- 1 The Fujifilm X-T2 is the best APS-C camera I’ve ever used
- 2 And it may be the best mirrorless camera of all time
- 3 That’s thanks to a combination of excellent image quality, fast performance, and a robust feature set
- 4 The camera is certainly not without its faults — it’s big, heavy, and pricey — but these flaws don’t stop it from being a fantastic camera
- 5 Fast and capable autofocus
- 6 The X-T2 offers significant improvements to AF speed and accuracy over previous generations of X-series cameras
- 7 These upgrades are due in part to the new X Processor Pro engine
- 8 For me, this means that using single-point focus with one of these 49 points was much more reliable than on any other camera I’ve tested recently — even those with more cross-type points
The Fujifilm X-T2 is the best APS-C camera I’ve ever used
The Fujifilm X-T2 is a mirrorless camera that takes photos in the APS-C format. It’s a really, really good camera. That’s the bottom line here — you don’t need to know anything about photography or cameras to understand that. It takes wonderful photos, and it does so very easily. The controls are intuitive, and if you want to get a little hands on with your photos (or perhaps even learn about photography), the X-T2 also has a bunch of manual controls for every imaginable setting you could want to tweak.
If you’re already familiar with these kinds of things, let me drop some numbers on you real quick: 24 megapixels for photos (and 4K video!), 14 frames per second when shooting at full resolution, a 3-inch tilting LCD touchscreen on the backside and an electronic viewfinder up top that can switch between 120 fps and 100 fps refresh rates, and dual UHS-II SD card slots. If you’re looking for more information about all those technical bits, CNET has an excellent review of the specs here by my colleague David Katzmaier. But if all that means nothing to you right now: it doesn’t matter! The Fujifilm X-T2 produces excellent photos without getting into all those details.
And it may be the best mirrorless camera of all time
These negative points aside, the X-T2 is an incredibly solid and reliable camera. It’s certainly one of the best mirrorless cameras out there, but it’s not the best one ever made. There are other great mirrorless cameras that have come before it, and there are other great cameras—mirrorless or otherwise—that can be had for less than what Fuji charges here.
That’s thanks to a combination of excellent image quality, fast performance, and a robust feature set
The Fujifilm X-T2 is a mirrorless camera that offers all the controls and image quality you’d expect in an SLR, but in a body that’s much smaller and lighter. It’s also one of very few cameras to offer 4K video recording at up to 30fps, with frame rates up to 60fps available at a lower resolution.
Fujifilm has been making traditional rangefinder-style cameras for years and it shows: the X-T2 feels like it was designed by photographers who have used other cameras. The layout of the external dials are intuitive and easy to access, even if you’re holding the camera with just one hand. And there’s no need to dive into menus or glance at the rear LCD just to change common settings like ISO or white balance.
The camera is certainly not without its faults — it’s big, heavy, and pricey — but these flaws don’t stop it from being a fantastic camera
On the point of size, I find that it’s actually an advantage rather than a disadvantage. The X-T2 isn’t going to fit into a pocket like an iPhone or Galaxy S7 would, but it sure beats having to carry around a big DSLR. Fujifilm is known for making smaller mirrorless cameras that are just as good as their larger DSLR counterparts, and the X-T2 is no exception. If you’re upgrading from an entry-level camera and want something more sophisticated but still portable, then this is absolutely worth considering.
As far as price goes, while $1,600 is by no means cheap for a mirrorless APS-C camera (although admittedly cheaper than the competition), given its performance and capabilities it’s not too bad either. There are other APS-C cameras with prices that are comparable to the X-T2’s if not higher, so in terms of relative value I’d say it does quite well for itself.
Finally there’s weight: at 673g (1.48lbs) this certainly isn’t what you’d call light and compact, especially when compared to other mirrorless cameras like Sony’s A6000 family or Olympus’ Pen series — yet they’re also much smaller than most DSLRs on the market too. While I wouldn’t recommend using it all day every day unless you have very strong arms (and neck muscles), what matters most here is size rather than weight: imagine walking around all day with a 70D strapped around your neck versus having one of these discrete little things slung over your shoulder instead — which do you think would be more comfortable?
Fast and capable autofocus
Autofocus speed is arguably one of the most important features for a camera, and the X-T2 makes big strides in this area, thanks to its new processor. The X-T2’s AF has better tracking performance than other cameras in its class and locks on more quickly, even with instant changes of speed and direction. The newly developed autofocus algorithm works with this powerful new processor to deliver dramatically improved AF performance.
It also has a fast silent electronic shutter that enables continuous shooting at up to 14 fps when using the mechanical shutter or 8fps when using the electronic shutter (both maximums are possible when using Single Point autofocus). Fujifilm claims that these frame rates can be maintained for up to 27 frames before slowing down.
The hybrid autofocus system uses contrast detection as well as phase detection to lock focus quickly; there are over 100 areas of contrast detection covering the entire frame and 49 phase-detection points covering a large central area of the frame. You can choose from three different modes: Wide/Tracking (for capturing moving subjects), Area (for selecting an individual focus point) and Zone (in which you select a group of focus points). They can all be used in single-shot mode, but only Wide/Tracking is available for use in continuous focusing mode.
The X-T2 offers significant improvements to AF speed and accuracy over previous generations of X-series cameras
You may be thinking to yourself, “Hey! Why is the focus performance of a camera even important? I don’t need to take photos of fast-moving birds!” That’s fair. Focus performance is not something you actually think about until you are presented with a situation in which it matters, and then you have to ask yourself: Will my camera keep up? If the answer is yes, then all is well. If not, then you’ll be left wondering how the resulting image could have been better if your camera had focused just a little bit faster or a little bit more accurately.
With this in mind, we can say that the X-T2’s focus performance has improved significantly over its predecessor and many of its contemporaries. In use it feels as good as other mid-range DSLRs like Nikon’s D500 or Canon’s 7D Mark II—while smaller mirrorless cameras still generally struggle with phase detection accuracy and speed on moving subjects (although Sony has made notable improvements here). It also makes full use of Fujifilm’s excellent lens lineup by concentrating on small groups of autofocus points around the center of the frame. This means that when shooting wide open at F2, F2.8 or even F4 on many lenses, your subject will be crisply rendered while everything else falls nicely into soft focus without having to worry about focusing errors from off-center AF points.
These upgrades are due in part to the new X Processor Pro engine
The X Processor Pro engine allows for much faster processing speeds (promising up to eight times faster startup than the X-T1), but also because of other updates designed to work with the processor — a new autofocus algorithm that uses 77 points across the entire image area, with 49 phase-detection points covering a large central area of the frame. The new processor also supports a new “High Performance” low-power mode that boosts continuous shooting speed from 8 fps up to 11 fps, or extends battery life by 40 percent.
For me, this means that using single-point focus with one of these 49 points was much more reliable than on any other camera I’ve tested recently — even those with more cross-type points
When it comes to autofocus, the X-T2 follows in the footsteps of the X-Pro2, with a similar system. This means that it’s fast and accurate, even when tracking moving subjects. I’m not yet comfortable writing about this in much detail because I haven’t had enough time to test it properly with a range of subjects (the subjects in my sample gallery are mainly still life) but impressions are good and performance on par with what I’d expect from other enthusiast-level cameras.
I do want to mention one thing about focus accuracy that impressed me, though: how well single-point AF worked. Of the X-T2’s 273 points, 49 are phase detection points (more than any other mirrorless camera). Of those 49, nine are cross type — still more than you’ll find on most rivals. For me, this means that using single-point focus with one of these 49 points was much more reliable than on any other camera I’ve tested recently — even those with more cross-type points!