Hybrid efficiency at a friendlier worth

The Fujifilm X-S20 obtained me excited when it launched again in Could. On paper, it looks as if a extra reasonably priced different to the wonderful X-H2 and X-H2S, with hybrid controls and a few high-end options in a compact and moveable chassis.


The X-S20 provides the photography-focused X-T5 a run for its cash, too, providing comparable specs in most areas, albeit with a lower-resolution sensor.

With an MSRP of $1299, the X-S20 is quite a bit pricier than its predecessor, which launched at $999, however in comparison with the remainder of the Fujifilm lineup, it looks as if a little bit of a cut price. Particularly when you think about the specs it presents.

The query is, does this digicam reside as much as my excessive expectations? I have been taking pictures with it over the previous few weeks to search out out.

Fujifilm

Fujifilm X-S20

Advisable

The Fujifilm X-S20 is a really engaging proposition. It presents quite a lot of the X-H2 expertise at a fraction of the price, and in a extra compact and handy chassis.

Professionals

  • Compact and light-weight physique
  • Vastly improved battery life
  • Devoted headphone socket
  • Improved autofocus efficiency
  • As much as 6.2K30 / 4K60 video
Cons

  • Single SD card slot
  • Video AF and IBIS lag behind the competitors

Design

  • Dimensions: 127.7×85.1×65.4 mm
  • Weight: 491g
  • Mode choose and programmable dials
  • NP-W235 battery

The Fujifilm X-S20 seems to be quite a bit like its predecessor, the X-S10. This implies you get a compact physique with a big protruding grip and a well-known hybrid management structure. It has the everyday Fujifilm classic aesthetic, but it surely’s a contact extra fashionable than the X-T5 with programmable dials and a mode swap instead of the retro management dials on the highest.

Fujifilm X-S20 (6)

It has extra of a minimal really feel than my day by day driver, the Lumix GH6, with far fewer buttons to fiddle with. I believe it provides the digicam a way more pleasing look, however I could not assist however miss the rear thumbwheel, which I am accustomed to from infinite Canon and Panasonic our bodies. Right here, you solely get an AF choose joystick and 6 buttons on the rear of the digicam physique. Nonetheless, the entire necessary capabilities stay inside attain, and naturally, the touchscreen aids with further management necessities.

In comparison with different compact mirrorless our bodies, it is the grip that stands out probably the most, fairly actually. This factor is meaty, and it makes it really feel actually safe within the hand whenever you’re not utilizing a strap. The one draw back is that it will probably get a bit cramped whenever you’re utilizing a very girthy lens, on the plus aspect, it additionally implies that there’s room for a hefty battery pack inside.

Fuji has opted to make use of the identical NP-W235 pack because the X-T5 and X-H2 and the result’s vastly improved battery life, successfully doubling the runtime of the X-S10. It carries a CIPA ranking of 750 pictures per cost, in comparison with simply 325 on the older mannequin.

Fujifilm X-S20 (14)

Regardless of the massive battery, the physique weighs in at underneath 500 grams, so for those who wish to journey gentle, there is a good likelihood you will take pleasure in utilizing this digicam. Particularly when it is paired with one among Fuji’s compact prime lenses.

Connectivity and shows

  • Micro HDMI, USB-C, 3.5mm headphone and mic
  • Single SD card slot
  • 3-inch 1.84 million dot flip-out LCD
  • 2.36 million dot OLED EVF

For probably the most half, the connectivity stays the identical because the X-S10. There’s nonetheless solely a single SD card slot however you profit from a micro HDMI output, a USB-C port and a 3.5mm microphone enter.

Fujifilm X-S20 (10)

What’s new this time, although, is the inclusion of a separate 3.5mm headphone socket – which could be very welcome information for video shooters. It is unusually positioned, over on the grip aspect away from the opposite ports, which could make it a bit of cumbersome for run-and-gun taking pictures, but it surely definitely beats utilizing a USB-C dongle.

The LCD is a 3-inch flip-out touchscreen unit, similar to the older mannequin, but it surely’s increased decision, now providing roughly 1.84 million dots, which matches the decision of the X-T5 and truly beats the pricier X-H fashions. After all, the complete articulation makes it a bit extra versatile than the XT-5’s tilting display screen, and it is nice for those who ever have to movie your self or take photographs from an uncommon angle.

Fujifilm X-S20 (19)

The EVF, sadly, has not seen such an improve. As far I can inform, it is the identical 0.39-inch OLED unit that we noticed on the X-S10. It really works advantageous, but it surely’s a contact much less spectacular than the newer EVFs that characteristic on Fujifilm’s costlier digicam our bodies.

