Fujifilm X20 review – Our verdict

The X20 stands out from other enthusiast compacts for many positive reasons, not least of which is a design marred only by the placement of its exposure compensation dial. Although it may be difficult to distinguish any extra detail in real-world images from those of other enthusiast compacts, lab testing confirms the sensor’s ability to record detail beyond what would ordinarily be expected for a 12-million-pixel compact. Furthermore, the inclusion of a viewfinder immediately heightens its appeal, with the addition of the Digital Trans Panel making it considerably more useful in low-light. Despite its shortcomings, it’s still the best optical viewfinder to be found on such a camera.

Naturally, the X20 is not perfect. Its noise-reduction system illustrates why shooting and manually processing raw images is often the best approach in terms of image quality, and it’s a shame that the LCD screen’s resolution hasn’t improved since the X10. Lacklustre video footage also disappoints, although these aren’t significant issues when the camera’s plus points are considered.

Fujifilm X20 – Key features

The X20’s optical viewfinder provides 85% coverage and has a sensor at its rear that can be used to activate the Digital Trans Panel inside it.

Burst mode
The X20 is capable of capturing full-resolution JPEG images at 12fps, for up to 11 images. Further options allow a longer burst depth at a slower pace.

Exposure compensation dial
This is positioned directly above where the thumb naturally rests, and provides compensation over a
-2 to +2EV range.

Film simulation bracketing
The camera allows images to be bracketed with film simulation modes of the user’s choosing, such as Provia (standard), Velvia (vivid) and Astia (soft).

Image stabilisation
The camera’s lens is stabilised by an element-shifting system, which promises an improvement of up to 4 stops.

Q button
This button replaces the X10’s ‘raw’ button, its purpose being to bring up commonly used settings such as ISO, noise reduction and image size.

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