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Fujifilm gives its action-shooting X-T2 mirrorless a speed boost

A new sensor, autofocus system and 4K video support brings the camera up to date. And look for three new lenses over the next 18 months.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin
3 min read

Following the release of the X-Pro2 early this year, Fujifilm returns to revamp its X-T mirrorless series with its replacement for the X-T1, the X-T2. While it looks like a significant upgrade over the X-T1, it's because that model is over two years old; the X-T2 incorporates a lot of the newer technologies that are in the X-Pro2.

Fujifilm plans to ship the camera in September -- at least in the US -- body-only for $1,600 or a kit with the XF18-55mm f2.8-4 lens for $1,900 (£1,400/£1,650 and AU$2,300 -- I can't find a kit price there).

Shop for Fujifilm X-T2 (body only, black)

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Editors' note, July 11, 2016: Updated with corrections based on a brief time with the camera as well as pricing for the UK and Australia.

Fujifilm X-T2 incorporates useful design features

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New highlights

  • Sensor and autofocus. It uses the same 24.3-megapixel X-Trans III sensor and X-Processor Pro as the X-Pro2, but with an increased number of phase-detection autofocus points. Fujifilm claims much better speed and accuracy, plus adds more controls over continuous autofocus behavior. As a refresher, the X-Trans technology uses a 5G:2R:2B ratio (green, red, blue) color filter array rather than the 2G:1R:1B used by the standard Bayer array on a typical sensor. The extra green -- the most sensitive sites on the sensor -- provides sufficient data that there's less false color produced by de-mosaicking (reconstructing colors from the array) and obviates the need for an optical low-pass filter to blur the edges between the pixels.
  • 4K video support. One one hand, it's great that Fujifilm has upped its video game to 4K. But in my experience the company has never done a great job with video; I hope we don't just see the same artifacts writ high resolution. It can output clean HDMI at 4:2:2 (8-bit) depth.
  • Design and features. The biggest change is the LCD; now it not only tilts up and down, but can flip out to the right, as well as tilt up or down while flipped out to the right. Really nice. It also increases to two SD card slots, which is essential for serious continuous shooting or 4K video recording. The viewfinder has similar specs to that of the X-T1, but with a higher maximum refresh rate of 100 frames per second. It does seem pretty responsive. Fujifilm adds the ability to use focal-plane sync to shoot with flash at any shutter speed. There are a couple of tweaks to the control layout, most notably the removal of the recording button from the top and the replacement of the focus assist button on the back with a joystick similar to the X-Pro2's. While the X-T series has always had a more pronounced grip than the X-Pro models, there's a new optional Vertical Power Booster Grip (VPB-XT2; $330, £300) that's intended to deliver improved frame rates during continuous shooting and increase the maximum 4K recording time to 30 minutes, in addition to extra battery life.

Other updates and announcements

There's also a new flash, the EF-X500 (GN 164 in feet and GN 50 in meters), which has a tilt and swivel head, and a video LED. It will ship in September as well for $450 (directly converted, £350, AU$600).

Additionally, the company announced it plans to release a firmware update for the X-Pro2 in October, updating the autofocus algorithm with many of the same performance enhancements as the X-T2, the focal-plane flash sync capability and improvements to the parallax correction in the viewfinder.

It's been a while since we've seen an X-series lens roadmap; there are no real dates on the new one. Fujifilm plans an XF23mmF2 R WR for 2016, followed by the XF50mmF2 R WR and XF80mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro in 2017. The latter has replaced the 120mm f2.8 macro lens that was promised on the last roadmap.

My take

I'm kind of baffled as to the differentiation. The X-T2, which is close to identically priced to the X-Pro2, incorporates the same sensor and a newer autofocus system than the X-Pro2, plus a tilting LCD and support for 4K video. It has similar performance specs as well. The two cameras basically have different designs and viewfinders -- the X-T2 looks more streamlined with a bigger grip -- but the X-T2 seems a significantly more advanced camera for the same money. Unless you really want the X-Pro2's hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder.

