30
Mar
2013

X20: English, German and Spanish reviews

- The photographyblog X20 review is now online. Defintily passed the test. It gained five out of five stars, again! (also pocket-lint assigned five stars here, calling the camera “the new champion of the high-end compact cameras”)  But now read the photographyblog review here.

“We ran into some issues in bright sunlight when shooting in aperture and shutter priority modes, where the top shutter-speed limit of 1/1000th second at f/2 or f/2.8 often caused under-exposure. Unlike the X100S, the new X20 still doesn’t feature a built-in Neutral Density filter (something that we complained about with the X10), so you’ll have to stop-down the aperture and sacrifice some depth-of-field to avoid blowing out the highlights. [...] Fujifilm have cleverly made the focusing ring more sensitive to how you use it – turn it slowly and the focusing distance changes slowly, but turn it more quickly and the camera quickly moves through the distance scale. It now takes less than 2 full turns and a couple of seconds to jump from the closest focus distance to infinity, a big improvement on the X10. [...] Shutter lag is virtually non-existent on this camera, so once you have set the focus, you’ll never miss the moment because the camera can’t fire the shutter quickly enough. [...] The Fujifilm X20 is a much faster version of the original X10, with a few handling tweaks that make it even more intuitive to use. [...] The Fujifilm X20 produces images of outstanding quality [...] an excellent performance for a camera with such a small sensor.”

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- The German site digitalcamera posted his review here (translated version). A bit too big for a compact camera. The image quality is more or less what you’d expect from a 2/3 sensor. With the new technologies inside the X20 (X-Trans, no low pass filter…), they had a bit higher expectations.

- Now something for our Spanish readers. dslrmagazine posted the review here (translated version).

X100S: BHphoto / AdoramaAmazonUS / AmazonDEAmazonUK / AmazonITA / DigitalRev / your ebay / your Amazon
X20:  BHphoto (blacksilver) / Adorama (blacksilver) / AmazonUS (blacksilver) / AmazonUK (blacksilver) / AmazonDE / AmazonITA / DigitalRev / your ebay / your Amazon

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  • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

    “We ran into some issues in bright sunlight when shooting in aperture and shutter priority modes, where the top shutter-speed limit of 1/1000th second at f/2 or f/2.8 often caused under-exposure.”

    Strange statement, as this would result in overexposure.

    • alberto

      “We ran into some issues in bright sunlight when shooting in aperture and shutter priority modes, where the top shutter-speed limit of 1/1000th second at f/2 or f/2.8 often caused under-exposure.”
      Strange statement, as this would result in overexposure.

      and in fact it does overexposure that it is very very annoying. I really don’t understand why there is this 1/1000 limit.

  • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

    “Fujifilm have cleverly made the focusing ring more sensitive to how you use it – turn it slowly and the focusing distance changes slowly, but turn it more quickly and the camera quickly moves through the distance scale.”

    There is no focusing ring on the X20. Just a zoom ring. You have to manually focus using the rear sub-command dial.

  • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

    “Note that if you’re shooting RAW, the fastest possible rate is a slightly slower 9fps for 14 frames, although commendably still at full resolution. ”

    It’s not 14 but 8 frames at 9 fps in 4:3 L FINE+RAW or RAW only, which is still pretty good, considering you can continue shooting indefinitely, but at a lower speed (depending on the performance of your SD card).

  • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

    “Shooting a single RAW + Fine JPEG takes about 6 seconds to record to the card”

    This is pretty ridiculous, as my X20 needs less than one second for that. That’s also how I get indefinite continuous shooting at more than 1 fps (I assume it’s between 1.3-1.5 fps) with my SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-1 95MB/s SD card.

    Maybe the reviewer should have used a faster card. Using a slow card means you are reviewing the speed of your SD card, not the speed of your camera.

  • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

    “New to the X20, this calls up the very handy Quick View screen, a feature borrowed from the X-E1 and X-Pro1 mirrorless cameras, and also newly incorporated on the X100S.”

    Actually, it’s pretty much the same as in the old X10 (with current firmware). So this feature certainly not “new” to the X20.

  • Tim

    Hey, they gave it 5 stars … do you want the to really really review it, could be the number of stars goes down somewhat – alles ist möglich ;-)

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      I agree, the review is a bit shallow. For example, it ignores IQ changes at different DR settings. They are also saying that you can’t switch the DR feature off, which is inaccurate, as DR100% is of course the “off” setting.

      The X20 is a great camera, some discussions like those going on in the dpreview forums are ridiculous. However, there are not only strengths, but also weaknesses if you compare the X20 to the X10, and those are best addressed by adapting your shooting style and processing.

      • Tim

        To a certain degree, all of these misstatements (or errors) highlight one of the chief failings of Fuji X cameras – they are remarkably complex to use. You need to take a book along almost!

        The other main failing being ergonomics, for which I feel removing 50% of the buttons, the “dial” control and replacing the thumb wheel with a thumb stick … would be a good place to start.

