 f-stops. At the "Low" quality level (matching DxOMark's threshold), total dynamic range is still available (13.1 f-stops). These results are very similar to the Imatest scores Fuji's previous generation 16-megapixel X-Trans sensor scored. This is good performance for an APS-C sensor, if not quite as good as the best which can exceed 14 f-stops, but keep in mind these results are not normalized to a standard print size like the scores we use from DxOMark, which would give a higher resolution 24-megapixel sensor like the X-Pro 2's a noise advantage over the previous 16-megapixel sensor when normalized.

  1 fc
11 lux
1/16 fc
0.67 lux
1/16 fc

1.3s, f2.8

20s, f2.8

20s, f2.8

1/13s, f2.8

1.3s, f2.8

1.3s, f2.8

1/50s, f2.8

0.3s, f2.8

0.3s, f2.8

Low Light. The X-T2 performed very well in our low light tests, able to capture bright images down to the lowest light level we test at. The darkest level equates to about 1/16 the brightness of average city street lighting at night, so the Fuji X-T2 should be able to take well-exposed photos in almost any environment in which you can see well enough to walk around in.

Using the default high ISO noise reduction setting, noise is quite low at ISO 200 and very well-controlled at ISO 3200. The maximum native ISO of 12,800 is of course noisier, but the noise "grain" is very fine and the images are still very usable. (Apologies for the blurring in some of the images; we believe a tripod leg was bumped during some exposures and we had to return the camera before we could reshoot this series.)

We didn't notice any significant issues with hot pixels, heat blooming or banding (fixed pattern noise).

Automatic color balance performed well in low light, just a touch cool at one foot-candle shifting to a bit warmer at 1/16 foot-candle.

Low Light AF. The Fuji X-T2's hybrid autofocus system was able to focus in extremely low light. With our low-contrast AF target, the camera was able to focus down to well below the 1/16 foot-candle light level unassisted with an f/2.8 lens, down to about -4.0 EV. With our new high-contrast AF target, the X-T2 was able to autofocus down to about -4.5 EV unassisted, which is excellent. The Fuji X-T2 also has a built AF assist lamp, which lets it autofocus in complete darkness as long as the subject is in range and has sufficient contrast.

How bright is this? The one foot-candle light level that this test begins at roughly corresponds to the brightness of typical city street-lighting at night. Cameras performing well at that level should be able to snap good-looking photos of street-lit scenes.

NOTE: This low light test is conducted with a stationary subject, and the camera mounted on a sturdy tripod. Most digital cameras will fail miserably when faced with a moving subject in dim lighting. (For example, a child's ballet recital or a holiday pageant in a gymnasium.) Thanks to its larger sensor and Hybrid AF, compact system cameras like the Fuji X-T2 tend to do better than point & shoots, but you still shouldn't expect a quick autofocus lock with moving subjects.

Output Quality

Print Quality
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.


The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Fujifilm X-T2 Photo Gallery .

Not sure which camera to buy? Let your eyes be the ultimate judge! Visit our Comparometer(tm) to compare images from the Fujifilm X-T2 with those from other cameras you may be considering. The proof is in the pictures, so let your own eyes decide which you like best!

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