Fujifilm’s update to the popular X-T1 brings with it a raft of updates and new features to make this potentially one of Fuji’s best cameras to date – a camera that is truly capable of taking on the might of DSLRs.
Six things you need to know about the Fujifilm X-T2
Fuji’s X-series of cameras feature APS-C-sized sensors. Not as good as full-frame, right? Not so – time after time, Fuji has proved that bigger isn’t necessarily better with sensors that have been capable of outperforming their larger brethren.
The X-T2 has a 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III sensor, which, like other X-Trans sensors, doesn’t have an anti-aliasing filter in front of it. This makes it better equipped to deal with detail resolution. There’s also an X-Processor Pro – a high-speed processing engine that’s designed to produce images with low noise while also helping with fast frame rates and processing speeds.
4K video-recording capability is now becoming a given on new camera releases, and the X-T2 is the first Fuji X-series camera to feature 4K. Fuji introduces “Quick 4K” to help those new to video recording to use the function without hassle, enabling you to use film-simulation modes with 4K to produce quick clips. Video can be recorded for up to 10 minutes, but this can be boosted to 30 minutes if you purchase the additional battery grip for the X-T2.
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Fuji has made significant improvements to autofocus performance for the X-T2, something that the company admits is a big challenge in the mirrorless market. There are now 91 AF points, and basic AF performance has been boosted to be quicker. Focusing while continuously shooting has also been improved, while tracking sensitivity is better too. This should make the X-T2 an excellent device for capturing sport and action – something we’ll be keen to test out when a full sample becomes available.
Fuji prides itself on listening to its existing user base, and says that it’s made some changes to the XT-2’s design based on feedback. Although the resulting individual alterations are small, added together they contribute to an improved look and feel overall. For example, there are heightened dials, a larger grip, a focus lever, a larger eye-cup and a three-way tilting screen. The viewfinder now boasts 25% better image quality, including a one-stop improvement when shooting in low-light. Two memory card slots for SD cards are present – something that was specifically requested by photographers – and both support the faster UHS-2 format.
The camera is made from magnesium-alloy and is weathersealed at 63 points to make it resistant to dust and moisture. It can also operate in temperatures down to -10 degrees. There’s similar weatherproofing applied to the optional grip, along with several lenses available for the X series – so if you’re a photographer with a penchant for the outdoors, you can feel confident that this camera will survive.
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An optional VPB-XT2 power grip for the camera boosts several of its functions, making it a worthwhile additional investment. It fits two batteries, which means you can have a total of three batteries at once, increasing the number of frames that can be taken between charges to around 1,000 shots. Not only that, but you also get a boost to continuous shooting, shutter interval, shutter-release time lag and blackout time, as well as increasing the length of 4K video recording.
The Fuji X-T2 will be available to buy from September 2016, retailing for £1,399 for the body only. It’s available with an 18-55 f/2.8-4 kit lens for £1,649. The VPB grip costs £300. A range of other accessories will also be available.
The XT-2’s eye-cup size has been increased to make it more comfortable. The image inside it is bright and clear, and there’s no noticeable shutter lag. It has 2.36 million dots, and has been designed to reduce false colours – and compared with its predecessor, offers improved picture quality.
Next to XT-1
Fuji has kept the design of the X-T2 fairly similar to its predecessor, with a few noticeable improvements and tweaks. The grip is slightly bigger, while some of the buttons and dials have been raised. The video button from the X-T1 has been removed.
The XT-2’s screen now tilts three ways, to make it better for composing shots from awkward angles. The unusual design means that the screen can pop out from the side, as well as tilting downwards and upwards.
Adding an extra memory card slot brings several advantages. You can use the second slot to backup, as an overflow, or use one for JPEG and one for raw format, or perhaps one for video and one for stills.
One of the biggest draws of the XT-2 is its traditional dials and controls, which although slightly tweaked for the new version, retain the same functionality as before by providing direct access to many key settings.
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The XT-1 was a fantastic camera, and the XT-2 seems to build on that already brilliant performer. It’s great to see improvements to autofocus, and it will be interesting to see whether these deliver when using a full sample of the camera. Although we had no specific issues with the ergonomics of the XT-1, the tweaks here are welcome.
Adding a three-way tilting screen is useful, although the implementation of touchscreen technology in one of Fuji’s higher-end products would be desirable. The company claims that advanced photographers don’t particularly need or want a touchscreen, but it’s undeniably helpful in certain situations.
The viewfinder is fantastic, and helps make the case for electronic viewfinders over optical versions. There’s pretty much no noticeable lag, and the image inside is clear and bright – this is a viewfinder you’ll want to use.
Image quality from the XT-1 was great, so we have no doubt that images from the XT-2 will also be fantastic. Again, this is something we’ll discover once a full production sample becomes available.
Fuji says that the XT-2 will be a joint flagship camera with the X-Pro 2, both offering a slightly different design to suit different needs. All the early signs are extremely positive, and it seems likely that Fuji is on to another winner with its latest camera.