CNET First Look
Advanced compact camera, $600The Fujifilm X20 has a lot to recommend it, especially if you're looking for a more old-school shooting experience in a digital compact or want an optical viewfinder and can't afford the Fujifilm X100S.
-Fujifilm's X20 Advanced Compact incorporates a new 2/3 inch version of the company's high-end Xtrans sensor, albeit at the same 12 megapixel resolution as its predecessor, the X10. But while image quality is much better than the X10, it's still only about the same as its competitors. On the other hand, enhancements to the design and interface including a Settings Overlay in the viewfinder and a quick control panel, deliver a more enjoyable streamline shooting experience. With several important differences, the design of the X20s identical to that of the X10, and those change make it even more enjoyable to shoot with them before. The body has the same magnesium allow chassis and an aluminum front. And the black and silver version shares the aesthetic with its sibling the X100S. In addition to delivering a read out with the mode shutter-speed in aperture, it provides an auto-focus area display and a focus lock indicator. Though it's not a through to lens viewfinder, the focus area really helps when framing the scene. Another change which greatly enhances the camera's appeal is the addition of Manual Focus Peaking-- the highlighting of in-focus edges. As a result of using this, I found myself trusting the manual focus a lot more and using it a lot more with the X20 than with the X10. The X20 also gains the same shooting quick menu as Fujifilm's other cameras. Also thanks to ditching the EXR sensor of the X10, there's no more confusing choices about choosing the correct auto or reduced resolution mode in order to get the optimal photo quality. That was one of the things I really dislike about the X10. In fact, the only thing left that I really dislike is the twist the lens to power on. In conjunction with its clunky lens cap, it really slows down that time from pocket to shot. The X20's advanced shooting modes add a very basic double exposure mode and a typical set of special effects filters. The camera's photos are far better than the X10s. but even so at best they match competitors like the P7700 or the G15, both of which are a bit cheaper. And it's also not quite as good as the larger sensored Sony RX100, plus the videos subject to various artifacts. It's a pretty fast camera though with zippy shooting in auto focus. There's a lot to recommend it especially if you're looking for a more old school shooting experience in a digital compact, or you want an optical viewfinder. It delivers very good [time0:02:30] performance, a nice feel on a streamlined interface. But its image quality while very good, just doesn't stand out from the competition and its video disappoints. I'm Lori Grunin and this is the Fujifilm X20.