FUJIFILM X-T20, OVERSEAS TRIP
As a follow-up to my initial impressions of this camera, I recently took the X-T20 on a 3 week trip to Hong Kong and Taipei. As a pro-Sony / adapted Canon lens shooter, is this camera up to the task? If you want to know the answer, read on.
Firstly, the X-T20 with the kit lens (18-55/2.8-4) is significantly smaller and lighter than what I have previously taken on trips (ie. Sony A7iii + 16-35/2.8 + 55/1.8). Adding an external flash negates some of the portability of the combination, but is a necessary evil if you are planning on photographing people on your travels (night time and bright daylight).
As an overall comparison, if you (for argument's sake), consider the Sony combination to be 10 out of 10, I would probably give the X-T20 a 7/10. This isn't too bad when you're comparing a $1500 camera kit with one that is more than 4 times the cost. Will you be happy with the images you get? Only you can be the judge of that. My opinion is that you will- for the most part.
Here's a summary of my not-so-good findings:
1) The full-frame Sony performs significantly better in low-light (as expected), but the Fuji is very usable at ISOs of 1600 or less. You will get some noise, but it's definitely usable
2) The Fuji is not as good to handle. In fact, it is small enough, that you will commonly touch something you shouldn't. And the touchscreen- if you have it activated, you are more than likely to take the occasional picture of the ground
3) The hotshot mount on the Fuji is not so great. The external flash doesn't sit very tightly when locked (in fact, you can rock it quite easily), and you really have to make an effort to push it in far enough for all the contacts to be in position. With the external flash attached, the camera is harder to hold
4) I haven't found a way to use the dials on the body of the Fuji to change the aperture of the lens (there is an aperture ring on the kit lens), and the dial that controls the shutter speed only seems to allow you to dial speeds that are in between the settings on the SS knob
5) The battery / SD card compartment door is very easy to open unintentionally
6) AF-C tracking is much better on the Sony- by far. The Fuji with the kit lens is useless when you're tracking a moving subject
7) Sony's Eye Focus is second-to-none
8) There is no weather-sealing, so when it pours, you need to put the camera away
9) It may have been me, but there is no way to live-preview a shot with the flash on. Probably it was just me, but I couldn't see what I was shooting.
But it's not all bad.
Here are a couple of pictures I took with this camera (all handheld):
As you can see, the waterfall image is pretty awesome. On a very bright but overcast day, I had to close the lens right down and use ISO 100 (the native minimum on this camera is 200) to get a shutter speed slow enough to blur the water.
And in the second image, taken at a night market, the Fuji does preserve the detail quite well. Both of these images have been edited in Lightroom only.
Fuji beats the Sony (or at least matches it) in a few areas:
1) The menu on the Fuji is better than Sony's
2) The kit lens performs really well in MOST situations. Whilst it is slower than my Sony lenses, it is unusual to be shooting wide open when you're travelling anyway, as you want to be able to see what is in the background (otherwise why bother standing in front of Taipei 101 when it just looks like a blur?)
3) The Fuji is lighter and fits in a small, non-dedicated camera bag. At the end of the day, your back won't ache as much (this is a really good thing)
4) The battery life is reasonable- I never needed more than 2 batteries on any one day
5) The touchscreen AF is good, if you're not using wide-area focus. Overall AF speed (bar the AF-C) is more than adequate
6) For my recent non-photography specific trip, I found not having to change lenses a bonus (especially in a dusty / windy environment). And I didn't really wish I had a different lens with me (at least not much)
So, there you have it. Life is often a bit of a compromise, and picking the right camera gear when you travel is no exception. Want to see more? Check out our YouTube video now: