Why the Fujifilm X-T20 is still the camera I recommend in 2021

It’s now 2021, and the Fujifilm X-T20 was released in 2017, uses Fujifilm’s X-Trans III sensor technology and has been superseded by cameras like the X-T30 and X-S10 (both X-Trans IV). So why would it be the camera I recommend to people in 2021? Let me explain…

Image Quality:

The first thing of note is the image quality output of the X-T20. It has great dynamic range, great rendering and at 24mp, has plenty of megapixels to play with. Images are generally sharp, with great contrast and have a 6000×4000 resolution, allow some very large prints or the ability to crop in closer to your subject.

Dynamic range at it’s base settings with no dynamic range settings enabled is around 12.5 stops, which is plenty enough for even the most ardent of landscape, portrait and street photographers. With the dynamic range settings set to DR400, you can easily squeeze another stop out at the expense of slightly higher ISO.

Autofocus:

In this day and age, people rely heavily on autofocus more than ever, and with the X-T20 it’s perfectly capable of keeping up with most things you throw at it. Of course, the lens you are using can make the difference, just like on any camera

There are 325 focus points from almost edge to edge, so you’re not going to have to half press and refocus as often as you would with a DSLR. There’s also eye and face detect, which works well when your subject is close enough in the frame, but has been improved on newer cameras. I never once thought that autofocus was an issue with this camera, whether shooting people, birds or moving objects.

When I owned the X-T20 for 18 months

Buttons And Customisation:

This is the big one, and the one which sets it apart from some of the newer cameras. With the X-T20, there are plenty of customisable buttons, plenty of dials and a d-pad which can be used as directional control or further custom buttons. Until you have the option to customise buttons, you really don’t know what you’re missing. You can literally control everything at the touch of a button or spin of a wheel without ever leaving your view finder or going into your menu.

A lot of people dismiss customisation, because they have never had the option to do it before. It’s a deal breaker, and they vastly crippled the X-T30 by removing the D-Pad, although they both also have touch screens, which some people like using.

Ergonomics:

There is no denying the X-T20 is one of the smaller cameras available, but that’s what makes this camera beautiful. You can just slip it in a pocket or bag and it takes little room. It fits nicely into your hands, and if you want a bigger footprint, you can add an aftermarket grip.

As mentioned above, there are a host of buttons, and they are all in the exact places they should be! Dials for shutter speed and EV control, aperture ring on most lenses, front and rear control dials. All laid out as you would want to use them.

Odds And Ends:

The X-T20 has a great battery life once you have it set up correctly, I was averaging 500+ photographs in-between each charge… But you must remember to set it up to make the most of the battery!

The view finder is nice and bright with no noticeable lag, and while not as large as the more expensive cameras, it’s good to use (if you wear glasses, a third-party eye-cup could be useful). The same goes for the back screen, it’s more than what you’d expect from a camera of this price. The back screen also tilts upwards and downwards, which is very handy for getting down low or going up high.

The camera can take photos up to 14fps, which is very useful, and it uses a standard SD card to save images. More than enough for the majority of photographers who need high speed shooting!

Finally, the X-T20 has all the important film simulations that Fujifilm offer. Yes, there are a couple of extra simulations on the newer camera’s but honestly, the X-T20 covers everything you need, plus of course you can add your own via recipes should you need to.

Conclusion:

Without a doubt, the Fujifilm X-T20 is the best value camera available right now. They can be bought for around £300-£350 body only, which is exceptional value. Over the last decade or so I’ve used the Nikon D7100, D3200, D5300, the Fujifilm X-T20 and now the X-T3, so have quite a lot to compare it to, without even taking into consideration the other cameras and photographers I’ve been alongside and comparing different aspects of cameras.

It’s perfect for photographers of all skill levels, and can be set up as you need it to be. It doesn’t matter what camera system you’re coming from, it’ll be familiar. And of course, as it’s mirrorless, you could even use your old lenses with an adaptor.

Most importantly, if I had to get another camera because my X-T3 broke, or I needed another camera for some other reason, then it would be the Fujifilm camera I would buy without a second thought.

Published by mgadams1970

Fujifilm Documentary Photographer & Blogger.

