Hands-on first look: Fujifilm X-T2

Rebecca Greig

Today Fujifilm has announced the X-T2 mirrorless camera, which will accompany the X-Pro-2 to form a twin-flagship line-up. We were lucky enough to get a hands-on preview of the new model at the launch

Hands-on first look: Fujifilm X-T2

Fujifilm has announced the X-T2, which looks set to offer photographers high image quality, advanced autofocus functions as well as 4K high-definition video. It houses a 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor with no low-pass filter – the absence of which should lead to sharper shots – combined with the X-Processor Pro high-speed image processing engine, which allows for an ISO range of 200 – 12800.

Key features:

  • Dual card slot
  • Tilting LCD screen
  • New AF presets
  • AF-C custom settings
  • Quick to change focus point
  • Solid dust- and water-resistant build
  • 4k video recording – a first for Fujifilm

Hands-on first look: Fujifilm X-T2
A comparative shot of the Fujifilm X-T2 and the older X-T1

Design and build

The design of the XT-2 has evolved from the popular X-T1 with a range of  improvements that were influenced by photographers. While the X-Pro2 has a rangefinder style with its flatter body and more compact desgin, the X-T2 is more of a SLR style camera with a central viewfinder and deeper grip. The optional Vertical Power Booster grip also makes the mirrorless camera feel even more like an SLR style camera, but with far less weight and bulk. During our time with the X-T2 we felt that the Booster really helped to balance the camera without adding too much weight. We also thought that the secondary settings wheel and shutter release for shooting in portrait mode was a nice touch that professionals are likely to revel in.

The ISO and shutter speed dials on the X-T2 have both been heightened to provide you with better grip and both dials now also feature a lock to prevent unwanted setting slips. The X-T2 has a larger grip as well as an expanded exposure compensation dial. Other changes include a larger eye cap for extra comfort, the four-way directional buttons have been slightly raised and the camera features a three-way tiltable screen, which is a first for Fujifilm. Interestingly the screen isn’t a touch screen, so you can’t make use of features such as touch focus and scrolling through playback, which have become popular functions lately. The video button has been omitted from the front and has been instead integrated into the camera’s drive mode dial.

Vertical Power Booster
Vertical Power Booster

The camera felt well-balanced and comfortable in hand and the optional addition of the Power Booster grip made using a telephoto lens easy. The grip improves handling greatly and should also help to drastically extend battery life because of its double battery slot. This new camera from Fujifilm should suit many genres of photography as it is dust-resitant, water-resistant and able to operate in temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius meaning that users shouldn’t ever have to worry about the weather changing drastically. On its own the lightweight camera weighs only 507g and its compact design should mean that its perfect for street photography and travel.

AF capabilities

The X-T2 claims to be fast enough to capture decisive moments with any type of subject – start-up times, shooting interval and shutter release lag have all been improved from the X-T1. The basic AF performance has also been updated for the X-T2. The phase detection areas has been extended from the 40% horizontal and vertical area in the X-T1 to 75% horizontal and 50% vertical in the X-T2. The AF improvements means that the camera is able to take photos far quicker and has a reduced blackout time. In the X-T1 it took 280ms to take a picture, but in the X-T2 it takes only 114ms.

The X-T2 is host to a range of features and the option to customise the Continuous AF function to suit your photographic needs is one of the more interesting and exciting ones. The three parameters that can be adjusted include: Tracking Sensitivity, Speed Tracking and Zone Area Switching. The Tracking Sensitivty is how long the camera waits to switch focus when a subject enters the focus area, which will suit tracking quick subjects. When set to zero the camera will focus as soon as an object enters the frame, for example. Speed Tracking Sensitiviy is how sensitive the tracking system is to changes in subject velocity – the higher the value the greater precision, which should be ideal for sports with subjects that are changing direction. Zone Area Switching determines what area of the frame to prioritise tracking in – Centre, Auto or Front. All of these enable the photographer to customise settings in order to optimise the AF characteistics according to the type of subject movements.

Set 1 of the preset AF functions
Set 1 of the preset AF functions

In addition, the X-T2 offers various preset AF-C functions that the photographer can select depending on their subject. Set 2, for example, will continue to track a subject while ignoring any obstacles, which will make it perfect for shooting animals or panning while shooting motorsports, and Set 5 will predict your subject’s change of direction, which should suit photographing tennis and football.

Hands-on first look: Fujifilm X-T2

Features and performance

As well as autofocus, the electronic viewfinder has been improved. It’s two times brighter than the X-T1’s and has a higher frame rate of 60fps – or 100fps when in Boost mode with the Vertical Power Booster attached – compared to the 54fps on the X-T1. The viewfinder is also one stop better in low light.

This new camera marks another first for the X-series – the inclusion of 4K video recording capabilities. You can record 10 minute clips (or 30 minutes with the Vertical Power Booster) and there’s a Quick 4K mode included to limit post-production time for photographers that want to shoot video, but don’t want to spend hours editing it. For more creative options the high-quality 4K can utilise the outstanding film simulation modes too.

The previously mentioned Vertical Power Booster also improves the X-T2’s performance even more. It not only houses two extra batteries with a combinded life of 1,000 shots, but when the camera is in Boost mode it will increase its shooting performance from 8fps to 11fps. Autofocus speed is increased with the Power Booster, increasing from 0.08s to 0.06s, and this add-on also improves ergonomics while shooting with large lenses and in portrait orientation.

Although we didn’t get the chance to thoroughly test the image quality or new and improved autofocus functions and speed, we’re really excited by all of the new features and capabilites Fujifilm has promised. Check back in the magazine for a more in-depth look at the X-T2 shortly.

Key Specifications:

  • Number of effective pixels: 24.3 MP
  • Image sensor: 23.6mm x 15.6mm (APS-C) X-Trans CMOS III with primary colour filter
  • Max resolution: 6000 x 4000
  • ISO sensitivity: Auto, 200 – 12800 (extendable to 100, 25600, 51200)
  • Exposure mode: P, A , S, M
  • Viewfinder: 0.5 inch approx. 2.36 million dots OLED colour viewfinder
  • Monitor: LCD 3 inch 1.04 million dots
  • Weight: 507g (including battery and memory card)
  • Dimensions: 132.5mm x 91.8mm x 49.2mm

The Fujifilm X-T2 is due to go on sale on the 8th of September with an RRP of £1399 (body only).

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