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Cameras

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.

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).

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.

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 80D Fujifilm X-Pro2 Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm X-T2 Olympus PEN-F
Sensor effective resolution 24.2MP Dual Pixel CMOS 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III 16.3MP X-Trans CMOS II 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III 20.3MP Live MOS
12-bit
Sensor size 22.5 x 15 mm 23.6 x 15.6mm 23.6 x 15.8mm 23.6 x 15.6mm 17.3 x 13mm
Focal-length multiplier 1.6x 1.5x 1.5x 1.5x 2.0x
OLPF Yes No No No Yes
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 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
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 EV n/a n/a -3 to n/a EV n/a
Shutter speed 1/8,000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/250 sec x-sync 1/8,000 to 30 sec; bulb to 60 min; 1/250 sec x-sync 30-1/4,000 sec.; bulb to 60 min; 1/180 x-sync 1/8,000 to 30 sec (1/32,000 sec with electronic shutter); bulb to 60 min; 1/250 sec x-sync 60 - 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 zones 256 zones 256 zones n/a 324 area
Metering sensitivity 1 - 20 EV n/a n/a 256 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 jack Stereo; mic input Stereo Stereo; mic input Stereo
Manual aperture and shutter in video Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Maximum best-quality recording time per clip 29:59 mins 14 minutes 14 minutes 10 minutes
(30 minutes with battery grip)
29 mins
Clean HDMI out No n/a No Yes Yes
IS Optical Optical Optical Optical 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 SDXC 2 x SDXC 1 x SDXC 2 x SDXC 1 x SDXC
Wireless connection Wi-Fi, NFC Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Wi-Fi
Flash Yes No Yes Yes Included add-on
Wireless flash Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
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 2016 February 2016 February 2014 September 2016 March 2016

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