30 thoughts on “Why the Fujifilm X-T20 is still the camera I recommend in 2021

      1. Well, a lut or cube is a cross platform, but I also understand that not everyone wants to be behind the computer.
        Actually, what Max says, and your reaction Mark is not that bad – cross platform recipes, recipes made with the basic functions of the Fuji cameras that you find on every Fuji camera – you would have the first in the world I think.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Great to hear that I gave you the idea. Nice work you are doing here.
        I would also love it it would be somehow possible to reconstruct in camera recipes in Lightroom.
        Sometimes i love the look of a recipe but would love to be able to use it later in LR for other pictures

        Liked by 2 people

  1. and also, this camera retained the all important front focus MCS switch ….I noticed some of the newer fuji cameras are missing this front switch ( s10 xe4 and xh1), and have transferred this operation to the menu.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point Mart! The newer the cameras, the more and more they seem to be taking off them! I really think that’s cheating the buyer, forcing a bigger gap between the cheapest and most expensive cameras.

      Like

  2. Agree completely! I had an X-Pro3 at one point. Hated that it didn’t have the D-pad. Went back to the X-Pro2, bought the X-T20 as a back up and ended up using it the most because of the size. I like Acros on this generation of cameras too. Thanks for writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “The X-T20 has a great battery life once you have it set up correctly, I was averaging 500+ photographs in-between each charge… But you must remember to set it up to make the most of the battery!”

    This would be a good topic. What is “set up correctly”?

    I have 5 Fujifilm cameras and have never gotten close to the stated number of frames from any of them. I use only true Fujifilm batteries, no 3rd party knock offs, and if I ever hit 200 shots I feel like I hit the lottery.

    The quality of the output from these cameras is good enough that I tolerate the battery issue by carrying multiple spares on every outing.

    So, what is correctly set up?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hiya Albert, I thought I’d answered this on one of the replies, but I don’t seem to have here. Now I’m using an X-T3 I get similar results with official and third party lenses as I did with the X-T3.

      The main thing to remember is screens lit up eats battery, so sorry that in mind… Set screen out time to 15-30 seconds, turn off photo preview (you would have seen final image live in your viewfinder), turn LCD screen brightness down, keep EVF brightness as needed, only use “C” (on your MCS switch) when needed as it can eat battery. Don’t turn to get camera off and on after each shot, use the auto sleep as mentioned, takes much less battery.

      Avoid “chomping” at all costs of course, and make sure you’ve set up all your buttons to access everything without going into menus (search my blogs on this).

      And… I hope that helps. I’ve shot at bird shows all day on one battery, capturing birds in the air, and even though I carry a spare battery, I’ve never needed one.

      Mark

      Like

      1. Thanks.

        I have done most of those things, no image review, no chimping, single frame AF, etc…

        I do use boost mode to get better refresh rate and smoother image in the finder. That might be the culprit.

        I have nice battery wallets that slip into my pocket, and I accept that battery changes will happen.

        Love my X-T3!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I got the X-t20 on a loan from my friend in 2017. He ultimately sold it to me and it’s was what drew me to the Fuji KoolAid! I love this camera so much and have never looked back! Thanks for for posting this. What are your thoughts on the XE-2s as a backup?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I bought a new-in-the-box X-E2s a couple of months back (the specs on the X-E4 were a letdown, so I went backwards), and like it a lot.

      It is the 5th X-series camera in my stable of X-E3, X-T2, X-Pro2 (all of which have same sensor as your X-T20) and the X-T3.

      All of the above mentioned cameras are terrific in use and I have all of the Q menus set the same so I can change the film sims and get pretty much identical results camera to camera.

      The X-E2s is a lower resolution sensor, with less adjustable presets in the Q menu. The 16mp sensor has many fans, and I like the files… very film like. I have not felt limited by the output of this camera.

      Operationally, the later models are more refined. I miss the joystick to move the focus point. The E2s requires you to use the D-pad, BUT, you must activate it first by pressing the lower button, then you can move the focus point. When done, there is no quick return to the center like the double click on the joy stick. The viewfinder is less adjustable for brightness, and in bright sun can appear darker than the other cameras.

      Only you can say if it is a viable second body for your T20. If me, I’d try to locate an X-E3.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks Al. I love my XT-3 the most. If I could have the XT-3 weather sealing and sensor with the X-T20 feel (small hands here) I’d be set (famous last words!)

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Just bought an T20 as a backup to my H1. Have to say I love it – and so does my 10 year old so I may have already lost it…

    Liked by 1 person

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