Hands On : The Fujifilm X20

2 mins read

Fujifilm have just announced their new X20 and X100s cameras. In December I had the privileged opportunity (for which I am very appreciative) to explore both cameras. Although they were both pre-production cameras the benefits of the new X-Trans sensor and EXR processor were instantly apparent.

This is not a technical review, there won’t be any graphs or charts or specification details. Instead I thought I would document my hands on experiences in everyday use of the camera. Despite being an early version of the camera I was still blown away by the improvement in both focus performance and the sheer quality of the images.

Focus locking was fantastically quick and the resultant JPGs offered a remarkable depth of clarity, colour and detail. As a result, like many of you I can not wait for the final version of the Fujifilm X20 camera.

Please note all images were captured with a very early pre-production version of the X20 with basic firmware. Please note these images are copyright and should not be used without permission.

Northern Ireland

I spent two days shooting photos around Belfast and the County Down coastlines enjoying the rapid response from such a compact device. I personally think the silver version is work of art in itself. During day 1 was really getting to know the camera, I took in the famous St George’s Market and the Continental market at the City Hall.

Day 2 had to be a visit to my favourite stretch of coastline. I visit this stretch of beach every few months and every visit brings something new. I was asked to create a short video presentation talking about using the X20. Arriving at the beach early in the morning I knew we were in for a great opportunity to capture something different. Low sun, the Mourne backdrop and horses running through the sea, it was perfect.

Tyrella Beach

Tyrella Beach

I shot both days restricted to Aperture Priority mode and was really impressed at just how responsive even the (pre-production) X20 camera was for capturing exactly what I wanted. The metering was perfect even when shooting in low light and very changeable conditions.

The images are sharp, with remarkably little noise even when set at a high ISO. I was able to capture a sense of drama with the X20 and it fitted perfectly in my jacket pocket. I was genuinely impressed at how the camera performed. The X20 is about quality. It is about easily capturing stunning, vivid photographs with the simplicity and elegance of a classic camera. Gallery includes a trip to the Lake District.

Fujifilm X20

The X20 is a beautifully crafted device equally capable of razor sharp street photography as it is for capturing detailed landscape images.

The camera is identical to the X10, small and portable and is instantly ready to capture with the turn of the lens offering 28-112mm focal lengths and a fast aperture.

The introduction of the Q button makes the camera easy to use with the settings accessible from a single button. The X20 offers a bright wide optical view finder brings the X-trans CMOS sensor to a remarkably compact and easy to use device.

As I have already said I am impressed with the X20 even with the fact my copy was a very early pre-production and the first ever firmware.

If you are looking for a serious everyday camera or are starting out with photography then the X20 is the perfect companion that will not only capture fantastic photographs but will also gives you hours of fun using it. Better still if you are upgrading from the X10 remember all your previous accessories are compatible.

Check out the Official Fujifilm X website for detailed specifications and more information.


David is a documentary and landscape photographer covering everything from dramatic long exposure landscape photography through to live music. David is a former Official Fujifilm X Photographer.


  1. Heii, beautiful photos 🙂
    How was the electronic information in the optical viewfinder?

    And is there possibility to see the video You are mentioning?
    Thank You and have a wonderful day 🙂

  2. You did not mention the viewfinder… how does it compare to the one in the X10? Thanks 🙂

  3. I’m an X10 user and the viewfinder improvements of the X20 sound great, but probably do not constitute enough of an upgrade to justify the cost of trading up from the X10 to the X20.

    I love the X10. The image quality is outstanding. Putting the on/off control in the zoom control and putting the zoom control on the lens were brilliant innovations. One of the reasons I picked the X10 over similar Nikon or Canon models was the optical viewfinder — it’s much superior. I don’t like composing using the LCD on the back of a camera. That said, the viewfinder covers only 85 percent of the picture area and has no parallax compensation. That means frequent crops of images. While the quality of the X10 sensor makes that possible, less cropping would be preferable given that this still is a small sensor. What Fujifilm needs to do with this camera is to create an X30 with a quality EVF. That would enable this small camera to be a 21st century digital realization of the original Leica philosophy, a precision instrument capable of producing a big print from a small negative (sensor).

    Please forgive the length of this post. I enjoy the serious, thoughtful commentary you offer on this blog. By the way, the X10 does have me contemplating buying an X-E1.

  4. I am really enjoying these images, thank you. I have a question about the toning: is it done in camera or in post processing?


  5. Thank you so much for providing us with stunning images of simplicity and beauty. Partly because of you, I am the proud and happy owner of an XE-1 and so far am loving it. Your view of the X-20 might have me sell 2 point and shoot Canons in exchange for 1 Fujifilm X-20!
    Keep up the wonderful work, you inspire me greatly!

  6. An update on my post: I see that Nikon and Leica are both out with cameras in this class with electronic viewfinders. I restate my point that the next version of the Fujifilm X10 /X20 should have a quality EVF so that less cropping is needed of the small sensor images.

  7. The X30 is obviously the camera I advocated in my two previous posts. So I went down to the local camera shop to buy one. As it happened that was a day that Fujifilm representatives were there to promote their cameras. I checked out the X30 and liked it a lot. Since other cameras were on display, I took a look at the X100T. It was my first experience with the hybrid viewfinder. I was immediately reminded of my happy days shooting with a Leica M6. The X30 was no longer the camera I wanted. But unfortunately the X100T was beyond my budget. A few days later I purchased a lightly used X100s. What a wonderful photographic instrument!

    An image from my first day of shooting with the X100s …

  8. Hi I’m very taken with the X100s for landscape and general shots of travel people etc but not sure why it doesn’t have image stabilisation? I have a steady hand but would have thought this is an ommission unless it has disadvantages I don’t know about?

    I print to A3 size and like the most detail I can get, would I be best with the X100s or the X-30 Any help advice appreciated, thanks

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