Comparative specifications

Canon EOS 80DFujifilm X-Pro2Fujifilm X-T1Fujifilm X-T2Olympus PEN-F
Sensor effective resolution 24.2MP Dual Pixel CMOS24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III16.3MP X-Trans CMOS II24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III"20.3MP Live MOS 12-bit"
Sensor size 22.5 x 15 mm23.6 x 15.6mm23.6 x 15.8mm23.6 x 15.6mm17.3 x 13mm
Focal-length multiplier 1.6x1.5x1.5x1.5x2.0x
Sensitivity range ISO 100 - ISO 16000/ISO 25600 (exp)ISO 100 (exp)/200 - ISO 12800/51200 (exp)ISO 100 (exp)/200 - ISO 6400/51200 (exp)ISO 100 (exp)/200 - ISO 6400/51200 (exp)ISO 80 (exp)/ISO 200 - ISO 25600
Burst shooting "7fps 110 JPEG/25 raw""8fps 83 JPEG/27 raw""8fps 47 JPEG/n/a raw""8fps 83 JPEG/27 raw (11fps with battery grip; 14fps with electronic shutter)""5fps unlimited JPEG and raw (10fps with fixed focus and IS off)"
"Viewfinder (mag/ effective mag)" "Optical 100% coverage 0.95x/0.59x""Hybrid Reverse Galilean 92% coverage EVF 0.5 in/12 mm 2.4 million dots 100% coverage varies with focal length (.59x at 50mm)""EVF 0.5-inch/13mm 2.4 million dots 100% coverage 1.2x/0.77x ""EVF 0.5-inch/13mm 2.4 million dots 100% coverage 1.2x/0.77x ""OLED EVF n/a-inch 2.4 million dots 100% coverage 1.08x - 1.23x/ 0.54x- 0.62x"
Hot Shoe YesYesYesYesYes
Autofocus "45-point phase-detection all cross-type 27 to f8, 9 cross-type 1 to f2.8"77-point phase-detection AF; 273-point contrast"77-point phase-detection AF 49-area Contrast AF""325-point phase-detection AF 91-area Contrast AF""81-area Contrast AF"
AF sensitivity -3 to 18 EVn/an/a-3 to n/a EVn/a
Shutter speed 1/8,000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/250 sec x-sync1/8,000 to 30 sec; bulb to 60 min; 1/250 sec x-sync30-1/4,000 sec.; bulb to 60 min; 1/180 x-sync1/8,000 to 30 sec (1/32,000 sec with electronic shutter); bulb to 60 min; 1/250 sec x-sync60 - 1/8000 sec; bulb to 30 minutes (1/16,000 sec electronic shutter); 1/250 sec x-sync (1/8,000 sec Super FP)
Metering 7.560-pixel RGB+IR, 63 zones256 zones256 zonesn/a324 area
Metering sensitivity 1 - 20 EVn/an/a256 zones-2 - 20 EV
Best video "H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/30p, 25p, 24p; MP4: 720/60p, 1080/60p, 30p"H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/60p @ 35 Mbps"H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/60p"H.264 UHD 4K/30p, 25p, 24p"H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/60p, 50p (52 Mbps); 30p, 25p, 24p (77 Mbps)"
Audio Stereo, mic input; headphone jackStereo; mic inputStereoStereo; mic inputStereo
Manual aperture and shutter in video YesYesYesYesYes
Maximum best-quality recording time per clip 29:59 mins14 minutes14 minutes"10 minutes (30 minutes with battery grip)"29 mins
Clean HDMI out Non/aNoYesYes
IS OpticalOpticalOpticalOptical"Sensor shift (5 axis)"
Display "3 in/7.7cm Articulated touchscreen 1.04m dots""3 in/7.5 cm Fixed 1.62 million dots""3 in/7.5 cm Fixed 1.04m dots""3 in/7.5 cm Multiangle tilting 1.62 million dots""3 in/7.5cm Articulated touchscreen 1.04m dots"
Memory slots 1 x SDXC2 x SDXC1 x SDXC2 x SDXC1 x SDXC
Wireless connection Wi-Fi, NFCWi-FiWi-FiWi-FiWi-Fi
Flash YesNoYesYesIncluded add-on
Wireless flash YesYesYesYesYes
Battery life (CIPA rating) "960 (VF); 300 (LV) (2,600 mAh)""350 shots (1,300 mAh)""350 shots (1,260 mAh)""340 shots (1,260 mAh)""330 shots (1,220 mAh)"
Size (WHD) "5.5 x 4.1 x 3.1 in 139.0 x 105 x 79 mm""5.2 x 3.3 x 1.8 in 141 x 83 x 46 mm""5.0 x 3.5 x 1.8 in 129 x 90 x 47 mm""5.2 x 3.6 x 1.9 in 133 x 92 x 49 mm""4.9 x 2.8 x 1.5 in 125 x 72 x 37 mm"
Body operating weight "26.4 oz 748 g""17.5 oz (est.) 495 g (est.)""15.6 oz 442.3 g""17.9 oz (est.) 507 g (est.)""15.3 oz 434 g"
Mfr. price (body only) "$1,200 £1,050 AU$1,880""$1,700 £1,350 AU$2,180 (est.) ""$1,300 (est.) £850 AU$1,180 (est.)""$1,600 £1,400 AU$2,300""$1,200 £1,000 AU$1,800 (est.)"
Release date March 2016February 2016February 2014September 2016March 2016