Hands on: Fujifilm X-T2

by | Sep 12, 2016 | Products, Reviews

Two and a half years ago, Fujifilm released the X-T1, a mirrorless camera that combined the insides of the rangefinder-inspired X-Pro1 in an SLR-style body. While the X-Pro1 was a niche camera targeting mostly street photographers, the X-T1 sought broader appeal among advanced and professional shooters from a variety of disciplines. As I wrote at that time, it wasn’t without its quirks, but it still managed to approach perfection.

All this is to say, Fujifilm set a very high bar for itself with the X-T1, a standard to which the new X-T2 now must live up — and exceed. While this isn’t a full review, I’ve spent enough time with the X-T2 to happily report that it raises the bar even further, and by a fair margin.

 

On the spec sheet alone, we see that Fujifilm has poured a lot of new capability into this camera, which manifests as real-world performance improvements.

The autofocus system is a modified version of the one that first appeared in the X-Pro2 and boasts 325 points. Using a hybrid of phase-detection and contrast-detection, it serves up the fastest AF performance I have ever experienced in a Fujifilm camera, correcting the biggest sore point of the X-T1.

The new, 24-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III sensor takes image quality to a new level, offering a stunning amount of detail, surprisingly good high-ISO performance, and excellent dynamic range.

 

The above image was shot in RAW at 12,800 ISO with no noise reduction applied. The before and after photos below show two images straight out of the camera and then after exposure adjustments have been made to reveal detail in the shadows.

 

For the first time ever, Fujifilm has also made a real effort with video here. Not only does the X-T2 offer 4K resolution, but it even pushes into professional filmmaking territory with the addition of clean HDMI output and the F-Log flat color profile. This is simply a huge surprise coming from Fuji. We haven’t had a chance to test the video capabilities yet, but we will as soon as we can.

But perhaps most importantly, the top-notch shooting experience delivered by the X-T1 remains intact. The already great electronic viewfinder has been improved, and an optional power boost mode enables a 100 frames per second refresh rate. It’s as close to an optical viewfinder as you’re likely to get on a live view camera.

There is also a dedicated focus point selector joystick on the back of the camera, which is small, but very, very welcome addition. This is something Fujifilm shooters have been asking for for a while.

Pro shooters can also opt for the new Vertical Power Booster Grip, which adds a portrait-orientation shutter release, space for two batteries (in addition to the one in the camera body), and a fancy boost mode that bumps continuous shooting speed up to 11 FPS.

One oddity is the articulating monitor, which can tilt up and down or to one side. But it doesn’t even tilt a full 90 degrees to that side. It feels like an afterthought, and not a very useful one. Fortunately, it also doesn’t negatively affect anything, so I can’t really complain about it.

As for what early conclusions we can draw now, it’s safe to say that preorder customers should be very happy with the X-T2. We look forward to getting to know this camera better in the coming weeks and will post a full review after we get a chance to put it through its paces.

The Fujifilm X-T2 is shipping now but supply is limited. Preorder today to reserve yours. The camera retails for $1599, body only, or $1899 with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit lens.

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