FUJIFILM X-T20, HANDS-ON
Updated: Oct 7, 2018
Can this tiny mirrorless camera be the answer to your travel / vlogging dreams? Read to find out...
On our recent trip to Taiwan and Hong Kong, we brought the Sony A7iii, along with the Zeiss 55/1.8 plus Canon 16-35/2.8L (with the Metabones adaptor), and a Sony flash. This was our main camera, along with our iPhones, a GoPro Hero 6, and a Canon EOS M5 with the 22/2 STM lens. How was this combination?
What is the ideal travel kit that will not sacrifice too much image quality, without weighing a tonne?
Truthfully, we kinda brought too much. It's hard to know which camera we should be using at any particularly time, given that all of them are so capable. What did we use most?
For me, probably the Sony with the 16-35. Plus the iPhone for Instagram stories.
For my wife, definitely her iPhone.
The Canon was taken out at night time when went to dinner in order to travel light. The least used was the 55/1.8 lens (which I have decided was just a bit too tight for a lot of situations, and with all the people and the rain, I didn't really want to keep changing lenses).
How do I streamline this kit?
Weight is one thing, but the Sony with the 2 lenses is an expensive setup, something which we use for our professional shoots. It would be horrible if it got stolen or damaged, as we're talking over $5000 worth of gear!
With image quality being very important to us, we didn't want to skimp too much and get something that we would regret (I have learnt this lesson the hard way). When I was younger, I would always buy something because it was cheaper, and have almost always, regretted the decision. These cheaper versions always were of lesser quality, and lacked key features that I wanted. And instead of saving money, I ended up buying the one I wanted anyhow!
This isn't hard at all! What I wanted was:
Good image quality
Covers the scenarios I might reasonably encounter on my travels
I want to try vlogging
Initial thoughts- maybe high-end point & shoot could be the answer. But, smaller sensor, lack of 4K in most, no external microphone input, were big stumbling blocks. That ruled out my most l likely option, the Canon G7Xii (which I know is a pretty decent camera). I knew a compromise was in order.
Full-frame mirrorless was going to be too expensive and bulky (I could have just brought my Sony gear), and M43 had a smaller sensor and less resolution. So I opted for an APS-C mirrorless, and specifically the Fujifilm X-T20. Yes, there was a consideration of getting a smaller Sony, or the Canon M50, but to be truthful, the X-T20 was the most appealing to me. The only drawback that I could see was the lack of a LCD screen that could face forward (I wasn't sure how I would be able to vlog without this feature)- more on that later.
So how is the X-T20? Check out my first impressions in the video below: