Fujifilm X20 review – Autofocus

Fujifilm makes some lofty claims about the camera’s AF system, and in use there’s little that frustrates. While it doesn’t exhibit the immediacy of some other focusing systems, when set to its single-point area option there’s just a very brief shift of the lens at its wideangle end before focus is confirmed, and only a slightly slower performance at the telephoto end. When the multi option is selected, the system usually locates an appropriate subject in the scene, only occasionally straying to a slightly more obscure area.

The camera’s ability to focus in poorer lighting conditions with only a slight delay in more typical conditions is impressive in itself, but its performance against low-contrast subjects devoid of detail is simply superb, even without any assistance from its AF illuminator lamp. Such subjects would tax any camera’s AF system, yet the X20’s system succeeds in almost every situation.

With a flick of the focus dial on the front plate, it’s also possible to manually focus the lens by using the menu pad dial on the rear of the camera. As is the case on many similar cameras, any manual focus adjustment immediately magnifies the central portion of the display to facilitate focus, although this can be disabled if not required.

A feature that can either be used in conjunction with this, or as an alternative, is the focus peaking mode, which displays the point of highest contrast by outlining the relevant area with a highlight. Combining the two makes light work of manual focusing, although it would be handy to have the further option of adjusting this highlight’s colour for better visibility, particularly for those with poorer eyesight.

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