        But thats me. When I use my XPro1 I spend a fair amount of time switching modes, pressing buttons at the wrong time and having general problems with the way the thing operates. I seem to recall Film photography being much easier … so much so that I’m just setting ISO 400, DR AUTO and if the XPro would manual focus reasonably then I would ditch the autofocus as well!

        Still, image quality is great. But that’s expected at this price range … shame about the autofocus, since thats also expected at this price range. And that’s after a year of firmware updates.

        Still, the potential is there. If they would work some German design into the housing and ergo I think they would end up with a very special camera.

        BTW, does your book work on an IPhone?

  • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

    It sure works on an iPhone (the book), and I like the notion that every Fuji user needs a book (= my book) in his bag in order to take pics. I would actually make some profit!!!

    Unfortunately, this is not the case, as the X cameras are as old-fashioned and simple as they get. You can use them w/o opening a menu. Also, none of the errors I found in the review had anything to do with the X20′s user interface or the camera’s complexity.

    They confused underexposure with overexposure.
    They write about a focus ring that doesn’t exist.
    They can’t count till 8.
    They write “6 seconds” for stuff that takes less than 1 second.
    They say the Quick Menu is new to the X20 when even the X10 has one.

    And they don’t seem understand the basics of DR expansion (a feature every modern camera offers in one way or another, like every Sony, Canon, Nikon etc.). That’s weird, since DR expansion is at the heart of the X10, a camera they know, because they have reviewed it, too.

    Saying all this happened because the camera is “too complex” for a professional camera reviewer to understand is… oh well. :) Happy Easter!

    • Tim

      Its a blog, and some of the errors are funny, so perhaps professional comedian ;-)

      Yes, I can just use the dials .. and then I need your book to learn the tricks to make it focus … and figure out why the Flash I connected to the camera does not work _even_ though its a Fuji flash specifically for an X camera and its clearly turned on. The answer, deep in the menus, is silent mode off – boy I was ready to send the flash back, I mean how much harder can they make it.

      See the problems?

      After your article on DR I thought, “I could use a little of that”, so into the menus to set it up, and I put it on auto so I don’t actually have to deal with it. But here is the thing, if its so great, why not just have it on all the time? And in the process free up a menu slot. After all, it only works at certain ISO’s so its easy enough for a Pro to turn it off indirectly.

      The only professional reviewer that _really_ deals with this kind of thing that I have come across is Kai from DPReview.

      If Fuji want to charge in this price range (which is their strategy) then they need to fix the Ergo/Design issues, otherwise people will buy only one and then drift away to something else, or like me they will hold out until the new units represent real value. Or someone else, think Sigma with their better sensor, will enter this market and take share away from Fuji.

      I will not give Fuji another 1600€ for a camera that autofocus/manual focus properly when I have already paid for one – however I will give then 1600€ for a camera with good design, in fact I would give then twice that amount if the camera was really pro level (durable, weather resistant and so on … and FF).

      Time to hunt for some eggs with the kids :-) No sure if I take the XPro .. need to shoot some video :twisted:

      Thanks.

      • Tim

        Sorry, Kai from DigitalRev.

      • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

        Hm, I don’t get it. Canon is using the same DR extension method as Fuji, and so are several other camera makers. It’s even more obscure with Nikon, Sony and the the camera vendors that are using Apical Iridix, calling it “DRO” or “D-Lighting”.

        I could write a similar book with plenty of tips and tricks on the Sony Alpha camera series. I have used a SLT55 in 2011 for several months, and oh boy, the things the manual isn’t telling you (and most of the camera reviewers didn’t get).

        One can either choose to stay “ignorant” (that may indeed be bliss for many) or try to get behind the inner workings of a camera. The latter is what I do, and I can’t say that Fuji X series cameras are more complex than the Sonys or Canons or Panasonics I used to shoot previously. If I wrote a book on a Sony A99, there would be plenty of “complexity” to cover. Luckily, there’s more interesting stuff to come from Fujifilm, so I can stay on topic and keep explaining how to master the X series.

        Your question about “why is DR not always on if it’s so great” is a bit funny, though. You could just as well ask: “If autofocus is so great, why can I switch the camera to MF”, or “If f/5.6 is the optimal lens aperture, why are there other aperture settings”, or “if IQ is optimal at ISO 200, why would I every want to change it”? Well, in my book, you will certainly learn about how to use AF and MF, about using different aperture settings and about ISO and Auto-ISO (and all its implications). However, there are no “easy” general settings, I prefer the more complex approach of educating users in a way that helps them find the “perfect” settings for each single shot. Because each shot is different.

        I rarely answer questions like “what are the best settings for my new camera”, because it’s the wrong question in the first place. The “right” question would be: “What does each setting mean, how does it work and how can I practically use it best”? Of course, the long answer to this question fills a book, and that’s why I wrote it.