Photograph and video efficiency

  • X-Trans CMOS 4 with main color filter – 26.1MP stills
  • As much as 8 fps mechanical burst taking pictures, 30 fps digital (1.25x crop)
  • As much as 6.2K 30fps / 4K 60fps (1.18x crop) / 1080p 240fps video
  • 7-stop IBIS and topic detection autofocus

The X-S20 utilises the identical 26.1MP X-Trans 4 sensor as its predecessor, however this time it’s paired with the X-Processor 5 picture processing engine, which we noticed on the X-H2S, X-H2 and X-T5 cameras. So whereas we can’t be getting any improve in picture decision, we should always see much better autofocus and topic detection velocity and reliability.

Fujifilm X-S20 (28)

The burst taking pictures capabilities are additionally unchanged from the X-S10, however that is advantageous by me – 8 fps with a mechanical shutter and 30 fps digital are already a lot quick. Actually, it even bests the X-T5 and X-H2 with the digital shutter, however as at all times, you will must be cautious of rolling shutter results when taking pictures on this mode.

I took the X-S20 with me on a visit to an area tropical fowl sanctuary to offer the autofocus a radical check, and it didn’t disappoint. The circumstances have been extraordinarily difficult, usually taking pictures via wire fences with some robust backlighting to take care of, and the system did an admirable job. I attempted it with each computerized topic detection, and with the precise fowl topic monitoring mode. Each labored, however the bird-specific mode was extra dependable, particularly with among the extra unusual-looking creatures.

As at all times, Fuji’s color science proved to be pleasing throughout the board, and the same old movie simulation modes are current right here prepared to boost any photoshoot. When issues get darker, the digicam handles noise very nicely, and I discovered pictures round ISO 6400 to nonetheless be very usable.

Actually, although, it is the video upgrades that excite me probably the most. The X-S20 can report at as much as 6.2K 30fps in a 3:2 ratio, which is extraordinarily excessive definition, and appropriate for cropping after the very fact. In the event you’d favor to stay with 16:9 recording, it now maxes out at 4K 60 fps with a modest 1.18x crop or 4K 30fps with no crop. There is no 30-minute restrict on this mannequin, both.

The small crop at 4K 60 fps is not sufficient to discourage me from utilizing it, it is solely a minor change to the sector of view and never a drastic shift as I noticed with the Lumix S5II. In the meantime, I discovered that I loved working with the 6.2K footage greater than I anticipated, it is nice with the ability to shift your framing barely after the very fact with no high quality loss, and invaluable for creating vertical movies for social media.

One other new video characteristic on this mannequin is the introduction of vlog mode. This mode takes some inspiration from cameras just like the Sony ZV-1 II, simplifying the settings and shifting the most-used modes over to the touchscreen for simple entry whereas filming your self. Switching to vlog mode provides you fast entry to modes like background defocus (which routinely selects the widest aperture potential) and product precedence autofocus, making working the digicam a lot easier for many who aren’t as au fait with guide digicam settings.

In video modes, the autofocus and IBIS are respectable however they’re nonetheless not on par with cameras from the likes of Sony and Canon. I seen a bit extra focus looking than I might like, and the stabilisation tends to jerk a bit of hurriedly whenever you transfer the digicam unexpectedly. They’re undoubtedly dependable sufficient for almost all of conditions, however there’s nonetheless some room for enchancment.

The slow-motion recording is identical previous story, too. It is restricted to 1080p, which is anticipated at this worth level, and as I’ve discovered with all of Fujifilm’s latest releases, it seems to be nice at 120 fps, however 240 fps is an actual downgrade in picture constancy. On the plus aspect, the truth that it will probably report 60 fps in 4K means 2x sluggish movement is feasible in a lot increased constancy than earlier than.

Verdict

The Fujifilm X-S20 is a good digicam, it is a true-hybrid design that gives severe efficiency in each pictures and video with out changing into too expensive. It actually appears like an X-H2 “Lite” and I can think about it being a very talked-about choice with those that wish to dabble in each fields, however aren’t swayed by the attract of full-frame our bodies.

As with all Fujifilm cameras, the styling is superb and the match and end is spot on. Plus, you get an expansive library of high quality glass to select from, to not point out the truth that its light-weight and compact chassis makes it nice to journey with.

After all, it is not excellent, there’s nonetheless loads of issues on my wishlist. Twin SD card slots could be nice to see, as would a full-size HDMI port, though the micro port might be forgiven contemplating the dimensions of the digicam. There’s nonetheless room for enchancment with video autofocus and stabilisation, too.

In the event you’re out there for a hybrid APS-C shooter on this worth vary, I believe it is one of many extra compelling choices. Opponents embody the Canon R7, which outclasses it within the autofocus division, however its restricted lens choice actually limits its enchantment. Then there’s the Sony A6700, which is rather more of a contender, however its drastically totally different styling and management structure implies that it would enchantment to a unique set of customers.

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